Loose Leash Walking Question

Discussion in 'Obedience Training' started by 648117, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. 648117 Honored Member

    I've been teaching Holly to walk with a loose leash (Kikopup method). We were just going for short walks (always the same route so it was a bit boring) and getting treats the entire way. So now I've started taking her for slightly longer walks and still goiving her treats the entire way and she is doing ok with the loose leash (not as well as with the short boring walks but still ok).

    But I have a couple of questions:

    1. When should I start fading the treat/clicker? If I keep feeding her for too long will she start to always need to be treated on walks?

    2. When she gets a bit scared (like on the last walk we saw a rubbish bag on the foot path so she started to pull backwards away from it so I slowly encouraged her to approach it and then she was fine) is this alright or is there something I can do so she wont pull even when she is scared?

    3. When we were at the park and I say "go sniff" how do I explain to her that even at that point the leash should still be loose (I don't let her off the leash yet) even though she can sniff and walk in circles if she wants to?

    4. Is it normal when we see another dog or "scary" person for her to want me to pick her up? I never do pick her up but if we are "sniffing" at the park and something "scary" appears she does sometimes hide behind my legs and try to climb up my legs (we always stop and observe the "scary" thing from a safe distance untill she calms down). While we are still on the footpath walking she is usually fine seeing other people or dogs even if they walk right past her. She is confident at home and in her obedience class, she just sometimes gets scared on walks (but not so scared that she wont still eat a treat :rolleyes:) . Is this just because she is a puppy or is there something I can do to stop her being scared of stuff?

    Thank you
    MaryK and tigerlily46514 like this.

  2. CollieMan Experienced Member

    I always count paces. For example, today I may treat after ten paces on a loose leash, and then tomorrow, I might expect twelve paces, fourteen the day after, twenty the day after, etc etc so the criteria for click/reward is always being extended. This way, the rewards become phased out naturally.

    I think you're doing just fine. The vital think to keep in mind is only reward when the leash is relaxed. If Holly feels the need to pull backwards for any reason (such as feeling scared) that is natural and fine. Just pause and wait until she relaxes. Once she relaxes (by herself without any cuddles), reward.

    I'm not entirely sure I understand the 'go sniff' context as in I don't really know what you mean for Holly to do after hearing those words. My first thought would be to use a long line for the purpose of training though so that Holly never really has to witness a tight leash and thus it never becomes rewarding. So when you are street walking, you can group the leash up to make it shorter, but then when you want her to 'go sniff' you can let her have more length. Make sense?

    Forgive me, I don't know anything about Holly, but I assume she is a puppy or at least quite young. If so, then yes, it's quite natural for her to react to new stimuli and experiences. The important thing is how you handle her reaction. I think you're doing just fine as you are. If she's eating then she's not too stressed as dogs physically cannot eat when they get overly stressed so it's a good measure. As always, I say just wait for the moment when she relaxes, click/treat and continue about your walk with enthusiasm and confidence. :)

    For what it's worth, I think everything you have mentioned are typical behaviours for a young dog. Only this morning, my three month old Beardie got spooked by a passing car. As they experience these things more and more with nothing negative happening, they will just fade away.

    I hope that helps and it sounds like you're doing just great. :)

    P.S. Stick with Emily (Kikopup) and you won't go far wrong. :)
    MaryK, Keeper, Dogster and 3 others like this.
  3. 648117 Honored Member

    Thank you,
    Holly is a 6 month old Pug cross.

    The "go sniff" is like what is in the kikopup video where the dog is allowed to walk anywhere it likes on the grass but not pull on the leash. In the video the dogs sniff the grass in someones front yard, but where I live there isn't grass front yards without a fence so I thought she could "go sniff" at the park since I don't let her off the leash yet and there might be times, even when she is trusted off the leash, that she can't be off it but I still want her to have the opertunity to sniff around the grass without having to be right next to me.

    With the being scared I think I was just worried because she is extremely confident at home and at her obedience class (she's the only one that can hit the flyball box and then grab the ball, she runs through tunnels and when they had the wobble board thing out we were told to give the dog a treat if it even touched the it but she leapt on it straight away without any fear even when it started rocking like crazy she didn't care) so I wasn't sure if it was normal for her to sometimes get scared on walks.

    With the counting paces, do you reset the count each time the puppy pulls forward? and if you do then do you reset it to the same value or a lower one?
    Dogster and tigerlily46514 like this.
  4. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    I can't answer the counting paces method, but, it seemed a good plan.
    I don't think there is any harm in continuing click/treats,
    or just treats,
    for too long, imo. I sort of think fading treats too soon can be detrimental to some training...

    I still treat my dog now and then, for doing stuff right,
    even though he has done it right for years now.:ROFLMAO:

    so how is this going now, 64817? Is your dog getting the hang of loose leash? I really struggled with this one. :rolleyes:
    Dogster likes this.
  5. 648117 Honored Member

    This thread is a bit old now, lol.

    Holly is very good on walks now.
    Usually she only gets the treats when off-leash at the park unless she is having a bad day and is being a little pully (she doesn't actually pull, I just don't like her walking out in front of me with no slack in the leash, but she doesn't put pressure on it usually) then I will give her treats.
    Although I think treats while walking distracts her and sometimes makes her worse (like she is busy thinking about the food and forgets that she shouldn't be in front of me), it seems more effective to stop walking for a moment or take a couple of steps backwards to let her remember what she should be doing. When she gets put back on the leash we always have to stand still for a moment so she can calm down and remember that she needs to walk with me now.

    But most walks she is excellent and only gets treats when off-leash for recall.

    And she doesn't get scared anymore (except she avoids people who are smoking). She is even getting better at not worrying about large dogs (she played with a very gentle lab last week that seemed to teach her that not all big dogs want to stomp on her).
  6. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    YAY!!! all righty then!! score!!
    yeah, i don't know how i found this, but, i noticed no one ever replied back to your question,
    and wondered how it was going. GLAD IT IS SOLVED!!
    Dogster likes this.

Share This Page

Real Time Analytics