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Discussion Starter #1
I had to use a prong with my last dog, but I'd like to try to avoid having to use one with my next one. I know of many ways to work on loose leash walking without a training collar... stop and wait every time they pull, pivot turns, using treats, etc., but I was wondering what method you guys recommend for starting with an 8 wk old puppy. Which method(s) did you/are you using with your young puppies? Why did you use said method, or why didnt you use other methods? How long did it take for your pup to walk nicely on the leash? What do you wish you had/hadn't done? Did you/Are you planning to train this pup in anything else as well (ex. Schutzhund/IPO, personal protection, agility, etc.)?

I just really enjoy reading and learning as much as I possibly can :)

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How you teach a dog depends on so many things. The dog, you, your goals to name a few.
Walks for my dogs are recreational outings and done for the dog, not so much me. What I allow may be vastly different from what you allow. In general puppies are compliant by nature so with most pups it's pretty simple to lure them into position. If you are fortunate enough to be in an area where it is possible most puppies do best starting off leash, not everyone gets that luxury. What I can tell you is that a) the earlier you teach them to fight the leash, the more serious they get about it and b) even a fairly young puppy can out run the average human so safety first.
I dislike the idea of training puppies, so again my ideas are different from yours. I would never ask an 8 week old puppy to do more then play and explore on a leash.
 

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Just out of curiosity, why do you not like training puppies?

It's just a personal choice. I have found over the years that puppies often grow into better rounded, more reliable companions if the focus for the first while is on bonding. It's not really that I don't train them, it's just a different style. They learn rules, they learn manners, we work on sit and come, but I allow them to grow and develop before I ask for any more.

I never did more then ground work with young horses either and many of the horses that I raised never had a rider up before age 4 or 5.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
With a young puppy, all I care about is pulling. As long as she's not pulling, I'm happy. I've seen way too many dogs grow up into godawful pullers, so I want to start working on not pulling asap and try to avoid needing to use a training collar on walks

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With a young puppy, all I care about is pulling. As long as she's not pulling, I'm happy. I've seen way too many dogs grow up into godawful pullers, so I want to start working on not pulling asap and try to avoid needing to use a training collar on walks

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So with a young puppy I would start in a safe area off leash and lure and reward for staying beside you, add the leash once the behavior is ingrained.

With pups that are more independent I have found that hiding once or twice when they wander is crazy effective at teaching them to stay close.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So with a young puppy I would start in a safe area off leash and lure and reward for staying beside you, add the leash once the behavior is ingrained.

With pups that are more independent I have found that hiding once or twice when they wander is crazy effective at teaching them to stay close.
I can probably do that inside, but unfortunately there is nowhere nearby that I can have my dog off leash

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I can probably do that inside, but unfortunately there is nowhere nearby that I can have my dog off leash

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I'm usually in the same boat. In that case use a longer leash and try to keep it as an afterthought. By that I mean avoid using it to direct the puppy whenever possible. Remember the less you teach it to fight the less it will fight.

My condo had a large unfinished basement that I used for a lot of basic training, not sure what your set up is.
 

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Gsds do need a safe place to trot around,explore, and run freely.Only walking along at a human's snail pace just isn't sufficient.When I lived in Dallas with a gsd there were many fields tucked away behind and next to buildings where I could safely exercise my dogs.That's the case in any city I've lived in.We have to get creative sometimes:)
 

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I take my puppies to safe places, parks, hiking trails,isolated areas of parking lots, etc., places with no car traffic. I walk them off leash, they follow, that is what puppies do. When they get a little older, I duck behind a tree on occasion, watch but don't move, they come looking for you real fast and it is an easy way to teach them to check back in with you. As a rule, I don't introduce my dogs to leashes until after one year.

Walking them off leash mitigates excitement, frustration and other behaviors that are inadvertently encouraged with early leash walking.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I've always been super paranoid and just the thought of walking off leash for a second freaks me out lol. I can definitely use a long line and let her roam freely on that in some open areas and parks nearby though, and be careful with leash pressure. I live in dallas as well

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I can probably do that inside, but unfortunately there is nowhere nearby that I can have my dog off leash

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Now is the time to start looking. It's not easy but not impossible. Industrial parks on weekends are another safe bet.
 

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I was fortunate for many years to live adjacent to a small industrial area that was an amazing training ground. However hazards abound in such areas with yard dogs, chemicals and metal fragments everywhere. So you need to bear that in mind.

Being nervous about off leash isn't necessarily a bad thing, I have a dog that should not be loose ever. On rare occasions I let her drag a line other then that she is on a leash or long line. Sabi was off leash a lot, or had her leash draped over her back. But Sabi was a rockstar at most things:grin2:
A baby puppy may not be able to outrun you so if you can find a safe spot, go for it.
 

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Personally, the only areas I consider safe are securely fenced

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Not sure why you think a baby dog is going to be anxious to abandon you and take off. Nature dictates that his life relies on staying near you. Fences can create barrier and frustration aggression as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well dont i want to nip any barrier frustration in the bud instead of just avoiding it until it's a huge problem? And idk, anything can happen in a matter of seconds. Someone could be walking an aggressive dog that my pup runs up to, who knows. I have never let any of my dogs off leash in their life. Way too many horror stories.

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Sorry if it seems like you're being ganged up on.That's not the intention:)So many posters find themselves in over their heads with these very athletic intelligent dogs.They will make you crazy if they aren't provided with adequate outlets physically and mentally.Best of luck to you and your pup:)
 

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Avoiding it is not the same as not creating it in the first place, and yes, all those behaviors are primarily created.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
My last dog was very leash reactive to dogs, so I definitely want to avoid that with the new pup. He did get much better once we moved to a condo and I was forced to walk him around other dogs all the time (as opposed to just throwing him out in the backyard) and I was correcting him for it all the time. I would really like to prevent the problem from the beginning with my next pup tho

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Sorry if it seems like you're being ganged up on.That's not the intention:)So many posters find themselves in over their heads with these very athletic intelligent dogs.They will make you crazy if they aren't provided with adequate outlets physically and mentally.Best of luck to you and your pup:)
Oh yeah, absolutely! I definitely felt like that with my first working line shepherd haha. But this time I know what to expect and have a lot more resources at my disposal to tire her out :)

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