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Old 06-12-2006, 01:56 PM
anmalg14 anmalg14 is offline
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Default leash training for puppies


I have another puppy question about my 8wk old aussie... I am trying to teach him to follow me on the lead but am running into some difficulties. Sometimes he does great and follows me everywhere with only just a little coaxing. Other times, I can even get him out of his pen in the garage to go out to the yard to use the bathroom. He will just sit/ lay there and stare at me no matter how much i call him. I have also tried treats(which he hasn't really started liking those much yet). It seems like once he decides that he wants to go one direction, he refuses to go anywhere but there and will either sit there and stare at me or cry while pulling on the leash towards where he wants to go. Sometimes he will even grab onto the leash and try to play "tug-o-war" to get me to go where he wants to go (everytime he does this I try not to encourage it). Is he just being stubborn or am I doing something wrong? Any words of advice would be awesome!


Last edited by anmalg14; 06-12-2006 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 06-12-2006, 02:37 PM
Saje Saje is offline
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There are quite a few great posts about loose leash training on the forum. You might want to do a search in the training forum. I also think this is a great article.
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Old 06-12-2006, 04:09 PM
Ink-Pro Ink-Pro is offline
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Default In the same boat

Hello, I have been a lurker for quite a while. I am Smkie's friend, Kelly.

Last night I witnessed a situation almost identical to the one you described. My daughter was handling a twelve-week-old pit bull puppy. We just got her last night and I don't think she has ever been on a leash. Gill was using the traditional drop-and-turn method, but she was frustrated because the pup would repeatedly pull in the opposite direction from the one my daughter wanted her to go while twisting on the leash. It looked just awful. I suggested that when the puppy did that Gill should walk toward the puppy, thus distracting her from that behavior and redirecting her focus. That technique was fairly effective, but there was a lot of room for improvement. This is a high-energy pup and I really need for my daughter to exercise it while I am at work, so after Gill went to bed I took the pup out and employed my quick-heal-puppy method.

1. I held the leash (fix foot, very light weight, attached to a loose-fitting greyhound collar behind my back.

2. I started walking at a brisk, confident pace.

3. The pup was on her own. I only stopped when I could feel that she was tangled in the leash, at which point I stopped and untangled her in a matter-of-fact manner, then I continued on.

4. It didn't take long, for her to decide that the best place to be was following me, with a loose-leash between us. When she surged ahead, I made a 180 degree turn and went the other way. We had a very nice walk around a city block; a long walk for such a little pup but she handled it like a champ. Unfortunately, she wasn't the least bit tired when we got back!

As I see it, my daughter felt responsible for "teaching" the pup to heal.

I felt no such responsibility. I let the pup discover that she must follow the leader, which she did rather quickly. I gave no command, correction, or praise. There was no need.

I was in Petsmart this morning, which I think is a perfect place for puppy-healing lessons. My puppy (which I had had for about twelve hours) was staying at my side fairly reliably. We encountered a woman with two beautiful adult Bernese Mountain dogs which were leading her around the store, sometimes rather vigorously.

What my puppy and the Bernese had in common was, they all know what is expected of them and behave accordingly.

Good luck and have fun with your puppy. Kelly
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Old 06-12-2006, 04:29 PM
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Zoom Zoom is offline
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Hey Kelly! Are we going to get to meet Miss Pitty soon?

To the OP: One other thing you may try, while in the house or your backyard, is to just drop the leash and start running away from your pup. Most dogs are attracted to forward movement like that to begin with, and as Aussies are herding dogs, it's their nature to try and do something about forward movement. Don't take off too far, too fast, but enough to make it seem that something REALLY interesting is in that direction. Praise and reward any forward movement, go nuts!
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Old 06-12-2006, 05:51 PM
Ink-Pro Ink-Pro is offline
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Default Hey, Zoom

She will be at the Clay Guild on Saturday. Dad agreed on the condition that he will NOT puppysit!
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Old 06-12-2006, 07:47 PM
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bubbatd bubbatd is offline
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Don't rush it !! He's still very young. At this age, make sure you use a harness .... too tight a collar can scare them ... too loose, they can wiggle out of in a snap. Have very short sessions ... don't work... just play for a few weeks.
A light for all who are crossing dark times.
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Old 06-17-2006, 11:08 AM
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raabenb raabenb is offline
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Have you tried keeping him close to you by using treats? Small treat bites? Dogs are creatures of habit, if you slowly phase out the treats, eventually the dog should stay by your side.
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Old 06-18-2006, 04:47 PM
anmalg14 anmalg14 is offline
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thank you for all of your advice! I have been trying to coax him with treats and have been praising him when he does follow me on the leash. Unfortunately he still continues to be obstinate towards leash training. He will be 9 weeks this wednesday and we have been working with him on it for about 11 days now. When he is in the right mood, he is very willing to go anywhere we want him to on the leash but other times it seems like nothing will make him listen. When he is in his non-listening mood, he will just lay there and watch me while I jump and call and offer treats, etc. Apart from dragging him across the yard it seems like there is nothing that I can do at these times. Is this normal puppy behavior for this age?
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Old 06-18-2006, 04:51 PM
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An 8 week old puppy should never be described as obstinate. He is a BABY! Grow some patience.

I like using a retractible lead for baby puppies like this, or a very light cord about 25 feet long.

No 8 week old pup is going to let you get 25 feet away before they follow you.

The key is to NEVER give the pup any tension on the leash to fight against. The retractible is so good for this, because of the very light constant tension. Some puppies will fight for a few seconds, but rapidly figure out it's really nothign to fight against, and then learn to go WITH the slight tension on the leash.

At this point, pick the puppy up and carry it if it does not want to walk along.

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