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loose leash walking

 
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Bizmark
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PostPosted: 11/19/03, 10:04 am    Post subject: loose leash walking Reply with quote

I have a 4 month old GWP who like all other has tons of energy. When I walk him, he pulls me all over the place. The instructor at obedience class suggested a gentle leader and this seems like it works because it pulls his head to the side whenever he pulls ahead of me.

My questions is will this leader take away the drive the my pup has. He has tons of drive and the entie reason I got him was to hunt with him. I don't want to do anything that will diminish that. I'd rather have him contsanty pull me if that's the case. Am I worrying over nothing?
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Keith
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PostPosted: 11/19/03, 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like that in a pup. I wait until after the first hunting season to teach a dog to heel. But that is just my opinion. I have a 3 year old right now that pulled like crazy on a leash. Especially during training when she knew there were birds around. Then she would pull and strain until she almost choked herself. I let her. And after 3 seasons afield she has never tired out and walked behind me even after several days of hard hunting. She always stays to the front and has to be leading but will turn with me and adjust her position to stay to the front. After the first season I taught her to heel and I can bring her in by my side if I want to now. But it does drive her crazy because you can tell it bugs her not to be out front. I have a pup right now that does not pull on a leash and never did. But he doesn't have the same drive that she has. I wish he did.
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cheerio
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PostPosted: 11/21/03, 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally am totally against the use of the gentle leader. At the age where we sue for whip lash right and left, we have no problems recomanding such neck-breaking device for our beloved compagnons. It takes exactly 15 minutes to teach a dog to heal on a leash, so why resort to unsafe gadgets? I highly suggest that you thave a talk with your trainer and advise her/him that the American Veterinary Association has recently published a warning concerning this very devise. This is why:

"Bad News, Good News, Bad News
Roger's Story . . . A Tale of Misplaced Kindness
Friday afternoon, we received the kind of call every breeder dreads . . .
Roger, one of our Boomer-Ranha pups (now six years old) was in intensive
care at the Animal Medical Center in NYC, having suddenly lost the ability
to stand shortly after returning from his evening walk on Thursday. A
myelogram was inconclusive, but suggested either a cervical disk problem or
a fibrocartilaginous embolism. In the latter case, the problem would
probably resolve without treatment, but in the former case, surgery . . . with a
30-40% fatality risk . . . was the only appropriate treatment.

Roger had been given a dose of steroids to reduce spinal cord swelling on
Thursday night and again on Friday, but his condition was not improving.
This added some weight to the cervical disk hypothesis and, after lengthy
discussion and weighing of the options, Roger's owners decided to risk the
surgery Friday night.

The good news is that Roger survived the surgery and that it wasn't
unnecessary . . . Roger did have a badly damaged cervical disk. This morning, Saturday,
he is able to move his legs and is eating, both very good signs, though it
is still "early days." If he comes through the immediate post-op period,
he'll be facing a two-week hospitalization.

The second bit of bad news is that we just learned that Roger's
owners had been walking him on a head halter (of the Halti/Gentle Leader
type) for the past two weeks. These devices, if improperly or carelessly
used, can create physical stresses on the cervical spine that can result in
just the sort of damage Roger experienced. In other words, it is likely
that Roger's injury was completely avoidable.

Head halters are promoted as "humane" alternatives to slip collars, prong
collars, and martingale collars. While they may have a place in
training, they are never, in my opinion, appropriate for everyday use outside a
training setting. These devices can impose torque and force that a dog's
cervical spine is just not constructed to take."
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trackindog
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Joined: 20 May 2003
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Location: Minneapolis, MN

PostPosted: 11/21/03, 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the post Cheerio! I assumed this type of lead was completely safe. We don't use one but have seriously considered it. We chose to just teach him to heel rather than take what we thought was the easy way out of Gunner's pulling.

I like pulling in my dogs as it is a positive in tracking but just walking him or hunting shows the need for heel training. And in working with Gunner we've found there are many positive ways to teach this.

Ann
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Bizmark
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PostPosted: 11/21/03, 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I appreciate the advice but do believe all dogs are different. I am working with a trainer and we tried to teach him to heel. however it last a half of a second and he is back onto something--any other suggestions besides a gentle leader?
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trackindog
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Location: Minneapolis, MN

PostPosted: 11/21/03, 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may seem a little weird but it is one of the positive training techniques used to train heeling at our obedience school. Our trainer told us last night that she used this on extremely unruly dog at a local humane society and all within the same session she had that dog paying attention only to her and not all the people and food around where they were working.

Take either a wooden spoon or a paint stick (the kind used to stir the paint) and spread cheese on one side of it. She uses the cheese that comes in a can as it is easy to work with. You put the dog on a leash and then hold the cheese stick down at your side at about the dogs head height where you want them to be heeling.

The dog will naturally lick the cheese stick and will fall right into place next to you as you walk along. Keep this up for several sessions and then try heeling without it. If he still won't heel go back to the cheese stick.

My husband has used this with Gunner and he picked right up on it. They LOVE the cheese!

Ann
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Vom Britt
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Joined: 27 Oct 2002
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Location: Central WI.

PostPosted: 11/21/03, 10:45 pm    Post subject: heeling Reply with quote

Heeling is one of the last commands I teach my dogs. I do though see the need for others to teach heel at a younger age. But, isn't four months of age way to early to put any kind of pressure on a puppy and it is a pup?

I use a piggin string to teach walking along the side of me. A piggin string is the 6 ft. rope that cowboys have in their mouth when they jump off their horse to wrestle and then tie a calfs hoofs together. Delmar & Rick Smith market this string as the wonder lead for $20+. Roping supply companies sell them from $7 to $16. It is a 3/8" waxed rope with a small loop one one end. It is a handy piece of training equipment that I use as a slip lead and heeling lead and fits easily into my training vest.
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