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Will my dog ever heel? Success storys?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Amelia M Richards, Jul 13, 2019.


  1. Amelia M Richards

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    Can I just start off by saying you guys are great! I've had so much invaluable advise and thanks to the people who have replied to my posts I've found the perfect harness, treats and most importantly training advice for my dog...in only two days thanks to following advice from an article someone posted, my Roxy's confidence (and mine) is soaring and I can see a change in her already, she is so happy to be petted and made a fuss of now where before when I didn't let her sleep in my room or pet her unless she 'earned it' (following advice from a couple of dog training websites) she would be nervous and unsure.
    Anyway ..im so desperate to get things right and give her the best I can so apologies for the long posts.
    The main issue I'd like to fix at the moment is on walks. She pulls persistently and nothing I've tried works. The whole stop, start, change direction is the approach I was taking, but it only succeeds in making her run to my side when I stop or change direction and then continue pulling. She just wants to sniff everything, check every front garden for cats, walk on every wall (thinking of finding an agility class for her-she'd be brilliant!)
    Shes currently has an indi dog harness and when I want her to stay near I clip the lead on the front which limits the pulling, but it looks uncomfortable for her when she pulls.
    Will her excitement go down with age? I walk her at least 3 times a day and at least one of them she has a good run on the long lead and game of fetch..surely she'll start to get used to the stimulation of walks soon or is that wishful thinking? I've tried canny collar (shes hates it and her anxiety goes through the roof)..and not sure what approach to take. The only thing I've managed to train her to do on walks is sit and watch me when we get to the road..but of a dog or cat is there that goes out the window.
    Any tips?
     
  2. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    Teach her what to do when she hits the end of the leash

     
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  3. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    What age is she? The stop method does work but it takes many many weeks to get it working well.

    I found it more effective when paired with a clicker. Click for correct position. Stop for incorrect.

    The other thing that helped me and my dog was the realisation that eye contact is the key to a lot of good behaviours. Your dog needs to understand that all good things come from you. So, eventually you get to the position where he he is not scanning the environment every time he goes out. He is watching your leg position and face for clues.

    Some breeds definitely find this easier than others. My tibetan terrier had it cracked by 6 months. My brittany was 2yrs in may and, though she isnt at all bad, she still prefers to be out in front if she can.

    Some dogs walk better off lead at heel, so you can try that to get the eye contact and attention on you, then progress to on lead
     
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  4. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    Pulling is uncomfortable for both of you and spoils your walks so I would try her in a headcollar. There are lots of different types but really she wont pull in one and she will get used to walking on a loose lead. A dog will pull for ever. The lead has to be slack for them to learn what is comfortable. As soon as it goes tight most dogs will pull against it. So set yourself up to succeed and use a headcollar at least initially and you will get there in the end. Keep a harness on as well so that when she is released and allowed to sniff and range ahead the longer lead can be clipped on to the harness.
     
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  5. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    Ps yes, my tilly is an example of a success story really. At 8 months old, she was brilliant off lead with recall and safe to be walked off lead. At that age, i was struggling to get her to stop on a whistle (she is a gundog and i do dabble in a bit of gundog stuff, nothing much)

    Anyway, i took her to a gundog trainer for help with the stop whistle and he instantly saw she was pulling like a train on lead. (the only way i could walk anywhere with her at 8 months was on a gentle leader)
    So he took her off me, and she was that strong, even he struggled! She had a slip lead on for that training session and, within a minute, he had her walking really well and he was able to show me how to do the stop whistle.

    However, i do remember walking out of the field with her that day and i had to hand her to him because she was too strong for me at that age. She is tiny too but solid muscle. Built like a tank, she really is!

    I persisted with my stop method every day during training for heel (gentle leader everywhere else)

    And i had made some progress but what really accelerated things for me was @Dogloverlou!! And @Sairy

    Sairy started a heelwork training thread on this forum in january this year. Dogloverlou posted a video of her heelwork with music and it was so good, that's what i wanted to be able to do with tilly.

    I worked extra hard after seeing that vid. And even joined a rally o class. Tilly's heelwork is not competition standard. But it's not bad. I can even walk on sheet ice without being pulled over.

    I dont think dogloverlou has any clue how much she inspired me with that one video.

    Anyway, if i can get my brittany walking to heel on lead, you can definitely get your dog there:)
     
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  6. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    The leash pressure video as already shown..it's by kikopup am sure she also explains it in another video how to proceed if your dog is 'yo yoing' which is exactly what your girl is doing. The stop starting can and does work...but for some dogs..like yours they just end up yo yoing on the lead. They know exactly what is expected....which your dog certainly does but forget themselves with the excitement of smells or knowing they are going somewhere..ie we go on a walk at a certain point I get to this area and get to run.

    So always class teaching loose lead walking as a training session. Meaning your not actually going anywhere in particular. Make sure you have time and patience!
     
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  7. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    Absolutely true:)
     
  8. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    This was where we were up to in january. Tilly was 19 months old here. She is better than this now. She gives more eye contact and needs less verbal cue -ing. We can walk long distances.

    However, in an exciting environment, she can still need more cues. She isnt perfect by any means but i am pleased with how far we have come.
     
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  9. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    lullabydream, post: 1065465366, member: 1381616"
    I agree with this too........

    My youngest Lab is now just 2 years of age and I would see her as a 'success story' in terms of lead walking. Labs have a tendency to be very strong when young as they are generally immature and my youngest has an amazing zest for life so she was no exception. But she walks like a dream now. I am so proud of her.

    Re lead walking - Firstly I spent lots of time engaging with my Lab and being the centre of her world (and still do). I then spent a lot of time doing 'boring walks' gradually building up the distractions. For me it was important to make lead walking a session in itself and not simply as a means of getting to the park/fields so it was all about 'us' and not about where she was going. I also found practicing for short sessions so no one gets bored was the best way.

    Apart from that, be patient as all dogs learn at their own pace. :)

    J
     
  10. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

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    True.
    I had terrible trouble trying to stop Adam from pulling on the lead. Tried everything and sorta just resigned myself to having a puller then shortly after I got Heidi I realiesed he had stopped pulling. Just randomly decided to walk next to my leg and I have no idea how or why!?:Wideyed:Hilarious
    Im rubbish at dog training tho....half the time they learn to do the right thing by accident!:Shy
     
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  11. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    Lol @catz4m8z ! I think my murphy largely trained himself too! He was a piece of cake compared to tilly. He walks beautifully on lead, never pulls. I took him to ringcraft as a pup and a few people said 'how did you teach him to walk like that?'
    As he paraded around, up and down at perfect heel and with a lovely bouncy little stride that showed him off to perfection.

    But i never taught him that at all. He just does it. I think he might have enjoyed being a show dog:)
     
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  12. Amelia M Richards

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    Brilliant advice as usual thank you..yes she yo yos, cross crosses, jumps up etc.. her attention is hardly ever on me. Shes just turned one.
    Regarding the gentle leader..I have a canny collar which she hates and as soon as my attentions off her she claws it off...if she couldn't get it off I'm worried she'd hurt herself..with her anxiety I think being around alot of stimulation and not being able to pull towards or away would really stress her out..do you think it's worth a try though?
    I have a new treat pouch and clicker being delivered Monday, not used a clicker yet so looking forward to trying that method out
    I just feel like shes got so much training to be done I'm overwhelming or confusing her sometimes! Going to have to start prioritising.. she loves her training sessions indoors but outside I might aswell be invisible!
     
  13. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    Hmmm. I must say Tilly hated her gentle leader with a passion. Walked like a dream on it though! She didnt try to claw it off, but as soon as she saw it, she was under the table, hiding! I took a no nonsense approach and just popped it on. It goes on easily. At the end of the day, it is an aversive. When the dog pulls in it, it hurts! And, i assume it hurts a lot which is why it has a seemingly magic instant effect of bringing the dog to heel.
     
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