Heel doesn't belong in the vocabulary list of Wawa

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!


The Mini, not so- small bottomless- pit!
Barked: Fri Jul 1, '11 3:48pm PST 
Wawa, a tank of a (and very lovable) APBT I am currently working with at the shelter has a REAL horrid time with leash walking. I know that consistency is key, as I also know that there are many methods out there for training the heel command, however, we have tried a few:

- Positive toy and treat heeling
- Turn the other way when the pulling starts
- A light leash correction, putting the pup at your side

...yet Wawa is pulling so hard in every which way that not only does my hand have leash burn, more so, I worry for his throat! The poor boy is just literally gagging himself! I am more than willing to try any tips anyone may have. I was also contemplating purchasing a Halti or "no pull harness". More so toward the Halti for training purposes for some of the more hyperactive dogs at the shelter (I'm skeptical of the harness for some reason). Would a Halti be worth it? I never had to use one for my own pups, I was gifted with the time of puppy hood training with them. I will not go anywhere near a prong or choke collar, I just don't believe in them...and unfortunately that is what comes up in the majority of Google searches I've been sifting through. I've dealt with Pits all of my life, I understand where Wawa is coming from with all of that excess energy, I try my best to run him and play, but we are going to need to master the leash a bit better for him to get as much exercise as I'm hoping for (and undoubtedly Wawa himself). Thank you everyone, not only would any insight help for me now and in future training endeavors, but it would help Wawa find his forever home. dog walk

The best --

we will dance in- the ring without- words
Barked: Fri Jul 1, '11 4:43pm PST 
First, management. I would look into a no pull harness and if that does not work maybe a newtrix? Keep in mind that this is not a treaching tool but a management tool.

Second, Do you really need a heel or are you simply looking for a nice loose leash behavior? Unless you have thoughts of competing, a heel really is not needed.

Third, you are starting in an area where the distraction level is far too high. Asher has my best method for LLW in his diary and a video on his page that puts it all together, but if you can not do it in the kitchen where Wawa expects the rewards to be forthcoming, there is no way he can do it in the street where the distraction level is huge.

Start small. I think the biggest reason people fail is they start moving far too soon, before they have built in the focus. Baby steps for everything, again, split, don't lump.

A little lamb in- a pup's coat!
Barked: Fri Jul 1, '11 5:31pm PST 
Nice loose leash behavior, that is a much better way to put it! I could look into a harness as well.

Wawa is working in a high distraction area, as there are always dogs in other outdoor/indoor kennels, on leashes etc., cats, other people, dogs etc. Unfortunately there is not a more quiet place to start out. But baby steps, yes, I do agree. Thank you very much for your insight.

The best --


we will dance in- the ring without- words
Barked: Fri Jul 1, '11 5:34pm PST 
A quieter place to start out may be your living room or kitchen. If you can't do it there, you are not ready to try in in a high distraction area. And it is not an easy behavior, maybe one of the hardest that most pet dog owners will work on.
Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
Barked: Fri Jul 1, '11 7:03pm PST 
Here's another nice video of Loose Leash Walking smile
Trixie Bean!

none so blind as- those that will- not see
Barked: Fri Jul 1, '11 7:16pm PST 
way to go Nice video Watt.. The puppy at the begining is TOO CUTE! cloud 9