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So Harley (Akita/GSD mix) is almost 11 months now, weighs about 80lbs and is doing very well as far as obedience goes (IMO). He's been with my girlfriend and I since he was 8 weeks old, and I have really noticed him getting more attached as time goes on. However, there are a few things we still need to work on...

1. Greeting. He LOVES people, but sometimes this can be a problem. If someone comes in the door, he will run up to them and rub along their legs waiting to be pet. If the person doesn't bend down and pet him, he will start to jump on them. This is not ok, and I usually make him go in the other room and won't let him near the person until he calms down. I have tried putting his leash on and having him lay down and then stepping on the leash so he can't get up, but he will end up choking himself (he has a choke collar) and will try to wiggle out of it. This is kind of frustrating for me because he will keep pulling and will act 10x crazier than if he didn't have his leash on. How should I handle this? I want him to just walk up to the person and sit and wait to be pet, but this seems impossible with Harley.

2. Loose leash walking. We go on walks frequently, although not everyday because some days it is just too cold. But when we do go, he has to sniff EVERYTHING and always walks in front of me. I'm young, so I can handle it and give a quick snap and say "no pull" when he starts to pull. But it seems like he is not getting the idea that I don't want him to pull. I have been using the choke collar for about 3 months now, before that he had a flat collar. Sometimes, if he is really pulling, I make him sit and we wait for a minute or two before we proceed. I'm not sure what else I can do to prevent him from pulling. Right now we only have a 4ft leash, but I do have a retractable one. I am reluctant to use it because I want him to learn to walk with a loose leash before I give him all that freedom. Should I just keep on doing the "no pull" and snap, or is there something else I can try?

3. Relaxing. This is only a problem at my house, he knows not to mess with my girlfriend's parent's dog. When Harley is at my house, and he is free to roam the house, he will always try to play with my roommate's dog (5yr old chocolate lab). Normally, if I'm not doing anything important, I will let them play. However, if I want to just sit in the living room and watch TV, Harley will keep pestering my roommate's dog to no end. If he has a bone or something, Harley will be right there next to him barking and trying to grab the bone. Even after Harley gets the bone, and my roommate's dog gets something else to chew on, Harley will be right there next to him again. He can never just leave him alone and chew on his own bone. What should I do if I want him to just relax? I usually say leave it, and have him lay down next to me. But he will army crawl away and then get up and try to play again. Is he just too young to relax with us? I can tell it starts to irritate the other dog, and anyone else in the room who is trying to watch TV. What should I do?

Ultimately, I want to do some off-leash training with Harley this summer, but we really have to practice recall. Any tips for this? I wanted to try out the local dog park, but don't want an out of control dog who won't come back to me. I can imagine nothing is more embarrassing than chasing a dog around a dog park...:eek:
 

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1. I have the same problem with my 10-month-old. The trainer told us to have the pup do opposite of what he wants to do - so he wants to jump, make him sit. We're still a work in progress on this one. I'm hoping some of this improves with age.

2. Are you using a prong with the choke, or just a choke? A prong will help with pulling immensely. If you use a prong, make sure you also have a choke or alternate collar of some kind, just in case the prong comes loose. When you have Harley on his lead, begin walking one direction, if he pulls out in front of you, give a collar correction as you turn yourself around and walk the other direction. After doing this a few times, he'll get the idea that he is supposed to follow you.

To start working on recall, put him on a long lead - 15 or 20 foot. Have him sit/stay, walk to the end of the lead, turn to him and tell him to come. You may need to reel him in at first. Set him up for success, so start small. We practice come off-leash only indoors at the training facility at this point.

There are lots of comments about dog parks on this forum. I'd recommend reading them before you decide if you want to try a dog park or not. I used to take Panzer but don't anymore.

It's fun having a teenager, right! :)
 

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So Harley (Akita/GSD mix) is almost 11 months now, weighs about 80lbs and is doing very well as far as obedience goes (IMO). He's been with my girlfriend and I since he was 8 weeks old, and I have really noticed him getting more attached as time goes on. However, there are a few things we still need to work on...

1. Greeting. He LOVES people, but sometimes this can be a problem. If someone comes in the door, he will run up to them and rub along their legs waiting to be pet. If the person doesn't bend down and pet him, he will start to jump on them. This is not ok, and I usually make him go in the other room and won't let him near the person until he calms down. I have tried putting his leash on and having him lay down and then stepping on the leash so he can't get up, but he will end up choking himself (he has a choke collar) and will try to wiggle out of it. This is kind of frustrating for me because he will keep pulling and will act 10x crazier than if he didn't have his leash on. How should I handle this? I want him to just walk up to the person and sit and wait to be pet, but this seems impossible with Harley.
I would find a training partner - someone that visits the house regularly. Find someone that will help you with this. Now the way I taught my dog is as follows: I had the training partner walk in the door with Einstein tethered to the bedroom door. Then I'd go and grab his leash and wait there. The partner will stand there while Einstein goes berserk and eventually Einstein would calm down and sit. The instant he sits the person takes a step forward and keeps taking steps forward. If the dog gets up the person takes a step backwards. Honestly, it's a pain in the ass to teach this way so I'd love to hear other's opinions. Is there some "shortcut"? :) That's how I taught him to greet properly.

2. Loose leash walking. We go on walks frequently, although not everyday because some days it is just too cold. But when we do go, he has to sniff EVERYTHING and always walks in front of me. I'm young, so I can handle it and give a quick snap and say "no pull" when he starts to pull. But it seems like he is not getting the idea that I don't want him to pull. I have been using the choke collar for about 3 months now, before that he had a flat collar. Sometimes, if he is really pulling, I make him sit and we wait for a minute or two before we proceed. I'm not sure what else I can do to prevent him from pulling. Right now we only have a 4ft leash, but I do have a retractable one. I am reluctant to use it because I want him to learn to walk with a loose leash before I give him all that freedom. Should I just keep on doing the "no pull" and snap, or is there something else I can try?
I think that if his temperament is right for it, a prong collar would be better than a choke collar (and if he doesn't have a temperament for a prong I would still get rid of the choke collar). Choke collars were meant for leash "pops" not continuous pulling, although they are rather dangerous to use even with leash pops. I would go to prong for a little bit and have someone experienced teach you how to use it. If you'd prefer, you can use treats to teach him the correct heel position. I used a hot dog and let him continuously nibble on it while he's in correct position. If he got out of position the hand (with hot dog) went straight up with a "NO"

3. Relaxing. This is only a problem at my house, he knows not to mess with my girlfriend's parent's dog. When Harley is at my house, and he is free to roam the house, he will always try to play with my roommate's dog (5yr old chocolate lab). Normally, if I'm not doing anything important, I will let them play. However, if I want to just sit in the living room and watch TV, Harley will keep pestering my roommate's dog to no end. If he has a bone or something, Harley will be right there next to him barking and trying to grab the bone. Even after Harley gets the bone, and my roommate's dog gets something else to chew on, Harley will be right there next to him again. He can never just leave him alone and chew on his own bone. What should I do if I want him to just relax? I usually say leave it, and have him lay down next to me. But he will army crawl away and then get up and try to play again. Is he just too young to relax with us? I can tell it starts to irritate the other dog, and anyone else in the room who is trying to watch TV. What should I do?
Here a good solid stay would be helpful. Look at many guides online to teach a solid stay. Start with a 5 second stay and work your way up to 10 minutes without distractions. Then start adding distractions and increasing the time (but not at the same time! either you increase the time in a space free of distractions or with distractions he's already "mastered" OR you introduce a new distraction). Eventually you'd want to have him stay while the other dog is doing his own thing but that will take time and patience.

Ultimately, I want to do some off-leash training with Harley this summer, but we really have to practice recall. Any tips for this? I wanted to try out the local dog park, but don't want an out of control dog who won't come back to me. I can imagine nothing is more embarrassing than chasing a dog around a dog park...:eek:
Here you can use a leash to teach recall. Start with him sniffing the ground and say "Harley come" just once. If he even looks up at you immediately say "YES" and give a treat. Then when he is readily looking up when you say come you can only mark (saying "YES" when he does the right thing) and treat when he takes a step towards you. Then two steps. Eventually you want him to come to you from 6ft (leash length) and you'll be ready to move on. Flexi-leads are great here because you can adjust the starting length and can work on recalls from further. Then I'd use a 30 to 50 foot leash and so on. There are many guides online but this is just a short intro.
A big no-no: you call your dog when he's off-leash and he ignores you. You keep calling, yelling louder and louder until he finally comes. When he gets there you yell at him for not coming when called but in his mind you just corrected him for coming. Try to avoid doing that (might be obvious to you but you'd be surprised how often I see it happening).

Anyway, I'm sure many other people will chime in with their own techniques. Some may be similar to mine and some may be completely different. Generally though, you'll find lots of great advice here so feel free to try what works or what you feel most comfortable with. Sorry I couldn't be more detailed, there's a lot of information here and I didn't want to take a whole page :)
 

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1. I have the same problem with my 10-month-old. The trainer told us to have the pup do opposite of what he wants to do - so he wants to jump, make him sit. We're still a work in progress on this one. I'm hoping some of this improves with age.

2. Are you using a prong with the choke, or just a choke? A prong will help with pulling immensely. If you use a prong, make sure you also have a choke or alternate collar of some kind, just in case the prong comes loose. When you have Harley on his lead, begin walking one direction, if he pulls out in front of you, give a collar correction as you turn yourself around and walk the other direction. After doing this a few times, he'll get the idea that he is supposed to follow you.

To start working on recall, put him on a long lead - 15 or 20 foot. Have him sit/stay, walk to the end of the lead, turn to him and tell him to come. You may need to reel him in at first. Set him up for success, so start small. We practice come off-leash only indoors at the training facility at this point.

There are lots of comments about dog parks on this forum. I'd recommend reading them before you decide if you want to try a dog park or not. I used to take Panzer but don't anymore.

It's fun having a teenager, right! :)
btw these are all solid ideas. My input: if he doesn't know ANY recall you'd want to use a shorter leash first and avoid reeling him in. The reason is that you'd want to dog to make his own decision to come to you (and give him LOTS of praise and treats when he does). You can pop the leash to correct him once he knows what "come" means but try to get him to make his own choice about coming to you.

I also agree about dog parks - I used to take Einstein all the time but take him less and less now. There are many threads here that give reasons why they are a bad idea.
 
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