Loose Lead walking

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Nettle
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Nettle » Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:46 am

Find a wall, fence or hedge to walk beside, with the dog next, then you - it helps in the same way the rails help a racehorse stay straight. Loose-lead walking in an open space gives the dog too many options, but a fence or similar to the dog side of you is a great guide at the beginning of this training, and then we can progress to open-space walking.
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Sarah83
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Sarah83 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:22 am

Nettle wrote:Find a wall, fence or hedge to walk beside, with the dog next, then you - it helps in the same way the rails help a racehorse stay straight. Loose-lead walking in an open space gives the dog too many options, but a fence or similar to the dog side of you is a great guide at the beginning of this training, and then we can progress to open-space walking.
Unfortunately the layout here doesn't give us anywhere we can do this. The flats on the estate have a grassy verge in front of them and then on the other side is a large grassy area. Same if we head towards town, there's a grassy verge separating the houses and gardens from the path. Going towards camp it's all open fields on one side of the road and the woods on the other. Well, I have to say I never thought I'd miss narrow, boring streets! Here we have some wonderful places to walk dogs but nowhere boring to begin training.

bendog
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by bendog » Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:49 am

Could you just walk in a circle around the flats for now, right next to the wall, even if it means walking on the grass verge?

Also, you could practice walking to heel with the lead on in the flat, just up and down the room, or along a corridor if there is one. With lots of treats and praise, to get him to learn that walking next to you= treats, and then try and translate that to outside.

Sarah83
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Sarah83 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:25 am

I could stick to the front of the flats like that but not at the back. At the back there are small balconies, some stick out a bit, others don't, a lot have dogs on them. Plus at the back it's not just a grass verge like the front, it's a big grassy area full of mole hills, bits of bone, thrown out food and dog mess (yeah, real nice out there!) and highly exciting to Spencer. I'll certainly give the walking to heel in the flat a try but it's a very small space.

I think I'm going to have to get some sort of training aid ASAP, he lunged while I was picking up after him earlier andreally hurt my arm and hand, my hand is all bruised and swollen :( As I said to my hubby, if he were just pulling that would be one thing, the lunging however really hurts and with it being so slippery out it's only a matter of time before he has me over.

Jedimom
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Jedimom » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:10 pm

So, I understand about making a dog heel when you are just going for a walk, but what about when they are going out to potty? At what point to I let him "off heel" so he can do his business?

jacksdad
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by jacksdad » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:46 pm

my opinion...the minute you walk out the door. just taking a causal walk or going out to potty there is no reason to ask for a heel the entire time. While a good skill for a dog, heel shouldn't be used as the primary means of taking a dog for a potty break or a exercise walk. Which isn't to say your should let your dog be a hooligan and pull all over the place. you can still insist on walking without pulling, you just don't need to be in "heel" all the time. A nice loose lead walk makes the walk VERY enjoyable for both dogs and humans alike.

Part of the benefit of walking your dog is letting your dog get to explore and checking out the world. their primary means of exploring and gathering information about the world around them is their sense of smell. walking in a perfect heel the entire walk is not only boring for your dog, but you are depriving your self of a great way to wear your dog out. sniffing and exploring is GREAT mental exercise and mental exercise also tires a dog out. It also lets them act on natural, normal and necessary dog behaviors which translates to a better behaved dog.

Sarah83
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Sarah83 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:36 am

I dunno whether this method has already been mentioned in the thread but just started trying it with Spencer and seem to be having great results so far. We've graduated to working on it just outside our flat and he's doing fantastic. He's making a real effort to keep that leash loose and stay by my side. And even better he seems to be having fun doing it, especially now that I've thrown in turns and pace changes so he actually has to engage his brain.

http://ahimsadogtraining.com/blog/2008/ ... lky-leash/

I can't believe I've been working on loose leash walking for nearly 10 months and still not really gotten it where I want it or anywhere near reliable. Just not been able to find what really works with him. Turning hasn't done it, stopping hasn't done it, choose to heel has helped a bit but the moment he gets excited it's back to lunge, lunge, lunge and then none of those methods make the slightest difference. No guarantee this method will but so far it's yielding better results than the others have.

bendog
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by bendog » Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:11 am

Kikopup has a vid with a similar technique
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4vEayrRyB0&sns=em

Charlie is a serial puller and although exhausting for me I have found he walks best when I keep engaging him, talking to him, throwing in waits and sits etc. he still pulls when I walk him with Ben or pop because I haven't got the focus and energy to keep him concentrating on me with the others there.

rachel540
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by rachel540 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:17 pm

Hello! Hope everyone has enjoyed the festive holidays?
We certainly have and took the opportunity to go on plenty of walks. This made us realise how wellbehaved pepper is off the lead, keeping by our side, within sight if running up front and responding to our requests - happy days! However onlead is a whole other story, we put her on lead at roads and through restricted farmland and she pulls like a trooper. Ive been reading through this thread and want to try the about turn if she goes past my hip, but i know tomorrow morning she'll be raring for her walk and pull me to the playing fielding for a game of fetch ( i have a different route each day but she pulls until we hit the field) so my question is do i start training at the start of the walk or after a run about and let her pull me to the field? I am using a collar and lead which i know isnt advised but i know pepper will follow me as soon as i turn without any tension, what i want her to learn is that we wont proceed until she is calm and by my side. Is this possible?
Pictures of Pepper viewtopic.php?f=31&t=14364

rachel540
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by rachel540 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:01 pm

Sorry to bump this - had a walk this morning with Pepper and went straight to the field for a run about, at the top of the field came off onto the street for a little training and she actually did really well when she knew I had a treat. I praised "good girl" and gave a treat when she prolonged the loose leash. But I felt I wasn't teaching her a buzz word (previously we have used "steady" which now falls on deaf ears) when I stopped the praise she trotted forward and the leash went tight, if i said it continuously she stayed by my side. What do i do now? :lol: We ended on a good note by being back on the field for a play. So I am only talking tiny steps at a time but really want to get this right.
Pictures of Pepper viewtopic.php?f=31&t=14364

bendog
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by bendog » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:31 pm

Charlie is exactly the same! Gets exhausting saying good boy, walk nicely oh aren't you such a clever boy all the time!

I used treats and first off was dropping a treat for him every few steps, so I just extended the length between dropping treats.

You can also mix methods slightly and do the turning around as soon as she leaves your side thing, or often instead of turning around I just run backwards a few steps to refocus their attention on me, then head forward again

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minkee
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by minkee » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:43 pm

Amy & Rachel : When I was swotting up on this just recently (puppy preparation) I watched this kikopup video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHwu0T7PoSw

I think the first suggestion was where I had been going wrong, and it sounds similar to what both your dogs do. So I have been verbally reinforcing her concentrating on me (for a ball reward, usually) so it seems like a separate exercise, rather than just reinforcing her walking next to me, relaxed. Does that make sense and / or help? It's a very fine line!

I went out to test out / practice this with Scout and she soon learned that.... she should look away for a few seconds to get a treat. She's just too smart! It's a constant battle to stay ahead of her :D

rachel540
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by rachel540 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:12 pm

Yes this makes perfect sense and i have been treating for her attention so can change this easily, thanks for the video. Im still not sure if i should use a buzz word like "close" or "heel" instead of " yes! good girl" i want her to know to walk close to me on and off the lead. Or am i confusing heel and loose leash or can it work together?
Pictures of Pepper viewtopic.php?f=31&t=14364

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Nettle
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Nettle » Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:17 am

Heel has got to be loose leash really, hasn't it? So use whatever word suits. :) Soon dogs learn that on the short leash they have to keep it loose. People who use extending leads need a word that tells the dog to go out to the end of the lead, and another that tells it to come in to heel.

I don't use a word at all for walking nicely beside me, on lead or off it - that's default mode. I use a word that tells them they can go freely. Would that be better for you?
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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bendog
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by bendog » Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:27 am

I don't use a word as such but they do get a reminder "walk nicely" if they start to get too far ahead.
Best feeling ever lately is seeing pop (who doesnt walk perfectly all the time but is getting there) stop by herself and reposition herself next to me if she's gone ahead a bit without me having to remind her anymore.

I started off rewarding for attention with Charlie and then as he grasped the idea of walking next to me changed to randomly rewarding when he's not paying attention to me.

Heel work means something different to me an then I DO want the dogs total focus.

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