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How do I get my dog to walk to heel and not bark at strangers?

(21 Posts)
MmeLindt Mon 10-Aug-09 14:06:00

Anyone got some good tips?

I need to start training our dog to walk to heel as it is quite annoying taking her for a walk. She pulls ahead the whole time.

The only other problem is getting her to stop barking at people going past the house. We are pretty much living outside at the moment (except today as it is pissing down) and when someone goes by, she growls and barks at them.

She is not exactly scary, and when the people get nearer she just wags her tail but the constant yapping is getting a bit wearying. If not for me, then certainly for our neighbours.

MmeLindt Tue 11-Aug-09 09:11:44


LaurieFairyCake Tue 11-Aug-09 09:15:58

the Dog whisperer says that you stop when they're pulling ahead and walk in the other direction (and keep doing it). She is doing this because she thinks she is the 'scout' apparently.

Sounds like she thinks she's in charge in the house so you need to keep her off furniture, feed her after the family, generally keep her in her place.

My dog barks at people when we go out so we make him carry a big Kong thing - he also feels useful doing that.

Buda Tue 11-Aug-09 09:24:18

We are having the same issue with the walking. Ours doesn't bark at people going by but everyone else's dog does so they bark at us and then ours starts! Then she gets scared I think I tries to run away pulling me along!

Yesterday I took her down past one house and every time she tired to run and pull I got her to sit and just patted her. AFter a few mins she wanted to go up and see the other dog but I wasn't sure how that would go down with the other dog. The owner did come out but doesn't speak any English and I don;t speak any Hungarian.

MmeLindt Tue 11-Aug-09 09:27:26

She only barks at people going past the house, not when we are out. More of a territorial thing.

I would find it hard to keep her off the furniture now. blush We have probably spoilt her.

I will have to do the opposite direction thing when we are not trying to get somewhere. Not for the school run.

Tabithacat Tue 11-Aug-09 09:41:33

We used a small water pistol to "shoot" our dog every time he barked inappropriately. Coupled with a firm "NO", it worked within three goes! BUT he has always hated water anyway and this has made this worse, so it is a case of weighing up the pro's and con's.

minimu Tue 11-Aug-09 19:25:34

Dogs pull because they want to get somewhere not to be boss or dominant. Have you tried clicker training? It works like a dream. Try and find a APDT near you if you need help.

Basically a clicker makes a click noise! Click the clicker near the dog and give a treat. Keep doing this for a couple of days until the dog realises that the clicker is good and means a treat.

Then in a safe place hold some food in your hand and encourage the dog to walk beside you by your side. ( I prefer this with the dog of the lead) When the dog is in the right position click the clicker and treat.

Keep doing this for short periods over a period of a week. Then start to say the word heel when the dog is in the right postion and click and treat. Soon heel means the right position. When you go out on your walk with the dog on the lead say heel and click if the dog is in the right position. IF not stand still and lure the dog into the right position with food, click and treat.

As for barking at the neighbours,2 ways.
First say thank you call the dog to you and click and treat. usually very quickly the dog will bark oncwe and then run to you for a treat. FO make sure that you always have one on you to give her.

Second way is when she barks click and treat aand add the word speak. Then eventually she will be able to speak on command, then you can teach a quiet when she is not barking so when she starts to bark you can ssay quiet. This way takes longer so I would try the first way.
be consistent and it will work I promise! If not send her to me for a week and I would love to train her for you!

DrNortherner Tue 11-Aug-09 19:31:11

What type of dog and how old?

I would get signed up for obdeience classes - they made a massive difference to our lab who constantly pulled. He walks like a dream now on his lead. We got a chec chain, I know some people do not like them, but for us it has been perfect.

You could also try a halti or a gentle leader.

JonBonJovi Tue 11-Aug-09 19:40:49

minimu is spot on wink

MmeLindt Wed 12-Aug-09 07:23:20

that does sound more like her problem. She does not pull on the way home but gets extremely excited on the down to park/school.

Will check out the clicker. I think one of my neighbours has that.

She is 10 month old Maltese Terrier x Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I need to improve my French before attempting to go to dog training classes. I have to do one soon anyway as every dog owner is obliged to do a course here in Geneva.

Thanks all

minimu Wed 12-Aug-09 13:24:21

Good luck MmeLindt you will only need a few minutes to be shown how to use the clicker well - wish I was nearer to help. But a bit of hard work now will mean you willhave a lovely well trained dog for life! Wish kids were so easy hmm

MmeLindt Wed 12-Aug-09 16:20:57

Have ordered a clicker

and found a market niche. Online pet supplies in Switzerland. Very difficult to find a good online shop.

Buda Thu 13-Aug-09 14:05:39

Where did you order from MmeLindt? Wonder if they deliver to Budapest? Hard to get things here too.

MmeLindt Thu 13-Aug-09 14:58:51

I ordered from this website and have just asked if they deliver to Hungary. She assured me they do.

How is your German? They are in Austria.

I also just ordered one of these signs after seeing one in the village. How cute is that?

funwithfondue Thu 13-Aug-09 15:10:39

Mme Lindt, I have recently started dog obedience (and agility) classes near Geneva (Nyon), they're run by an English woman and attended by English-speaking expats. I've found it's helped hugely with my naughty, pulling, barking, escaping dog. The trainer, Lindsay, also offers 1 on 1 dog tuition, and boarding.

The classes take place at a Swiss dog training 'school' (field, with Scout-type hut etc!), so there's classes with other trainers every day of the week, for an annual membership.

I really recommend it - can pm you the details. On a personal note, it's been a good way for me to make friends in a new country...

MmeLindt Thu 13-Aug-09 15:23:11

That sounds really interesting. Presumably I could do the obligatory dog owner course there too. Please CAT me with the details.Thanks

Buda Thu 13-Aug-09 15:52:59

Thanks MmeLindt! My German is non-existent!

Love the sign! Nice website too.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 13-Aug-09 18:35:36

Our dog barks badly when people come to the door, and the usual training methods are a bit hard to apply as we're generally upstairs in the office and he's downstairs at the door. So we got an anti-bark collar - it just squirts a little water when he barks so its like an automated version of TabithaCats water pistol. Together with verbal reinforcement when we are nearby (praise if he shuts up) it was working well after a couple of days. He's reverted to his old form while we were on holiday but hopefully will relearn quickly.

MmeLindt Thu 13-Aug-09 19:29:08

If you do want to order anything, and need help with the German, give me a shout.

That sounds interesting. Generally we are in the vicinity when she barks.

I am torn between not wanting her barking and disturbing the neighbours and liking the fact that she is "protecting" us. It is a deterant to burglars, even if she is a small dog. We have been broken into twice so the thought that she would raise the alarm is kind of reassuring.

Buda Fri 14-Aug-09 07:19:40

Thanks MmeLindt - will do!

funwithfondue Sun 16-Aug-09 10:53:19

Hi, the dog training is just outside the village of Trelex, Nyon. The English trainer I use is Lindsey (0792 022 672). Let me know how you get on.

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