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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted people's opinion on training your Dobe to heel. My 5 month old Dobe walks w/the "Gentle Leader" but likes to lead me. She doesn't pull but I would like her to walk on my side. Is it really important to train your Dobe to heel? Please keep in mind this is my first puppy :boldblue:
 

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Recall and heel is A MUST if you don't want to have troubles in the future.

Yes, she should be on your side but don't expect her to be perfect at this age.
It will get better as your girl matures.
 
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I had gone through a similuar thought process not to long ago as Kyrah is almost 9 months. I had started letting her off heal on walks and after talking with my trainer he said it would be better for her to be by my side. He said if I want her to sniff around or whatever to make her sit as I stop and then release her and let her sniff around then put her back on heel and walk again. I learned why the other day as I went to a friends house she hadn't been to before and let her wear just her regular collar and not her prong. Big mistake! She was pulling me I could barely hold onto the leash. She weighs almost as much as me. I didnt tell her to heel as I know that she would not have listened I made her sit to get her back under control and then I got a better grip and she pulled but not as hard. But I know if I keep working with her in the future I will be able to get her to do so (please anyone feel free to encourage me that this will happen).
 

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My first suggestion would be to get rid of the gentle leader, IMO it is a bandaid and not a training tool. I have also heard they are bad for Dobes because of the long neck. i would use a prong collar and train her to walk on lead next to you and then slowly wean her off the prong onto a flat collar.
 

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Recall and heel is A MUST if you don't want to have troubles in the future.

Yes, she should be on your side but don't expect her to be perfect at this age.
It will get better as your girl matures.
Would you say the same for a male? Basie is 5 1/2 months. We are using a prong collar which really helps walking him outside for his business. When we walk he still pulls ahead, though...I almost feel like he's nervous (cars, etc..., even though I try to walk him when it's quite traffic-wise. Let me know if you think he will improve...thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Recall and heel is A MUST if you don't want to have troubles in the future.

Yes, she should be on your side but don't expect her to be perfect at this age.
It will get better as your girl matures.
What age would you suggest to start training her to heel?
 

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6 months is a good age to start working on it. You may start using a choke collar at that age. Praise her for a good behaviour and ignore when she doesn't want to heel.

I was using a loose leash training. My boy was OK without choke/prong collar. Do you take OB classes?
 

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Would you say the same for a male? Basie is 5 1/2 months. We are using a prong collar which really helps walking him outside for his business. When we walk he still pulls ahead, though...I almost feel like he's nervous (cars, etc..., even though I try to walk him when it's quite traffic-wise. Let me know if you think he will improve...thanks.
He won't improve without training. OB classes help a lot.
Don't pull the lead. Use a quick sharp move for the reinforcement. You may stop or move backwards if he doesn't want to heel. Don't forget about rewards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
6 months is a good age to start working on it. You may start using a choke collar at that age. Praise her for a good behaviour and ignore when she doesn't want to heel.

I was using a loose leash training. My boy was OK without choke/prong collar. Do you take OB classes?
I haven't gone to OB classes. She listens really well though! I think I am the one that is anxious/nervous to train her to heel. Do they teach that at OB class??
 

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Lolli will be 10 months old on the 27th, weighs 65 lbs. and is very strong. I got a Sporn training halter for her about 8 weeks ago and it did wonders slowing her down and making walks enjoyable, until she saw another animal, dog or whatever. So I got a prong collar last week and it is like night and day. Not only is she not pulling, she know stays close when I give the command and sits when I stop. I'm not sure if the prong would have worked as well a few months ago, she seems to have matured and now is finally getting it. Just MO. Good Luck !
 

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Sky is 7 months now, almost 8 and we began training to heel at 3 months. Shortly there after we started using prong collar, under the supervision of a licensed trainer for the beginning. There is zero reason why you couldn't start using one now, as long as you are using it correctly. Sky's very good at heel now, for the most part she sticks AT the heel, unless she's getting worked up about something or another. It's not too early to start training this at all, don't worry about that.

I second Dream Valley, an obedience class will absolutely help. In addition to being in an environment where you and the pup can learn, it will also help him learn to focus on you, work with distractions, and will of course help with socialization.

Another thing you can do when he starts to get ahead is to change direction suddenly. The pup will learn that he has to pay attention to you or he's going to get left behind or by himself. Work on this in a space where you have the ability to turn and go in whatever direction you please, rather than on a sidewalk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you all for the great advice! I went to PetsMart today and got my Dobe the prong collar. I do recommend it over the Gentle Leader! When she wears the Gentle Leader she tries to paw at her head to remove it. With the prong she is more relaxed and IMO it looks better!
 
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