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OK...I admit never really training my dogs to heel properly (outside class). I do want Zulee to learn. Before, I used a choke chain, so I know how they work. I'm just not super thrilled in using one again. I feel like training techniques have improved since then.

Zulee does pretty well on our walks. Although she pulls most of the time. I figure my next step will be dedicating some training time for her. I was thinking that if she starts to pull, I go in the opposite direction. If I simply stop, she starts jumping. She may even sit super pretty until we go again.
I have to admit. I wanted to walk more than I wanted to train, so I can see that I didn't really give this technique the full effort it deserves.

Any other suggestions?
 

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Wish I had some, I have been working on this as well. Maybe a push up ^ we might get some suggestions:)
 

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I had a setter that was horrid and I was taught to use a long leash and turn when the dog got to the end of it . It halted the pulling because he was always looking for me..
I do not like choke chains...
 

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Heel and loose leash walking are two different things.

True heeling requires that a dog keep its ear in line with the handler's thigh at all times and through all changes of tempo. Ideally the dog would also be looking up at the handler. This type of work require a great deal of concentration and should be reserved for periods of highly focused work.

Since that is not what most folks want to do on a walk, what you really want is loose lead walking. This is where the dog walks next to the handler but is free to move a couple of steps a head as long as it does not make contact with the end of the leash.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the prong collar for teaching good leash skills no matter what method you use to teach it. The prong provides a strong but safe correction (you are not going to damage your dog like you can with a buckle or choke collar) and once a dog hits the end of the leash it usually thinks twice about doing it again.

I think the trick with any collar is to not pull against the dog because this simply makes the dog pull more against the leash until they are practically leaning into it. You need to use a series of staccato POPS to back the dog off. The POP needs to be timed so that it is given the minute the dog takes up the slack in the leash. These pops need to be quick, firm, and consistent. You can accompany it with an oral reminder "Don't pull." This is again where I really like the prong collar because a small pop on the leash gets results. Often with a buckle or choke collar you have to pop so hard that you end up jerking the whole dog.

I think the changing direction thing is another useful method because it keeps a dog on its toes. It think it can be a bit manipulative to just change direction without warning though, so I always signal a turn with my body language and with the puppies especially I say, "Let's make that turn." If they aren't paying attention to all that, well then I figure they deserve to hit the end of the leash when they get left behind.

Don't be fooled into thinking that a Mini doesn't need a prong. Someone came to me with an out of control Toy. This dog was pulling so much he walked on his back legs sometimes and he would lunge aggressively at dogs he passed on the street. 45 minutes of training in a prong collar and the dog walked like a complete gentleman down the street ignoring dogs as he passed them.
 

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Of Prongs, Iron Maidens, Cat 'O Nine Tails and other training devices . . .(kidding!)

Heel and loose leash walking are two different things. ...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the prong collar for teaching good leash skills no matter what method you use to teach it. The prong provides a strong but safe correction (you are not going to damage your dog like you can with a buckle or choke collar) and once a dog hits the end of the leash it usually thinks twice about doing it again.
cbrand, I agree wholeheartedly! They did post-mortem studies in Germany (after their natural lives) and found that those dogs trained with prongs suffered almost no neck trauma and those with buckle/slip almost always had some damage. I can't quote or refer, but I if pressed I might be able to find it.

  • Pros - NOT cruel, doesn't damage the dogs body, gets the dogs attention big time. Pulling, flopping around at the end of leash are almost a thing of the past . . . With a prong collar the correction is quick pop-release immediately. Don't worry - you got his attention!
  • Cons - Get someone who knows what they are doing to help you fit it for the first time. They aren't allowed at any AKC events - they 'look' bad. I know of people who have very decorative collars at AKC events . . . ahem.
How did I teach leash training? Very simple:

  1. Never-ever no matter what pull a dog using a leash
  2. Attach the leash take one step forward and stop.
  3. If dog pulls and flops around like a fish just stand still and wait until the stop. Don't say a word - don't look at him, act like she doesn't exist.
  4. Take a step forward when the dog walks towards and you have a loose leash (only!) Praise liberally - make a BIG deal out of it!
  5. Goto Step 2 Until Dog is walking nicely with a minimum of fuss. S/he is a pup, there will be back sliding . . . just repeat until finished!
This is a very non-aggressive means to teach a puppy. The only dog that it really didn't work on well is Samantha, my first Standard Poodle as an adult (I grew up with a big black goofy spoo in the New Jersey countryside, lakes and woods and all!). Her head could scratch a diamond it's so damn hard! My two English Mastiffs (Male Ch/CD and Female pointed) and my second Standard as an adult (Louis) it only took a couple days doing trips to the mailbox/dumpster and back for them to get the idea.

It is very important to repeat - never ever walk with pressure on the lead. If they plant their feet, you can -stand still- and apply gentle pressure to the lead so that they feel they are about ready to tip over. It won't take them long to step forward because no one likes to feel like they are about to fall over! When they step forward praise and then you step forward - repeat. Then they'll bolt and of course repeat as necessary above. Be patient and have fun - keep it light and smiling!

Have fun training!

Mark, Jamie and The Poodle Gangsters . . .
 

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I'm a beginner at poodle training, but we have had some good results working with a local trainer.
We have been training our (now) 6 month old standard for five weeks. We mainly use a martingale training collar and 6' leash tied around our waist. For the first two weeks we did a lot of in house work with our boy (Amos) on a leash as we went about our usual business. One important feature of the 1st two weeks was that we tried not to talk to him at all when training. Got him to focus on our body language, not human speak-noise. Normal, gentle movement around the house led him fairly quickly into a following mode, as he was always interested in what we were doing.
Out of the house, of course, he had a lot of competing distractions, so we started by walking in "random" patterns (actually, we walked in a path that spelled out our names and our phone numbers -- we knew where we were going, but Amos didn't!). He needed to pay attention to us to know where we were going. When he messed up, our body weight automatically and immediately provided a short, quick correction as we went off in a new direction. I think poodles get bored if they know you're going to walk in a straight line for very long.
An important part of the training was a commitment *never* to go in a direction he was pulling. If he pulled one way, we immediately went in the opposite.
Lots of praise and a good body massage after each short session, of course..
Long story short, after 4 weeks he went from alternating "brakes" and "bolts" to following us on a "dropped leash" for more than an hour at a time -- never any further than 3 or 4 feet away. He focuses on us and ignores most of the surrounding distractions. We usually stop and toss a stick or a ball for retrieving every 20 minutes or so. He's just as good with no leash, but we have lurking coyotes and the odd bear around, so we always leave the leash trailing just in case. We have 99% confidence in his "Come" and "Stop" commands, too.
He still needs to learn to walk without pulling when we get close to strangers or other dogs in the country or on the golf course. (He's fine walking down a crowded downtown street.) He acts like an absolute party animal, loving every person and every dog he meets. Actually, I think he's a bit insecure when he senses eye contact from a single person or person+dog out in the open and responds by acting out the "I'm a goofy puppy" routine. When that happens we either walk away, or put him in a "sit/wait" until he's calm enough to let the person approach. Sometimes a single, firm collar correction lets him know we want his attention on us and not the other person.
Still a work in progress, but we have seen a fantastic change in him.
I hope something in these ramblings has been helpful.
 

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I've combined a little bit of my horsemanship and what I've learned by watching Cesar Millan... I follow natural horsemanship principles and we have "carrot sticks" which we use as an extension of our arms as we're working/playing with our horses. The stick can be used to "block" forward motion... When I watch Cesar's show, I see that he uses a walking stick that he uses to block the foward motion of dogs who are trying to get ahead of the handler...

I found a very beautiful diamond willow walking stick at a local street fair and I take that on our walks. If my dogs seem to want to surge ahead, I just use my stick to block their way. Since I'm very accustomed to using the stick with my horses, I don't really even need to look at the dogs - I see them out of the corner of my eye and am able to block when necessary with no emotion, just calm assertive energy which says, "I'm the leader and I'm to be in front!" Within just a few steps, we're walking in harmony with the dogs beside me (not official "heeling", but polite loose leash walking)

Katy thinks that I look stupid walking with the stick, but I'm getting to an age where I can pull it off better than she can!
 

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the class we're taking Elphie to in the spring teaches proper leash training with the prong collar
if your dog doesn't come to you when asked you're given the prong if it does you won't need the collar for the remainder of the class

the class is like puppy kindergarten but for older dogs ((we're taking all 3 dogs to the class)) and over 8 weeks ((3 times a week)) you learn basic obedience like come sit stay and proper leash etiquette :D

I use to think the prong collar was BARBARIC but looking at different websites and having a dog trainer explain it to me its way less traumatizing to the dog then a choker collar :D
 

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I think it all depends on your personal preference for training loose leash walking. I will probably start with clicker training my pup, then move onto a prong collar if required. With clicker training, you reward the loose leash and quietly stop or turn (without jerking the dog) if they pull to the end of the leash, then click and treat when they return to a loosh leash. A fast learning dog will probably get the gist of it pretty quickly. Of course, the real challenge is in enforcing the behaviour forever more!

You can search "positive reinforcement loose leash walking" or "clicker training loose leash walking" for lots of info on this method.
 

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Ahahahahaaaaaaaa :pound::rofl:

I am so glad I was not the only one with a "blooper" today LMAO - but this one is just sooooo cute !!!! OMG It sounds like some Scottish local dialect or something LMAO

Yes - CHEERS TO ALL : )))
 

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Wow I'm really shocked to hear so much support for a prong collar especially for dogs who aren't problem dogs but are just being taught for the first time.
 

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I agree with Bunni. My dog is my friend first and as such not to be coerced - at least not on first request. I use play, trust and a few treats with my dogs and they do just fine on the leash and for that matter off the leash. I can't see how threats and tugs could possibly make your dog interested in being with you or for that matter coming back to you when off leash.
 

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Wow I'm really shocked to hear so much support for a prong collar especially for dogs who aren't problem dogs but are just being taught for the first time.
I don't start the 8 week old puppies out on a prong. I leash break them with a regular buckle collar. However, as soon as we transition to real healing training, I use the prong.

Frankly, you are hearing so much support for the prong collar because it works so well. A dog does not have to be a problem dog to be on a prong. It can be a very sophisticated tool that enables the handler to give subtle corrections. I do competitive obedience and pretty much everyone I train with uses a prong including my trainer who has put an OTCH on one Mini and a UDX on another.
 

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I agree with Bunni. My dog is my friend first and as such not to be coerced - at least not on first request. I use play, trust and a few treats with my dogs and they do just fine on the leash and for that matter off the leash. I can't see how threats and tugs could possibly make your dog interested in being with you or for that matter coming back to you when off leash.
For me, the recall is not something that my Poodles choose to do because they like me, but something that they are trained to do no matter what the distraction. For me this is major safety issue. If you are relying on your dog's good will to return to you, you may encounter a situation one day where something else is more interesting than you and your dog may not come back to you quickly enough.

I used to have a Smooth Fox Terrier (Trixie). This dog was completely obsessed with her frisbee. I would have to say that it was her favorite thing in the world. One day in the park we were playing frisbee and this guy walks up and wants to throw it for her. He totally miscalculates and accidentally throws it into the middle of a busy street. Trixie had taken off after the frisbee and was about to run into the path of an on-coming car. I gave her the recall command and she stopped, turned and came back to me. A well trained recall saved her life.

When I am out on the trails with my dogs, we encounter other off leash dogs (not always well behaved), cattle, deer, coyotes, bikers, runners, equestrians and there is always the threat of bear, moose and mountain lions. Being off leash is a high stakes proposition in Colorado.

I train the recall with a combination of treats, praise and yes compulsion training as a consequence for non-compliance. My dogs learn that the recall is NOT OPTIONAL. I can guarantee that they still love me just fine.
 
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