Leash training - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Leash training

I was looking for some advice on lease training and harnesses.

My girl does not like collars at all and if I put one her she just starts scratching.

If I put a leash on her she just bites the lease and scratches.

I know she is too young for walks, etc. The only reason I was trying this was because we are going on a car trip and when I take her to go to the bathroom I was not sure I wanted her off leash.

Then I realized if she does not like it this much then I probably need to start teaching her now.

She is almost 10 weeks old.

Last edited by Cassidy's Mom; 02-22-2019 at 08:20 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 04:26 PM
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Start out by just attaching the leash and collar in the house and letting her drag the leash around. Distract her by playing with her. Doing a few short sessions of this should help her start getting used to the leash and collar being on

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 04:37 PM
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The more we focus on things the more our dogs do.
Don't make it a big thing and it will not be. She does not need either at this point, certainly no leash. She scratches at the collar because it is an unfamiliar sensation. Just put it on her and leave it. Only under supervision, never leave a collar on her when you are not watching. Don't make a thing out of it and she won't either.

If she must be leashed outside try to avoid directing her with it. What you are doing at this point is attempting to keep it slack and encouraging her to come to you and follow you on her own.

Last edited by Sabis mom; 02-22-2019 at 04:40 PM.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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I started trying this training. Nala hates it. She does not scratch a lot but whenever I put it on her she acts depressed and whines.

She wont play with any of her toys or do much of anything. It does calm her down but it is sad.

I'm not sure how long to keep the leash on her at a time and how long it will take for her to act normally with it on her.

She will sit down and chew a bone but nothing very active like chase a ball or do tug o war.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 09:56 PM
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What are you trying to accomplish? You risk sending conflicting messages here and picking a fight where there shouldn't be one.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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I just want her to learn to have a collar and leash, for when she is old enough to go on a walk. I guess I can teach it later, if that is better.

I am not sure I understand what conflicting messages I am sending. Could you clarify?

It seems to me that if I start now or if I start in a few months, it would be the same.

I figured if she learned in the house, I could work on walking on a leash in the house as part of training etc.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 10:52 PM
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You are indicating that it makes you unhappy that she stays quiet with a leash on, but do you really want to teach her that she should be playing on her leash?
I feel like a lot of the problems we face we are actually creating ourselves. If you don't want the leash and collar to be a big deal then don't make them a focus for her. Keep them just a fact of life. We put the leash and collar on and go outside. That's it.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 11:01 PM
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I don't know if this will help or not but if I could sum up my suggestions it would be keep it fun and don't make a big deal about it.

Something like this. Start playing with your puppy with no collar or leash on. Back away from her while being excited and calling her name and she should naturally follow you. I'm not talking about formal obedience training. Just a fun puppy game of I'm-gonna-get-you. Praise and treat (don't have to treat every time). Bring out her favorite toy and interact with her. Again, make it fun. What you are building is your relationship with your puppy. When they come to you fun things happen and you get excited and they get praised and pet and sometimes treats. Make that a common thing that just randomly happens a few minutes at a time throughout the day.

After that relationship is established you can try to put on the collar in the middle of a play session. Don't make a big deal about it. The collar can be too loose and she can back out of it at first. Find a collar you can put on in few seconds--you don't want to have to fuss with threading a buckle. As soon as the collar is on, continue the same games. If she is engaged in play she hopefully won't notice the collar. Play for a few minutes. Take the collar off without making a production out of it.

If that works you can add a leash to the collar at some point. Worry about training for a walk later. If she trusts you and you are the source of all things fun and exciting then sneaking in things she might be wary of or not like so much becomes easier. If you formally stand over her, make her sit, snap on the collar, and walk away it is easy for her to focus on it and scratch and pout and whatnot.

A lot of words to say make it fun and don't make a big deal about it. The above is just one example of how you could do that.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 10:18 AM
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When my dog sees me put my black Nike sneakers on, it brings him joy ( walk! )
When he sees me put poop bags in my pocket, it brings him joy ( walk! )
Ditto for collar/leash...
Anything that is usually followed by a pleasant experience, will get a happy association with it.
So if you follow wearing her collar with pleasant experiences, she should soon look forward to putting it in and wearing it...

And another thought is, if you just leave it on long enough, she should just get used to it and even forget she is wearing it (provided it is not too tight, not too heavy, etc)?

She is a cutie!

Rumo ~ rescue shepherd/husky mix
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 11:42 AM
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This is why I always put a handkerchief / bandana around my puppies neck from day 1.
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