Rena And Marty

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by chooki, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. chooki New Member

    Our dogs are Rena, 4, and Marty, 16 months. They are Miniature Pinschers, black and tan. Rena is a re-home from a breeder's kennel (breeder only allows 2 litters before retiring her bitches, having them spayed and re-homed - Rena was a NZ Champion). Rena freaked out when she came to live with us, having lost her 'pack'.
    Marty was from a breeder who has become a bit too old to care for his dogs as well as he has in the past. He (Marty) was a runt and very shy so missed out on a lot of the food thrown in for all 14 dogs to help themselves to. When we got him he was very thin and weak, he hadn't been house-trained, had never been on a lead, was afraid to eat and didn't know how to eat some foods,had no idea about steps, and we thought he might not live.
    They are now both fantastic little dogs, eat well and thrive on their Raw Diet.
    BUT! Rena hates being on a lead! Puts her tail stub down, her bat-ears back, whimpers and whines , and pulls the lead as hard as she can - reckon if I hitched her to a sled she would do very well.
    I'd really like some help with this wee whinger. I've tried treats, praise, and everything else I can think of.
    Marty is doing brilliantly and trots along with head up, tail up, ears up and bright eyes watching everything. But Rena slinks sulkily along, pulling as hard as she can.
    running_dog and brodys_mom like this.

  2. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Welcome, Chooki! It's good to have you here. There are others on the forum from NZ, so you will have someone who can relate to your local issues, maybe even suggest trainers in your area. I can't help with your pulling problem, but I'm sure someone else here will be able to give you some great advice. You can also do a search on the topic while you wait for a personal response. Also, make sure to introduce your dogs in the "Meet the Dogs" section, and post pictures, too, if you can. We love to see pictures.
    running_dog likes this.
  3. running_dog Honored Member

    I don't know if you have looked at the kikopup videos on leash walking, there might be something there that would help you. The thing with leash walking is that every dog is quite individual and something quite small that we are doing can be undermining our training efforts. Also what works for one dog might be much less effective with another.

    What kind of leash are you using? If it is an extending leash then the back pressure is constantly telling the dog that if it pulls it gets to go further. It is possible to use an extending leash but you have to use it's extending function only when you give your dog a cue (go sniff) to allow it to do so.

    Does your dog like the rewards enough? Pulling on the leash is actually self rewarding for dogs so you need to be able to trump the self reward. Leash training Gus drove me almost insane (I didn't walk him on leash for almost a year, I still won't if I feel tired) nothing that had worked with Zac worked with him. One of the things that eventually helped was realising that playing tug was a much better reward for Gus than mere treats. I taught him that if he looked at me we sometimes played tug, so he started to look at me a lot when we were walking, because he was looking at me he wasn't pulling away from me.

    Going from what you have said and not knowing exactly what you have tried already I suggest putting the lead on Rena sitting down at home and clicking (you've got a clicker?) and treating for any attention she gives you. Then try walking around at home clicking and treating for any attention, then repeat in the yard when she can cope with more distractions, etc. Obviously you have to walk her in the meantime so give her a very clear signal that this is different to her usual walkies - perhaps use a harness for walkies and a lead for training.

    If you haven't got a clicker do get one and try it out - they just make it so much less confusing for the dog because it finds it so much easier to KNOW what you are rewarding it for. Training things like leash walking almost always become easier when you've built up your dog's experience of learning with you in less important things, we'd love you to join in with our current trick challenge and see if it helps the improve your bond with Rena.

    I hope some of this helps :)
    Ripleygirl, brodys_mom and chooki like this.
  4. brody_smom Experienced Member

    That's some great advice, running_dog! I haven't thought of using the tug instead of treats with Brody. I will definitely give it a go.

    Chooki, if you could let us know a little of your training style and what you have already tried with Rena, it will give us a better idea of what else to suggest to you. It is easy to get discouraged when the things we try don't seem to be working, but there are many people here who have lots of experience that they are eager to share with you. Sometimes someone else can see things better than we can because we are too close to the situation, or our expectations are too high, or something like that. If you can describe what she does and how you typically respond, etc. we can give better feedback.
    running_dog likes this.
  5. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    Welcome Chooki - nice to see you have joined us! Some great advice above. Look forward to hearing more from you and hopefully we can help here in the DTA community!
    running_dog and brodys_mom like this.

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