Lead training stalled!!

(12 Posts)
ParmaViolet44 Sat 27-Apr-19 18:07:24

Wondered if anyone has advice, our 1 yr old cockapoo is still not great on the lead. For the last few months I have been doing the "stop-start" approach. So as soon as his head goes down and he starts pulling I stop. He's learned to immediately stop and come back to me but as soon as I start walking he just immediately goes right ahead and starts pulling again.

It takes AGES to get anywhere as I have to keep stopping (or stopping then walking a few paces in the opposite direction) to snap him out of it.

Will he ever get it!??? Is there another level I can take this to? Treats don't seem to work and it's getting so frustrating. Otherwise he's a really good boy and has great recall etc. He's just high energy so finds it hard to walk at my pace, and I walk really fast!

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GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Sat 27-Apr-19 20:52:15

Have you tried click-and-treat? If not, it's well worth trying.

I also find that it really helps to do multiple direction changes at the start of a walk, or if the dog is just not focusing on you at all and pulling. You'll feel a complete prat walking zig-zags and about-turning in the middle of the road, but it does help.

ParmaViolet44 Sat 27-Apr-19 21:31:29

I haven't tried that actually! I have rewarded him when he comes back to me but then he just takes off again once we start walking. I stop, he comes back, gets another treat...rinse & repeat

I'll try the multiple direction changes, trust me I already look a total pray when I'm walking so I've lost all shame!

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lorisparkle Sat 27-Apr-19 23:42:18

I found the click and treat works best out of all the methods I have tried but I gradually increase my expectations so initially one step without pulling I stop click and treat then two steps then three steps etc. However we have only got to 50 steps on the way back from a game at the park so we have a long way to go!

Gremlinsateit Sun 28-Apr-19 01:10:37

What sort of harness are you using? I found the Gentle Leader front fastening harness - I think it is called Easy Walk - not the head collar - made a huge difference with pulling.

Heartily Sun 28-Apr-19 12:52:25

I've trained two dogs to walk to heel and utterly failed with our big boy. He's very clever and I think I accidentally trained him to rush ahead and come back for a treat. I think he thought that was the actual exercise.

Can you go back to basics and click and reward whenever he happens to be at the right place beside you? So give up lead walks for now if you have places he can run offlead and gradually build up the response of him choosing to come to your side.

That's what I am going to do ... in theory ... but this all takes so long!

BiteyShark Sun 28-Apr-19 12:56:05

Well I have a cocker and they are a pain in the arse for lead walking so maybe you got the cocker dna for walking grin

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ParmaViolet44 Tue 30-Apr-19 15:41:26

Yes, the "pain in the arse" factor is strong in this one!

I feel like we're in a similar spot @Heartily. It's like he's realised he needs to come back to my side when I stop but hasn't realised he needs to actually stay there! So he just blunders off as soon as I start walking again.

We do run off lead a lot and he's brilliant, stays close by and excellent recall. It's just when he's on the lead that he strains and pulls.

I'm thinking one of those Easy Walk or Happy at Heel harnesses with the clip on the side or front might help. Will give it a go!

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Alwaysgrey Tue 30-Apr-19 15:56:23

Our boy is a draft git. Great off lead though needs to learn not every dog wants to play but lead walking is 90% nightmare. Pulling and wanting to play with other dog. I think I’m going to have to get a 1:1 in. Our trainers advice was a quick pull on a lead. It’s not successful at all.

billybagpuss Wed 01-May-19 15:11:14

We recently did an environmental course with ours and one of the main things that came out of it was don't worry about how far you get on a walk, concentrate on getting there with dignity and not looking like a rather bedraggled superman.

We started the course by doing the 'circle of calm' so just walking back and forth about 15 steps each way for literally half an hour the first time until the dog disengaged from the environment and stopped pulling. Day 2 it happened quicker and each day was an improvement. The improvement is immense. We still struggle with squirrels, bikes and rowers but I can now walk without thinking I'll spend the next week with a bad back. Click and treat also works well.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Wed 01-May-19 17:44:54

The key with click and treat is to click as soon as the dog performs the desired behaviour. Don't yank him back, but tap the side of your thigh so he puts himself in the right position. When he's in the right spot and the lead is loose, click n treat. And rinse and repeat. It's bloody boring, and my own young dog is far from perfect, but she's 100x better than our older one.

ParmaViolet44 Wed 01-May-19 21:56:07

These are so helpful!! Thank you for the tips, I'm actually looking forward to trying these out!
He's such a good boy most of the time, I hate that I hate taking him out on the lead!

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