Teaching a grwon up not to pull on the leash - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-26-2010, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Teaching a grwon up not to pull on the leash

What is the best way to teach a dog that is already grown up to not pull on the leash ?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 02:30 PM
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It is more difficult to teach a dog not to do something than it is to teach them what to do. I know it seems like the same thing, but its really not and it helps you too. It makes you figure out what you want her to be doing. Do you want her to keep the leash loose? Do you want the dog walking beside you? Do you want her to stay on your left side? Figure out where you want her and then train her to do that.

I got Hannah when she was almost two. She had no idea about walking on a leash, not to mention she would charge and lunge at any dog or weird person that she saw. I started clicker training her to walk on a loose leash. Last year I started biking with her and was so glad that I spent the time training loose leash because it just transferred right over and she picked it up in a snap.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 03:23 PM
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I've been working with 2 yr old Keka for a couple weeks now with walking on a leash. She's fairly well trained in other areas, but not much leash training. What I got from one of the books I read was pretty simple. If the leash is tight you stop, when there's slack in the leash you go (immediately). No jerking, no choke chain. She got the hang of it pretty quick except for when she's energetic, or there are distractions like dogs or men. Usually I'll throw a tennis ball with her before a walk so she's not energetic.

As with all training be satisfied with an 80% result and with basic results (then add distractions/distance). I've started the Heel command (left side close & sit when stopped), but the initial leash training was silent. Heel is going to be a bigger project.

Good Luck
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 10:56 PM
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There are also head collars and no pull harnesses that help manage the situation while you are teaching. The age isn't really an issue. My puppies and adult dogs can both pull me if I let them.




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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keka View Post
If the leash is tight you stop, when there's slack in the leash you go (immediately). No jerking, no choke chain... Usually I'll throw a tennis ball with her before a walk so she's not energetic.
This is how I learned to train too, and it works pretty well. The only thing to add is whispering sweet, quiet, positive nonsense when the leash is slack and shut up completely when they pull (simultaneous with stopping dead in your tracks as already said). It helps reinforce that a loose leash means going places with a happy human, and pulling gets you no where, literally!
* You should wait and only start moving again when they actually turn around and look at you. This is super important, as the point is that they should be focused on what YOU are doing and act accordingly - pulling clearly means they are not focused on you!
And playing a game of fetch is invaluable before any training!
Good luck

Last edited by ShermansMa; 07-28-2010 at 11:12 PM.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 04:18 AM Thread Starter
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I Googled last time and found the stoping when they pull method, been doing it for 2days now and the dog already is letting the leash loose most of the time, tough i didnt start walking when he turned around, just when he stoped pulling, so i will do that too.
My point is not for him to walk beside me , or to walk on my left, just not to pull on the leash since he used to pull like crazy. is there any benefit of teaching him to walk beside me or always on my left?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 02:02 PM
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It's not that there is any magic to having them on one side per se. (I personally don't want my dog crossing in front of me, so I want her to stay on the side that I put her). I think the advice that you've been given is great. My version goes something like this:

Leash tightens, you make a sound "Pssssh" then stop and wait. As soon as the leash loosens (most likely because they turn and look at you ("What the heck, why'd we stop?") causing the leash to slack, you continue walking. When the dog gives you want you want, i.e. takes a couple of steps on a loose leash, make sure she knows that's what you want. Praise, praise, praise. The key is to let the dog know when they are right and when they are wrong. Once they understand, you can say Psssh and they'll put slack in the lead without you stopping. The sound was always a precursor, so they'll know what's coming and slow down of their own accord. Otherwise, you're just stopping. If you're like me you do lots of actions that don't have meaning necessarily. You stop at crosswalks or turn or whatever lots of times. Those don't mean you are waiting for your dog to do something. So, its important for the stops to remind them to loosen the leash are different.

My main point though is about your own perspective. Its semantics, but I think its an important distinction. Teaching a dog an action is much clearer and easier to obtain than teaching the absence of an action. You will be a better trainer in all things if you decide what you do want, not what you don't want. If all you want is the dog not to pull (which is perfectly fine, you get to decide the parameters), then the positive action (not positive as in "good" or "bad," just as in "something" or "nothing") that you want is the dog to walk on a loose leash. It's hard to explain to a dog, "Don't do that. ...or that. Ugh, I don't like that either. Just stop being annoying." It's much easier to teach the dog an action. "Walk here." I personally like clicker training, which is nice and precise even if you aren't trying to get a competition heel, just a nice loose leash walk. However, German Shepherds are so stinkin' smart, you can usually get away with less than ideal training and they'll totally pick it up. Sometimes, I get complacent with my dog and then every once in a while when I don't get what I want, I realize, I'm not explaining myself very well and I go back to the beginning and try again.

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Guys For All The Posts, The dog in about 2-3 days training is already learning alot, lets say 70% of the time he's on loose leash. Will keep updating. keep em coming. peace.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 07:10 PM
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-Melissa
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and the cats
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2010, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Yesterday i got for a walk with my girlfriend and Rex after this week of training, and dog in presence of my gf was pulling constantly. tough i dunno if this is due to a place crowded, my girlfriend, or just a bad day. any hints?
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