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Old 05-19-2014, 04:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dog not interested in treats during walks

What are some other ways I can reward our GSD for following directions during a walk? She often gets bored of her treats after 10 minutes. I have tried bringing 2-3 different types of treats to change it when she loses interest; I've used an excited voice; I've used petting at times as well. Clicker training didn't make a difference for her. I've thought about bringing a toy but not sure if that would be counter-productive.
Also, she generally walks 3-4 feet ahead of me at all times until I call her back to my side...I treat her....then she walks ahead of me again. I'm trying to prevent this for therapy dog training so she will stay by my side.
Any tips?
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Old 05-19-2014, 04:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Don't walk that far? Lol.

You shouldn't be testing her that much. If she hasn't learned to heel...doing it for long distances isn't going to teach it to her. Start slow. Heel for 2 steps. She's in heel? Reward. Three steps...reward. Four steps...reward. Five steps? She lost focus? Mark with a no, no reward, start again. Short distances, short times.

If she is treat motivated, you should just leave the treat out in front of her nose but hidden in your hand. She'll be nibbling at it and should completely be focused on the treat. She won't even realize she's heeling, then you reward after a few steps. Do this over and over.

I don't recommend heeling that far on walks. Training should be fun and if its a young dog, or you're just starting to teach a proper heel...walks aren't where you want to do that. Walks should be fun, not boring heeling sessions. If you want to teach a real good heel, use a toy, build up drive, play with your dog, and then quickly get her into a quick heel. Then reward... It's kind of hard to explain it without showing it.
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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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
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Old 05-19-2014, 06:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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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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Old 05-19-2014, 06:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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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 ahead....so, I quit saying " nice"...it 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 approach..it 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.

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Old 05-19-2014, 07:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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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:
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
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


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Old 05-19-2014, 08:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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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!"
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Old 05-20-2014, 12:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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....


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