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Old 02-16-2011, 06:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
Kay
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Default GSD won't stop pulling on leash/ has no manners in public

My pup is 11 mths old. She's a good dog in almost every way, except when it comes for going for walks in public. We leave the house to walk down the street and she pulls nonstop. She chokes herself, but doesn't stop. If she sees a dog and she'll become so focused on it, and I become invisible. I can wave food in front of her, I can tell her to 'watch me', I've tried a pinch collar, one of those halti things, corrections, turning and walking the other way, stopping and walking backwards... practically anything I can think of except hitting her - which I'd never do!

This has been a constant problem with her, ever since she was small. It hasn't improved, and has only become more annoying since she is now 65lbs and very strong.

The weirdest part about this is that I'm training her for competitive obedience. When she's at class or we're just working outside, she is perfect. Her heeling is wonderful, she focuses on me like a hawk, she doesn't care about the other dogs there. She loves to work! Maybe it's just because she is used to the class environment.... but as we leave class she'll drag me out the door unless I hold her leash tight.

She is always so full of energy and it's been getting worse lately. I always run her or take her to the dog park everyday. Her focus on me is fading. For example, I went to an obedience fun match the other day, and it was like she had ADD. She kept pulling and I had to drag her into the ring. She worked fine once in the ring, but was bouncing around like a psycho after and dragged me out when we were done. The second time we went in she decided that I didn't exist anymore and actually RAN OUT of the ring.

I'm not sure what to do. At home, I am the boss and there is no doubt about it (she is a very submissive dog), but the second we leave the house she becomes a different dog.

I need suggestions or advice please! I adore this dog and don't want to have to give up obedience. She's becoming very frustrating to deal with and I'm having a tough time remaining positive.
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you've been able to teach her to heel at home and in class, you should be able to teach her to do it anywhere! Obviously, something is different about your walks - figure that out and it should be an easy fix. She has the skills, it's just a different environment.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sounds like a typical GSD puppy - sometimes more interested in the world around her than they are in their owner right at the moment.

I had (and still do to some degree) the same problem with our male GSD. You need to work and work and work on getting their attention(and keeping it!).

Look up the threads on "Focus" and "attention" and see if that will help.

It won't be immediate but it will come with practice. And you can work your dog with GRADUALLY increasing levels of distractions!
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Are you using a training collar on your walks? Whether a prong collar, or a Halti head collar or Gentle Leader Harness.... those would all help.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codmaster View Post
Sounds like a typical GSD puppy - sometimes more interested in the world around her than they are in their owner right at the moment.

I had (and still do to some degree) the same problem with our male GSD. You need to work and work and work on getting their attention(and keeping it!).

Look up the threads on "Focus" and "attention" and see if that will help.

It won't be immediate but it will come with practice. And you can work your dog with GRADUALLY increasing levels of distractions!
I just had to go thru this w/my 11 month old. We have been in obedience since last June... completing different levels. We went on break at xmas for about 3 weeks. and wham! i lost his "attention" and "focus" and he became more attached to me re: not staying, in a sit/stay. had a private lesson to concentrate on that and the attention. after about a week.. he's back! So you might have to revert back to basic obed. like i did. Good luck
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I wrote a little story here ;

Karma ; Fledgling border guard | the phnom pen

My dog does not pull so much as "walk strongly" and yes.....when she sees other dogs she goes into exocet mode.

HOWEVER

Dave from Hausleisa directed me back to Tab289's youtube videos ( they are ALL brilliant ) and there is one or two there about loose leash walking that I can highly recommend over my stupid old skool yanking method . Karma was actually responding to that but its unnecessary and I feared after watching the Tab289 video she might start associating the lead with unpleasantness.

For a week every afternoon I have been walking Karma around the house and yard in a circuit ( mixing it up so she does not get too robotic about it ). From day one if she started to get ahead of me, I stopped and simply stood still. Then with a "lets go" we start again and as soon as she looks at me I click and reward. It only took a couple of days before she was walking perfectly and looking at me repeatedly and getting rewarded !Then.....in the middle of this I also took up Tab289s advice regards teaching a formal HEEL as a very important part of the leash walking process . When the dog gets ahead of you, his advice is to "reset" the walk by calling the dog back to the heel position and then starting again.
By setting up a chair in a corner as Tab289 does, Karma nailed the heel with frightening speed ! Like......in 10 minutes. So I am contuining the daily heel training and leash walking INSIDE our compound. Right now she is having her first heat cycle so I can't take her outside for fear of a gang rape by mongrel street dogs but I am hoping that all the inside training will make SOME difference by the time she can go out again.
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kay View Post
This has been a constant problem with her, ever since she was small. It hasn't improved, and has only become more annoying since she is now 65lbs and very strong.
This tells me that you haven't approached "going for a walk" the same way you've approached training her to compete in obedience in her classes. It's not going to get better by itself - as you said it's getting worse now that she's big and strong and can pull even harder. Prior to Halo I never had a dog that walked all that well on leash because we always drove our dogs to an off leash park for play and exercise rather than doing leash walks. Keefer is now good on leash, (he's 5-1/2), but it was tough for awhile because I had failed to put the work in when he was still young and small enough that it would have been easy. But if I can teach HIM, you can teach HER! Since he was already a full grown 80 pound dog by the time I started, I did use a prong collar on him so I could control him if he lunged, and you might need to do that too. Prior to that, I'd never even owned a prong collar.

Now with Halo, I was bound and determined to teach her to walk nicely on leash from the very beginning. I recognized the mistake I'd made with Keef, and I was not going to repeat it. It took a lot of time, patience, and persistence, but she walks beautifully on leash, and it's a joy to take her for nice long walks. But in order to do that I had to completely abandon the idea of "going for a walk" in favor of training proper leash skills. That meant that some days we spent 20 minutes walking back and forth over the same ground over and over and over and over..... Very frustrating, but she soon learned that pulling did not get her where she wanted to go, and in fact, she often got even FURTHER AWAY!

I think you're right, that she does recognize class as "training" and walks are "not training", so you need to turn that around. Halo is very good at recognizing training too, we've been working with an excellent private trainer (business partner of Michael Ellis), and she made that comment about Halo the first time she saw her. So I made every walk a training walk.

Quote:
For example, I went to an obedience fun match the other day, and it was like she had ADD. She kept pulling and I had to drag her into the ring. She worked fine once in the ring, but was bouncing around like a psycho after and dragged me out when we were done. The second time we went in she decided that I didn't exist anymore and actually RAN OUT of the ring.
How about taking her to a fun match and not going in the ring at all? Use it as a training opportunity by working with her in that highly arousing environment, at whatever distance from the fun that you can continue to engage her.
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kay View Post
My pup is 11 mths old. She's a good dog in almost every way, except when it comes for going for walks in public. We leave the house to walk down the street and she pulls nonstop. She chokes herself, but doesn't stop. If she sees a dog and she'll become so focused on it, and I become invisible. I can wave food in front of her, I can tell her to 'watch me', I've tried a pinch collar, one of those halti things, corrections, turning and walking the other way, stopping and walking backwards... practically anything I can think of except hitting her - which I'd never do!

This has been a constant problem with her, ever since she was small. It hasn't improved, and has only become more annoying since she is now 65lbs and very strong.

The weirdest part about this is that I'm training her for competitive obedience. When she's at class or we're just working outside, she is perfect. Her heeling is wonderful, she focuses on me like a hawk, she doesn't care about the other dogs there. She loves to work! Maybe it's just because she is used to the class environment.... but as we leave class she'll drag me out the door unless I hold her leash tight.

She is always so full of energy and it's been getting worse lately. I always run her or take her to the dog park everyday. Her focus on me is fading. For example, I went to an obedience fun match the other day, and it was like she had ADD. She kept pulling and I had to drag her into the ring. She worked fine once in the ring, but was bouncing around like a psycho after and dragged me out when we were done. The second time we went in she decided that I didn't exist anymore and actually RAN OUT of the ring.

I'm not sure what to do. At home, I am the boss and there is no doubt about it (she is a very submissive dog), but the second we leave the house she becomes a different dog.

I need suggestions or advice please! I adore this dog and don't want to have to give up obedience. She's becoming very frustrating to deal with and I'm having a tough time remaining positive.
I had the same problem with my dog and when nothing was working I resorted to an old fashioned choke chain and it's worked wonders. I keep him in a heel position right beside me as we walk and the moment he wants to step ahead I just pull on the choke and command him to heel. We've made tremendous progress at walking without the all the pulling and I have to use the choke less as the walk progresses.

My dog was a real bad puller...when he was a small pup I used to tie him to heavy objects in the yard that he would eventually pull around, then I'd use a heavier one so he's really strong and even though I'm 170 and in good physical shape, nightly walks with this caused tendinitis in my hand because he's built like a tank so I really had no choice but to resort to the choke chain and I must say my dog responds to it and the walks are much more enjoyable without all the pulling. He pulled on the leash so hard one time I had to correct him by literally yanking him hard enough to lift his front feet off the ground, meanwhile some lady in the passenger seat of a passing car gave me a dirty look like I was being mean but when you have a near 100 pound German Shepherd tugging on a leash it's like playing tug of war against two guys my size, so the choke chain has really been a blessing for us.
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Old 02-19-2011, 02:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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train and socialize everyday, several times a day.
find a trainer (private lessons) or a class. at
11 months old i think your dog should be heeling
on either side, on or off leash. why wasn't this problem
corrected sooner????
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The one and only thing that worked with curbing London's pulling was the Gentle Leader. My trainer highly recommended it and I still use it on occassion when I am in a highly stimulating situation.

Although, after using the Gentle Leader for a good year, he really has learned not to drag me around. Plus, it does not damage his trachea, which I understand the choke collar can do when a dog is a puller.
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