Steps/progression to teaching loose leash walking with a puppy

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  • Steps/progression to teaching loose leash walking with a puppy

    Posted by Katie on March 14, 2022 at 5:45 AM

    I have a 3.5 month old male Golden Retriever (field bred) and I’m new to dog training and dog ownership, though I grew up with dogs off and on.

    He’s smart and very food motivated and has learned sit, down, stand, place, leave it, wait kennel and happily does other things with food luring.

    I accidentally got mixed up with a dog trainer who used the Koehler method with dogs and we did a week of long line walking but I am moving away from that because it seemed a bit too aversive for such a young dog, though he did learn to keep near me when I walked the triangles.

    I’d love to know a structure of steps or progression that I can do with him to move to a comfortable loose leash walk for daily walks, hikes and other family adventures. As we have kids I’d like him to be able to do so even with excited kids around, or when being walked by him.

    Can anyone give me suggestions or point me to some videos I could watch?

    Also, what is the best thing to use for a dog this age – harness, flat collar or something else? He will pull till he chokes if he’s excited enough, though I try to keep him from those situations so he doesn’t practice it.

    Melissa replied 1 year, 11 months ago 3 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Austin

    March 14, 2022 at 6:40 AM

    I had success with the prong collar. My 4 month Mal puppy used to pull occasionally, but since using the prong collar I can walk him while holding the leash with 2 fingers (tied at the waist to just in case). I only had him on it for a few days before we transitioned to Ecollar training. Just know if you use the prong you don’t snap it like a choker. Best to introduce it when calm and the dog slowly pulls and tightens; not bucking around like crazy or he’ll get a lot of self corrections and just get confused as to why.

  • Melissa

    May 28, 2022 at 5:50 PM

    You need to watch Roberts videos in the puppy section.

    I’m not too sure what the method is you speak off off hand (I forget tech names easily).

    But as Robert says a harness you cannot correct from, they just pull more & I don’t like the no pull ones.

    A flat collar he will just hall into & keep going so keep that for house/garden for now, that way you got a grab/hold point if you need it I e. Someone at door.

    A martingale is a half choker & they can & will pull into them still if you constantly have a tight leash (they basically just tense up neck muscles to withstand it.

    Like most training/correction tools from slip lead, martingale, choke, prong or e-collar is the when & how to use them, it’s more about making it more comfortable for the dog to be nearer than further away.

    That’s where leads & long lines are good.

    We have a super short heel leash (like a foot long & 20 odd yr old!) But if you put that on the pup he has aversive treatment right at your side if he’s moving away just in the slightest (don’t use this at all atm as it’s meant for a trained dog).

    A 4 ft leash for sidewalks because any longer & pup can easily got onto road if the lead slipped through your finger

    And a 10m line for walk in wider areas like park, field & forest, give them enough roaming room to be a dog, learn a ‘safe zone’ from you & have a play & run safely.

    With the martingale they correct themselves when ever they hit the end on the line which could be lagging behind or trying running too far which gives them a hard correction…no heads have fell off yet & they’ve hit the end of mine at full tilt many a time, they are now learning to ‘feel’ & to slow/stop before hitting the end of the line.

    Their recall gets better daily & can now do some off leash walking in quiet areas.

    The indicator that they are learning is that they aren’t pulling end when at full or near full line length (mine are always worst behaved on 1st walk..too many beans) & when they recall without correction or multiple attempts, mine are starting to check in (come walk by side) at regular intervals without being asked, that’s been lots of work daily over past 8 weeks though & with 2 not 1, should be easier with one.

  • Melissa

    May 28, 2022 at 6:11 PM

    Ok, I do know that method, that was how our old had males were trained (20+ years ago) as that was the standard + puppies in kitchen instead of crates. That’s where the mega short leash came from. Very loyal & protective dogs (looking back both were protection level dogs but home trained (h&s was less then), could leave them sitting outside shop with the Pram & send them after someone, first one spent a whole day hanging onto a burglar til my dad got home from work..they’d tried to come through the cat flap 😂

    I can tell you now that by using the balanced approach that Robert shows gets results & if I remember rightly the gsds fought much harder against being compliant (they did it but 1-2.5 yrs were rebellious & again at 3-4).

    My 2 pups that I have now (using luring & rewards as well as corrections when required) are more than happy to toodle alongside or out in front etc without pulling me all over the shop, being near gets rewards, being far & pushing it gets corrections. Particularly with my Anubis, you’d quickly turn him into an aggressive nightmare with that method alone, he’s actually a softy deep down too.

    Odin would just turn out & become an ignoring reactive idiot.

    You know your dog, you know if they are stubborn or soft etc, the training is always set around the dogs personality (look at difference between siggy & max vids), mine are Inbetweeners being malinois & malamutes lol

  • Melissa

    May 28, 2022 at 6:14 PM

    I can walk both together on 2 fingers in one hand without having to use prong or ecollar (both illegal here), im hoping this continues as they grow though I expect a but if rebel down the line.

    Still bits to work on but coming, standing on the lead when you know they are going to react is much better than trying to stay up right as they lunge too.

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