Training to walk on a leash

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by mike3367, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. mike3367

    mike3367 lost in my own mind

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    I guess i got the most stuborn dog on earth. I've treid all the leashes that say this will help your dog walk on it easly. Well my dog just pulls against the leash no matter what i use on her. By the way she is a Bull Terrier the target dog for all that don't know the breed. Anyone out there got a way for me to teach her to walk with me?
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    She wears a collar 24/7? Snap on a normal leash bundle it up close to the collar and strap it as a bundle with 4 or 5 heavy elastics so it dangles. Let he wear that aroudn the house or in the yard (supervised, it can get tangled) and use the bundle to just hold her while you pet her or give her a treat. Then lead her to an other room with the bundled leash and gradually (over a week) make the leash longer and guide her more and more. Hopefully she'll accept it as a "leash". My BC hates the snake thing, and I don't really want her to walk by my side anyhow so I don't push it.
     

  3. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Do you want your dog to heel nicely at your side, or just not pull on the lead? You can train your dog to keep within the length of the lead and come to the heel when you ask. It's okay (and gives her more exercise) if she can smell the roses, but you don't want her to think she is in charge of the adventure.

    At home, stand next to a wall on your left side with enough room for the dog to sit beside you. Call your dog to you, pat your leg, use a very small treat to lure dog into a sit at your left side. Use the word, "heel". Praise and treat. Repeat over and over in every room of the house. When she's figured this out, call her to you to heel, praise. Take a step forward, encourage her to follow you with "heel", praise and treat. Continue in this manner taking more steps as you progress. You are teaching her to sit at your left side when you stop, and to keep up with you at your left side.

    Do your long line work. On a ten foot lead, take dog out on walk. A field is best, but use what you got. Walk briskly as though you've forgotten you are attached to a dog. Do not speak to the dog. When she comes to the end of the lead, turn and walk in a different direction- away from her. If she's too strong for you you can buy a harness that has a ring in front, which gives you great control. Keep walking and changing directions. Change directions because you feel like it, or when she decides to go beyond the ten feet. She is learning to pay attention to you, and to stay within a ten foot perimeter, and to respect the tug of the leash. Some dogs figure this out very quickly, but I have a feeling that yours will be a hard case. Don't give up, don't scold, don't encourage.

    Once she is doing well on the ten foot lead, incorporate some training into your walks, beginning with "heel", and then sit at a distance, down at a distance. Being able to park your dog will keep her safe. When she comes to the heel, either because you called her or she did it on her own, praise quickly and give quick little treat (like a sliver of cheese). When she sits or downs, walk up to her then praise and treat. You want her to sit when you tell her and not approach you for the treat.

    Also, use a NILIF program Nothing In Life Is Free. Do not give her anything (open door to go outside, dinner, treats, petting, etc.) unless she earns it. Have her sit, high five, down, whatever, then you reward her by opening the door, giving dinner, petting, etc.

    Since we are in the country, I used a 40 foot lead for these lessons, and also a 20 foot lead, but a ten foot and six foot in town. Decide what is best for you.
     
  4. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    I have used the things called "halti" They're a dog halter and work well. It takes a while for the dog to get used to them, but they don't hurt them. Some dogs act like the haltis are evil though, and all the dogs need is time. Make sure you get the right size, though. Don't be tempted to take off the halti even if your dog seems to have a heart attack with the "Evil thing on it's face" The halti comes with a snap thing that attaches below the halter and connects to the collar. Remove this peice while your dog is getting used to the halter.
     
  5. Wildtim

    Wildtim Well-Known Member

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    Maura's long line to walk with you idea is great but if you really can't get her to come with you using her flat collar or a halti, get a pinch collar not a choke chain, they look like mid-evil torture devices but were designed by a vet to be safer and more effective than the chain.
     
  6. rr

    rr Active Member

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    You've gotten some good suggestions here. I'd like to repeat the recommendation of a pinch collar (used right) over a choke chain because I think it's an important one.
    And I'd like to offer something some folks will deny: Some dogs are extremely difficult to train to walk on a loose leash consistently -- so much so that unless you have tremendous patience, it may be better to live with it than risking becoming angry and excessively harsh with the dog.
    Good luck and happy doggin'.
     
  7. Nature_Lover

    Nature_Lover Well-Known Member

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    I agree that chain choke collar or a pinch collar is the fastest way to train a dog not to pull while on the leash, there are a few tricks to making it work faster.

    If you have a standard choke chain collar, the first thing you need to do is make sure you are putting it on correctly: The dog traditionally stands to the left of the trainer when learning leash training, so we are going to have you use your left hand and wrist in place of the dog's head and neck, just to see how the chain collar should work:
    snap the leash on the collar, and slip the collar over your hand, the chain coming over the top of the neck/wrist is the one that you attach the leash to. When you give it a jerk, it pulls tight, then when you allow slack, it opens and hangs loose under the dog's neck without touching the underside of his neck at all. If you have the collar on backwards, after you jerk it, then give it slack, it stays snug around his entire neck, and gets tighter with each additional jerk.
    Make it a habit to put it on correctly every time.

    (The technique is very simple, but if no one has ever trained you in their use, you wouldn't guess how to do it.)

    The theory behind choke/pinch collar training is to startle the dog with the loud chain sound so close to his ears around his neck, and redirect his focus to you so you have his complete attention. This is accomplished by a quick jerk on the collar, and having it immediately go slack again. Initially, it may take several quick jerk and immediate slack repetitions in order to get your dog to stop picking up the slack. Especially if he has been worked with a chain/pinch collar in the past by an uninformed trainer. You want him to learn how much more comfortable he is when there is slack in the collar and leash.
    The idea is to prevent him from pulling on the collar, by making him learn that the consequence is to have his chain jerked EVERY time he puts any pressure on the leash.

    If you want him to walk at heel, then his nose should not be forward of your knee, he has to take cues from you as far as where to go next, and he won't do that if he's in front of you unless YOU use pressure on the leash, which is a no-no while training HIM not to use pressure on the leash. The idea is to ALWAYS have slack in the leash, if it isn't slack, he's not going to learn that's how it should be.

    For his first lesson, don't try to walk him, just teach him not to pull:
    Decide on which commands you want to teach him, and use the same word for the same desired action every time you train him.
    You might use 'sit' (or 'rest',) 'don't pull,' 'stop' then 'wait' (for you to catch up, lol)
    All of these commands have different meanings, and your dog can learn the difference if you show him what you expect, then by positive reinforcement every time he responds correctly.

    In order to teach him the fastest, you have to be prepared to show him what each word means after you say it once.
    If you say stop, then stop, then stop again before you make him stop, he will not learn to respond to the first stop command. He will learn that he doesn't have to stop when he hears it, until the third time he hears it. - and usually it's said much more forcefully, which is unnecessary, he can learn to respond to spoken commands IF YOU MAKE HIM.
    If you say stop, then repeat it as you show him what it means - every time you say it, he will learn that you expect him to stop the first time he hears it.
    Never repeat a command without backing it up with a physical action to get the desired response, always show him what you want after he hears it the first time.

    Of course, to get the desired response, you have to get his attention first!
    Eye contact is the best way to get control over a dog who thinks he can do what he wants, when he wants to.

    Your dog should be trained to look at you every time he hears his name, (not easy if you have kids who say his name repeatedly without backing it up by making him look at them.) But not hard if you are committed to insisting on his focused attention every time you say his name. Same rule applies here, don't say his name unless you are prepared to physically turn his head to you and look in his eyes EVERY time you say it. (He won't know what you expect until you show him consistently, and big time praise when he starts looking at you without physical intervention!)

    All commands can and should be spoken, not forcefully yelled.

    The first lessons should get him to sit quietly on leash with slack in the leash, and his attention on you. Praise him lavishly, it's what he lives for!

    After you have trained him to sit quietly when ever he is on leash, then you can teach him to heel, start with a few steps, and keep that head next to your knee, try to keep slack in the leash as much as possible. You want to train him to heel as if he weren't on a leash at all.
    Using the same words to mean the same thing every time you train him, 'let's go' is a popular/common heel command, but my shepherd used 'go' for a lot more than 'heel' (go away, go find, go get, etc.) and I didn't want to confuse her, so I always just used 'heel' when I wanted her next to me on (or off) the leash.

    Post back when you hit any stumbling blocks, and we'll see what we can do.
     
  8. Wildtim

    Wildtim Well-Known Member

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    This is the correct way to use these collars. but not the correct theory about how they work. The noise is irrelevant pinches make no noise or little and now are made out of plastic if you want that, chokers are made out of nylon as well as chain, no noise. These cause PAIN try it on your leg if you don't belive me. That is the point, same as a quick spanking, get the attention of the dog and have negative consequences for disobedience. I know some people don't like this type of concept but it is best know all the facts and know exactly what you are doing with your animal. they do not have to cause much pain only enough to get his attention.For some dogs this is barely enough for us to feel for others it would make me cry but as long as it is only what is needed to get the focus back to you it is the right amount.
     
  9. Oceanrose

    Oceanrose Driftin' Away

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    The best way to teach a dog not to pull, is never let him learn he can. Teach him the lead is a connection with you, not a way to drag you wherever he wishes to go.

    IF he pulls and you decide to use a corrective collar (personally, I choose to train, and the only time I use a corrective collar for it's purpose is if the dog is being handled by someone where if the dog did suddenly pull, the person lacks the strength to deal with it.)

    Choke collars: NEVER leave one on. #1 rule. 2 - yes, the noise can cue in the dog. In order to be effective, the collar has to be high on the neck, and your correction has to be fast. My show dogs were all walked and shown on choke collars. They however weren't corrected by them, but I could 'talk' to the dog by moving the collar similar to reining a horse.

    Pinch collars: are SELF CORRECTING do not snap a dog on a pinch collar. In addition, fit is extremely important. In my opinion, I'll put a pinch collar on a dog over a choke collar any day.

    Head halters: Better than either of the above, IF Your dog will tolerate them. Again, it's self correcting.

    So are all the harnesses. I did try a Gentle Leader harness on a dog one time, and I wasn't impressed, but a lot of people are raving. I just felt like I didn't have control (wasn't my dog by the way).
     
  10. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I wouldn't use a choke or pinch collar on the kind of dog you have. He is game, and has a thick neck. If he really wants to drag you down the street, he will, regardless of any pain inflicted or lack of oxygen. A head collar (halti, gentle leader, snoop loop) or a chest harness with the ring in the front will give you more control.

    You have to have control of your dog in the house if you expect to have control of him outside of the house. You also have to remember that when you come to a new place your dog will forget all of his training and you must spend some time retraining him. He is not being stubborn, he is just being a dog.
     
  11. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    Definitely get a pinch or prong collar. Use short, sharp tugs and the dog will soon learn. I did this with my Aussie. Once in awhile we forget to use it and it makes it hard on the wrist to control her. Keep up the training every day and your dog will soon walk by your side. Don't let it get away with anything you don't want it to. Be firm and consistent.
     
  12. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    Well, having trained a number of breeds including a wonderful Bull Terrier(who was named by the way "Quicksilvers Right on Target" way before the Target dog..LOL)and I think we are missing the point here.

    Some people can train some dogs and have no trouble..they just seem to know when and how to correct and PRAISE to get the results they want. Some can't do this and need some outside help.

    That's what obedience classes are for! Sign your wonderful dog up for a class and get some help doing the heeling and other fun obedience things. You and your dog will have a blast!

    Although I have spent most all of my life training I find I can't do without the advantage of a knowledgable outside party to help me with particular areas. They differ with each dog and a good trainer is just indispensable for these things!

    No kind of equipment is going to do the job all by itself. You need to be the one calling the shots and to decide what will work the best for your particular dog. My little Target worked the best with a nylon slip color but each dog is different. The only absolute I would put out here is that any kind of harness is dumb unless you want the dog to learn to PULL! As for those idiot things with the ring on the front down by the chest of the dog....don't get me started! LOL Especially with a dog that's strong and with a chest like a BT!

    I would also mention that Bullies mature slowly...sometimes we want them to be more settled and grown up than they are ready to be. Also, these are dogs that have the energy of a kettle full of popcorn! So, you can't expect them to settle down and be willing to learn unless they have had lots of excercise, mental and physical first. I hiked with Target and did jumping and other fun things in the AM and then we trained in the evenings.

    So, seek the help of a good trainer, sign up for classes and prepare to have a fun time with your Bully...My Target graduated with honors, second place, in both of her classes(puppy class and intermediate obedience)out of 17 and 20 dogs respectively...and had a great time....so did I! She later learned to track as well as do agility and was so much fun!

    I would start out with a common slip chain for class and then go with what the trainer advises.A good trainer has had a lot of experience.

    LQ