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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-20-2014 10:23 AM
martemchik If she loves a tennis ball...put one under your arm and she'll heel almost naturally. After a few steps, reward her with the ball. Keep doing this, varying the rewards. I would really not heel for more than 10 yards at this point without a reward.

If you're using a harness, it will be very difficult to teach. You don't control her head. I don't think you need a prong, but a flat would be more useful than a harness. A harness has its uses, but in this case, its actually detrimental to what you want.
05-20-2014 10:15 AM
nickelpest Apologies for this disorganized reply!
martemchik - I've tried leaving a treat for her to nibble at in my hand, but she will not stay focused on it. She will ignore it and move ahead after only a few seconds. I think I will try your method of play/heel in our yard. She LOVES the ball and will do anything for it!

SuperG - I have used "free" as a cue word that she can move again and am starting to use it on our walks as well. She does get very excited when I put on her leash - to the point she has run out the door at other times when i'm leaving for work. I've been putting it off but will really make sure she lets me leave first and only comes out when I tell her to! The walk has to start in the house.

A few posters have mentioned prong collars - I've never used one and am not comfortable going down that route. I use a standard harness on her but am looking at other options like the Freedom harness. She doesn't really pull on the leash, but I would say it's taut at the beginning of our walk. After about 20 minutes she's calmer (our walks are usually 30 minutes).

Anyway, thanks for the advice and the video! I'll put these into practice to see what works best. I didn't address everyone separately but I did read everything, thank you
05-20-2014 12:47 AM
Originally Posted by lyssa62 View Post
I had to stop trying to heel Roxy for a 3 miles walk...wasn't gonna happen. I do some heel and some loose leash and alternate...I try to give her a hand or eye signal of what I want.
I found string cheese chopped up is GREAT motivation along with hot dogs * I use the turkey ones and in small bites and not many at one time*

Most of the time now when I walk I do loose leash unless we are being approached and then it's heel. I work on heel a lot in our fenced in play area at home
I agree with this and would like to add:

I think you should balance training and letting your dog have a fun, casual walk. 10 minutes of heeling seems sufficient, or break up into 5 minute sessions. 5 minutes to your destination and 5 minutes on the way back. Also my dog was not interested in treats at all until she was almost 15 months.
05-19-2014 11:33 PM
Originally Posted by Chip18 View Post
You can't just "slap" a prong on a dog and expect it to work miracles. You have to know what your doing! Educate "yourself" first on it's proper useage or "think" through the problem and figure out what "you" are doing wrong???

"Thinking" your way through and issue is the best "tool!"
No doubt I have to agree....being at least one step ( if not two ) ahead of your dog and potential for events to occur in the very near future is paramount in taking advantage of a teaching moment in a dog's education. Otherwise, you just have two living creatures reacting to a situation....

05-19-2014 07:44 PM
Chip18 You can't just "slap" a prong on a dog and expect it to work miracles. You have to know what your doing! Educate "yourself" first on it's proper useage or "think" through the problem and figure out what "you" are doing wrong???

"Thinking" your way through and issue is the best "tool!"
05-19-2014 06:58 PM
Originally Posted by simba405 View Post
Do you plan on using treats forever to get her to heel?

Use treats to teach her the position she should be in. Use a prong to teach the dog walking in front of you is a no no.

Another vote for prong use after they know the position

Sent from Free App
05-19-2014 06:07 PM
Chip18 Sounds like your not giving her treats your giving her a meal? I used a bare minimum of treats myself, more of a "because I say so" approach for me.

My guy walks off leash and he can lead or follow, I let him chose. If he wants me to lead he will stop and let me pass.

But take a look here:
05-19-2014 06:02 PM
nickelpest Thanks for the tips so far - I have some different things to try now! All the trainer told us was "treat treat treat!" And then I realized, Gretchen's not into treats when we're on a walk! haha. I know each dog and person are different so I will try the suggestions so far and see what works best for us. I hadn't realized that a loose leash is acceptable as long as they come back when you want them to. Duh!
And yes, she has figured out that after she gets a treat, the trick/lesson is over and she moves on. I've been working on that by using cue words instead.
05-19-2014 05:40 PM
SuperG I used treats at times to reward my dog for good heel position but mostly used changes in course or leash corrections....I also had the dog sit in the heel position every time I stopped walking.

You mentioned something which made me chuckle " I call her back to my side...I treat her....then she walks ahead of me again "...I remember something similar would happen while my gal was learning a proper leashed walk in heel position....when she would be in proper position I would say " Nice!" or "Yes"...and as sure as the sun will rise in the east tomorrow....she would forge, I quit saying " nice" actually made a difference....I almost think she interpreted the "nice" as exercise over so now I can continue to forge ahead....

Anyway, what really iced the proper heel position and loose leash was practicing off leash in the backyard. I used her frisbee as the lure and she did great, almost to the point where she was too tight and constantly looking up at me ( more likely the position of the frisbee )...but " good heel" was ingrained into her when she performed and ever so often I'd toss the frisbee as her reward.

I also start my walks off in a fairly regimented fashion....she is on a sit/wait while the door is opened and I exit first....then I say "okay" and she can now exit the house. I also take the 6 foot leash and loop it up so it only has about a foot or less of lead in it...I hold it in my left hand and we proceed slowly...if she gets one step ahead in the very first 20 feet of the walk...I stop.....she sits...I proceed...she gets out of position again ...I stop..she sits...leash pops as well... etc. In the beginning when I used this took us a while to get to the end of the driveway... I truly believe setting a tempo from inside the house before a walk begins will win some of this struggle between you and the dog regarding proper positioning during a walk. I also somewhat sensed that the dog finally figured out I was the leader during this walking event and once I said "okay" she was then allowed to have free rein of all 6 feet of the leash as long as there was no tight leash.

Overall, a great reward for a dog which likes to forge a bit is the continuation of the walk itself....probably better than any treat in a dog's eyes...My constant stopping and starting perhaps taught the dog that if she stays tight to my side and with a loose leash, she makes it much farther down the road without all the stopping......just a thought.

05-19-2014 05:06 PM
simba405 Do you plan on using treats forever to get her to heel?

Use treats to teach her the position she should be in. Use a prong to teach the dog walking in front of you is a no no.
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