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So my question is this: should I contine working with him on the leash quietly like this while he gets ... more relaxed surroundings before working on it while walking. That will also give him time to acclimate to the neighborhood.

This sounds like a good plan. Whether I say no or just do my thing depends on the dog. All mine are like Briar, they came with history. Some of them seem to want some verbal cue as to what is expected and others prefer to concentrate on what they are doing. If Briar does better without the "no" that's even better because you can just do your thing and not have to worry about verbal corrections. You don't want to teach him to wait for a "no" if he doesn't need one to correct his behavior as soon as you stop walking.What I do to teach loose leash walking is what others have been talking about. If the leash is loose, we walk. If it gets taut, we stop or I change directions so that the dog learns that it has to pay attention to where I am going and give itself enough time, attention and slack to follow suit. With bigger dogs who pull, that is harder to do since they can be more insistent on going whether you are going or not. In that case, I will often do a quick collar pop as I stop because it gets their attention to even notice that I have stopped and usually results in some slowing at least as it interrupts their thought process.

I don't pretend it interrupts their movement. The pause and look gives me the chance to praise that there is now a loose leash and keep walking. I will also occasionally pull a treat out of a pocket and offer it from a hand hanging by my side. If the dog is ahead of me, he can't get the treat. They start realizing that they want to be in good position all the time because they can never be quite sure when a treat will appear. This also helps reinforce attention because they are more likely to keep at least some attention on what I am doing instead of focusing only on the sights and sounds of the neighborhood.

I never give any verbal cue when a treat is going to appear because I don't want them to ignore me until they hear that a treat is coming. I want them to pay attention all the time. Since I can't get a treat out of my pocket when my arm is being pulled, I can't possibly reinforce pulling. There has to be a good amount of slack leash before I can do the rewarding so it's a no brainer. I like that I don't have to think about timing while trying to keep an eye on other things that are going on.

By the way, I always have part of the leash wrapped around my wrist so I can use my hands when I need to.

Paula
"Anyway, other people are weird, but sometimes they have candy, so it's best to try to get along with them." Joe Bay
I definitely took advice that to heart. I took Roxy for a quick jog alone and then had a painfully ... night. It's not ideal for the amount of exercise I think they need, but for now, it'll have to do.

That's what kids are for! Emotion: smile You know, walking has become a huge bonding experience for my kids and myself as well as for the dogs. They love the undivided attention that they don't always get at home where I am almost always multitasking. More leash hands and a better relationship with my daughters (including the one who is now in middle school so I really want to make sure our relationship is secure and she has plenty of opportunities to let me know what is on her mind). Can't beat that!

Paula
"Anyway, other people are weird, but sometimes they have candy, so it's best to try to get along with them." Joe Bay
And, FWIW, I agree with the other posters. If you ... the short run. Unfortunately, that's one of those non-negotiable dealies.

I definitely took advice that to heart. I took Roxy for a quick jog alone and then had a painfully ... night. It's not ideal for the amount of exercise I think they need, but for now, it'll have to do.

Well, you can certainly speed up the actual walk (I'm a NYer, and I hatehatehate walking slowwly) by bringing Briar's dinner with you and having him earn it all on his walk. He's a Lab, which basically means he's probably a food ***, so this could work to your advantage.

I'd start off by putting the food right up his nose and having him walk towards you while you take a few steps backwards. Praise and give a piece of kibble. Do this a few times to tune him into you.

That's the easy part (but worth doing). Then, when you feel he's SUPER tuned in to the treats in your hand while you're walking backwards, turn your* body so that your on his right side (facing the same direction that he is..you'll have to turn to *your left to do this)) before you give him that first treat. This is hard to show people, and even harder to explain through text, but you want to go from YOU walking backwards, to YOU being by his side WITHOUT him changing direction at all. He's going forward the whole time, all you're doing is shifting where YOU are in relation to him, and shifting his focus from in front of him (on you) to next to him (still on you).
If this doesn't make sense (as it probably doesn't) try to figure out what I mean by having your trained dog sit in front of you. Without her moving an inch, which way would you have to turn your body to end up on her right side? A quick spin to your left will probably get you there. Do that a few tiomes until that motion feels comfortable to you, and then try it while taking a few steps backwards with her following you. Same deal, except now you have to not fall down :-)

As you get to the walking forward bit, you now have two choices for when Briar isn't walking with you: you can "be a tree" (which I only use if the dog is distracted by a specific* and *inanimate object. I personally find being a tree makes a lot of dogs frustrated unless you're just trying to battle ONE distraction at a time), or you can also step right in front of his field of vision, refocus him on you, and then reward him after you've spun his attention back onto you.

I'd also reward him every (and at first I do mean EVERY) time he glances in your direction, every time he's walking next to you, every time he's tuned into you, but mostly when he's looking at you (without his attention, the rest is all theoretical).
Also, remember, the best way to use any reward is to PRAISE before you give the reward.
And with that, I have to go work some dogs :-)
Good luck.
Tara
He was fairly well stressed out on the walk He wasn't quite as frantically trying to get away from the cars the last block, Oh yeah, I didn't comfort him when he was fearful. I realized his senses were overloaded

If even the sound of your voice made him less able to focus and calm himself, I would be extremely hesitant to put a prong collar on this dog. The last thing he might need is yet another, aversive sensation to deal with while grappling with all that stimuli.
Just my two cents.
This is almost certainly not typical of other dogs, but I've found that Siberians are perfectly happy to hang themselves on the collar for as long as you're willing to stand there.

Imagine finding this sort of thing out when you've driven over an hour to get to your day hike, have a pack on and two dogs with you, and the 45 pound wimpydog decides to apply warp speed in crossing the ccoold stream which could be traversed without getting any toesies wet if only the dog were more cooperative, and you end up having to wade through it.

Unfortunately, I don't have to imagine it. Thankfully, I did make the smart decision to wade instead of trying my luck with the rocks, and didn't end up with a shoeful (or two) of icy cold water, and no spare socks, unlike a certain other person.
Suja
Unfortunately, I don't have to imagine it. Thankfully, I did make the smart decision to wade instead of trying my ... end up with a shoeful (or two) of icy cold water, and no spare socks, unlike a certain other person.

You didn't bring spare socks for Khan?!??!!??

Melinda Shore - Software longa, hardware brevis - (Email Removed)

The Milton Friedman Choir:
"Lynne" (Email Removed) wrote in message >
I went to look at pinch collars and saw this Sporn halter. I thought I'd ask here before deciding to ... turned and we get to share our lives with an animal who takes care of their human." - Tara, rpdb

Lynne,
I'm not wild about them. I've seen dogs with some pretty bad chaffing because of the sporn harness/halter. If you are seriously thinking of going the no pull harness route, the front hook/snap sensation types seem to work pretty good.
In the FWIW column, my choice for working on not pulling is the prong collar.
Beth
.

I learned that when riding horses. If you have a horse that starts to pull when heading back towards home, make him turn around and repeat the stretch of road until he stops pulling. I've been using this technique with Star when he wants to pull, "The park the park, ohboyohboyohboy!" and now he realizes it is in his best interest to walk nicely and do whatever else I ask so that he can run with his buddies.
Beth
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