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How do you start to teach a puppy (12 weeks old) to heel? We've read that they should walk on your left, but what a laugh.... Brontie darts from left to right, back to front, round in circles, stops, starts, etc. What's the best way to start teaching her to walk on the lead properly? And are extendable leads a bad idea in the beginning? Don't really like them but at least I know she is safe!
 

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Would tell you if I knew .. Mabel was like that at first but has settled a bit . I think Dylans mum said she held a treat at heel .... have been meaning to do it myself x
 

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i dont like exstendable leads i know a couple of dogs hit by cars because the owners couldnt get them in quick enough.

keep a tread at nose level and prase her on the left.
 

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Dog training classes taught us this method which works great for us. Holding large treat in left hand near you left knee. Keep your dog's nose on the treat. My dog nibbled at the treat. While doing this say "Heel " or whatever word you want to use. Then walk up and down making sure your dogs completely focused on the treat and on a loose lead. Once you can do this in short straight lines start doing the same weaving in and out of chairs or similar and making turns. Just keep practicing and keep your dogs focus on the treat and the key word
Good luck
 

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Yes I agree with Mat, that method worked for me. I don't like extending leads much although they have their uses. If you are taking Brontie to somewhere where you can eventually let her off lead once you are confident of her recall, one tip that really worked for me is to get a long line - 10 metres is good. Just hold the end and let the line drag. Brontie will feel like she's off lead and you can see how she responds to you calling her back. Later you can let it go altogether and it makes it easy to catch them if they don't respond, but puppies usually just want to stay with you anyway. I had Dylan off-lead within a week with this method. Good luck!
 

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Hi Helen & Mat, thanks for that advice, we'll have a go. Just signed up for Puppy Classes which start on Thursday evening, so will let you know how we get on. Like the 10 m lead idea as our last dog (a cocker spaniel) was so nose driven, if he scented a fox, that would be the last we would see of him for hours! Determined to keep Brontie nearer and responding to recall better. Thanks again. Kate
 

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Mat, which 'large treat' did you walk round with in your hand when you were training to heel? Thanks. Kate
 

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Mat, which 'large treat' did you walk round with in your hand when you were training to heel? Thanks. Kate
Sorry not Mat, but just wanted to say that is how my trainer advised me to do it too. One little problem - Teddy was so small that I was bent double trying to keep the treat at nose height for him.:) I used a piece of smoked sausage - I use it for training treats anyway, and just cut off a larger bit to hold in my hand. A leg of chicken is good, too (if you dont mind walking around with a leg of chicken in your hand. lol. (I heard of someone who warmed it up and kept it in their pocket so the smell reached the dog. They said the dog would follow them anywhere with that :D) It works better if he is hungry at the time:D. Worth a try?
 

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I have to say that while Dylan is terrific at heeling off a lead, he is still rubbish when he's on a lead. Since his op I haven't been allowed to walk him properly - just short walks around the streets on lead and it's been horrible :( Can't wait for tomorrow when the stitches come out and we'll be straight over to the lake for a good run. On a lead he constantly pulls and I can only get him to heel well for a while with a treat in my hand. Once the treat's not there he just pulls again and I hate walking him that way. I think he's just so hyper without his runs. Roll on tomorrow!
 

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Sorry not Mat, but just wanted to say that is how my trainer advised me to do it too. One little problem - Teddy was so small that I was bent double trying to keep the treat at nose height for him.:) I used a piece of smoked sausage - I use it for training treats anyway, and just cut off a larger bit to hold in my hand. A leg of chicken is good, too (if you dont mind walking around with a leg of chicken in your hand. lol. (I heard of someone who warmed it up and kept it in their pocket so the smell reached the dog. They said the dog would follow them anywhere with that :D) It works better if he is hungry at the time:D. Worth a try?
:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh: What about a joint of beef x
 

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Off to the butchers again for me then, lol! She's doing ever so well heeling around the kitchen and am trying to keep her on my left but sometimes when she sits first (before we set off) she's facing the wrong way! But it's way more fun than getting any work done. The worst problem we have right now is the digging so we're trying to distract her. She's stopped flinching at passing cars now, too, but don't think she will forget that ambulance from her first walk for a while.
 

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I have to say that while Dylan is terrific at heeling off a lead, he is still rubbish when he's on a lead. Since his op I haven't been allowed to walk him properly - just short walks around the streets on lead and it's been horrible :( Can't wait for tomorrow when the stitches come out and we'll be straight over to the lake for a good run. On a lead he constantly pulls and I can only get him to heel well for a while with a treat in my hand. Once the treat's not there he just pulls again and I hate walking him that way. I think he's just so hyper without his runs. Roll on tomorrow!
Dylan sounds just like Flo. All her walks are 1 hour across country off lead when she is perfect, never strays far and always comes when called but hopeless on the lead (although she does walk well on the lead after her run). I tried all sorts of methods but she is so distracted by scents that not even a fillet steak would persuade her to take her nose off the ground and concentrate on walking nicely by my side. What did work is if I stopped as soon as she pulled and waited - she would then stop too, whine a bit then back up and stand next to me then she would be fine for a few minutes until her nose went back on the ground. The stop when they pull method is all fine and does work but not great if you are actually trying to go get somewhere. So I did that sometimes when I had all the time in the world but then other times when we just had to get where we were going she got away with pulling a bit and because I wasn't consistent she never had consistent lead manners :(

The solution has been to use a Gencon lead when I need nice, non-pulling lead walking right by my side and as soon as I put that on she behaves beautifully. I think that she has learnt that a soft lead over her muzzle means head up and walk nice we're off round village/town and a regular lead means over the road then off over the fields :)
 

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I think you're right Mandy - if I needed to walk Dylan on lead regularly I would have to get a head lead - it's no fun being in a permanent strop with him because he's pulling. I do the technique of stopping when he's pulling and he does immediately leap back to my side, so he knows what I want, but as soon as we start again he's back trying to lead. But I think it's worse because he hasn't been burning off any energy since his op. Today's the day and I'm so looking forward to seeing him run again!!
 

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I bet Dylan will take off like a Formula One car today when you let him go! Once Flo has had a good off lead run she walks great on a regular lead on the way home. Flo has bags of energy and if she could only walk round on a lead she would be quite unsettled generally. On her way to the fields she gets almost explosive wanting to run, like a sprinter on the starting line! I would recommend a Gencon for those times they need to be on a lead for a heel walk through town etc.. and she behaves well walking by my side on a loose lead but you can sense, just looking at the way she moves, that she wants to take off.
 

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We use an Ancol half check collar which is half chain half nylon. Same idea as Gencon. Tightens very slightly on neck if he pulls. He hears the chain clicking as it tightens and stops pulling. I wish we'd never used an extendable lead for first 4 months. They get used to it being tight ish as that's how they pull it out.. whereas if you always use a fixed lead they learn always to have completley loose lead.
 

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We use an Ancol half check collar which is half chain half nylon. Same idea as Gencon. Tightens very slightly on neck if he pulls. He hears the chain clicking as it tightens and stops pulling. I wish we'd never used an extendable lead for first 4 months. They get used to it being tight ish as that's how they pull it out.. whereas if you always use a fixed lead they learn always to have completley loose lead.
Your right about the flexi lead - it gives them mixed messages so they never quite know what's expected. We just used a flexi in open countryside when she was younger just to check we had a good recall before finally letting her off lead completely and I now always use the Gencon for street walking and she knows that means stay by my side on a loose lead, nose off the ground.
 

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Thanks for the suggestion of the Gencom. I looked them up and I think I'll get one. I don't like all the pulling on their necks anyway. That will be useful if I want to take him for a little extra walk in the evening. Yes he had a wonderful walk today. Here is the video, although the quality is rubbish as it's off my phone. It's so good to get back to normal :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvQKxEyoaEs
 
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