Loose Lead walking

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minkee
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by minkee » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:40 am

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I'm fairly sure when my partner takes her out, he either just lets her pull and pull, or pull and yanks her back (repeat). And there's not a whole heap I can do otherwise about that, other than insist he makes her wear her gentle leader. She does wear a harness.
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yummybagel
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by yummybagel » Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:44 pm

Mattie wrote: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.
I must confess that I wasn't very happy yesterday when I was training him to loose lead walk...I tried my best to sound cheerful, and tried saying "this way", and "come on," and tried tapping my thigh but he wouldn't budge...May be he knew I was frustrated..Once he catches a scent, though, it really doesn't matter what I say..he only wants to go in the direction that the scent is coming from...He's a Beagle so I guess it's a natural response but I don't know how to deal with it when I'm trying to train him to loose lead walk..Should I just let him sniff it out and then train him after?

Oh, and one more quick question...Bagel wears the gentle leader harness as well...is it a good idea to keep that on him when training him how to loose lead walk?

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Mattie
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Mattie » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:23 am

minkee wrote: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.
That puppy trainer doesn't have a clue how to train dogs if it takes her 5 years to teach a dog to walk on a loose lead.

When teaching a dog to walk on a loose lease there is no point in having a destination to go to, you have to concentrate on teaching your dog, if you have a destination to go to you will get frustrated and impatient, not good when training dogs. The more you teach the quicker your dog will pick it up, have 4, 5 or even 6 10 minute sessions a day, this will tire your dog out as well as she will have to use her brain.

What you can do is use the gentle leader when you are not training until she knows how to walk on a loose lead, you can then mix the training with exercise.
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.
The idea is NOT TO LET YOUR DOG PULL, once your dog pulls no matter what you do she is learning to pull. When she starts to orbit you she is confused, she is trying to work out what you want her to do, you are using to many methods too quickly. You need to be very very very consistant in what you do or your dog won't be able to know what you want her to do. The more consistant you are the quicker she will learn.
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?
I never found the stopping when a dog pulled to work, as soon as I started walking again the dog pulled. Most dogs pull because we don't walk fast enough for them, their natural pace is trot not walk and they have to learn to walk at our speed, many dogs pull to balance themselves, if you drop the lead with a pulling dog often they will go to fall on their noses, they are off balance. When we teach our dogs not to pull we are teaching them how to balance at our speed. I used to know someone who taught her dogs not to pully by jogging at her dog's speed, it worked. :lol:
Oh, and I forgot to mention that I'm fairly sure when my partner takes her out, he either just lets her pull and pull, or pull and yanks her back (repeat). And there's not a whole heap I can do otherwise about that, other than insist he makes her wear her gentle leader. She does wear a harness.
That is why you are taking so long to teach her not to pull, your partner is teaching her that pulling works, not sure you can train your partner though, men are a lot more difficult to train than dogs. :lol:
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Nettle
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Nettle » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:47 am

Mr. Nettle lets his dog pull. I don't. So she has learned that she walks nicely with me and pulls for him.

I am amazed at what the trainer said :shock: I used to do demonstrations in the main arena at country shows, where people would bring their hard pullers in and I would have them walking to heel with the lead flat on top of my hand in minutes. When people ask me how long it will take, I say "ten minutes for the dog (it's usually half that) and the rest of the hour to teach you" :lol:


All the while your partner undermines your training, the dog is going to find it difficult to learn - but sadly, while dog-training is easy, partner-training is not :(
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easilyconfused
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by easilyconfused » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:53 am

Mattie wrote:I never found the stopping when a dog pulled to work, as soon as I started walking again the dog pulled.
I gave up on that method when a 3 month old puppy got the better of me. She had worked out that if she pulled I stopped and had spotted a dog onlead coming up behind us. She started a frantic pulling session knowing I would stop still, enabling her to meet the approaching dog :) I noticed it behind me almost to late and promptly walked her off the path and onto the grass verge. She whined a fair amount as the dog passed by.

It's best to never let the lead get tight enough to pull and these days I teach a "back" command to get the dog to slow down before it hits the end of the lead. That pup is all grown up now but still gets the better of me whenever she can :)

jakesmom
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by jakesmom » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:12 pm

Mattie wrote:
I never found the stopping when a dog pulled to work, as soon as I started walking again the dog pulled.
I've found this to be the easiest method by far. I also think it makes more sense to the dog.
We are going somewhere, but only once you stop pulling, and walk nicely.

With the turn method, although I presume it works, the dog must wonder what is going on, as he can't easily associate the turn with the pulling, especially when he is turned before he has actually pulled. I tried this for months with my last dog, and got as fed up as he did (he just couldn't get it). I was constantly going round in circles, I''d turn and he would just try even harder to go in the original direction, either pulling across my legs to the right or pulling and twisting to the left. I think we both confused in the end.

It worked when I first tried it in the small training sessions (because everytime he pulled and I turned he thought we were going back home - and he didn't want to go back home). But I just couldn't transfer the method when we were on a normal walk, because he associated it with going home - not the pulling.


The idea with the stopping is to stop as soon as you know your dog is going to reach the end of the lead, before he actually feels the pressure of the collar on his neck, then he basically stops himself (rather than you stopping a split second after he has started pulling), then you release the pressure on the lead, if he immediately goes to pull again, you don't move off. Only move off when you release the pressure on the lead and he doesn't offer to pull.
It's surprising how quick they get it.

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Nettle
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Nettle » Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:47 am

It's always useful to have several arrows in the quiver.
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Mattie » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:19 am

jakesmom wrote:
Mattie wrote:
I never found the stopping when a dog pulled to work, as soon as I started walking again the dog pulled.
I've found this to be the easiest method by far. I also think it makes more sense to the dog.
We are going somewhere, but only once you stop pulling, and walk nicely.
This is why we don't say don't use this method, it works for some dogs but not others just like turning round does.
With the turn method, although I presume it works, the dog must wonder what is going on, as he can't easily associate the turn with the pulling, especially when he is turned before he has actually pulled. I tried this for months with my last dog, and got as fed up as he did (he just couldn't get it). I was constantly going round in circles, I''d turn and he would just try even harder to go in the original direction, either pulling across my legs to the right or pulling and twisting to the left. I think we both confused in the end.
You turn as soon as your dog's head goes in front of your leg, if your dog gets further in front then it will be more difficult for him to work out. All we are doing is making ourselves unpredictable, when he become unpredictable our dogs have to watch what we are doing or they get caught out and carry on walking the same way. In order for them to watch us they have to walk next to us. Does that make it easier to understand what we are trying to do?
It worked when I first tried it in the small training sessions (because everytime he pulled and I turned he thought we were going back home - and he didn't want to go back home). But I just couldn't transfer the method when we were on a normal walk, because he associated it with going home - not the pulling.
When teaching this you don't go for a walk, you just walk up and down the same place at first until your dog starts to walk with you. The idea is to not let your dog pull, once he pulls we have taught him he can pull and is why we turn as soon as our dog gets their head in front. If on a normal walk you cannot teach a dog to walk on a loose lease properly, even stopping won't teach that but if it works for your dog it may help.
The idea with the stopping is to stop as soon as you know your dog is going to reach the end of the lead, before he actually feels the pressure of the collar on his neck, then he basically stops himself (rather than you stopping a split second after he has started pulling), then you release the pressure on the lead, if he immediately goes to pull again, you don't move off. Only move off when you release the pressure on the lead and he doesn't offer to pull.
It's surprising how quick they get it.
What happens when you need your dog to walk close to you?
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by jakesmom » Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:06 pm

Hi Mattie
Mattie wrote:When teaching this you don't go for a walk, you just walk up and down the same place at first until your dog starts to walk with you. The idea is to not let your dog pull, once he pulls we have taught him he can pull and is why we turn as soon as our dog gets their head in front. If on a normal walk you cannot teach a dog to walk on a loose lease properly, even stopping won't teach that but if it works for your dog it may help.
jakesmom wrote:It worked when I first tried it in the small training sessions (because everytime he pulled and I turned he thought we were going back home - and he didn't want to go back home). But I just couldn't transfer the method when we were on a normal walk, because he associated it with going home - not the pulling.
I did train him in several small sessions a day in the street, and he did eventually get it. But I don't think he understood why we were doing it, I don't know whether he just stopped pulling because he was bored. I don't know. All I do know is, once he'd got it and we went for a normal walk, ie. out of the street, he just pulled, and when I turned round he pulled all the more. I think the problem was he was just so eager to get to the common his brain switched off.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's the best way to teach you dog because they don't ever learn to pull (if that makes sense) It's just that my dog couldn't really understand what we were doing, or if he did there was no way he could stay calm enough to keep it up.
jakesmom wrote:The idea with the stopping is to stop as soon as you know your dog is going to reach the end of the lead, before he actually feels the pressure of the collar on his neck, then he basically stops himself (rather than you stopping a split second after he has started pulling), then you release the pressure on the lead, if he immediately goes to pull again, you don't move off. Only move off when you release the pressure on the lead and he doesn't offer to pull.
It's surprising how quick they get it.
Mattie wrote:What happens when you need your dog to walk close to you?
I either use a shorter lead, or just hold the long lead shorter, because it makes no difference how long or short the lead is, the dog knows not to pull.

For instance at the moment I walk Jake on a six foot lead, but I have tied a knot in it roughly half way down. I hold it there when I want him to walk close, and he does, the lead hangs really loose and he walks lovely to heel.

You can then put a word to it such as heel or close if you wish. Must admit I don't, I just tend to say 'Jake this way' if I want to go to turn to the right or just push towards him slightly if I want to turn to the left.

If he is on a longer lead I say steady when he is getting towards the end of the lead.

Hope that all makes sense.

Sue

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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by jakesmom » Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:56 am

jakesmom wrote:jakesmom wrote:
The idea with the stopping is to stop as soon as you know your dog is going to reach the end of the lead, before he actually feels the pressure of the collar on his neck, then he basically stops himself (rather than you stopping a split second after he has started pulling), then you release the pressure on the lead, if he immediately goes to pull again, you don't move off. Only move off when you release the pressure on the lead and he doesn't offer to pull.
It's surprising how quick they get it.
I should have added to the above, the fact that it a really good idea to teach the dog to wait, then when you release the pressure on the lead and they do not offer to pull, you can then tell them to wait, walk forward until the lead is hanging really loose, treat or praise them before you continue walking. Personally I don't use treats for this, only praise.

And above all of course, as soon as it is clear they are going to reach the end of the lead - stop walking - before they are really pulling - not always possible of course, if something really grabs their attention.

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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Mattie » Mon May 02, 2011 10:01 am

jakesmom wrote: I did train him in several small sessions a day in the street, and he did eventually get it. But I don't think he understood why we were doing it, I don't know whether he just stopped pulling because he was bored. I don't know. All I do know is, once he'd got it and we went for a normal walk, ie. out of the street, he just pulled, and when I turned round he pulled all the more. I think the problem was he was just so eager to get to the common his brain switched off.
All the dogs I have taught this way didn't get the chance to pull, if he is getting to the end of the lead you are not doing this properly, he must not get in front of you, you need to be very unpredictable so he has to watch you.
Don't get me wrong, I think it's the best way to teach you dog because they don't ever learn to pull (if that makes sense) It's just that my dog couldn't really understand what we were doing, or if he did there was no way he could stay calm enough to keep it up.
Everyone of my dogs pulled when I first got them so they all knew how to pull, by using this method they stopped pulling because it didn't work, all they did was walk up and down outside my house, once they were watching me we were able to walk further. Gradually we were able to walk quite a lot further before we had to turn. I don't bother whether my dog understands why he has to walk on a loose lead as long as he does.

I have had a dog that had to have a tracheotomy in, you can read her story at http://tracheotomy-in-dogs.yolasite.com/ A dog that pulls can damage their tracheotomy so bad that they may need this operation. I don't speak dog so can't tell my dogs why they have to walk on a loose lead but I do expect them to.
Mattie wrote:What happens when you need your dog to walk close to you?
I either use a shorter lead, or just hold the long lead shorter, because it makes no difference how long or short the lead is, the dog knows not to pull.

For instance at the moment I walk Jake on a six foot lead, but I have tied a knot in it roughly half way down. I hold it there when I want him to walk close, and he does, the lead hangs really loose and he walks lovely to heel. [/quote]

Sounds like what my dogs do.
You can then put a word to it such as heel or close if you wish. Must admit I don't, I just tend to say 'Jake this way' if I want to go to turn to the right or just push towards him slightly if I want to turn to the left.

If he is on a longer lead I say steady when he is getting towards the end of the lead.

Hope that all makes sense.

Sue
I use "This way" a lot both on and off the lead, this past weekend Cyril broke the lead that he was tied with, by just saying "This way" and walking the other way he came running and I was able to get hold of the little terror. :lol:

I use the word "Close" if my dogs are off the lead.
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by minkee » Tue May 10, 2011 1:26 pm

I'm just interested in a little detail of this training - I've been doing this with Scout and it's going fairly well. The further we get from home (or the closer we get to parks, however you want to see it!) the more it deteriorates, but we've only been doing this a few days so I'm sure the influence will spread!

What I'm not so sure about is what to do in this situation: Scout goes a little way ahead of my leg, so I do the drop-lead, turn, "this way", walk on business - but she either sees or smells something she really likes that is either where she is right now, or a little further in the direction we were just going, so she doesn't want to turn. I don't want to drag her away, I can keep calling her and encouraging her to turn, but, as I see it, if there's something really interesting to sniff on the floor where she is then she's being rewarded for not following me. What should I do in this situation?

In general I let her sniff as we're walking along so long as she's not pulling, or if we're training then so long as she's not going infront of me.

Also this might belong in a whole other thread of its own, but she also has not grown out of her super-puppy-style wanting to gallop upto every dog on a lead we see. She'll abandon all protocol and will pull or not budge until she greets it or it passes on by. It's worse when we're training, because usually we get to pass the animal sooner. Infact, she also seems to want to greet (jump up) every single person she sees while we're doing the training - much more than usual walks. How should I deal with this while doing the loose leash training walks? (I suspect I should be doing more about it in general, too!)
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Mattie » Wed May 11, 2011 4:13 am

When I am teaching loose lead walking I don't allow my dogs to stop and sniff at things, there are times when they can sniff and times when they can't. By allowing her to sniff you are not being consistant with the training. You can do 10 minutes of training then release her to walk to the park, she can sniff then but not when training. Just before she gets to the end of the lead stop, pretend you are interested in something, talk to her, tell her to come and see what you are looking at, do anything to get her back without pulling her.

Once she has been released from training and is able to sniff at all those intersting smells, just allow her the time to sniff that you want then speak to her, get her attention then walk off again. There are some dogs that do need something stronger to get them moving again, you just do as little as possible.

I am going to Sledmere House, Driffield for the May Bank Holiday. :D
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by minkee » Wed May 11, 2011 5:31 am

Thanks Mattie, I will try and tweak the training accordingly :) I suppose it was cheating a bit! If she was sniffing she was walking more slowly, so not pulling ahead - but also not paying me any attention. I think she thinks I'm mad retracing my steps infront of the house all day long.

You know - I hadn't even heard of Sledmere House! I've only recently moved up this way, and it turns out my boyfriend (who's lived here all his life) is rubbish at Places-To-Go. I'm going to have to teach him it :P
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Eider » Mon May 23, 2011 11:19 am

hi!! very helpful post!
i have a question, and sorry if it was made before, i missed the answer somewhere.
well, our 15 month old boxer has been always a puller. he has always been on a harness, first a normal one, that he even broke, and it was too much for my arms. we tried the "when he pulls we stop + when he pulls we turn around", but sometimes it became impossible to do it. we change to gentleleader easywalk harness (i must say it is broken now we must fix it on the front a lil bit, but still better than with normal harness). in the begining it was ok, but now he has learn how to pull on it, and sometimes it's imposible for me to stop or even turn around.

so i'm gonna start from the begining and i'm gonna do the way it's explain here, and step by step, but, if i only practice for 5 to 10 minutes 3 times a day, he needs more time on the walks, and i guess i'll have to either go with the car to the park, let the otehr dog walk his way while i'm training with boxer and then let him on the large (10 mtr) leash, so he is "by himself", or take them out separately and the walk with the boxer being only the training, though i can't just let him out 10 minutes per walk, and i guess doing that for 30 minutes or more would be too much for training session.

what would be the best way for me to do it correctly and not make mistakes? so he won't be confused, coz sometimes it's really hard for me not letting him pull.

anotehr question, do you treat them while they go next to you or when they follow you? i've tried that too, and i think it's what best had work for me, but it seems that he forgot everything we have done before, so i guess i just didn't give him enough time.

Thanx! this place it has been the most helpful one i've found!

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