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Thread: Going for a Walk

  1. #1
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    Default Going for a Walk

    When I take Rocky for a walk he's fine most of the way, sometimes when crossing the road he starts to get a bit worked up and runs ahead or stops and starts biting on the lead. This has pretty much stopped though because when we cross the road I constantly talk calmly to him and give him a treat on the other side.

    However, he walks on a gentle lead head collar. I HATE it, but I have to use it because whenever I walk him on a normal collar he pulls really hard, to the point where he chokes! Anyway, he doesnt really like the head collar either as he paws at it and rubs his face on my legs to try and get it off anyway always at about the same spot (just before getting back home) he stops, and starts jumping up and biting the lead and going crazy!

    My trainer suggests pulling the head collar up to make it tight and uncomfortable until he lets go. I said no chance. Another trainer said to use a spray bottle and say 'No' and then give him a spray and then praise him when he lets go. I have tried this once and it did work, but I really dont like the idea . Telling him to leave it and offer him a treat when he does does not work. I need to do something because he could hurt himself by jumping and pulling, and sometimes he gets very close to biting the metal clip on the lead!

    Are there any other methods to snap him out of his little crazy moment?

  2. #2
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    May I ask why you don't like the spray bottle method? I use this with my puppy (13 weeks) and it works every time.

    What I do is spray with a sharp No, then when he stops what he's doing and looks at me I distract him and encourage him to walk along nicely, then he gets a praise jackpot. It's worked for me and not only is he being taught what not to do, but he's being shown what he should be doing as well.

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    Oh, the other one that I've heard is to use a chain lead. It's uncomfortable for them to chew so they stop chewing on it. I don't know how effective this is though.

  4. #4
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    Hi RR,

    May I ask how you got Rocky used to the leash when you first started lead-training?

    Did you actually train him (or are you) to walk at the 'heel' position properly, or did you simply go to the harness pretty quickly because he was pulling on the leash ahead of you?

    If so, then I would back-track my training. Believe me, there's nothing more horrible than trying to walk an adult dog who was never correctly trained how to walk nicely beside you! Particularly a large and strong one, which your Rodesian Ridgeback is certainly going to be.

    I usually start training a puppy first with simply clipping the leash on around the house and yard at regular intervals every day, letting the pup get used to the feel of the leash trailing along. Only when the pup has got to the stage that they are not bothered in the slightest by the lead attached, do I start with training to walk and heel.

    Could give that a go?

  5. #5
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    Angela's gone batty: I dont really have a proper reason for not liking the spray bottle method, I just feel bad doing it. But I think I'm just being a little over sensitive I do suppose its the best option I have at the moent because it doesnt cause pain and it stops the behaviour. Also I have tried a metal lead, and he didnt chew on that, the only problem was when he did pull it would rip my hands apart Although I havent tried a metal lead on the head collar, I may do that!

    Devil's Advocate: I never put him in a harness, I kind of just delt with the pulling, every time he did I would say 'No' or 'Uh-uh' and give a slight tug and then stop. I tried walking backwards etc. He's ok putting the lead on, and he walks pretty well until something grabs his attention he'll start pulling. After having the head collar on he is walking a little better on his regular collar, but still pulls, but is easier to control.

    Its more when he gets into that crazy mood and starts rushing around and jumping and biting, usually when he does this he just stops (he keeps doing it even if I keep walking). He normally does this when he is on his head collar, but also on his normal collar (to a lesser extent). I hope im explaining myself properly.

    Thanks for the input guys

  6. #6
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    Thanks RR, you explained well. Lol.

    I do understand how you feel about the spray bottle method. I really don't like it myself, and if I ever suggested it it would be as an absolute last resort. That's just me.

    You could try carrying a ball or treats or somethihe loves that can gain his attention back onto you when he starts displaying excited puppy behaviour. That works for some. Simply standing still like a statue till he has calmed down and has his attention back on you works for others.

    Coating the lead/clip with something yukky-tasting works for some as well.

  7. #7
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    I've tried the statue thing before, it calms him down, but only to the extent where he chews on the lead calmly. lol. Treats etc have no effect when he gets like that, but maybe I have to get him some new treats because he's losing interest in the ones he gets at the moment. I may try a toy, which I'll have to buy because every time I get him a new toy it lasts 1, maybe two nights if we're lucky

    As for something yuckky tasting on the lead, I baught this extra bitter spray that I tried myself and quickly learnt that I should never do that again however, it doesnt phase him at all!! I'd even go so far as to say he likes the taste! haha ok maybe not likes it but does deal with it

    I dont mean to sound like im shooting down all your suggestions, theyre all great and I really do appreciate the help! and they do work with other dogs in the family, but Rocky's special lol. I think it looks like the spray bottle it is. I suppose thats better than him hurting himself. Thank you again DA

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyRidge View Post
    Angela's gone batty: I dont really have a proper reason for not liking the spray bottle method, I just feel bad doing it. But I think I'm just being a little over sensitive I do suppose its the best option I have at the moent because it doesnt cause pain and it stops the behaviour. Also I have tried a metal lead, and he didnt chew on that, the only problem was when he did pull it would rip my hands apart Although I havent tried a metal lead on the head collar, I may do that!

    Devil's Advocate: I never put him in a harness, I kind of just delt with the pulling, every time he did I would say 'No' or 'Uh-uh' and give a slight tug and then stop. I tried walking backwards etc. He's ok putting the lead on, and he walks pretty well until something grabs his attention he'll start pulling. After having the head collar on he is walking a little better on his regular collar, but still pulls, but is easier to control.

    Its more when he gets into that crazy mood and starts rushing around and jumping and biting, usually when he does this he just stops (he keeps doing it even if I keep walking). He normally does this when he is on his head collar, but also on his normal collar (to a lesser extent). I hope im explaining myself properly.

    Thanks for the input guys
    Perhaps (with the chain lead) you could attach a 'toggle' to it where you would normally hold the leash on the chain part? Black dog do the toggles and they are usually pretty cheap, I think I paid $10 for mine?

    I have to be honest, I don't like the spray bottle either, but it works so I stick with it. I've tried softer methods but they don't have any impact on Batty (I am only referring to the biting on the lead part btw, not the pulling ).

  9. #9
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    Ohh, I never heard of a toggle, im guessing its something I can grab onto like a cover or something? Either way I'll get one, $10 is much cheaper than the 5 leads I've baught him haha.

    Yeah I've only used the water bottle for the bigger things after he hasnt listend when I've told him to stop. At first I did make a mistake of over using it when the puppy trainer told me to do it (I didnt know what I was doing and thought I should listen to the trainer, thats a further reason why I dont like using it - it was my fault and I feel terrible about it)

    I will try a combo of the things you have both suggested, I'm kind of excited now because this is one of the main problems im having with his behaviour

  10. #10
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    Well, I personally think angela has given you some great advice.

    remember, what works for one dog may not work for another. There are always so many different things we can try to change a dog's behaviour. The trick is finidng what may work for your dog. Sigh - always easier said than done, isn't it.

    Don't be afraid to try anything, within reason. If it feels 'right' for you and your dog, and gives you results then it is worth trying IMO.

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