View Full Version : Do you have a really challenging Cav too?

9th November 2006, 04:32 PM
First off, I adore Riley! :l*v: Now with that being said, I have to admit that he has been the most challenging dog that i have ever had!! From day one (at 10 1/2 weeks old) he has been quite headstrong and confident. He has a very strong personality and is afraid of virtually nothing from what i have seen. I hear that ruby Cavs seem to be the mischief makers, but i beg to differ, this little Blenheim has been a whole lot of work! [hey there's no icon for "really tired"] Honestly i am looking forward to his adult years, when he's a bit older and maybe more calm. From this experience I am feeling like i do not want another puppy in the future, if we get another dog at all while we have Riley. I don't think i can handle another puppy in my lifetime. As it is, my little guy has taken every free moment of my life, but of course i knew that this is what it takes to raise a "baby" dog. However, i just don't think i have it in me to go through this again. :?
Not to sound totally negative because on the plus side Riley is: very friendly, outgoing, will do anything and go anywhere i take him, likes to cuddle (when sleepy), makes me laugh, way too smart for his own good, has my heart. :lotsaluv: He just seems to be so different from all the other Cavaliers we meet. :huh: I wonder, is he just not the typical Cav? Is he the unusual doggie of the breed? Do other peolple have Cavs like him?

9th November 2006, 04:39 PM
Is Riley an only dog? I have temporarily had 15 cavaliers in my house and didn't have any issues. I have had only one rescue cavalier that was a problem. BUT:
I was a director at a daycare center and I've already raised two children-- my perspective, tolerance or intolerance could be totally different than yours. Sandy

9th November 2006, 05:02 PM
You know what's weird - I have Kosmo but he's an amazing little guy and easy to take care of. I have no children so he is a lot of work, but if I tell him "no" or "stop it" he will listen to me. He doesn't "talk back" and i've never had any sort of aggression issues with him. He walks well on lead - he will heel past other dogs if I tell him to (now that took WORK!) - and he's generally a little angel. He does chew a lot and have a LOT of energy though. How often are you out walking and exercising riley? I find that if I don't exercise Kos at least 1 1/2 hours a day I am in for trouble!! :yikes He will wake up in the middle of the night and step on me and drop slobbery toys in my face.. :roll: LOL needless to say - he needs his exercise. If I keep him tuckered out he will come in and play fetch or he'll come and sit on the couch by me and make me hold his bone ( :roll: ) while he chews it. I would do it again though! :)

Denise G.
9th November 2006, 05:13 PM
I can understand your feelings--I came to the "no more puppies" conclusion after raising Wrigley from 8 weeks old. They are a lot of work and quite a challenge as puppies. That said--I'm glad I did it. I learned a lot about myself and had to grow in patience through Wrigley's first year or so. I got Mia at 7 months, so while she's still a puppy with puppy tendencies, I didn't have to go through sleepless nights and tons of chewing. She wasn't completely housetrained, so that has been the biggest challenge--that and her very sensitive tummy. That's still ongoing... :roll:

I think the key is to continue working/training with them and to be consistent in what you require of them. They live to please and once the "get it", they are such a joyful addition to your life. :jump:

Don't feel like a bad mommie--it's definitely a challenge and some days are much better than others for sure. It'll get better as Riley gets older as long as you stay consistent with him. I think that's the hardest part of raising human kids, too--or so I'm told... :)

9th November 2006, 06:00 PM
Thanks for your replies. To answer a few questions:
Yes Riley is an only dog.
He has never shown any aggression towards me or anything else, but he is strong willed. Training has to be rather firm as he sometimes will choose to do his own thing even if food is offered.
We have been in training since days of "puppy play socials" all the way up to now. (we go to training class once a week)
Riley is very energetic and tiring him out is not terribly easy. I walk him once or twice a day (about 30 min. to 1 hour, depending), but walking isn't easy as he seems to refuse to walk by my side preferring to walk in front. Therefore our walks are not as leisurely as some and require me training him and continually working to get his attention on me and not to pull ahead. whew! Play time is in the backyard involving toys and fetch and things several times a day.

He does pick up things quickly and seems to choose which things he will do right away or ignore. I do address this right away when it happens, it is not an okay thing to ignore my voice or commands. I can redirect his attention back to me, but it is something that happens more often than i would like. And seems to be something many local Cav. owners seem not to have to deal with at all, as thier dogs seem to live to be next to them. Mine lives to be a part of the world, he loves me but doesn't need to be near me all the time. Somewhat of an independent spirit i guess. :?

I enjoy reading your replies, it helps. :)

9th November 2006, 08:12 PM
My Wesley is an incredibly hyper boy too. He is a complete nutter on the leash (we too go to trainings often) and just seems high energy ALL THE TIME. He is 2 1/2 years old. I can't wait for him to slow down!! the best thing that I have found is taking him for jogs. Not only is it great for him, it gets my butt into shape!! I couldn't figure out why he kept pulling on the leash and it turned out he just wanted to run!! Sometimes when I don't feel like running, I will let him pull me around the neighborhood on my bike (he's really strong). lol. When we get home he collaspes with a big grin on his face. It sounds like both of our boys could use some agility.

My Cody on the other hand is a perfect angel who needs to work on potty training and eating off the ground lol. Those are his only faults as he is the most affectionate, calm and laid back dog. If it were just me and him, I would be a fat couch potato!! Thank goodness for Wesley!

9th November 2006, 09:03 PM
A few thoughts: How old is he now? Puppies and young dogs have short attention spans. You may have (unknowingly) been expecting a lot more than a puppy or young dog is capable of giving quite yet -- no puppy can really be expected to be doing downstays, for example, or even beginning to learn to really pay attention to you from a 'look' cue, until at least 6 months old. Even under a year, any really focused training is like trying to get a 7 year old child to sit through an Ingmar Bergman film. They just do not have the concentration to do this and any trainer trying to have you give corrections to a dog under 1 because it isn't paying close enough attention would be a concern at least for me. After about one is when most trainers will allow dogs into say competitive obedience training because younger than that, they are really still like little kids. Many breeds are puppylike much longer -- labs, boxers, beagles -- e have some of these in my agility class and the instructor, a champio n competitor in obedience, always saus of the goodballs that are under two -- that is STILL young for a dog -- 'just reward them and praise them for doing whatever they have done even if they don;t run the course correctly; always keep training happy; and remember you can;t expect total concentration when they still are thinking like big puppies at that age."

So there may be a gap here between expectations and age -- eg what Riley is capable of doing. Generally if a dog doesn't see a reward of some sort for doing something -- to make it WANt to do something rather than feel COMPELLED out of fear of the alternative -- a dog will never be reliably trained and working with you; it will be reluctant to comply and fearful of consequences. There's a big difference. I don;t know if that might be part of things now because he was expected to do things a bit too early and now the uneasiness about training means there's no joy for him in doing it.

Have you tried a different instructor? Different training location? Or an agility class? Or clicker training? The latter work brains and muscles in far more interesting ways for the dog; basically any of the competitive sports are really fun for a dog without needing to get involved at that level. The minute you have to correct, scold or punish -- that's the time to reconsider the training approach and why you are there, because you sure aren;t enjoying yourself and the dog definitely isn;t. That makes training an unpleasant expereince from then on for the dog, who doesn;t know if he will be rewarded or punished and may not even understand why one happens or the other. That leaves one confused, not very trainable dog.

All that said -- dogs like children all have different personalities and some certainly are a LOT more challenging. Many breeders therefore do not allow people to choose their puppy but instead choose the puppy that best suits the people taking him or her. Far too many people believe that 'puppies choose you' -- nonsense! And potentially a big, big mistake to believe this! The most outgoing puppy in the litter is the one that will 'choose you' -- and that is going to very likely be the one who is the most challenging in the litter too. That suits many people very well, and such dogs tend to be the ones that ARE very good at things like agility, tracking, etc. But this can also be the most exhausting dog as an adult and a shock to those who wanted a couch potato and low key personality. Any good breeder can advise on puppy personalities to get a great match -- because no one will know the puppy personalities better. :)

Puppies are exhausting generally and no one should feel bad for realising they've been there, done that, and never again. I would only with great caution take on a puppy again (or kittens) -- I like getting an adult who is ready to go, whose personality you can assess very quickly, and who isn't going to go through months of housetraining, chewing, and so forth. In truth, I think an awful lot of people do puppies once -- and that pretty much is all the puppy experience they will ever need for the rest of their lives. :lol: Other people love pup-pies. Unfortunately the pounds are full of the puppies whose charm wears off by about five months onwards, as they are such hard work.

The good news is that most dogs do mellow out as they get older. But certainly if a training approach isn;t working -- and rewards based training done correctly should work with any dog; I've seen even aggressive dogs very effectively trained on rewards and probably enjoy a training interaction with their owner for the first time in their lives -- so it is worth seeking the right class. I recommend any APDT class as a good starting point.

PS Jaspar is my challenge -- so I definitely know what a challenging dog is like! -- he is extremely smart, too vocal, hard to rein certain behaviours in, but very easy to train at others, and trains himself to do many things from context. He sometimes is not an easy dog to own -- but he is MY perfect dog. :)

9th November 2006, 10:19 PM
Our once a week class is with an APDT trainer/behavior counselor and her class is helpful. But are you saying that I shouldn't expect Riley to be able to do loose lead walking and not jumping on people or lunging to get to greet other dogs? He is 11 months old now and i have been working on these problem areas since he was about 4 months old. It is still an ongoing challenge.
I thought that you had to wait until a dog was at least a year old before beginning any agility, is that not true? I think Riley would be great at it, but his overexcitement about other dogs might make it hard for him to control himself and actually do the obstacles.
Does itsound like i am being unreasonable with my expectations of his behavior? :huh: I just want him to have some manners and be able to take a nice walk.

Cathy T
9th November 2006, 11:24 PM
Laura - we almost didn't get Shelby because Jake was such a pain in the a** puppy! :lol: Seriously...there were several times when he had me literally in tears. The boy just wore me out...and at 4 years old still continues to challenge me. Shelby is just the sweetest most easygoing little thing...thank God!! I could not handle two Jakes. No way, no how! I like to think that they are like children in that the more intelligent they are the more precocious they are. I don't know....my only way of justifying him...to smart for his own good.

I had admired all of these beautiful sweet Cavaliers who laid by their owners feet while they sipped coffee and told me all about their wonderful dogs. Oh the visions I had....and that's what they turned out to be...visions only! Wouldn't trade my boy for all of the tea in China...but he sure wears me out.

Our training courses have really helped. It also helps when he's been well exercised and is tired. It did get better. But, I don't know that I'd ever want to go through puppyhood again! :yikes

9th November 2006, 11:37 PM
Our once a week class is with an APDT trainer/behavior counselor and her class is helpful. But are you saying that I shouldn't expect Riley to be able to do loose lead walking and not jumping on people or lunging to get to greet other dogs? He is 11 months old now and i have been working on these problem areas since he was about 4 months old. It is still an ongoing challenge.
I thought that you had to wait until a dog was at least a year old before beginning any agility, is that not true? I think Riley would be great at it, but his overexcitement about other dogs might make it hard for him to control himself and actually do the obstacles.
Does itsound like i am being unreasonable with my expectations of his behavior? :huh: I just want him to have some manners and be able to take a nice walk.

He is still almost a puppy. What would you expect of a six year old child??
Be consistant-- and with cavaliers, the sooner they adore you the quicker they will do ANYTHING to please you. Motivation is the key. Make sure you aren't reinforcing any negative behavior (I did this with my "princess").

10th November 2006, 12:22 AM
I think the real closeness comes once young puppyhood is over. I remember when Holly was tiny thinking that she could sometimes be aloof and worrying about it- and now she's my shadow. Amber is the same as Holly was- more confident (and certainly cheekier) but otherwise very similar.

Maybe it's like kids- you spend so much time telling them 'No!' and 'Off!' and 'Down' and 'Don't do that!' despite all attempts at positive reinforcement that the real closeness doesn't develop til they've got past the naughty stage. Anyone else find that?

10th November 2006, 12:44 AM
laura--dogs have different temperments, including dogs within breeds, they are individuals. no one knows exactly where the line is between nature and nuture, parents or doggie owners can have some influence on how an individual child or dog behaves, witness the miracle of Jake's Canine Good Citizenship success :D and Cathy's blood sweat and tears, and persistence, wearing herself out, but, ah, the things we do for love! :lol:

I have been together with Zack and Belle a few times in the past year, and Zack was the one who managed to jump on the table and escape from the kitchen, and eat a whole NB lamb and rice roll, and probably the missing plastic wrapper, and last weekend, when we put the dogs in the kitchen at Lisa's place, Zack was the one who was going "ARFFF ARRFFF ARRFFFF ARRF" on and on, grating on everyone's nerves, especially their poor cat, when we came home after being out, both belle and zack were up on their hind legs at the gate to the kitchen begging to be let out, desperately, but Zack was the one who was making a horrible noise with his excited barking, and Belle was just making this very soft little whimpering noise, not annoying at all.

Joe, Lisa's boyfriend, used some mild intimidation to get Zack to stop barking, and he did, i mean, the whole weekend, after Joe communicated our expectations of quiet to Zack, he no longer went "ARRFF ARRRFF ARRFF" or if he did, we would just say "Zack!" and he'd stop. So that was interesting. I have not been at all successful training Zack not to bark at home. It doesn't happen very often, and it's purel a lifestyle thing, i leave the door to the outside open and from time to time he runs out and barks at squirrels or something, but i need to stop him so i've stopped him by calling him and he comes and then i give him a treat.

I don't think I'm very good at dog training. I hired a trainer to come to my house and train zack for 6 sessions. The first 3 sessions, the trainer took Zack outside and i was asked to stay inside and not be a part of it, (i got the referral for the trainer from a woman at the dog park who's dog was very obedient, though not perfect by any means, and very spunky and happy), the trainer, Brandon, just asked that i provide him with a bag of good treats, real fresh meat. After the second session, Zack, for the first time, would consistently come when i called him inside the house, whereas he used to stare at me and refuse to come. Then, Brandon told me to practice calling zack while clapping my hands and then when zack came, to give him a treat and keep clapping my hands while he was eating it, and to do it many times a day. He said he would explain later. so i just did it. Now, Zack will almost always come when i clap my hands, including when he's barkign outside.

Brandon also trained Zack to heel on and off the leash. He does that now.

Having said that, Brandon said that Cavaliers in particular are "stubborn" compared to some other breeds, and he also emphasized that Zack is still very young and has a puppy mentality and it will be along time before he will be completely reliable with things like coming and heeling.
But he said if i keep practicing it, in a couple of years (!) Zack should be very reliable on all the skills we worked on.

Like you, I am frustrated with Zack lunging at people and dogs, he is just being friendly, there is no aggressiveness or "dominance," he just wants to merge with others, he wants to party and have some fun with people and dogs, and he is so excited about the whole thing. Since working with Brandon, he's better than he used to be, but it's something that is not as good as the heeling and the recall, he's really consistent on those now, under NORMAL circumstances, but he seems to not understand about not jumping up on people, even though he is better, dimly on some level he is starting to get that he is not supposed to do that. He learned not to jump on other dogs nearly as much as in the beginning when some of them got mad at him, he was so surprised and hurt! but he learned not to be as carefree about it.

What you describe as going for a walk with Riley, i know what that's like, and i have not had that experience since i started just using the retractable leash, 26 feet long. I walk with Zack for about 45 minutes to an hour late at night when there aren't many people and almost no cars, and it's just leisurely, we both love it, he can run back and forth, stop and sniff, and have a relaxed enjoyable time together. I make him heel when we cross streets, i forbid him to go off the curb, he learned quickly not to tangle the leash up by trying to go places i couldn't go, i also practice heel with him when other dogs or people approach. And there is a city street a couple of blocks away that i take him to practice heeling with distractions. But my job is so high stress, i get home late, i just need to relax so i don't want my time with Zack to be hard work, so that's where the retractable leash walks come in, and that's where Brandon came in.

The same woman at the dog park who told me about Brandon said that she exercises her boy Aston by riding on her bike with him on the leash. I think that's a good idea and am searching for a small kids bike i can ride on the sidewalk so i can tire Zack out more. I'm not up to jogging these days. Wesley's mom has a good program going on though with the jogging and bike riding, i think.

I feel sure that Riley will become easier in time, but it might be a long time before he loses his puppy exuberance, but you are putting in time and work, like Cathy and Jake, and i know it will pay off. I know it's hard. I know he will learn. From what Brandon and other people here have said, and my experience of Zack, it's too much to expect a young dog to give up things like jumping and lunging. Some will and some won't related to temperment (innate) but those that do tend to jump and lunge, you will have to stay on them, very tiring and often frustrating. Brandon worked with Zack on jumping up on people, "Off," but Zack still always wanted to get up in Brandon's face and kiss him, and Brandon didn't seem to try very hard to resist the little guy's sweet smooches. But brandon said that when you try to teac them not to get on you, you are going against their breeding, they were bred to get up in peoples' laps and be closely physically connected with their people.

When i got Zack, because of my job, i knew i could not get a young puppy. Zack was almost 4 months, but i'd been told he was 5 months. 4 months would be the minimum i would get. Zack, knock on wood and thank Dog, has not been a problem chewer. So i am still thinking when i get another dog, it can be as young as 4 to 6 months, but like Zack was, i'd want one already beginning to understand house training. Also, i have a back yard. If i didnt' have a back yard, i would want an even older dog who is completely house trained.

hang in there mom. :hug: Cute photo of the little stinker. :D

Cathy Moon
10th November 2006, 01:54 AM
Our once a week class is with an APDT trainer/behavior counselor and her class is helpful. But are you saying that I shouldn't expect Riley to be able to do loose lead walking and not jumping on people or lunging to get to greet other dogs? He is 11 months old now and i have been working on these problem areas since he was about 4 months old. It is still an ongoing challenge.
I thought that you had to wait until a dog was at least a year old before beginning any agility, is that not true? I think Riley would be great at it, but his overexcitement about other dogs might make it hard for him to control himself and actually do the obstacles.
Does itsound like i am being unreasonable with my expectations of his behavior? :huh: I just want him to have some manners and be able to take a nice walk.
Laura, it's ok to start as early as 8 months old in agility, as long as the jumps are very low and you're not running a full course. The jumps shouldn't be at full height for a dog until 18 months old - even though AKC says one year old.

Learning agility with Riley will bond the two of you into a team. There is nothing like it! :)

Usually you'll take a pre-agility class, where the dogs are on leads - then in beginners agility the dogs are still on leads for quite awhile.

Agility is a fun activity because you NEVER stop learning. It seems very simple at first, but is actually complex, yet fun! Riley will get lots of physical and mental exercise, plus learn better behavior while waiting his turn. There are all kinds of warmup activities to learn and do while waiting for your turn on the course.

10th November 2006, 02:28 AM
Hi Laura,

You got some really great advice here, but I just wanted to add that Bella is also very strong-willed with a real stubborn streak. She's only 4 months and we haven't even started training yet (we start Sunday), but I instinctively know I'm in for some challenges with her, lol. I've been where you are now though, with my previous dog.. and having raised a Bull Terrier I think no matter how difficult Bella is in the future, she'll be a walk in the park compared to Roxxy, lol. I said after her, no more puppies, never again! She's been gone for 5 years now, and I thought I'd gotten over my puppy trauma, but every day now I'm reminded of how much work these little ones are, regardless of the breed!

I know you can't really compare a Bull Terrier to a Cavalier, but I do feel your frustration, and working so hard in training seems to be in vain. My only advice is hang in there. All your hard work will pay off, at some point he will calm down and focus more on trying to please you than being a little lunatic... and this behaviour will be a distant memory. It will happen! :)

10th November 2006, 02:42 AM
I felt the same way... "no more puppies" after raising Gus from 8 weeks... but every time I see him running around crazy I think one day I am going to miss his energy!

Daisy's Mom
10th November 2006, 05:46 PM
Our Daisy sounds EXACTLY like Rory. She is 6 months old now. I've posted tearful messages on this board a couple of times about her behavior. It's comforting to hear that others have issues like this, too, because I have often wondered if I've managed to find the "Cujo" of Cavaliers. She is getting somewhat more cavalier-like in her personality now, so I do take hope that the real closeness and cooperativeness will come after the puppy stage, as posters above have said.

We just graduated from puppy kindergarten, and though Karlin and others have posted that puppies should not be expected to do down-stays, etc. She is AWESOME at that kind of thing and she's learned tons of cute tricks, too. She is just so intense and focused and seems to love to learn things like that.

But like Rory, she is he!! on wheels on walks. She is constantly pulling and lunging like a complete psycho dog. That was the one thing that she just could not do in the puppy class. Everything else she was a champ on. She will do a sit-stay, down-stay, and a stand-stay and just stare in your eyes till you release her. I am shocked at how good she is at that and how smart she is in general. But when she is moving, she is out of control. We don't go on walks as often as I would like to because it ends up with me being so frustrated I want to cry! Our breeder has suggested that I just stop in my tracks when she pulls, and then move only when she has a loose leash. I'm going to try that. It makes sense, and she is so smart in other ways that I hope she'll catch on to that contingency. Baiting her by my side with treats ends up with my fingers being chomped unmercifully. And she's lunging at my hands instead of walking and nibbling like the other puppies in my class did.

She is recently getting to be a little bit more of the velcro dog that I envisioned a Cavalier to be like. She is still relatively independent and sometimes, like you said, she seems WAY more interested in the outside world and strangers than she is in me. She is sometimes aloof and sometimes prefers to lay on the end of the couch or in another chair rather than with me. Hopefully that closeness will come. She is alternately loving and playfully aggressive with my kids. She definitely seems to recognize my husband as the alpha dog, but she definitely loves him a lot, too. I'm more of the provider, friend, and sleeping cushion than alpha to her, and she's recently started following me around the house. The kids are definitely like her litter mates that she tries to boss around. We've worked on that, but it's a tough one.

Good luck -- your experiences sound exactly like mine in so many ways!

10th November 2006, 06:07 PM
Daisy's Mom -

I second your breeder on the loose leash walking thing. Kos was the exact same way as daisy - he would pull and pull until you were blue in the face and then he would pull some more. When I went to puppy class and learned to just STOP when they pull until they recognize you and say "no pulling" then when they stop give them a cue like "lets go" and continue walking. Their reward is continuing the walk. This way, I do admit, was very frusterating at first. The first day we tried this it took us 45 minutes to get around 1 block. I thought I was gonna die. The second day took a bit less time and the third day took even less time. After about a week of completely STOPPING every single time he pulled he caught on that if he pulled - the walk stopped. I don't know about Daisy, but Kosmo LOVES to be outside so it was a huge disappointment to him not to be able to walk anymore. I will tell you though that Kosmo sometimes still pulls a little bit here and there..For instance, when we see a passer by that's interested in him.. Generally though, he's very well behaved on the leash now. It also seems like the more you work on it, the better they become. Even though Kosmo's been pretty good at it for a while now, he does seem to still get better and better at it. (I think that might be because we're working on heel so hard though.)

Good Luck - it does take time, but the rewards are well worth it!! :flwr:

Barbara Nixon
10th November 2006, 07:24 PM
An alternative loose lead method is to have a lead long enough to allow you to hold a loop of it in your hand. When the dog pulls drop the loop, taking care not to drop the lead, and walk the other way. The suddenly loose lead warns the dog that something is going on.

10th November 2006, 10:16 PM
zack's trainer recommended turning and going the opposite way when he pulls, which for some reason usually works. You might think he'd just as soon go the opposite direction and just start pulling that way, but instead, he seems invested in going the first direction and doesn't want to go the opposite way. Maybe it's because the opposite way is back toward home. i'm not sure. But if he does pull going the opposite way, then i was instructed to turn again and go the other way, as many times as it takes.

Generally the result when i do this is that when i turn and go backwards, and then turn and go forwards again, he is not pulling or he is pulling forward more gently, and if i then go in the opposite direction again, and then go forward, he almost always stops pulling and starts paying attention to me. Once Zack got the idea of this, usually i don't have to do any turning, just say "heel."

His trainer, Brandon, said don't look at him while doing this because if i look at him, he will think i am open to negotiation whereas if he looks up and i'm not looking at him, he will know there is nothing to negotiate about, this is just the way it is. It's actually hard for me not to look at him, but i can feel the difference when i do or when i don't. it's just hard to remember not to look down at him.

Brandon also said though not to have my expectations be too rigid, he said if Zack walks a bit in front of me or is pulling lightly, that shouldn't be a big deal, as long as Zack is showing that he is getting the idea about being attentive to me and how i'm walking, that is a good result. he said something about not having to be like a nazi. :shock:

i was just wondering, Daisy's mom, if you've tried an Easy Walker halter, the kind that clips on the front? it might help, either a little or a lot. At most big pet stores, you can try it out and if it doesn't help, return it later for a refund. They don't always have them in stock but could always order one. On Zack, the halter brought an immediate change. He generally stopped pulling at all, but if he does pull, it's usually way more lightly. i once attended a one time free puppy class at a local pet store and saw one of these halters on golden lab puppy and i bought one at the store that night, Zack was about 6 months at the time. Before that, he loved to pull, hard to believe such a little guy could be that powerful

I must say that while zack heels well normally, even when other dogs or people are walking by, it was Brandon, not me, who trained him to do this, and it only took 3 fairly short sessions using intermittent treats. i could not have achieved this. My job and lifestyle are not well set up for puppy classes, so i got a trainer to come to my house, it was twice a week for six sessions. First Brandon trained zack, just basically, and then he had me join in the second three sessions and trained me how to keep doing what he was doing but by the time i joined in, Zack already had begun to master the skills. It was money well spent, it worked for me.

10th November 2006, 10:34 PM
:thnx: for all the suggestions. I do stop when he pulls as well as changing direction to stop him from pulling. Riley wears the Sensation harness and it helps but he still pulls, although less. Unfortunately by the time we get to 2 or 3 steps he's back in front again. I have been working with a trainer on this too. Honestly i have come to the conclusion that if i can at least get him to walk without pulling me, that will do for now. I don't think i can get him to walk beside me at a heel at this point. I can work on that later, after i get him not to pull.

Judy - Brandon seems like he was a great help for you. I wish i knew what he was doing so i could copy it. Can you send him up to San Jose? :D

Daisy's mom - These challenging pups are hard work,at least we are not alone! Riley actually has made progress. I know he will eventually be where i want him to be with his training. And on that day i will dance!! :*nana:

11th November 2006, 11:45 PM
Here's a question- what do you do with a pup who is more interesting in sniffing every blessed paint speck on the pavement and therefore lags behind you? I find it difficult to treat cavs in lead training- how do you treat something that's closer to the ground than it is to you?! I guess dropping the treat on the ground is one way, but my pair are remarkably thick about finding dropped sweeties :roll: