Leash / Lead Training

Leash / Lead Training

Postby chelynnah » Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:07 pm

From: zeldasmom (Original Message) Sent: 10/01/2004 01:24
Does anyone have any tips for leash walking? Zelda is doing much better with the collar I got from Patience. However, I still have problems with her pulling and jumping around. She also trys to eat almost everything she sees. I feel like I'm walking the spastic dog! I see everyone else in my neighborhood walking their prim, little proper dogs, and then there is me with my little monster. I really think she has ADHD. Do they make Ritalin for dogs? I try bringing treats and giving her one when she's walking good and telling her "good girl" (like her trainer said) but they seem to just distract her even more. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

From: Patience Sent: 10/01/2004 03:50
Isn't dog raising fun!!! Sure it is!!! My friend Terrie and I joke that if we had our dogs and all the training that went into them before we had our children, the child rearing would have gone a lot better!!!
EVERY time Zelda goes for a dive for something on the ground she should get a strong pop on the lead and you should make a noise that ONLY means "you're going to get a pop on your collar." I took a handling seminar once, and the teacher said at the beginning that all of our dogs would trot right over a sausage biscuit in the middle of the ring by the end. Well, we all were incredulous, but the lady with the bassett hound said, "It ain't going to happen in MY lifetime!!!" Sure enough, it only took about 60 seconds to train. Put the sausage biscuit on the floor right in front of the dog. Dog reaches for it. POP + Noise simultaneously. (The noise should be clear and distinguishable. Like, SHT! or ANH! Or LEAVE IT! When the dog looks at you instead of at sausage biscuit, praise. Dog looks at sausage biscuit. POP + noise. keep it up until dog WON'T look at biscuit. Now circle dog around and approach sausage biscuit. Dog looks: POP + NOISE. This continues, until you don't need the pop, just the noise. It's amazingly fast. Sure enough we were all able to trot our dogs right over the sausage biscuit without them so much as glancing at it. Even the notorious bassett hound.
But, the first time you let them pick something up again, you have to start all over.
EXACT same principle for pulling on the lead. The dog may NEVER pull. I learned long ago with horses, it takes TWO to have a pulling contest. (Ever try to have a tug of war by yourself???!) Dog pulls: little uncomfortable pops and command "walk nice" or "with me". Dog walks nicely, lavish praise. Dog pulls again: pop "walk nice". But the dog pulls for a second and gets away with it, all bets are off.
When I train for obedience I use 90% positive motivation. But for leash walking in the city, where the snack they pick up might have been sitting in a puddle of antifreeze, or when they pull out of your hand it might be into traffic, I do use pops on the collar to teach them that they really don't want to engage in that behavior.

I have not figured out a way to overcome the pack mentality though, when we're walking multiple dogs and we encounter a squirrel or cat. They are a handfull. The dogs if walking solo, behave beautifully. But let there be three or four and they are a pain!!!

Any suggestions???

Hope this helps Zelda!

From: zeldasmom Sent: 10/01/2004 06:44
Thanks Patience!! Actually, I do need to be more consistent. I seem to be able to contol the POP part with the new collar, also. I will walk her every day now. I'm sure that is also a big part of consistency (along with the verbal and physical commands). It was about a month that she didn't get a walk because I was afraid of losing her. Luckily, I don't have to worry about that anymore.

From: WildAbout_Whippets1 Sent: 10/01/2004 12:14
You may want to try walking her on a promise lead or halti. It takes consistant training for the dog to get used to the system, but it works wonders. GRRACE (Golden Retreiver Rescue...) makes all the rescue goldens get used to a promice lead. The dogs are soooo well behaved, even the young 'wild' ones!


From: Patience Sent: 10/01/2004 14:38
I've never heard of a promice lead. What is it????

From: zeldasmom Sent: 10/01/2004 19:40
I have never heard of a promise lead or halti either. That doesn't mean anything though, I hadn't heard of a martingale collar until recently either.

From: lanruvi Sent: 10/01/2004 19:46
Here's my hint. Borrow some of your friends' dogs and try walking three or more at once. It will make walking one, no matter how hyper, seem easy.

Oh, and you didn't want the boreing prim and proper dog any way... just keep reminding yourself of that:)


From: WildAbout_Whippets1 Sent: 10/01/2004 20:00
A promise lead and halti are essentially the same, just made a little different.

Here's a pic of a halti [photo no longer available]

I happen to like the promise lead a little better because I think it fits the dogs better. Anyway, it gives you control over the dogs head without you having to yank on the dogs neck. If the dog pulls, his head automatically is pulled down and the dog stops pulling. It works wonders!!!!

Here's a pic of a promise lead. It's the only one I could find :(
[photo no longer available]

From: chelsea76 Sent: 10/01/2004 20:05
From the photo I wonder if the Promise Lead is like the Gentle Leader?


From: WildAbout_Whippets1 Sent: 10/01/2004 20:09
The promise lead looks exactly like the gentle leader! Maybe we just have the 'promise lead' brand in our area? Who knows, but I think they fit the dogs better than the halti.


From: chelsea76 Sent: 10/01/2004 20:12
I agree, I preferred the Gentle Leader to the Halti when I used them for my girls. I also have a leather brand called Dogmatic - available in the UK. They are more like the Haltis, but being leather I didn't mind so much. The company was fantastic. Their smallest one was way too big for Savannah so they went way out of their way to make her a specially fitted one based on measurements and photos.


From: 4fastdogss Sent: 10/01/2004 22:35
Hating to go against popular thought here, but I'm not sure that Halti's/Gentle Leader etc. is the way to go with a whippet.
Sighthounds constantly scan with their eyes....they need free use of their head.
If you are forever leading them by the head & breaking their line of vision....chances are that you will end up with another kind problem.
Possibly a less confident dog.

My favourite is still the martingale collar & a diversionary tactic.


From: zeldasmom Sent: 10/01/2004 23:02
Oh, is that why she is always looking around all over the place?

Yes Jenn, I guess Zelda is way more interesting than a boring prim and proper dog.

Entertaining to say the least.

From: chelsea76 Sent: 10/01/2004 23:06
If used correctly you are not leading the dog by the head - you are preventing the dog from pulling and teaching it to walk on a loose lead. If it's walking loose it can look wherever it wants. If it hits the end of the lead it is restrained by pressure to the back of the head which instinctively makes it back off and automatically loosens the pressure. If used incorrectly these can cause damage. You should never let the dog HIT the end of a lead using one of these devices as it can cause severe neck damage. If I have a choice of a dog choking itself on a collar or walking nicely with a head halter, I will choose the head halter EVERY time.

I agree that I would try other methods first, but if you must have control then this is a good method. Have used it with my purebred and my mix when it was necessary to have complete control.

If you have the time to train using a clicker or the 'stand like a tree' or the stop and turn methods then absolutely, but there are times you actually have to get somewhere that you can't do these things, if you have a head halter for those times then you don't end up undoing your other training.

Now to explain what I meant by the different types here goes.

Clicker training. Have a clicker and lots of treats. When the dog is beside you click and treat. When they hit the end of the lead stop and turn, when they are beside you with a loose lead again, click and treat. They will learn, but it will take work and consistency.
Stop and turn - can be done as above with the clicker or without. Without the clicker as soon as the dog pulls you stop and turn. Eventually the dog learns that pulling does NOT get them closer to what they want to go to, and will learn that they get praised when they are on loose lead. Again - takes lots of work and consistency
Stand like a tree - when dog hits end of lead and pulls YOU STOP DEAD. Do not move again until there is slack in the lead. When there is slack praise dog and start to move. Again - lots of work and consistency.
With any of these methods you cannot ever allow the dog to pull or you will undo all the good you have done.

I had something else I wanted to add but can't think of it off the top of my head, so I suppose that's enough for now:.


From: chelsea76 Sent: 10/01/2004 23:07
Ah yes, I remember.

Someone said on another board, and I totally agree. NEVER use the word HEEL while you are pulling them back into position. They will think the word heel then refers to you pulling them. Use the word HEEL only when they are already IN the correct position. Use NO when they are at the end of the lead if you must say something to correct them.

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