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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Abby is 5 months old and I had no idea that we would need to do LOTS of leash work when she was younger...now I'm regretting that oversight. Our yard is not fenced in, so when we are outside, Abby is on her leash (or 30 ft tie-out). My husband has really worked with her on 'sitting' for us to put the leash on and 'staying' at the door until we tell her it's time to go out. However, as soon as the door opens, she takes off and it's all we can do to get her to not choke herself to death. She gets to play ALOT in the yard, but going on an actual walk right now is impossible as she sniffs and pulls and doesn't stay with us and actually WALK.

I would LOVE any advice you guys can give me on how to help her understand what being on the leash means. (As opposed to being on the tie-out when she has - almost - complete freedom.)

Thanks!
 

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Well, we've had our guys for just over a year and half (they're almost 4yrs old) and we still work with them on the leash. I've found that they don't do very well just on their regular collar, at least not yet. I use an easy walk harness that clips in front of their chest instead of on top of their back. It does help discourage pulling, but doesn't prevent it. I take treats with me on our walks and try to get them to give me their attention fairly often. Rocky has gotten REALLY good about staying with me on a loose leash, and Daisy is much better. She'll pull if we see someone and they'll both pull if we see another dog.

I've found that especially with Daisy, if I move quicker in the beginning of our walk it helps get some of her energy out and she's better behaved overall.

I've gotten them to the point where I can jog with both of them and they're pretty good. It really just takes time, practice, but most of all... BRIBERY!!!
 

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This is going to take some more work. You say you can get Abby to sit until you open the door so now I would suggest you go one step further with that; YOU or hubby, whichever is walking Abby, need to be the first one out the door. So, first make sure to keep Abby in the sit position between the time you get the leash on and open the door. When you open the door, make sure she is still sitting as YOU walk out the door. If she makes a move to run out ahead of you, shut the door. This may take a lot of patience on your part - you will need to repeat this as many times as it takes until YOU are the first one out the door. She will learn that if she wants to go, she will have to wait on you. Then when you can get her out on the walk, there are two methods I have used with Shasta B. that have worked quite well. One method may stop her from getting a walk in of any kind which is why I use both. You do not move if she pulls - until she is by your side then you start walking. If she starts pulling, then you stop and repeat this process. But like I said, you may not get in much of a walk this way. Or what you can do, for example - say you are walking and Abby starts getting ahead so then you abruptly turn and head the other way - making sure Abby is with you. I know this may look like you can't decide which way to go but it will work.

This link shows the type of harness I use - it's concept is built along the other one suggested here.

http://www.softouchconcepts.com/products/sense_ible_harness.html

The leash snaps to the ring on front - if you pull on that to the left or right then Abby has to follow the pressure since it pulls her off balance. I have never seen these sold in stores so if you don't want to order onlinw (I know many who don't) you will have to get the other which should work just fine.

Ok - that is my two cents worth. Hopefully others will chime in with what works for them.
 

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Good advice above.
We didnt get our two until they were 6 years old.They had spent those six years in research labs so didnt know what walking on the leash really meant, at least Susi didnt. It took us a good six months before they stopped pulling. One trick was using a very long leash that we folded to a normal length. When they pulled we released the whole length, but turned and walked the other way. They got the message.
 

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I walk two different ways with Murphy and we always use a harness.

On occasion we stroll and I let him have the full length of the leash and he's allowed to sniff and explore all he wants. We're not walking for exercise, just to allow him to have a sniff fest.

When we walk for exercise the leash gets wrapped around my hand so he only has a small amount of loose leash. When he starts pulling I flick my wrist back-just enough so it's uncomfortable for him. When he starts to lag behind or tries to stop and sniff I make a clicking noise twice-that's his signal that we're not stopping under any cirmcumstances. I try to keep him next to my right foot.

The real key is consistency-Murphy knows when he is allowed to sniff, and when it's time to walk and so far it's working great.
 

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It took Roscoe a year and a half to finally walk nicely on the leash and that was with continual correction/reinforcement from us! We use a harness for long walks and now he walks beautifully and listens (never thought we would see this day b/c it was frustrating and tiring at first but well worth it now!).
We are still working with Cole (he is still under a year) but are seeing slow progress.
Gino has the opposite problem, he is half basset and it is a challenge getting him to walk at all, I swear he can sniff the same spot for hours!! LOL
 

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When a dog pulls on the leash it's because they've learnt that is how they get where the want to go. The best way to get a dog to walk on a loose leash is to change their thinking so they learn that loose leash walking is how they get where they are going and pulling gets them no where.

I use the change of direction technique, the instant the dog pulls I turn quickly on my heel in a 180 degree turn so the dog has to run to catch up to me. When they get to the right position I say yes and give them a treat. For a dog that is a serial puller it may take a few training session to get it but if your timing and consistency is solid then you will have a dog who walks nicely on the lead.

You might find clicker training helpful too - I prefer to use a marker word like 'yes' but some people find clickers useful. The basic idea is that you condition the dog to learn that the word or click means they did the right thing you are going to give them a treat - so if you tell the dog to sit, you click, then give them a treat. For loose leash walking, once the dog learns what the click means, you use it to mark the dog when the give the right behaviour and is walking by your heel/on a loose lead.

Whichever way you teach it, I always use high value treats reserved only for training - things like roast or boiled chicken, steak, sausage, kabana, cheese etc.
 

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funny thing is, sophie and twitchy pull like frieght trains when i walk them together. it's like they want to try and be the first to smell some new smell. but when i walk them separately, they do just fine.
 

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I read up on this before Rocky was going for walks really and I have always just stopped dead when he starts to pull. It takes time and encouragement but it works! I have had the occasional walk where he was just on a tear and the stopping didn't work so I did the reverse direction technique and it worked great!

Good luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all for the advice. I've definitely gotten some good ideas and am looking forward to working with Abby on this! (Okay, not really looking forward to it...I know it will be hard work - but you guys know what I mean!!)
 
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