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Old 01-24-2013, 04:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I need help, new owner!

I have a 12 week old GSD. Which way should I train her to walk on a leas? Walking directly beside me or lead walking? Someone said lead walking because she is taking responsibility?
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ive never liked a dog in front. I want to be in charge to I say beside me. I'm sure everyone is different. I just think with letting the dog lead your asking for bad habits to start.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I let Gaia walk in front sometimes as long as it's loose lead, I don't keep her in a heel the whole walk. I haven't had any problems with her behavoir as a result of this, she knows that when she's told to heel she comes back to my side.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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IMHO I would say to train her walking right beside you, if you train her to be in the lead you are asking for a world of trouble once she is older and you will be very hard done by to get her to stay at your side without pulling... train her at your side show her that you are the "leader/boss".
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Once trained I would say if you want to let her walk in front that is fine. But to start out training I would say that is a big no no. Once she knows who is boss as she gets older then its your choice to let her walk in front or beside you. You should be the one that chooses not the dog.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thats what I've been thinking just wanted to make sure! If she is beside me then I can easily tell her to sit in a random situation. For instance, someone creepy or another dog trying to bite me, etc
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Smitherman View Post
Thats what I've been thinking just wanted to make sure! If she is beside me then I can easily tell her to sit in a random situation. For instance, someone creepy or another dog trying to bite me, etc
Exactly why you would want them in a heal position or walking beside you. It takes some time to get them to learn where to walk but once they get it it's great. I don't even have to use a leash anymore which I love. Zeus will never leave my side unless I give him the free dog command.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have been competing in Schutzhund for many years, and the only time my dog is allowed to walk in front is when they are tracking. At a young age if you will start walking with a treat held even with your left leg and let your puppy nibble at it, they will learn to rate your step and also to look up. Hold the treat just above the pups head so they will have to look up to nibble but not so high as to make them jump or rear up. It takes a bit of practice, but it is a training method that I have used for over 40 years with great success. My current GSD is a Czech import, 4 years old, and has his Sch H2 title. I have not had time to campaign for his Sch H3 yet, but plan on doing so this summer. Best of luck with your new puppy and training.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Learn from my mistakes: I never made my 14 year old GSD mix learn to walk BESIDE me as a pup, and she never did learn not to be the boss on a walk. Sigh. Fortunately she has a top-notch temperament, is smart as a whip, and never used that to get into trouble. But it isn't fun to walk her.

TEACH YOUR DOG TO HEAL WHEN THEY ARE YOUNG.

My 12 year old dog? She walks on a loose lead beside me sedately. I learned from my mistakes and she is a dream to walk!

I absolutely have to work on "heal" with our 7 month old GSD once the wind chill gets above zero again. He is so strong! I do not need him trying to lead ME around!
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Maybe I'm the odd one out but I don't believe a dog walking beside, behind you or in front of you has a relation to the level of respect they have for you, it comes down to good leash manners. Gaia's only 10 months so her walking skills may easily change in the future but with a solid bond and consistent training I have no problem with her taking the lead so to speak, it would be different if you were being dragged down the side walk but I really don't think there's anything wrong with a dog especially a puppy exploring a little bit on a walk.
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