How can I train my 7 year old border collie to stop straining at the lead?

He doesn`t pull strongly, but I feel he should be more at my side. he just tries to stay slightly ahead of me when walking so maybe its a dominance thing, I have a choker lead but thats more for ease of taking it on and off as it never tightens on him when out walking and I don`t `pull` back sharply to stop his behaviour.
Any thought on how to correct this.
thanks
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How can I train my 7 year old border collie to stop straining at the lead? He doesn`t pull strongly, ... when out walking and I don`t `pull` back sharply to stop his behaviour. Any thought on how to correct this.

This works for us:
For starters, standing still, start by luring him into position with a treat, using your hand to guide him to exactly where you want him and when he is in the position you'd like, give it to him. Keep another treat in your hand and take one step forward.
If he follows and keeps position, reward, if not stop and stand still until he looks to see why you've stopped and guide him back into position with the treat. ( I use a clicker which makes this a bit easier for the dog, but this works too)... as he gets the hang of it, add more steps and introduce the word for walking in that position (typically, heel).

At 7, assuming he's fairly typical, he'll pick up the idea very quickly and be anxious to please.
Diana

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How can I train my 7 year old border collie to stop straining at the lead? He doesn`t pull strongly, ... out walking and I don`t `pull` back sharply to stop his behaviour. Any thought on how to correct this. thanks

Why is it possibly a dominance thing? Some dogs walk ahead simply because they like to anticipate things, not for any hieracy reasons. Forgive me Scudo but I think the choke collar is really to give you control ultimately, you may not think so but I really can't see the inconvenience of clipping a soft leash to his regular collar. I never use leverage to walk my dogs, or to control them. I use voice commands, if the dogs aren't responding then there is a communication problem and that is solved by intelligence not force or leverage. Get rid of the choke collar and then work on better communication.

Paul
If you figure it out please tell me. I have never been successful at getting a dog to heal. Twenty years ago we got a puppy and I took her to obedience school. She did great with sit, stay, etc., but the one thing she never learned was to heal. I tried the "correction" at first, but soon abandoned that technique. For one it did not work, and two under the "golden rule" line of reasoning I soon decided that jerking her around by the neck was not a good thing (right PW?). Anyway, our current dog was kidnapped, I mean rescued, and she has lots of behavioral hang ups so I try to not add to her woes by exerting pressure with the heal command.

Good luck.
If you figure it out please tell me. I have never been successful at getting a dog to heal. Twenty ... of behavioral hang ups so I try to not add to her woes by exerting pressure with the heal command.

Heeling (note spelling, we are not healing your dog from an ailment) is not that difficult. And what you both really want, which is a dog that doesn't pull when walking, is even easier.
There's absolutely no need to jerk on the dog and correct into behaving on lead. Instead there are some very simple techniques that can help.

Here are some suggestions.
1. Try a properly fitted prong collar. If you don't know how to chooseand fit a collar, find someone who does. Try it on your arm first, you'll be surprised at how it doesn't hurt.
2. Try simply stopping when the dog pulls. When the dog looks back atyou, praise and give a small, soft treat, then move a step forward. If the dog pulls again, stop. The key is for the dog to learn that pull = stop, not pull = go.
3. From a stationary position, feed the dog a small soft treat each timeit looks at you. Don't issue a word command or reprimand the dog if he looks away, simply reward him when he looks at you. You'll soon find that he is glued to you. Take a step forward. If he starts pulling, see #2.
4. Once you have the dog walking on a loose leash, associate it with aword command walk, or easy, or whatever.
Get rid of the choke collar and then work on better communication.()

Au contraire.
It's not necessary to get rid of the choke (i.e., training) collar.

Just LEARN HOW TO USE IT PROPERLY, which you're obviously not doing at the moment.
It's designed to be used as a training collar.
You should seek the help of a good professional trainer, or enroll in a good obedience training class. Your vet can help you find one.

There you will learn how to use change of pace, change of direction, sound distractions (collar "pops"), various heeling drills, distractions, etc., i.e., the correct way(s) to use a TRAINING collar.
Your dog will soon be heeling properly and without the need for any collar at all.

Handsome Jack Morrison
*gently remove the detonator to send me e-mail
Ges I cant spel 2 gud. Maybe I'm the one that needs "healing".

One concern I have about using treats for training is that the dog is too heavy now and I am cutting down on her regular food in order to try and get her to lose some weight. I buy Eukanuba maintenance, the black label, and mix it with a Hill's Science Diet feed that is supposed to be low calorie but high in nutrients. I forget the name, but it has rice and vegetables in it supposedly.
I would appreciate any input on what dog food to use for regular meals and what to use for treats with training? We feed her twice a day, measured amounts, but we live in a town home so there is no yard. She gets frequent walks and a trip to the dog park on the weekends, but lack of exercise surely is a part of the weight problem.
Thank you.
Ges I cant spel 2 gud. Maybe I'm the one that needs "healing". One concern I have about using treats ... be low calorie but high in nutrients. I forget the name, but it has rice and vegetables in it supposedly.

The harder she has to work for it, the moe energy she'll burn up.
I would appreciate any input on what dog food to use for regular meals and what to use for treats ... trip to the dog park on the weekends, but lack of exercise surely is a part of the weight problem.

I don't have a safe yard, that means my dog gets more exercise than many, cos I have to take her out to exercise. Teaching on lead tricks is fun and burns off energy too,
We do all sorts , twirling and spinning, through the legs, walk behind me etc. Even if I'm under the weather, 4 pee breaks a day means absolute min my dog gets is an hour,
Rewards must be tasty to be of value, or they wont work. Playing tuggy is a great reward but counter productive to loose lead walking - though on a wide quiet walk way we might play tuggy with the lead.
Dogs out in yards rarely exercise themselves, unless they have something to chase, so don't feel like she's missing out - just compensate with a little more interest in her daily walks,
Diana
One concern I have about using treats for training is that the dog is too heavy now and I am ... be low calorie but high in nutrients. I forget the name, but it has rice and vegetables in it supposedly.

How big is she and how much are you feeding? I've found that in general the amount the bag says to feed is way, way more than the dog needs. If you're truly feeding a small amount then have her checked for hypothyroidism.
As an example, I have two Dobermans. Viva is 24.5" tall, weighs 65#, and gets 2.5 cups of food per day, measured with a measuring cup. She maintains weight more easily than Cala who is very high drive. Cala is 24" tall and 59", and she gets 3 cups per day. Chances are you're just feeding way too much food.
Good training treats can be kibble, or string cheese, or sliced nuked hot dogs.
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