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Old 04-24-2013, 06:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Looking for advice on leash training, making the walk fun and enjoyable! :)

Well some days are better than others but Luna just turned 6 months old and I'd like to get this leash training down pat! I use a martingale slip collar with a 5 foot bungie leash. At times I will let her lead (walk in front) but I take in slack often and slow her down to walk at my pace/beside me or slightly in front. I use "pops" to correct should she see another dog or bird or frog etc. and she usually gets the point.."I dictate the walk, I'M in control". Here are the issues I'm having.

Obviously we own a somewhat stubborn breed here but I've noticed that if Luna gets something in her mind (i.e. I want to go smell that bush) she is very persistent despite my corrections. The worst is obviously with seeing and wanting to meet/play with other dogs while on walks. She will pull and my correction of simply stopping and "popping" doesn't really register. She will just pull. harder.

Let's say we are stopped just hanging out in the grass (I live on a golf course and greenbelt and she likes to sit and watch the golfers tee off lol). When I decide it's time to go, I feel like I have to DRAG her which not only looks bad but can over time be harmful to her trachea. Now when I say DRAG I mean that I firmly pull her to let her know "we are leaving and you need to walk this way"...most times she understands and puts her ears back (so cute) and looks at me then quickly jots along as desired. Buuuut there are quite a few times where she simply refuses to walk and it has come to a point where she will lay down in the grass (she loves it as it's cool in this AZ heat) and sprawl out (lol see pic below) refusing to move! It's almost as if she wants me to deag her through the grass as it feels good and is a game!
Given what I've written here, can anyone give me any pointers/advice on how to get her to obey and not stop and sit or force me to drag/pull her when she has something in her mind/obsessing!

2nd photo is of her sitting and staring at a bush she wanted to smell for 5 minutes lol. Didn't want to budge...and trust me, I'm firm with her on the leash. Not firm to where her walks are not enjoyable though. She LOVES her walks!!!


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Old 04-25-2013, 02:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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You can teach the dog that interacting with you is more fun than the environment. I use kissy noises because it gets my dogs attention. Start out at home and make a noise or something that will get your dogs attention then reward the dog with praise, treats, toy, etc. Use whatever your dog works for best.

I have used this for a while now with Honey. She can be very stubborn at times. We practice at the park and there are lots of dogs. If she ever gets really interested in a dog for whatever reason then I make the kissy noise and redirect her attention asking for obedience commands she knows well. A few repetitions and she looses interest in the other dog. You have to make sure the treat is high value when competing against something interesting. For Honey that is Natural Balance rolls cut up treat size, cheese or hotdogs. Normally at home I just use her kibble for training.
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The methods I'll suggest won't be correction based, but I will say one thing. If you insist upon using correctional methods, you should not be continually correcting without getting a response, you're just building a punishment callus. "Punishment Callus" is when the dog gets used to the pain/discomfort of a correction at a certain level and takes a harsher correction to recognize it. I've seen people develop punishment calluses so bad they have to apply a extremely excessive amount of shock or force just for basic behavior. When really the guy messed up on his foundation work and needed to go back and retrain certain behaviors.

A correction needs to be at an appropriate level to get the response instantly, not too hard, not too soft.





For the videos, instead of clicking with a clicker you can just say "Yes!" or whatever word you'd like.

Here's how I start the beginnings of "leave it" (You may want to watch one of the videos it mentions at the beginning to get the idea) She has other videos explaining more of it. Her Youtube page in general is a good resource for positive training videos.


Once you've trained the leave it, here are some exercises to work on starting less distracting and building to higher value.




I'd also recommend doing some engagement games! Building focus and creating value for working with you (making you more fun to the dog) can make tackling basic and challenging behaviors that much easier. You can just use treats, or the tug, whichever you and your dog prefer. (Ellis also has some nice videos)

Another attention exercise


For not getting up, I feel the engagement games might help, simply by making yourself more fun. I'd run backwards while talking in a high pitched excited voice, give her a goodie the first few times. Don't be afraid to look weird :P
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by aimee235 View Post
Don't be afraid to look weird :P
Oh don't worry, just about every girlfriend I've ever had has mentioned my weirdness I'll just act normal (which is weird to most)

Thanks for all the videos I'll check them out tonight when I'm off work!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aimee235 View Post
You can teach the dog that interacting with you is more fun than the environment.
Good advice! I will try this!

Last edited by Luna-Blue; 04-25-2013 at 06:25 PM.
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