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Walking Advice


goforette
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We're having a bit of trouble with Hollie on walks. Granted we will fully admit that we're at fault for this because we haven't walked her nearly enough. She literally squeals and whines almost the entire walk - if she sees or hears another dog - she goes ballistic with a sound like someone is eating her alive - the neighbors come out in a panic because they think there's an injured dog and look at us to make sure we're not abusing her! ... totally embarassing really since she's freaking out all by herself... the walking itself isn't really that bad, she tugs at first but she's managable - but the vocals are totally not cool... she seems okay with passing dogs her size or relatively close to her size - but wants to go into attack mode if she spots anything over 50 lbs coming her way (she has no concept that she's a snack to larger breeds....) And I really have no good ideas on how to manage or correct the vocal squealing problem. I had thought about seeing if she'd carry a stick or bully stick or something in her mouth - maybe she needs a distraction? Any ideas to try?

Hollie Edelbrock & Brystal Sonoma
Chris, Stacy and Little Noah
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Just some ideas. I think you're on the right track with the distraction idea. If you have laid some groundwork with obedience training, you have tools to use. For example:

Stop walking and start heeling, with her attention focused 100% on you. If she's busy working, she can't be goofing off and looking at other dogs, etc. You may take short walks for a while (literally down the driveway and back, if it comes to that). Walking=working.

After you've got that down, you can start longer walks - because she will be used to working while walking, even if you let her relax and just stroll, you will be able to get her attention and put her back to work, BEFORE she sees a distraction. Your job in the transition time is to be figuratively two steps ahead of her and making sure she's busy working with you during any possible distraction.

For example, if we start out heeling for a bit, then just walking, and I see a dog off in the distance that we will be approaching, I'll turn the opposite way, call my dog to heel, maybe even throw in a couple quick downs and sits to make sure we're in working mode. Then I'd do another about-turn to go back in the original direction, this time heeling fast and probably rewarding attention with treats until we heel past the distraction. This has two beneficial effects: one you reinforce that she's working for you and, two: she'll begin to associate meeting other dogs etc. with increased treat production from you. Win-win!

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Thats my Rebel to a tee! I use a harness and that helps but I keep treats in my pocket and when I see something that might get him going I get his attention on the treats and we walk quickly past, once past I praise him for walking good and give him a treat. He thinks walking good is walking beside my pocket. As he has gotten older it is better, voice commands work now.

Rebel especially does not like Boxers but any large dogs use to get a loud response.

Good luck and keep on walking!

Liz

Rebel, Hammurabi, Sugar, Dirty Harry, Paint, Duncan and Saffron

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Thanks for the advice - I think that's an excellent suggestion with starting down the driveway and back. She understands healing, and sitting when she feels like it -so we'll work more on one on one commands and understanding what's expected and then expand upon it. This is such a fantastic place for advice - I knew someone would think of something :) Thank you again -as soon as I get home we're going to work on it :)

Hollie Edelbrock & Brystal Sonoma
Chris, Stacy and Little Noah
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Stacey, I would like to ditto the idea of the treats while walking. Barney does quite the opposite as Hollie, in that he doesn't make a peep on our walks for some reason. But when he was just a little guy, I would walk him with treats in my hand. If he knew I had a treat, his eyes would be riveted to me in anticipation of getting a goodie. And of course Brad's advice about walking at heal is the ideal solution. I make Barney heal at all times, and sit when I stop at corners. Not fully understanding how good this is for a dog to do, I ran into a friend on my walk Saturday who had her dog with her. Barney came up to her dog and just wagged his tail and did the usual rear end sniffing, then just sat next to my leg as I talked to my friend. I was very proud of him....

Something I learned in dog training that has worked amazingly with Barney. She taught us what is called loose leash walking. When Barney and I set off for our daily walks, he immediately wants to take off like a rocket. But the minute he starts to pull forward, I STOP dead in my tracks and won't let him go farther. Sometimes I have to do it 5 or 6 times in a row, but then he understands that pulling gets him absolutely nowhere. He then walks perfectly. I usually have to repeat the stopping once or twice during our hour long walk, but he picks up the cue again pretty quickly. Even when he pulls toward another dog, I stop, and he tries to sit, although his tail is wagging so hard that he can't keep his rump on the ground! Another dog is an almost irresistable temptation to him, so I try to cut him some slack when that happens...!

Maybe if you socialize Hollie around other dogs a bit more, that would help her with going balistic at other dogs. Do you have a dog park near you? We have taken Barney to our town dog park since he was 5 months old, and he has absolutely NO dog aggression. He just plays and plays with whatever dog will join him, no matter what the size. Sunday he wrestled a 1 year old boxer for about a half an hour! He even got a very shy, fearful 6 month old Corgi puppy to join him in some wrestling matches. At first she would bare her teeth at him and snap because she was afraid, then go cower by her owner. But he just kept on trying to get her to play and within a half an hour, she was wrestling with him, with no teeth bared.

Maybe if Hollie saw other dogs as playmates rather than a threat, she would not be so uptight when she saw one on your walks.

Just a hunch.....

Good luck!

All creatures great and small, the Lord God, He made them all!

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We walked Hollie just up and down to the end of the street - she didn't squeal until she seen another person in the distance - so we immdiately turned the opposite direction to re-focus. At least it was an improvement from the non-stop vocals. The actual walking is great - she'll stop, sit, heal - she's great with commands - she didn't want to carry a bully stick - she'd just kept droping it - we'll just expand a little farther each day - I think she's just overly excited about the situation - since she made an effort to only make noise when she seen something that excited her.

Hollie Edelbrock & Brystal Sonoma
Chris, Stacy and Little Noah
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It's great to hear this advice. Gracie will walk right beside us the entire time...of course she is still pretty young...Her issue is all 3 pounds of her thinks she can take on all 100 lbs of the neighborhood dogs. lol. Now Ellie, on the other hand, does pretty well at first and then it seems like she is walking on 2 legs most of the time. I understand how to correct her and teach her to heal, but I am also used to working with labs and they DEFINITELY learn differently!!! By the way...Ellie's trainer has said she is one of the smartest dogs she has ever trained and she had never trained any Cairn's before. She said she is highly considering one now!!!

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