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Leash-Walking


Guest Jubilee251
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Guest Jubilee251

So...we MIGHT be fostering. MAYBE with intent to adopt. (OMG OMG OMG HYPERVENTILATING SO EXCITED!) We're waiting for the official cat-test to see if he can live with our cat, and if so, he will be coming home. Molly just MIGHT have a big brother in the future! :eek

 

Before he comes home, we'd really like to hone Molly's leash-walking skills so walking two is easier (the other pup seems to walk perfectly). I would say 80% of the time, she walks GREAT. Not a perfect heel, but loose-leash walking. The problems we do have sometimes with her is:

 

1) If we go on grass, she will inevitably plop down and start rolling around like a maniac. She'll usually get up after she's had her fill, but occasionally, she'll jump up and start sprinting in tight circles. Even if I try to keep the leash short and tight. :rolleyes: What can I say, she's happy dog.

 

2) Sometimes, something REALLY interesting will catch her nose. She'll sniff it for seemingly HOURS. If I try to pull her away, it's like trying to move a boulder. She is deaf to the world. I'd like her to learn sniff-quickly-and-move-on.

 

3) Stop and stare. Especially when she's tired. Not sure if there's a cure for this one - it's hard to explain to a dog, "I know you're hot and tired, but we only have a block left! The faster you walk, the sooner we'll be home!"

 

We've enrolled her in a outside walking class to proof distractions, using positive reinforcement. But I wanted to see if anyone here had suggestions or anything that worked for them.

 

Thanks!

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Guest jaws4evr

Well sounds like you're doing a lot of good things allready.

 

What kind of dog is molly? Ours get "stuck" in a scent sometimes, but we teach that tug/pressure means go! That means they get gently but firmly pulled away from their scent after being told "lets go", and that's that. Sometimes they still get stuck but a tug/"lets go" combo usually gets them moving. If your'e strong enough you could try something similar (ie if you don't have a mastiff or something).

 

You could also try dashing away all crazy-like, as if you were trying to play a chase game. Make yourself more interesting than teh scent.

 

As for the rolling and dashing, if molly has a good recall you might be able to drop the leash and let her do her dash thing, and then continue on? Or even better, go first to an off leash park and let her gte her roll/dashes out, and then go for your walk. If not, with practice and a short leash she hsould in theory learn not to roll/dash unless she's off leash.

 

It takes a bit of practice but walking two dogs at once isn't too hard. We have a GH and a Pitty mix, the Pitty mix is excellent with voice commands and overall leash manners, the GH we keep on a shorter leash on our left side, and the combo works pretty well (and impresses the neighbors!)

 

As for the stopping before you're home, that's a tough one :) Again you could try the crazy-dash (go totally kermit) and get her to "chase" you home. You could also try using some high value treats, leaving them at the front door, and only giving them to her when you get there. Just some ideas!

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Guest TeddysMom

Sometimes having another dog to walk with actually helps the wild child especially if the other dog is calmer. I would just try to keep her close to you, walk at a good pace and don't let her stop to smell things everytime she wants. Have some good treats like cut up hot dogs with you to get her attention. I hope your new dogs is a good walker and can teach Molly to behave better on a leash. I can't wait to hear about your new boy and see pictures. Good luck.

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Here is a website with a variety of ideas. Ahimsa Blog

 

I like the Silky Leash idea. Though I have not actually trained using this particular method, it is great to have a dog who responds to the slightest pressure when walking on a flat buckle collar. It's fab & that is what the Silky Leash method produces. Sounds like that would be a big help to you. You may not have enough time to get this solid in the situations you describe but start it anyway, inside or anywhere there are minimum distractions.

 

Hopefully one of these will help you.

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I think it's awesome that you're trying to be proactive. :) So many people go into a new situation (like getting a new "foster" dog) - and then seem SHOCKED that it's...a new situation. :huh

 

So - anything you can do to deal with some of the issues ahead of time is a great idea.

 

But - keep in mind - walking 2 dogs is different than walking 1. NOT harder, but different. AND - your dog will act differently when she's walking with another dog than she does alone. My personal experience is that the "quirky" walkers - like your Molly - tend to walk better with a companion - IF you stand your ground and are no-nonsense with them.

 

Molly might be what I'd call - don't take offense - spoiled while walking. She gets to have a good time and do whatever she feels like doing. When I walked only one of my dogs - I did THE SAME THING. And honestly - it was FINE for all of us. We had a good time, and it didn't cause problems. When I walked both my dogs at the same time - or one of my dogs and a foster - the rules changed. The dogs EASILY adapted. Mom with 2 leashes - is different than mom with 1 leash. ;) I've even walked my 2 plus a foster many times with no issues. Group walking - is GROUP WALKING.

 

Just make sure you set the ground rules from day one. If it means you only go half a block - fine. Maybe the next day you'll make it 2 blocks. I'd rather see short walks - with lessons learned - than long walks with you constantly freaked out. They won't die from lack of exercise in a week.

 

You may still want to do individual walks sometimes too. A little one-on-one time, and a chance for Molly to be her spoiled self and roll in the grass - is a nice thing too.

 

Discipline has its place. Fun does too. B)

 

(OK don't everybody shoot me!) :lol

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Guest Jubilee251

Thanks for the ideas! I agree - Molly is pretty spoiled. I have the mindframe that it's her walk too and should be enjoyable, so I tend to let her get away with some stuff. :lol Truth be told, she IS a good walker...most of the time. I'm just thinking of worst case scenarios, where she starts spinning in circles, the other dog goes the other way, and I get quartered by two greyhounds. :rolleyes:

 

I'll stick with short walks when the other dog comes home and go from there. :)

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For the "getting nose stuck" issues, I've had great luck using a warning statement before physically pulling away from something interesting. I use "too slow!" (I'm not too original) and give it about a second before pulling on the leash. Or at least at first it was a pull, now it's usually "too slow!" and just shift the leash in my hand to swing it and he sighs and comes away. I'd say it works by itself, with no actually tugging on dog, about 90% of the time. I've been doing this for about a year and a half now. (But I do have a lot of verbal commands/signals for them, so that kind of warning comes naturally for me.)

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