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Old 02-04-2008, 06:47 AM
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krisykris krisykris is offline
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Default Still not getting loose lead walking

I have read books upon books and also watched videos teaching how to do this and I'm still absolutely clueless on it.

It seems like none of my methods are working.

My dogs wear harnesses, I put them on a 4 foot lead and shorten it until they are by my side with a bit of slack to the leash. If they start to pull ahead of me, I give a tug and continue this.

It isn't working. Two get it most of the time and two bark at everything in sight, pull like crazy and are just generally unresponsive to anything I try to do.

I think my yorkie is possibly the worst because when she sees people she'll let out high pitched screams and lunge at the end of her leash. I say "no" and continue as she's still shrieking and spinning around. It's like my voice is completely lost on her. In the house, she's great -- she listens and understands leave it and she sits for treats, toys, ect.

I am at the point where I think I need to hire someone to help me with this. I really don't want another summer of walks where I have to do them in shifts w/two dogs at a time because all 4 overwhelm me and don't listen to me when distractions come along.

I guess what I'm asking is how do I go about finding a good trainer that can help me with this problems?

I really want to get started right away and not end up w/the wrong kind of person.

What questions should I ask?

Thanks guys..
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Old 02-04-2008, 11:56 AM
Sch3Dana Sch3Dana is offline
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I think you are talking about two different things- not pulling and walking calmly past distractions.

Not pulling can be accomplished through correction (the tugs you are giving) or by teaching the dog that all pulling results in a complete stop to the walk. I prefer to start with the gentle, patient technique. Every time to dog pulls past a certain point, you come to an abrupt halt and wait for the dog to back off the leash before you move forward again. This takes a couple of days to sink in, but once they get it, they really get it. Then later I will add a jerk on the leash as I come to a stop. I have had really good success with this method on dogs that are pulling just because they want to go faster. They learn pulling makes them go slower and they stop it. Of course, it only works if you really make yourself stop completely every time they pull.

Your second problem is dogs that go nuts when they see other dogs (or whatever). This problem needs to be approached very differently. I would teach the dogs a down stay and down them every time you see the distractions. First you need a down stay around the house and yard where the distractions are minimal, then you can go out into the world, with one dog at a time to work on distractions. After a period of weeks or months, the dogs should start to think about downing when they see other dogs. Now they are in a clear state of mind and you can try to continue walking and feeding treats as you go by other dogs. If they look away from the treats, you tell them down and make them do it. With no treats. Most dogs decide to follow the treats and eat them after a bit of this.

All of this will take you some time with each individual dog and then you will have to slowly add dogs to the group til you can have all four out at once. It's a job, but once you get it done, it will be really easy to maintain with the occasional treat or correction. And your walks will be so much more fun.

Good luck finding someone to help you with this. I would look for a trainer who is using lots of reward in the beginning, but is experienced adding correction once the teaching phase is done. Without correction, many dogs will never completely stop pulling or lunging at other dogs. It depends on how much they enjoy this behavior and how much they care about your praise and treats. Better to start with a trainer who know how and when to add some correction so that you get a result with all four dogs and not just the really hungry ones
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Old 02-04-2008, 11:57 AM
Sch3Dana Sch3Dana is offline
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Oh, yeah. Where do you live? I may know a good trainer in your area.
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Old 02-04-2008, 02:15 PM
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I wouldn't use the leash pops, the dog simply sees that as her needing to pull harder on the leash most dogs brace for the tug and then just get to keep going. The dog wants to walk faster than you, so she needs to learn that it will not work. When she pulls (the leash goes tight at all) you stop and wait. Now some dogs will look to you and walk to you, if yours does then as soon as she walks towards you so the leash is slacked you can go again, and stop when she pulls again, repeat. Some dogs when you stop will simply stay at the end of the leash leaving it tight (different from bouncing and lunging in which case I would wait it out until she relaxes then see which she does) and just stand or sit and stare. For these dogs instead of waiting as soon as she lets the leash go tight you turn around and walk the other way. You'll end up going in a circle for a while but eventually she'll catch on that in order for the walk to go on correctly she must not o to far ahead of you.
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Old 02-04-2008, 09:45 PM
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Thank you guys so much for the suggestions! I work very hard with them, but I will fully admit that getting 4 dogs all 2 years and under was not very smart on my part.

But they are here, I love them and I guess I just have to work harder and be more patient.

I think I'm expecting too much, too soon.

I live in western NY -- south of Buffalo, Ny
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Old 02-04-2008, 11:24 PM
Herschel Herschel is offline
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It's odd that you started another thread about this. Your thread from over a year ago has all of the information that you need!

http://www.chazhound.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41603

(I don't think anyone in that thread suggested "tugging" back on the leash. By the way, do you ever walk your dogs on retractable leashes? If so, stop.)
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Old 02-04-2008, 11:24 PM
Sch3Dana Sch3Dana is offline
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Hi again,

I have a friend in the Canadian side who is a very good dog trainer.

Good luck getting the four little rascals under control
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Old 02-05-2008, 05:00 PM
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krisykris krisykris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herschel View Post
It's odd that you started another thread about this. Your thread from over a year ago has all of the information that you need!

http://www.chazhound.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41603

(I don't think anyone in that thread suggested "tugging" back on the leash. By the way, do you ever walk your dogs on retractable leashes? If so, stop.)

The reason I was asking again was to get a fresh prospective and to inquire on what to ask possible trainers to find the best one.

I suppose not everyone "gets" things right away and for some reason this is the one area I haven't gotten down. This is why I'm looking into hiring someone to physically help me step by step, since we HAVE been working on it for a year without any results.

No I do not walk my dogs w/retractable leashes. I use a 4 or 6 foot lead.
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Old 02-05-2008, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sch3Dana View Post
Hi again,

I have a friend in the Canadian side who is a very good dog trainer.

Good luck getting the four little rascals under control
Thank you very much! We are working hard on it and I hope to be able to report some improvement soon!
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Old 02-05-2008, 05:05 PM
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I have a bunch of friends up near Rochester and higher. I'll ask if they recommend any trainers.
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