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Advice on some issues for a first time owner?


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I take great pride in the fact that I can walk all 5 of my dogs, 4 border collies off leash..in a busy park with every distraction imaginable. They are the poster pups for well trained dogs and it's great to get tons of compliments and be able to educate people on dogs/training that we see on our walks. Even the local police, who have an off leash law, know us and never give us a ticket.

 

How did I get my dogs to do this...well it wasn't by shoving cookies in there faces I can tell you that...

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I take great pride in the fact that I can walk all 5 of my dogs, 4 border collies off leash..in a busy park with every distraction imaginable. They are the poster pups for well trained dogs and it's great to get tons of compliments and be able to educate people on dogs/training that we see on our walks. Even the local police, who have an off leash law, know us and never give us a ticket.

 

How did I get my dogs to do this...well it wasn't by shoving cookies in there faces I can tell you that...

....go on? How DID you get your dogs to do this? :)

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Walking a large pack off leash requires a HUGE amount of self discipline for the dog, kind of the opposite of training for dog sports where you are trying to build Drive/compulsion with food/toy...

 

Basicly, I set clear expecations and I expect my dogs to meet them. I start training them individually with a rock solid recall and a "with me" command(different from precision heeling basicly means pick a spot within 3 feet of me and stay there until released). I use pressure and release with a slip collar, am consistent and follow through with EVERYTHING!! I'm not afraid to give a well placed correction, may it be a verbal if I see someone getting distracted or physical(usually a touch on the shoulder or flank to get there attention)..if they just are having a hard time with it they go back on a slip collar until they are reminded, then off leash again...

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Walking a large pack off leash requires a HUGE amount of self discipline for the dog, kind of the opposite of training for dog sports where you are trying to build Drive/compulsion with food/toy...

 

Basicly, I set clear expecations and I expect my dogs to meet them. I start training them individually with a rock solid recall and a "with me" command(different from precision heeling basicly means pick a spot within 3 feet of me and stay there until released). I use pressure and release with a slip collar, am consistent and follow through with EVERYTHING!! I'm not afraid to give a well placed correction, may it be a verbal if I see someone getting distracted or physical(usually a touch on the shoulder or flank to get there attention)..if they just are having a hard time with it they go back on a slip collar until they are reminded, then off leash again...

 

It's actually sort of ridiculous...Molly will pull very hard on the lead, but if I unclip it she'll sprint for a second, realize I'm not with her, and come back and heel reasonably well. I don't do this anywhere except at a dog-park type area because she'll still sprint off after a squirrel or something and there is moderate traffic where I live.

 

I need to work on more recall with her, and there's no question about that. Right now, unless we have treats, she usually will not come.

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I use a long line for teaching the recall...it's a great way to enforce to your pup in a consistent way that they must come no matter what. I start them on this from young pups and have to revisit it from time to time through the young adult phase but it works like a charm...I never allow my pups to figure out that they have the option of coming....

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I use a long line for teaching the recall...it's a great way to enforce to your pup in a consistent way that they must come no matter what. I start them on this from young pups and have to revisit it from time to time through the young adult phase but it works like a charm...I never allow my pups to figure out that they have the option of coming....

By long line, you mean a long leash where, when you call them, if they don't come you haul them in?

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I like my long line to be a bit thinner...alot of people use like a horse longe line, something of that nature...I make my own by getting like a thin climbing rope kinda deal and fastening a small clip to the end. I start by having the pup understand what come is so I start out small. I use treats in the beginning with pups also, something VERY high value that they ONLY get when they come(cheese/hot dog bits/chicken bits)..

 

I usually go in the back yard first, somewhere familiar, have the long line on so they get used to dragging it. I wait at first until the pup is looking at me, then call him to come huge party/treats/etc..then let him wander off again. The key obviously is if pup looks at you and decides he doesn't want to come...you take the long line and reel him in..say nothing while doing this but still make a big great deal about things when he gets there, treats and praise...This way he doesn't get into thinking he has a choice in the matter.

 

I graduate to calling the pup when he is a bit distracted, usually at this point it doesn't take but one call and they come running for the treat no matter what, but if he hesitates at all just reel his little but in..

 

Then we work a bit longer distances, so he's dragging the long line and he's out ahead. I call, if he doesn't stop what he's doing and come immediately I will step on the long line. Gives the pup a little shock, pup is usually like "WHOA" and comes right away, treats and praise. It's actually great if a squirrel were to pop out when training, because you have you long line you can stop your pup immedietly and enforce the recall...

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I like my long line to be a bit thinner...alot of people use like a horse longe line, something of that nature...I make my own by getting like a thin climbing rope kinda deal and fastening a small clip to the end....

 

 

 

Yay, I am glad to hear that I am not the only geeky type when it comes to searching out and adapting equipment from other sports to use in dog training. Climbing rope comes in many diameters and many neat colors. If you don't have a well-equipped outdoor store in your area, you can find the rope on the internet. I got the snap clip from Lowe's or HD.

 

Hmmm - I'm beginning to feel the need to get another long line. :D

 

Jovi

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I also have my herding tie-outs made from climbing rope(my dogs don't chew them) and caribiners!!! I actually had the cute climbing boy at REI do the funky 8 knots with the two carabiners on both sides for the tie-outs!!! AWESOME!!!! :D

 

What a cool idea! As far as I am concerned, one should be well equipped with leashes, long lines, slip leads, tie-outs --- and bungee cords, duct tape/gorilla tape, baling twine, strapping, etc. (not necessarily used for the dogs :D )

 

Jovi

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