Please critique my training method. Will it work? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Please critique my training method. Will it work?

Cydney is 13 months old now, and only walks without pulling on the leash when there are NO distractions around. If there is a car, a leaf, a toy, anything around, she will pull nonstop. When she pulls, I stop walking immediately and have her sits, or do a sharp change of direction. After she sits and calm down, I give the command to start walking again. If the distraction is still there, she bolts off at a full sprint; I've barely taken one step and we have to stop again. For what its worth, I'm using a fursaver collar.

My new plan of attack and only success, so far, is to place her absolute favorite toy (the end of a vacuum cleaner hose) about 10'-15' away from her. Then completely cover my hand in peanut butter and keep it in front of her, as a distraction, while we walk towards the toy. When she pulls, I take my peanut butter hand away, and we start over again. It take 5-6 tries before we can make it the 10'. Gradually, I'll start increasing the distance to the toy.

This has literally been the only way I can get a single step in, before she starts pulling. Eventually, do you think this will work? Or is it just distracting her, from the actual distraction, and not teaching her that pulling will get her no where? Teaching her not to pull, has been the only thing I can not figure out how to do. In fact, its the only reason she did not pass as therapy dog. Thankfully, we can retest!!

I am open to any and all suggestions. Thanks for reading this!

John

Cydney vom Rebel Yelle


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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 04:57 PM
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My thought on these situation is always the same only because it works for me. When puppies reach the fear stage they get ski-dish sometimes at trucks, horns, lawnmowers, whatever. I run with my dog so the distraction goes by must faster and they don't have time to react. You keep your eyes out and you try to see and hear before the dog does so you can give the dog praise and build it's confidence all at the same time. Besides dogs love to run / trot
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 05:11 PM
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I've tried stopping and sitting, and changing directions, and they didn't work nearly as well for me as "penalty yards" - walking backwards, pulling the dog gently towards me each time it pulls. I mark and treat when they get to me and then start walking briskly forward again.

Every time she forges ahead she's going to get further and further away from what she's pulling towards. I decide what my criteria is going to be and then I stick to it. For me, that's a loose leash, one to two feet from my side, with anything from the dog's head to about mid-rib cage next to my leg. If the flank is next to my leg, backwards we go. If I know or can see that the dog is interested in checking something out, I'll stop and ask for a sit and eye contact, and then release to "go sniff", so she can sometimes get to do what she wants, as long as she does what I want first. I also do what could be called the "wedding march", where we take a single step, stop and sit, a single step, stop and sit, over and over and over again. If you practice this in low distraction areas, even walking through your house, she'll learn that there's no point in pulling because you're only going to go on step at a time. From there you'd work up to two steps, do that for awhile, and then three steps, etc. Even on normal leash walks (which for me are ALWAYS training walks) I like to throw in a lot of stops with automatic sits, and to practice right and left about face turns for practice.

There are a couple threads where I talk about the loose leash walking methods I used to great success with Halo, let me see if I can find one.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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She definitely not fearful of her toys, nor does she exhibit any signs of fear of the distractions I spoke of earlier.
And, I can't run with her through a hospital full of sick people...

Cydney vom Rebel Yelle


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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 05:17 PM
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have you tried using a prong collar?

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Debbie, I like the wedding march idea! I think my problem with the penalty yards will be, I can't get half way through a step before she reaches the end of the leash.

Cydney vom Rebel Yelle


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 05:20 PM
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Here you go: https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...g-monster.html

Great techniques on this site, I used most of them: Leash Walking | Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle | Dog and Puppy Tips from Seattle |

And links to another method that I used too: https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...h-walking.html

-Debbie-
Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
Cassidy 6/8/00-10/4/04
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmac93 View Post
Debbie, I like the wedding march idea! I think my problem with the penalty yards will be, I can't get half way through a step before she reaches the end of the leash.
You have to be very, VERY patient! She's a smart girl, it won't take her that long to figure out that the more she pulls, the further away she gets. You can set this up around the house by putting her fav toy across the room, or a bowl of dog biscuits, whatever she might find interesting. And then start walking her towards it. It might take you 15 or 20 minutes to get close enough to ask for a sit and then reach down and give her a treat from the bowl or to give her the toy to play with, but stick it out. The more consistent you can be, the better.

-Debbie-
Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
Cassidy 6/8/00-10/4/04
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Debbie, I'll check out those links!

FYI, When she was younger, it took me 2 hours and 45 min to walk across the front lawn, because she would start pulling immediately, and we would do the start and start thing. My house is less than 50' to the road! It took weeks of this to get her to walk any distance with out pulling, with no distractions around...

Cydney vom Rebel Yelle


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Last edited by jmac93; 12-18-2010 at 05:33 PM.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 06:07 PM
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She needs to learn self-control and impulse inhibition - no more Mr. Nice Guy, John! I second a prong, and start showing her that the wrong choice of action will have new consequences.

I'm all for positive training, and using distractions, but you have tried a bazillion methods and haven't gone anywhere.

I really doubt that distracting her will work at this point. She needs black and white communication of what is acceptable, and what is not. If she walks nice on leash when there are no distractions proves that she KNOWS what is expected from her when walking on leash. The fact that she still pulls and lunges like a maniac when there are distractions, means she needs proofing - you proof what she knows amid the distraction of traffic and blowing leaves.

Get a prong collar and a pocket full of treats. Treat her for walking nice, the prong collar will be a clear cue to her as to what is "not" walking nice. It can be a great teaching tool and most dogs will graduate from a prong to a flat.

I could absolutely NOT walk my rescue despite OB classes and daily attempts, she was a lot like your girl. I resisted the prong because they look so intimidating, boy, wish I had used one AGES ago, would have saved me a lot of grief, and would have taught my rescue about leash walking in a clearer, more direct way.

And I think you might have a bit of a hard time holding the leash if you have peanut butter all over your hand.

Lucia


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