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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am yet another person having trouble with loose leash walking. Raven is a four month old black lab-spaniel cross (she's a rescue, so we can't be sure about breed). She has been going to puppy kindergarden for 3 weeks now, and has learned to walk on a loose leash using the turn around when she pulls method. In class and in the house, she is perfect! In the morning when I walk her and during the day when my boyfriend walks her (once or twice), she is fairly good, only pulling on bad days or when a person/dog walks near. Raven is also fairly reliable with her heel command in the morning and during the day.

However, at night it is a completely different story. She won't listen to us, and she pulls every second. I've tried the "stand like a tree" method, but she just doesn't care if she doesn't get anywhere. There is always something interesting to distract her and keep her busy while I wait not so patiently. She will only heel with me if I literally wave a treat in front of her, and even then, not everytime. I've tried tiring her out before evening walks by playing fetch on the stairs, puppy ping-pong across the house with my boyfriend, or teaching her a new trick (she learned "go to your mat" in two minutes last night! I'm so proud!). No matter how long we play, she is always so hyper and excited the moment we step outside at night, even though I calm her down before going outside.

The biggest problem is that her neck is being rubbed raw from the pulling. There is a bald spot on the front of her neck where the collar sits. She is currently using a basic nylon collar. I'm just so worried that she is going to injure herself further…

After that long rant (sorry!), I would really appreciate your help with some questions:
- Am I missing something with training, or is this just a case of puppy's short attention span that will have to improve with time?

- Should I try a different collar to help her neck? Something like a harness or haltie for example?

- How do I exercise Raven if she is pulling so much? Three half hour walks plus one night time "walk" of pulling are not enough for her. It takes an hour to get to the park at night, when it would usually be a 5 minute walk. I just don't have 2 hours+ every night. Should I drive her to the park and let her run around there at night instead of "walking"? Forget night time walking and exercise her indoors?

Thank you!
 

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Maybe you could keep the morning and afternoon walks and not do the evening walk. THis way, each time you walk her, she will continue to get positively reinforced with good behavior. Instead of the evening walk, maybe take her to the backyard/park/ball field for some off-leash playtime? I think teaching my dog to fetch was the MOST helpful tool for wearing him out, but you could also use a flirt pole or kick around a soccer ball. If there is a dog park around, you could try that too (let the dogs wear out each other).
 

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Hi Raven. My name is Isa and I'm new to forum. We have a working cocker 8 mnths who does pull constantly but bit better with dogmatic. I've had dogs before so not novice in training but am not good with this one! He is getting better but where I have your night problem,although a 24 hour one - it's crossing a road especially if he knows where it leads. He's on hind legs and so sideways that if I loosened the lead, he'd be on ground. Pick himself up soon enough though!! The worry is the car. So I Like you would appreciate tips and have done trees, turns, treats, no treats, no charlie and prayer!
 

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i would read through this thread
http://www.dogforum.com/dog-training/loose-leash-walking-1683/

the silky leash video is fantastic...

ime, the most effective method to teach a dog not to pull, is the tree, but it taks gobs of patience on the part of the human, and again, IME most humans *myself included) don't have gobs of patience. the silky leash training sort of over-comes "opposition reflex" and teaches the dog to give into pressure rather than pushing or pulling against it... after the "get" that part, then the "tree" technique works really well...



Dog | Forum | Rocks!
 

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you could keep the evening walks, try running her for a few minutes first to tirre her out, or 5-10 minutes of inside training, (sit, stay, down, leave it) this way she isnt so hyped and ready to go. Before and after you attach the leash, say her name and when she looks give her a fav treat, this way she learns thatyou are the most interesting thing around and will help her pay attention.As far as the collar and bald spot issue, i wouldnt reccommend a halti or any training collar. with alot of dogs its very easy for them to get used to it but it becomes a crutch, you can never get away from them. (not true with all dogs of course) Lots of treats and praise and shell come round. ;)
 

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Leash training is very important for puppies and dogs in general. ... The first to fall out and be replaced are the pup's incisors or front middle teeth. ... to get up during the night when the puppy wines and take him outside
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for your help everyone!

Unfortunately, skipping the evening walk isn't really an option. She is just too energetic to keep cooped up inside all night. And, we don't have a fenced in back yard, so going to the park is really the only option for letting her run around.

I took the advice of the silky leash technique of using two collars. A flat collar for when we are training her, and we bought a no-pull harness for walks to the park when we aren't training her. So, we are now giving her three "training" walks a day, a trip to the park with the harness where she can run around, and then a fourth training walk home from the park at night. Letting her run around for half an hour in the park really helps the loose leash training at night! I'll be sure we don't overuse the harness so that it doesn't become a crutch.

As a funny aside, we had freezing rain last night and the sidewalk was an ice rink this morning. Man, is it ever easy loose leash training on a slippery sidewalk. The dog couldn't pull on the leash because there was no traction! Very cute, and very effective!!
 
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