Heeling And Sitting

Discussion in 'Training Challenges' started by jeanniecogan, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. threenorns Well-Known Member

    hello! i, too, started with a lunger but i don't have the excuse of getting the dog at an advanced age - he was about 2mo old when i got him and the end result - dandy dragging the stroller down the shoulder of the highway on its side with my daughter screaming her head off inside it - is entirely on my head.

    i also have a bff with severe mobility issues - fibromyalgia and lupus for sure, good chance it's MS instead - and she has a 90lb chocolate lab who also lunges and charges.

    i have no quarrel with the prong collar IF used correctly and for the right reason (no leaving it on all around the house, i mean - it's strictly a training aid). i've put one of those on my arm and i've had someone give it a good yank - it really didn't hurt at all when it was pulled the right way (just felt really tight) but yeah - big oucheez when it was dragged back at a sharp angle (such as trying to drag back on a lunging dog).

    what i used on dandy is a straight-forward slip leash using a 3" carabiner clip - all the other collars were horrible with his fur: slip and limited slip would just tighten and tighten and not loosen up because his fur would clog them all up and flat-buckle types would have his fur all clumped and matted beneath. with the carabiner clip holding the leash back on itself, the weight is enough for it to pull free of clinging wisps of hair and open out again. most of the time when we're talking, it's dragging on the ground (or close to). he can get out of it any time; he well knows how, he just can't be bothered.

    technique-wise, i came up with the "my time, not yours" - now i know it's a standard method but i didn't then. when dandy charges toward something, i turn around and walk off in a random direction. when he catches up to me, i praise and treat but if he charges ahead, off we go in another random direction. when he's properly walking next to me, i turn around and we'll go see what that was - but as soon as he puts tension on the leash, back the other way we go. it didn't take him all that long to learn that cooperating with me got him where he wanted to go a lot faster even if it did mean we spent a half-hour looking like those little tin duckies at a carnival shooting game.

    with my bff, however, this isn't an option: she can seriously get killed. so instead, i had her put googie on the leash and then attach a 25ft lead to the porch. at the top of the stairs, sure enough, he rocketed down them. this time, however, she let the leash go (last time she went right down the stairs and landed on the gravel, getting chewed up pretty good; that's where she was when she called me - lying on the gravel and bawling her eyes out bec she'd about decided to get rid of the dog) and let him go. he hit the end of the line with predictable results and she went up to him, picked up the leash and took him back in the house. after checking he was okay and the porch was still attached to the house, she started all over again from scratch - and he did it again.

    the third time, though, she noticed he hesitated before the urge to run overtook him and he stopped at the end of the lead and waited politely for her.

    basically, in one day, she is now able to walk him politely from the house all the way to the car. next she's going to get a second 25ft lead and transfer him from one to the next - that will get him all the way to the road and if he bolts, he won't run into traffic or drag her in front of a truck.
    jeanniecogan likes this.

  2. jeanniecogan Well-Known Member

    Wow, what an adventure you have had. I should tell you that i am 71 year old, bad knees (30 yrs of dog grooming) and severe arthritis in my lower back. i should have put that in my original note.

    That is the reason i can't keep up with her or hang onto her. I really like what you did with your dog. I just can't be pulled like that. However i love what you did with your friends dog. a little story.

    about 15 years ago we had a gsd 6 months pound puppy. he was fine with everyone and everything unless he was on a leash. then all dogs should stay out of his way. took him to two different obedience classes and was dismissed from both. so i tried a third as i knew he needed the socialization. They saw me coming and saw what he did in the parking lot , which was drag me off a benchand drag me accross the pavement. they asked me if i wanted a pronged collar. silly mejust grinned and said "oh i would love one of those". so they fitted it on him (he loved people) and told me not to pull on it. let him do the pulling. ok i said as i wrapped the leash around my hand and flexed my left arm tight and gripped my left hand with my right. he went out the door and saw a dog and lunged at it and the whole place went silent as everyone heard Rocky screaming at the top of his voice(argh argh argh) and then it was over. i never even had to put the collar on him again. he was a quick learner. i glowed though for the rest of that class. the 25 foot rope reminded me of that.

    anyhow the dobie (Bonnie) is smarter than that and i used more finesse with her. i tried all kinds of collars and harness' on her and she would just drag me around. so when i put the prong collar on her, i gently pressed on it so she could feel it. and then we went out the door. she ran out the door but when she felt the collar she stopped and looked at me. and that was it. she is fine on the leash now. i use two leashes, one on the flat collar and one on the prong collar. she hits the flat collar first and it stops her now. but am keeping the prong collar on in case the unforeseen happens. i really pleased and every day it gets better. we are into about 2 weeks now.

    thank you for taking the time to let me know im not alone. Everyone on this site has been so terrific in trying to help me.
  3. threenorns Well-Known Member

    was your gsd, by any chance, a bit of a drama princess? i know someone whose dog, i kid you not, at the slightest little thing would carry on like she was being flayed alive. i was walking her bec he'd twisted his knee and couldn't walk very far - hockey injury. one day, she tried to jump up on his dad's car so i said "no!" and poked her flank with a finger. i'm not kidding: one finger. and it wasn't a sharp poke, either. but omg, she carried on with the "yai! yai! yai!" as if i'd kicked her or something. so the guy picks up this ridiculous little scrap of fluff and gives me an evil look while saying "there, there" and so on - and that dog looked back at me and *smirked*. if she were human, she'd've stuck her tongue out.
  4. 648117 Honored Member

    I'm feeling a bit uncomfortable about the turn that this thread has taken. These methods are not in keeping with the general theme of "reward based training" used by most on this forum.
    Dogster and jeanniecogan like this.
  5. jeanniecogan Well-Known Member

    Sorry, but when i take Bonnie out to walk I definitely use the treats. Again, I apologize.
    threenorns likes this.
  6. threenorns Well-Known Member

    i've said it elsewhere - sometimes taking the long, gentle route isn't an option.

    if googie lived with me, i could do the same thing i did with dandy - take weeks and months to get him to understand the proper way to walk simply bec i do have the ability to control him easily just on my own (i used to be a powerlifter). but he's a 90lb chocolate lab and she is physically fragile. he's already caused her untold agony (i can send you pictures of her hands, the result of her losing her balance and putting her hands down on the stove burner while it was on because he got tangled up in her feet). she loves that dog to pieces but hasn't the physical ability to control him when he takes it into his mind to charge off. the other complicating factor is that she lives on native land up by north bay - you wanna talk dogs at large? nobody around there seems interested in being responsible pet owners. even though it's a community packed with kids, there are dogs of all sizes and breeds roaming around at large, singly and in packs of varying sizes, getting into the garbage, tearing up gardens, and fighting. if googoo gets loose, guaranteed there'll be a huge vet bill.

    it's like kids - if your daughter bolts off while you're in the playground, that's one thing: you can be gentle and let her know that running off is not acceptable and maybe put her in a time-out on the bench or, worst case, take her home. but if she bolts off while you're beside a busy road, that is something else entirely - you don't get a chance to do it right the second time around.

    prong collars, sharp corrections, etc, are absolutely wrong for teaching a dog to do tricks or things like sit, lie down, keep your nose off the TV screen, or don't bark at the window because nobody's safety is being jeopardized.

    i completely understand wanting to keep things fun and reward based - but it would be irresponsible to deny that, just like parenting human children, it can't all be treats.
    jeanniecogan likes this.
  7. jeanniecogan Well-Known Member

    My story about Rocky is the same. The "EXCEption to the rule". i raised , trained and showed and groomed dogs for 30 years. I love dogs and would never abuse them. I am however just learning this method of training, and I think it is wonderful. have had great success with it with Bonnie, she just thought it was normal to drag me around and i had to find a way to let her know what i wanted. and i never hurt her, and she never hurt herself with the collar either. it was a win win situation for both of us and i will be thrilled when the collar can go in the trash.
    threenorns likes this.
  8. 648117 Honored Member

    I'm not judging anyone so you don't have to justify your choice to use any particular method even if it is not a method that others might choose.
    I disagree with a number of things in some of these posts and I would just say that in some of those scenarios it might have been wise to take into account the potential strength of the dog when selecting breed (although I understand that sometimes circumstances change, things don't go to plan, people don't get to choose their breed etc). That's all I'm going to say about that as I don't really want to turn this thread into a arguement.

    Anyway, the main point was that this particular forum isn't really the right place to discuss non-reward based training methods. Even if you choose to use them to teach one particular behaviour (loose leash walking) and use reward at all other times I still don't think this is the right place to discuss that particular part of your dog training.

    But perhaps I'm the only one who feels this way, idk.
  9. jeanniecogan Well-Known Member

    I understand now that this is not the place to discuss this part of the training now. And I apologized twice for putting that in it. but i will apologize again. im sorry.
  10. jeanniecogan Well-Known Member

    Well, thanks to all you nice people on this site i think i can end this thread. after 3 weeks of working with Bonnie today i took the collar off her and just left her regular collar on. we went to Tractor Supply and i walked her around in the store and we met 4 or 5 people that just were just as happy to meet Bonnie as she was to meet them. She walk on a loose leash and watched where i was going most of the time. i was just thrilled when i left the store. So i just want to say THANK YOU AGAIN for all the great ideas. i feel that since i tried all of them that each idea helped her come along. So thanks for teaching me to teach Bonnie. At 7 months old she can

    leave it
    take it
    wait for her food politely
    roll over
    shake paw
    get in (the car or truck)
    watch me
    open the door (when it is cracked open)
    AND DA DA walk on a loose leach.
    kcmetric and Evie like this.
  11. Evie Experienced Member

    Congratulations on your success with Bonnie!!
  12. southerngirl Honored Member

    If Bonnie starts pulling again I think you should consider these two options.
    I think the best thing for you to use without hurting you or your dog is the gentle leader or the easy walk harness. I use the gentle leader with my dog to control her around other dogs and it helps a lot. My friend has a 50 pound boxer and my friend is 5'3 95 pounds so her dog literally dragged her she bought the easy walk harness and it a loud her to have control over her dog and her dog no longer pulls.
    Personally I do not like Choke collars or choke collars the can damage the dogs trachea and other things. I would never use either on of those on my dogs. I don't even use my dogs flat buckle collar to walk her with because she lunges and pulls around other dogs and I don't want her choking herself so I use a harness and a gentle leader.
    Dogster likes this.

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