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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We just got an 8 month old Cocker Spaniel on Easter day. He had grown up in a flat and the owner said they'd hardly used a lead preferring to get him in the car, drive to park, let him run off lead, back in car, back home.

He pulls on the lead and jumps up when you go near him. The lead pulling I'm working on and the jumping up he will stop eventually if I ignore him and keep saying down.

The advice I'm looking for right now is how to deal with him jumping up when i go to put his lead on. He starts jumping as soon as he sees the lead. I have tried turning my back on him but he continually jumps and either comes around in front of me to jump up, or if i stand against the wall, he pushes his way inbetween forcing me back. I have tried standing there ignoring him for a minute but i have to leave the room to avoid my clothes getting wrecked and my arms scratched.

If I put the lead back down and go out the room or into the garden, he will calm down but when I pick the lead up again he jumps again.

I do take him to the park each morning and HAVE to put a lead on him. After going thru the above routine I resort to holding his collar to get the lead on. This causes the dog to go down on the floor and start rolling around in an excited/playful madness - so I struggle to get the lead on until I finally succeed.

Has anyone dealt with the same issue?
Is the answer to keep trying throughout the day to get the lead on, or showing him the lead but not putting it on?
Or do I need to go back a step and work on the not jumping when I go up to him without a lead?
At the end of the day I need to get the lead on him twice a day

Thanks for reading
 

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Hi there!

Sounds to me like you have your hands full! Throughout my years with several different types of dogs I have found the leash training is one of the most important areas to perfect in order to establish a well behaved dog. I would advise a semi choke collar to prevent him from pulling. If he pulls, give him a slight tug and say heel (or whatever word you would like to use). I would also advise that he walks on your left side only. All of my dogs are off leash trained and will literally walk beside me if I say heel.

Once he stops pulling and has grasped the idea of proper leash walking, I would go out to your yard and practise off leash training there. If he does not listen he goes right back on the leash. you need to show him that being off the leash is a priviledge.

In terms of jumping, stand tall, (be brave!) face him and say OFF. If he jumps ingore him...eventually he will cool down. He will soon learn that by jumping he will not get a reaction from you. Hope this helped somewhat. Keep me posted on your progress and what worked. I'd love to know!

Take care
 

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Hi there :) We have had those same problems with Kasper - the jumping he now no longer does, and we are working on the lead pulling ;)

For the jumping without a lead, we did what you do: turn your back to the dog and completely ignore him. If he runs round to the front we just kept turning so our back was to him. Sometimes it took a good five minutes for Kasper to sit, but as soon as he sat we praised him and said 'hello.' If he started jumping we just repeated it. It's very very rare that he jumps now, and when he does we just say down firmly.

As for when he got excited when seeing the lead, Kasper didn't jump up when we were putting the lead on, our problem was he would giddily 'mouth' at our hands or lay down and roll and 'mouth' at us. So when it was time for a walk and we were putting the lead on him, as soon as he mouthed us we would say 'no biting' and walk away. We'd give him a few minutes to calm down then try again. So I guess you could do the same for jumping, until he learns he won't get to go out unless he sits politely. We've had Kasper five weeks now and it's been ages since he last messed about like this :)

I guess you could start picking the lead up at random times throughout the day, too, and not just for walks. Maybe that would stop it being such a significant routine?

Hope somebody else can be of more help! :)

Red
 

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Hi there,

When my male Pit-bull mix Aras was younger, I was put in a very similar situation and have solved it for good now.

Firstly, you should practice ignoring him completely, no eye contact whatsoever! Do it consistently, for it may take up to half an hour for your dog to sit calmly and let you put the lead on. Sooner or later he will get tired and bored of jumping up and will calm down. Lavish praise him then.

Another thing your dog needs to learn is that there is no big deal if you have got a lead in your hand - he should practice ignoring it. But once both of you are out, you should exercise your dog as much as you can, your goal being to tire him out completely.

If he starts pulling a leash, change the direction. Keep doing that until he gets tired of guessing which direction you want to take ant starts simply following you (walking besides your left leg wherever you want to take him).
 

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Definitely check out the links provided by Tess!
Lots of really good helpful advice in there!;)

Also, I agree with Red's suggestions.
If your dog jumps, just walk away and ignore your dog. Try again in a bit after he has calmed down. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
You may also want to use a certain word to "mark" exactly what behavior is causing you to leave. I personally use "Oops" because it is hard to sound angry when saying oops!:p I use this in other areas as well basically just to communicate to my dogs "that's not it, try again!" It sounds like Red would use "No jump".

And I absolutely agree with the suggestion to pick up and carry the leash randomly throughout the day. Right now the leash=walks and FUN which is why your dog is jumping! He just has not learned to control his excitement yet!
By picking up and carrying the leash even when you are not going to go for a walk, you will decrease that excitement (and jumping) caused by seeing the leash. :)
 

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First what NOT to do: Don't yell at the dog to get down or off. This raises the excitement level, and is attention, which is something all dogs crave. DEFINITELY, don't push or shove the dog off. They often view this as play, which rewards the jumping behavior. If you push aggressively, you can frighten the dog and make them not want to play with you, because sometimes playful shoves mean trouble. This will confuse your dog. NEVER smack their nose to make them stop. They'll learn that greeting you might get them hit, and can make the dog hand-shy.

I saw another member posted to turn away from the dog and ignore them. That's wonderful advice. It's a little difficult to stick with, as a dog jumping and raking at you it extremely irritating, but do it. Wear clothes you don't mind getting a little dirty from paw prints, and stick to that.

Remember to reward the good behavior! When the dog sits or stands calmly, give a treat and praise. Very quickly the old dog will learn that calm behavior gets rewards and attention, while jumping behavior gets them ignored. Dogs will naturally pursue the behaviors that are rewarding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for all the advice!
I invested in a clicker because the benefit of immediate confirmation of good behaviour through the "click" sounded logical and positive to me, and that in the long run I can cut down on the number of treats we get through!
Through repetative training, our dog, Pasco, has responded quite well and will now not jump up if I pick up the lead - as long as I say sit and reward him
However currently he still gets excited when I go to put the lead on his collar - either jumping up, play biting my hands as I go to get hold of his collar, or rolling around when I get hold of his collar

So, we're 1/3rd of the way there to be ready for a walk - still got to master getting the lead on the collar with no fuss, and then him not wrenching my arm off as he goes to run off when I take a step when he's on the lead!

Moving on to the lead pulling - don't seem to have made any progress here - I've tried the stopping when he pulls and calling him to "heel" and slapping my leg to show him where I want him to be. He'll often oblige but then pull again as soon as I walk
I've tried turning around to go the other way, but unless I drag him, he mostly stays intent on going the way he was heading and wont switch direction! This is tricky since all the videos I have watched show the trainer changing direction and rewarding the dog when he catches up and is in the right position - but it don't work if the dog wont move!
 

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1 click = 1 treat. You cannot click but not treat... its not being honest with the dog.

Use Teeny tiny treats. Try slicing a hot dog length wise, then crosswise about the thickness of a nickel. That will give you about a hundred treats per hot dog!

You can also use tiny cubs of cheese, tiny bits of cooked chicken, even small kibbles. Make a mix and put it in the freezer. You can pull out handfuls at a time for training.

Regarding your comments on the leash training, try doing this in a less distracting/more familiar environment at first. You need to manage the situation so that what you are doing is more interesting than the surroundings. So start in your very own living room. Then move to the yard. Lastly go out on the street.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Tess - re the treats, yes I hear what ur saying
I do find it easier with the clicker, rather than fumbling to get a treat to him quick enough, I can click and then take a few seconds to get a treat to him without stress
Re the lead training, forgot to mention that he does walk nicely on the lead in our home (after the struggle to get it on him!) and gets rewarded, but when we're out in front of the house or at the park, it all goes out the window, just, I think, because he's so excited to be there and with all the smells ...I hope it will change coz the pulling is hurting my back, so I can't put up with it for long - hopefully it will over time, since tomorrow we will have only had him 2 weeks
 
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