Loose Lead walking

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Buddy'smyboy
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Buddy'smyboy » Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:58 pm

vicki wrote:
Buddy'smyboy wrote:I'm confused about the term "close". So, does "close" mean:

A.) Dog can walk anywhere on the leash as long as they don't pull and the leash isn't tense.

B.) Dog walks at my side with his head not going past my hip.

C.) Other?

Also, my boy Buddy seems to walk beside me and then his head will slowly go a little in front of my leg although he is not walking fast and keeping close to me; should I turn at this point?

And sometimes he will stay beside me, but then he'll start drifting away off to the side but not going in front of me. Is that still close or does he have to physically be close to my leg for it to be close?

When we're at a stop and we start he also starts walking before me so he ends up in front of me (ei, we're stopped. I start and he's two steps ahead of me). I just turn around and head the other way but how do I keep him by my side when we start?
For me close is just that... close to my body! So I would go with B as the nearest description to what the term 'close' means to me.

Are you teaching loose leash or heeling?
Loose leash, with him by my side, I suppose. Just for some back ground info, if he doesn't walk by my side, then he walks ahead without the leash being tense and it isn't often that he comes to the end of it, and if he does a simple "this way!" will bring him back from the end.

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Mattie
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Mattie » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:54 am

Once my dog is walking on a loos lead I don't worry where the head is, I let my dog walk were he is most comfortable, some prefer to be slightly infront, others behind, others next to me. Where it is safe I will let my dog walk quite a bit in front of me so they can investigate the undergrowth as long as the lead is loose.

Competition walking to heel has altered, now many dogs look like they are wrapped round the handler's leg, that can't be very comfortable when walking and is impossible to walk your dogs like that.

When I want them close to me I just shorten the lead and expect my dog to still walk on a loose lead at the side of me, were his head in doesn't really matter as long as he is next to me.
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Buddy'smyboy
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Buddy'smyboy » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:39 am

Once my dog is walking on a loos lead I don't worry where the head is, I let my dog walk were he is most comfortable, some prefer to be slightly infront, others behind, others next to me. Where it is safe I will let my dog walk quite a bit in front of me so they can investigate the undergrowth as long as the lead is loose.
So basically what that means if I read it correctly is that if he does walk in front of me (full body in front by the way) but the leash is loose and he does respond and come closer when he comes to the end of it, technically that IS loose leash walking? Did I understand that correctly?
When I want them close to me I just shorten the lead and expect my dog to still walk on a loose lead at the side of me, were his head in doesn't really matter as long as he is next to me.
So for when Buddy is beside me but he starts to drift of to the side (but still not going passed me) that would not technically be "close" for you? He would have to be beside me for it to be close?

I think the thing that keeps frustrating me is that Buddy has a long, quick stride, and while I have a fairly quick stride also, it's also short (and let's face it; it's hard to out walk a dog, they have four legs) so he'd walk beside me for a moment, but then within three of his steps he was getting ahead again I think without even really thinking about it. He just walks (much) faster than I do. So it means for walking beside me he has to really pull back a little (and even then he might slowly inch forward :lol: :roll: ). However, since he doesn't pull (unless there is something very interesting, but even then it's not the "dragging you down the street pull" its the "oops I came to the end I'll stop so you can catch up pull") then I suppose it isn't a problem.

Any advice on getting him to slow his pace down? And also, back to one of my other questions, whenever I stop he goes about two more steps before stopping also (if he's by my side) so he ends up ahead of me even though I would like him by my side so I can teach him to sit beside me whenever we stop. Do you think he's just not looking at me to know when to stop?

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Mattie
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Mattie » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:41 am

Buddy'smyboy wrote:
Once my dog is walking on a loos lead I don't worry where the head is, I let my dog walk were he is most comfortable, some prefer to be slightly infront, others behind, others next to me. Where it is safe I will let my dog walk quite a bit in front of me so they can investigate the undergrowth as long as the lead is loose.
So basically what that means if I read it correctly is that if he does walk in front of me (full body in front by the way) but the leash is loose and he does respond and come closer when he comes to the end of it, technically that IS loose leash walking? Did I understand that correctly?
He shouldn't get to the end of the lead, it should be loose all the time, if any tension goes on the lead I stop until the lead goes loose again.
When I want them close to me I just shorten the lead and expect my dog to still walk on a loose lead at the side of me, were his head in doesn't really matter as long as he is next to me.
So for when Buddy is beside me but he starts to drift of to the side (but still not going passed me) that would not technically be "close" for you? He would have to be beside me for it to be close?
If he goes off to the side he isn't close to you. I only ask my dogs to walk close to me if there are a lot of people around, crossing the road etc. they have to stay close to my side, going off sideways could trip someone up. A dog walking close to me is in the same position as heel used to be many years ago, dog walks along side of me.
I think the thing that keeps frustrating me is that Buddy has a long, quick stride, and while I have a fairly quick stride also, it's also short (and let's face it; it's hard to out walk a dog, they have four legs) so he'd walk beside me for a moment, but then within three of his steps he was getting ahead again I think without even really thinking about it. He just walks (much) faster than I do. So it means for walking beside me he has to really pull back a little (and even then he might slowly inch forward :lol: :roll: ). However, since he doesn't pull (unless there is something very interesting, but even then it's not the "dragging you down the street pull" its the "oops I came to the end I'll stop so you can catch up pull") then I suppose it isn't a problem.
A dog's natural pace is trot not walk, many dogs can't balance themselves if walking at our speed and need to learn how to balance themselves, you can do exercises to help them. Maybe Buddy can't balance himself when walking at your speed.
Any advice on getting him to slow his pace down? And also, back to one of my other questions, whenever I stop he goes about two more steps before stopping also (if he's by my side) so he ends up ahead of me even though I would like him by my side so I can teach him to sit beside me whenever we stop. Do you think he's just not looking at me to know when to stop?
If you want him to sit next to you when you stop ask him to, you may need to practice this a bit at first but he should sit next to you if you ask him to.

If you have a long lead, minimum of 6ft, clip it onto the harness, pass the lead in front of the dog's chest leaving a loop for you to hold and the handle of the lead hold the other side of the dog, you can then use this to steer your dog round obsticles. The lead passing in front of the chest will help him balance himself.

You can have several poles on the ground, all facing the same way but not in a straight line, you can then walk over them, round them, over some and round some etc. You can have the poles on the ground in a square with a gap were they join, again you can walk over them, in and out of the square through the gaps etc. You will need to steer your dog through these using the lead passed in front of his chest.

You can use the poles like cavaletti in a row with alternate sides raised a couple of inches, he will have to balance himself before he steps over the poles because they are all different to him.

I am sure you can come up with more ideas. :lol:
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cassie
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by cassie » Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:21 pm

hi this is my first post.can anyone give me some advice.i have a 18 week border collie,male and 3 indoor rabbits.its driving me crazy.zikko wont leave them alone.i dont know if he wants to play or eat them.in the summer the rabbits are in the garden all day.i have an older dog who doesnt bother about them.she lies in the garden and they run arround happily.dont know how to resolve this.please someone help. :(

chay
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by chay » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:31 pm

cassie wrote:hi this is my first post.can anyone give me some advice.i have a 18 week border collie,male and 3 indoor rabbits.its driving me crazy.zikko wont leave them alone.i dont know if he wants to play or eat them.in the summer the rabbits are in the garden all day.i have an older dog who doesnt bother about them.she lies in the garden and they run arround happily.dont know how to resolve this.please someone help. :(
hi cassie, welcome to the forum. you'll get some great advice here.

i suggest you create your own thread (just copy + paste the same post) over to the "dog training advice" forum where it can get some more exposure. i'm afraid an 18 week old border collie is definitely going to want to eat your rabbits rather than play with them, for now you definitely should not be leaving them unsupervised or even in the same room with the rabbits loose (you may not ever be able to do this, i'm afraid).

if you post your own thread there'll be many knowledgeable people able to offer you advice :)

HoustonRufus
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by HoustonRufus » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:41 am

Hello, my name is Keith. I live in Houston, Texas. I am bringing home Luke this comging Saturday. :D He is a 4 1/2 mo old English Setter. I've been planning for his arrival for a while now but am still pretty nervous. Any other English Setter owners out there who have any advice specific to the breed? I'm somewhat concerned about leash training. English Setters are evidently roaming dogs and like to explore. I live in an apartment, so we will be taking at least a couple walks a day for his exercise needs. When he gets older and is more developed physically, I plan to take him on runs and hikes, all on a leash of course. I live in a busy urban area. So unless we visit a fenced dog park, he will always be on a leash. Good leash training will be a must. I've also heard house breaking can be a challenge with this breed. I'll be crate training him, but if anyone has any suggestions, I'd appreciate them.

Fortunately, I've gone through a highly reputable breeder, so she has been a wealth of information and support. But I'm an eternal student, so any help is appreciated. :)

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Mattie
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Mattie » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:35 am

Hi Keith, welcome to the forum, have a read through this thread, it will tell you how to teach your pup to walk on a loose leash, also in this section is a thread on toilet training a pup or adult dog, both work and others have also put their experiences in which helps.

Pups usually do well with clicker training, there is a thread in this section on clicker training. Read then ask questions and we will help as much as we can.
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HoustonRufus
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by HoustonRufus » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:03 pm

Thanks Mattie. I've been reading most of the day and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. ha!

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PinscherLady
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by PinscherLady » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:37 am

I have been practicing and experimenting with different approaches to loose lead walking and found it not satisfying for my needs. As my dog is only 13 kg, it is usually not that a problem when she is pulling, so I mostly did focus on her not launching into the lead, which is even on a 13 kg dog very unpleasant. Now reading this, I am right back thinking about the loose lead walking.

I considered the loose leash walking always being on a longer leash ( 2-3m about 6-9 feet)and yet not pulling. This concept seems to be something my Pinscher does not comprehend. When I keep her on a short leash, she walks nicely close to me - I considered this as heeling, which I thought to be no fun for the dog for longer distances.

I found this question from last December very interesting, but have not found a answer here yet:
pnhughes wrote: ....
I want to train her for loose-leash walking, but I'm confused about whether or not this is done 100% of the time when out and about. If so, when does your dog ever get to find a spot to eliminate, or get to have any fun following its nose and tracking? If not, how do you signal clearly to the dog when it's okay to roam, and when it's time to come back into position?

I am wondering if it is possible/practical to use signals for two walking modes - the default mode would be walking loose lead, but upon a signal the dog could roam/track/whatever a little more freely. That way, it's still up to the one holding the leash when this behaviour is allowed to happen. I just don't know if such a thing could be successful without undoing the progress/discipline of the loose leash walking.
And some more questions:
The loose leash walk and "old fashioned heeling" (not competition like) were considered two different things in this thread, so I assume there are two sets of signals?

I tested yesterday the calling everytime my dog comes close to the end of the leash (3m distance). It resulted in me calling almost all the time the "here", which did work nicely, but does not seem to be practical for a longer walk. I especially wonder about this, when one might have guests, who come along and also need some attention now and then.

So I was thinking about switching walking styles between "close - no pull" and "roaming - allowing pull, but no launching". What are your ideas on this?

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Mattie
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Mattie » Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:18 am

I don't bother with my dog walking to heel, I don't compete and don't intend to, I do expect my dogs to walk on a loose lead all the time no matter how long or short the lead is. Once my dogs are taught to walk on a loose lead they do sometimes get to the end of the lead if there is a nice smell under the bush, etc. this isn't pulling, pulling is were your dog wants to get somewhere faster than you do and tries to get you there faster.

When we train our dogs we get them into the habit of doing something, dogs get into the habit of pulling their owner along if not taught to walk on a loose lead or they can be taught to walk on a loose lead so they never pull. You do have to be consistant,the more consistant you are the quicker they learn, experimenting with different methods doesn't teach your dog,it can confuse them. As your dog gets better at walking on a loose lead you will adapt what you are doing, I no longer turn and walk the other way,if there is too much pressure on the lead I stop. The idea is in all teaching a dog to walk on a loose lead is never to let your dog pull.
pnhughes wrote:
....
I want to train her for loose-leash walking, but I'm confused about whether or not this is done 100% of the time when out and about. If so, when does your dog ever get to find a spot to eliminate, or get to have any fun following its nose and tracking? If not, how do you signal clearly to the dog when it's okay to roam, and when it's time to come back into position?
Of course your dog has to walk on a loose lead all the time, in an ideal world our dogs wouldn't toilet on pavements which is why we pick up after them, I know my dogs often will suddenly stop and toilet, I never drag them away, they can smell a good place to toilet very easily. My dogs know when they can investigate everything by the length of the lead, for walking along the roads I have the leads short, when they can investigate I have the leads long, but they must never attempt to pull me anywhere, if on a long lead and they are get to the end of the lead I follow my dog or better still my dogs have a good recall so I can let them off in safe areas for them to investigate.

There is no reason why a dog should pull, it is very bad manners and can be dangerous to the owner as well as the dog, many dogs end up with damaged necks and tracheas, have a read of what can happen when a dog pulls http://tracheotomy-in-dogs.yolasite.com/ Far better for the dog never to pull.
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jakesmom
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by jakesmom » Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:00 pm

Hi Pinscher Lady

I do the same as Mattie and find it works a treat.

I like my dogs to walk to heel in the street, but elsewhere I like them to be able to roam and go more or less where they like. What I don't want them to do is pull me. So I hold the lead short in the street and I allow them the full length of the lead at other times. They are aware that the lead needs to be loose at all times or I stop walking.

I always have the dogs on my left hand side when on a short lead and they go where I go, but when on a longer lead I follow them and let them go where they like, within reason.

I'd love to have both of them off lead more, but as the one is reactive it's not possible, unless I'm absolutely sure there are no other dogs about.

yummybagel
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by yummybagel » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:38 pm

Hello!
I just had a quick question.

I just started training my two year old male Beagle loose lead walking. I turned the moment he passed my knee, but he refuses to follow me when I turn so I just end up dragging him towards me. He just stands there, looking at me, clearly confused as to why I'm suddenly walkng the other way...What should I do??

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Mattie
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Mattie » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:12 am

Talk to him, I always say, "This way" in a happy voice. Once big mistake that us humans often make is not speaking to our dogs when we are training them, we are concentrating too much on what we and our dog is doing, we need to use our voice to encourage our dogs like when I say "This way". Once your dog learns "This way" it is very useful when they are off lead and going the wrong way, you can just call "This way".

Also you can pat your thigh to encourage him to come with you, that is another way that many dogs will follow you.

Dogs love to think that we are happy with what they are doing, by using our voice as well we can encourage them to do what we want. Try and make if fun, if you are happy doing this then so will your dog and he will learn quicker. The secret is little and often.
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minkee
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by minkee » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:09 am

Scout isn't the worst puller in the world, but she does tend to do it when she sees something exciting, or knows we're walking towards one of her greens. Now, at one point I bought Turid Rugaas' book about leash pulling, which features a very similar technique to Mattie's - except the change of direction happens only when the dog pulls, and it gets treated for turning round. I kept that training that for quite a while, but found it hard to keep it up because it's not something you can do when you have a specific destination to go to - and I still had to get her to her greens and beaches for running around and general physical tiring out.

So instead I turned to the gentle leader. This wasn't something I particularly wanted to use, but my puppy trainer had said everyone should use one, that training a dog to walk nicely would take 5 years, but the gentle leader was an instant alternative. Not to teach her to stop pulling, just to stop the pulling while she wore it.

But I did want her to walk nicely with me! So I tried stopping when she pulled, rather than changing direction - as we could still actually get to a destination that way. She still retained some of the earlier idea, however, and would orbit me, as if we were going to change direction and then back again quickly each time I stopped. Hope that makes sense - she'd pull - I'd stop - she'd go round my left hand side, behind me, then out on the right again. And usually zoom a few paces infront of me again. I keep her on my right, as I'm left handed. So that gets me tangled and is annoying, and she seems to think I want yoyoing rather than walking nicely without pulling. It is a little better than when I started, though.

So, it seems like your solution, Mattie, is perfect! However my one worry is that switching up to a new method AGAIN might just confuse her even more. Do you think I should switch, or stick with the stopping-when-she-pulls method?

edit: I couldn't do too much lead training AND running around tiring out when I was trying Rugaas' way - Scout was only 5 months old or so, so wasn't allowed much exercise... however I needed her as tired out as possible, so she'd give me some peace!
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