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Old 04-26-2004, 08:56 PM
Brattina88 Brattina88 is offline
treehugging clicker freak
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: OH
Posts: 12,941
Default My Sled Dog

I'll try to keep this short, when I'm talking about my baby I tend to rattle off...
I got Maddie when she was 8wks old, and a little while later I enrolled her in Puppy Classes at Pets Mart. It was great socialization and training, Maddie caught on so fast. She's very smart, sometimes too smart for her own good, but if I teach her something in a way that she understands it won't take long. I taught her how to sit in like 5mins, and she's done it consistently ever since.
Okay, enough bragging. From her fourth puppy class on it became apparent that Maddie was a bad puller. With or without the leash she went were ever she wanted, dragging me behind. The trained noted this and gave me some side pointers, some extra help. Well, when she was a puppy it wasn't that big of a deal. The vet said it was something she would "grow out of" (yea right) and the trainer had my try the technique where if the dog starts to pull you stop completely, wait for her to pay attention to you and try again. This did not work, the trainer thought I was doing something wrong and tried it herself. It still did not work.
This seemed like a very little problem to me, because I didn't much care. She was well behaved, learned to go outside quickly -- perfect. Then she was full grown and we went to basic class to follow up her puppy. Basic class was a lot less socially fun, but a great learning experience. The trainer cracked down and said no more walking until she walked good (Maddie was by far her best student - truly a teachers pet but she had this one fault that drove the trainer crazy)
I ended up with a fat dog who still couldn't walk on a leash.
Then the trainer had me try a version where I lead Maddie in a circle around me each time she dashed ahead. It worked, sort of, she was no longer pulling me down the street but circling me like crazy and whining in frustration the whole time. I dropped that idea quickly, (within a couple weeks really) but to this day (she's three now) she'll start up some circles that makes her seem neurotic and me a dog ruiner
Next her trainer suggested choke chain, prong collar, shock collar. All my red flags went up. Prong collar on my baby?! No Way!
Now if its important for her to heel I use a head halter -- which people unfortunately mistake for a muzzle (don't you think that be a poor restraint?) and other times I just let her drag me. After all, its only half a block, if that, to the park where I let her run off leash

Maddie CGC .:. Cocker Spaniel .:. 13 y/o
Bailey CGC .:. Shetland Sheepdog .:. 6 y/o
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