Loose leash Walking - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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Loose leash Walking

I had to use a prong with my last dog, but I'd like to try to avoid having to use one with my next one. I know of many ways to work on loose leash walking without a training collar... stop and wait every time they pull, pivot turns, using treats, etc., but I was wondering what method you guys recommend for starting with an 8 wk old puppy. Which method(s) did you/are you using with your young puppies? Why did you use said method, or why didnt you use other methods? How long did it take for your pup to walk nicely on the leash? What do you wish you had/hadn't done? Did you/Are you planning to train this pup in anything else as well (ex. Schutzhund/IPO, personal protection, agility, etc.)?

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 02:34 PM
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How you teach a dog depends on so many things. The dog, you, your goals to name a few.
Walks for my dogs are recreational outings and done for the dog, not so much me. What I allow may be vastly different from what you allow. In general puppies are compliant by nature so with most pups it's pretty simple to lure them into position. If you are fortunate enough to be in an area where it is possible most puppies do best starting off leash, not everyone gets that luxury. What I can tell you is that a) the earlier you teach them to fight the leash, the more serious they get about it and b) even a fairly young puppy can out run the average human so safety first.
I dislike the idea of training puppies, so again my ideas are different from yours. I would never ask an 8 week old puppy to do more then play and explore on a leash.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 03:00 PM
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Just out of curiosity, why do you not like training puppies?
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 03:07 PM
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Just out of curiosity, why do you not like training puppies?

It's just a personal choice. I have found over the years that puppies often grow into better rounded, more reliable companions if the focus for the first while is on bonding. It's not really that I don't train them, it's just a different style. They learn rules, they learn manners, we work on sit and come, but I allow them to grow and develop before I ask for any more.

I never did more then ground work with young horses either and many of the horses that I raised never had a rider up before age 4 or 5.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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With a young puppy, all I care about is pulling. As long as she's not pulling, I'm happy. I've seen way too many dogs grow up into godawful pullers, so I want to start working on not pulling asap and try to avoid needing to use a training collar on walks

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 03:29 PM
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With a young puppy, all I care about is pulling. As long as she's not pulling, I'm happy. I've seen way too many dogs grow up into godawful pullers, so I want to start working on not pulling asap and try to avoid needing to use a training collar on walks

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So with a young puppy I would start in a safe area off leash and lure and reward for staying beside you, add the leash once the behavior is ingrained.

With pups that are more independent I have found that hiding once or twice when they wander is crazy effective at teaching them to stay close.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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So with a young puppy I would start in a safe area off leash and lure and reward for staying beside you, add the leash once the behavior is ingrained.

With pups that are more independent I have found that hiding once or twice when they wander is crazy effective at teaching them to stay close.
I can probably do that inside, but unfortunately there is nowhere nearby that I can have my dog off leash

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 04:16 PM
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I can probably do that inside, but unfortunately there is nowhere nearby that I can have my dog off leash

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I'm usually in the same boat. In that case use a longer leash and try to keep it as an afterthought. By that I mean avoid using it to direct the puppy whenever possible. Remember the less you teach it to fight the less it will fight.

My condo had a large unfinished basement that I used for a lot of basic training, not sure what your set up is.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 04:36 PM
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Gsds do need a safe place to trot around,explore, and run freely.Only walking along at a human's snail pace just isn't sufficient.When I lived in Dallas with a gsd there were many fields tucked away behind and next to buildings where I could safely exercise my dogs.That's the case in any city I've lived in.We have to get creative sometimes
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 05:07 PM
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I take my puppies to safe places, parks, hiking trails,isolated areas of parking lots, etc., places with no car traffic. I walk them off leash, they follow, that is what puppies do. When they get a little older, I duck behind a tree on occasion, watch but don't move, they come looking for you real fast and it is an easy way to teach them to check back in with you. As a rule, I don't introduce my dogs to leashes until after one year.

Walking them off leash mitigates excitement, frustration and other behaviors that are inadvertently encouraged with early leash walking.
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