Leash walking problems

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Leash walking problems

This is a discussion on Leash walking problems within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I posted in the wrong area before... I have a miniature Schnauzer/poodle. I wake up about 530 open Max's crate and then rub the sleep ...

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Old 02-06-2019, 04:38 PM
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Leash walking problems

I posted in the wrong area before...

I have a miniature Schnauzer/poodle. I wake up about 530 open Max's crate and then rub the sleep out of my eyes and get dressed after his potty outside. Somewhere between 545 and 6 we head to the park. It's across the street so we work on our open door etiquette and eventually make it outside. I open up the 50ft leash and let him go we spend the next 30 to 40min walking all across the open field of the park. I work on my recalls when I notice him getting to the furthest parts of the leash. He normally runs and sniffs but usually stays close. If no dogs or wierd distractions are around he shoots to me like a bullet on recall. At 15weeks I couldn't ask for more. About 630 we head to our "structured walk". We stay in the street to avoid big distractions and when walking away from my house and the park he is completely acceptable in my eyes(could not be but I don't know) no pulling responds pretty good to changes in direction. But of course about 645-50 when we are headed home the guy is a circus performer yanking and pulling walking on 2 legs on his harness....my guess is he knows where he is going we are walking against the wind so the park smells are likely being forced up his nose and he pulls all the way back...by that time I have no time to spend working on the issue. I try my best to change direction to force him to pay attention to me but nothing works for me...my patience is also super short by that time. I have to be on the road for work by 7am. Also I do the exact samething at night from about 7-730 to 9pm with the same results. Any help would be appreciated. I could even change it around a bit if someone thinks it might work better. But 530am is my alarm and 7am is my drive away time.

Thanks in advance
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Old 02-06-2019, 07:41 PM
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Sounds like Sir Max has the routine down! Unfortunately some is great, some not so hot. So if I were you, I would start by breaking this routine/pattern.

Sounds like all goes well til you guys have to leave all the fun to head home. Then you leave him while you go to work, right? So in his mind, I am betting he thinks the fun stops when you guys leave the park.

Plus, as Max is not cooperating, your frustration level probably rises and he can sense this. It is only normal to be frustrated if your dog is acting up and you are beginning to worry about being late to work. Plus, who wants to start their morning feeling stressed, right?

So, maybe simply break it up! Less time at the park. More time to work on nice manners walking home. Try to make the walking home part FUN!! Maybe have Max look for things at a distance and then reward that. I ask my dogs to find (see only) squirrels, birdies, cats, dogs behind fences, baby stroller, kids playing, etc. And I reward my dogs for looking at these things to create positive associations.

Or do some fun tricks while walking. Or do like I do, and find stuff for your dog to jump up onto and walk along, like a little stone wall. Or we do touch where I ask my dog to touch her nose to stuff. Basically you can make up your own agility or training stunts from your environment.

If you allow more time to walk home, you will be more relaxed and can have more fun with your dog-- and can spend more time reinforcing Max's polite walking skills with treats and praise.

You sound like you are doing great with Max!!! Just mix it up so Max doesn't assume all the fun ends when you exit the park.
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:18 PM
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Skip the park some days, mix it up!

Also, to mix it up and break the pattern, you may want to skip the park some days and just walk Max around your neighborhood. Or if you have time, drive somewhere with Max and train there.

I never train in the same place every day. Some days, I take Puma pup to a park. Then another day to a different park. (And no, we never go to off leash "dog parks", not my thing)

Sometimes we simply walk in different neighborhoods.

Sometimes we stop and watch kids at school play yards(outside the fence) or playgrounds to desensitize my dogs to the kiddos' loud and fast movements.

I love to take Puma pup to my bank to work on her manners. They love her there. I train her to have extra polite manners in public.

Also, I take her to lots of dog friendly stores. We go to thrift stores(Goodwill), big hardware stores, Ross, TJMaxx, drug stores, pet stores, liquor stores, etc.

We hang out and train a lot in my shopping center parking lot! Perfect for training since a dog can see and hear and smell everything there! Strollers and screaming babies,lil kidlets, all kinds of people, shopping carts, people with canes or walkers, wheelchairs, loud motorcycles, skateboarders, EMS, police, fire trucks, you name it!!

Also shopping center parking lots are fantastic for training "leave it" and "drop it".

So much crap ends up in the parking lot. I was super proud of Puma today when we passed a gross dirty ole sock in our parking lot. She sniffed it, and picked it up.
I then asked her to drop it and she did asap! Yes! Extra great since Puma has a sock fetish with my dirty stinky socks and will actually resource guard those. Ew!

I read that you have very early morning hours, so I'm betting most stores would be closed at that time. But how about after work some nights?

Last edited by AthenaLove; 02-06-2019 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:07 AM
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Yeah walks and training never put a dent in any of my past or present dogs energy. And I'm not at all a morning person so getting up that early my dog is very lucky if he gets thirty seconds out to pee or if I make it out to doggy daycare before work, and he knows it!!! Lol
I'd do much less time structured time walking and training since any little moment of frustration would just make me homicidal lol, or make me want to ship my dog off to the closest shelter.
He hates early mornings too, and can't concentrate as well as later in the day.
I let my dogs run loose in the dog park every night with no issues. Including the dog I'm watching. If I think they need more exercise
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowmom View Post
Yeah walks and training never put a dent in any of my past or present dogs energy. And I'm not at all a morning person so getting up that early my dog is very lucky if he gets thirty seconds out to pee or if I make it out to doggy daycare before work, and he knows it!!! Lol
I'd do much less time structured time walking and training since any little moment of frustration would just make me homicidal lol, or make me want to ship my dog off to the closest shelter.
He hates early mornings too, and can't concentrate as well as later in the day.
I let my dogs run loose in the dog park every night with no issues. Including the dog I'm watching. If I think they need more exercise
Shadowmom that's what I'm afraid of if I take away from his time in the park running and roaming. I don't believe a training walk is enough and he doesn't play fetch outside yet inside he's great at fetch but outside he won't do it at all yet hopefully that will come. So I'm really conscious of how much energy he might still have I wish there was a dog park close by that I can get him too, but that's just not an option for me.

I changed up my routine last night and this morning, instead of walking around the neighborhood I just used the corner that I live on...I started with 10-15 min walk back and fourth up and down the length and width of my lot. Then we shot to the park for 15 to roam before a second session at the corner walking followed by a last session roaming. Definitely less stressful. He was definitely better at it. In the morning I felt I had to cut the second walking session really short because he was just doing so good that I felt he deserved a treat and some freedom. Any help on how to reward him while not break his concentration I'm not tall 5'11", but he is definitely close to the ground and I have to stop or stumble around to reward the good behavior and I'm not sure if that's the best way to do it

Side note I'm glad I do this early and really late because I probably look like an idiot zig zagging and going back and fourth in the street in front of my house. I just moved there recently probably making a great impression 😂.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:26 PM
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Well definitely every dog is different. But for us I can tell you my shy fearful Gracie does just as well as my Puma pup when I use lots of mental training in addition to physical workouts. Actually, we do waaaaay more mental stuff than physical. But I make it fun and rewarding.

When we go places Puma gets to meet people, get treats, sniff tons and tons of stuff, work on our manners and impulse control. We have fun. It is training, but I guess not in the traditional sense of the word. Not just boring sit stay come commands. Heck after walking/training/socializing around Lowe's the other day for about an hour doing this, Puma plopped in the back of the car exhausted! (one year old now, 54 pounds, super smart girl)

And I'm not quite sure what you mean by structured walks. I'm guessing no sniffing, just walking politely?

For me, when I walk my dogs in the neighborhood, I let my dogs sniff and sniff and sniff. If they are pulling, we work on that. But otherwise it is their time to enjoy and sniff and read the "pee mail."

I also do tons of fun tricks and mental games, etc. This really tires my dogs out.

Some nights on the drive home from work, I take Puma pup into a pet shop or Goodwill and we do a quick 30 minute (ish) train/ sniff/enrichment/ socialization session. Lots of fun and treats if she wants them. Sometimes she is so interested in sniffing all the stuff that she doesn't even bother with our treats

We can definitely tell the difference in her on the nights we do a quick session vs just driving home with no stops!!! We have done no hard physical workout, but her brain is so satisfied that she is super chill at home.

Since you are unsure or hesitant that these things may not be enough to tire your dog out, maybe try it one or two days a week and see what you think? You may end up really surprised.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:04 PM
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Toss treats in air for dog to catch, or find treats on ground

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Originally Posted by HoldXStill View Post
Any help on how to reward him while not break his concentration I'm not tall 5'11", but he is definitely close to the ground and I have to stop or stumble around to reward the good behavior and I'm not sure if that's the best way to do it.
I sometimes give my dogs their rewards by either tossing them in the air for my dog to catch (Fun!) or tossing them onto the ground for them to eat. I teach my dogs the cue "Gets it!" and point to the ground so they know that I have tossed treats for them to find.

Teaching a "Gets it" or "Find it" can really be useful I have found!

When my shy fearful Gracie dog and I were starting out, she was WAY too reactive to hand her a treat. Or too fearful. I never, ever wanted her to bite me or someone else, but I knew that if I gave her a treat in that heightened state she could definitely deliver a bite, even by accident. My hands near her body in that state could easily cause a redirected aggression moment!!

So I learned to do the fun treat toss! Kept her rewarded and me safe! Plus for her it was a great distraction to catch the treats in the air! Win, win.

And when I started my reactivity counter conditioning with Puma pup, same routine. I mostly tossed the treats onto the ground and said "Gets it Puma!" Now she knows what that means and I don't usually have to point anymore.

Plus again, tossing treats esp for reactivity helps bc it takes the dogs attention away from the other dog for a moment and helps break the intensity of the moment. Now, most times, I can hand feed her the treats when seeing other dogs, but I still can resort to tossing when needed.

I know you weren't having issues with reactivity (lucky you!!) but maybe you can try these treat delivery methods if you haven't already?

Keep up the good work!!
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Old 02-07-2019, 03:39 PM
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I keep his favorite treats stashed in the pockets of the coat I wear while walking him or at the park. We're always working on recall so he knows if he runs quickly on the first try and either sits or bows or does whatever command I ask he gets a bacon treat or two. Unfortunately every other regular dog in the park also knows that so I'll get ten dogs racing up to me and beat him there the second I say his name. If they all sit and lie down or give paw or whatever, I'll give them each a little piece of treat if their owners are ok with it and they're all polite and get along fine.
Any rudeness and no treats except for my dog.

If we're walking or out in public I'll just use praise and pat him if I want to keep moving or I'll give a treat when we stop and sit at a crosswalk. If we're out somewhere I'll say do you want a cookie. That gets him completely focused on me in any situation, even one he would normally be reactive or protective in. I use that for emergencies like people yelling or fighting or aggressive dogs lunging that we have to pass or be near.
I'll toss treats for him to catch too, especially at the park with other dogs. I'll toss one to each dog so there's no competition and less chance of accidentally being bitten. My dog is always very gentle taking food and very safe to handfeed in any situation even if protective or reacting o barking at someone else, he'll very gently take a treat from me or another person. But I don't want another dog to try to snap it away from him while it's in my hand and have them snapping at each other with my hand in the middle of it. Usually he'll let the other dog have it but I still just toss it.
When we're walking, we're going somewhere, he has to heel. No sniffing and lounging. He can sniff for a bathroom stop but I'm not letting him sniff and walk for hours a day every time he gets a bathroom walk. No, in and out. Heel means stay with me and keep up and no pulling or tripping me! No distractions and I don't care if there's dogs, people or whatever. Especially if I'm carrying bags.

He gets one to two hours a day at the dog park and usually field to sniff everything he wants, run, play, wrestle, sit and hang out and do whatever he wants. Most people don't stay more than half an hour, usually twenty minutes. He gets to sleep on my bed. These days I'm working from home a lot so he gets round the clock cuddles, pets, affection and everything he wants. He's spoiled rotten so when I want him to listen and do something he can deal with it lol.
But those are ways to reward, I toss treats for him to catch and use verbal praise and pats.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:30 AM
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A simple way to help your dog learn to walk without pulling on the leash is to stop moving forward when he pulls and to reward him with treats when he walks by your side. If your dog is not very interested in food treats, then you can a tug a toy or toss a ball for him in place of feeding a treat.
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