German Shepherd Puppy Walking Problems And Solutions
|Puppy wont walk on leash||Use the lure and reward method described above use the extra tasty treats mentioned as they have a high smell factor that entices pups to move forward.|
|Pup is distracted||Remember that being outside for your dog is equivalent to you going to Disney Land! Give them a chance to develop their attention skills, or use the high value treats to make them pay attention to you.|
|Dog looks bored||Walk your dog in different areas so they dont get bored. If you are limited in the places you can go, choose different routes so your dog gets new smells and sights.|
|The dog looks stressed or afraid||Find quieter areas to walk or use the lure and reward method to help them overcome their walking fears.|
|Pup keeps sitting or laying down||Your puppy cant walk a great distance just yet. Carry them home and end your walk. Next time, go a shorter distance and time.|
|Pup pulls wildly ahead on walks||Use the stop and stand method or the turning method to show them youre the confident leader on the walk. Use positive training and rewards to communicate.|
Make It More Difficult
In this step, youll need to hold a treat in each hand. Close one hand into a fist, use that to lure your dog into movement and after about 5 steps, say heel. If your pup stays with you without being distracted for 10-15 steps or so, praise them and release the treat from the other hand.
Doing this will keep them from being fixated on the treat and theyll eventually realize that following your fist will still bring good things.
Gradually increase the steps after the heel command as you dog gets the idea. Once your dog can heel for 10-15 steps, increase it to 20-25 steps, and so on.
Know When To Get Help
For some dogs, you might be able to work through these techniques on your own and achieve great success in a matter of weeks. For other dogs, its advisable to get help from an animal behaviorist or a professional dog trainer with leash reactivity experience. Your dog might also benefit from a consult with a veterinary behaviorist. If your dog is too worked up to learn, medication can control their arousal levels during training allowing them to make more progress.
Lunging on leash can usually be modified into more polite and acceptable behavior. At the very least, you can minimize your dogs outbursts with good management. It takes patience and dedication to your dog and the training protocols, but walks can eventually be stress-free for both you and your dog.
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How To Stop Your Dog From Pulling On The Leash
Dog Pulling Hard on Leash
Over the years, leash pulling problems are the number one reason people have hired me as a local trainer. Fortunately, there are relatively simple things you can do to have your dog walking nicely by your side. Ill outline a few different tips here. If youre lucky, these tips may be all you need to stop your dog from pulling on the leash!
The first tip Ill mention involves using a prong collar. I no longer use these at all. I include it as much for historical completeness about this problem as anything else. There are still trainers that use them. But the rest of the post will describe much better ways. Ways that result in a good relationship between you and your dog.
What About Advanced Leash Training
Although not suitable activities for puppies in their advanced stages, you can begin herding and agility training of your German Shepherd puppy with the aid of a long leash.
Until your pups growth plates close, you will only be able to introduce her to the exercises and perform light work. We mainly aim to illustrate how effective leash training of a Shepherd as a puppy is the backbone to more advanced skills.
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Why Do Dogs Pull On The Leash
Dogs pull to get where they are going. Dogs want to engage with the environment, and humans, to a dog, can be slow. Wearing a leash and being tethered to a human is not a natural behavior for dogs.
Many dogs will naturally lean in when they feel pressure on their collars and strain forward. Loose leash walking is a complex skill and it requires patience, planning, and persistence.
Being An Assertive Pack Leader
Ultimately, dogs respond to leadership. This doesnt mean you should be rough or nasty with your German Shepherd leadership can be quietly assertive and gentle, and in fact, this method gets the best results.
If you walk your dog with confidence, your shoulders back, your breathing calm, and your gaze focused ahead your dog is more likely to respond positively to this body language and calm, assertive energy.
This, combined with a halter lead and the right level of energy-draining exercise, is the ideal solution for controlling your puppy or adult German Shepherd when they pull on the lead.
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How Long Does A German Shepherd Need To Be Walked
Your German Shepherd will need a minimum of two hours of exercise every day. This should include walks and off-lead exercise in a safe area, with extra playtime and training on top to give them a good variety. You can find out how much exercise your dog needs, or even find exercises you can do together online.
Manage Your Dogs Behavior
Its important to prevent your dog from lunging because every time they do, theyre practicing the behavior and developing a self-reinforcing habit. And the firmer the habit, the harder it will be to change. But how do you prevent lunging? First, never punish your dog for this behavior. You will only exacerbate the problem. Your dog will associate the punishment with the other person, dog, or object which will strengthen their fear or jack up their frustration.
Second, use the correct equipment for walking. A buckle collar can put a lot of pressure on your dogs throat when they lunge. A front-clip harness is a better choice. It will put the pressure on your dogs chest and help turn them back toward you when they spring forward. A head halter is another option for a leash-reactive dog. It loops around your dogs nose and allows you to control their head like the reins of a horse. However, many dogs need help adjusting to a halter and they can damage their necks if they hit the end of the leash with too much force. To prevent that, you can clip one leash to their buckle collar and another to their halter, so the collar leash takes the force during lunges and the halter leash gently turns your dogs head.
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What Are The Basic Leash Skills
Your German Shepherd puppy should learn a few basic skills before you attempt to leash walk her in public.
When you initially go outside your yard, choose familiar routes, If you know the path you are taking, it increases the security for your dog.
As your puppy continues to master leash walking, you can eventually start venturing on new routes, increasing the novelty.
It is also about this time that Shepped.com recommends that you move to a short, stiff leash to begin training heel.
A short lead keeps your puppy near you, and a lack of flexibility in the material gives you better control.
- No lunging at people or other animals.
- Walk by your side Teach your puppy not to switch from side to side as this is a serious problem that can cause you to trip and fall.
- Calm and confident demeanor without pulling your arm A large, powerful dog like a German Shepherd who pulls relentlessly can cause serious injury to your shoulder and make you lose your balance.
- Your dogs attention should mostly be on you Your dog does not always have to look at you for you to know you have her attention. Your Shepherds attempts to stay near you, cooperative spirit, and an ear turned in your direction are all indications she is paying attention to you.
Basic Obedience Commands And Their Importance In Leash Training
When you go out, you have to make sure that it is safe for your Dog and other strangers.
German Shepherd is a big, strong, and high energy dog so you do not want him to pull the lead and run away.
For this a basic training is essential. There are mainly 3 basic commands you have to teach your Dog: SITSTAY and COME.These three commands will also help your leash training process with the dog.
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Look Into Getting A No Pull Harness
A no pull harness is one of the best recommended solutions. It may be the only solution on the list that costs money, but its a quick and easy solve. Even though some harnesses may not work on some dogs, it really depends on how dedicated your dog is to push ahead.
This way is also much safer, instead of pulling on the dogs neck, it pulls the dogs weight on the chest. You can check out our review of the best harness and leash for German Shepherd.
Training A German Shepherd Puppy To Walk On Leash
Do you know whats amazing about training a German Shepherd puppy to walk on leash with manners?
It gives you the power and freedom to take your dog almost anywhere!
An out-of-control GSD that pulls you down the street and jerks the leash doesnt allow you the freedom to live your life.
But you can have the secrets of German Shepherd puppy walking right here.
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How To Choose The Right Training Collar For A German Shepherd
Choosing the right training collar and Leash for training your German Shepherd is going to be an important training tool for you and your dog.
With so many training collars and leashes on the market today, it can be a little overwhelming. After reading this article, youll know how to pick the best training collar for your dog.
When I was training at the park last week. I met a young lady that was using a pinch collar on her dog. I noticed that the collar was not sized properly, and she was struggling with the dog pulling on the leash. So I decided to help her and resize the collar to fit her dog. She could not believe the difference after I size the collar.
She said its going to be much more enjoyable to walk my dog now. I told her now that the collar is sized properly you will prevent doing any damage to your dogs throat. Because German Shepherds are such a high breed working dog.
If youre trying to train your German Shepherd with a regular nylon Buckle collar you are going to be struggling. That call was designed for your dog license and dog tags. Some people believe that they can train a German Shepherd in a dog harness. The only thing we use the harness for when training a German Shepherd is for tracking and protection training for agitation work.
Best dog walking training collar for German Shepherd puppies:
Problems With German Shepherd Dogs
Sometimes it can be tough to deal with some dogs. If your dog is not paying attention to you and keep doing what he wants, you stop and wait.
Take the leash tightly and weight, after sometime when your German Shepherd Dog will turn to see you or come back in the position give him a big smile and praise him.
But there are some situations when the Dog can lie down and refuse to walk. In this situation, you have to figure out what is the problem of the German Shepherd. Do not push for training in this situation.
In these conditions, it is better first to found the cause of the problem and solve it before start training again.
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Dog Pulling To Get To Other Dogs
This is almost always excitement or fear .
Theyre actually treated pretty similarly, and its about being able to work with your dog when they can still focus on you and not the other dog.
We work at this distance and slowly decrease the distance, reassuring pup that theyre doing the right thing by paying attention to us, and not reacting to the other dog.
How To Fix A German Shepherd Pulling On Their Leash
A german shepherd pulling on their leash can be problematic. If youre not strong enough to stop them, then they may end up taking YOU for a walk, not the other way round. Thats why its essential that you teach your german shepherd how to walk properly.
If you dont get leash pulling under control then your german shepherd may begin to think theyre in charge. Not only this, but it can often be hard to restrain them when theyre pulling as hard as they can. Without a proper lack of constraint, they could put you or themselves in danger.
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Theres A Lot Going On Around Them
While not being trained is the main reason your german shepherd pulls. That doesnt mean there arent smaller reasons that contribute to it.
Another reason is that theres so much going on in your german shepherds head. Not only are there other dogs that may get their attention but there are people as well. There are also sounds and smells that you cant even sense but they can.
These sounds and smells are extremely enticing to them, so its no wonder they begin to pull.
And sometimes its just instinct. If youve ever walked an untrained dog, the moment they see a cat, youve got a real struggle to keep them at bay.
What Are The Different Methods You Can Use
There are a number of different methods you can use to stop your german shepherd from pulling on their leash. Thankfully, of all them are effective, and you should choose one based on your own personal preference.
However, with that being said, if your dog really isnt responding to one, then theres nothing wrong with moving on to the next method.
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How Do I Get Started And How Do Dogs Learn
Dogs, like any animal, do what works. They will repeat behaviors which have a favorable or meaningful result. When we are working to change or improve a dogs behavior, we need to consider what the behavior accomplishes from the dogs point of view and how we can modify that event so the dogs behavior will change for the better.
Using the ‘A-B-C’ method to consider why the dog is walking a certain way is often helpful.
A = Antecedent. What happens immediately before the pulling?
B = Behavior. Pulling is the behavior in question, but it is probably accompanied by other behaviors, too!
C = Consequence. What happens during or immediately after the pulling? This is the result from the dogs point of view.
Creating a training plan means identifying A, B, and C and considering how A and C can be changed so B will change. Each training plan will be unique to the dog and the family, but most pulling can be prevented or reversed using a positive reinforcement based training approach.
Example: Pulling toward another dog.
Remember, your dog can only see the world through his own eyes. He is being held back, but can see something he wants. Straining in the direction of travel might be productive from the dogs point of view. Lets look at the A-B-Cs for pulling toward another dog.
A = Your dog sees another dog appear.
B = Your dog pulls on the leash.
C = You and the dog are moved closer to the other dog.
Prevention: Foundation Skills
The A-B-Cs: Loose Leash
Putting it On Cue
Lure And Reward Method
You will need a lot of treats for this method, so choose small ones, or break up larger treats. Offering your dog a treat is the easiest way to get its attention.
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What Youll Need For Leash Training
Having a proper collar and leash makes a huge difference in leash training. A flat collar would be most comfortable for your German Shepherd. I prefer a belt-type flat collar because a clip-type collar might break under substantial tension. However, there are many other types of collars to consider depending on your needs.
For your leash, select a sturdy one that feels comfortable in your hand and is comfortable to grip tightly. The ideal length of an everyday walking leash is 4 to 6 feet for most people.
Apart from a collar and leash, youll also need a lure or reward to keep your German Shepherds attention. Training for no-pull walking is best done with a high-value treat but if your German Shepherd isnt motivated by food, a toy that gets them excited works just as well.