I am afraid I have set my training back awfull. I would at times let Prince out to potty without his leash on. Now that I am trying more to train him on the leash, I think I have created a monster. The last day or so I have decided he needs to be on a leash unless I put him in his outdoor pen because he likes exploring by the road too much and will not come when called.
I know I need to work on recall a lot, but now he really fights the leash. He will jump around as if he is trying to come out of the collar and he has pulled on it hard enough to make himself cough. I will automatically give him a little slack and I wonder if that only makes it worse with him fighting the leash.
I know I will probably find some good stuff in the Advice thread, but I just had to vent. I want so much to have Prince be a model dog when he gets older, but I wonder if maybe I am trying too hard, or expecting too much out of him.
Work on LEAVE IT!m especially when it comes to the leash. You can also try soaking the bottom 6" or so in something like Bitter Apple or Hot Sauce and seeing if that does the trick, but for our lab, it didn't. He liked the taste of the leash even better with condiments on it! ;D
Sometimes I get angry at Eric for letting Ender "walk" Eric home... meaning he bites the leash and pulls eric the last few blocks home. But... when Ender is walking with me he won't do this because I CONSISTENTLY corrected him and never allowed him to do it for a minute (even though he still tries sometimes). So... all you can do is move forward at this point and DO NOT beat yourself up for what is allready done. He's what, 2-3 months old? His habits aren't THAT ingrained.
See that's why i like this place so much. ;D I may try the hot sauce until I can get some Bitter Apple to try.
Lindsay, that is what I have to try and keep reminding myself; he really is not that old. He just turned 11 weeks yesterday so he won't be 3 months until next Monday. How did you train Ender with you on the other end?
Ender is VERY food motivated. Here's what I did since walking outside is his main form of exercise (we don't have a yard)
Got a baggie full of low calorie treats or kibble (Charlie Bear treats is what I use or his regular kibble). We'd start out walking and I held out a treat in front of me and every time Ender looked at me he got VERBAL praise... any time he walked next to me he got a treat and verbal praise. Very soon he was glued to my side except when something more interesting like another dog, roller blader, biker, runner went by and then he was all pull.
So... my next step was to constantly check to see if someone was coming our way... before they got too close I put Ender in a sit and said "stay"... he got treats for watching me and not getting distracted... if he broke his stay... I would put him back in a sit (no correction as I think he's too young and things are too exciting)... and reward for staying a while.
Now.. I'd say he's 50/50 on distractions... sometimes he'll walk right by me and barely flinch when someone is passing... he gets MAJOR verbal praise then and a treat. If he starts pulling I'll shorten the leash and just stand still until he decides to pay attention to me again and he gets verbal praise once he does that (no treat).
For the life of me I can't teach him down though... lol.
I just posted a thread on "down"... so perhaps we'll get some good suggestions.
I'd DEFINITELY use the 6' and actually I ordered a 4' because to me... it is most important that he learn to walk by me since we are allways on sidewalks and bikepaths where the bikers think they OWN the path even though it's for everyone.
Teach DOWN on the 6', not the longline. You need the control and the ability to correct.
There are a couple of ways to teach Down -
1 - Bait the dog w/a treat at nose level. Lower the treat in your fingers to the floor, saying DOGSNAME, DOWN. And praise w/the treat. I have never used this method, as I don't treat-train, but the idea is that over time, the dog associates the word with the action with a good thing happening. Eventually, you wean off the treats.
2. - Passive down - Sit the dog in heel. Kneel next to them calmly. Put your left hand on the withers (shoulders) and take the right hand behind the dogs front legs, which are supporting his/her weight. Gently sweep them out/lift them, and GUIDE the dog to the floor, DOGSNAME, DOWN! Praise-praise-praise. Eventually, you want to couple this w/a stay command (right hand palm to nose: STAY) and stand up. But don't rush this!!!
3. - Active down - If your dog is dominant and has 'issues' with the down (in other words, the passive down has failed miserably), he/she needs to know you mean business. Sit the dog in heel, give the command DOGSNAME DOWN, and take your foot and step on the leash, right behind the snap. Remain standing and praise! GOOD DOWN. The dog may flop like a flounder on a boat deck, but hold your ground. Eventually, they'll figure out that life is good when they lie there and settle. If they thrash, hack, choke, cry, etc, STAND YOUR GROUND! They are doing it to themselves and will either tire of the activity or figure out that the collar stops correcting once they lie quietly. THEN praise - GOOD DOWN. BE careful doing this DOWN (I was thrown by a Golden Ret 2 wks ago in class doing this). It's easy to get hurt if you're not paying attention. And make sure it ends on a good note. GOOD DOG! NICE DOWN!!! Even if you had to withstand WWIII to get there!