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There seems to be so many ways for loose leash walking and I'm getting a lot of different advices from different people. My trainer suggested the turn opposite direction method where once my dog starts to show signs of pulling forward, I give a short and quick pop on the collar and walk in the opposite direction. The problem is that my dog does come back to me when I do this but will end up running forward again. He still walks close next to me most of the time but it is always a few steps ahead of me rather than behind or right next to me.

My neighbours who have trained their dogs for many years advised me to hold the leash with both hands. My left hand should be held closer to the dog's collar so that the leash is short and have him stay on my left side all the time.

Others have told me to stop every time the dog pulls forward and it seems to not work so that's why I switched to the trainer's method. What do you guys think?
 

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The problem with the methods you described is that none reinforce the dog for doing what you want. When I was teaching my dogs, I used a modified choose to heel method - anytime they were in an appropriate place (i.e., not pulling on the the leash), they got a "yes" and a treat. Often, this type of exercise is done off leash in a safe, non-distracting area (e.g., inside, fenced yard).

There are a few videos of various techniques in this post.

I prefer my dogs to walk a bit in front of me on regular walks so that I can see what they are doing. When we were practicing formal heeling, I only reinforced her for being in proper position next to me. But, LLW and heeling are two separate exercises.
 

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I hear you, and I can tell you I have tried so many different ways to get my guys to walk nicely. I have been having tremendous success using the 300 Peck Method. (you can read about it here). It has got us almost instant results, and it helps the trainer not to be frustrated I think because you're focused on counting and treating.

I'm also using this method for teaching stays, and focused heeling.
 
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Thank you guys. I forgot to mention that I do follow cookieface's advise in relation to treating and rewarding when he is walking in the right place. I also added the clicker today and clicked /treated whenever he was looking up at me, walking straight next to me or turned when I turned. He was really good today in our yard and maybe I should practice more in my yard first. He is okay when he is outside but he got better today when I kept on making turns unexpectedly and made the walk much more fun.

I only give the collar a slight tug or pop when he gets to the end of the leash and is distracted in order to regain his attention.

My neighbours told me that I have no control over my dog because of the fact that my dog sniffs the ground even though he is not pulling me every where. They also said that I should always keep the dog at my left side on a short leash rather than let him sniff the grass on my right hand side. The lady used a choke collar and they suggested that I only feed him liver treats when training - nothing else. I tend to mix up my treats when walking or training depending on the difficulty or level of distraction. For example, I use cottage cheese when we are in a new and really distracting environment for walking. For normal loose leash walking around my neighbourhood I use chicken breast or turkey slice etc. For normal sit and down exercise, I tend to use lower value treats. My neighbours also don't believe in the walking in the opposite direction method and said that my puppy should have mastered loose leash walking perfectly by now (after 6 obedience classes). Is this true? My dog is NOT horrible on leash but he does walk fast when outside. I have to sometimes constantly remind him to walk close or next to me. Maybe I should add the clicker when I'm outside now too. He is perfect with loose leash walking in our own yard and in front of our house.

My father's friends suggested that I hold the leash very close to the dog's collar rather than in a "J" shape I tend to use and jerk the leash upwards if the dog pulls. If the dog still refuses to listen, he suggested that I slightly kick the dog's ass from behind. Apparently it works for his dogs.
 

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Everything that you are personally doing is great. Especially varying high vs. low value treats.

Manhandling and physically punishing your dog isn't going to teach him to walk on a leash - it will just make going on walks stressful for both of you. Walks are supposed to be fun, and it's his walk as much as yours! It's good to work on a heel for situations where it is required, but as long as the leash is loose it is totally fine for your dog to sniff the ground and check things out.

Some dogs are harder to walk on a leash than others; my Cocker mix is normally pretty good but can be impulsive (and is reactive) so there are times we struggle. My other two dogs are fantastic and very easy to walk. There really aren't any hard and fast rules. To me, it sounds like you are both doing great; disregard what these people say and do your own thing. You and your dog will have a stronger bond because of it.
 

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Everything that you are personally doing is great. Especially varying high vs. low value treats.

Manhandling and physically punishing your dog isn't going to teach him to walk on a leash - it will just make going on walks stressful for both of you. Walks are supposed to be fun, and it's his walk as much as yours! It's good to work on a heel for situations where it is required, but as long as the leash is loose it is totally fine for your dog to sniff the ground and check things out.

Some dogs are harder to walk on a leash than others; my Cocker mix is normally pretty good but can be impulsive (and is reactive) so there are times we struggle. My other two dogs are fantastic and very easy to walk. There really aren't any hard and fast rules. To me, it sounds like you are both doing great; disregard what these people say and do your own thing. You and your dog will have a stronger bond because of it.
Thank you so much for your encouragement and comment. I very much agree with you that I would hate to make the walk stressful for my dog because there was a time when I lost my temper on the walk (it was very hot and it took 30 minutes to get to a place when it was suppose to take 5 minutes) - that was when I used the stop/tree method. It was really frustrating for him because he would start biting the leash and do a flip. I noticed that he was getting much better at turning around with me nowadays after practicing 3-4 times a day in the yard.

The official heel work - we are still working on that in the obedience training class so we have not yet got that really started officially yet. So far for the 6 weeks of foundation class, we've just been working on loose leash walking, sit, down, recall, targeting and the basic introductory heel work. My puppy has already passed and moved onto the next level after 6 lessons which is a huge progress (I think) for him and I'm very proud of his learning. Of course, there's much more to learn at this stage but I feel that building a strong foundation and history of success is important.

I love this forum and have continued to read other people's posts so I've learnt a lot about raising a dog using positive reinforcement and how to be a responsible owner. Because of this, I've received heaps of positive and negative responses. People who are impressed and amazed by my dog are the ones who often see the training side of things - I usually train him outside in different places such as on the train, at the station, etc. People who offer criticism are often those around me who think I spoil the dog.

e.g. using a stroller when he was 8-12 weeks old so I could take him out without a car and avoid him walking or sniffing the ground.
e.g. bringing him inside the laundry room on a hot day although he likes to spend most of his time outside in the shed and garden
e.g. taking him out almost every day to places such as cafe, restaurants, new suburbs whenever I can

Anyways, getting back to the topic - I'll just stick with my method of loose leash walking and forget about all the nasty comments from people.
 

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The best thing I ever did to improve my dogs loose leash walking is to teach him heel and sit off lead. Of course start In The house ! I begin by taking a step away from him and then luring to my left side in a sit and then say "heel" and c/t. Repeat repeat repeat. Then start taking a few steps away from your dog, standing sideways to them, facing them, etc. still luring them into new positions, but fading the lure in ones that have clicked.

Once this is mastered I call him to heel but keep walking a couple steps. When walking I only treat when I get eye contact. I'm the beginning I will have him stop and sit ever few steps. I do lots of direction changes and give lots of treats ! Always make sure to end on a good note with your pup wanting more !

I have found that off lead control makes the leash less important and keeps the dogs focus on you.
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I'd advise you to ignore your neighbor and father's friend.

For formal heeling, it will likely take more than a single 6-week class to master. The training center my dog and I go to has three or four 6-week classes just on heeling and many people take the classes more than once.
 
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