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Payton is finally learning to walk (somewhat) nicely on a leash. A few weeks ago, he jerked the leash so hard and unexpectedly that I ended up with a whiplash type injury.

 

Anyway, while we walk, I don’t mind if he sniffs mailboxes, or whatever, as long as he is not pulling me. He prefers to walk in the road (we live in a quiet subdivision) and will just walk over to the side. If he doesn’t pull, then I will let him. But apparently, he is supposed to walk until I give him permission to sniff around.

 

So my question - is there a way to teach him “we are walking right now. You can’t stop to sniff around” and “it’s ok for you to wander around and check things out”. I have no desire to teach him to heel. I just want him to walk without jerking my arm (or neck) out of socket. Although, staying at my side would be very helpful at Petsmart :) .

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Payton, The Greyhound (Palm City Pelton) and Toby, The Lab
Annabella and Julietta, The Cats
At the Bridge - Abby, The GSD

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I find teaching "heel" is helpful. I don't enforce it much but teaching it caused her to walk nicer beside me. As to the sniffing/stopping, I allow it upon a release command. I use "be free" but it can be anything you like, of course. At that command, she knows she can sniff and stop and range about.

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Lisa B.

My beautiful Summer - to her forever home May 1, 2010 Summer

Certified therapy dog team with St. John Ambulance

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It's frustrating when they want to sniff every pile of leaves and mailbox. I too live in the suburbs. There are no sidewalks but little traffic so walking is enjoyable. We gotta check pee mail every day, don't 'cha know, but I don't allow her to stop at every mailbox or every pile of leaves.

 

One of the ways to keep Annie walking -- as I remind her, it's called a walk because we're supposed to be walking -- is to keep her on a relatively short leash. A lot of people let their dogs (I'm not being breed specific here) walk at the end of a 6' leash, allowing them to wander about, but it gives little leverage or holding power when the dog suddenly pulls ahead to run or jerks to a stop as you keep walking. I use a 6' leash with Annie, but when we're actually walking, she probably gets 2 feet of that length. That way she pretty much has to keep on walking with me. If she stops to pee or poo or if it's OK for her to sniff, I let out more of the leash so she has some freedom, but I never let out the full length. I learned my lesson when, within three months of adopting her, she pulled me over three times (she got excited and tried to run, dragging me with her). Because she was pretty much at the end of the leash, I had nothing extra to hold her back.

 

I also don't let her wander from my left side, which is where I prefer to have her. That way my right hand is through the leash grip, and wrapped at least once, and my left hand holds the rest of the leash, except for the 2 feet.

 

Once I learned that I am in charge of the walk, everything changed from her trying to set the pace and direction to me setting the pace and direction.

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I am of the mind set that a walk is for the Dogs, not me, so I let them sniff to their hearts content.

 

How is your leash attached to Payton. Ive found it hard to control dogs with just a harness.

As such, We have a small lead between the collar and harness. This gives us the safety of the harness but the directional command of the collar.

We meet someone who had this setup the day we picked up both of our greys and its worked out very well.

Thanks for tip!!

 

Sidney is really good, but June is a bit of a puller. She is getting better and its just that she is more curious than a cat. She loves to investigate things. When we want to continue, or they are trying to go somewhere we don't want, we tell them this way, and give a small tug on the collar. Considering we have only had them for a little over 2 months, I think they respond well and improve every walk.

 

Its funny how much they freak out when we grab the harnesses. They know its walk or car ride time and love both!

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Payton has a 6 foot leash, but I only let him have a couple of feet. I learned the hard way that letting out the full 6 feet results in me losing control and popping my neck.

 

I do not use a harness for walking, as tempted as I am, because I want him to learn to walk with just the collar. I am using a clicker and treats. I stop dead or turn around if he starts pulling and give him treats for walking next to me. He is very food motivated. He walks on my right side and I wrap the leash around my right wrist and hold it with my left hand. I hold the clicker with my left hand and give treats with my right. I could use an extra hand or two.

 

I guess what I should do is walk a certain distance without stopping. I will have to come up with a command for that.

 

Its funny how much they freak out when we grab the harnesses. They know its walk or car ride time and love both!

 

So true – even if I just have to move the leash for some reason, they go crazy. :rotfl

61bd4941-fc71-4135-88ca-2d22dbd4b59a_zps

Payton, The Greyhound (Palm City Pelton) and Toby, The Lab
Annabella and Julietta, The Cats
At the Bridge - Abby, The GSD

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How about slip knotting the loop over your left wrist, put a drip loop of slack between your wrist and your leash length and then holding the clicker over the leash. This leaves your right hand available for treat delivery, poop bag maneuvering and anything else you might need. I took a couple of pics, but can't get them to post. Poopers. I hope you understand what I am talking about though...

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Handlers lead. It is a leash about 2' long. If you don't want to buy a new lead, then hold the leash about 12"-18" above the connection point. That way your hound cannot stop to sniff as you are controlling where the walk goes and how fast.

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I use two different leads depending on what we are doing. In the morning on a pee walk, I use a 6' and he sniffs and trots along and does his dog thing. I pull him if he takes too long but I also use a lot of verbal prompts (i'm a teacher) so that usually speeds things along. If we are on a "mom walk" which is primarily an exercise walk, I use a 4' lead and he is kept much closer to me and allowed to sniff less frequently. I like to walk fast on those walks and he has now learned the difference between a "pee walk" and a "mom walk"

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I am of the mind set that a walk is for the Dogs, not me, so I let them sniff to their hearts content.

 

Thank you!!!

 

Especially at the start of a walk most males will go nuts sniffing and peeing. Why in heavens name is there any reason to try to stop this? You only frustrate the dog and the smart ones will try things like a surprise pull. Mine will exagerate his direction to a target if he suspects I will try to steer him away hoping that our combined effort will end right at his target.

 

When possible let the dog sniff. Once the dogs bladder is empty the sniffing will decrease and the exercise can begin. I have settled on a technique where I keep a short lead and watch my guy closely, When he indicates a target I loosen up and let him lead and do his business. He has learned that he only needs to give a gentle pull to get his way. When I don't want him to stop for some reason, I hold a very short lead and move in a brisk and determined manner. In this mode he never even tries to stop.

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

There are many reasons to control when and where your hound eliminates or even sniffs. What if you live in Chicago, you don't want your hound peeing on the front door of a business. You don't want your hound sniffing everywhere as there are many places that have poison (such as engine coolant) and other nasty things that hounds shouldn't be into. Unlike your situation, others do need to control when and where their animal goes and eliminates.

Edited by Greyt_dog_lover
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We need to control also. There are all sorts of hazards no matter where you are, and that is when control must be exercised. I just don't believe in physically dominating a dog, even with a leash, on principle (I am not suggesting anyone here feels that way). But we see it all the time. A relatively well behaved dog gets distracted by something and the owner responds with a hard yank on the leash - it seems for these owners it is based on the principle that their dog must obey them regardless. If you gently control (positive reinforcement) a dog when you must, and allow it freedom when you can, the dog will eventually learn the appropriate times and places for sniffing and peeing and when its time to just march. The dog and the owner can really get in synch and everyone is happy.

 

My dog is allowed 6 feet off the sidewalk and no more. He used to try and take more but that was the end of his leash so 6 feet it is and he no longer pulls for more. He controls pace, and route and is granted freedom within the 6 feet wherever possible. Interesting thing is we are able to walk off leash most of the time and he still will stray no more than 6 feet from the sidewalk. They are interesting creatures indeed.

Edited by KickReturn
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You can, and you should!

 

You may not have any desire to have him heel, but think about how handy it would be! To me it is the single most important thing for George to know because he is exclusively leash walked.

 

My rules are: Thou shalt NEVER cross in front of me while walking. Thou shalt NEVER cross behind me while walking! The first few minutes of our walk are sniff and pee. The middle of our walk is EXERCISE and when I say "Let's go," I mean it. Thou shalt NOT stop, because I won't. The end of our walk is your time. Sniff abouts permitted and encouraged!

 

Why is heel handy? Well, when I had my hip replaced, the only person I really trusted with George was my 83 year old mother. She certainly could not have handled him if he didn't know how to properly walk on a leash.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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You can, and you should!

 

You may not have any desire to have him heel, but think about how handy it would be! To me it is the single most important thing for George to know because he is exclusively leash walked.

 

My rules are: Thou shalt NEVER cross in front of me while walking. Thou shalt NEVER cross behind me while walking! The first few minutes of our walk are sniff and pee. The middle of our walk is EXERCISE and when I say "Let's go," I mean it. Thou shalt NOT stop, because I won't. The end of our walk is your time. Sniff abouts permitted and encouraged!

 

Why is heel handy? Well, when I had my hip replaced, the only person I really trusted with George was my 83 year old mother. She certainly could not have handled him if he didn't know how to properly walk on a leash.

 

A big supporter of your rules, especially the crossing in front or behind. While I try to pay 100% attention to what Annie is doing on our walks, it's just not possible because I also have to be aware of cars, objects in the road we need to avoid, storm drains, etc., as we all do at some point in a walk. There are also other dogs. I live in a dog friendly neighborhood and people walk their dogs all the time (and always leashed -- I've never seen a dog off leash here). In the past, more than once I have almost fallen because Annie has suddenly cut in front of me while my attention was, for instance, on the person coming toward us walking their dog. For me, a wandering dog, even just 6 feet out, doesn't work.

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After you've got heel down, you can move onto these two: "Hurry hurry hurry!" and "Eaaaaaasy." I use these, literally, all the time. When you're walking with your dog in the heel position, tell him "hurry, hurry, hurry!" and pick up your pace. For "easy," pretend like you're in slow motion. Always treat and reward the dog for being in heel position. You can mix it up, change directions, speed up, slow down, whatever. The dog will learn to stick by you, no matter how fast or slow you're moving.

 

If Truman sees a squirrel or some other distraction on walks, I can usually keep him below threshold by doing, "Hurry, hurry, hurry!" and speed-walking with him in the opposite direction. I also do this one if we're crossing a street, and I don't want him lollygagging. If he's trying to pull toward a stranger or another dog, I can say, "Eaaaaaasy" and he (usually) understands that he needs to slow down. I like this way because it keeps the dog engaged, and it's more fun than just saying, "NO!" constantly. Truman thinks he's playing a game of Simon Says.

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But apparently, he is supposed to walk until I give him permission to sniff around. .

 

I'm curious about how you worded this statement. Why is he supposed to walk until you give him permission to sniff around? My dogs are free to sniff around, but I do expect them to respond when I call them to me to move on. As long as they don't pull and aren't getting in anyone's way, they're free to do what they want. Teach attention and response to a cue in a calm, quiet environment (like inside your house or in your yard) to get the behavior ingrained before gradually taking it to more distracting situations. A good book on teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash is My Dog Pulls, What Do I Do? by Turid Rugaas.

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

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I'm curious about how you worded this statement. Why is he supposed to walk until you give him permission to sniff around? My dogs are free to sniff around, but I do expect them to respond when I call them to me to move on. As long as they don't pull and aren't getting in anyone's way, they're free to do what they want. Teach attention and response to a cue in a calm, quiet environment (like inside your house or in your yard) to get the behavior ingrained before gradually taking it to more distracting situations. A good book on teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash is My Dog Pulls, What Do I Do? by Turid Rugaas.

 

I let him walk around and sniff mailboxes, etc. But our trainer said that I should not let him sniff around or mark until I tell him its okay. Until then, he is supposed to walk. He is learning not to pull and to start walking when I say, but other than that, I have not worried about it.

61bd4941-fc71-4135-88ca-2d22dbd4b59a_zps

Payton, The Greyhound (Palm City Pelton) and Toby, The Lab
Annabella and Julietta, The Cats
At the Bridge - Abby, The GSD

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But if he's not pulling and it's not causing any problems, why should he not be allowed to sniff or mark until you tell him it's okay? Sounds like some of the things I've heard from people who are a bit too obsessed with dominance and control. It sounds like you're making good progress with the pulling, and if he's responsive to you and starts walking when you ask him to, I personally don't think this should be an issue.

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

gtsig3.jpg

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You can, and you should!

 

You may not have any desire to have him heel, but think about how handy it would be! To me it is the single most important thing for George to know because he is exclusively leash walked.

 

My rules are: Thou shalt NEVER cross in front of me while walking. Thou shalt NEVER cross behind me while walking! The first few minutes of our walk are sniff and pee. The middle of our walk is EXERCISE and when I say "Let's go," I mean it. Thou shalt NOT stop, because I won't. The end of our walk is your time. Sniff abouts permitted and encouraged!

 

Why is heel handy? Well, when I had my hip replaced, the only person I really trusted with George was my 83 year old mother. She certainly could not have handled him if he didn't know how to properly walk on a leash.

 

 

A dog should know how to heel. My dogs are not off sniffing when I'm walking until we get to the "sniffing place" where all the dogs in the neighborhood leave their mark. My dogs usually do not walk in front of me either as that would be a good way for me to fall. I've taught most of my dog to do a very close heel where they are literally glued to my left leg - that has helped when we have to go through crowds or even in small aisles like in Petco.

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