Training dilema

(19 Posts)
ThistleVille Fri 09-May-14 08:06:22

We have a 13 week old Golden Labrador. She is adorable and a handful! My teenage son and I have taken on most of the care and training so far, with DH dipping in when he feels like it. Now she is fully vaccinated we can take her out and about and this is where we are having problems....
She doesn't like her collar and lead. Fair enough, she'll get used to it and we will persevere. But DH is quite happy to take her out without collar and let her trot along beside him. (We live in the back end of beyond so very little traffic) To be fair, she has been very good so far and loves to get out and about BUT it's making life difficult for my son and I with the more formal side of her training.
My son is getting very upset, he has waited a long time to get a pup and feels his work is being undermined. I agree with him and it's causing a lot of tension at home. DH takes any hint of criticism very personally, always has.
Am I being a control freak? Can a pup respond to two very different methods of training? I'm also anxious about the legal aspect - she is chipped but what if she was to leg it across a field after a rabbit with no identification on her? I'm getting very anxious.

HoneyDragon Fri 09-May-14 08:09:10

As long as dh is prepared to keep paying fines and break the law continue.

He should be criticised you and your son are training the dog, he's doing fuck all and a disservice to your pup.

HoneyDragon Fri 09-May-14 08:10:14

Also pup is very young. The trotting along nicely off lead will stop as soon as pup gets confident.

ThistleVille Fri 09-May-14 08:13:46

That's exactly it. Of course she's sticking close while she's in unfamiliar territory. I'm going to have to man-up and read the riot act. She's such a joy, I feel disappointed we can't all do this as a team.

Gooner123 Fri 09-May-14 08:19:37

You've got to tell him to stop,it's illegal & although you may be in a quite area it only takes one car & at 13 wks there's no way he has control over her,he's undermining you & your sons efforts,if it means upsetting him then so be it.

Is he actually training her to walk to heel off lead or just being lazy?

The collar issue is non negotiable. She is only allowed to be without a collar if she is actively working - and she very clearly isn't. She must wear a collar when out of the house and she will very quickly get used to it. Is her collar lightweight enough for her?

I don't agree that she will necessarily become less inclined to walk to heel off lead as she gets older. IF your DH is actually TRAINING her to walk to heel off lead as a matter of course than that is a very good thing. Training that at such a young age, with complete consistency would produce a fabulous result. It is the way I teach mine loose lead walking.

Teaching that heel is a position you expect whether with lead or without is positive, but just wandering along with a 12 week old pup either on the lead or off it is a recipe for a very badly behaved teenager.

It is only illegal not to wear a collar and ID tag.

The no lead bit is perfectly legal, providing the dog is under control.

tabulahrasa Fri 09-May-14 09:06:40

It's not just a legal issue about the ID tag, she is at some point going to go barrelling off towards something unsafe and he has absolutely no way of stopping her.

Is she only wearing a collar outside? I just pop one on when they come home and they get used to it really quickly - if she's always wearing a collar at least he can grab that in an emergency.

PurpleFrog Fri 09-May-14 10:44:42

Well, actually, if he is walking along beside a road with the dog off-lead he is breaking the law:

The Road Traffic Act 1988
It is an offence to have a dog on a designated road without it being held on a lead. Local authorities may have similar bye-laws covering public areas. Dogs travelling in vehicles should not be a nuisance or in any way distract the driver during a journey.
If a dog is injured in a car accident, the driver must stop and give their details to the person in charge of the dog. If there is no person in charge of the dog, the incident must be reported to the police within 24 hours.

This is from a Kennel Club leaflet about Dog Law.

PurpleFrog Fri 09-May-14 10:47:31

Sorry, realised that is ON aroad, not beside, but if he crosses the road off-lead it is against the law.

haggisaggis Fri 09-May-14 11:03:55

I am not sure that the walking without a lead should cause problems with training - you can train to walk at heel without a lead (we did this with our pup as highly treat motivated and walking at heel on / off lead is about the only thing he does reliably) BUT pup does still need to get used to wearing a collar & lead - and whether she can walk well at heel or not it is likely that if she was distracted / scared she could run off.
We have same issues with dh not following our training methods - dd (11) is doing most of the training and finds it so frustrating when dh undermines her. Luckily most of the times it is just her and me so no real harm done.

SpicyPear Fri 09-May-14 11:17:02

Consistency is really important in dog training. It's also important for your dog to wear a collar and tag and learn lead walking. Your son is right to be annoyed at you husband for undermining his efforts.

Chipping is not enough on it's own. If your dog absconds not everyone knows to take them to be scanned. Not all vets scan. Not all pounds scan thoroughly enough to find a chip if it has migrated. Even if they were scanned and returned you're going to get them back a lot quicker if someone can just call a number on a tag.

ThistleVille Fri 09-May-14 11:38:37

Thanks for the views and comments, really appreciate them. Madam is currently tearing round the living room with favourite squeaky toy - and collar firmly ON!

pigsDOfly Fri 09-May-14 20:12:58

Keeping the collar on at all times will ensure she gets used to it, and she will do so very quickly. My dog is never without her collar and tag as I want her to always be easily identified, even in the housesmile

However, if your dog is difficult about walking with the lead attached to her collar have you though about using a harness? You might find she's more comfortable.

I know that some people feel a harness encourages them to pull, but most dogs pull on the lead anyway until trained not to.

My dog is small so she's always had a harness but I know plenty of people with large dogs who use them with great success.

noddingoff Fri 09-May-14 20:15:18

I'm going to go against the grain here. I think it's probably the lesser of two evils if DH is walking her off lead than if he's got her on a lead and making a mess of it (easy to hash up and much more confusing for the dog). Let's face it, DH probably doesn't want to learn how to do the lead walking properly so it's better that the pup just tootles along near him (and they do still learn the difference between proper loose walking to heel and ambling along as they see fit). When our pup was her age we kept the lead walking very short - just made her do it "properly" for a couple of hundred yards, then took the lead off and gave her a release command ("Go on then" to her means relax, you can do whatever you want). We only really started teaching her "proper" loose walking to heel a few months ago (she's one) - again in very short bursts of "doing it properly" then release command. We're lucky in that we live very close to a safe park though, and her recall was good from when she was quite tiny.

Owllady Sat 10-May-14 11:52:52

As everyone says, she needs to wear a collar and tag and she will get used to it

My dog hates the lead on collar though, so I use a harness.

Catsmamma Sat 10-May-14 12:00:21

get her used to the collar indoors, mealtimes and playing, it's usually only a couple of days to get used to it

Our big boys don't wear collars at all.... but they are on harnesses for walks.

As far as off lead walks go, we always get them off lead and free running asap....obv not near roads, but when they are little and a bit insecure they check in often to make sure you haven't done a runner which is a good habit for them. As they get a bit cockier and go a bit further you can hide from them which is quite funny but again reinforces the "don't go too far, and keep watching" for them.

ThistleVille Sat 10-May-14 20:58:19

I hadn't considered a harness before - but that might be the way to go. I think we'll give the collar and lead another week, then change if she still objects as much.
Thank you everyone.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 10-May-14 21:11:15

Please, please have her on a lead any where near a road even the best trained dog can become distracted and ignore their owner.
I have a patient who is an incredibly well trained gundog whose recall is normally bombproof. On the fateful day a squirrel ran directly in front of her and then across the road, she followed bang.
It took 15months, 5 surgeries and £9,500 to save her leg she will never work again.

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