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Old 11-21-2012, 02:17 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I feel your pain!

My pup is almost 7 months old and leash respect has been one of our biggest challenges. I am able to use a prong, which helps tremendously, and although neither my dog nor I like it, the Gentle Leader is also quite effective if you use it carefully and watch for rubs.

I don't want to rely on the prong, so what I've been doing is I stop and tell my puppy "with me". We don't move forward until she comes back to my side. It's not a full heel, but it's at my side and not pulling. At times it all goes out the window when she's excited, it's tough. But I do think I'm seeing some improvements with this technique.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:20 PM   #22 (permalink)
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This method of shaping a loose leash walk also works very well: Foundations For Life Training: SHAPING POLITE WALKING with a HIGH RATE OF REINFORCEMENT

I did some of this with Halo, but I skipped to Part 2.


At around the 2:30 mark she demonstrates step #7, which is where she takes several steps backwards with the dog moving towards her, and then quickly pivots so that the dog is at her side in heel position. At first she stops and rewards in that position and then steps backwards again, but eventually you would work up to taking a few steps forwards in heel position before rewarding. You can see that the dog remains very engaged with the handler during training. And it's a German shepherd!

Part 3:

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Old 11-21-2012, 02:35 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I feel your pain!

My pup is almost 7 months old and leash respect has been one of our biggest challenges. I am able to use a prong, which helps tremendously, and although neither my dog nor I like it, the Gentle Leader is also quite effective if you use it carefully and watch for rubs.

I don't want to rely on the prong, so what I've been doing is I stop and tell my puppy "with me". We don't move forward until she comes back to my side. It's not a full heel, but it's at my side and not pulling. At times it all goes out the window when she's excited, it's tough. But I do think I'm seeing some improvements with this technique.
Check out my posts above and below yours - I do have prong collars, but I taught Halo LLW with a flat nylon collar at 7 months old. It took time and persistence, but we get compliments all the time now, and people will stop me and ask how I got her to walk so nicely with me. I had my sister shoot a short video during one of our evening walks at the lake:


It's just a few seconds long, but you can see she's right with me, and looks up at me occasionally. When I first took her out there, the next step after working on LLW at every strip mall in town, it took at least 20 minutes to walk the half block from the car to the entrance of the park. We walked back and forth over the same ground over and over again until she stopped trying to pull forward and sniff everything, but I kept taking her out there, 3 or 4 miles at a time, several days a week after work.

There are TONS of distractions - it's a very popular park, and we see joggers, peoples on bikes and skateboards, families with toddlers and babies in strollers, people carrying fishing poles and gear, and lots of people walking dogs. It was a lot of work at first, but now she walks with me practically perfectly, and we've done hikes there as long as 8 or 9 miles.

After I trained her (really, the first dog I've ever had walk so nicely on leash), I went back and spent time working with Keefer too, who was already 4 years old by then, when Halo went into heat and was on house arrest for a month. I still can't walk both of them together, but I've spent lots of peaceful hours with one or the other of them walking at that beautiful park for the past few years.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:00 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I agree with Freestep. You need to try and tire your pup out a little before walking and that will make your walks a little more manageable. As I suggested in a couple of posts below try the front clip harness, it really does the job and will make your walks soo much easier.
Since it's too muddy to talk him in the garden then do some basic obedience with him in the house or play games like "find it" or "Hide and go seek" with him before your walks.
I also made a mini flirt pole for my pup and a few minutes with that and he gets rid of the excess energy that he definitely has.
Im going to go this weekend and look for the harness that you mentioned.
The idea of tiring him out sounds quite good and i deffo will use that on my next walk with him
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:04 PM   #25 (permalink)
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What else is the pup doing besides walking? What kind of off leash time is he getting? Does he ever really get to burn off some of that energy outside of just walking?
He used to love running around in the garden, but its too muddy at the moment so he cannot do that. I play fetch with him indoors and i also give him a kong every other day. When im working late or the weekends i take him to the tennis courts and let him run around there as its not muddy (hes still on a long lead)
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:07 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Thanks CM, I'll try that approach too! She is getting better, she's just so excitable it's hard to get her to focus and calm down.

Do you find the backpack helps? I bought one, but haven't used it yet!
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:12 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I think the backpack helps some, but I didn't get it until she was over a year old, and she wore it empty for a couple of months. I don't think I put anything in it until she was a year and a half. I already had one for Keefer, and he tends to be a bit leash reactive, so it makes more of a difference for him, having a "job". He LOVES his backpack! She doesn't like hers much, she does evasive action around the house when I pull it out of the cabinet, and then pouts when she has it on but it doesn't bother her once we're out walking. We need a lot of water if we're out for a couple of hours on a hot day, so it's nice to be able to have the dog carry it!
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:15 PM   #28 (permalink)
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She is getting better, she's just so excitable it's hard to get her to focus and calm down.
Halo was too. I just taught her that being calm and focusing was what worked, and that the opposite did not work. That takes a lot of patience, but it's totally doable if you're willing to work at it. Just immediately stop if she's going nutty and wait her out. The second she calms down and looks at you, praise, and continue what you were doing. The better your timing and the more dramatic you are, the clearer it will be that HER actions drive YOUR behavior, and the faster she'll get it.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:06 PM   #29 (permalink)
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This is what im doing at the moment.

When we are on walks every time he pulls i change direction and when hes walking good i give him treats. When i have days off im going to go to the tennis courts and walk him round there doing the same thing. There are minor distractions there.

Is this okay? i dont want to be doing something that doesnt work.

the walk we just went on was ok for the beggining but got so frustrating towards the end. i was REALLY frustrated (breaking point).

If i dont see a difference then i will have to go see a trainer. Is there any more i could do? i was told not to use a head collar or a ani pull harness when im training him not to pull - just to walk him with ease if i didnt have time
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:11 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Did you read the links that Jean and I posted? Did you watch the videos? They work!
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