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Sutter Cain (dog), Jori (cat), Skeeter (cat)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sutter Cain is a little over a year and a half, and I confess, I should have done MUCH more leash training before now, and it is completely my own fault that I slacked off in that area. I accept my mistake. This is only my second dog ever raised from puppyhood so I'm learning a lot as I go. (The other was a wolf mix so a few differences LOL) All my other dogs have been adult or nearly adult rescues.

That said, I did do SOME training when he was still too small to dislocate my shoulder, so he doesn't pull very hard on his leash most of the time.

What I've been doing so far is when the leash gets too tense, I will either stop in place until he figures out he can't go forward any more and turns around to see what I'm doing, or I'll call him back to me. Sometimes I'll put him into a sit until he calms down enough to continue.

We are still working on Heel. It's a work in progress. He's getting a lot better but he's not ready to walk in heel yet but I still want to take him for walks. He will almost consistently come, sit, lay and stay even when he REALLY wants to lunge or chase. We're working on that rare resistance, but he's pretty reliable with it and that makes me happy.

Sorry to ramble, trying to give plenty of details before I ask if what I'm doing is correct or if I should be doing something more efficient. I WILL NOT use a prong or e-collar. His pulling is mild enough even at his worst times that he doesn't need either of those. I prefer clicker and positive training (although I keep losing my clickers).

On an average walk, when the leash starts to get too tight, I will give a verbal warning "Why are you pulling me?"
If he doesn't ease up, I'll say "Sutter Cain, come here." He will almost always make a loose circle to come in front of me, then continue forward once I touch him.
If he doesn't come back, I plant my feet until he circles back to me (standard leash, not a retractable, I HATE those things)

What I PLAN to start doing soon.
Call him over, put him in a heel. He Heels well when I'm standing still, just not on walks yet.
Every time he walks ahead of me, call him back and put him back into a heel.
Is this a good idea or will it just annoy and bore him?
 

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You can teach your dog whatever you want. To me, heel means a specific position that must be maintained by the dog. I side step, back peddle, and do all sorts of things to train them that it's the relative position to me that matters! All that is done indoors with no distractions.

That's me. Doesn't mean that's right for you! I have a command for heel, and another command for stay close, and yet another to say ok run sniff do whatever. It really helps to have a clear picture of what is "perfect" behavior for your dog in mind before trying to teach them that! I know, easier said than done...

My own command is "with me" for close proximity, I use just a release for do whatever ("OK" is what I've always used, but there are better terms like free or break!), but when I say heel, I mean a very specific location.

So now the dog knows what the parameters are, and has practiced that over and over and over again...then you introduce corrections to remind the dog that these are not really requests LOL! Viola! A well trained dog!

Letting this training go to 1.5 yrs, meh, you didn't ruin anything. Just be clear, fair, and consistent with your training going forward and you'll be fine!
 

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Sutter Cain (dog), Jori (cat), Skeeter (cat)
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the advice. He's so smart it's amazing, but there are some things he takes forever to pick up on, which makes me feel like I must be teaching it to him wrong.

Also thank you for the link. I shall check it out as soon as I can sit down for more than 5 minutes at a time. lol
 
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