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How do I ‘un-train’ my pup of lead/leash aggression?

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by BodieBoy, Jul 16, 2021.

  1. BodieBoy

    BodieBoy New Member Registered

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    Hi all,

    Recently received a Mali pup, named Bodie (see my intro post). I’ve started the initial ‘Sit/Down/Stand’ commands using his mealtimes (for 5 mins max) as training sessions. Slow, but it’s coming along. However I think I have made a mistake….

    as he doesn’t have his 2nd set of jabs yet, I need to keep him on the lead when in the garden, or attached to a long tether so he has some freedom. But now, he seems to see the tethered lead as a focal point of annoyance.

    I want to start some recall and stay training so I still need him on the lead. But he ends up just attacking it or chewing it, making it difficult to focus on the training task and thereby a bad association.

    does anyone have any techniques or methods I can use to ‘un-train’ his annoyance of the lead? FYI he’s only 9 weeks right now so I know I should have realistic expectations.

    thanks!
     
  2. Inka

    Inka Active Member Registered

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    If I remember correctly this is a 10 week old ish pup and if so your expectations are too high and too restrictive

    Meal times are the perfect time/s to teach recall, however a young pup like this has little focus, so it is more about you being consistant, 'encouraging'/waiting for an 'action' to add the command word you wish to use as the action happens and training takes seconds.... dogs name or come is a recall to get their meal.

    This pup is behaving very normally, it is NOT lead aggression, it is learning about the world and EVERYTHING else around it as everything is new, for babies including human babies they check out new things by putting them in their mouth/biting/chewing them ...so biting/chewing the lead is him just learning and playing...... put a cheap lead on him and let it trail (in /outside), that gets him used to the leads weight, it is easy for you to step on it to gain control, pick it up and walk a couple of paces and drop it again, so you are slowly teaching walking nicely on a lead...you will see him chase that tailing lead, pick it up and carry it, but you hanging onto it all the time, you are teaching him to 'play tug' when on the lead... so you are teaching a behaviour you don't want as that is what he thinks being on a lead means and he will do exactly the same when you take him out into the world once he can...so you change your behaviour and his behaviour will stop
     
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  3. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Is your garden not secure? If not, the chances are you'll never be able to let him off lead out there.

    But yes, he's an absolute baby. If the sit/stay stuff is working as a sort of 'fun activity', then that's fine, but don't push it, don't demand a sit before letting him eat, etc. I didn't find just before meals to be a good time to train (apart form recall), because my dog could only think about his stomach.

    You might find some useful info here: Useful Links & Recommended Reading But at his age, everything should be about having fun, bonding, feeling safe and trusting you.
     
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  4. Inka

    Inka Active Member Registered

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    I wholeheartedly support you wanting to train from day one, why miss out of days/weeks especially in the height of any puppy learning period which is around 5-20 weeks old. You want a well behaved dog, but stop making it harder for yourself ( and the pup)

    You can do both recall and stay without him being on a lead.

    So just in case you are not sure how to, have forgotten, had previous breeds that were not 'working' dogs or just need other training ideas.

    I tend to use what I call 'situational' training, so whatever we do, where ever we go I am continually looking for 'natural' good behaviour , such as all pups/dogs sit or lay down and as that natural action happens each and every time I give the command word. The idea of training is you are teaching the behaviour you want/need. Pups naturally come for their meal, great way to learn their name or come so a great way to teach recall without fuss or stress, without having to wind them up with lots of chatter which is just white noise to them and so means nothing at all , it just confuses them.

    Training is all about teaching a command word that produces an associated action which means the pup needs to know/understand/learn that command/action association and as pups do not speak any human language, so you teach by waiting for the ation to happen naturally or 'encouraging' the action and when you see it using the command word each and every time.

    Stay means stay there until I return, where as wait means wait for my next command
    So stay is trained easy, as I see you are using a crate, then as you leave him in the crate you say stay, as the pup has no option but to stay it is successful. I use stay if my dogs are in the car and I am leaving them to go into a shop, or when I am leaving the house if they are being left home.

    I moved house about 2yrs ago, so this was a 'new' situation/environment to my dogs, so a good opportunity to reinforce and proof their training.
    I collect my dogs food each week from my local butchers, at first I clipped their leads securely outside, so they have no option but to stay however at first I did not say sit or down and stay, I kept it simple I want a stay I am 100% sure I will have a stay so it is a win/win and one step at a time, reinforcing training there and away for there.

    Now I queue in the 'covid line' and tell them 'wait' as the queue moves up, I click my fingers or say their name (recall) and point to my side I might command down or just 'wait', I may move up and leave them 'waiting' behind me, I may step sideways leaving them in the gueue...it all depends I try to mix it up so they don't get into their own 'habit', it shows me they are listening and understanding the command I am giving or not and if not then it is about retraining/reinforcing that action/command away from distractions at home. When it is my turn to go in. I command stay and go in and they don't move despite the people in the queue, despite children being there, despite other dogs walking passed, despite cars passing.... I watch and they will not even give eye contact and look at people, they totally ignore everything, they just watch me through the window and more importantly they know what stay means even in a situation that is or can be difficult for them...I just used a 300 yd walk (which is their favourite walk each week) as a place to practice and proof training that I know is a very high value 'treat' for them.
    I often hear my butcher telling his customers that my dogs are the best behaved customers he has:)
     
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  5. BodieBoy

    BodieBoy New Member Registered

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    My wife is implying the same thing; my expectations are too high of what is essentially a toddler

    I think what happens is I watch dozens of training videos, which are all great, but really do show “ideal” situations if things working, for obvious reasons. So far, not many have said X type of training will take 2-3 weeks, etc

    I’ve also started with letting the lead trail behind him, which is having a more positive effect - he’s focused more on what we’re doing rather than the encumbrance of the lead.

    at the moment my garden has an open area, but that will be fixed soon, hence why I’m being very cautious and protective

    I’ve tried to remove myself from holding the lead as much as possible. It’s slowly starting to work, I think. . Thank you!
     
  6. BodieBoy

    BodieBoy New Member Registered

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    very nice link, thank you. Yes part of the garden is insecure but not easy to access at the moment. It is to be fixed shortly.

    And yes - patience. That’s what I need more of. Like the other poster, my expectations are too high. I do wish some training vids would give a very rough/basic time expectation. I know all dogs are different but they don’t often say how long the training will take for example.
     
  7. BodieBoy

    BodieBoy New Member Registered

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    I need to work on this more. Probably due to sleep deprivation on my part, but I often forget to praise him for his normal good behaviour. He does sit and down very often for me, and when I remember I praise but I need to be far more aware to keep doing it

    Oh my god I’m an idiot. I think I knew this but completely forgot and have been using them interchangeably. Argh. Ok, this is excellent!

    My wife and I can’t wait till Bodie boy has had his second jabs. We have a really nice common just over the road and lots of great walks, downs and Nat Trust areas on our doorstep. I think once we can get him “out” out, it will be more interesting for him than being cooped up in a pen indoors or our garden (which isn’t small at all)

    thank you for the great suggestions. So glad I found this place
     
  8. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    When mine was a pup, I watched loads of puppy videos and they might just as well have been different species - they absolutely hadn't read the training manuals! And at a 'puppy party' at Pets@Home, all the other pups were sitting calmly while mine was bouncing around like a power ball on blue Smarties... My firstborn human baby was the same too! Avoid any expectations, or thoughts about what your pup 'should' be doing. Work with the dog in front of you. And absolutely, praise and reward not just when he's been 'good', but also when he's 'not being naughty';)
     
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  9. BodieBoy

    BodieBoy New Member Registered

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    Again, I’m not doing enough of that either. I’m “assuming” which is wrong.
    Thank you!
     
  10. Inka

    Inka Active Member Registered

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    I used to take my pups a walk every day, but carried them using a baby sling, as they get heavy, that way they get used to all the sights, sounds and smells without 'risk', so with lead training at home by the time the can walk out, they are lead trained and used to being out, so it is easier for both pup and you.

    If you listen to other dog owners lots of people use wait/stay interchangably the dog doesn't speak language but by teaching two different commands meaning two different actions, you get a better behaved dog and that is satisfying for a handler that has high expectations ( and there is nothing wrong with that) and 'wait' is easy as you step on the trailing lead and command 'wait' as you open the door so the pup can't go through the door until you release your foot and as you do command ' walk on', 'go on', 'free' or whatever you decide for the command for a particular situation.

    You can also put a line on him and let it trail, like a cheap washing line tied to his collar and let it trail out in your garden, as you can still get control quickly and silently by putting your foot on the line closest to you, it gives him a little 'freedom' in your garden but you know you can get him quickly if need be and of course you can also trail recall then by encouraging him using the line to come to you, praise and 'free' and you drop the line again... this can then be used in the park later on and is a totally different experience for the dog , building trust between you than using those stupid extendable leads which teaches dog to pull on a lead as they know they are on a lead.
     
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