Will not walk to heel
#1
Hi I have a 7 month old bc bitch , who pulls constantly on the lead when she's out , seems to be in eagerness to get to the off lead destination , walks better on way home , we go to dog training classes and her heel work is not perfect but a lot better ,tried changing direction when she pulls standing still till she stops being excited and tried to keep her walking close to me with treats but I can only keep her attention for 10/15 seconds ,other tips to try and break this habit ? Am I expecting too much from her at this age ?


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#2
Hi, My BC I exactly the same. She is 4 months old. I will keep an eye on this post.
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#3
I was able to solve LLW with Ember (BC) and Kairo (Husky) both. What worked best for us was to rethink our walks - don't make it about the destination. I also don't require a perfect heel - just a loose leash when walking (a perfect heal is more for competition training in my book).

Start your walk at your front door. If she can go out the front door on a loose leash, , reward and go back inside. Do this a few more times. If she can't get out the door on a loose leash, make sure you require a sit and stay while you go out the door first. When you release her to follow you, reward THAT. You want to give her as much chance to "win" as possible - keep shrinking things down as far as you have to to get that. If she can't go out the door, then just practice in your living room.

Extend the walk now to the end of the driveway. If she can go that far on a loose leash, reward and go back. If she can't, cut the distance in half and try again - keep cutting in half until you have a distance that she can walk on a loose leash and practice that for a day. Instead of going 1 repetition for a long distance, you are going to do many repetitions over a short distance. Do this as many times as you need to until she gets it.

After a few days of this, add some more distance. Again, if she starts pulling, mark the spot it starts and on your next repetition turn around several feet before that mark.

This is how you are going to work up to your final destination.
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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#4
There is a big difference walking in heel position and loose leash walking.
I am assuming you are talking loose leash walking. First you must define exactly what that means to you. This is not stupid because if you don't know exactly all the criteria you want, everyone will be different, how can you consistently teach this to your dog,
Saying I don't want my dog to pull is not a criterion. It's hard to teach a negative. Where is the yes
What do you want
Do you want the dog on a specific side, is it ok for the dog to forward of you arc out from you.
Two thing I discuss in my classes are if you have a dog that pulls you have an owner who pulls back.
The other is in LLW the dog is going to hit the end of the leash at some point, so we should actually be teaching and reinforcing a dog to know how to get the tension back out of the leash. Most dogs do not know this, neither does the owner.
The problem is when the dog does release tension the owner will instantly pick it up, think tug of war. So we need to lock our arm so that as soon as tension is released the dog feels it and is rewarded.
Another problem is the owner naturally gets very frustrated so is not in a good place to teach, the dog does not know.
I would leash my dog in the house, stand still. if he is already putting tension on then wait, elbow locked, or thumb caught in your pocket.
Do not talk or try to get the dogs attention. As soon as there is a release of tension. Reward. Build up by have a cookie on the floor he has to release tension, do not ask for it, don't cheat lol. When the dog releases the tension reward, usually I use the 2 cookie game so then I lure the dog backwards with me for another cookie or occasionally I will give my dog a go get it cue and he can have the cookie on the floor, mix it up.
So by taking his focus off the cookie and releasing the tension on the leash it gets 2 cookies, yeah
Notice we are not even walking on the leash yet and we are in the house. Foundations, low distractions always.
Build up to walking in the house, walking towards, next to distractions. You need to get plenty of successful reps. So when you go outside the dog hits the end of the leash, just stop say nothing he will take the tension off if you have done your foundations reward and walk on. He will probably hit the end of the leash again repeat. It requires patience and consistency on your part.
Notice I have no cue, However I have put things on cue, Draco loved to sniff and when I took. Him on he would attempt to drag me to some peemail. I applied the above game, but released him as a reward to go sniff. So I put sniffing behaviour on cue, it was something he really enjoyed I wasn't going to take it from him but I needed to have control over it.
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#5
Great advice by Ember and Quirky, I just wanted to touch base with Quirky's point about deciding what the walk should look like to you. I agree that heel work is for competition obedience. I like ordinary walks to be a relaxing "off work" experience. I like my dogs to be out front with both on my left and Max on the outer left. Changing direction simply happens with direction through the leash. There is no tension in the lead, I just move my arm slightly to the left or right. They can stop and smell the roses whenever they want and it always gives me a giggle to watch how they auto correct to the right position again as we move off. I love it and always tell them what good boys they are.
I like to do tracking with my dogs and have found that dogs from a competitive obedience background or dogs who have always been made to walk to heel, struggle with being out front. They seem quite insecure and anxious about being in the leadership position and this impedes their concentration on the task. With tracking the dog must be 10metres ahead of you and you don't want them checking in on the handler.
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#6
I put loose leash walking on the bottom of my priority list with my two and am paying for it now. My GSD was a lean 90 lbs. and from day one with him I taught him to walk nicely on a leash. When I would walk him I could hold the leash with one finger in the loop. If there was any tension on the leash I could just wiggle my finger a bit and get him to give some slack in the leash. When I got Tasha she was so tiny and didn't look like she would grow into a very big dog so I ignored leash manners and ended up with a border collie that looked like she was attempting to qualify for the Iditarod.

For the past couple of weeks I have been working with both dogs to get them to walk nicely on a leash and we have made a ton of progress but we still have a long way to go. Just know going into it that it will take a lot of work.
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