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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2013, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Leash training

Hello,

Mucho is now 3 months old and we'd like to start training him to accept and heel when on leash. He still has a 5-6 weeks before we are allowed to take him out on proper walks, but I'd like to start early.

So far we've introduced the collar with great success - we put it on whenever we go out and he will sit perfectly still with no fuss while we clip it on.

The leash however is a different thing:

* I tried letting him drag around the leash but he just stops and starts chewing it.

* I tried luring him around and that's hit and miss. Sometimes he just turns his head, grabs the leash and starts chewing again.

* I tried using both toys and food as lures but he generally doesn't like to be lured like that much. Maybe I should try when he's really hungry. It doesn't help that I have to bend down really low to get something in front of him.

Actually, the only thing that can lure him around is the flirt pole. I'm concerned though that he will see this as playtime and start lunging to grab the plushie.

Any other suggestions on what else to try?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2013, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by orestis View Post
Hello,

Mucho is now 3 months old and we'd like to start training him to accept and heel when on leash. He still has a 5-6 weeks before we are allowed to take him out on proper walks, but I'd like to start early.

So far we've introduced the collar with great success - we put it on whenever we go out and he will sit perfectly still with no fuss while we clip it on.

The leash however is a different thing:

* I tried letting him drag around the leash but he just stops and starts chewing it.

* I tried luring him around and that's hit and miss. Sometimes he just turns his head, grabs the leash and starts chewing again.

* I tried using both toys and food as lures but he generally doesn't like to be lured like that much. Maybe I should try when he's really hungry. It doesn't help that I have to bend down really low to get something in front of him.

Actually, the only thing that can lure him around is the flirt pole. I'm concerned though that he will see this as playtime and start lunging to grab the plushie.

Any other suggestions on what else to try?
First thing I would do is to switch from a collar to a harness. Little dogs can be very easily damaged if they pull suddenly against their collar. (big dogs can too, but it happens even more easily with small dogs)

Second, unless you plan on competition obedience, I assume you want loose leash walking, not real "heeling". If you want to do competition obedience, and therefore need real, heads-up, show ring heeling, you really need to work with a competition trainer unless you've had lots of experience yourself, and know exactly what you are looking for. Even for loose leash walking, puppy kindergarten, or a few private lessons at home can be invaluable to get you off on a good start.

Here is a video I really like on a good way to get dogs started with loose leash walking:

http://youtu.be/kfiNFtembDA


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2013, 09:26 AM
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Another thing that worked for us, if you have another person in the house that the puppy really likes, have them walk in front of the puppy while you have them on the leash. I found letting our puppy "follow" my daughter really got her moving on the leash and she started to forget she was on the leash.

Good luck






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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 02:57 AM Thread Starter
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Just an update, I managed to lure him with a squeaky ball. If you get him in a playful-feel-like-walking mood he actually follows us around in the house quite happily. A lot of times though he is in a playful-like-to-chew mood and he can't be bothered with walking.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 07:01 AM Thread Starter
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I think I found Mucho's "carrot" for following me around: Carrots!

I was making lunch and slicing them up, and I gave him a little sliver - he went nuts and followed my hand to see where the next one is coming from. He only eats kibble and tin food so I guess anything new is going to be very tasty to him.

I also asked for some sits and he really made an effort to sit (and not lie down as he usually does) in order to get the carrot.

Are there any downsides to this? Carrots are healthy, cheap and readily available. Plus I can nibble a few before giving him to really increase the perceived value.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 07:18 AM
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Once we went outside, the leash was no biggie for Zekda because outside is so interesting. And she realized the leash meant awesome is coming. You might find it's not a problem once you go for walks.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Thebean28 View Post
Another thing that worked for us, if you have another person in the house that the puppy really likes, have them walk in front of the puppy while you have them on the leash. I found letting our puppy "follow" my daughter really got her moving on the leash and she started to forget she was on the leash.

Good luck
Yes, that's the same idea as this video... it's just that the video method works if you don't have a helper!


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by orestis View Post
I think I found Mucho's "carrot" for following me around: Carrots!

I was making lunch and slicing them up, and I gave him a little sliver - he went nuts and followed my hand to see where the next one is coming from. He only eats kibble and tin food so I guess anything new is going to be very tasty to him.

I also asked for some sits and he really made an effort to sit (and not lie down as he usually does) in order to get the carrot.

Are there any downsides to this? Carrots are healthy, cheap and readily available. Plus I can nibble a few before giving him to really increase the perceived value.
Carrots are a fine training treat. But LOTS of other "people food" can be used as healthy training treats too. Boiled chicken is a great one for getting puppies started. You often need a high value treat to get them interested in trying hard in the beginning!


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 08:57 AM
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BTW, little pieces of bell pepper, and many fruits are also well-recieved. Just avoid onions, avocado and grapes!


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 10:03 AM
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You can also try spraying the leash with some bitter apple spray to reduce the biting.
You can also try labeling behavior he normally does such as saying heel or follow when he is normally following you around the house and reward the behavior.

Ron (and Colbie and Scarlett)
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