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Thread: Dog walking

  1. #1

    Dog walking

    So my last dog was 6 when i was injured and trained to walk by my side (in chair or on foot) quite well for the next 8 years of her life. My mourning/grieving/don't-want-another-dog-ever period has passed and as of about 7 months ago, I am once again a dog owner. We (the pup, my gf and myself) work with a private trainer and she does quite well with all the normal obedience/manners stuff. We're at the stage where I'd like to be able to have her act predictably while outside (with distractions) while both at my side in my chair or while up on crutches.

    From the training we got from our trainer, my strategy is to attempt to always keep a "slack leash". Though very tedious and time-consuming, my gf and I have been walking her out in the community, gf pushing the chair, me holding the leash. I use the command: 'with me" and click (clicker training) and treat when she stays by my side and looks at me. Regardless of the treats and praise that all dogs crave, she frequently pulls ahead or darts left and right after delicious squirrels or anything shiny.

    My strategy (based on what i've learned from our sessions with the private trainer) is to stop dead in our tracks the minute the leash becomes taught. I wait until she regroups and sits with a loose lead. Once that happens, we progress forward until it happens again... and then the same. As I mentioned, it is slow and tedious, but I believe this to be the most effective method and that soon enough she will catch on and be able to go blocks without us having to stop as opposed to the every couple steps we're at now.

    My girlfriend is starting to become skeptical. Anyone have any knowledge and/or experience to back either side?

    *** c4/c5 incomplete *** Injured in Summer 2003 ***

  2. #2
    WALKIES Read Mrs Woodhouse's book. I use to take mine with me by tying the leash to my arm above my bicep. She could pull and whatever and I'd just keep pushing. Didn't take long for her to learn. Then when I started taking her without the leash, she figured out to stay om whatever side of me that put her in the shade. She would even get behind me between the rear wheels. with her head under my butt. Dog was smarter than me

  3. #3
    My husband has used the Gentle Leader nose loop with success to train our hounds to walk without pulling.

  4. #4
    Stay with it! Loose leash training is what me and my pup have been doing too. She's nearly 1 now and it is getting much better. Over the past ten months there have been times I was ready to give up because the pulling was getting too much despite my constant efforts. Like you, I stop dead in my tracks if the leash goes taught (she's tied to the side of my chair). Once she realises the walk isn't going to progress until she comes back to the chair and looks at me, she soon hurries back to the chair. Boredom is a great training aid for 'teenage' dogs but patience is a must. Also, dogs mature at different rates and it is a lot to ask of a pup in terms of making that cognitive leap; 'oh right, so if I don't pull, the walk continues but if I pull, the walk stops. Hmmmm.' On some of my walks, we don't get very far at all because she's lunging left, right and centre going: 'bird!', 'puddle' etc etc but she is improving. Today we did a good couple of miles with only the occassional pull.

    Just think how great your pup is going to be in a few months time thanks to all the work you're are putting in now.

    Happy training!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Domosoyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Minneapolis, MN
    Quote Originally Posted by Crashbang View Post
    My husband has used the Gentle Leader nose loop with success to train our hounds to walk without pulling.
    The Gentle Leader is a great thing and you are not pulling on their neck. Some people think it is a muzzle but it is far from it. It was designed after a horse leader. Everytime I see someone having trouble walking their dog I think how different it would be with a Gentle Leader.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ZEN12many's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Woodland, CA, USA Old male, T12 incomplete TM 2004

    I think your training strategy should work. In addition, you may want to consider putting your dog out front and letting her pull. I attach my dog to my wheelchair (with Freewheel) and let her pull. Distractions like squirrels were a problem at first but, like you are doing with your dog, constant and consistent training has pretty much eliminated that as a problem. I take my dog out by myself, so I don't keep her at a walk. I'm sure I could train her to walk human-speed but haven't needed to. We usually average about 6 mph for a two mile outing.

    If you are interested, check out Facebook Wheelchair Mushing for training tips. On the page, you will find a video of my Facebook Friend, Tania. She trains her dogs to run in the Alaska and European sled races. The video shows two of her dogs pulling her. Quite amazing. My dog and I don't go nearly that fast.
    TM 2004 T12 incomplete

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