Praise driven three year old - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Praise driven three year old

We take Leela on a several mile walk 95% of days. She is three years old. We also have tried to socialize her and take her to the dog park. There, she’s done well so far. We take her to the dog park about six times a month. She’s never bitten anyone or another dog. She is 84 lbs though. She knows all the basic commands but doesn’t care about treats. No one can handle her on a leash but my dad which is why we usually take her to the desert very early in the morning so we don’t bother with it. We all adore her. She is obedient other than her behavior on the leash. How can I make it so others can walk her without getting their arm pulled out of the socket? With love for Leela, Celia
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 10:28 AM
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Take a class in prong collars. My Husky could and did pull through anything. Halti’s, both the one that goes over the muzzle, and the harness version. We tried every no pull collar and harness on the market, along with various training methods, and he would literally rather choke himself out than not pull. We got a prong collar after he showed no response to e-collar are full volume. It too one correction on the prong, and he hasn’t pulled since. We still walk him on the prong, but rarely need to give corrections with it. I had the backup leash and collar, and handed my 9yr old the leash attached to the prong, and even she was able to walk him. I wouldn’t do it without me having the backup though, she’s 9, and no match for a full grown husky on her own.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 10:41 AM
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The dog needs constant and consistent corrections for pulling, which will be long and boring for both you and the dog. The dog gets rewarded for pulling by being able to move forward. I put a prong on our big-boy because he could force forward movement. He seldom pulls now and if he forgets himself I tell him to knock it off and if needed bring him back to me to sit. If he is focused on something he really wants to get to I'll walk into him with my legs and force him to spin around. If he still is focused on the "whateveritis" I'll bring him around again. After 2 or 3 turns he'll usually look up at me and I can praise him heartily and then we can move on with our walk.

It is always about making loose leash walking pleasant and pulling of no use. To make it easier on yourself put on some fun quick music. That way when you walk it will be with gusto and a good pace and if you have to stop to correct pulling, it will be a bigger difference than the fun jaunt you were just having. You can also make it into a kind of dance. Use the music to cue you to make sudden turns that will surprise your dog. You become interesting. Your dog will have to pay attention to keep up with you. A long slow human walk can be very boring for our dogs, which is why they pull, hunting for cool stuff.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Yes you’re right. It is the excitement of the walk and also her wanting to explore new scents. I’ll look into a prong collar.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 10:58 AM
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I would start at home in the house with her on a leash and flat collar. When she releases leash pressure, praise her and walk until she tightens the leash, rinse and repeat. Once that is working out well for you, practice this in another room or start moving toward the door. Once she masters that step, you can move into the backyard and later progess to the front yard, the street in front of your house, in front of your neighbor's house, etc. Learning takes time and patience. I don't like to rely on tools for many reasons. Often the tool is used for control/management and learning never takes place. Equipment can and does fail and things might go terribly wrong for you and your dog if it does. Aversives can do damage to your bond with your dog if she is a soft dog. Your dog is praise responsive, use it to your advantage.

If you need equipment to maintain control of your dog, understand you’re hanging on to your dog’s body because you’ve lost his mind!

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Yes this might be a better option for us because no one has ever been mean to her and she has a great personality and bond with us. It just might not b necessary to use a special collar.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 06:47 PM
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I had good results with a Freedom No-Pull Dog Harness. It worked with a dog who paid no attention to a choke chain. The difference was instant.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by MineAreWorkingline View Post
I would start at home in the house with her on a leash and flat collar. When she releases leash pressure, praise her and walk until she tightens the leash, rinse and repeat. Once that is working out well for you, practice this in another room or start moving toward the door. Once she masters that step, you can move into the backyard and later progess to the front yard, the street in front of your house, in front of your neighbor's house, etc. Learning takes time and patience. I don't like to rely on tools for many reasons. Often the tool is used for control/management and learning never takes place. Equipment can and does fail and things might go terribly wrong for you and your dog if it does. Aversives can do damage to your bond with your dog if she is a soft dog. Your dog is praise responsive, use it to your advantage.
This is a great method to teach what you expect of your pup. I personally found it way too slow. I was impatient to go on nice walks in the neighborhood with my pup. My pup wanted to meet and greet other dogs. He wanted to rush ahead to new and interesting smells. He might have understood loose leash walking but as an immature pup, it took a back seat to adventure. That is why we went with a prong collar. Half way through the walk we would stop and find a place to play obedience games or tug games with fallen branches. It was not all tug-tug-tug. He wears one now when we leave the yard for those rare times when I have to insist "here and no further" or he'd be off chasing deer.

My gal-dog is softer and can usually be fine on a martingale. I might put a prong collar on her neck but I don't always hook it to the leash. It is there in case I need to remind her to pay attention to me in overwhelming distractions, for instance she notices my sweetheart with our big-boy off in the distance.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 10:17 AM
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I use the prong, Dh refuses to as he just doesn’t like them. I’m his primary care giver of everything so at the height of his pulling and Dog reactivity I chose the prong. What my guy learned with that tool while with me transferred beautifully for Dh while walking him on a flat collar. Ultimately what you want is your girl to respond to a verbal correction (easy reminder) before the leash gets tight no matter what collar you choose. What ever tool you use, how you use it determines if it is mean or not.

"If you can't see his soul when you look in his eyes, then you need a seeing-eye dog"

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Celia Coleman View Post
Yes this might be a better option for us because no one has ever been mean to her and she has a great personality and bond with us. It just might not b necessary to use a special collar.
Perhaps if you reframed the way you view a prong, it might help. The prong doesn't facilitate/encourage "meanness." If that's your goal (which I doubt) you could easily accomplish it with a flat collar/lead --- or no collar/lead at all, come to that. Placed and used correctly (this part is key), the prong clarifies your communication (e.g., "Nope, no lunging/pulling; pay attention."). Granted, it's a wicked looking thing, LOL. In reality, I've found that it's no more mean, wicked or punitive than any of the other devices that we use with dogs. It depends on what the handler does. I've also found that the lessons learned with a prong do generalize, over time, to a choke and/or flat collar, as long as you're clear and consistent. If you've little to no experience with a prong, I'd second the recommendation that you find a trainer to show you how to put it on and use it effectively.

I never used a prong before. Enter the Wild Child; no leash manners, no house manners, no nothing. Blew through a flat collar then the choke whilst lunging and barking madly at passing dogs and strangers. So unattractive... First walk with the prong (and a bag of treats) saw immediate improvement. Was she perfect? Heck no! But she was listening....kinda, sorta...and we improved from there.
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