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Authors

  • Con Slobodchikoff, Ph.D.
    Slobodchikoff is President and CEO of Animal Communications, Ltd., specializing in pet behavior problems and in educating people about the behavior of animals.
  • Karen London, Ph.D.
    London is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Pet Dog Trainer who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavioral problems in the domestic dog.

« What Made You Choose This Puppy? | Main | Jingling Tags Drive Many Dogs Crazy »

July 16, 2009

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Nancy Frensley, CAP2, CPDT

Betty,

Thank you for your nice comment on the blog. I really enjoy doing it and I'm committed to helping people be successful with their rescue and other second chance dogs.

Betty


I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Betty

http://smallpet.info

Nancy Frensley, CAP2, CPDT

Thanks to everyone who has submitted comments. The handouts are now on our website so feel free to look them up. One is on the Positive Interrupt and the other is called Everyday walking.

I find good walking style to be the last thing people really work on and I think that's both because the concepts are so vague and that it takes a focused campaign to get it going.
For example, in my walking class today, I asked everyone what their “ideal" walk with their dog looked like. They each had difficulty articulating it.

This is an answer for both Shelly and Sean. Shelly asks how she can apply good walking and interruption techniques with three feisty little dogs at the same time. Sean is working with his puppy to get her to "not pull" on the leash.

I find that, instead of thinking about how to get a dog to "not pull", it's more effective to think "how can I teach my puppy to walk right beside me when I ask her to?". It is easier to get something to happen than to get it not to happen.

Reinforcement is the key to getting what you want to happen.

For Shelly, you will not get very far trying to work with all three dogs at once. Not only are they reinforced by the excitement of seeing another dog, the gang of three are reinforcing each other and, as a result, chaos reigns. It will pay off for you to spend a few minutes each day with each little dog (separated from the others), showing them where their walking space is and feeding treats when they are in the that space beside your leg. You also need to organize your three dogs before you take them out together. When you have them outside on their leashes, do a group sit. Practice this until all dogs can sit together and look at you for about 30 seconds. At the end of thirty seconds, you can give them a release word (OK will work for now) and they can take off. Try to arrange the leashes so that you can easily make a quick about turn, away from any stimulating event, with all three of them. In addition, when you turn away, keep walking in that direction until they have calmed down. As you turn, keep your hands low so they can feel the direction in which you are turning. That’s not the whole technique for creating great walking style with your dogs, but it is a beginning. Begin by rewarding each one for paying attention to you while you are standing still. You can add the walking later.
The instruction sheet called “Everyday Walking” at www.berkeleyhumane.org in the training department articles page spells this out in detail.

For Sean, with his new puppy, start working primarily on rewarding the puppy for focusing on you. There are a number of parts to teaching a dog where and how to walk with you. Getting your puppy to focus on you in all sorts of environments will give you a great beginning. Everything after you get focus will be easier to teach. Remember your puppy needs to know where you want her to walk and when is to all right to be free. Just taking a few steps with her at your side, then saying OK and tossing a toy (then repeating the game several times) will start that process.


sean

Thanks for sharing this information. I have been working with my new puppy to get her to do not pull on the leash, my older dog hasn't had the training since I haven't worked with him as much, but I will start using these techniques and see what happens.

Shelly

How can I apply this to walking my 3 dogs? They're all about 20 lbs & all 3 pull & bark when we see or pass other dogs.

Terry Albert

Couldn't find the article on their web site. Found some other good ones though!

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