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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So since Buster turned 6 months I have found that it is much easier to get his focus and work with him and when I say work I mean BO. For the longest time I tried doing the "Down" command meaning I want him to lay down and he just wouldn't get it and last week I started this again and he picked up on it so fast, 1 day.I was so proud as soon as my hubby came home from work I told him to watch and he was impressed as well. I now see why most of you wait till they are 6 months to start training.What a difference :D
 

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See, I started my female training the day I picked her up. She was only 10 weeks old. I just kept the training fun and postive always using food rewards (I actually hand fed ALL her meals for the first 3-4 months I had her I think thats why the focus came so naturally ;) ). By the time she was 6-7 months old she was doing sit stays, down stays, recalls, etc and that about the time I started using a prong and bringing in corrections. I know many people dont do any training until their pups are 6 months old or even older but IMO thats too much time wasted. I honestly believe starting her early was the best thing I ever could have done and I really believe the earlier the better as long as the training is consistent but to each their own. Good luck with the training, I am glad to hear things are going better for you! It always feels good to have that sense of accomplishement! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
LISA............

When we first got Buster the first few months were spent just on housebreaking :oops: I wanted to get that nipped in the butt asap then we worked on sit which took a bit as he is a hyper lil guy. Buster was and is extremely hard headed and I just couldn't get him to focus even with treats but for whatever reason he is picking up very fast now and I want to keep up with him.My next mission is to get him to walk correct on a leash ~ no pulling, staying by my side ~ I haven't weighed him recently but think he is 50 lbs if not bigger and 6 months old so could I move to the prong collar now? And how do I teach the correct way to walk on a leash? Any advice would be greatly appreciated :D
 

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LOL. There are probably better people to ask this question than me. Although I have had some success in teaching the "formal" heel and some success at teaching my little female to walk on a loose lead the informal heel I never did a good job at teaching my big male. He's not too bad now but still far from perfect. I know it must be very difficult with such a big boy. This is what you could try but I would also consider asking "Attitude" as she has done a great job of teaching all her dogs to walk nicely at her side while not in a formal heel. Maybe try getting a prong collar and doing alot of about turns...meaning quickly changing direction on your dog while giving a quick "pop" on the leash. Make sure you have a good quality, leather leash it will make things much easier. You could also try bringing food along (make sure he is hungry) and reward him when he is walking nicely. Like I said, this is not an area I have excelled in and I am ashamed to admit that with this situation all I have ever done is use negative reinforcement. I usually always teach things motivationally but with this I never did. Like I said try asking Attitude or some of the other trainers on this board. Sorry I couldn't be more help.
 

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I taught the "heel" and "side" differently than I taught just walking properly beside me with no pulling. The "heel" I used lots of positive reinforcement, and ignored when he'd wander or stop looking at me. When I first started teaching the heel, every two steps or so I'd reward him all the while saying "yes, good heel!" Now we're at the point where I only reward every 20 seconds or so. If there are a lot of distractions, I try to reward more often. He's gotten very good at this, he's stays real close and keeps his eyes on me.

When teaching him to walk properly beside me, it was mostly done with corrections. Every time he pulled, I'd stop and make him sit. I used the gentle leader when teaching this and believe it or not, it really helped. I don't use it anymore, but I do use a no-pull harness...and I'm going to now have to buy a prong collar because he tries to chase skateboards now, and that needs to stop. :lol: Anyway, 99% of the time, he does not pull, he walks nicely beside me. Oh and make sure you keep him on a short lead. Good luck with Buster.
 

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I have always tried to teach with a flat collar before moving onto the prong..the key is finding motivation. With particularly hard headed dogs, I do not feed them thier meals in bowls..I divide thier meals into training sessions and they work for thier food. It's amazing how much better a hungry dog will listen! Try using small peices of hot dog and holding them in your mouth, spitting them at the dog while saying look, is a good way to teach a focused heel. You can get a more polished heel by working along a fence as well..keeps thier bodies nice and alligned. You want the dog to be between the fence and yourself (with the fence and dog on your left side of course) also cuts down on distraction to start as well.

It's always best if your dog can learn these things on a flat collar and really know what you want of them..then your negative corrections can actually make more sense to the dog. I am no expert, and admit I haven't always trained this way, and not every dog will respond the same way, but I have found my above method to work much better than others with most dogs.

But, in the end, if your dog just isn't food or toy motivated and is way to headstrong, go with the prong and do as Lisa stated. And Lisa..no need to be ashamed! I will admit that i can help train other people's dogs all day long..but some of my own are far from polished! LOL!
 

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Carrie said:
I have always tried to teach with a flat collar before moving onto the prong..the key is finding motivation. With particularly hard headed dogs, I do not feed them thier meals in bowls..I divide thier meals into training sessions and they work for thier food. It's amazing how much better a hungry dog will listen! Try using small peices of hot dog and holding them in your mouth, spitting them at the dog while saying look, is a good way to teach a focused heel. You can get a more polished heel by working along a fence as well..keeps thier bodies nice and alligned. You want the dog to be between the fence and yourself (with the fence and dog on your left side of course) also cuts down on distraction to start as well.

It's always best if your dog can learn these things on a flat collar and really know what you want of them..then your negative corrections can actually make more sense to the dog. I am no expert, and admit I haven't always trained this way, and not every dog will respond the same way, but I have found my above method to work much better than others with most dogs.

But, in the end, if your dog just isn't food or toy motivated and is way to headstrong, go with the prong and do as Lisa stated. And Lisa..no need to be ashamed! I will admit that i can help train other people's dogs all day long..but some of my own are far from polished! LOL!
That is good advice Carrie and basically what I do to teach my dog the foucssed heel. However, I think the OP was looking more for ideas on how to just have a leisurely walk with her dog without pulling. I could be wrong, but I don't think the focussed heel is what she was after.
 

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You're probably right about the OP Lisa. I guess I just figured that if she could gain her dog's focus now, her transition to a leisurely walk would be much smoother. I think either way, she has some good ideas to work with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
THANKS.........

Thanks everyone for all the great advice.I am looking to enjoy a walk with Buster without being pulled the whole time but the heel will also come in handy once we get the basics down.I am really excited to learn and teach Buster as we go along.I have a nylon collar which I use for walks and it does nothing,I have a choker and it doesn't work well with him either so I am looking to get a prong in hopes this will help control him and hopefully down the road we can go back to a regular collar but I don't see that for sometime.....Darn hard headed dog..........lol

Also let me explain something and maybe you all can lead me the right way.When I put on the leash to take Buster for a walk as soon as the front door opens I am being pulled out having to drag him back to lock the door and off we go the whole time him pulling and me dragging behind.By the time we get home I am exhausted and my hand is sore from holding on for dear life to the leash.I want to correct this.He enjoys his walks very much and I want to keep it fun for him but also for me.Do I follow the above information for this?

BTW, What does OP mean :oops:
 

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Lisa said:
See, I started my female training the day I picked her up. She was only 10 weeks old. I just kept the training fun and postive always using food rewards (I actually hand fed ALL her meals for the first 3-4 months I had her I think thats why the focus came so naturally ;) ). By the time she was 6-7 months old she was doing sit stays, down stays, recalls, etc and that about the time I started using a prong and bringing in corrections. I know many people dont do any training until their pups are 6 months old or even older but IMO thats too much time wasted. I honestly believe starting her early was the best thing I ever could have done and I really believe the earlier the better as long as the training is consistent but to each their own. Good luck with the training, I am glad to hear things are going better for you! It always feels good to have that sense of accomplishement! :)
Patch is only 5 months old and he is really well trained for his age! He sits whenever we stop walking (sometimes he needs to be reminded), he drops, he shakes, automatically sits when im giving him his food bowl, when i say 'no' he listens, understands "on your bed" when i want him to go on his bed, etc.

We started training him the minute we got him at 8 weeks!

we've also been going to OB training every week for about 7 weeks now... it's working GREAT!

(sometimes i still have problems with him pulling on walks, and we use a martingale, but he is getting better every time).

I agree that starting OB training as early as possible is best.

Boundaries need to be set early with dogs... we have to show them who's boss (even though he still gets away with SO much cos he's so cute and i just melt around him and love him too much!)
 

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Re: THANKS.........

Kelly said:
Thanks everyone for all the great advice.I am looking to enjoy a walk with Buster without being pulled the whole time but the heel will also come in handy once we get the basics down.I am really excited to learn and teach Buster as we go along.I have a nylon collar which I use for walks and it does nothing,I have a choker and it doesn't work well with him either so I am looking to get a prong in hopes this will help control him and hopefully down the road we can go back to a regular collar but I don't see that for sometime.....Darn hard headed dog..........lol

Also let me explain something and maybe you all can lead me the right way.When I put on the leash to take Buster for a walk as soon as the front door opens I am being pulled out having to drag him back to lock the door and off we go the whole time him pulling and me dragging behind.By the time we get home I am exhausted and my hand is sore from holding on for dear life to the leash.I want to correct this.He enjoys his walks very much and I want to keep it fun for him but also for me.Do I follow the above information for this?

BTW, What does OP mean :oops:
OP - original poster...you :D

Make Buster sit-stay before you open the door. You could try doing what I've done with Boss, it doesn't happen over night, but he walks wonderfully now. Just try different things and see what works for you. As soon as Buster pulls, do some sort of correction. So if you're getting a prong collar correct him with that. I used the GL, and the dog is powerless with that thing on, which really helped with walking Boss. Again, good luck with him!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
TARA, Thanks for all of your advice.I got a lot of useful information in this thread and will try them all if I have to till I find one that works for him.Thanks again to everyone for your help.Wish us luck..........lol
 
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