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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Im just a little- guy
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 9:56am PST 
I have exposed my dog to many experiences. It allows him to easily experience new ones with out being stressed. You can't really teach a command for this. Some things dogs pick up through experience. A dog who only learns in the home or in the obedience ring is not going to have much experience in the real world. Your dog is less likely to be dog reactive if they have experienced other dogs.

I use to never allow my dog to walk out in front of me and used a slip lead. It worked well and stopped his pulling. Now I allow him to walk in front of me. If he pulls I stop and don't continue until the leash is slacked.

I recall trained in the real world on trails and in public around actual distractions. So my dog listens in these situations. Some people train in the home or in a training class. Those dogs are lacking in real life experiences in the "field".

People here don't like the phrase balanced dog cause it's not based on treats and commands. It's not the positive training people rave about. You can't have a balanced dog with just treats and words.

I don't think using an air horn is a good training method. Plus it's impractical. I am sure the people around the trainer would not like this.
Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 10:35am PST 
True, Milton, training's not worth much if it doesn't translate to real world situations where you need it . . .. but there's nothing wrong with "starting" in a class or home to begin the concepts and build up to distractions.

I would think most people have to walk their dog outside sometime, and not walking nicely on a leash is one of the most frustrating things people would probably put on their list of things they went to class for in the first place.

True, Missy, I'm always thankful my dog's nose comes up to my knee for delivering treats! Little dogs are more back-breaking! laugh out loud

One could train them to target a target stick, but the cue to touch, target the hand is useful for teaching loose leash walking too.

Baby, that trainer sounds, uh, poorly trained! Air horn for jumping? Oh my!eek

I definitely wouldn't give up money for that class!

Edited by author Wed Mar 20, '13 10:37am PST


What'd you say?- I wasn't- listening.
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 10:55am PST 
She just "trains" her dog with the airhorn. She tells her clients to turn their back and click once all four are on the floor.

Why not practice what you preach? If it doesn't work for her dog shouldn't she come up with something that does so she can help someone else with a dog that doesn't care for a click on all fours?

Lol. She can get away with failed customers because it's their "fault" if the dog doesn't learn because they just didn't practice enough or the right way in between classes.


The Monster
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 10:55am PST 
Cohen knows roughly 100 tricks, cues, etc. She can pick up small change from the floor, do a handstand and has a lovely sustained competition level focused heel. She also jumps on guests, pulls on walks, is reactive towards other dogs and will bark incessantly when she's excited. I work as a dog trainer.

It really boils down to a) the nature of the dog and b) the priorities of the trainer.

Some dogs are born "good", and others have to work at it. Cohen falls into the latter category. People are surprised to hear that she's not naturally well behaved because for the most part they only see her when she's working. She's loud, excitable and nervous around other dogs. But when she's working she's focused and tuned into me. For my purposes, that's what I want. I don't much care what she does when she's not working with me since she works with me so much. I put most of my energy into sports-focused training since that's what's most important to me. The other stuff is good enough to get by, and I'm okay with it. There are only so many hours in a day to devote to your dog, you know?

People's definitions of a perfect dog will vary widely depending on who you ask, so expecting a trainer's dog to precisely meet your definition of perfect might be a little foolish. I wouldn't expect a trainer's dog to be completely out of control, but I wouldn't expect a naturally sedate dog either.

Edited by author Wed Mar 20, '13 10:57am PST


Lets GO
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 11:00am PST 
Sooo.... because my dogs all learn differently they are deprived of real world experience? That doesn't even begin to make sense. I don't train with treats and I've owned and housed hundreds of dogs, no two ever did anything the same. Generalizations are insulting and show narrow mindedness.

Let's play tug!!
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 12:45pm PST 
Jewel, no insult was intended. Though I think the vast majority of dogs respond to common-sense leash training, of course there are exceptions, and of course it's drastically easier when they havent had lots of time to practice pulling. My ex's dog was a malamute who had never been on a leash or trained in any way when we got him at 5 months. He was STRONG and I still have the scars to show for that leash training process!

First, are you tiring her out in other ways, or are you relying on walks for exercise? Can you drive her to the park and use short walks as potty breaks/training sessions? Are you carrying treats on your walks and rewarding for walking at your side? Have you taught a touch or watch me that you could employ here? I would probably respond to sitting with tension by calling her and walking the other way.

More Bored- Collies
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 3:49pm PST 
You also have to take into consideration that as a trainer progresses with their talent and skills, they may opt to take on more "problematic" dogs for themselves. Said problem dog may also be a new addition.
As mentioned, not all dogs were created equal.
You wouldn't expect each dog to learn and behave the same way.
Not all dogs are as easy as your "average" family pet.

On top of that, if a trainer is teaching a competition obedience class, consider what you're there for. Learning the activity of competition obedience. It's not a "real world" class, nor is it really intended to be.
If they work exclusively in rings to have their dogs at peak performance, they may not care about the real world type situations, or have the time to train and balance the dog out.

If I am going to an agility trainer, do I care if their dogs pull on leash and are maybe aggressive? Not if they are good agility dogs. shrug

Priorities here are huge.

Edited by author Wed Mar 20, '13 3:50pm PST


Giant Shih Tzu
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 4:02pm PST 
I'm lucky in the sense that Gunther is so desperate to move forward that the "tree" method worked pretty stinking quick. laugh out loud

Edited by author Wed Mar 20, '13 4:04pm PST

Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 4:39pm PST 
I will say, aggression is something an agility trainer has to care about! Maybe it's not your job per se to train a client's dog out of it--you may recommend them to someone else if they have a serious problem in your class, but it's far too crowded and there is far too much excitement going on at agility trials for an aggressive dog or dog reactive dog to be there.

Most rules stipulate, dogs showing aggression will be asked to leave the grounds. So yeah, a successful agility trainer couldn't get to a very high level of trialing success with aggressive dogs. They don't have to be social butterflies, but they have to have composure around dogs.

Having to deal with a very talented, but dog reactive dog, was the basis for agility trainer Leslie McDevitt writing "Control Unleashed" . . . .

Edited by author Wed Mar 20, '13 4:46pm PST


More Bored- Collies
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 6:09pm PST 
I apologize, that was typed in a bit of haste (class was in 10 minutes).

Aggressive obviously wasn't the word I was looking for there. Perhaps "reactive" was more or less what I was looking for.
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