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Guest Lenslen

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Guest Lenslen

Hi, I've had my greyhound for about a year now; he just turned 4. When I first got him he was terrible walking on a lead -- he would jump up and even back out of his martingale collar. After he managed to do this once, I put him in a harness and he's been safe ever since. With his leg that was broken, it took him months to learn how to walk up the stairs without being rewarded with treats at every step, and weeks to learn how to walk on a lead without constantly trying to get off of it. While now he is pretty good on walks and on the stairs, I would like to work with him more on his behavior and manners on a lead.

 

I've been practicing walking with him, and randomly stopping, giving him a command "Stop" and then wait for him to come back to my side, and then reward him with a treat. He's gotten pretty good with this, as we've only been practicing a few days, but he still pulls ahead, and won't stop and come back to me until I ask. Is there a better method of teaching? I would like him to stay at my side, and stop with me when I stop. I'm worried that I'm not being consistent, because when he's going outside for bathroom purposes, I generally let him lead the way by sniffing and determining where he wants to go. How do I teach him to stay at my side during walks, but also allow him the freedom during his bathroom breaks?

 

Also, the past month or so, he's been very stubborn on the stairs. Sometimes he will run right up. Other times, he will just look at me and stand at the bottom. I don't think anything scared him. Rather, I think sometimes it's his way of telling me he doesn't want to go inside yet (the stairs are outside and lead to my 4th floor apartment). Does this sound right? I think it might be him wanting to play outside more, but her in DC, it's gotten pretty cold and I worry about him staying warm and his paws (I haven't been successful with putting anything on his feet for warmth/protection).

 

Lastly, we walk in generally the same area every day -- the walking path around the apartment. Sometimes he lags behind and then will randomly statue, and not come for anything. I've tried walking him in circles, using treats, calling him... The only thing that will get him going is if I walk in the direction he wants to go to, which is always opposite of where I want to go to. The problem is, sometimes he wants to walk in areas that are unsafe, or go towards other dogs and things like that. So he will just stop walking with me and absolutely freeze, and if I give him any lead, he will use it to go in the direction he wants and pull away from me. I feel like it is just him being stubborn, and trying to get me to follow him around rather than following me. Any insight or advice on this behavior?

Thanks so much. Sorry for the long post!

Lindsey

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I can't help much, but I can share what we have done for the sniffing for pee vs walking for a purpose situation. We have designated area during the walks. He is not allowed to pee/snif at any other areas. It is usually a "no man's land" path of green grass or tree line by the forest. When I go out of the house I say "Let's walk" so he knows we need to WALK. Then upon reaching the designated area I say "Ok you can go!" And he has the freedom of going where he wants and sniffing how long he wants. When all is over I say "Let's walk!" and back to walking we go until we reach our next area and so on. He caught on pretty fast and now I don't really have to say anything much :)

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Cynthia, with Charlie (Britishlionheart) & Zorro el Galgo
Captain Jack (Check my Spots), my first love

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Any basic obedience book covers how to teach "heel," which is what you're really describing.

 

You'll need a collar on him to do it effectively. A properly fitted martingale, snugged up under the chin where it really belongs for walking/training should be almost impossible to get out of.

 

If you've never trained a dog, it might be worth taking a class. Often pet stores sponsor group classes for minimal amounts of money--usually around six sessions. Might be fun for both of you!


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

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