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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all
I have problem with loose leash walking with my almost 4 months old puppy .

Can I use a slip leash for him ? which is better slip leash or harness ???

I tried a normal leash and a harness but he still pull.



thank you
 

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No. It is wrong to force a three month old puppy to walk on leash as you are contemplating. Never should you force walks. At his baby age he should not even be going on exercise walks. He should be playing in safe places and walking and running at his own choice and pace. You are pushing too much on this tiny puppy way too soon and risk injuring him.

Are you willing to go to classes to learn about how to work with him? If so, please state your city. You are local to me and I will give you links to safe and good places to go learn with your puppy.

In the meantime, buy and read Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson. If you are in SF, the library has it to check out for free. Download and read Before and After You Get Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar. Find them at dogstardaily.com.

Do not work by force. This is an infant, a baby. You must be gentle and take time to kindly introduce things and give him time to learn.
 

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No. It is wrong to force a three month old puppy to walk on leash as you are contemplating. Never should you force walks. At his baby age he should not even be going on exercise walks. He should be playing in safe places and walking and running at his own choice and pace. You are pushing too much on this tiny puppy way too soon and risk injuring him.

Are you willing to go to classes to learn about how to work with him? If so, please state your city. You are local to me and I will give you links to safe and good places to go learn with your puppy.

In the meantime, buy and read Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson. If you are in SF, the library has it to check out for free. Download and read Before and After You Get Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar. Find them at dogstardaily.com.

Do not work by force. This is an infant, a baby. You must be gentle and take time to kindly introduce things and give him time to learn.


hi
thanks for your answer
I think you understand wrong , I am not forcing him, my puppy already finish the training level 1, next month start level 2 .
I am using the normal leash with him and he has a harness too.
He plays free and pace too with another puppies in safety places

thank you so much for your help
 

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IMO slip leashes are good for dogs that already know how to walk nicely on a leash. They're basically a choke collar combined with a leash and not really appropriate for a puppy, especially for a toy breed. I would stick with a harness or regular flat collar and try a training class specifically for loose leach walking. If you choose to use another type of training tool like a halti, make sure you have been instructed how to use it appropriately.
 

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I agree not to use force as Streetcar mentioned. But it sounds like you're not. It sounds like you have a problem with him pulling. This is a very young puppy and he'll get it in time. It is not too young to start teaching him. Babies are sponges. But remember he is a very young baby and a little bit will go a long way. I also think a harness is best. Their little tracheas are very prone to injury from collars and definitely not a choke type collar. Just a soft harness is fine. Contrary to what some say, I do not think harnesses encourage pulling and I can demonstrate that with a video of my dog if requested. It is only possible for a dog to pull if he is being rewarded for pulling. (even if inadvertent)

I usually start puppies out in a safe place, like in your house or a fenced yard. I start out with no collar, harness or leash. I just encourage puppy to come along with me, turn with me, trot a little by my side, walk slower, zig zag and have fun with it. As he stays pretty close to you, feed teensy weensy, tiny tid bits of a tasty treat...reinforce FREQUENTLY as he's close to you. If he goes out ahead, turn and run the other way making squeaky, silly noises. Make everything into a game and you'll have him sticking close in no time. Use a squeaky toy and use that for a fun reward too sometimes. But a soft, tiny treat can be furnished quickly as you're walking along and you don't fall out of step. But at the end of a little session, let him know that his paying attention earned him a super cool time with you. I love how my dogs LOVE working with me as they get older. They are all ears when it comes to learning. They try so hard. They have a history of no pain, no serious stern stuff, no show-em who's boss...just fun learning new things.

After you've gotten him to LOVE trotting along close to you and turning with you, stopping here and there for some praise, put a harness on him...just a comfortable little harness. (I like Puppia brand comfort harnesses) Put a leash on him and do just like you did when he had no harness or leash on him.

When you advance to going on real walks, with more distractions, try to keep the distractions at a minimum and only do very short walks...just part way up your road and back for instance. Do just like you did before and when he gets near the end of the leash, pat your thigh and encourage him to turn with you and go the other way, remembering to treat often for his compliance. Keep the leash the same length so he knows when he's coming to the end. Never allow any tension in the leash to keep the walk going. He must learn that it doesn't work to pull on the leash. He likes to go, he likes to walk or trot. That is his motivation. Now, just prevent that if he pulls. It must happen every single time that you show him the pulling doesn't work to walk. Stop and wait for him to give you slack. Or take frequent turns. Turn and go back and re-trace your steps on the same, boring path he just took. Try not to wait for him to mess up. Turn frequently to prevent it, and Reinforce, reinforce, reinforce every couple steps that he does it right. (reinforce means reward that he LOVES) And it must alter behavior or it's not a reinforcer.

Apart from that, start working on teaching him eye contact. You can eventually ask him to watch you to get his attention on you better. It's a fun game you can do sitting on your kitchen floor. You hold some kibble or treats in both hands and make a closed fist. Hold your hands out to your sides a little bit. He'll grope, maul, lick, nibble on your hands but you do not open them. You wait patiently. He will eventually stop and look at you to see what's up. At that very second you click (if you're using a clicker) or use a word, like, "yessssss!" and give him a treat. Mark that behavior of looking at you. Do not give a cue yet. Get the behavior going, then when he's made the connection, add a cue at the same time, "watch." Or whatever you want. Gradually you'll add duration before he gets a click (mark) and treat. Later you'll be able to get his attention on you when needed.

He's a tiny, young baby. These training things are a process. It won't happen over night and you want him to love working with you. So make it fun, short little sessions...just 5 minutes at a time before you do something else and end on a successful note...something he does well and gets lots of attention for. Quit working with him while he's still loving what he's doing so he looks forward to the next time. Don't wait for him to get tired, bored or too distracted. Leave him wanting more.

Look for Kiko pup videos. She wonderful and has all kinds of videos for teaching things like focus, eye contact, walking nicely on a loose leash, a good sit and lots more.

I absolutely 2nd Streetcar's advice to read Culture Clash. It's excellent and a must read to understand some important things about dog behavior.

Good luck. Enjoy your puppy. And like Streetcar said, don't over do it. It sounds like you're doing just great.
 

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Hi mypoodleS, okay it sounds like you two are doing great in your class-congratulations!

He's still a baby, and in time this will get better. Baby dogs don't have their brains yet :). Okay, they have brains but like human babies who can't learn to read until they get a bit older, they learn in steps. Poodlebeguiled has some great info for you, better than mine.

Is he going to kindergarden, too, to have supervised and safe play with other puppies? When my last dog was the age of your little guy, she really benefitted from this activity. Maybe that is what Training Level 1 covered? Are you taking classes at a place that follows Sue Ailsby's levels?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
IMO slip leashes are good for dogs that already know how to walk nicely on a leash. They're basically a choke collar combined with a leash and not really appropriate for a puppy, especially for a toy breed. I would stick with a harness or regular flat collar and try a training class specifically for loose leach walking. If you choose to use another type of training tool like a halti, make sure you have been instructed how to use it appropriately.
Yes , i am using a harness with him and practice with slow and short walks
 

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I agree not to use force as Streetcar mentioned. But it sounds like you're not. It sounds like you have a problem with him pulling. This is a very young puppy and he'll get it in time. It is not too young to start teaching him. Babies are sponges. But remember he is a very young baby and a little bit will go a long way. I also think a harness is best. Their little tracheas are very prone to injury from collars and definitely not a choke type collar. Just a soft harness is fine. Contrary to what some say, I do not think harnesses encourage pulling and I can demonstrate that with a video of my dog if requested. It is only possible for a dog to pull if he is being rewarded for pulling. (even if inadvertent)

I usually start puppies out in a safe place, like in your house or a fenced yard. I start out with no collar, harness or leash. I just encourage puppy to come along with me, turn with me, trot a little by my side, walk slower, zig zag and have fun with it. As he stays pretty close to you, feed teensy weensy, tiny tid bits of a tasty treat...reinforce FREQUENTLY as he's close to you. If he goes out ahead, turn and run the other way making squeaky, silly noises. Make everything into a game and you'll have him sticking close in no time. Use a squeaky toy and use that for a fun reward too sometimes. But a soft, tiny treat can be furnished quickly as you're walking along and you don't fall out of step. But at the end of a little session, let him know that his paying attention earned him a super cool time with you. I love how my dogs LOVE working with me as they get older. They are all ears when it comes to learning. They try so hard. They have a history of no pain, no serious stern stuff, no show-em who's boss...just fun learning new things.

After you've gotten him to LOVE trotting along close to you and turning with you, stopping here and there for some praise, put a harness on him...just a comfortable little harness. (I like Puppia brand comfort harnesses) Put a leash on him and do just like you did when he had no harness or leash on him.

When you advance to going on real walks, with more distractions, try to keep the distractions at a minimum and only do very short walks...just part way up your road and back for instance. Do just like you did before and when he gets near the end of the leash, pat your thigh and encourage him to turn with you and go the other way, remembering to treat often for his compliance. Keep the leash the same length so he knows when he's coming to the end. Never allow any tension in the leash to keep the walk going. He must learn that it doesn't work to pull on the leash. He likes to go, he likes to walk or trot. That is his motivation. Now, just prevent that if he pulls. It must happen every single time that you show him the pulling doesn't work to walk. Stop and wait for him to give you slack. Or take frequent turns. Turn and go back and re-trace your steps on the same, boring path he just took. Try not to wait for him to mess up. Turn frequently to prevent it, and Reinforce, reinforce, reinforce every couple steps that he does it right. (reinforce means reward that he LOVES) And it must alter behavior or it's not a reinforcer.

Apart from that, start working on teaching him eye contact. You can eventually ask him to watch you to get his attention on you better. It's a fun game you can do sitting on your kitchen floor. You hold some kibble or treats in both hands and make a closed fist. Hold your hands out to your sides a little bit. He'll grope, maul, lick, nibble on your hands but you do not open them. You wait patiently. He will eventually stop and look at you to see what's up. At that very second you click (if you're using a clicker) or use a word, like, "yessssss!" and give him a treat. Mark that behavior of looking at you. Do not give a cue yet. Get the behavior going, then when he's made the connection, add a cue at the same time, "watch." Or whatever you want. Gradually you'll add duration before he gets a click (mark) and treat. Later you'll be able to get his attention on you when needed.

He's a tiny, young baby. These training things are a process. It won't happen over night and you want him to love working with you. So make it fun, short little sessions...just 5 minutes at a time before you do something else and end on a successful note...something he does well and gets lots of attention for. Quit working with him while he's still loving what he's doing so he looks forward to the next time. Don't wait for him to get tired, bored or too distracted. Leave him wanting more.

Look for Kiko pup videos. She wonderful and has all kinds of videos for teaching things like focus, eye contact, walking nicely on a loose leash, a good sit and lots more.

I absolutely 2nd Streetcar's advice to read Culture Clash. It's excellent and a must read to understand some important things about dog behavior.

Good luck. Enjoy your puppy. And like Streetcar said, don't over do it. It sounds like you're doing just great.
Hi
We are using a harness and practices with short walks .
He already finish training level 1 for puppies , he knows:
Watch me
Sit
Down
Spin
Leave it
Take it
Drop it
Stay
But he needs to improve in loose leash walking

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi mypoodleS, okay it sounds like you two are doing great in your class-congratulations!

He's still a baby, and in time this will get better. Baby dogs don't have their brains yet
. Okay, they have brains but like human babies who can't learn to read until they get a bit older, they learn in steps. Poodlebeguiled has some great info for you, better than mine.

Is he going to kindergarden, too, to have supervised and safe play with other puppies? When my last dog was the age of your little guy, she really benefitted from this activity. Maybe that is what Training Level 1 covered? Are you taking classes at a place that follows Sue Ailsby's levels?
Hi
Yes , he goes to Socialization for puppies and he loves it.
 

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I too found it much easier to first teach my pups to walk with me without a leash until they understood the cue, and then introduce the idea of loose leash walking. He is still very young and I most certainly wouldn't use anything that tightened round his neck. The natural reaction to feeling restraint is to pull against it - the last thing you want is him to pull and damage his throat. Lots of games of follow the leader, with treats and giggles and fun, making yourself even more exciting than all the other wonderful stuff out in the world, gradually introducing and heavily rewarding a "with me" cue. When you walk him continue to use a harness - it is much safer, and keeps the option of a flat collar to signify "we are now working" when he is older. If he pulls stand still, and reward the first flicker of a turn, or a glance towards you. While walking, constantly reward his staying close - praise, treats, etc - just as PB says, and walk briskly. Don't expect him to keep it up for more than a few minutes at a time - babies have short attention spans! It sounds as if he is a bright and willing little dog, but the world is a huge, wonderful, exciting place, and humans walk so slowly!
 

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Another tip (in case you didn't learn it in class) that I found helpful with my dogs when they got older and still tended to pull a little bit at times...when they were very eager when we'd first set out, for instance was to vary the speed. Maurice, especially gets so use to going the same speed that if I slow down it seems he thinks we should be going faster...since that's what we usually do. He didn't seem to get that it's by my side that matters most. So what I did was walk pretty fast for a little ways, then slow, then medium, then stop, then fast...rewarding frequently for staying "by me." Finally, that seemed to help it all sink in. But it's hard work...lots of concentration for that until they learn that they can still enjoy their walk, their environment, stop and sniff often but when we're walking, don't go way out in front too far. It certainly doesn't have to be perfect....just a loose leash and don't walk in front of me. lol. (I hate that.)

But it's true...for a casual walk, humans do walk painfully slowly...poor dogs. And trying to keep up that concentration to keep next to you, even sloppily the whole walk is a lot to ask. But for little training sessions it's a good way to get the message across that near me is where I want you to be, not so far ahead that the leash gets taut. Once they get in the habit, it's not so hard. And they will walk along side, a little ahead or a little behind, a little out to the side and can enjoy smells and marking on trees etc while still keeping the leash slack.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
No. It is wrong to force a three month old puppy to walk on leash as you are contemplating. Never should you force walks. At his baby age he should not even be going on exercise walks. He should be playing in safe places and walking and running at his own choice and pace. You are pushing too much on this tiny puppy way too soon and risk injuring him.

Are you willing to go to classes to learn about how to work with him? If so, please state your city. You are local to me and I will give you links to safe and good places to go learn with your puppy.

In the meantime, buy and read Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson. If you are in SF, the library has it to check out for free. Download and read Before and After You Get Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar. Find them at dogstardaily.com.

Do not work by force. This is an infant, a baby. You must be gentle and take time to kindly introduce things and give him time to learn.
Another tip (in case you didn't learn it in class) that I found helpful with my dogs when they got older and still tended to pull a little bit at times...when they were very eager when we'd first set out, for instance was to vary the speed. Maurice, especially gets so use to going the same speed that if I slow down it seems he thinks we should be going faster...since that's what we usually do. He didn't seem to get that it's by my side that matters most. So what I did was walk pretty fast for a little ways, then slow, then medium, then stop, then fast...rewarding frequently for staying "by me." Finally, that seemed to help it all sink in. But it's hard work...lots of concentration for that until they learn that they can still enjoy their walk, their environment, stop and sniff often but when we're walking, don't go way out in front too far. It certainly doesn't have to be perfect....just a loose leash and don't walk in front of me. lol. (I hate that.)

But it's true...for a casual walk, humans do walk painfully slowly...poor dogs. And trying to keep up that concentration to keep next to you, even sloppily the whole walk is a lot to ask. But for little training sessions it's a good way to get the message across that near me is where I want you to be, not so far ahead that the leash gets taut. Once they get in the habit, it's not so hard. And they will walk along side, a little ahead or a little behind, a little out to the side and can enjoy smells and marking on trees etc while still keeping the leash slack.
thank you so much for your tips .
 

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The key to loose leash walking is for your pup to have good focus and attention skills. When you have that your dog will check in with you frequently when on leash and you can praise that attention. As fjm suggested teaching close attentive walking is a good way to get a puppy to get connected to you, then when the pup has developed good centripetal attraction for you putting a leash on is no big deal. For example last summer when Javelin had not had all of his immunizations and I was only taking him certain places I knew would be safe I spent a lot of time in my backyard with him and running away when he got distracted. I would call his name and clap and have a big party every time he came back to me. Once I started walking my neighborhood, he would check in with me very frequently and I would praise him for it. It was pretty easy to get loose leash skills that way.
 
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Limited slip collars all the way! That's all I use. Fostering taught me that. Frighten dogs are dogs that never were walked on leashes before where able to slip out all the time and slip leashes would strangle them and they never would let you walk them again. Limited slip collars are the best things ever invented.


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I agree not to use force as Streetcar mentioned. But it sounds like you're not. It sounds like you have a problem with him pulling. This is a very young puppy and he'll get it in time. It is not too young to start teaching him. Babies are sponges. But remember he is a very young baby and a little bit will go a long way. I also think a harness is best. Their little tracheas are very prone to injury from collars and definitely not a choke type collar. Just a soft harness is fine. Contrary to what some say, I do not think harnesses encourage pulling and I can demonstrate that with a video of my dog if requested. It is only possible for a dog to pull if he is being rewarded for pulling. (even if inadvertent)

I usually start puppies out in a safe place, like in your house or a fenced yard. I start out with no collar, harness or leash. I just encourage puppy to come along with me, turn with me, trot a little by my side, walk slower, zig zag and have fun with it. As he stays pretty close to you, feed teensy weensy, tiny tid bits of a tasty treat...reinforce FREQUENTLY as he's close to you. If he goes out ahead, turn and run the other way making squeaky, silly noises. Make everything into a game and you'll have him sticking close in no time. Use a squeaky toy and use that for a fun reward too sometimes. But a soft, tiny treat can be furnished quickly as you're walking along and you don't fall out of step. But at the end of a little session, let him know that his paying attention earned him a super cool time with you. I love how my dogs LOVE working with me as they get older. They are all ears when it comes to learning. They try so hard. They have a history of no pain, no serious stern stuff, no show-em who's boss...just fun learning new things.

After you've gotten him to LOVE trotting along close to you and turning with you, stopping here and there for some praise, put a harness on him...just a comfortable little harness. (I like Puppia brand comfort harnesses) Put a leash on him and do just like you did when he had no harness or leash on him.

This is such a wonderful way to train a puppy to stay with you! I did it a lot like that (minus the treats) from the day I got him at 13 weeks. He never got any real training, but if he gets out, or I have my hands full when I come home with him in the car, he stays very close to me and he’s never run off. It is really very effective. Now I totally agree with further training, I am just unable to do it.

Thank you so much for sharing that! While helping out with ideas for a small puppy, you’ve reinforced what I believed in helping him be well behaved.



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