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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Follow Me

A couple of days ago at the dog park, we spotted a gentleman and his dog walking the perimeter. His dog was about 3-5 feet behind him perfectly following in his master's footsteps. Glory went over to greet the dog, and the dog stopped, while they exchanged doggie pleasantries, then the dog caught up with his master again, about 3-5 feet behind him, perfectly following his master in his footsteps.

How does one get a dog to follow them like that?!

When Glory is off leash, or we are not heeling, she always insists on jetting ahead of me, sometimes 5-10 meters ahead of me, sniffing around and whatnot. But there must be an alternative to my dog always being at a strict heel or on a leash, especially when hiking. There are times, for my dog's safety, I would like her to follow me, like the dog at the dog park.

I have some ideas about how to do this, but if anyone can offer some help, I'm all ears (or eyes)!

Sincerely, Christina

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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 01:43 PM
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Re: Follow Me

That's interesting!

Only thing I thought of was dropping pieces of hot dogs behind me as I walked...LOL

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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 01:57 PM
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Re: Follow Me

Haha, bet you'd get quite a following doing that at a dog park

I don't know how to train for that either, though a foster I had would have the habit of walking behind me on walks without being asked. I usually had Sasha on the left, Nico on the right, and Ruger just preferred to walk behind, though he wasn't particularly submissive, more of a "neutral" dog like Nico.

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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 02:57 PM
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Re: Follow Me

I saw this stuff of tv and they didnt say anything but the dog realised that you were 100% the pack leader.. and the dogs were on a leash.
maybe get somebody to go for a walk with you and your dog(s)? they hold the leash, you teach the command to heel but behind you?
probably wouldnt work but just a suggestion!

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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 03:38 PM
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Re: Follow Me

HMMMM, I may experiment with this one!

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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 10:34 AM
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Re: Follow Me

This "Superdog" program emphasizes walking behind the owner.

http://superdog.com/superdog_philosophy.htm

It makes good points - a dog is not aggressive when he's behind the owner! He is in total follower mode.

In my experience trying to get my dog Riku to walk back there, I realize that the more hyped up he is, the less likely he wants to stay back there. One night, I practiced leaving the house calmly several times in a row, just going out, taking a few steps, then turning around and coming back in, until Riku was totally relaxed, and viola! he was following several feet behind me automatically where usually he would be fighting his urge to forge forward.

I think it can be trained, for example, by using body language to "back the dog" away if he tries to forge past you, and reinforcing it EVERY time until it becomes habit -- i.e., he tries to forge past, he goes back further and only then do we move forward. Hopefully that position (following) would make the dog easier to manage in other ways too.

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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 10:37 AM
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Re: Follow Me

Here is a link to the "leave the house calmly" protocol I was doing when Riku ended up following behind me, see the "red light/green light" section.

http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/training-dog-walk

If you have a few minutes, you might try it to see if your dog ends up following behind you after 5-10 times going in and out of the house.

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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Follow Me

Wow! Thanks Ucdcrush! I think you understand where I am coming from. It is an easy way to control your dog and make sure they are safe. I will check out superdog and dogstardaily. Let ya know what I think....

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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 01:47 PM
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Re: Follow Me

A little more on this. I took my dogs for a walk this morning, at the river which we do on weekends, and which is full of unpredictability and distractions from people, other dogs, deer, coyotes, bikes etc. It is a good place to have the dogs follow me and not get fixated on something out front.

I used this (old school) technique to prevent forging:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bo0BKCTncEc

I usually walk the dogs one in each hand, but to turn about quickly, both need to be on one side.

When we go off on our walk and they forge, and I give a quick pop and go the other way (for at least 10 steps), they are following me for those 10 steps, till I turn around to continue, where they would follow for a bit (slightly behind me) then tend to forge. I just now got the idea that I should continue that 10 steps where they are following and praise them highly when they do that.

I wish I had thunked of that on the walk, but anyways they did very good with that approach and for the most part were a tad behind my leg, ears down, looking relaxed and content to follow. They were quite easy to handle with this approach.

Riku, who is my big dog and who is quite high strung and dog reactive, was the one who tended to forge, while Tuki hung back by my leg. When I did my sudden turns I was careful to give the correction (a light pop) to the forger.

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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Follow Me

Riku sounds a little bit like Glory as far as being dog reactive. I thank you so much for taking the time to help me with this. When I get time to work on this today or tomorrow, I will post our results. I have just plain stopped before, but I haven't thought about suddenly walking the opposite direction and praising for following. Just behind my leg would be a great follow....ears down, relaxed, like you said. Will write later.....

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