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post #12 of (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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* How did you teach your Doberman to not pull on a leash? Any particular methods did you use?

After many unsuccessful attempts, we did not really make any progress until we were in puppy kindergarden classes where they explained a technique that helped us out alot. It was very important that we need to have Nikita paying attention to us during the whole walk or needed to be aware of our presence. Also she needed to know we were deciding where we go, not her. We used the "Name Game" to work on her attention. When we walked we would call her name, if she looked at us, she got rewarded. Very quickly she learned this and responded to it. While walking, she would have to slow down and walk next to us to get the reward. this helped with get her to walk next to us. She even started to look at us without asking, because she wanted a reward. If she did this, she got rewarded. We also used the "Anchor Method". If she made the leash tight, we wouldn't move. Once the leash was loose again, we proceeded. If she was starting to lead us, I changed our directions. This caused her to follow us. She learned this quickly too. She had to be aware of where I was going, or she would tugged in that direction. Using those techniques helped out tremdously

* At what age did you start to see any improvements? How often do they need reminders?

We started seeing improvements around 7 or 8 months. It took about 3 months of hard work to get to this point. Sometimes it would take us an hour just to go around the block, which now only takes ten minutes....She still needs reminders at times, but not like it used to be.

* What type of collar and leash do you use? (prong, harness, flexi, etc)

We started this training using a Premiers No-Pull Harness. This is a great tool. Everytime she would pull, it would cause her shoulders to be pulled together which would slow her down and cause her to swing back towards us. Now, we only use a a flat collar. I like the double handled leash for walks. Its a regular 6 ft leash and has an additional handle about 2ft from the collar connector. We use this alot and is great for walking in crowded areas. The length keeps them pretty close to a heel position.

* What distractions are the hardest to overcome?

Everything was hard to overcome at first, but I found if you see the distraction first, you can get the attention first before you come up to it. This made it alot easier. If you do not see the distraction, then its very difficult to overcome.

* Are there any particular situations that you find more difficult to walk in than others? (Large crowds, parks, other dogs around)

Its usually when we go to a new area we have not been in, that we have some issues at first. But now we can work through it with OB commands which can pretty much resolve them in the first 5 minutes. I try to expose her to every possible scenario I can. If we come upon a distraction that is new, we will work on that right there and now, until its not a distraction. By recognizing the distraction first is key, if not, then getting her attention back to you is my next step....I've learned alot about myself, by all this frustration and work that needs to be done. But its all worth it.
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