Teaching to not cross the street

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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I love sitting- in laps
Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 9:19pm PST 
Moose isn't anywhere near able to be off leash in my neighborhood. He has no street smarts and he'd get hit by a car for sure.

So, I want to train him to not cross the street. How do I go about starting this training?

blue/brown eyed- girl!
Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 9:28pm PST 
Well I am not sure from a "professional" opinion, and I have not tried this off leash as where I am from that is illegal, but when I am walking my dogs (keep in mind this is a work in progress with my pup but Mika does well at it now) before I am about to cross the street or if we have to wait for a green light, I use the sit stay or sit wait command. If we are at a light I ask her to sit, when she does I say wait, then the lights turn and I say ok lets go, and she follows.
If we are just crossing a street and there are cars coming I just say "wait" and she waits until I say "lets go" and we go. Of course she needs a reminder to wait sometimes but for me it works well. You will have to teach the wait command though at home where your dog wont be as distracted and then try it on leash the first while until you know he has it.
Good Luck and be safe walking off leash out there! way to go

I love sitting- in laps
Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 9:46pm PST 
I forgot to add, Moose is supposed to sit at every street corner. He sits, must look up at me and when he does I praise and say "cross" and on we go. It's a work in progress. Is this enough?

Moose won't be walked off leash for a long while.

Edited by author Tue Jan 29, '13 9:46pm PST


Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 9:58pm PST 

With Charlie, I do the sit stays at street curbs/corners and sometimes the wait command. I always have a command for go, such as "okay"(his release command), or "let's go!".

I did however, teach him to stay OFF the street. Back before I knew better and realized how much of a pain they actually are, I used to walk him on a flexi. That was when I first got him. I was always diligent with keeping him from harassing people, so I always had a good eye out, but I did have to teach him that the street was off limits unless I said so. I used the word "Street" whenever he would step off the curb and haul him back up onto the sidewalk before we would continue our walk. I made a habit of it. I didn't really reward much back then, so there wasn't much of a reward for getting off the street when he was told Street, but it worked the one day I needed it most.

I had him at a dog park, off leash, which is next to a road(it's rarely busy), and up the hill from a busy street. He spotted a dog walking on a leash across the road and took off to go say hi. I called his name. Nadda. He was getting close, and I couldn't think of what else to do, and it was clear that even if I ran, I couldn't keep up, so I shouted, "STREET!" and he halted, his toes right on the very edge of the curb, wiggling his whole body, wanting sooooo badly to go say hi and stuck between whether he should listen to me, or cut across the street and make friends. It helped that the owner of the dog kept walking and ignored him, but it worked! It was my proudest moment with him in those first few months. I ran over, leashed him up, and rewarded him to the high heavens before we went on a walk as a reward and played the whole walk. He loved it and I NEVER had to use it again.

It truly is a handy thing to teach.

I guess that by hauling him off the street when I'd give the word, and keeping the leash short for a short distance essentially made something negative happen if he went on the street without prior permission. He learned that the freedom would be lost if he touched that street. If hindsight were foresight, I would have added a reward to it too. But either way, it worked.
Mr. Blue

I'm not blue at- all!
Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 10:34pm PST 
Um, is walking your dog off-leash even legal where you live? It's not here and I get very upset when people do it.

Member Since
Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 11:38pm PST 
In our neighborhood, we have this strict policy about not walking our dogs off-leash. I have been working on my other dog's training in crossing the street and I use the sit and stay commands. It seems to be working well though. I think teaching your dog an additional command, which is the wait command, would be a great help too.

The Monster
Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 5:34am PST 
I would adapt Crate Games & Its Yer Choice to your situation. 4 paws on the sidewalk = lots of play and treats, and if one paw leaves the sidewalk, all treats stop. Build the value for staying on the sidewalk, then test the value by pushing the limits a little bit by making him stretch to reach the treats while keeping all 4 paws on the sidewalk, etc.

Walking your dog off leash on streets is dangerous, and you can present quite a challenge for other people who may not have dog friendly dogs.

Member Since
Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 8:08am PST 

The best way I can think of is to teach your dog the "Mother May I". It is technically not a command, you just train your dog to look at you for permission before he can do anything (chase a squirrel, say hi to another dog or in your case cross the street).

In my opinion it is one of the best things you can teach your dog to do. The key is to always pay attention to your dog so you can respond to his question! Otherwise he will do whatever he likes.

Here is a link with instructions on how to train this, it's geared towards people with dogs with chasing problems, but it will be good for you too. Hope it helps!
"Mother May I for your dog"


I love sitting- in laps
Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 9:17am PST 
Great tips. Thanks. I'll slowly work on this.

Moose will not be walked off leash in my neighborhood. He has slipped his collar before and did the zoomies, crossing the street blindly to do them. He came back when called, but I want him to never step off of the sidewalk unless he's instructed to do so. And he's usually never walked on a collar only. I just had a lapse in good judgement when I took him out to pee.

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 9:41am PST 
I actually taught my Dane to obey the walk/don't walk signslaugh out loudAll my dogs are taught to stop and wait at the edge of the sidewalk. I use a loose leash and interrupt if they move to step off, lots of praise/treats if they stop. I avoid whenever possible having them walk in front of cars, I will wave drivers on rather then do so. And I teach them to look for cars, again rewarding when they acknowledge the cars with a stop/sit, interrupting(I use ah-ah)if they don't.
The biggest problem with teaching them, is teaching us. I live in a neighborhood where the sidewalks range from bad to non existant, Sabi will bark at me for walking on the road. If there is no traffic I will try and keep walking, Sabi wants to stop and sit.
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