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Discussion Starter #1
Lexi is doing pretty good on her basic training EXCEPT for leashing training. I do not want to do anything that is rough or mean (like using a choke chain), but I am at a loss as to how to train her not to drag me down the street! I would like to start slow, maybe in the backyard before trying to take her out on the streets for walks because I don't want her not under control in public. Can anyone give me some tips on how to get her to walk on the leash without pulling like crazy and trying to choke herself? She pulls so hard I'm concerned the collar could actually break and I'll lose her.

Thanks!

Beth
 

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Have you tried using a prong collar? They are not mean OR rough, if used properly....I was just as frustrated as you until my trainer had me try one. It kept Phoenix more focused on me and his heeling. I've been using it for a year and we are not transitioning to a regular nylon training collar...
 

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I bought a handle (which is a short leash) and taught mine to walk by my side not out in front of me. Those 6ft leashes encourage pulling and shouldn't be used until the dog has learned how to walk on a leash.

Also, EVERY time your gsd pulls immediately stop and wait until there's no tension on the leash (I also put them in a "sit"). Attempt to walk again and as soon as your gsd pulls again stop! Repeat this process until your gsd figures it out. It may take you 30 minutes to walk 10 feet but you have to do this to teach them not to pull.

Here's a link to that handle leash:
http://www.pikodapets.com/coastal-2ply-leadhandle-1x24-black-p-282.html
 

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How old is your dog?

First what type of collar are you using?

What type of leash are you using, I only use leather leashes as it gives me the best control and I don't have to worry that if the leash slides through my hand that I have leash burns.

Have you tried the "Post" method or the "Crazy Ivan" method.
Post method, is when you dog pulls you don't move, when the dog is pulling and you are moving it is self rewarding for the dog, you stop the reward stops. Crazy Ivan, is a dramatic change in direction when every your dog pulls.

Val
 

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Where are you training and what is your instructor recommending? Do they know you are still having problems?

I know sometimes when I specifically ask my trainer, it may just be using a collar that's not fitted properly, or the wrong collar, or the wrong leash or (more likely) my timing is off or wrong to really 'teach' my dog at all.

Once my instructor realizes I'm still having problem and I get the one on one, it's amazing how I fix myself and then my dogs do better!

Here's some info on TRAINING collars/methods that may help you in conjunction with your classes:

http://www.cobankopegi.com/prong.html

http://www.clickersolutions.com/articles/index.htm#basic (go down to 'Loose Leash Walking')

http://101-dog-training-tips.com/Dog_Training_Collars/head_collar_training.shtml
 

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Discussion Starter #6
She is just six months old, we just have a regular flat collar on her. We did buy a choke chain collar when she was in obedience and she hated it. I have read about both of those methods you mentioned and I like the sound of them! Oh and I have both a leather leash (4 ft) and a nylon (6 ft).

Beth
 

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Six months old is the age that I also start having the biggest issues and problems, and the training classes are most important at that time.

There's a HUGE difference in instructors and class formats. So if where you are attending isn't giving you the help and guidance you need, just find somewhere else! Heck, I don't even want to tell you all the different classes I've had to try to find the best mix for me and my dogs!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Currently we aren't in a class, we quit our obedience class because the instructor was old school and insisted on using choke chains and harsh methods that didn't suit Lexi or us. When we were in class it was pretty obvious to the instructor we were having problems but she never came near us! I honestly think she was afraid of Lexi, as crazy as that sounds, because she would go up to other people's dogs - like golden retrieves and help them but not us! She made a wide berth around Lexi, LOL! My big fierce 6 month old puppy!

Hopefully I can find a better class soon, I'm looking into several at the moment, I was just hoping in the meantime to get her to at least walk half way decently on the leash. She is such a good girl and eager to please that I think if I find the right method it won't take long at all for her to figure it out.

Beth
 

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my dog is 20 months old and we just started to teach him to heel.
my dog was rarely on a leash even as a puppy-puppy. the rare moments he's on a leash he doesn't really pull. he'll walk in front of you but he's not pulling on the leash. i can put the handle of the leash over my little finger and hold him. i can put the handle over my little finger and hold my hand upward in front of my chest and my dog doesn't break away or pull my hand from my chest. he just walks at the end of the leash.

we did teach my dog to heel when my GF and i are walking together. he walks between us. we stop he stops. he follows through figure 8's or circles. this is with or without a leash. when we're walking him by ourselves is when he doesn't heel.

that last 4 days my GF and i decided to teach him to heel when
we're alone with him. i place my dog on my left side in a sit. i have the leash folded down to make a very short leash. the leash is going from my right hand (across my body) to the collar. my left hand is holding the leash close to his collar.

i step off with my right leg making an exaggerated step and
at the same time as i'm stepping i say heel. i take four steps and stop. i help my dog to stop by by holding him back with my left hand. (i just stood up to count my steps. my dog is laying on the sofa in front of me. i'm holding my hands in the same position as i would if he were on the leash. my dog looks up at me with his head cocked to side "why are you doing the heel thing, i'm on the sofa
and there's no dog with you"?) i always lead off with my left leg because i want my dog to know that my left leg lead means to follow/heel. when i lead off with my right leg leg i want him to stay. i want him to follow or stay by reading my legs. i don't want to use a verbal command.

my dog has a tendency to swing to the left and sit when i stop. to help with this i practice in the house in the hallway. my dog is close to the wall. when i take my four (4) steps and stop he can't swing to the left. my GF and i both work with our dog. we do things the same way with our dog. we discuss our training before we train and after we train. we want to make sure we're doing things the same and we want to be knowlegable of our dogs progress with each other.

i think you should start leash training with your dog in a smaller
space than your backyard. if my dog were pulling me i would train in the hallway in the house. if the hallway is long i would place two (2) chairs in the hallway and work in between them. i wouldn't want my dog to be able to spread out to much. how about working with your dog in one of the rooms in your house. maybe working with your dog facing a wall might help. i just measured six feet (6 ft) from a wall. i'm thinking if work towards the wall Lexi won't have the area to spread out and pull. of course she could turn one way or the other. after thinking about that maybe that maybe working towards the wall is useless, sorry.

i think i'll go now. i'm going to the bakery and get some danish for breakfast.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow that's a great idea! I never thought of using the hallway!! Yeah, I was thinking that the backyard might be tricky because the last time I tried training her out there every time a bird flew by she was off in la la land and not paying attention to me!

(that's funny about the dog watching you from the couch, I can picture that, LOL!

Thanks for that great advice, I'm going to try that this morning!!!

Beth
 

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start a training regime. train your dog several times a day. make each session last for 10 to 15 minutes. if 15 minutes is to long for
your dog make the sessions shorter. always end on a positive note.
you can train anytime during the day or night. when we train our dog to do something we have 5 to 7 sessions a day. my GF and i both train the dog. a trainer i used 30 years ago taught me about breaking down my training sessions. i forget if her exact method was 5 to 7 sessions a day. i do 5 to 7 sessions with my dogs and it works for them.
 

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We used a Gentle Leader in combo with "target" training...or putting her fave treat in our hand (cheese) and having her walk next to us, focusing on the hand with the treat. Going a little bit, stopping, praising like heck and giving the treat.

Now we're back on a regular collar. We only use the GL when out in a high traffic area like Bass Pro.
 

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I use a harness when I walk my dog (6 months old) should I be using a collar? Hes not terrible on walks, but he could definitely use some improvement.
 

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Originally Posted By: ls1norcalI use a harness when I walk my dog (6 months old) should I be using a collar? Hes not terrible on walks, but he could definitely use some improvement.
Is1norcal, remember what sled dogs are wearing to drag a heavy sled across the tundra??? A harness! So what a normal harness does is really allow our dogs to get their weight behind it and drag us if they want. It's NOT a way to train out dogs.

There are training harnesses that are set up differently so they do NOT allow our dogs to comfortably pull us along..... otherwise we have to use some other 'training' head collar or neck collar. (Unless you are good enough to only use positive training methods like the clicker and teach your dog to never pull).
 

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Jake has a rule: collar means no pull, harness equals pull away.

At 5 months old he definitely knows the difference. We actually want him to learn to pull a bit. I have arthritis and occasionally need a bit of help from the floor to my feet. He's being trained to help with that. But he also is learning that you don't pull when taking a walk.

It amazes me what these dogs are capable of learning.
 

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I have had trouble walking Shelby without pulling too. He is fabulous on our way out, and he knows it, but when we get headed back for home forget it, it is torturous! So he is doing better, I have been stopping with him every time he pulls and he is starting to get it but it still requires the patience of a saint to go on long walks with him!

Breakthrough today!!!! I looped the leash around my waist and then hooked it to his collar for our walk so my hands were not holding the leash at all and he was marvelous for the entire walk.........I almost cried.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have to update this! I took Lexi for a walk the other day and used the positive training methods I've heard about on here and in books and she did WONDERFUL! Basically what I did was whenever she pulled I immediately stopped walking and just stood still, if she didn't stop pulling I put her in a sit and stood there some more. The first couple times we did this she was totally oblivious to the fact that she wasn't walking anymore, LOL, so after a moment or two I would just start walking again. Then suddenly whenever I did that she would look back at me like, mom what's going on?? then come right back to my side and wait for me to give the signal to start walking again. She then would stay right by my side with no pulling! And she was HAPPY! She was having the time of her life and I never saw her look like that at our obedience classes. She was prancing along beside me looking so proud and happy, kept looking up at me like, "look mom, I'm walking like a big girl!!" We both had a blast and I can't wait to try it again. One thing I did also was I played with her for about 20 minutes really hard in the back yard before our walk so she was able to get her excitement out of her before we began to walk - and also a really big poop, LOL!

This just goes to show that positive methods work soooooo much better than old school crap! (in my opinion at least!)

Beth
 

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the stopping is really a great way to discourage pulling, also a quick attention getter would be to snap the leash by flicking your wrist. just quickly move your hand towards the dog to create slack then snap the leash back. With mine instead of stopping I actually had to turn around and start walking in the other direction a few times before she got it but she was already about 10mths at that time. basically by turning it immediatly puts her following you, walk about 10 paces then resume on your normal walk, again she'l be forced to be behind. That last part about playing really hard first is golden. keep up the good work!
 
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