Question about heeling and loose leash - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-04-2013, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Question about heeling and loose leash

I want to start over with the heel based on the "focus" and other advice I've found on this site (thank you!)

I still want to be able to walk Cooper, but I did not realize that I'm probably making a mess of the heel command by expecting him to heel the whole time and having to correct the whole time. I think he doesn't understand what I want but I don't want to confuse him more when I start from scratch again. He will either try to walk too far ahead or walk into me.

My idea is to start from scratch at a park and work on loose leash and heeling. I understand that heel is going to take time, but that loose leash should be easier to pick up.

I'm not sure how to proceed so I have questions:
Should I teach loose leash first and then work on heel?
Or can they be taught at the same time/in the same session?
Or should I take him back home after doing some heel practice and then out again to work on loose leash?
Or do I just let him walk however he wants after a few minutes of training on either one?
Or... do I only take him out for a few minutes at a time to work on these and then back home?

My trainer was having us put him in heel the whole walk and then sit and release for potty breaks, but I'm realizing that that probably was supposed to be for very short walks at a time and I need to be able to walk the dog for 30-60 minutes because he's cooped up when I'm at work all day and needs exercise.

3 yo white male GSD, Cooper
9 yo black & tan female GSD, Pepper, RIP
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-04-2013, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Not sure how to edit, but wanted to add that he is on a prong collar.

3 yo white male GSD, Cooper
9 yo black & tan female GSD, Pepper, RIP
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-04-2013, 04:35 PM
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I taught Lisl loose leash first and then worked on heel.

We're still working on heel because she always want to stay one step out in front of me. Instead of her shoulder being at my knee, she has her lower rib cage at my knee.

She is wonderful on loose leash though. We walked back from downtown several weeks ago without even having the leash in my hand and she was wonderful the whole eight blocks back.

I just can't say 'ice cream' or 'Dairy Queen' on a loose or no-lead walk or she'll be there before me.

Bear, Anna, Molly, Ossie, and The Countess Lisl von Schlaf

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-07-2013, 11:13 PM
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If you are asking for focused heeling, with eye contact, you can only expect a limited amount of
paces/ time. You cant take her for a walk around the neighborhood and expect a puppy or dog to do focused heeling for 30 minutes.

If you are walking her for exercise, I would let her walk on a loose 6 foot leash and be free to enjoy her walk.



To teach loose-leash, walking (for exercise/ enjoyment) I correct for pulling with a pop/jerk and use the word "EASY". it means enjoy your freedom, but DO NOT pull me.

To teach Heeling, use motivational methods like food and/or toys. Keep formal Heeling sessions short and exciting.

Teach the two things separately. Drive to the park, work on your formal training, and drive home. No sniffing, no playing with other dogs, or greeting people.Then later take your dog on a nice long walk through the neighborhood, let her enjoy being a dog, as long as she doesnt drag you around.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-07-2013, 11:41 PM
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focused heel around the neighborhood during walks is very unrealistic. when i walk my dog i use the command "easy" which basically means loose leash walking. heel means focused on me and stuck to my hip. why do you need your dog to heel perfectly by your side during your walks? i let mine sniff and do whatever he wants as long as the leash is loose. if i see another person or dog approaching i will make him heel by my side.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2013, 01:42 AM
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I do the same when I want to stop I say who like a sled dog I have been training almost 40 years

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2013, 01:47 AM
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Heel first then praise and take for walk as reward

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2013, 01:55 AM
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For obedience training, I was taught to teach the heel first with GSD on my left in a stand or sit and on command of 'heel' and taking off with my left leg first, we start to go forward. This helped when we started off lead obedience because on command of heel she was at my left and in the right position (not too far forward or back)

When I'm just walking my 2 for exercise and enjoyment, I don't bother with making them heel for the entire walk, they can walk in front of me, behind me, on any side. However, if I want control, then I will give the command to heel.

I haven't confused my 2 yet, we are all happy to walk in a relaxed manner as well as to heel when needed.


if your GSD is eating and eating and eating and losing weight - please consider testing for EPI.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2013, 02:26 AM
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Way to go dogs want to have fun just like we do nobody wants to be under pressure all the time

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2013, 10:07 AM
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Personally, I don't think it needs to be as structured or complicated...

I walk out with my dog, she will likely start to pull a little in the first few minutes, after 1 or 2 sharp turns (as she's about to get to end of leash, I quickly walk in the opposite direction) and she will follow me the rest of the way.
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