Hi Jerry
Have been reading and following your manual and am getting some great results :-)
I have a question concerning lead walking and sniffing that I hope you could answer.
I'm training my 15 week pup to walk politely on the lead and I've been following your advice about releasing the pressure the minute she starts tugging. The problem is that when we try this, she always starts sniffing the ground or tugs in front or behind me. I'm against tugging or even holding tension in the lead so what's the best way to get her to come back to the starting position so we can try again?

As I understand it, she shouldn't believe that her tugging has allowed her to gain ground (hence returning to the spot where she first tugged), but I'm having difficulty preventing her from sniffing the ground and I DON'T wont to be pulling/lifting her up with the lead and collar. I'm currently using the shaker can to distract her from sniffing - I create the sounds from different directions and always in such a way that she's distracted (never startled or frightened) - but it seems that she's becoming 'selectively deaf' to the various sounds!

Any suggestions?
Thanks as always, James
Hi Jerry Have been reading and following your manual and am getting some great results :-)

Hi James,
I have read and used Jerry's method over several years so I'll offer my advice.
I have a question concerning lead walking and sniffing that I hope you could answer. I'm training my 15 week ... shouldn't believe that her tugging has allowed her to gain ground (hence returning to the spot where she first tugged),

Thats not part of the training, dogs don't tend to project or reflect like that, dogs aren't thinking of gaining ground when tugging they simply want to explore and have no respect for the lead or the handler.

but I'm having difficulty preventing her from sniffing
the ground and I DON'T wont to be pulling/lifting her up with the lead and collar. I'm currently using the ... that she's distracted (never startled or frightened) - but it seems that she's becoming 'selectively deaf' to the various sounds!

Probably your timing is wrong and / or your not getting the dogs attention with the "immediate" praise.
Any suggestions?

There are 2 other things you can do, both to teach you to command the dogs attention and to teach the dog to pay you attention.
The first thing is to ask for a "heel", a stationary heel, stay where you are and ask the dog to heel, "dog heel, good dog", insist on an exact heel too, not a squif heel but square on, then stay in that position for a while (30 seconds) then as you move forward ask the dog to heel (moving forward with your left leg). Repeat this a few times each time the dog forges forward but if say after 4 times the dog is still not playing ball then do the figure 8.

Ask the dog to heel again ( stationary heel), once the dog is heeling beside you do the figure 8 heel as described in the manual, I walk around the dog (i.e the dog is on my left so I walk a 180deg circle to my left) then get the dog to walk around me (I walk a 180 deg circle to my right), the dog has to heel all during the exercise. It seems like an odd concept but it works very well, it tends to take the dogs mind off distractions and focus on what you want, I have found if the dog/s don't settle after one figure 8 then another or even another always settles things down, it seems to create a patnership where you are walking together.

I use the technique walking 2 dogs together, nothing really changes, when you get confident try it without using a leash it works the same, you just have to learn to get the dogs attention and hold it. No treats, no remote controls.

Paul
Hi Paul
but I'm having difficulty preventing her from sniffing

the ground and I DON'T wont to be pulling/lifting her ... seems that she's becoming 'selectively deaf' to the various sounds!

Probably your timing is wrong and / or your not getting the dogs attention with the "immediate" praise.

You're probably right, although I do try to distract her the moment she's tempted to lower her head to sniff some grass, rather than when she's in mid-sniff. I know she hears the noise (I see her ears twitch), and I do follow-up with immediate praise but she won't always stop what she's doing.
Any suggestions?

There are 2 other things you can do, both to teach you to command the dogs attention and to teach ... dog to heel (moving forward with your left leg). Repeat this a few times each time the dog forges forward

This is interesting. So, if she's in the standing still heel position to my side and I move forward, what should I do if she lunges forward, straining on the lead, even after the first or second stride? My initial reaction is to stop, and wait until she stop pulling. If she does, I'll invite her to come back to my side and heel and repeat the process. If she doesn't stop pulling, my reaction is to relieve tension in the lead but this will often cause her to pull further forward!
Thanks for your help Paul,
James
Hi Paul

but I'm having difficulty preventing her from sniffing Probably your timing is wrong and / or your not getting the dogsattention with the "immediate" praise.

You're probably right, although I do try to distract her the moment she's tempted to lower her head to sniff ... noise (I see her ears twitch), and I do follow-up with immediate praise but she won't always stop what she'sdoing.

The very split second she goes to sniff is the time to distract, watch her like a hawk and as soon as she makes the first inkling of breaking the heel distract her.

Your allowing tension on the leash and allowing the dog to decide when to stop pulling, you are in control of the walk, if the dog isn't doing what you want then ask it to something you know it will do, ie a recall or return to heel.Best if you ask for a return to heel (stationary heel) and ask the dog to sit too, that will help relax things, but it sounds like shes just waiting to go, she may be heeling at your side but her focus is not on you but what shes going to do soon as shes allowed to move, thats why I ask the dogs to heel beside me for say 30 seconds or whatever, wait untill the dog is settled and no longer just focusing on going forward but rather relaxed and calm.

The problem is the dog often anticipates and soon as you make a move to walk the dog is already there walking ahead, so one way to stop the anticipation is to take one step forward from the stationary heel, as you step forward ask the dog to heel then immediately stop and ask for a sit, this throws the dog off kilter and as you may see the dog is obliged to keep an eye on you to see if you are going to proceed or stop so it has to pay you attention.

The dog can no longer accurately anticipate your move. Another trick is to move off extremely slowly, walk at a real snails pace and insist the dog heels beside you, I have found this very effective with my dogs, I'm not sure exactly why it works possibly because a real slow pace is somewhere between a stop and a walk and the dogs are unsure what to make of it.
If she does, I'll invite her to come back to my side and heel and repeat the process. If she doesn't stop pulling, my reaction is to relieve tension in the lead but this will often cause her to pull further forward!

Shes not focusing on you at all in that case, try heading off in the opposite direction the dog thinks you are going to go, so you are standing still with the dog sitting at heel beside you, typically you would move forward and ask the dog to heel as you do so, but this time as you move do a
180 degree turn to your right so you are walking back from where you justcame, and as you do so ask the dog to heel. Use the heeling pattern exercise in the manual, that works as it stops the dog anticipating, just as the dog thinks it knows where your heading your off in a different direction, the dog has to pay attention to keep up.
Thanks for your help Paul,

Hope it helps
Paul
Thanks Paul
Some great advice there - I'll let you know how we progress.

Best, James
Hello all
Quick update.
I've been working on improving my timing i.e. anticipating my puppy's desire to sniff and we're making some steady progress.

I've found that 2 different sounds (a bunch of keys and a sqeaky toy - always from varying directions) provide just the right amount of sound distraction so she doesn't get too 'used' to a particular sound, without ever startling/frightening her.
I've notices that she's slowly* beginning to pay more attention to what *I'm doing than what's on the ground to sniff.

I'm also very pleased to say that I lost my knee-jerk reaction of pulling on the lead the minute she lowers her head to sniff some grass. Instead, I distract her when her head is moving down (thus there's no lead tension) and more often than not she'll look up for a big dose of praise :-)
Anyway, I thought that it would be good to post our progress.

Take care, Jamesb