Loose Lead walking

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globe
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Post by globe » Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:58 am

one more question.

I normally use a halti to walk zoe. When using this turn round system should I only walk with the harness or can I do training with the harness and then take her for a longer walk with the halti ?

thanks

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Mattie
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Post by Mattie » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:14 am

Never use a halti for this, you can do a lot of damage to your dog's neck when you turn and walk the other way, a harness won't do any damage to your dog.

You only need about 10 minutes a day to do this, any longer and your dog will get fed up and do his own thing, you will end up on a bad note instead of a good one. Ending on a good note is important, your dog needs to feel he has done well so next time he will remember this with pleasure and not dread it.

The secret to this way of teaching a dog to walk on a loose lead is never to let him get in front of you, your dog needs to be with his head next to your or slightly behind. They need their head there so that they can see what you are doing, they can't see you when in front.

Once your dog is walking on a loose lead it will only need you to stop to remind him in future. It is easier to teach anything, dog, child etc once the extra energy has gone, I will have aplay with my dogs before doing a training session to get rid of the surplus energy.

If at first it seems it isn't working, don't give up, and don't stop to give your dog a treat, that breaks their concentration, verbal praise is all you need until the end of the session, then treat and go over the top with your praise.
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globe
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Post by globe » Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:04 pm

Mattie wrote:Never use a halti for this, you can do a lot of damage to your dog's neck when you turn and walk the other way, a harness won't do any damage to your dog.

You only need about 10 minutes a day to do this, any longer and your dog will get fed up and do his own thing, you will end up on a bad note instead of a good one. Ending on a good note is important, your dog needs to feel he has done well so next time he will remember this with pleasure and not dread it.

The secret to this way of teaching a dog to walk on a loose lead is never to let him get in front of you, your dog needs to be with his head next to your or slightly behind. They need their head there so that they can see what you are doing, they can't see you when in front.

Once your dog is walking on a loose lead it will only need you to stop to remind him in future. It is easier to teach anything, dog, child etc once the extra energy has gone, I will have aplay with my dogs before doing a training session to get rid of the surplus energy.

If at first it seems it isn't working, don't give up, and don't stop to give your dog a treat, that breaks their concentration, verbal praise is all you need until the end of the session, then treat and go over the top with your praise.
Sorry, I dont think I made my point clear in my previous post.

What I asking is that I am doing the training with the lead and harness as described and that's all cool. However, a 10 minute walk up and down the pavement outside our house does not do much for exercising the dog - unless of course the mental strain is very tiring - so I was wondering if afterwards I took her out on the halti for her usual 45min long walk if I would be undoing all the training as she was on a halti. I would not even think about doing any of the other stop turn around training.

My other option is to take her to the park in the car and play ball with her for a while and then carry out the lead training afterwards once she has burnt off some energy.

Cheers

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Post by ckranz » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:35 pm

Leash walking is about teaching your dog to move with you. You need to start in a place with no distractions like other dogs, people etc...

As an exercise without your dog take a towel an lay it out at your feet. Standing behind and facing it look down. The area cover by the towell is your reward zone. This zone will move with you when you turn or walk forward or backwards. That zone is always the same size and in the same place.

One you can visualize the reward zone you can start working with your dog.

Standing with your dog on leash and a bag full of his favorite treats wait for him to enter the reward zone. Mark and treat using a clicker or word like "yep". Turn 90 degrees. Again wait until he finds the reward zone as that too has moved 90 degrees.

Work on changing in both directions until your dog learns that his head being in certain places is agreat place to be because there are goodies involved. It important that treats ar only given in the reward zone and at your dog's head level.

Once your dog undestands the reward zone you can move to the canine waltz.

With your dog on leash begin side stepping 3-4 steps to the left or right. Again mark and reward your dog when he enters the reward zone. Treat placement in this exercise is a little different than above. You treat is just a bit higher than the dogs head and always on your leading leg. If you went right that would be your right leg, and if left it would be your left leg.
Raising the height of the treat is to help build a little drive into the reward zone.

As your dog begins moving left and right as you move left and right now take 2 steps right or left and the turn and face the way you are walking and continue a few more steps. Rewarding your dog as his head comes into the reward zone.

Remember your dog is driving to get his head in front of you, but you are moving forward. So he must keep moving forward to stay in the reward zone. He gets no treats if he zips too far in front of you as that is out of the zone. He will also learn better how to respond to your body as you turn.

Once your dog has mastered these exercises in areas of no distraction, begin adding small distractions on at a time and repeating each exercise.

If your dog is not motivated by food, a gam of tug is an excellent play reward, especially for building good drive to walk in the zone. Keep play rewards short 5-15 seconds of play. Keep your training sessions short and if you find your dog not paying attention or loosing focus, stop an go back to a previously successful level.

Keep training sessions short and successful. Over time you can begin to both vary and fade rewards (both food and play).

Using this same technique you can teach your dog to walk with you off-leash, run with you (even if you chase rabbits).

Using the above techniques also does not require using any specific collar, harness, or head halter.

As far as wearing head halters, many dogs find them very annoying. I know my dogs become more leash aggresive when I had tried using them in the past. Since learning the above technique, I was able to only use their regular martingale style collars and have both walking on and off leash with great success. You should see when Khan and I chase the bunnies together. At a full run as I change directions he follows without out pacing me or pulling. He is always mindful of the reward zone.

Other leash walking games to help imporve walking skills:

Backwards walking. Make sure you have enough room and you are on level ground for this. Start walking backwards. as your dog comes toward you click and treat when your dog's head is about at your waist level. Continue backwrds walking clicking and treat as long as your dog remains behind you.

If/when your dog passes you stop offering clicks and rewards and turn around and head back the other direction. Repeat rewarding when your dog is walking with his head about your waist.

As your dog is better about staying with you and you can turn off at angles and he follows you can move to the next level.

Start out walking backwards a few steps, when your dog gets into position, turn to face the direction you are walking. Click and reward the dog head for being on either side of you to your preference with his head slightly in front of you. Again if he should pass you change direction and begin again.

Be mindful of distractions where you are working. Initially minimize distractions when starting and slowly build up as previous exercises.

What I like about all these techniques is they do not lure a dog into position. Your dog needs to figure out where he needs to walk on his own. The more rewarding you can make the right position, the faster and more likely your dog will walk nicely on a loose lead.

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Mattie
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Post by Mattie » Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:08 am

globe wrote:
Mattie wrote: What I asking is that I am doing the training with the lead and harness as described and that's all cool. However, a 10 minute walk up and down the pavement outside our house does not do much for exercising the dog - unless of course the mental strain is very tiring - so I was wondering if afterwards I took her out on the halti for her usual 45min long walk if I would be undoing all the training as she was on a halti. I would not even think about doing any of the other stop turn around training.
Unless you try it you won't know how tired she will be after this training, it does tire them mentally and physically, but as each dog is different, it will take more out of some dogs than others. Once you have done this training, and don't stick to the 10 minutes, watch your dog to see when she has had enough, then you can take them for a walk. I have found that after this my dogs have all walked much better because they don't have the energy they started with.

When you do take them for a walk afterwards, don't allow them to get to the end of the lead, once there they can pull. You can turn until they catch you up then continue you walk or you can stand still until they come back to you. This will all help with the loose lead walking as well.
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globe
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Post by globe » Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:17 am

been working on the lose lead walking for a while now and it appears to be doing the trick. one thing though, when she stops to sniff and falls behind and the lead goes taught what then ?

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Post by Noobs » Thu Aug 27, 2009 3:47 pm

I don't know how structured or rigid you want your walk to be, but sniffing is okay, isn't it? I mean, a dog's gonna sniff.

By the way, Mattie, in last week's episode Victoria was training two rambunctious Lab mixes (they looked like Rhodesian Ridgebacks to me) and she used the "close" command to teach them to stick close to their owner and ignore distractions. I totally thought of you! But the difference was she used treats, and hey if you can handle treats in each hand and feed your two dogs while they walk on either side of you, then whatever works!

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Mattie
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Post by Mattie » Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:36 am

I am not against using treats Noobs, I will treat at the end of the session but don't while I am working at this because I can't give the treats while I am walking and concentrating on the dog and what it is doing.

The problem with the word "Heel" is owners have tried and failed to teach their dog to walk to heel, the dogs have a different understanding of this word which has nothing to do with what the owners are trying to teach them. Change the word and it is easier to teach what you want instead of having to teach a dog what the change of the meaning of the word is.
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Noobs » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:49 pm

It's been nearly a year since I started using this method on Murphy. As many of you know when we first brought Murphy home he seemed to have no idea what to do on leash - the shelter told us that he got walked every day, but I'm not so sure. He pulled so hard that his chest practically touched the ground when he "walked". I tried a prong collar (bad training class), the martingale (advertised as an anti-pull collar??), "no-pull" harnesses (Surprise! A little tip - they don't work unless you actually teach the dog not to pull!), spent tons of money on tools. Walks were NEVER pleasant. I just did it to get him out of the house and exercise him because that's what we were supposed to do, but I'm sure it wasn't beneficial to him because it wasn't really a walk so much as an exercise in frustration.

Finally I found this thread and using a Sporn "no-pull" harness to help with management I started teaching Murphy to walk, going back and forth in front of my house and covering only 20 feet all together. It took me two weeks to go the length of our block without turning around. I spent a few months walking primarily down the middle of the streets in our neighborhood as opposed to the sidewalks so there was less distraction. Slowly but surely I increased distance and distraction. Since Murphy lunges at cats and squirrels, I still use the no-pull harness to manage him when he has an "episode" but he mainly walks very nicely.

About a week ago I discovered a rash developing under Murphy's armpits. We've had to clean the area and apply ointment on it that we got from the vet from his previous skin rash and put a doggy T-shirt on him to keep him from being able to scratch the areas. We also had to stop using any type of harness. This actually worried me because I thought maybe if he didn't have a harness on he would "forget" his leash manners. But guess what - after nearly a week on just a collar he's been walking like a perfect gentleman! When he gets too far ahead of me - and before the leash gets tight - I say "oops!" and turn around, and I have only had to do that 1-3 times in a 2-mile walk. In the last couple of days, "oops!" has become the vocal cue for him to turn to look at me and slow down, and I haven't had to turn around at all!

So what if it's taken several months, right? He's not wearing a prong or choke collar and I'm not getting dragged everywhere. (And by the way, like Mattie I also didn't use treats for this. I only use treats for desensitization on walks to help for his reactivity.)

Seriously, folks, all the new people reading this...if you saw my dog when I first got him, you would know that if I can do this, truly anyone can. :D

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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Noobs » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:51 pm

Oh, and I wanted to add, Mattie - because of getting the idea of using the word "close" from this thread I started using it on walks to get him to give me eye contact and for that I gave him treats. Now when he's on the long line at the park, "close" has become his recall word! He comes RUNNING to me whenever I call him with the word "close". Woo! :D

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***Melissa***
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by ***Melissa*** » Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:33 am

After reading all this, I'd like to buy a tracking harness for Striker. (Will buy one for Bibi too, when she's big enough) We don't have a pet shop / similar and I'll have to see if I can find any on the internet. So I was just wondering, does it come in sizes like Small/Medium/Large? (From the picture it seems they can be adjusted for a better fit?)
And if so, what size will a Dachshund wear?
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sez88
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by sez88 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:33 pm

Hi, Im a bit confused with harnesses,
We have a 'step in' harness that looks pretty much like this one http://www.petsathome.com/shop/black-ny ... home-14253
Charlie will quite happily wear this one.

Today I brought a 'control harness' as I was advised that it would help with his pulling. It looks like this:
http://www.kumfi.com/index.php?page=sho ... t&Itemid=8
We tried it and the first 2 times it was amazing, he walked on loose lead brilliantly but the third time he kept tugging, growling and biting the lead, He had always bitten the lead randomly (which I normally respond to by ignoring him until he drops it, click and treat) but this was more than usual, really tugging, so there must be something he doesnt like about it. I had it attached to the hook at the front but after he objected so much to the whole thing I hooked the lead to the back and was able to get him home and take it off.

I will work on the loose lead training, I know it was silly to go looking for quick fixes but in the meantime is it ok to use the step in harness? Only i have been reading the thread and some people have said it will rub hi, I have seen no signs of this but still, I want to get it right.

Also how often should I be doing this training?
We have a park nearby (5mins away) where we can let him off leash. Should I not allow any pulling until we arrive and he is let off? Im just thinking that what with turning around everytime he pulls its gonna take a while! But if thats what needs to be done then ok.

Thanks
Enjoying life with our pup charlie...he had us at 'woof'!

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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by emmabeth » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:52 pm

As long as his normal harness isnt rubbing and you check for this (And any harness can rub a dog, even if it doesnt rub the next dog they are all different shapes and sizes!) when you groom your dog theres no problem.

And we have pretty much all considered and looked into what appear to offer a faster solution to a problem, we would be daft not to... why do things the hard way forever? But as you have found, often these quick solutions are not quite what they seem or wont suit your dog/you... No harm in having thought about it and tried it because it was never an option that involved any 'harm' to your dog (unlike, sadly, a lot of quick fix options in dog training). You might have to do a bit more work with the loose lead training as this may have set you back a few stages but if it has it wont be for long!
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***Melissa***
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by ***Melissa*** » Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:58 am

I'm no expert, but I've been doing the loose lead training with Striker for a couple of days now. At first it was really 3 steps, turn, 3 steps, turn...we didn't go anywhere, it was the same patch of grass over & over again. It's not even a week that I've been doing it with him & we're up to about 15 steps & even more. :D I want to start walking him now in different places too, so he can get used to walking by my side EVERYWHERE we go, & not only where we do our training.

I have had GREAT, AWESOME, STUNNING results in less than a week, so it's really worth it & it really works :D :D :D :D :D
There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. ~Ben Williams

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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Noobs » Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:12 am

That's great, Melissa! I would advise just going further in your "comfort" zone for now, don't go too fast. It took me a couple of months before I was able to take Murphy around our neighborhood, but now (a year later) he's great everywhere. I simple "oops" and a quick turn reminds him to walk nicely if he should forget. :D

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