Having trouble with bolting and spazzing when seeing the leash - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2012, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Having trouble with bolting and spazzing when seeing the leash

Ever since I brought Sasha home a year ago she has had to wait to go out doors and what not. She will do this. If I tell her to stay she will sit there until I tell her either "Ok" or "Let's go". She's very very good about this. The problem is once I release her she bolts...kind of defeating the purpose. If I have her on a leash when I'm doing this she'll run full force to the end of the leash. My question is how do I teach an "Easy" or "Slow" command?

My other problem is when I grab the leash she freaks out. She starts jumping, knocking stuff over, spinning, and nothing I can do will make her settle down. I've tried correcting her. I've tried making her sit, and she will sit, but as soon as she's released from the sit it just starts all over. She just flings her body all over the place, and over all just spazzes out. This is something that started once we moved to our apartment. When we lived with my mom this was not a problem. She was happy to see the leash then, tail wag and what not, but she didn't go nuts. Normally she gets walked or some sort of exercise at least once a day (she's going through hear worm treatment right now so she gets no exercise, which has only made all of these tendencies worse) so it's not like seeing the leash is so rare that she has to get crazy excited about it. She also goes with me pretty much everywhere and is always on a leash for that, so there again it's not like it's a rare treat.

I've tried waiting her out on this and it can't be done. She will do it no matter how long you stand there. I've also tried sending her to her crate to calm down, and only being allowed to try again once she's calmed. It doesn't matter. She'll sorta calm down in the crate, but as soon as you let her out she starts right back in with the craziness.

It's really starting to drive me nuts (especially the latter problem). She's a pretty good girl other than that, so I guess I shouldn't complain, but she's just a disaster when it comes to putting her on the leash. I get tired of having to clean up a mess before I leave because she's knocked everything over, or get mauled just trying to get out the door.

~Sasha~{GSD}~ 3ish~Gotcha day January, 29, 2011
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2012, 03:11 PM
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You want to desensitize her to the leash being picked up. Right now "Leah Picked Up" = "Going Outside!!!!!"

So, you would pick up the leash, carrying it around for a few minutes then set it down and continue on doing whatever you were doing. TOTALLY ignore any reactions from the dog.

After about 15 minutes pick up the leash again, carry it around for a few minutes then put it back down.

Repeat continuously throughout the day.

You are teaching her that picking up the leash doesn't ALWAYS mean going outside.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2012, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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I will for sure try that. Then do you think the same principle would carry over to when the leash is attached? What I mean is, could I desensitize her to it being attached by say, attaching it but not always taking her out on when I attach it to her? So sometimes she could just drag it around for a bit. Sometimes I could walk her inside the apartment from one room to another. Sometimes we just walk down the hall to get my mail, and sometimes we actually go outside on it. Does that sound like a reasonable extension of your desensitization principle?

~Sasha~{GSD}~ 3ish~Gotcha day January, 29, 2011
~Monte~{Golden Retriever}~ (RIP)~ 1997-2009

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2012, 03:31 PM
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My girl does the same thing. I tried now for three years to desensitize her to it and nothing has worked. I have touched the leash as I pass by the hall every single time, and so much more but to her it is still a reason to spazz out. So I just wanted to say I feel your pain and wish you good luck!

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2012, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Not only is it a pain in the rear it's kind of embarrassing when other people get to witness my complete lack of control when it comes to her and the leash thing. I know that's stupid, but I've seen the way people look at her like she's some sort of out of control nut (which I can see why they would draw that conclusions, but on the whole of her existence it's simply false.). It's also kind of painful since while she's being rammy she has a tendency to accidentally hurt me.

~Sasha~{GSD}~ 3ish~Gotcha day January, 29, 2011
~Monte~{Golden Retriever}~ (RIP)~ 1997-2009

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 11:17 PM
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You may have the solution when you mentioned having her drag around a leash inside. Try a very short one - even cut down an old leash - no more than a foot long. Do this after she is tired -not fresh in the morning. First attach it to a flat collar then put it on her - let her wear it. When it time for her walk - but first out of her sight - put her regular leash in your pocket. Call her to you. Have her sit - pick up the short leash - walk her on heel around the apartment then circle to the door - open the door have her on heel go down the hallway a bit - turn around go back inside - go out the door again but go down the hallway - then stop have her sit - attach the other leash on and go for the walk. You also could try putting her regular leash on her but don't take her for a walk outside but instead have her follow you around inside - practice her heeling - do a sit/stay - then reward her for being a good dog - unhook the leash and stay inside. After a while - repeat. The goal is for her to get the idea that the leash doesn't always mean fun/walk time. Good luck!


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 11:35 PM
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Im in complete agreement with Mary Beth's treatment plan. However if she is bolting on the leash you can use no pull harnesses to help by giving you a bit more control. You could desensitize her to the no pull harness while desensitizing her to the lead.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewbieShepherdGirl View Post
Thanks. Not only is it a pain in the rear it's kind of embarrassing when other people get to witness my complete lack of control when it comes to her and the leash thing. I know that's stupid, but I've seen the way people look at her like she's some sort of out of control nut (which I can see why they would draw that conclusions, but on the whole of her existence it's simply false.). It's also kind of painful since while she's being rammy she has a tendency to accidentally hurt me.

It's not stupid.
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