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Thread: walking on lead

  1. #1
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    Default walking on lead

    Hi everyone!

    I've been doing some work with my dachshund pup Dexter. He's had his last needle now so I can start taking him on outings. The main things I'm trying to focus on to start with are recall and walking at my side. So far he's doing pretty well, he's been out probably 5 times so far to various places. I always try and pick somewhere quiet with few or no people so there's not much in the way of distractions.

    It's not too much of an issue but as I'm walking and he's at my side where I want him to be, I try and feed him treats as we're walking, but because he's so little I have to nearly stop walking to get low enough to reach his mouth to give the treat, and he's taken to launching at my hand to grab it and I quite often end up with a pointy tooth dragging down my finger. Any ideas on how I can stop this?

    Also with recall, he's pretty good so far. I got him running about 30 meters between my partner and I several times. But is there anyway to get their attention when they find an interesting patch to sniff? I understand your treat has to be awesome for giving up whatever was so interesting for them, but if they don't know that you have a really awesome treat, how do you convince them to stop what they're doing and come to you? For instance, I had him at the dam and chose a spot with a large patch of grass and the nearest people were a while away. I was using pepperoni and bacon as treats which he likes, and he was doing really well until he found some kangaroo droppings, I had to go and get him because nothing I did could get his attention away from it, I even had to chase him briefly to get it out of his mouth because he was eating it. He's obsessed with eating droppings! I don't know what the appeal is, but he loves it! I keep ducks and they're rather messy with their droppings and he just runs around munching on it, it's disgusting. Anyone got any ideas for treats that going to be more appealing than poop?

  2. #2
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    That would be a down-side of having a small dog, having to always bend over to give treats! But all the good things must make up for it. No advice on that one, I'm afraid. Apart from not giving him the treat if he jumps for it? He'd quickly learn, I think and then you can just concentrate on treating for other behaviour again.

    With the recall, the idea is that you first do it lots and lots of times with no or low distractions. I would not call my dog if she was sniffing something for the first couple of months when I was training recall. You really have to build it up so you set them up for success. If you suspect he is too distracted to come to you, don't call him.

    And I don't know if there are treats more appealing than roo poo! If you want to teach your dog 'leave' for such situations, you will need to do it on the lead at first. Again, you have to set him up for success because all his instincts tell him is to eat the poo!

  3. #3
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    30 metres?? That's an awesome effort for the little tyke lol

  4. #4
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    he's taken to launching at my hand to grab it and I quite often end up with a pointy tooth dragging down my finger
    The trick here - is to hold the treat so you don't let go of it if he's rough. And I also - if I see my dog coming to meet the treat, take the treat away. And so we play a sort of game of approach and retreat until she can show enough self control to wait for me to stick the treat in her mouth.

    If she gets sharky (bites fingers to get treat), it's really important to stop delivering the treat when this happens. And I've played this game with a bull terrier and a GSD. Maybe I'm silly but they're usually pretty apologetic when they realise they've got fingers and no treat. I don't say anything, except maybe "ouch" and I hang onto the treat until they can take it gently.

    Doesn't take long to get gentle all the time. Reward what you want and hold onto the reward from what you want to stop.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys! I'll keep at it and perhaps inspect the area for poop before trying, lol! Or since I have endless amounts of duck poop at my disposal, I could try working on a better 'leave it' with that. He's generally pretty good with leave it, but not so much with poop.. it must be really really tasty to him.

    I was pretty impressed with 30meters too! He was super tuckered out that night! I'm surprised his little legs didn't give out halfway, hehe, pretty cute to watch him bounding along with flapping ears though.

  6. #6
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    I've trained smaller dogs and larger dogs. With teaching the heel, I came across a training exercise that worked quite well on my boy.

    If you want the perfect heel, watching you while walking at your side, start with getting focus without walking. ie, You say "watch/look" and he looks at you.
    Once you have this, incorporate it into the walk. While he's walking with you, say "look" and when he looks at you reward with a treat. You can do this by either bending down to give them the treat or (the way that got my boy focusing the fastest) saying "yes" excitedly then throwing the treat just out in front of them to the ground. Because you are throwing it just in front of them, they begin to focus on this area and you when walking, making them less likely to pull ahead. I wasn't sure it would work but I tried it and it surprised me.

    Another thing to start of the training could be to walk somewhere that has two levels to the path (like a path with a low retaining wall next to it). Chuck the pup up there and walk next to him. You can reach his mouth and teach him the correct position next to you and at the same time you are building his confidence with high surfaces.

    If you need any more detail for these things (as I kinda rushed the explanation) let me know.

  7. #7
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    Also, forgot to mention....

    PLEASE GET YOUR DOG OUT TO EVERY POSSIBLE PLACE AND MEET EVERY TYPE OF PERSON AND HEAR EVERY LOUD NOISE AS MANY TIMES AS POSSIBLE WITHIN THE NEXT 2 WEEKS.

    Normally I advise clients (as I'm sure most other trainers on this forum do) is not wait until your pup has finished it's vaccinations to take it out and socialise it. You basically have from 8 weeks until it's 14 week (max. 16 week) mark to have it socialised with everything. This is the critical period of the puppy's development where it learns about everything in the human world. If you don't introduce it to cats, birds, children, old people, vaccuums, brooms, hair dryers, big dogs, small dogs, fireworks, machinery, thunderstorms, trains, cars, musical instruments, rustling trees, water, sand, gravel, shop signs, large crowds (the list goes on), it will most likely (not always) develop a fear of these things.

    Unfortunately for you, the first 4 weeks, it hasn't really got out to socialise these things much. I'm assuming/hoping it would have been socialised with some household things already, but the outside things are REALLY important too But as long as it all happens in the next couple of weeks, it will be good.

    Good Luck with your training. I can't wait to hear how it's going.

  8. #8
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    Pawfectionist + just wondering what are your thoughts on dog harnesses. While my dogs are good on individual walks, together they pull. I have cavaliers and have found they do not do well with collar and lead as any, even a small amount of pressure causes them distress..breathing etc?.
    The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
    Mohandas Gandhi

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavalierqld View Post
    Pawfectionist + just wondering what are your thoughts on dog harnesses. While my dogs are good on individual walks, together they pull. I have cavaliers and have found they do not do well with collar and lead as any, even a small amount of pressure causes them distress..breathing etc?.
    I know you didn't ask me, but unless it is a front attaching harness you teach dogs to pull with harnesses..My dogs do not pull, as soon as they are in a harness they pull. Which is allowed, because they are allowed out front in tracking and drafting. Front attaching harnesses hve to opposite effect.they attach on the chest and are especially designed to stop pulling..
    Pets are forever

  10. #10
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    Thank you Newfsie, My harnesses do up on the side of the belly which obviously are not the right ones. Not sure ive seen the ones you mean, do you have a link or a pic I could look at?
    Much appreciated.
    The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
    Mohandas Gandhi

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