German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
It's very hard to get her to walk on the lead so I'm thinking I'll need to stop taking her out and just concentrate on training at home using Michael Ellis technique.

What do other people do when out walking? I let her off the leash as soon as I can but often it takes a while to get to a place where that can be done.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
766 Posts
I started out in the house with the leash (about two weeks), then to the backyard until he stopped pulling there (turning and changing directions whenever he pulled), then to the front yard using the same method, then a little down the road and eventually around the block :) it took me two months to get him not to pull (I also use a front hook harness) but it is definitely doable :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
i started out with the leash around the house too. i just let her drag it to get used to something hanging there. outside it was "walk along" with a treat in front of her nose. take a few steps and turn. over and over.

i have an invisible fence and do not walk my young dog off my property yet. i do not want to confuse her. i load up my dogs and drive to a greenway with lots of joggers and other dogs walking.

the flags for the invisible fence have been out there for about 3 months now and she has never broken thru. but she knows what it's all about. "bad flag" is all she has to hear and turns away. soon i can stop buying gasoline for walking and let her know that walking past the fence is allowed only when i say it is alright and the collars are changed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
Along with AngelaA6, i used a front ring harness on my puppy and I used a very light leash. A lighter leash I felt made a difference. I also would practice with my puppy in the house and I also would put it on him in the house and let him drag it around so that he would get used to it (with supervision of course)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
i should add, she was trained earlier to the invisible fence than i planned because i thoughtlessly went inside one day while she was outside. 5 minutes later i found her in the neighbor's pasture. that was the day the flags went out. i started walking along that flag line every day, several times a day for about 2 weeks. she was solid after that. a couple of times she tested it because i saw her bolt towards the house.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
When I first wanted to take my puppy out, I'm lucky cause he never hated his leash in any way, he hated his collar though. As for actual walking, I had to get a front pulling harness because he pulled so much that his neck was getting raw.
Dogs want to walk, it's part of their instincts and what not. They pull because they think they're doing something good, especially if they know where they're walking, they basically think "hey owner, look look I know where to go, come come let's go" kind of stuff, so I've been doing loose leash walking.
It's two parts, the first part is training him to stand beside you without running off and pulling. Keep some treats in your pocket, relax and keep your hand near your pocket, keeping the leash slack. Tell him to sit and give him a treat. If he stays for a few minutes reward him again, constantly saying good boy and giving a treat occasionally. If he pulls to the end of the leash then just stand wait for him to come back, like I said they want to walk and if they can't they'll be like WTF and come back to you, this is where a from pulling harness comes in handy because it changes their centre of gravity and forces them to look at you when they pull. If he doesn't come back, then you can call him and/or bribe him with a treat. Do this for a while so that they know to come back when you stop.
Step two is where you actually walk. You'll start by going "lets go" and you take a step. As soon as he pulls you stop and wait for them to come back, you can call them or bribe them if they don't seem to be coming back. Once they come back to your side you reward them by walking again. You may only be able to take one step at first, if your dog is a puller, but eventually you'll go from one step to two, to three, etc. this may not be enough exercise for your dog, so while I'm training my pup in this I take him to the dog park to run around off leash.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
15,195 Posts
i got my pup when he was 9 weeks old. i use to put
his collar on and let him wear it for a short time and
then take it off. i did this many times throughout the day.
i would leash my pup and walk around the house (inside)
with him. sometimes i let him drag the leash around.
whenever my pup was leashed i kept him on my left side.
i didn't give him any commands at this point. by keeping him
on my left side i thought it be easier to teach him how to
heel in the future because he's use to being on my left side.
his walks were very short in the begining. sometimes we didn't
leave the yard. in the begining the only thing structured i did
was keeping him on my left side. everything was fun and playful.
lots of treats and praise. walking forward was done at a slow pace
any only for a few feet. i slowly built up distance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
I can relate to this post! My pup is 18 weeks right now. We havent done too much loose leash walking up til now - a bit here and there, mostly keeping it fun and not worrying about too much pulling as she hasnt been to big (only 23lbs right now, Non-GSD). We also live on a lake, which is frozen over, and not many people around, so mostly we just walk around the lake with a 100ft line on and she runs around.

So now that the lake is thawing, we are walking on leash more and learning. Boy what a challenge. I admit that it probably has been easier with her than with other dogs, but still. About every 5 minutes she'll stop her sniffing/walking and start coming at me - jumping, biting me, grabbing her leash. It is VERY DIFFICULT to get her to stop. Ignore, disipline, treats... ugh.

Yesterday though I took some time to watch some Kikopup and Tab videos on leash walking and took those tips to heart.

Last night we headed out for our walk with a baggie FULL of high value treats mixed in with some food. We started off, and every 30 seconds or so, if she was starting to pull, I'd call her name really happy, and bring her back to me with a treat. Then I had her sit in heel position, and gave her a treat. And we headed off again.

Also, whenever she looked over at me and made eye contact, I praised ALOT!! GOOD PUPPY!! and brought her over for a treat.

It was amazing how well this worked!!!!!!! I was SO HAPPY walking with her!! What a change from frustrating ready to cry, puppy jumping and biting at me... WOW. She did SO WELL. And part of the time, she just was trotting next to me looking for treats.

Granted, I was exhausted from "GOOD GIRL!!!"-ing, and we went through all our treats, but it was worth it. She only had 2 small bouts of jumping/biting, which she quickly stopped when she realized if she sat, she'd get a treat and continue walking with treat in hand...

Best of luck, I hope our luck holds out!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,478 Posts
Lisl has never had an issue with a collar or lead. She was eight weeks her first time out. I put the collar on leashed her up and we walked.

If she didn't walk she was dragged. She learned in five minutes to walk on a lead. She walks very well going away from home; loose lead all the way to wherever we are going, with no pulling or lagging.

Turning around towards home I should hitch her to a wagon and let her pull me home. I haven't been able to break her of this. She is only pulling a bit now, but the lead is almost always taut.

I've never seen a dog do this.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
15,195 Posts
pulling on the way home happens. stop it. she can only pull
if you allow it. with training she'll stop.

Lisl has never had an issue with a collar or lead. She was eight weeks her first time out. I put the collar on leashed her up and we walked.

If she didn't walk she was dragged. She learned in five minutes to walk on a lead. She walks very well going away from home; loose lead all the way to wherever we are going, with no pulling or lagging.

Turning around towards home I should hitch her to a wagon and let her pull me home. I haven't been able to break her of this. She is only pulling a bit now, but the lead is almost always taut.

I've never seen a dog do this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,357 Posts
left right left right left right.....

Jana
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,478 Posts
pulling on the way home happens. stop it. she can only pull
if you allow it. with training she'll stop.

I want to know the 'why' part. Why does she want to get home so badly? Does she feel more secure at home, because it's more familiar surroundings, something to eat?

What motivates her to want to go home? Most dogs want to run the opposite direction and come home when it suits them if given free rein.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
When I first started walking August, he was fine. He would walk beside me, not in front, and did not pull. Now, everytime we go for walks he pulls and pulls. There are only two areas where he is calm. I have gotten to the point I don't want to walk him because he is choking himself trying to pull me. He has had instances with kids playing (the noise scares him and makes him nervous), and three dogs who he had different encounters with: The first dog is my neighbor's and she would bark fiercely at him through our fences. The other day he actually barked back for the first time and the other dog quickly left him alone. The second is a dog on the other side of the neighborhood that got out and wanted to play. She scared him at first, but eventually he wanted to play with her. The third is a Weinmarner who is always outside, though I'm not sure why. It sits on its porch and just barks constantly at us when we walk by on the sidewalk across the street. The last time we encountered this dog it was in the street and barked at us, but August ignored him and we kept walking, leaving the dog who got quiet after it saw a lack of effect. August will be starting training in late April, so I'm hoping the trainer will be able to offer some advice. I want to be able to walk my dog without him trying to choke himself. I'm not sure if a harness is the answer or if its just a socialization to sounds. I don't want to stress my puppy out, but I really want to be able to walk him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,513 Posts
I started leash training in the back yard. When he would walk on a loose leash we would go out to the petco or lowes. By the time we hired a trainer he had the walk on a loose leash down. It did take some work. He would pull backwards and go to the grass. A lot of patience and work, but it paid off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
On leash our guy pulls hard. This is probably being my wife didn't properly train when I was away for 2 months at work.

When I came back, I found it easier to walk our guy off leash. This however, is only done when there is little traffic on the street. Our guy doesn't dart out into the street, but he sometimes slowly walks out following his nose.

On leash, he pulls pulls pulls. This is why we take him to the dog park every couple days where he can be 'free'.

although, he still knows I am in charge, and when we go there, he may run to greet another dog, but if I keep walking, so does he. Same around our neighbourhood. He will go up and sniff some kids or other dogs, but if he sees i'm not sticking around, he knows its time to move on.

Our guy is 9 months old, and we started off leash at 5 months.

Remember, however you want to train the dog, it takes time. You can't give up. The only reason why I gave up leash training is because of the two months puppy stage I was gone my wife failed in being the boss and setting the rules.

My guy has lots of energy, but he does sit at the end of our walk way when I tell him to, and won't cross the street unless I let him. This is just practice, with verbal commands, and not moving until he does what I say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,265 Posts
I usually work in stages: first let the puppy get used to the collar, next get used to dragging the leash, then I hold the leash but still let the puppy wander around as it wants, then finally gently encourage the puppy to go where "I" want to go. I don't get in a hurry, but it usually only takes a day or two until the puppy gets the idea. Then I slowly work on leash training with lots of encouragement and very short sessions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Stages, patience, and treats. That is what works. Lots and lots of patience. And treats....

We have been working with LOTS of high value treats. Everytime she looks at me - treat, everytime she stops pulling, treats.... 3 weeks now and treats are getting lesser and lesser. Oh so much patience though! These puppies are a lot of work!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
We started on the lead and it was hilarious at first. He wouldn't walk. He just sat there with me almost pulling him along on his bum! But everything I read when he was really wee was to let him wear the lead indoors. So when he was pottering around the house he wore his collar and his lead, but not with me holding the end of it so he just sort of dragged it around to get used to it.

With time (and much wimpish complaining from him) we got used to walking on the lead. He would walk longer and longer on it as he got older and more confident. A lot of it is to do with training but also age. I walk my dog off the lead preferably, but we live in a really quiet village and he is very good so he'll trot on ahead but always comes back when asked. (If you walk your dog like this a good tip is to periodically call them to you, praise them and then let them know they may walk on again. It's a good reinforcer).

When he got older and bigger he started to pull when on the lead. Probably because he weighed 35kg of muscle and could, and partly because we didn't do enough lead training because he's easier off the lead. Best thing I found that worked was when he pulled turn and walk the other way. Basically do things so that your dog learns they always have to go the way you go and pay attention to you and what move you're going to make next.

The type of lead you use to train also greatly helps. We tried a normal collar and nylon lead to start with. As he got older I got him a slip rope gun dog lead. This cut down on pulling. Now he has a 2 metre nylon lead and a prong collar. If you are interested in the prong collar as a training tool make sure you use it as that. It is not to punish a dog! There's plenty websites for and against them, I think they're perfectly fine tools for teaching a dog how to walk on a lead. If you use it right you teach them that the collar only becomes uncomfortable when they themselves rush ahead without you and they see that it is not you causing the collar to react. A great tool for german shepherds because they're such a smart breed.

So get the right lead, but also make sure your dog is paying attention to you. Training is the biggest part of walking on a lead properly. And remember age is a huge factor, it'll take time before they'll walk let alone run on a lead in the first few months.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,735 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Walking Frustrations.

We just slapped a collar on him and hooked him up to a leash and started walking him around the block. It wasn't that happy a time with him.

At the insistence of our trainer, we got a training (choke) collar and started using it when we "went to work" with him (trained him). But, honestly, the pulling drove me to distraction.

I'm not one to punish a dog. But we do correct them. At the time, (weeks 8 - 16) he was being corrected all the time. I felt awful about it and I'm sure he didn't enjoy a single bit of his walk as his choke chain was being popped ever 15 seconds, it seemed.

Sure, he improved a little tiny bit with most walks. But the transformation was slow to dead slow, for sure. Pulling was the worst.

Believe it or not, I got rid of the choke chain. I'm sure he resented it. And, he fought me putting it on and was disinclined to leave the yard to walk. Yep, we were training him to hate walks.

So, about a month ago I dispensed with the choke chain and began walking him just with a collar. It wasn't a lot of fun, but, at least, I knew I wasn't building a mental block in him about walking.

Several times I got so frustrated with the pulling that I just turned around and took him home. I don't like my frustration to go "down the leash". So, I just put him in the backyard and go cool off.

Then, quite to our trainers dislike if he knew, I started carrying treats in my left pocket. When he behaved he got one. When he didn't he didn't and he got turned around until he behaved. I SIMPLY CANNOT TELL YOU HOW PLEASED I WAS WITH THE CHANGE IN MY DOG! IT WAS IMMEDIATE. HIS ATTENTION WAS ON ME INSTEAD OF EVERYWHERE ELSE. AND HE WALKED PERFECTLY NEXT TO ME WITH HIS HEAD AND NOSE CLOSE TO MY POCKET!

Our trainer then told us to use the loose end of the leash to keep him from walking ahead of us. He advised that we spin the loose end of the leash like a fan or helicopter blade immediately ahead of the dog to inhibit pulling. He didn't necessarily say to hit the dog on the nose with the leash but it happens when doing this.

That tiny tap on the nose has made a world of difference with my Zeus. He now pretty much stays aside me with his nose just inches in front of my stride and he seems happier about walking. So, am I, for sure.

Oh, we tried the gentle leader and other sorts of leads too. But these two tricks seemed to be the ticket.

LF
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top