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Thread: Having Real Trouble Walking Our 14mths Kelpie

  1. #1

    Default Having Real Trouble Walking Our 14mths Kelpie

    Gday all,

    Just joined up, this is a really postive forum, and there is heaps on exellent advice.
    Anyway we have a 14months red kelpie ( it was sold as a Kelpie X Border collie, really struggling to see any border collie, as we have a 12yr border collier X kelpie, who is black with the white collar & a red tingle in her coat as she has got older). She is a ripper of a dog (got her at 8 weeks, so she hasnt been badly treated) & many suggested not getting another dog (but has really helped with her training) until the older one moves on to greener pastures, which hoping never happens. Sorry anyway I have read lot & feel reasonably experienced with these breeds of dogs (through our older dog, who is the best behavoured dog I have ever meant), but betty is really making walking her quite difficult for my partner (I go sometimes). She is out of control on her walks (she has improved later, but this arvo really made my wife upset). All the necessary steps are in place to keep her busy during the day & have helps of toys & stuff to destroy in the backyard, except for the 2 hr walks a day, she gets 1 hr, go for drives whenever someone some goes out. We live on a suburban block in Brisbane, but has a big back yard.
    My question to anyone that can help, what methods seem to work effectively when trying to control her on her walks (not really interested in treats, unless someone can offer a convincive arguement), switched from a choker to a hareness. Punishment is not helpful & can make things worth. She is a good dog, well behaved on all accounts, but the walking lets her down.
    Would love to hear from anyone that can help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    She is out of control on her walks (she has improved later, but this arvo really made my wife upset).
    What do you mean by "out of control" and what do you do when she acts this way?

    Whatever you are doing - she doesn't understand what you want her to do instead, and what you are doing in response makes her do more of what she is doing that you don't like.

    switched from a choker to a hareness
    Where does the lead attach to the harness - if it is between her shoulder blades or on her back - this will encourage pulling by engaging the dog's "opposition reflex" the same reflex that makes a good sled dog.

    If the harness is the front attach sort, you should be clipping onto a ring on her chest - and any pulling would unbalance her and turn her back to face you and give you more leverage to control her - like you can move more weight with a wheel barrow than trying to carry the same sized bucket.

    Punishment is not helpful & can make things worse.
    totally agree. If the dog will take a treat this may be helpful in training her to do what you want. My dog won't take treats when out on walks. So the way I get her to walk nicely is to use the front attach harness (SENSE-ible Dog Harness, Dog Training Equipment | Softouch Concepts, Inc.) and to stop and wait for her to come back to me - with some encouragement before I take another step towards the park (fun) or home (dinner).
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 07-06-2011 at 06:57 PM.

  3. #3


    I honestly think if you get a holty collar, this is the one that goes over the muzzle. And if the dog pulls ahead the dog head starts to turn back to you.
    It is fully approve for the problem walker. As all it does is stop the dog from lunging ahead.
    And if you can borrow one to see if this works and if so get one. But I would then if it works start with the treats as soon as your dog is walking a long side of you.
    with our other dog we went to obedience and they sold one to a dog with this particular proplem. The dog hated it on it muzzle but within that 1 or so hours training it was along side her.
    Please give this one a thought and along with treats you might be on a real winner.
    But not all dogs are wired the same.
    Ask the petshop if you could borrow one while you are up the street. But I do think this will work.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Gippsland, Victoria


    Have 'pinched' the following (posted by me) from another thread. There are tonnes of threads here about teaching dogs to walk on loose leash, so please have a surf around as there are many different methods!

    Quote Originally Posted by Villain & Flirtt View Post

    A dog pulls because of a thing called 'opposition refex', that is, the more backwards pressure you put on the collar or harness, the more the dog will push into the pressure. Ergo, why sled dogs pull sleds, if you like the analogy.

    When I train a 'Loose leash' or 'Social' walk (ie, not a formal heel), I like to do what I call 'the sneaky'... That is, when my dog reaches the end of the leash (and I prefer a 6 foot or longer leash for better control), I give a small pop on the leash (not a jerk or yank!! More like a tap on the shoulder) and at the same time I turn 180 degrees and walk the opposite way. I then encourage my dog to come up beside me by making nice noises, patting my leg etc to let him/her know what I want. You can even give a treat when your dog reaches your side. Then when my dog goes out in front, I repeat the process.

    This means initially you will be going back and forward over the same ground while your dog processes and understands the pattern- if I pull, I won't get to where I want, and my beloved owner will be walking away from me.

    I call it 'the sneaky' because you are 'outsmarting' your dog, lol. Most dogs HATE their owner going away from them!

    But you have to be unpredictable- don't do the same number of steps in each direction or your dog will see a pattern and you are no longer 'sneaky'!!!

    I have only one rule for the social/ loose leash walk. The dog may sniff, be in front or behind or anywhere as long as they DO NOT pull!!

    Of course, you MUST start in an area of low/ no distraction to teach this calso use a flat collar. When your dog 'gets it' move to a new level of (only slightly) higher distraction and so on.

    During this teaching phase, there are NO corrections, and LOTS if praise. Once your dog is good at this, you can move forward to introducing a correction (martingale collars, properly fitted are excellent) for letting the leash go tight.

    This takes TIME and PATIENCE but is well worth it as it provides a good foundation for your dog to learn a) what is right and b) what is not ok.

    Remember; dogs seek things that benefit them- make keeping the leash loose a benefit to your dog and you'll both win!!

    And, lastly, during this time, you will only 'walk' your dog in the distraction area/level you are up to. If you need to go in a straight line to somewhere, or get there quickly- leave your dog at home. Any inconsistency will slow your progress.
    Re: treats- rewarding/ reinforcing your dog is 'paying' him or her for his/her work. Would you like to work hard always for no pay? Remember, dogs aren't like humans and don't chose to be altruistic and 'volunteer' for charity. Dogs are hedonists and will take the quickest path to what benefits them. You need to make what you want benefit your dog. Ergo, you MUST 'pay'. Payment can take the form of food, pats, praise, play. Your dog will prefer some over others just as we humans might prefer $50 to $5. So, by eliminating treats in your own mind... Are you possibly ignoring a payment method your dog might value highly? Something to think about.

    Bushranger suggested a 'Halti' head collar. Again, much info on here if you search. I am quite negative about the use of headcollars as I don't believe they teach the dog anything in and of themselves... Without a structured training program, they only limit the behavior- and when you remove the headcollar- wham!- most of the time the behavior is back.... Worse

    Add to that the potential danger of injuring your dog's neck because of where the leash clips on... Asking for trouble, IMO. I, like Hyacinth, like the design if the front attach harness if you must use something other than a flat collar or Martingale.

    Hope that helps.

  5. #5


    Tried the harness with the lead under her chest, seemed to have worked today,touch word, thankyou for the advice.

    Playing up means continous pulling (which is normal), pretty much normal puppy naughtyness, barking, goes nuts at other dogs, cant be controlled, hasnt adjusted to us the being alfa dog yet. She seems to adjust to male deep voice, but not so well with the female voice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Playing up means continous pulling (which is normal), pretty much normal puppy naughtyness, barking, goes nuts at other dogs, cant be controlled, hasnt adjusted to us the being alfa dog yet.
    The way to get what you want is to be very careful about not encouraging what you don't want, and encouraging what you do want.

    So for the dog to learn what you want - you need to start in a place where there are no distractions - ie no other dogs or things that divert her attention away from you. Inside the house or close to it might be the go or inside a garage, on lead. You start standing with the dog next to you and give the dog a treat for being next to you, and then you take a step and give the dog praise and a treat for coming next to you again, you might have to wait a little while for her to figure out the right place to be. Be patient. And don't try for longer than 5 minutes, but a couple of minutes would be enough for the first session.

    Once she can get this right, increase the amount of distraction eg try in the back yard, then the front yard, then the foot path out the front. Ie each new place - the new behaviour needs to be trained again, because everything the dog learns is context sensitive and in the dog's mind - a new place has new/no rules.

    If you go to a park or somewhere she can run free - wait for her to sit calmly before you let her off lead. Again - shouldn't take longer than five minutes. Make sure you praise and reward her for anything approximating calmness and then select out each more calm behaviour - like looking at you, not pulling, and work up to the sit.

    Do not let her greet other dogs or people if she's pulling. Wait for her to sit calmly. Ask for a drop if necessary because that's a more submissive/non threatening position from other dogs' point of view.

    Practice recalls and reward at home too. Ideally you want to reward with the yummiest treat you can think of and do that at least three times a day - when she's already coming to you ie she will get it right.

    The more she gets to practice naughty behaviour - the more she will do it, so don't let her off lead where you need control - until she shows some impulse control.

    Have a look at the Triangle of Temptation - good impulse control in front of dinner is a good start. Can she stay - until you give her permssion to eat. Can she recall past her dinner to you or does she get distracted by her dinner...

    Dog Behaviour Articles FREE! K9 Pro The K9 Professionals

    Your dog is normal but likely very clever ie she will train you if you let her - it's up to you to learn what you need to know to get her to do what you want. And that does not include grabbing her by the neck and shoving her face into the dirt.

    Any punishment you use on a dog like a kelpie - including yelling, hitting, pinning, locking up - will have unexpected consequences as the dog tries to figure out what to do to avoid being punished again (given that punishment does not give the dog a clue what you do want them to do) and you might not like the ideas the dog comes up with.

  7. #7


    The Easy Walk Harness is great and a gentle solution... If use the techniques sugested with it I'm sure you will see a big difference. I got mine online from it was much cheaper than the pet shops.

  8. #8


    The gentle leader is the best thing for my dog I found. I did try a few different head halters but he didn't like them at all. He would not walk properly at all. The gentle leader very easy to put on and also control. I am only a little person and he is so strong it is not funny watching him drag me down the street. But now not a problem. He walks well for me. Good luck

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