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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Ice cubes? YES- PLEASE!
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 1:19pm PST 
Ever since Clyde was a puppy, my only training limitations with him are what I can teach via luring and his lower-than-average critical thinking skills... Except when it comes to LLW. We could make him sit and do a perfect beg on command, but never figure out a way to make him heel on the leash. I think the issue is that Clyde hates having structured activities. I eventually gave up and just let him use all 6ft of the leash when we walk, teaching him not to put tension on the leash. Even then, I still have to bring out the prong collar sometimes because he reverts to pulling every which way. After 5 years, I have finally found the most promising training method so far (clicker training a heel) and it still looks like it could go either way...

Guess it's just one of those things that may or may not be easy or even possible to teach.

Miss- Pig!
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 1:41pm PST 
Jewel, with Missy, treats and the clicker were mainly all that was needed. With Ty, i added in some quick diversion techniques too. So as he got to the end of the lead, i'd sharply turn the opposite direction which would bring Ty back round to my side. Over time, he learnt to start watching me for direction changes and he started walking by my side rather than heading out to the end of the lead. That's it really. It was quite simple and was far easier than i imagined. Up until then i'd tried all the recommended methods but it took consistency and working in a group training class to really nail it.

14- Years- Young!
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 2:03pm PST 
Different people have different training goals, I guess. My younger dog has a beautiful, focused, competition style heel, but only so-so leash manners and I still use an Easy Walk harness on walks. I just got to the point where I was like ‘meh- good enough for me.’

I work for a pet sitting/dog walking company, but I can’t take her to work with me or do in-home sitting. No amount of training will make her a dog park type of dog, as long as she ignores other dogs in public, I’m happy. I’m actually tentatively planning on taking the CGC with her in June, something I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do with her.


I am Fearless
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 2:44pm PST 
The dog may have more fun and be able to focus more on learning fancy tricks than they are with learning how to walk nicely on a leash. Likewise, a dog who has excellent manners may suck at learning pointless tricks.

Well said Ava and nixapplause Mozart is probably a great example he knows his tricks and loves learning new ones he knows 29 tricks now, but loose leash walking no when we go out in public he wears a head collar. Mozart is great at recall in the backyard off leash it is fenced but I whistle him and he comes running like a cheetah for a meat treat. I admit for both of us it so much fun learning tricks then advanced obedience we both have huge smiles on our faces when learning and accomplishing Tricks. Also some owners may know how to teach hard tricks but not know how to teach heeling. I love Mozart and his tricks, I don't, need a robot dog that is 100% perfect. We still practice obedience training. Heck I admit I am better at teaching most complex tricks then complex obedience still learning new things everyday. At least the people are mentally stimulating the dog, I would rather see someone working with the dog then doing nothing tricks count too.
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 9:13pm PST 
Mine won't lol. It's just a compulsion he walks on the end of that lead. If he was on a flexi he'd be miles in front of me. Very smart dog. Obedient. Just a freakazoid on the leash. laugh out loud Even when he's tired he'll still take great effort to walk just in front. I just let him go. I've got a strong arm, heh.

I love sitting- in laps
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 9:50pm PST 
Thank dog Moose came out of the womb as a loose leash walker. I never had to work on it with him. He would have pulled my arms out of my sockets for sure if he was a puller.

But tricks? Uh, not so much.
Bella and- Daisy CGC

I'm a Meanie
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 9:54pm PST 
" Clearly she spends time training the dogs, but is she just not training what matters"

She isn't training what matters- TO YOU. It seems she'd rather train some of the more "fun" type stuff like tricks. They are her dogs, its up to her what matters in training.

Im just a little- guy
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 10:22pm PST 
There are dogs who don't know a lick of obedience or tricks who are perfectly behaved otherwise. I think there is a difference in a trained dog and a balanced dog. You can't really achieve a balanced dog with out having the dog experience real life outside of the home.

I think these people may be doing a lot of indoor behind closed doors training. The dogs may be lacking in outside experience like long walks and leash training. I trained my dog to walk with a slack leash by stopping the walks and not continuing until the leash was slacked. Not really a method you can use indoors, more of a longer slower process learned from experience.

I have a dog who knows many silly commands, but has also been exposed to many long walks and experiences. He is a chill well rounded dog except around vacuum cleaners.

Woo-woo- whineybutt
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 11:21pm PST 
Nare likes things as long as you keep him engaged. If I ignored him on our walks he'll pull like hes running a marathon. Touching my phone makes him sprint.
But if I make him do obedience (random turns, sits, downs,) then he is 100% in a heel willingly.
Trying to walk and have a conversation with someone? Yeah, Nare better be included in that conversation or he'll force us to jog and talk at the same time.

With that said.. Nare loves learning tricks and is amazing at shaping and knowing exactly what I want when capturing.. I watched a guide with some GSDs that took over 40 training sessions to teach them to do a retrieve. Nare got it on the second session in the same day. Same with send aways and the sort. He is also very good at generalizing. If he learns a command in the house he can do it in every situation.

BUT if you were to ask me what Arkane knows.. err.. LLW and the basics is about it. For the life of me I can't teach him shake, crawl, finish right/left, anything.. The most I get is a nose target. He is also very bad with generalizing commands. Sit means sit, but only at the front door, in the yard, here and there. But sit must be retaught in every situation. If the wind blows north instead of south, the meaning of sit goes out the window.

However, I think a lot of the general public find tricks impressive. There are people who stare in awe at Nare spinning in a circle.. and claim I must be some dog guru because I put a treat in front of his nose and lured him in a circle LOL

Let's play tug!!
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 11:40pm PST 
I find it sort of strange how in the general community, the focus is on going to obedience classes rather than just general common sense. I think what people really need to know when they bring a dog home is "when the dog does something you like, he gets something he likes. When he does something you don't like, he doesn't get what he wants." That basic philosophy could save tons of dogs from euthanasia. Mostly it seems like people just don't have the discipline to do it. It's inconvenient to listen to the dog whine and wait for quiet before giving affection, so they give in to shut the dog up, or, horror of horrors, ignore him for awhile, then yell at him, then give in, so that he learns to be incredibly persistent. It's too much work to pick up the plates when the puppy sniffs around the dinner table to see what will happen, so he gets shut away in the bedroom during meals instead of learning not to do it. The barking during walks is annoying, but it's too much effort to go home when the dog acts up, so people keep walking while shushing the dog, yelling at him, or asking him why he's barking, all of which are totally ineffective. Same thing with pulling- for dogs who don't have fear issues, all it really takes is standing still when the dog pulls and moving forward when the leash is loose. But people do all sorts of ridiculous things to avoid the week or two of effort it would take to leash train the dog through that method- choke chains, shock collars, leash checks and other dominance-based nonsense that's really just abuse, etc (oh, and forget tiring out the dog at an off-leash park before leash training sessions- he should behave perfectly on leash after being cooped up in the house for 9 hours, or else he's just IMPOSSIBLE and it's not my fault!!) As far as I'm concerned, knowing tricks has exactly nothing to do with how polite or well trained a dog is. Not to say they can't be helpful, but my dog can know that trying to grab food off my plate never succeeds but lying politely next to my chair sometimes earns tidbits, that we don't go outside until he's calm and quiet, that nosing my hand is the best way to get attention, that humping and nipping make playtime stop, that going potty in the corner of the yard earns a treat and lying on his bed earns a belly rub, without ever even knowing how to sit on cue. Teaching manners requires the human to have foresight, impulse control, patience, and a backbone ("sorry, she can't say hi until she stops jumping," "sorry, we need to leave now") while trick training doesn't.

Anyway, the purpose of that rant was that I think lack of loose leash walking is one symptom of an epidemic of dog-related stupidity.
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