View Full Version : Walking Bluebell...
20th December 2007, 04:05 PM
i took Bluebell for a walk today and i think i need to start walking her on a "normal" lead, as at the moment i use an extending lead and she is a bit of a nightmare! She is always trying to chase something and runs all over the place! it is also quite embarrassing for me as it looks like i have one crazy puppy to walk! do you think if i go to a normal lead and persist with it she will calm down when walking her? She also pulls hell of a lot, as in she can be at the end of the ext. lead and she is still pulling, sometimes she makes my hand hurt when she pulls so much - she's only 8 months old but very strong!
i don't want her teaching lottie these bad habits, in fact, i guess she will have to go to a normal lead anyway as i can't walk 2 dogs on ext. leads...
The other thing i am struggling with is teaching her to "come", i try to teach her in the house and garden, and today on her walk i let her off the lead in a field and tried to teach her to come back to me (with treats) and she totally ignored me. i wish that when i told her to come she did but she chooses to ignore me!
we collect lottie tomorrow at 9am.... :luv: i will post photos.
20th December 2007, 05:03 PM
Dump the extensible lead except for walks somewhere like a park where there's no traffic and where you are happy to let her wander about on the lead. You need more control for city/traffic walking and training -- a 4-5 foot leather or fabric lead is ideal.
Extendible leads are dangerous in traffic areas and are also not good for training -- the locks can fail, they offer very little control, and they can pop out of hands very easily, and this can put a dog at risk in trafficked areas.
Don't let her offlead in an unfenced, unsecure area until you KNOW she will come when called. :thmbsup: You can buy a really long training lead or use the extendible lead. 'Come' takes a long time to teach so really it is a matter of patience. Dogs under one generally are not very reliable on recall and younger than 6 months they won't be doing much more than learning a foundation but rarely are consistent in returning. Hence it is much safer to keep young dogs on leads in open areas.
Here's some good guides:
20th December 2007, 05:06 PM
We've managed to get our girl to walk well and here's what we've done.
First, no extending leash, a normal leash. Also, we were advised that a collar is much better for getting control when walking than a harness because it's too easy with a harness to accidentally pick the dog up off the ground.
When she pulls, stand still. Tie the leash to your belt loop if it hurts your hands. Don't move until she stops pulling and the leash goes slack. You may only get around the block on a 20 minute walk, but it will be worth it in the long run.
If she starts dashing off at a person while you're walking her (our problem which needed to be solved) when she starts to go, turn around and walk in the other direction.
Confuse her when you're out so that she learns that you take charge. As you're walking, walk a bit, then suddenly turn around and walk in the other direction. Once she's with you, go a few steps and turn around and go in another direction.
If you walk out the garden gate and she starts off in one direction, go in the other direction.
Hold the leash pretty far down so that she can't go far.
If she pulls after bicycles and cars, have treats in your pocket. The minute you see a car or bicycle coming down the road, hunker down right next to her and hold her on a very short (a couple of inches) leash. As the car/bicycle passes by, give her the treat. The idea is to give her something better to stand still for than chasing the car would be.
When she walks nicely by you, tell her how wonderful she is.
Congrats on Lottie!
20th December 2007, 05:23 PM
I'd oppose using a lead on collar on a cavalier for walking or training, myself. Tara and Lisa of Dog Training Ireland would both advise harnesses for small breeds and as an option for large breeds, especially large breeds where you need more control. They see no difference in training and success with a harness as opposed to a collar -- it only seems to bother trainers who want you to be able to jerk the dog around. This is really not the best way to manage a cavalier because of the breed's propensity to eventually develop syrinxes in the neck area. A harness removes any strain on the neck. Obviously people make their own choices but truly, there is no difference in training using a harness vs a collar, having done both. :)
20th December 2007, 06:15 PM
I recommend this Easywalk harness for pulling:
Someone recommended it from this website and has been an absolute Godsend! It sits low and attaches at the front so the dog has absolutely nothing to pull against. If the dog is determined, it pulls him to the side, thus confusing him!
It's an American harness which I've never seen for sale here, other than eBay UK.
20th December 2007, 06:44 PM
I know how you feel Emma, Chloe used to pull loads I must have looked like a mad woman with an uncontrolable dog attached to her!
We then got her first puppia and it is fantastic. When Heidi came to live with her she started walking really well and they both just worked it out between them.
Good luck with the walking and with the new arrival bet there wont be much sleeping in your house tonight:)
20th December 2007, 06:46 PM
Oh Emma, I can barely wait for your pictures of lovely little Lottie. I can only imagine how excited you are.
As far as your post about Bluebell pulling, I'm no help at all with that. Scout does the same thing. I walk her on a retractable leash and she pulls to the end. Good luck.
20th December 2007, 09:18 PM
I would suggest trying to get her into an obedience class to help teach her proper leash manners, using an easy walk harness or a gentle leader will also help teach her proper leash manners.
21st December 2007, 10:58 PM
We practiced with candi being on the lead in the house. All she done at first was chew on the lead and tried to scratch at her collar. When we did take her out we were impressed she wasn't that bad, i just kept saying heel now again and she done it, then i praised her for it. Dont get me wrong she has her moments when she see's grass, she goes nuts to get at it lol
22nd December 2007, 07:44 PM
Our two used to pull like mad until we started using harnesses. Now our walks are enjoyable, there's no pulling at all, I really recommend using a harness!
22nd December 2007, 09:46 PM
I feel your pain! I just got back from another frustrating walk on the EasyWalk harness with Daisy. At one point, she was twirling around on the end of it like a whirling dervish trying to get at a dog barking behind a fence. And she's 18 months old and has been through 2 obedience classes (successfully, at least on paper). I actually posted the previous thread about her lunging at cars. I have to confess that it's somewhat comforting to know I'm not the only one with a wild thing at the end of the leash.
She will heel like an angel in our fenced yard (without any leash) when we practice, and she eventually calms down enough at the obedience class (at least she did last time we took the course. It was about the 4th week of 6 weeks before she actually started heeling. We are doing Obedience 2 this Spring, and if she can't maintain some control around the other dogs until the 4th week, I may have a stroke.) She actually seems to be getting worse instead of better. If I lived in New York, I would contact the Monks of New Skete from Divine Canine. They had a Cavalier named Stella on the show once. I think Daisy would make them earn their money!
I have to confess I completely lost my temper with her today and eventually picked her up (all 25 pounds of her) and carried her while calling her a few choice names (good thing she doesn't speak English, poor little girl). There are two huge barking dogs behind one fence and she literally loses her mind when we walk by there. It's like having a wild animal like a raccoon on the leash twisting and jumping. "Frustrating" doesn't begin to describe it. And yes, I think everyone in the neighborhood thinks she's a complete maniac (and they probably think the same thing about me, too, as I'm carrying this dog and I don't blame them!).
The Easy Walk harness just twists around on her and I don't think it's very comfortable, especially when it's pulled around to the side. I am going to try it one more time with the chest strap tightened up even more and see how that goes. The guy at the store said if it didn't work to bring it back. I hope I have the receipt. I bought it a couple of months ago in vain hope that it would help. She does pull less hard in it, but not less often.
I know I'm going to have to go boot camp on the leash walking. And do the stop or turn around and go the other direction thing every time she pulls. I tried that technique once a few months ago and in a half an hour we had gone about 50 yards (and that was just with stopping, not turning around). I am not kidding. She eventually just stood there and stared at me as if I'd lost my mind. She is a pill on the leash unless I am holding a very desirable treat in my left hand right where she can see it.
I did make her sit and watch me (of course, using a treat) when cars went by today with some success at that (and some failures). She will do anything for treats, so that did work most of the time if I put her in a sit soon enough before she fixated on the car going by.
I love her so much, but she is a very challenging dog. Very smart, very intense, and very independent. Sometimes I think she's half Springer spaniel. She's got an incredible prey drive, that's for sure.
Good luck to you and me both on getting our girls to walk politely on the leash! I'm going to keep working on it. I may contact a trainer. The problem is though that they will use treats, and therefore she'll be perfect, just like she does with me if I have treats, so I'm not sure that would do that much good. I'd like to actually walk her like a normal dog without bribing her with a treat 100% of the time.
23rd December 2007, 09:33 AM
And do the stop or turn around and go the other direction thing every time she pulls. I tried that technique once a few months ago and in a half an hour we had gone about 50 yards (and that was just with stopping, not turning around). I am not kidding. She eventually just stood there and stared at me as if I'd lost my mind.
That's how it works--do it again, every single time you go for a walk and keep at it and she'll get it. It will take a few weeks but it will happen. If she looks at you like you're crazy, look back down at her with a kind but determined look on your face and say "Because I'm the human, that's why." She won't understand that, but it might make you feel better.
Patience will get you there.
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