Help!!!!!!!! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2016, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Help!!!!!!!!

I have a question for anyone who might have an answer or suggestion.
I have a 10 week old GS puppy. I wake up at 530 every morning to walk her for an hour and then another hour after work at 6 pm. I started out with a martingale collar and then switched to a gentle leader. We've been using the gentle leader for about 2 weeks now, fairly sucessfully. When we go to leave our property, she'll stop and pull backwards. So I turn to face her keeping the leash tight until she takes a step forward and then release the tension which seems to work pretty well. Once we get accross the street she's almost perfect, staying right at my heal on the right side. She doesn't pull forward at all but she might stop once or twice to protest. We live in a downtown neighborhood on a grid setting so I try to take her on a different route every few days or so, but no matter which direction we go, as soon as we turn for home she pulls ahead.
At first I thought she was just too hot in the evening and eager to get back to the air condition/water. I read a few articles that say you should make them "work" for their food and to wait until after a walk to feed them, so I wait until after our morning walk to feed her breakfast. Is it possible that she's pulling on the way home because she associates the end of the walk with food? Or would it be something completely different pertaining to leadership roles?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2016, 06:46 PM
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She's probably looking forward to getting that gentle leader off her face.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2016, 07:06 PM
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How hot is it where you live and how hot is that pavement she is walking on?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2016, 07:15 PM
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Do you have a yard or grassy area where you can spend time instead of just a formal style walk?A very short,fun walk with some stop and sniff around time would be more enjoyable for you both.Check out Gatordog's video in the Pictures! forum for fun engagement training for you and your puppy.Can't get it to link.The thread is Burn von Feuergarten.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2016, 07:23 PM
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yes, an hour long walk is likely too long for such a young puppy. So she is balking before it even gets started.
Also, gentle leader is not something I would ever put on a puppy that young. Martingale, so that you don't have to worry about her pulling free, and lots of happy reinforcement.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2016, 07:35 PM
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An hour of formal walking is a lot for a ten week old! I would cut down the daily walks to less than half an hour each, and spend the remaining time playing (preferably outside in your yard or a park).

I am an advocate of making pups work for their food. However, I don't think that the puppy is likely to make the connection between walking nicely on the lead and getting a meal afterwards. Working for their food means getting fed kibble DURING the walk, to reward good behavior (quiet walking with no pulling). The dog pulling towards home, IMO, is likely a combination of being overtired from the walk, as well as anticipation of the meal. I see this with horses a lot. They will crowd the gate and beg to come inside because they know there is food waiting for them in the stall. Not a big stretch of the imagination that a dog would exhibit the same behavior.

Instead of dealing with a puppy pulling you towards their breakfast/dinner, I would take the meal with you. Dog does not get fed unless it walks home quietly without pulling. If it starts pulling, change direction and walk the other way. When they get the idea to stop pulling, the food magically appears! Yippee!

As an aside, I don't personally love gentle leaders for dogs this young. Their movements tend to me more erratic, making neck injury a concern. At this age and size, I prefer a no-pull harness instead. But I know that some people do like them and use them successfully, so to each their own!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2016, 08:03 PM
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Personally, I won't consider a Gentle Leader or a no-pull harness. Both have been linked to serious injury. My vet won't let anyone enter the building with a dog on a head halter.

The No-Pull Debate | Whole Dog Journal

The Problem With Head Halters | Relationship Centered Dog Training by Suzanne Clothier
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2016, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vala View Post
I read a few articles that say you should make them "work" for their food and to wait until after a walk to feed them, so I wait until after our morning walk to feed her breakfast. Is it possible that she's pulling on the way home because she associates the end of the walk with food? Or would it be something completely different pertaining to leadership roles?
Nothing to do with leadership. She's 10 weeks old - a baby. She's probably hungry, and leash skills take some time to train, so I doubt she understands what you expect of her.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2016, 10:23 PM
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like others have said... its 10 weeks old. dont worry about leash manners right now. i would focus on training her in the house using her daily kibble. teach her sit, down, recall, and place all using food. let her do her own on the walk for now. when she gets to be about 16 weeks you can introduce her to a prong collar (properly, dont just put it on and take her for a walk) and start teaching her to heel.

i've got some videos about the prong collar and how to introduce it to your dog if you're interested. how to dog training videos can be found here

and theres plenty more videos on youtube.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2016, 10:36 PM
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She's a baby. I agree with getting the head halter off of her and throw it in the garbage can.

When a dog pulls on a flat collar, the pressure is on the front of its throat. When he pulls on a martingale, it is around the neck. When a dog pulls on a martingale his neck can come out of alignment. If you slip and jerk that leash, the puppy's spine will most likely be jarred and out of alignment. They just aren't safe and they aren't friendly/gentle for your dog either. They aren't even safe, because dogs can and have slipped them.

Dogs generally do not mind prong collars (not suggesting this, especially at 10 weeks), chokers, flat collars or martingales. But they HATE head halters like the gentle leader. Yes, you are guiding the dog's head instead of his neck/shoulders, and yes, for the most part the dog will not pull because he can't pull you down the street with his head. But he may try, and put himself out of alignment, and if you just once forget and give a leash correction -- the dog will most likely suffer damage.

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