Problems While Walking On Leash? Help!
I have a 9 year old female GSD, she and I have a really strong bond so she only listens to me. I never found this to be a problem until today, my 5 year old brother and 3 year old sister wanted to walk her. Keeli has never learned to heel because when I walk her I usually don't mind if she walks ahead as long as she doesn't pull. But anyway, my siblings tried walking her and she just kept pulling. I tried correcting her but she'd just go right back to doing it. Then when they told her to sit, she wouldn't listen and so I tried telling her to sit while they held the leash and she wouldn't listen to me either! Only when I grabbed the leash would she listen to commands. Don't even get me started on when a cat walked by... As Keeli isn't cat socialized so she went berserk.
So as a summary, the problems I need help fixing is;
•Pulling on the leash when kids are walking her
•Listening to my commands whenever I'm not near
•Staying focused and not bolting
I honestly thought I was doing a good job training her until I made this list, then found all of the weak points in my training...
Thanks so much! Next time I let the kids walk her, I'll be sure to run with her so she'll be tired when I hand the leash over. Hopefully that'll help some.
This reminds me of when I was the age of your sister and I wanted to ride a big horse not the pony. The horse refused to move because my feet couldn't reach the stirrups and I weighed so little. He only moved when the other rider put a lead rope on him and lead him. The minute the lead rope was off, the horse galloped back to the barn. So, I really think your brother and sister are too young to walk a big gsd, but they can walk along side you, so for that I suggest you work on heeling with Keeli that way you will be in charge of the walk and not Keeli. I use a front ring harness and the walk in sync method - there is video on their website that explains it Walk In Sync - The Easiest and Most Humane Way to Walk and Train Your Dog - Home
Another way to make sure your dog obeys the commands is to train them in different places, in different positions (sitting in a chair, kneeling on the ground, standing, etc) so that the dog recognizes the command means the same thing whether you are holding the leash, sitting next to the leash, having someone else hold the leash, whatever. One of the most fun classes we had was sitting and teaching the commands then playing musical chairs and giving commands. Very interesting to see which dogs got it first. Pyrate was great at that. I could give him a command from behind other people on the path, such as wait, and he would stop in his tracks. It was very rewarding to see him do that in front of my trainer's wife and another GSD owner whom I respected. We were all walking in the woods on loose 30' leads. Someone mentioned a possible Key Deer ahead so I just told Pyrate to wait. He stopped so suddenly they almost tripped over him.
There is a link here post 8 on training your dog to walk on a loose leash:
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