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Thread: GSD Pup Attempting to Control Walk

  1. #1

    Default GSD Pup Attempting to Control Walk

    Hi Everyone,
    My name is Lilly and I have a 10 month old desexed male GSD. I love the guy and generally he is very well behaved. The problem is that when I take him for a walk, he sometimes would turn around (I have him on a walking harness), grab the leash and attempt to play a tug of war game with it. I know he is trying to get control of the walk but it is annoying. I tried the halti and it was way more difficult. We did not get anywhere with it and he HATES it! What can I do? I tried to put vicks vapodrops cream on it (as recommended by the puppy preschool trainer) but it only will stop him at the beginning of the walk.
    Lilly

  2. #2
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    I used to have the same problem with my GSD but found the Black Dog training collar excellent. Tried to put a link in here but it didn't work. She hated it at first but she soon got used to it.
    The more people I meet, the more I like my dogs.

  3. #3
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    G'day

    Tug of war is a game that is very much about dominance. It is something that should never have been permitted in the first place, but that does not help you now.

    If you insist on using a harness and he is grabbing the lead, purchase a lead that is made out of chain. He will almost certainly not like the chain in his mouth.

    The next thing I would be doing is to train him to play tug of war and associate it with a command. Use a single 'toy' with this command. When he understands the command then add extra toys for him to play the game with.

    He is only to use this toy and command together. When you decide he is to stop say ""No 'command'" and take it away from him. If he repeats the tug of war say ""No 'command'" and proceed with what he is supposed to be doing.

    Just remember that you control when the game starts and when it stops.

    Happy training

    cya
    Matthew

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    Hi Lilly84

    I like most of what Matthew says about you decide when the dog gets to play tug of war...

    Frosty LOVES tug of war, and I use a horse rope for a lead because the flat webbing sort get cut in half by her teeth in seconds. If she decides to play tug of war when we're walking, it's usually because she wants off the lead. But she also just loves playing tug of war. So I do use it as a reward for coming back to me and going on the lead - we have a quick game of tug, but it stops when I want it to.

    I tell her "uh uh" or "leave it" and divert her attention with something else to do or play with, the easiest thing for dog that likes tug is a little rope toy. If she's back on lead - we practice some heel and sit stuff. And heel is like a game where she has to pay close attention to me to stay in the right place - because I go fast, stop, change direction, back up... lots of praise and reward for when she gets it right.

    If I'm still having trouble stopping her from playing tug - I try to be as boring as possible. Tug is only fun if someone else is tugging the opposite way. So I don't tug back, I turn side on to Frosty and pretend I'm a fence pole - which is no fun to play tug with.

  5. #5
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    If I'm still having trouble stopping her from playing tug - I try to be as boring as possible. Tug is only fun if someone else is tugging the opposite way. So I don't tug back, I turn side on to Frosty and pretend I'm a fence pole - which is no fun to play tug with.

    Very good advice IMO. Just don't play the game. Matthew's advice is also excellent.

    Another option you could try is the "stop" method of training when out and about for your daily walks. He grabs the leash, you stop walking. Once he lets it go, you continue walking. He grabs, you stop... .

    Absolutely terrific for teaching a dog to heel, and also useful for re-teaching a dog who is starting to display unwelcome habits/behaviour when walking.

  6. #6
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    Hey Lilly ..

    Welcome aboard to you and your lil man. Tis a great question that you ask. Matthew & Hyacinth have covered some very good points and given some great tips. My Zep is the most placid dog in the world but come walk time he has presented me with some real challenges. I have tended to focus more on why a dog does what he/she does during the walk and see it from their perspective rather than fixing the issue with different collars and harnesses etc. I'm not saying not to use those techniques if you need to, but sometimes if you can deal with the cause you don't need to change your equipment etc etc.

    Definitely agree with using a specific 'chewing' or 'pulling' toy for fun times that are under your rules, rewarded and stopped as necessary .. I have used this technique and have had a lot of success. Also definitely agree with the 'fence pole' suggestion - there is just no fun or reward when the pooch doesn't get the interaction, attention or fun when you aren't part of the game. It's like the pulling on the lead dilemma, the harder you pull against them, the more you run along side them, the more your voice changes in frustration ... well the more they are going to keep going hard at it, cause it's fun and you are making it fun for them.

    Probably the best thing to remember is: consistency! Solving a problem like this doesn't happen immediately and your patience and continued consistent approach will begin to change the way your dog sees 'walk time'. I often see people who start off well with really well structured walk routines ie. stopping and not rewarding the bad behaviour, rewarding the good behaviour .. but getting frustrated by the 3rd or 4th day because nothing changes. I have even met some people who say it's embarrassing to walk only 50 meters in 30 mins because I keep stopping. You just gotta keep going with it, I promise that things will change when good and consistent and patient efforts with your dog continue.

    Ummm, anyways, I haven't covered all the things like rewards and things like that .. but if you'd like to talk more just let me know. Hard to cover everything in a response like this.

    Can't wait to see some pics of your pooch. Good luck and happy walking with your guy.

    SH, Loles n' Zep

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    Quote Originally Posted by lilly84 View Post
    Hi Everyone,
    My name is Lilly and I have a 10 month old desexed male GSD. I love the guy and generally he is very well behaved. The problem is that when I take him for a walk, he sometimes would turn around (I have him on a walking harness), grab the leash and attempt to play a tug of war game with it. I know he is trying to get control of the walk but it is annoying. I tried the halti and it was way more difficult. We did not get anywhere with it and he HATES it! What can I do? I tried to put vicks vapodrops cream on it (as recommended by the puppy preschool trainer) but it only will stop him at the beginning of the walk.
    Lilly
    Hi

    It is easily solved. Have someone else for him to hold onto. Cappy used to love doing that and whilst it was ok sometimes - other times I gave him things to carry - the newspaper...a toy...a rawhide...

    Downside of that is that I was forever picking it up when the mood passed.

    IMO it's a real gsd thing - Doof sometimes does it too but then again - I egg him on

    Sounds like your walks might be boring for him - gsds like a nice quick pace, lots of trees to sniff and a cuddle here and there - just in my experience anyway

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    G'day
    Tug of war is a game that is very much about dominance. It is something that should never have been permitted in the first place, but that does not help you now.
    Oh pleeeeeaseeeee!!!!!! This is the biggest bull***ever! I have never ever experienced "dominance" (gosh I hate the word) and I played TOW with all my dogs. Large or small. It's great stuff, and you can teach your dogs heaps playing TOW.

    My dog was doing it when he was a pup, but I thought him command "lead me", and "leave it". So when we go for a walk I talk to him "Who's gonna take me for a walk? Who's gonna lead me?" And he takes the other end of the leash and leads me, takes me for a walk But when I tel him to stop and to "leave it" he drops it. You can teach him heaps through fun and play. Don't take it to seriously and don't expect he will learn it in 2 days. He's just a baby and he needs fun and lots of it! You just have to be firm and persistant when you decide you want to teach him something til he actually does it.
    Last edited by Fedra; 10-31-2009 at 08:27 PM.

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    I believe Matthew said that tug of war was a game of dominance - and it is.

    I always play it with me dogs and initially I always win - until I know a dog well enough and start to let them win ocassionally.

    Cappy was in no way dominant over me but would grip a toy so hard i could lift him off the ground. He was also trained to let go on cue. Not an issue, but that's because we did it right.

    It's a game...a game which is part of what establishes a pack leadership - watch two dogs playing it....

  10. #10
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    Tug of war is a game that is very much about dominance.

    I personally believe that this comment is 100% correct. I know there are a lot of dogs and owners out there who play this game with each other, love it, and have no problems.

    But there are also a lot of them that never should! A portion of my life was spent with police and security dogs. Very well-trained, but quite dominant. The family never played tug with them, that's for sure.
    I've had other dogs and bitches who I played it with often.
    My fellow now is a very dominant dog. I am fast establishing myself as the alpha dog, and would certainly not play it with him at this stage.

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