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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I'm sure there has been a thread on this topic, but I couldn't find it with the search feature so here goes.  Spinx is actually a really good walker for his age on a leash.  We use positive reinforcement with a flat buckle collar and he usually does pretty well (ie. in a heel position 80% of the time, looking up at me).  Even when he starts to pull, ill just give a little tug and direct him with my arm and he'll get back into position.  The problem occurs when we see any other living creature like a person, dog, bird, or heaven forbid a child.  He will immediately bolt to the end of the leash pulling with all his power, completely ignoring me or my really tasty treats.  Since I don't want to wait for that person to go away, I'll usually just walk in the other direction, usually dragging him.  I'm wondering if this is just because he's 5 months old and absolutely has to meet everyone and everything, or whether I'm doing something wrong because he is usually so good.  Its frustrating and I'm wondering whether is just a puppy thing that he'll grow out of or whether I should do something to correct it.

Thanks in advance for any advice,

Brian
 

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What a cutie!  It will not go away on it's own.  I had a tough time with my girl from the start.  She pulled, zig zagged, and bolted for everything that caught her attention.  I hired a trainer, and he taught me how to use the choke collar the correct way.  If you choose this method (it worked wonders for me), you have to make sure the collar is the right fit, the loops are resting on the top of the neck, and a quick pop will distract the puppy.  It will not choke the puppy, it actually pinches the top of the neck (like the way a mother would do when correcting their puppies).  After a few times, they get the hint.

Hope this helps.
 

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I think IMO that its just a pup thing.  Just keep working on it.  I know you said you dont want to wait but I have taught duke to sit and be still until the person or person with dog passes us.  and now he does great doesnt move or whine just watches them pass.
 

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It's not a puppy thing...well it wasn't for me. I made the mistake of thinking that and well it hasn't improved and when you got a full grown pulling on the leash it is not fun! We are working really really hard right now getting Phoenix to walk properly on a leash 100% of the time and well I still turn the other way when I see people and/or other dogs coming.
 

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I don't believe it's just a puppy thing either.  That's something that needs to be worked on.

My Rottweiler was trained and walked great .. until he saw a squirrl!!!! My trainer recommended and he definitely needed a prong collar his entire life and was it amazing to have!!!  I tested him a number of times without it over the years and let me tell you, when he saw a squirrel, forget about it.  I couldn't control him without it.
 

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I also watch this show called At the End of my Leash or something like that, with this dog trainer.  What he does is when the dog walks ahead of you and starts to pull and not pay attention, he turns and walks the other way, taking the dog by surprise.  It supposedly teaches them to pay attention to you...
 

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Brian,

You are doing a wonderful job and just the right thing.
 

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We HAVE to do the sit when Ashley gets distracted like that..her being a big pup..she would jerk my arm off!! Although I WILL admit..I think she doesn't like it because we can not get over the whine issue...drives me bonkers!!
Nano..any ideas..like a sock in her mouth??LOL..J/K I know she will out grow it  :lol:
 

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Part of the problem with dogs is that when they get soooooooo excited their brain is so stimulated that they cannot focus.  This is where having them do a sit helps ground them and start to tone down the stimulation.  You need to get in there with them, ask them to sit and praise "good sit, good sit" while they are doing it and helping them physically by stroking their cheek, neck and shoulder to help them reconnect with you. You can also use a stoke of your hand slightly in front of their eyes to break the staring for a moment.  That helps them reconnect also. When a dog connects with you, like looks back on a walk or checks in with you during the day in the house praise him like crazy for this.  This will help build the connection we all want with our dogs without breaking the spirit by using force which does not belong in any relationship.

IMO sit is THE most important command to teach your dog. It is grounding and my dogs use it "sometimes" as a default choice of non-action that I really, really like to seem them do.  We have picked a guarding breed and they are very hard wired to be observant independent thinkers and are also VERY hearing oriented.  Tone of your voice, noises around them, movement, things like that stimulate them.

BTW my dogs aren't at all perfect either and they will never get there. :lol:

Nano
 

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Sometimes, I find that hand signals, even with a hearing dog works great as well....When I first brought Samson home at age 6, we worked hard on leash etiquette, as he had never done that before...I would get him in a sit, the crouch down in front of him, use 2 fingers, kind of point at him, say "watch me"than point at myself, keep repeating it, so you get him focused back on you..Not saying it's surefire, but like Nano said, it helps to "ground" them..It really sounds like you have a handle on things tho, which is awesome, it does take time and a lot of patience as well....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all of the advice everyone.  I was just confused because he is so amazing when no one else is around.  I'll start making him sit and/or down when we encounter other people or dogs.  He's a smart pup so I think he will eventually catch on, but were taking the CGC in May so I hope he catches on by then ;)
 
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