Llw With High Prey Drive


Well-Known Member
Hey Everyone,

I desperately need some help with training my German Shorthaired Pointer how to walk on a loose lead. I have been diagnosed with a rare form of arthritis and really was hoping she'd help motivate me to stay walking, but I'm beginning to think it is unrealistic. We are going to a clicker trainer for help, but the basics for LLW are not working! I've trained my lab to LLW but have had no luck with this little girl. She is about a year old now.

Here is what is happening:

She walks nice in the house and in the back yard so she gets the idea when there are no or controlled distractions.

When I take her out the front door, she immediately wants to hunt. Her eyes dart from typical bunny places to birds. I try the typical LLW techniques of being a tree and penalty yards and she just doesn't care.. she alternates from pulling extremely hard to going into a point at the end of the lead (pointing at a bird across the street). Penalty yards really don't work because she finds something new to look at very quickly (think ADHD hunting dog)

I've tried making sure I have her attention before we leave the house and getting a solid "look" before we leave the front porch to no avail. As soon as we hit the grass she is overboard. Eventually, she gets really frustrated at not being able to go where she wants and starts becoming agitated/stressed and sheds with dander appearing (this is after about 15mn of LLW work). This leads to complete shut down.

Any ideas???


Experienced Member
If she is that intense then in my opinion your new goal is not LLW but attention. It sounds as though she has zero interest in you or whatever rewards you have on you. Forget about walking and think about either finding a reward that may mean more to her than birds (a tug toy?) or a way to use the premack principle to teach her how to earn the opportunity to chase.

And then in the backyard I would work heavily on lots of distractions. Get someone to rattle her food dish and try walking towards it. Get someone to pull a plastic bag on a long rope. Work your way up.

You have a very young girl and if she really is that focused on the other animals you are going to have your work cut out for you. Be patient!


Well-Known Member
Thanks soo much!! I think you are spot on about the attention piece. She is not very food driven, and at the dog park she will give up intense fetching when a bird flies overhead. hmm I'll have to experiment more with toy reinforcements. Maybe something else will be worthwhile to her!

A question about premack, I ran across another forum where a GSP owner used a "flirt pole" as a chase reward. Any resources/ideas on how to approach it?

I love the plastic bag on a long rope idea, definitely going to start using that one in the backyard!!

We've been starting to train Silvia Trkman's heel so maybe that will help it all come together too as she gets older.


Honored Member
Yes, my dog is also super intensly interested in prey. I've been making him walk in heel, not loose leash, but a perfect heel, and wow, it's like walking a different dog. Teaching your dog to heel might be helpful.
Now, when my dog is walking in heel position, he sees a bunny and it's almost as if he looks at it to say, "You know, i WOULD lunge at you, but, i'm too busy paying attention to stay in this here 'HEEL' position. Maybe tomorrow, bunny, maybe tomorrow.."

Yesterday, we got surprised by a chihuahua, (my dog has nutzo thing about chihuahuas, and any other small, skinny short haired breed, he just blows his mind, begins breeching around on the leash wayyyyyy over the top, if i have no warning time to 'prepare' him)
so we get surprised by a chihuahua around a corner, the lil dog lunged and barked at Buddy, who is walking in a heel, and BUDDY DID NOT REACT....just kept walking.

Now, for any other dog owner, that'd be like, "No Big Deal, so your dog walked by an unexpected chihuahua? so what?" but, for Buddy, that was HUGE. Might not happen again for a year, :ROFLMAO:but, it happened.

I was guilty of mostly using extenda-leashes with him, thinking he gets a better work out, (more steps taken) and in the past, i had let Buddy choose where he stops to sniff or pee. I've recently quit doing that, and *i* am picking the places he gets to sniff and pee. Not him, me.
I pick, i choose. Not him. If a mailbox i am about to choose as a good spot to stop, but Buddy pulls towards it at last moment, (before *i* have given my lil signal we are stopping here)we skip THAT mailbox, cuz *i* didn't "pick" that one, he did. see?

Probably not all dogs need this kind of thing during heels, but, it seems to be helping with some of Buddy's issues, like his prey thing, and maybe, mayyyyyybe, with some of his dog-agression...

turns out, when i pick where we stop,----->we actually both get a better work out, as Buddy likes to stop (rest) every few feet, to investigate every lil smell in the neighborhood. NOW, he walks much further without stopping between sniff breaks. He gets tired faster. (YAY)

also, if your arthritis is in your arms or wrists, and you are NOT a tiny person, you may want to consider what i did, i hooked his leash to a large belt i wore over my coat...but my dog is only 50 lbs.
Saved my wrists and elbows from damage during lunges. But, now that i am into heel-walking, he doesn't lunge nearly as often. And Buddy still gets his off leash romps in the woods or fields.