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Dogs that know 100 tricks but can't loose-leash walk?

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Gizmo

14- Years- Young!
 
 
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 6:42pm PST 
Hmm… 3 mile walks every day, hiking in a different park at least once a week, and training classes (in different locations) twice a week- definitely no real world experiences here. Lol. laugh out loud

Guess I don’t really see how not having a flawless LLW = a dog who is stressed and unbalanced? Or what that has to do with training with treats? thinking
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Lupi

I\\\'ll do- anything for a- treat!
 
 
Barked: Thu Mar 21, '13 10:33am PST 
Just felt the need to mention re: treat/training, because I've taught my dog everything she knows using treats (praise, toys, petting just don't compare as far as she is concerned) and this has been bugging me:

My dog does NOT need treats to be obedient. I use treats to TRAIN her, and to periodically reinforce her behavior, but I don't want her to be dependent on any sort of tool indefinitely.

Although I don't recommend this, I have safely walked Lupi off-leash on sidewalks, bike trails etc. without having treats on me. She heels, moves to the side when asked, sits at curbs and all of that. I've never used aversives intentionally, although she has received some from her environment.

I dislike the term "balanced" when applied only to training that includes aversives, because it implies that my dog is somehow off-balance since she is trained using only positive methods, as much as I can help it. To me, training is balanced when it appeals to the dog's individual needs and achieves the purpose, not only of teaching the dog what we want, but also of building the bond between dog and handler.
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Maci & Harley & Jigar

Golden butts
 
 
Barked: Thu Mar 21, '13 11:40am PST 
Real life experience are wonderful for Maci's problem. She can careless about people when we are walking or hiking...but unfortuntely that does not carry over to in the house with her most favorite vistors. shrug

And I do have to agree---lots does depend on what the owner cares about training or managing. It will be different for all of us. I know several MOTCH dogs that when walked in a group are walked on harnesses. The owners only cares to manage and protect their arm sockets when out for plain walks.
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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 22, '13 9:40am PST 
Lol.. Hmm..

Ria is fantastic off leash. Her recall is SOLID. Her obedience is impeccable. You ask for something, she does it INSTANTLY, and she does it with everything she has! You ask for a down, and she SLAMS her body into the ground excited that you asked her to do something. You ask for a sit, and that butt hits the ground with her tail swishing across the floor as she stares expectantly, waiting to know what's next. You try to get her to walk on a leash though? Ha, she turns into the Tasmanian Devil, spinning, lunging, bouncing. Totally 'springs with a tongue' and nothing more in that instance. But that is my fault. We were more concerned about recall and being really good off leash because that was what my fiance wanted in a dog. In the house, she's great, off leash, she's excellent. Put a dang leash on her and she's psycho.

Charlie, on the other hand, knows forty tricks and basic commands, and the 'tree' method worked with him. Sort of. I combined a few things, because the 'tree' method alone did not help. I had to briskly change direction if he pulled, and he quickly learned that the only way we would go forward is if he came and sat by my side. Sit by my side, walk next to me or on a slack leash, and we move forward. And that was his reward - moving forward and it worked great for him because moving forward was the ULTIMATE reward in that instance. He's still only 90% on his leash manners because if his hound nose catches whiff, he wants to charge for that smell(especially if it involves a corner, tree, or post within seven feet of us), and I still on occasion walk him on a Halti, but he's great in the house, and great outside. Can I have him off leash? Only in areas he's familiar with and even then, it's on a long line for precaution. And he absolutely jumps on guests. But his manners otherwise are excellent. Most people that meet him for the first time are shocked by his breed, or by how good he is.

Maya was excellent, but overly sensitive. Great in almost every situation(except scary looking people), great on or off leash. In fact, she was so sensitive, she taught herself a LLW. I never had to. If the leash tightened at all on her collar, she would flinch and fall back - I never, ever snapped a leash on her, or anything. But she was incredibly sensitive to touch like that, likely due to the abuse she had gone through prior to living with me. But she listened to commands with gusto, much like Ria. Even if something/someone freaked her out.
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Risa- W-FDM/MF RE- RL1 CA CGC

Awesome Dog
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 22, '13 5:39pm PST 
Some of it's priorities. Risa knows plenty of tricks (or obedience/performance behaviors) and can perform both in and outside of the ring. Her loose-leash walking is decent. She rarely pulls on the leash though I do let her roam at the end of it and check out whatever she wants. Walks are for both of us but I think she should be allowed to sniff and do doggy things while we're out. As long as she doesn't pull, I don't care. I gave up on having her walk nicely at my side a long time ago (though she will do it if I ask). It's just not important to me. wink

There's only so much time in a day; I have to prioritize what's I feel is important to train. Risa's retrieval sucks (I'm always having to go and get the toys to continue the game). She's a bit of a resource guarder though only with very high-value items. Kids terrify her and she barks like a crazy thing if someone comes to the door. She also hates nail trims. These are all things I could work on. All things I know how to train. I simply don't have the time and they're not that big of an issue for me. I have to accept that I can't change everything.

That being said, she's still incredibly well-behaved and welcome many places despite her fear and reactivity issues. She also competes in dog sports.

Now I have seen some dogs who perform beautiful heelwork within the ring gates yet pull like freight trains when they're walking around the show grounds. Again, it's all about the priorities of the person training the dog.
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 23, '13 11:15am PST 
I agree with Risa re the priority thing, and have said before....I have known OTCHs who one would think were undertrained brats in their street clothes wink Personally, one of my dogs, Chester, is very driven to hunt and even in suburbia, he wants to trail. That nose goes straight down and he's a different dog. In the home he loves his ball, loves his treats. Outside, in the yard, you lose his food love and his ball craze dips, and on a WALK, with new and developing scents? It's just over. I can get him to gather up, but quite frankly....why? It's a major thrill box for him and as he ended up being pretty hapless to end up with a non hunting owner, it's the least I can do. So for him a longer line and I just let him do his deal. He's not exactly a bully breed. It's not uncomfortable for me, and is a big heart thing for him. Very different story with Tiller, who is very territorial in his basic mindset and if I gave him his druthers he'd just want to start trouble. So he's a hundred percenter loose lead walking. It took about a year to get to the point where we both could relax into a walk and enjoy it. Like Chester, he'd much prefer to do his strutting nonsense, but socially that's really unacceptable and lets him practice undesirable behaviors. He's far more of a brat in my home and that's ok. Giants are mischief and need some outlets. Outside is where I need him to not screw around, and with the focus there he never fails me.

It is way too curt to sum it up as laziness. Certainly, many dog owners are and dogs suffer for it, but dogs are strictly individual and rewarding good behaviors/not bad is an excellent formula. But some dogs didn't read that text laugh out loud big laugh

Tiller....gotta love him or strangle him....always has something up his sleeve. He was pretty used to having me 24/7, but since I moved do go downstairs a lot, often multiple times daily. Sometimes for just a few minutes. He makes good use of the time. For a while it was popping open the frig and letting the Cockers raid it. We got a vintage fridge to stop that. So now he steals my sodas. If I neglect to put my sodas on some high ledge, as soon as the door is closed, off he goes. Drags them down and empties them out...usually on my carpet confused It's a day in the life. Giants are ball busters, and this sort of behavior to them is very rewarding.

Onion, my first, had ridiculous greeting behavior. Physically dangerous - these are huge and vigorous dogs. No amount of happy treating for good behavior was going to cut it. At some point, you came to the acceptance that he simply NEEDED to blow. His adaptation was to sprint hard into the livingroom and do these mad explosive circles, spinning on his hocks while growling and barking like a banshee. His mad celebration that the family was reunited. You pick your battles, sometimes.
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Lenny

Lenny -The- Wrecking Ball
 
 
Barked: Sun Mar 24, '13 12:49pm PST 
"You pick your battles, sometimes." applause Well said, Tiller.

I think people find working on tricks more rewarding/fun and so do it more often. Training is all about repetition and dogs have to do a skill multiple times to get it. Plus, it's easier to sit in your kitchen and teach a dog to close a door or to give a high five or jump through a hoop than it is to get out and work on LLW. Also though, I found once I started teaching Lenny tricks he began to learn or better practice basic obedience skills much more quickly. I don't know if that's somewhat with my mindset, in learning clicker training and finding the trick training fun and he saw I was enjoying it more so he did as well. Or I suspect it helped him "learn how to learn".

Lenny's LLW has low standards. Don't pull me and don't approach people/dogs we don't know and don't totally tune me out. He has the whole leash and I don't force him to stay on my left side though I think from teaching Heel and all that practice he tends to stay there anyways. I like watching him enjoy nature and using his nose, and it makes the walks more enjoyable for him. Being stricter or asking for a damn near heel just didn't make sense. I had to choose my battles lol But on recall, I don't have a low standard at all. To me it's too important, especially in a breed that has a tendency to stray. I will never let him slack in his response to that cue, and will ALWAYS continue to reinforce it.
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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Sun Mar 24, '13 9:21pm PST 
I am honestly shocked. So you all believe that given a trainer who can train, all dogs will learn all things? Exactly the same way? Personally I find it stunning that so many dog lovers and people with years of experience would chalk it all up to methods and priorities. Then how do you explain three dogs raised and trained by the same person with totally different behaviors and attitudes? By your reasoning I could never have raised both a therapy dog and a killer because they lived in the same house, at the same time and were both trained with the same priorities. The Dane was the problem child, the Akita while willful was much better behaved and learned faster. Anyone guess the ending? My point is if it's all priorities, and my dogs sure aren't suffering a lack of exercise or stimulation, how the heck could I personally continue to raise dogs who all turn out different?
I have never met two dogs who did anything exactly the same, and that includes learning. I enjoy the individual personalities, even when they are driving me nuts. I wouldn't want a bunch of robo dogs walking around.
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Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Mar 24, '13 10:32pm PST 
I'd definitely concede a major exception for fear issues, and certainly people have the right to teach whatever they feel is important (I'd have sooner chopped off my left foot than taught a perfect formal heel to the aforementioned malamute- heel for us was "stay close enough that you don't knock over that old lady passing us on the sidewalk" laugh out loud,) but I have to stand by the assertion that the vast majority of dogs, and virtually all the ones raised from puppyhood in a good environment, are capable of reasonably polite leash walking. This definitely doesn't mean that I judge people who don't have their dog walking along robotically step for step on their left side (I'm probably more likely to judge people who make their dogs walk like that all the time as having control issues or subscribing to antiquated theories,) but when this topic was posted I pictured a dog who was clearly out of control on leash for no good reason other than lack of training. Definitely no judgement intended toward those working with adult rescues with reactive issues- I tried teaching Smokey loose leash walking for about two days, and then realized it was a huge mistake and making him more reactive. Since then I have worked very hard at teaching him to run away from things that scare him rather than pulling out the Tasmanian devil act. Thus you will often find me enthusiastically praising my dog as he sprints down the sidewalk at the end of a tense leash away from a bike, skateboard, dog, person in uniform, cat, or other scary monster dog walk We do work on LLW, but indoors or at the beach when it's not crowded- not on a normal walk yet.
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Missy

Miss- Pig!
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 25, '13 7:04am PST 
Just to add, my opinion was that i'd expect a professional trainer/behaviourist to have the basics covered. I don't go around judging general dog owners for having a dog that's pulling or whatever...just doesn't even enter my head.

Also, while my two do walk ok on a loose lead they are not robotic at my side, unable to sniff or explore their surroundings. But mostly that's something they get to do off lead wink They are allowed to walk in front of me, behind me, where ever they want, as long as the lead is loose and i'm not being pulled apart. Just makes walks more pleasant when i do have to have them on lead for whatever reasons.
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