leash corrections and submission. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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leash corrections and submission.

I had previosuly typed this yup but it seems not to have saved itself.

I am writing about leash corrections. I have a ten month old intact male.

I have introduced leash corrections with him recently. this is because I have found it hard to walk with him and for him to just to walk comfortably without lunging at something, or just generally getting distracted by other things.

Dante has improving drive for tug, super drive for tug, and good food drive. when these rewards are on offer, he will happily and eagerly walk with me (especially for food and kong).

However I feel like I am bribing with him, there are times when we are walking or out in public when he will not take these bribes and will go lunging after another dog or something.

So I have been using leash corrections. My system is: He pulls on the lead, I say NO, if he doesnt correct himself, I give him a tug on the leash and say "walk". I will increase the strength of the correction if he does not conform to it.

With this method he has been beginning to walk more comfortably and its nice.

BUT, its killing his drive during the walk. It sort of defeats him when I correct him like this, but it works, it makes him walk.

another issue is that when we are walking, he might notice a smell or something else, and i say NO and give him a tug, but its just not enough to snap him out of it. so i have to use it with more force to wake him up.

When he does conform and is focused on walking, I will give him a game or a treat so he can learn that by conforming something good come out of it.

I like to keep this 'corrective walking session" completely separate from another session, which is pure play and happy.

His kong game remains unaffected, but something is different about him, he is less vibrant or something.

I must admit and repent that on two occasions he hasnt walked and its made me frustrated and I have yanked the lead with more force, and ive done it out of frustration and its made him submit and shut down a little bit. I feel guilty for this.

Dante finds it difficult to behave well when out in public and there are other dogs to meet. for example we were at a cafe in the weekend and he would not sit down at my side for long, he was a bit anxious, as there were two other dogs in the seating area and he was trying to get to them.

those other dogs were more indifferent to him however.

it would be nice to have him listen to me in these distracting circumstances, but I dont want to bribe him! and I dont want to hurt him like i have already (so badly) done, as its hurt him already. and it hurts his drive.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 10:48 PM
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Just my reading experience, frustration and anger can hurt drive in some dogs. He's getting excited and you are stopping that with displeasure.
I don't view it as bribing but more of a reward. Use the tools for him if they work. Correct, when needed, not with a yank, but a pop. If that makes sense. Keep moving.

Tonight I walked my 5 mos old. He did really well. I gave a no, then a quick pop and kept walking. I tried to lighten my voice ( not the easiest ) and praised as soon as his attention was off of the distraction. I use treats. It seems that I've got treat remnants in all my pockets now...
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhrmfirefox View Post
I had previosuly typed this yup but it seems not to have saved itself.

I am writing about leash corrections. I have a ten month old intact male.

I have introduced leash corrections with him recently. this is because I have found it hard to walk with him and for him to just to walk comfortably without lunging at something, or just generally getting distracted by other things.

Dante has improving drive for tug, super drive for tug, and good food drive. when these rewards are on offer, he will happily and eagerly walk with me (especially for food and kong).

However I feel like I am bribing with him, there are times when we are walking or out in public when he will not take these bribes and will go lunging after another dog or something.

So I have been using leash corrections. My system is: He pulls on the lead, I say NO, if he doesnt correct himself, I give him a tug on the leash and say "walk". I will increase the strength of the correction if he does not conform to it.

With this method he has been beginning to walk more comfortably and its nice.

BUT, its killing his drive during the walk. It sort of defeats him when I correct him like this, but it works, it makes him walk.

another issue is that when we are walking, he might notice a smell or something else, and i say NO and give him a tug, but its just not enough to snap him out of it. so i have to use it with more force to wake him up.

When he does conform and is focused on walking, I will give him a game or a treat so he can learn that by conforming something good come out of it.

I like to keep this 'corrective walking session" completely separate from another session, which is pure play and happy.

His kong game remains unaffected, but something is different about him, he is less vibrant or something.

I must admit and repent that on two occasions he hasnt walked and its made me frustrated and I have yanked the lead with more force, and ive done it out of frustration and its made him submit and shut down a little bit. I feel guilty for this.

Dante finds it difficult to behave well when out in public and there are other dogs to meet. for example we were at a cafe in the weekend and he would not sit down at my side for long, he was a bit anxious, as there were two other dogs in the seating area and he was trying to get to them.

those other dogs were more indifferent to him however.

it would be nice to have him listen to me in these distracting circumstances, but I dont want to bribe him! and I dont want to hurt him like i have already (so badly) done, as its hurt him already. and it hurts his drive.

Why would you want drive on a walk? This makes no sense and is unreasonable to expect of the dog.
What you want on the walk is compliance and reliability. For this all you need is pressure via leash and training collar (prong is best followed by choke).

When you want to create focused drivey heeling for sport you can use toys, food, clickers or whatever to make for the prancing and happy tail.
This is not very applicable or even necessary in the real world but it is fun.

Where people run into issues is when they try to make one the same as the other.
Use different commands example: Heel vs Foose

Make the expectations and training different for these seperate behaviours and you will get the picture you want in both behaviours.

Expecting your dog to go for a 1/2 hour to 45 minute walk like its a schutzhund trial is were you are running into issues.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2016, 12:08 AM
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Walking should be enjoyable for both of you. Let him stop, sniff and smell.
As your dog ages it will go through stages where for a while a bribe will work, if it doesn't then a correction. You can go back and forth. Ideally once your dog starts to mature, maybe around 18-24 months, you probably won't need either

At this adolescent age, my preference was to use a prong collar and learn how to "pop" it effectively when needed. I love to walk and never had a corrective walking session with my dog. If the opportunity came up, we would correct or give treat depending on the phase my dog was in, also just simply putting yourself between the distraction and your dog helps along with allowing for a lot of room - walking in the street or crossing the street as you pass the human or other dog.

Your dog not behaving in the cafe is typical at this age. Always have your dog well exercised and tired before going to cafes. Bring treats to share with your dog when dining out.Make him want to look forward to going, happy memories. Use the prong, and remember he is a teenager, were you always well behaved as one?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2016, 01:32 PM
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Your pup is 10 mos and you expect him to lie by your side at a cafe? For more than 30 seconds? With other dogs near? Reality check for the handler, please.


What worked for me for walking in a city was to go out late in the evening when there were few other folks out. We could walk for a bit (sniff, explore, etc.) then maybe work for a few paces (10 to 20) then back to walk a bit. To get her used to traffic as in vehicles were not to be eaten, I would carry high value treats, take her to the side (often a foot or so into someone's driveway) have her sit and look at me to get the treat. Can work with other dogs if they are on lead, too. Did this until a fire truck could go by with sirens on and the dog gave it no heed. Then we were ready to walk in daylight but could exit back if warrented.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2016, 04:31 PM
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Are you using a prong collar, or are you correcting him this way with a flat collar.

IF you are using a prong AND you are noticing a change in behavior that seems to be a shut down in his personality, then yes, you probably are giving too strong a correction. Probably. It is hard to say without seeing it.

By ten months of age, treats should be only for learning new tasks. For walking the dog should be under voice rewards. If something is more exciting than you are, you need to be more engaging than you are being if you want for him to stay with you. Don't nag. Repeating commands, and annoying little tugs will teach your dog that ignoring you is ok. If you are going with corrections, Give the dog a command, one time, give him a moment to comply, and then correct, not a silly tug, but an Eh! with a correction, and move on with him. When he is back where he should be and walking nicely, praise, Good WALK, but be careful to temper it so as not to get him to break it out of excitement for doing it right.

What I would do, is a lot more work without the distractions, and then I would take him back out, but only require the HEEL command for sections where the distractions are fewer and farther between. I would build up to the perfect, comfortable walk I want with the dog. Usually, my HEEL command is for the ring, and for walking across streets. At other times, I just won't tolerate being pulled. Loose lead is fine.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2016, 04:40 PM
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Hi. I agree with the others who posted here...the walk should be enjoyable for both you and your dog.
In my opinion, the daily walk is the most important thing for a dog and his owner.
Begin and end the walk on a positive note.

I get that you become frustrated when your dog refuses to cooperate and i also understand when you say that your dog shuts down when you make a correction or when you become frustrated.

I understand because I've had the same exact experience with my GSD, Finn.

If you can, try and find a reputable trainer and sign up for basic obedience class.

My pup was awful on walks, so much so that I had a private consult with a good trainer.
The 1st thing he did was fit Finn with the H, Sprenger Prong Collar. Then he showed me how to use it to make corrections on walks and during training.

During the basic obedience classes I learned how to control Finn on leash. I learned how to walk with him at a heel. And most important I learned how to get him to ignore other dogs, people and other distractions during our walks.
basic obedience class is the best investment I've ever made as a dog owner.

Your dog is still very young. He is probably a bit confused as to what you expect from him.
A good trainer can teach you how to make good and well timed corrections that are just a pop of the leash...your dog will understand that type of correction,
quick and effective, then you're on your merry way.

Praise him for every tiny little thing that he does that shows he's learning good social skills.
Finn is 21 months now and he still slips up now and then, but I've learned how to redirect him. Every day is training day but the work you put into your dog is well worth it.

Good luck and take care.

Last edited by Findlay; 05-11-2016 at 04:43 PM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2016, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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thank you for this sound advice.

Note, i dont want him to be in drive during the walk! I want him to be in drive when we play a game. not when walking. I was worried that, by making him submit during a walk, then if done improperly it might kill his drive, at the time when we do play the game which aims to generate his drive. WALK and HEEL are two different commands. one i want him to be submissive and calm, and HEEL is where he is focused and there is drive.

what I have been afraid of is too many corrections, I dont want him to submit and just be defeated...i wouldnt want him to be afraid of me...ive seen dominating owners who's dogs are just avoiding punishment and doing things not because they want to do them. These dogs dont think and they seem dull to me. like they are a light which has been turned down and is now dim. this is the LAST thing I want.

However I have noticed an improvement since writing beginning this thread. He understands what 'NO' means better now. and I am improving my timing in corrections.

he doesnt behave when around other dogs, but he is definately improving.

Last night at our dog club, he was very jumpy but I changed my tone and was more assertive with him. he began to listen more and was good.

i understand that Dante at 10 months old is still a young adolescent, I will do my best to go at his pace.

thank you for the advice!
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2016, 05:23 AM
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In one sense the dog doesn't know whats been asked of it. And so when it gets a correction it doesn't like it and looses some trust. Sometimes you just need to make an impact and then rework the relationship.

One method of teaching a dog subtly to walk well on leash is Tyler Mutos method. Using a prong and a long line in a controlled environment and mixing in the place command.

What I do is mix up the walk to make it more interesting for the dog so it is less likely to be distracted by sights and smells.

So your walking up a street, practice to turn around and go back the way way you came. Practice walking a little bit and asking dog to sit. Walk a bit more and do it again. Increase pace into a jog. Slow down to make your walk really slow . Stop cross the street. Walk around items like bins or lamposts. Stamping feet can get dogs attention when he looses it and a swift turn reminds the dog to follow you. Be creative and the dog should improve. It is different that simply walking straight down the street with dog pulling towards distractions.

Basically you are making the walk unpredictable. Always gauge will there be something that distracts the dog and go towards it but stay at a distance and go back and come back a bit closer desensitizing the dog to it and always reminding him that you are in control.

By keeping your distance the dog may be still more inclined to want food or toy rewards or verbal praise and not go over threshold into re activity.

Also check can the dog hurt his neck pulling on leash. I like a thick collar fitted tight under the chin and a relatively short leash. Not giving the dog a chance to get away. Allowing a dog to smell lampposts is giving him a chance to be distracted and always looking for the scents and wanting to mark. So you can cut it out. And just allow that when he is free'd to go pee or whatever.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2016, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Dante did really well this morning during he walked our of respect when i told him to. not because he might get a reward out of it. He did it last night too. I think it is because I am being more assertive with him.


We have chickens on our property and they escaped their pen this morning. I was able to say NO...WALK, this morning, in a confident way and he just paused for a second, and then started to WALK and stopped being interested in the chickens who were running about. I was happy about this! then we just walked and he stood by my side. then I said "GO PLAY" which is a release word. and he just and hung about in the forest and did his own thing, but stayed relatively close to me. then i said DANTE...WALK...and he stopped what he was doing and began to WALK.

I think as i am developing as a handler. I know that there is a difference between an assertive leader and a punishing dictator. the line between these two things is something i have been aware is not so clear cut, and for a while i have been erring on the side of caution and in case of entering the 'dictator' territory...because its possible to ruin the relationship you have with your dog by being forceful. but i have been trying a bit hard in the past, and not even being assertive with him. (this has been the general rule).

but my coach noticed that i might say the words, but i dont mean what i say, and my dog gets unsure as to what I want. My coach is really assertive yet calm and dogs respect him.

So I am learning to be more assertive with him and its paying off which is good. But i will continue to be mindful of not being a punishing dictator and will also be mindful of when i get frustrated! this is a balance i am learning about.


it helps too when i am mindful of my breathing and my own emotions, really hope i can raise a good boy!!
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