It was late last night when I posted and looking again this morning at the further discussion, I should add that I did not use pinch collars on my dogs when they were puppies. To work on not pulling on walks with Lily, I took just her and I did the turn around method. For the first few weeks we never made it off our own block and I am sure my neighbors thought I was nuts. I left the learning not to pull for Peeves to my better half. He has more upper body strength to have given him good corrections. GSDs have lots of loose skin around the neck and I found it hard to give an effective correction. We used martingales when they were pups.
Lily AKC: CGC CD HIT CDX RN RA RE RAE RAE2 RAE3 NA NAJ; APDT: RL-1; CPE: CL1-R, CL1-H, CL1-F, CL1-S, CL1
Peeves AKC: CGC BN RN
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I think the answer is walk him by himself until reliable and then add the other dogs later.
Wish us luck!
I need to get him trained.
That approach gets my vote. Give Jazz your undivided attention while teaching him leash manners one-on-one. Add distractions when the time is right and work up to the three-dogs-at-a-time walking. This, of course, comes from someone with just one poodle, and who is not a proponent of aversives. This training technique worked beautifully when I was leash training Chagall. Good luck!
Yeah, I can relate outwest because our dogs are the same--if you walk or run with only one of them, they are great. But if you try taking both of them, it's crazy. I had rope burn on my hands just last month because I had the leashes wound around my hands and they took off to smell something interesting, and they are extremely strong when they both pull at once, I have no choice but to lurch along behind them. So I do what you said, take one at a time if I'm going alone. Not perfect but I hope that as they get older they'll be as good together as they are now on their own
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First of all, remember I have had minis not spoos, but I remember a very well qualified, reputable trainer when Jake was about 4 months old and I was looking to get him into obedience classes....she said, "if anyone suggests using a choke chain collar, turn and walk out --- there is no reason whatsoever to use a choke chain collar on a puppy, especially a small puppy, to train how to walk on a loose leash." If that's what they suggest, they do not know what they are doing. Sure enough, I found a wonderful lady, who is retired and has helped with my Sunny out of retirement, and he was loose leash walking within a month.
Every Day is a Sunny Day
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Do not use a chain. It will take off a lot of hair. I would also recommend against using a martingale for the same reason. Get a choke with a neck protector or a flat nylon choke that will slip through the hair. When he is done up for the show he will look like a piece was cut out of his neck other wise. A choke should not be used consistently tight. A quick pop of correction back to loose leash is all you need. But doing this with two other dogs beside him won't work. Solo boy time. Poodles are so smart, he will pick it up so quick with you on special training walks with treats. Good luck!
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Choke chains (obviously) constrict the windpipe and compress the sensitive nerves and blood vessels at the base of the skull where they carry sensation and oxygen to the greedy brain. If it gets high enough, under the ears, it can break the fragile hyoid bone and that's extremely painful and becomes prone to infection. This is actually how they determine if a corpse had been choked to death. Broken hyoid bone.
I'm not okay with choking dogs or anything that does it for me. Even if the dog doesn't have the good sense to stop pulling.
It also can lead to leash reactivity since dogs are associative learners. A dog can be watching children when a choke chain is digging into their necks and associate this with the children, then the dog starts lunging at the children, the choking gets worse, then the lunging gets worse, it's a vicious cycle.
Teaching the dog to heel off leash in the quiet, relatively distraction free environment like the house is a good idea. My method is to first establish targeting. Then I have my hand at my side so the dog has to be in position at my side and touch my hand to get the reward. Then I start taking my hand away and putting it down sporadically so the dog always has to watch for it. They'd better be in place to target it if they want that reward. And it's a fun game. You start taking your hand away for longer and longer periods when the dog is conditioned to maintaining position.
Your dog has to master this in the house before you can raise the criteria. Examples are, more distractions, longer periods of remaining by your side, amount of time you keep your hand up, longer periods of times between rewards, etc. You have to raise the criteria in careful, deliberate increments to set the dog up for success so they can master each new challenge. I go from the house to the backyard to the front yard to the driveway to the end of the drive to the sidewalk when no one else is out to a busier sidewalk, etc.
Then you teach a release from heel so your dog can revert to just loose leash walking for hikes and what not. To be honest, I'm not really sure how to teach loose leash walking without the leash since they need to learn what freedom they can have in regards to the leash length. Again, start in the house. Front attach harnesses use the dog's momentum, if they pull, against them. It turns them to the side. They get no where fast. This is IF you can't handle the dog's strength without some kind of help. If you can, I don't even use a front attach harness, just a back attach one. I simply stop and don't budge until the dog's pulling stops. Don't forget to mark and a loose leash. Or you can turn and go in the opposite direction,although some dogs find this to reward their pulling so it really depends on your individual dog.
Pulling gets them no where fast. That's no fun. Stop pulling and the walk gets to continue. It's the Premack principal (I dunno why all my posts seem to be about it today!) with the added bonus of a food reward or toy, if your dog likes them. For a toy, be sure to teach an "on" and "out/off".
Devote the walk to where your dog wants to go (when safe). They can go anywhere or sniff anything if they do it on a loose leash.
When leash skills are mastered, he'll know how to go where you lead him.
I hope all that makes sense. Results are more rapid than it sounds. Anyways, it's fun to teach. I don't find yanking on a dog's neck when they pull to correct them fun. I don't think the dog does either. It all comes down to what you want for your dog(s). I, personally, want better than that for them.
P.S. If a Martingale is so tight that it chokes him, it doesn't fit him correctly. It should only tighten just so that he can't slip his head of out it when the slack is gone.
Last edited by msminnamouse; 11-25-2012 at 02:35 AM.
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I used a thin, metal show choke on both my show dogs. Keeps the coat well, and works for training, :-).
I also used the "stop and go" training method. I train each dog alone to start with. If they walk nice, even out in front, we keep walking. If they pull, we stop. Then we start again with a "let's go" (same command I use in the ring". Once they've got that down (takes a few days for me), we work on slow and fast.
I still use chokers on all my dogs except Duke the greyhound.
I saw the pictures, what a handsome big boy he's becoming.
I've considered choke chains before, not gonna lie, Tesla went through a period of being very frustrating to walk. She's a smaller spoo, at 45lbs. I basically combined clicker training and the occasional collar pop on a regular flat buckle and the stop/go method. I Consistently asked for heeling on walks (with occasional loose leash sniffing break). Never took a single step if there was pressure on the leash, yadda yadda. It took months of patience that I didn't have but now I have a 1 year old dog that walks at a heel 95% of the time. If there is something way too distracting for her to handle, like a surprise close proximity squirrel/duck, she doesn't lunge, but she does forget to keep walking with me until I call her. No choke collars used.
I saw a video the other day that would've been very very useful months ago when walking the dog was a dreaded chore. It's kikopup's vid about teaching a dog to give in to leash pressure. Meaning the dog goes with the leash if there's pressure on it. It's a completely incompatible behavior with pulling on the leash, so that might help you out a lot.
The thing I don't like about the choke chains is that dogs don't seem effected by them and would rather damage their trachea's than walk correctly. When I walk my two together I use prong collars, they're great on their own, but together it's a choke fest. I had a professional trainer show me how to use them correctly, my dogs don't choke, I enjoy my walk, and they enjoy their walk.
No, I don't appreciate anyone's criticism, this works for us and your negative opinion will only boost your own ego and be ignored by me.