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shawnjanes 12-15-2012 05:58 PM

Question about Walking on Leash

I have a five dog household. Two of the dogs have been recently added. Reagan is a 1 year old GSD and Baily is an 11 month old Lab. The other three dogs are small...a Morkie, St. Charles Cavalier, and Min Poodle.

The issue I am having is with the GSD. She has been with us for only two weeks. Today we went on a walk down our driveway. The driveway is a half mile long. I let my sister walk the Cavalier in front, my son walk the Lab in the middle and Reagan and I pulled up the rear. Reagan started whining and pulling. She even went as far as nearly thrashing at one point towards the other dogs - like she wanted to get to them or catch up to them. The other dogs were at least 100 feet in front of us. It got to the point, even with a pinch collar on, she wouldn't listen. When I corrected she made an audible sound each time, but wouldn't give it up. I brought her back up to the house, calmed her and then brought her back inside.

Reagan does have obedience training, I have seen her perform very well before I purchased her. She has done fine with me in Petco, and to the vet. She's seen other dogs at both places with no issues. This is the second time this has happened, both times same scenario.

I feel like I am doing something wrong. It's been a long time since I've had a young GSD. My previous dog, Madison, passed away three weeks ago at the ripe age of 15 years. Madison was trained in protection and was absolutely amazing. I don't recall her having any problems. It's possible I've forgotten the negative things because the good were so many.

I know Reagan is new to my household and myself. I'm not sure if I am expecting too much. Aside from venting a little, ::grin::, I'm looking for some guidance from you "guys". There's A LOT of experience here - I know because I read the posts every day. :-)

Thanks for listening and I look forward to some wisdom.


Cassidy's Mom 12-15-2012 07:26 PM

My dogs both walk with me nicely on leash separately, together they would do exactly what your girl is doing! Since it would take a LOT of work, and someone to help me consistently by handling one of the dogs while I handled the other, I haven't bothered trying to fix it.

My husband loves the dogs, but is not a trainer and really isn't interesting in learning more or helping and he tends to be more of a deterrent than anything. We both end up frustrated with each other, so it's easier for me to skip all that drama and just have a nice walk with one dog or the other. :)

When we both take them places together it's to an off leash park to play ball or swim, so they're only on leash from the car into the park, and then the leashes come off.

shawnjanes 12-15-2012 07:39 PM

Hi Debbie,

Thank you for the reply. Are you saying they do this since they are familiar with each other, but if you were walking them independently and see another dog they do not?

I apologize for the novice questions. I'm just trying to understand. It really made the walk a pain.


Cassidy's Mom 12-15-2012 07:52 PM

Yes and no. :) Both of them can be a bit leash reactive around other dogs, but I can usually prevent reactions if the approaching dog is neutral - by telling mine "leave it", or distracting or engaging them in some way. If the other dog is not well controlled and giving my dog the stink eye, or is barking or lunging towards them, mine will sometimes react to that energy.

But what I'm talking about is that Halo especially has to be with Keefer when my husband and I have them on leash together, if he's more than a few inches away she'll whine and pull towards him, and she MUST be in the lead. She also likes to jump on his head while we're walking. :rolleyes: :D The two of them are pretty much as thick as thieves.

I think part of the reason, perhaps a big part, that they get so excited on leash together is that it usually means we're going to the park, a much anticipated fun event - the highlight of their lives. They get amped up and then feed off each other's excitement. It's completely different with just me and one dog, they're totally calm and quiet, but when I leash up and put one of them in the car, the expectation is a nice peaceful walk on trails at a nearby lake, not charging around like mad things, competing with each other to see who can get the ball first.

shawnjanes 12-15-2012 07:57 PM

That makes sense. The other dogs are not acting out in this way, which I selfishly envy. We have a pretty large family and the other dogs are assigned to other family members. My son's 10 month old lab did a better job today than Reagan.

Do you know if there is a way I can work on this with Reagan? Am I expecting too much too early in our relationship?


Cassidy's Mom 12-15-2012 08:04 PM

Well for starters, each dog individually should have impeccable leash skills. Obviously, that alone is not enough, but if Reagan doesn't walk perfectly when it's just the two of you, I'd start there. I guess my next step would be to work with her and one other dog at a time before attempting it with the whole crew. You've only had her for 2 weeks, give her some one on one time with you to build a relationship.

shawnjanes 12-15-2012 08:11 PM

One-on-one is VERY smooth. She heels and auto-sits perfectly. Taking her out around other dogs hasn't been an issue. That's why walking her with our dogs and seeing her act the way she did is confusing to me.

I'll try your suggestion of working with her in the presence of one of our other dogs.

I appreciate your suggestions.


Cassidy's Mom 12-15-2012 08:33 PM

Good luck! It's great that she has no leash reactivity to strange dogs, this definitely sounds more like a 'doesn't want to be separated from the pack' thing.

Mary Beth 12-15-2012 09:34 PM

Will she do better if she can be in the lead, instead of bringing up the rear?

shawnjanes 12-15-2012 10:14 PM

Good question Mary Beth, I'll try that with her tomorrow. Her spazzing kind of caught me off guard, therefore, wrapped up our "walk." It's definitely worth a shot. I'll let you know!

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