Training collars/harnesses/leashes

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Stephanie
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Training collars/harnesses/leashes

Post by Stephanie » Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:58 pm

I have a 5 month old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Charlie and he loves to pull on the leash. At the moment I just have a regular belt buckle type nylon collar on him and I stop him completely and say 'no' or 'ah ah' when he pulls (about every three steps at this point) but I'm looking for recommendations on what collar, harness, and leash to use.

My concern with a harness is that (like his mother) he has sensitive armpits. He squeals if too much pressure if applied. The day I got him I went to the pet store and they found a harness for him but once it was put on and he was put down he started squealing and running away.

I've had the martin-gale collars recommended to me but I haven't gotten one because he's not full grown and they have to be fitted.

Based on this information can anyone recommend a good product for me?
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Noobs
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Re: Training collars/harnesses/leashes

Post by Noobs » Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:32 pm

For starters use this method to teach loose leash walking: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=858 It'll be much easier for him to catch on.

As for a harness, you can use a Walkeez harness. There are two photos on this post of the harness and as you can see it doesn't touch the armpit. viewtopic.php?f=5&t=6207&p=40745

They make 'em for smaller dogs, too. Check out Jack's courtesy of jacksdad: viewtopic.php?f=31&t=7243

If you want to find it online, you can do a google search for "Walkeez" or "fleece harness" and you should have success finding many sites that sell it.

Good luck!

PS Charlie is a cutie!

Stephanie
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Re: Training collars/harnesses/leashes

Post by Stephanie » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:18 pm

This is very helpful, thank you.

I'm wondering how the loose leash training works with little dogs. I find because of their size they're a little harder to direct with your body. I've heard you can use a bit of peanut butter on a clean fly swatter to direct them. Is this a good idea? Do you have any tips?

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Mattie
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Re: Training collars/harnesses/leashes

Post by Mattie » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:03 pm

You train little dogs the same way as big and medium sized dogs, you turn and walk the other way, you don't pull on the lead but can say to your dog "This way", which will tell your dog you are walking the other way. There is no need to direct their bodies, you have control of them if you have a harness on.

I have a little dog, I have taught her the same was as I taught my other dogs. Dogs are dogs first then their breed, apart from their size, small dogs are the same as any other. Too many owners of small dogs try to moddle coddle them, most are feisty dogs that were bred to work.
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Stephanie
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Re: Training collars/harnesses/leashes

Post by Stephanie » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:58 pm

Mattie wrote:Dogs are dogs first then their breed, apart from their size, small dogs are the same as any other. Too many owners of small dogs try to moddle coddle them, most are feisty dogs that were bred to work.
I understand that, I deffinately don't want to coddle my dog. I will try it and see how it works. I guess I was quick to assume because he's small that he would just run around me, but if you've done it with your dog obviously it can be done.

This is my first small dog, I'm used to big ones.

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Mattie
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Re: Training collars/harnesses/leashes

Post by Mattie » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:58 am

We do have to change our thinking when we get a small dog Stephanie, when I first got Gracie I wasn't expecting a small dog, I was told she was Westie size, I hadn't seen her before I got her. If you tried to pick Gracie up she would bite you, she hated it, she would bite for the slightest reason and one of her canine teeth went through one of my nails to the bone. By treating her the same as my other dogs, expecting the same from her, she because a wonderful dog to have, the biting stopped and she would wait at the bottom of the stairs every night to be carried up. :lol:
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Stephanie
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Re: Training collars/harnesses/leashes

Post by Stephanie » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:22 pm

Okay, I got Charlie a Walkeez harness today. I read the instructions on loose leash walking and I tested it out with him briefly inside the house with the harness. A bit messy but I suppose everyone starts somewhere. He gave up on it pretty easy and just decided he'd rather not walk at all.

I'm wondering if there is a video that illustrates the instructions? I'm a visual learner and I looked on youtube and found several videos on loose leash walking but none that worked the way that was discribed.

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Mattie
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Re: Training collars/harnesses/leashes

Post by Mattie » Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:07 am

Outside would be better, try your backyard but much easier if there is plenty of room to turn. It doesn't matter if you don't get it right as long as your dog is playing catch-up, it will just take a bit longer than someone who is used to doing this. I love this method because you don't need to be an expert with spot on reactions to teach your dog this.

You do need to encourage him to come forward when you are doing this, I always say, "This way", it is very useful in other situations as well when my dogs are off the lead I can get them to follow me when I change direction.

With every dog I feel that I will never teach the dog to walk on a loose lead then suddenly the penny drops and the dog is walking next to me, until the next time I do it. :lol:
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Stephanie
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Re: Training collars/harnesses/leashes

Post by Stephanie » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:16 pm

I have a couple questions re: training now that I tried it a couple times.

Should I use treats? I took Charlie outside to train today but he's too distracted, I can't get his attention.

Also, I assume if you're walking the dog on your left you're supposed to turn to the right?

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Re: Training collars/harnesses/leashes

Post by Wicket » Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:24 am

Stephanie wrote:I have a couple questions re: training now that I tried it a couple times.

Should I use treats? I took Charlie outside to train today but he's too distracted, I can't get his attention.

Also, I assume if you're walking the dog on your left you're supposed to turn to the right?
If he's too distracted, then go to a lower distracting environment like the washroom, kitchen, bedroom, etc. As for treats, it can be more than just food, including toys, games, etc. Basically, whatever motivates your dog. The dogs choose the rewards, not us. I recommend observing your dog and see what motivates him. :)

To answer your question, Mattie's method doesn't use treats as a reward but rather moving forward is the reward. I supplemented her method with treats while my dog was by side, not passed the knee, which helped my dog form a heel better. If Mattie's way doesn't work for your dog, there are other positive ways to train loose leash walking, but I would try Mattie's first . :)

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Mattie
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Re: Training collars/harnesses/leashes

Post by Mattie » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:11 am

I do use treats at the end of the session, very high reward treats and not low reward ones like kibble, I don't when doing the loose lead walking because I find it is another distraction to the dog, there are enough without the treats as well. :lol: As long as there is not a lot of distractions I ignore them and just carry on with the loose lead walking, dogs do need to learn to stay by us no matter what the distractions are but it will take longer if there are distractions even low ones.

Instead of using treats while walking I use my voice, when I change direction I say, "This way", this comes in very handy when they are off the lead and are going a different way to me as well. Also when they are nearly at my side I will say "Good girl", or "Well Done" etc. the words don't matter the tone of my voice does, it is happy and light.

It is difficult to use treats when you need both hands on the lead which you do when walking, it is only when your dog goes in front of you do you drop the loop in the lead but keep hold of the handle, this gives your dog more room to turn behind you before he feels the tug of the lead on the harness and the tug isn't as sever. By using my voice as well saying "This way", this tug can be eliminated. If I keep stopping to give my dog a treat every time he is next to me I would move even less than I do when I first start.
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positivepaws
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Re: Training collars/harnesses/leashes

Post by positivepaws » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:43 am

I have had great success with slip leads looped into figure of eights, one loop around the nose and the other around the head. This is more effective than the halti or gentle leader for short muzzled dogs. These are a very kind solution, but it is not an instant solution to pulling even though it inhibits it: it's a training tool. Loose leash methods previously stated will work long-term.

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Mattie
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Re: Training collars/harnesses/leashes

Post by Mattie » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:47 am

If you do the loose lead training right there isn't any need to have a slip lead round the nose and head because the dog is never in a position to pull. The idea is that the dog is playing catch up all the time and they can't do that if they are pulling in front of you. Having a lead like that on to teach loose lead walking will hurt the dog, dogs should not be hurt while training.
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Re: Training collars/harnesses/leashes

Post by positivepaws » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:16 am

I'm not quite sure I explained myself well enough or for that matter how to explain myself now. Loose leash training is ideal; however, a slip lead (the thick and soft variety) is a much better alternative to the gentle leader. As I stated, this just manages the behaviour while the loose leash training is sorted. I don't think it is fair to expect the dog owner to train a perfect loose leash instantly. This is a good alternative to keep energy levels down while training and thus make training more effective that's all. I have found that I can teach loose leash much quicker by giving a good walk on this setup once a day and training walk once a day because, if you have the dog on a normal setup to burn off some energy, he's pulling, there are only so many times you can turn around before it starts becoming a negative experience, and nobody learns anything! Training sessions should be short and positive, and the dog does need a good walk even if it isn't loose leash! Hope I explained myself better. I will try and find a picture of the lead I'm referring to; the dogs I have used it love it, and it is only TEMPORARY.

Hope this helps.

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Mattie
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Re: Training collars/harnesses/leashes

Post by Mattie » Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:36 pm

Loose lead walking should be done several times a day for 10 to 15 minutes, walks should be in time not distance as you will be going up and down the same pavement at first, once your dog starts to understand what is needed, you start to walk further. You don't take your dog for walks when teaching the loose lead walking, it isn't necessary as it really tires your dog out.

You go at the dog's pace, your dog is playing catch up all the time and you are very unreliable were you are going, it is only be this sudden change of direction that your dog learns to walk with you instead of in front, your dog can't see when you change direction when he is in front.

If you do this properly you have no need for anything else while training because all you are doing is teaching your dog to walk on a loose lead. It doesn't matter how much of a novice owner you are, you can still do this which is why it is so good. Look at some of the posts, member came on here because they couldn't control their dogs on a lead no matter what they used, several even had prong collars on, by working like this they are now enjoying lovely walks.
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