Loose Lead walking

Valuable training articles posted by Victoria and other Positively members.

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Mattie
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Post by Mattie » Tue May 27, 2008 2:28 pm

ShannonO wrote:
emmabeth wrote:Thanks for that Mattie.

Just to add to Matties post...

If you dont have the time, or if you are stressed/angry/annoyed/tired... and you think you wont follow the method.

Dont walk your dog - go and do something else instead.

If you start this method and then sometimes you are too busy or in a stroppy mood and you allow your dog to pull, you will set yourself not back to square one, but back even further than that.

So whatever you do.... don't ever allow pulling to be rewarded by you walking ever again.

Em
This is my problem: I have no yard! So my puppy goes on-leash at least 6 times a day (7mo old). How do I keep her at or behind my knee when she needs to go sniff to find her spot? :-/
I don't have my dogs walking close to me all the time, that will be very boring for my dogs and myself, I do allow them to go in front to sniff under the hedges etc but it has to be when I say they can and not when they decide that they are going. I pick my places were I let them walk in front, sometimes they are well in front but stop and wait when I tell them to. In a safe place when I first get them I will use a long line or extending line to allow them to have a bit of fun.
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Noobs
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Post by Noobs » Fri May 30, 2008 10:34 am

Here's a new one... So I'm trying to train Murphy to walk with a loose leash.

A little background: I have him sit every time I stop walking, mostly before crossing the street at the corner of the sidewalk, but sometimes in the middle of the block to keep him on his toes. Most of the time I have to say "sit" and a few times I have to get in front of him to use my "sit" hand signal. And even a few times he sits without being asked. He gets praised every single time he sits (sometimes with treats but every time with very sweet words and petting on his chest and near his rear). We do not continue walking until he sits for at least a couple of seconds.

On to the pulling. I use a regular nylon collar and I give him a quick tug sometimes when he pulls. But I'd prefer to play dead tree so I don't have to hurt him. So I'm trying to consistently play dead tree when he starts to pull. But now when I play dead tree and try to wait until the leash gets loose, he sits.

*pull*
*dead tree*
*sit*

Seems like I'm sending the message incorrectly. Anything I can do differently?

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Mattie
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Post by Mattie » Fri May 30, 2008 11:33 am

Dead tree is better than pulling back but whenever a dog pulls into a collar, they can do some damage to their neck or trachea which is why I always walk my dogs on a harness even when they walk on a loose lead.

A dog near me was walking with his mum one day when he saw a cat on the other side of the road, like most dogs he tried to run at the cat. The dog done so much damage to his neck that it took an operation and several months to recover.

Every gadget that we put onto our dogs can do damage, even a harness, but a harness doesn't do the damage that others do but they can bruise the chest. Recently I have seen some harnesses that can do more damage than this because of were the straps go. Straps that go round close to the legs or elbow can do a lot of damage with rubbing.

Your dog will eventually learn not to pull by doing it this way, but it won't teach him to watch what you are doing and walk close to you.
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griffin
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Post by griffin » Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:26 am

I also have a 6ft lead which I attach to the harness, with the dog on my left I hold the loop in the lead in my right hand, my left hand holds the lead nearer my dog but which lets them me on a loose lead, the lead between my hands is loose as well.
This has been "bugging me" for some time now. My wife even asked me and I have no idea. I watch all the shows and every time, the dog is on the left, WHY?

It was natural for me to have Eddie on my right, it felt better and it allowed me to keep him away from the side of traffic (the road). I too have a six foot leash I use (the wife uses a 20 foot retractable. The leash hangs in a loop from my right hand, with the end in my left, putting Eddie on my right...

Is this just a difference between countries? Or is there a different reason?

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Mattie
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Post by Mattie » Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:57 am

It doesn't matter which side a dog walks, most teach to the left because many go on to do obedience competitions.

It is virtually impossible to teach a dog to walk on a loose leash if you have an extending lead on because there is always tension on the extending lead even when a dog isn't pulling.
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Libilou
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Post by Libilou » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:43 am

Mattie, thank you for the tips. I have been training my Duchess for 2 weeks, using Victoria's methods. I've seen great results, but pulling on the lead is one I still can't seem to break her off. The second she doesn't pull, I praise her and she takes that for the command to run!

I'm going to go buy a harness (we've used it before with good success, I just worry about her little underlegs getting rubbed raw) and try your method.

Duchess is a shelter-rescue Border collie/Australian shepherd mix. She is incredibly intelligent. She already knows that when I grab the lead and walk towards the front door, I expect her to go there, sit, and wait for me. She no longer scrabbles at the door to get out, but waits till I open it and say "let's go". So, I know she can learn!

I'm going to start tonight with your training tips. I love this dog, but I'd love to go on walks, not drags.

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Mattie
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Post by Mattie » Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:53 am

The trail type harness has the body strap further back on the body than most harnesses and can't rub by the elbows. This is one of the many reasons I like these harnesses. :lol:
[url=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/PIXIE.jpg][img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/th_PIXIE.jpg[/img][/url]

Libilou
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Post by Libilou » Mon Jul 21, 2008 4:16 pm

Mattie wrote:The trail type harness has the body strap further back on the body than most harnesses and can't rub by the elbows. This is one of the many reasons I like these harnesses. :lol:
I believe I found one. It's a seat-belt harness, but also a trail harness.

It almost looks like a figure 8 harness I put on my cat.

I like the idea of having a seat-belt for her, anyway. She doesn't bounce around in the car, but she does sit up and that worries me. A 45 pound bullet coming through the windshield.....

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Mattie
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Post by Mattie » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:10 am

This is Bonnie wearing her trail harness, it is 2 rings of webbing joined in 2 places with straps, one between the front legs and the other on top of the shoulders. The one on top of the shoulders can be used as a handle if necessary.

The strap round the neck goes either side of the neck, the lower it is, preferably to the bottom of the neck, they less chance a dog can pull. Straps going round the chest are ideal for a dog to pull into.

Image
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Libilou
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Post by Libilou » Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:11 am

Yup, that's what it looks like. I'm going to try it out this morning, see how she does.

fetchdog
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Post by fetchdog » Thu Aug 14, 2008 4:31 pm

Is reversing directions the only method of loose leash training, or is it just the only method that is easy and safe to explain how to do in the context of a forum? I ask because I have used this technique on dogs many times, and it works for most, but I have had some dogs working on this for over a month and gotten almost nowhere.

Also, Victoria uses no-pull harnesses and head halters sometimes on the show. Do the moderators here think this is a bad idea for anyone to try without hands-on instruction from a trainer, or are they just a bad idea in general?


Thanks :)

griffin
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Post by griffin » Thu Aug 14, 2008 4:42 pm

fetchdog wrote:Is reversing directions the only method of loose leash training, or is it just the only method that is easy and safe to explain how to do in the context of a forum? I ask because I have used this technique on dogs many times, and it works for most, but I have had some dogs working on this for over a month and gotten almost nowhere.
You can try, it worked for me, changing the pace of the walk. Stop every now & then, tell your pup to sit/stay, just as he/she starts to pull. have them sit/stay for a few seconds,a minute as you walk around the dog. Only release them from the sit/stay once they are calm, sitting up nicely. Then continue the walk in any direction, calling them to "come" and "heel" from the length of your leash (six foot)...

If they try to pull again, repeat these steps. Just as changing direction, they will get the hint that pulling is not desired nor allowed and only by walking calmly, in the heel position or in the lead position, will the walk continue.

By changing the pace, walking faster or slower, the dog has to stay with you and will keep their eyes on you, thus, stopping the pull.

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Mattie
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Post by Mattie » Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:49 am

fetchdog wrote:Is reversing directions the only method of loose leash training, or is it just the only method that is easy and safe to explain how to do in the context of a forum? I ask because I have used this technique on dogs many times, and it works for most, but I have had some dogs working on this for over a month and gotten almost nowhere.
The idea of this method is it teaches the dog to watch you all the time which comes in very handy at other times.

Are you letting your dog's head get in front of you? With some dogs if you allow this the dog doesn't learn to watch you, your dog needs to be behind you very slightly so he is playing catch up all the time. They do get into the habit of walking at your side so they can watch what you are doing but some do take longer than others but often it is the handler allowing them to get in front of them.

Also, Victoria uses no-pull harnesses and head halters sometimes on the show. Do the moderators here think this is a bad idea for anyone to try without hands-on instruction from a trainer, or are they just a bad idea in general?

Thanks :)
My opinion is that these should always be used ender supervision, especially the head halties, if not used properly these can do a lot of damage to the dog.

Some of the no pull harnesses will rub your dog if not fitted or used properly which causes the dog a lot of upset, many refuse to have a harness on after that.
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troy the boy
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by troy the boy » Thu Aug 21, 2008 3:51 pm

Mattie wrote:I use a trail/tracking type harness on my dogs. These go down each side of the neck instead of round the chest so it is more difficult to pull in them. also the strap round the body is futher back than most harnesses and they don't rub. 2 of my dogs rub easily but these harnesses have never rubbed them.

I also have a 6ft lead which I attach to the harness, with the dog on my left I hold the loop in the lead in my right hand, my left hand holds the lead nearer my dog but which lets them me on a loose lead, the lead between my hands is loose as well.

I say, close to my dogs and start to walk, if their head goes in front of my hip, I drop the lead in my left hand and turn and walk the other way. When the dog is getting close, again I say close. I don't get very far at first, usually just walk up and down the same piece of pavement but it doesn't take long when my dog starts to watch what I am doing and starts to walk next to me.

After about 5 or 10 minutes, depending on how they are doing, I like to finish on a good note with praising my dog, I stop the training. I do this daily until my dogs automatically walks close to me, normally about 7 to 10 days.

With this method if you forget to drop the lead in your left hand it does pull on the dog but not hard and because he has a harness on, it doesn't hurt him. If your timing is off and you let him get further forward than you want, it won't matter, just make sure next time your timing is better.

If I can teach a dog to walk on a loose lead anyone can. :lol:
i will start that tomorrow mattie thanks again for your help troy the boy

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Post by Missymay » Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:43 am

I think for some people, LLW can be one of the hardest things to teach. I stumbled on this method, and, while it is not instantaneuos and does take some time, it has yet yo fail me:

This is not by any means the only method I have for llw. In fact, it has very little to do with the lead at all. It is all about teaching a dog that the most reinforcing place to be is at your left side.

Again, this is not a heel, just loose lead. But once learned, it can easily be kicked up into a heel. It is also not something you just start outside on your walk. While you may very well be able to use it that way, I think it is more effective if you start small and build.

If this doesn't work, I have other methods up my sleeve.

Ok, here is what you do. I am assuming that at this time, your dog knows what the clicker means, so we're ready to move on.

If the dog gets overly excited when trying to attach the collar or lead, it would be best to spend several session on just that first. She him the collar, wait for calm, the click and reinforce. Put it on his neck, click when he is calm and treat. Gradually work up to putting it on and having him stay calm. This may take several sessions.

Next, work with the leash. Show it to him and wait for him to be calm, then click and treat. When he stays calm, start clipping it on him. Clip it on the wait for him to be calm and look at you, then click and treat. Again, this may take several sessions.

I don't start training on walks, I start in my kitchen or basement. Initially, you are not moving very much, so you don't need a lot of room. And let's face facts, if you can't do this in the kitchen, where the dog knows food reinofrcers are all around, you will not be able to achieve loose leash outside where there are so many things to compete for your dogs attention.

Each step of this exercise should be practiced to 80-90% compliance, then proofed on different locations, gradually raising distractions. It's all about baby steps.

Now you are ready to move. Hold the leash in your right hand looped over you last three finger, the clicker in you right hand between your thumb and first finger and the treats in your left hand because you will be delivering them off your left leg. The reason for delivering them off the left leg is because this is where you want the dog to be. Dogs, like people, will return to the place of the greatest reinforcement.

Think of it this way, if I gave you a ten dollar bill everytime you stood on my left, 6-12 inches off my bodt, parrallel to me, where would you be spending a lot of time? Dogs are no different.

Now, move only one step only in either a sideways, back or diagonal direction. If your dog follows, just one step, or follows you with his eyes while remaining in place, click and treat of your left leg.

Over the next few sessions, move any direction but forward, one step and click and treat if he moves with you or looks at you.

Now you are ready for a few steps, so take two steps, again, avoiding forward and click and treat as soon as he takes two steps with you. He should be moving with you at this point. I find the hardest part is bending over quickly enough to be sure my dogs keep four on the floor. Do not click if he is on his hind legs, but if you do click ALWAYS treat. This is where you add a cue. This is not heel, so I use "Let's go".

Once you are ready to actually begin walking, I find it best to start out backwards. When you are walking forward, dogs have a tendancy to focus on what is ahead of them. When you walk backwards, they are walking towards you and you are their focus.

Now you can begin moving forward. This may take several days or weeks to get to this point. Take three steps, click treat, then go to 4 steps, click treat, then maybe 6 then 10, then...well...you get it.

If anyone wants to see all the steps put together, let me know. I have a video.
Kim and Asher

“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotionâ€

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