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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning! I just wanted to post a quick note on using the Gentle Leader on my mpoo sled dog wannabe in case anyone else is having a similar experience. Jessie follows me around the house and is great at staying at my side off leash. Even in our neighborhood dog park! But as soon as we're on a sidewalk with a clear path to follow, she likes to charge ahead. Who could blame her?

Initially, for loose leash training I was planning on just using her harness and stopping/turning around each time she pulled me. (I should note Jessie is not food motivated and completely ignores all treats outside, which makes things a bit more difficult for me to capture her attention.) My main problem with this was admittedly self-centered: it's been so hot here in FL that our time outside is really limited to dawn/dusk, and even though Jessie was getting good mental exercise stopping and turning around every 5 feet, I wasn't getting *my* exercise in. I need my walks too, and I want fuzzy company!

So I tried the Gentle Leader. Miracle!! Jessie immediately stopped pulling. I took my clicker with me on our walks and clicking/verbally praising when she stayed "by me" because I was getting a lot more of that behavior than I ever had with her harness. I felt since it was more successful in getting her to stay by me that the message would be clearer for her to understand what I was asking for than before. After just a week of using the Gentle Leader on our twice daily walks, I tried walking her on her harness only this morning. I only had to stop and redirect her 3 times in 40 minutes!! No sled dog pulling either- just a couple moments where she got too excited and forgot what to do.

I'm so thrilled!! Such great progress after just a week. I won't say she loves the GL, but she only tries to get it off for the first 5-10 seconds as we're leaving the house then just ignores it completely during the walk. It's the part over her snout she doesn't like, even though that is pretty loose. I give her a nice muzzle massage when we're done as a reward :)
 

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I'm glad to hear your new tool has been effective. Noelle is also a sled dog wanna be. I finally found a technique that is helping as well. I keep an eye on my own feet and the second Noelle crosses the threshold and takes a step beyond my feet, I instantly make a left turn and stop. Dogs have a much wider field of vision than we do. By turning left and stopping, Noelle can see me do it out of the corner of her eye, and stops in surprise. Then I hold out my left hand, ask her to touch my hand. She puts herself in heel position. I offer treats, and continue our walk.

If Noelle does not cross the threshold, I click and treat every third step. If she makes eye contact, she gets clicked and treated with both a high value treat and a normal treat.

If she gets too far past me for me to do the left turn, I do an about turn and walk with her behind me until she reaches heel position and I click and treat her there.

Our walks look disjointed, to be honest, but we're making progress. So far, I've used management tools to try an help with this issue, but they haven't worked well. Noelle is the kind of dog who runs to the end of the leash, turns around, runs to the end of her leash again. All of the about turns and being a tree hasn't helped her grasp what I want. Walk with me, silly! Turning into her space at just the right moment is helping her "get it."

Good luck with the loose leash walking. It can be hard for some dogs to grasp. Sounds like you're on the right track. Congratulations! Keep it up.
 

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I'm so glad it's working for you - I think for many dogs it's the best answer to pulling. Unfortunately for my sled dog wanna be hated it so much she was shutting down. I had to stop using it.

I was doing the circle and go another direction - which was just making me very dizzy. What I found worked was to stand still and I trained Babykins that she not only had to come back to me, but she had to get into heel position before we would move forward again. She's gotten a lot better, but when she's excited - she reverts to her sled dog behavior. My dog is teaching me to have lots of patience.

I wish I could have kept the nose leader on and use it for awhile, it would have been easier in training because they don't get to pull without immediate feedback they themselves create. Keep up the good work.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Skylar- that's too funny, I almost made myself dizzy doing the circle/other direction move with Jessie on Saturday morning :)

I'm going to walk her exclusively on the leader for the next few months so I don't confuse the message by "testing" her with just the harness. The only thing I worry about is her getting startled and lunging away from something. I don't want to hurt her neck, but then again our neighborhood is pretty tame and she's not very high strung.

Jessie seems to pick things up very quickly, but sometimes even with the leader on she finds some irrestible scent and goes weaving left and right on the sidewalk trying to track it down like a drunk bloodhound on speed. I'm all about letting her sniff, but she has to learn to do it politely!
 

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Thanks for the suggestion for the gentle leader, thinking about it, I bought a knockoff "easy walk" nose halter today to try on my 9 month old pup. She usually walks quite well for me, mostly reserving her sled dog tendencies for my mother, who has refused to be part of training her, and just wants a well behaved dog. Ok, fair, but... but...

So far Annie hates it, but I am hoping it will be a tolerable compromise for keeping her and my mom safe when Mom has to take her somewhere or let her out. I was impressed at how gentle a correction was needed. Also impressed with how many time she managed to get it off her nose, but I think I have it adjusted correctly now.

As for collar walk training.... I don't care if she walks beside me unless I shorten the leash , but I do expect that I should be able to hold the leash with one finger, and usually i can. The best solution Annie and I have found for pulling is to freeze the moment she tugs, call her back, put her at a sit next to me, tell her wait, walk forward to the end of the leash, and then tell her "slow", which is also a command we use for stairs or obstacles when she cannot pull ahead and I am going to be way slower than usual. Sometimes it takes a few repetitions before it sinks in again, and we do turn and go the other direction if she still isnt walking nicely because she wants to get to some distraction ahead. This is much more satisfying for me, because at least we are going forward, and she gets some much needed practice coming and sitting with distractions, and the reward of going forward again! We do this with her flexi and her 6ft leash.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I like the "slow" command idea. I also don't really care that much about her being right beside me, although I think with the leader that's where we'll end up.
 

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Good morning! I just wanted to post a quick note on using the Gentle Leader on my mpoo sled dog wannabe in case anyone else is having a similar experience. Jessie follows me around the house and is great at staying at my side off leash. Even in our neighborhood dog park! But as soon as we're on a sidewalk with a clear path to follow, she likes to charge ahead. Who could blame her?



Initially, for loose leash training I was planning on just using her harness and stopping/turning around each time she pulled me. (I should note Jessie is not food motivated and completely ignores all treats outside, which makes things a bit more difficult for me to capture her attention.) My main problem with this was admittedly self-centered: it's been so hot here in FL that our time outside is really limited to dawn/dusk, and even though Jessie was getting good mental exercise stopping and turning around every 5 feet, I wasn't getting *my* exercise in. I need my walks too, and I want fuzzy company!



So I tried the Gentle Leader. Miracle!! Jessie immediately stopped pulling. I took my clicker with me on our walks and clicking/verbally praising when she stayed "by me" because I was getting a lot more of that behavior than I ever had with her harness. I felt since it was more successful in getting her to stay by me that the message would be clearer for her to understand what I was asking for than before. After just a week of using the Gentle Leader on our twice daily walks, I tried walking her on her harness only this morning. I only had to stop and redirect her 3 times in 40 minutes!! No sled dog pulling either- just a couple moments where she got too excited and forgot what to do.



I'm so thrilled!! Such great progress after just a week. I won't say she loves the GL, but she only tries to get it off for the first 5-10 seconds as we're leaving the house then just ignores it completely during the walk. It's the part over her snout she doesn't like, even though that is pretty loose. I give her a nice muzzle massage when we're done as a reward :)
Great news! We love it too.
We bought the Gentle Leader because my husband has a bad shoulder and our Standard Poodle weighs 83 pounds, all of it rock hard muscle. He is a good dog who walks nicely at heel on a loose lead, until he sees another dog who might play with him. Far too strong to control when he gets excited.

Charlie does the face rub thing too, but is resigned to it after the first few minutes.

Sent from my STV100-3 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I wanted to post another quick "loose leash" progress report. We are having some great success!!

I used the Gentle Leader exclusively for a couple of weeks and it really helped curb Jessie's sled dog urge. After she got used to it, though, more and more often during the walks she would still tend to walk at the end of the leash. Although there was much less pressure on the lead vs sled dog, it wasn't exactly a loose leash yet. Clicking/praising her when she was in the right spot just resulted in her being proud of herself and walking faster to the end of the leash again. Saying "nope/with me" and stopping/changing direction only worked for about 3 seconds or so when she was really excited.

I switched back to her harness with the same result. Some light pressure, typically walking at the end of the leash, and only strong pulls when she was truly distracted by something. That in itself was nice progress since I prefer a harness to protect her neck.

Then we had a breakthrough the other day!! I decided to try immediately walking 5 steps in reverse if she charged ahead. This was having about the same success as stopping or stopping and changing direction- it worked for a few seconds, then back to the end of the leash (with minor pulling). On one particular quick lunge torwards a squirrel, I tapped the front of my foot down on the sidewalk noisily before taking the first step backwards since she almost caught me off balance. I noticed Jessie looked back at me before I had a chance to move backwards. Next time she was starting to pull ahead I tapped my foot noisily again (while still walking forward). She immediately slowed down and looked at me before she ever got to the end of the leash, and to my surprise she came to my side and started walking with me.

Now all I have to do is tap my foot if she's pulling too far ahead, and she waits for me to catch up and trots happliy by my side. When I praise her, she doesn't run ahead either!! I guess I needed a more consistant/neutral sound than my previous verbal correction. I think the combination of the gentle leader (don't pull so hard), the clicker (this is the right spot), and the foot tap (you're too far ahead) might just be magic.
 

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