How to teach heeling, fast! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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How to teach heeling, fast!

I need to get my 7 month pup to walk on lead without pulling. I am having ACL reconstructive surgery this coming Friday, and need the children, 12-9+5 years to walk her at least round the block.
I have tried different things, but she just wants to be a sled puller
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 11:22 PM
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Re: How to teach heeling, fast!

Will you be crutching along, or will the kids be alone on the walks?

I wouldn't normally recommend this for a puppy, but for safety reasons, I'd try a prong. Not to teach the heel per se, but to prevent her from being able to drag the kids down the block after a cat, squirrel, etc. Depends on how strong and assertive your 12-year old is, I think. Have you tried a Halti or Gentle Leader?

Is there any way an adult or older kid could walk her for you?

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 11:56 PM
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Re: How to teach heeling, fast!

Heeling isn't the same thing as not pulling. Teaching to heel is NOT something you can do that fast, you need to build up properly on the steps starting with focus.

How bad does the dog pull? I wouldn't want to use a prong with a 7 month old. I personally don't like the headcollars because when the dog does pull it torques the neck. I think the best method for the puppy is teaching them slack lead = forward movement while pullling = no movement. However this isn't a quick method either. If there was another adult to walk the dog I'd be more willing to use a prong, I don't like the idea of prong on a 7 month old dog plus children using it. A prong can be abusive if not used correctly, or not helpful at all. I think this may be what pinkanml was getting at when asking if you would be coming along as well.


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-16-2008, 12:01 AM
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Re: How to teach heeling, fast!

Yes, that was my concern. Like I said, I wouldn't be teaching the dog to heel with the prong (or the headcollars) but just trying to help prevent the dog from being able to drag a kid into the street or something.

It's an awfully short time to teach a reliable heel, so I'd be afraid in any case for the kids to walk her alone.

I think the best thing would be to just have someone else walk her until the owner is fully healed, and then to start teaching "heel" the proper way.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-16-2008, 12:09 AM
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Re: How to teach heeling, fast!

You can buy a Sense-ation harness or an Easy Walk harness. That should help a lot.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-16-2008, 07:18 AM
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Re: How to teach heeling, fast!

If you cannot find a friend or neighbor to help walk the dog with your children, can you hire a dog - walker?

My dog is 10 months old and my daughter is 10.5 years old.
My daughter cannot really handle the dog. Dog is a puller. So I can picture your scenario.

We currently have a quick release prong collar- that is helping.
But it is still a chore to get collars on and off. Can you children do that?

Last question (I promise) Is the purpose of the walk for excercise or is it so the dog can do it's business? Cause perhaps the business end of the deal can be handled through short trips out in the yard and then the dog walking friend/ neighbor/ relative or paid walker person can come on a schedule?

I apologize for my rambling- it's morning and I need to drink more coffee....

Good Luck!

Lorraine
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-16-2008, 08:01 AM
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Re: How to teach heeling, fast!

The Gentle Leader Harness or any of the harnesses that have the clip for the leash on the chest strap will be a godsend for you, your kids and your dog. I've seen huge dogs go from pulling to walking calmly in just one session with no pain, no argument, no stress. The harnesses use quick release buckles, the strap that goes under the belly (at least on the GL harness) is a different color so you can easily see where the straps go, and I find it very easy to put on and take off.

This harness allowed my 80 year old Mom to walk her 95 pound GSD when a prong collar was useless.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2008, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to teach heeling, fast!

Thanks for your answers. I will try to get a Gentle Leader Harness tomorrow, to try it out with her. I was told a harness is what sled dogs use and that a dog can pull really good with them so I stopped using her car harness like one and went back to the collar.
With the snow disappearing, I can go out in a few days and throw a ball for her in our long back yard, and she can 'go' outside any time, but I thought she'd still need a change of scenery, hence a walk. Hopefully my husband will take her out, (it'd be midnight time but oh well), I'll see how it goes. After a few days maybe I can drive to the park and let her go, and then call her park after a while and drive her home again, what a unresponsible dog owner, maybe not then.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to teach heeling, fast!

Hang on...should I try the harness or the collar?
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 06:11 PM
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Re: How to teach heeling, fast!

i would try the gentle leader, if its used properly it shouldn't harm the neck.

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