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  #1  
Old 03-09-2007, 11:20 PM
purebred82
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How to train "Heel"

I have a 9 month old male Rott. He is one of the smartest dogs I've seen, He knows sit, lay down, Kennel, speak, drop it (Object), Speak, shake hands. ETC. Therefore, when I walk him and he drags me and doesn't listen, I get frustrated. I have high expectations from him.

I've read the suggestions on here about prong/choke collars, gentle leaders, etc. These aren't going to fix the problem once you put a regular collar back on him will they? I've also read about stopping, and turning into him. Nothing seems to work for him.

He walks in front of me, pulling me the entire time. I'm a 230 lb muscular man, and it frustrates me. I have a girlfriend who is a little thing, and she can't even start to control him. I'd like him to walk with his head even with my legs, but that seems impossible.

Any suggestions.
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  #2  
Old 03-09-2007, 11:57 PM
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Re: How to train "Heel"

Your boy may be smart, but it sounds as if he is a bit too smart for your own good! Has he had any formal training? You want to get him under control now. He is only going to get bigger and stronger; physically AND mentally. If you are allowing him to pull you down the street, then he is learning that this is acceptable. Here is a thread that was posted the other day with similar questions. I posted some info there and perhaps it will be useful to you, too.
http://www.rottweiler.net/forums/tra...g-pulling.html
Best wishes-
kathy
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  #3  
Old 03-10-2007, 01:03 AM
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Re: How to train "Heel"

Quote:
Originally Posted by purebred82 View Post
I have a 9 month old male Rott. He is one of the smartest dogs I've seen, He knows sit, lay down, Kennel, speak, drop it (Object), Speak, shake hands. ETC. Therefore, when I walk him and he drags me and doesn't listen, I get frustrated. I have high expectations from him.

I've read the suggestions on here about prong/choke collars, gentle leaders, etc. These aren't going to fix the problem once you put a regular collar back on him will they? I've also read about stopping, and turning into him. Nothing seems to work for him.

He walks in front of me, pulling me the entire time. I'm a 230 lb muscular man, and it frustrates me. I have a girlfriend who is a little thing, and she can't even start to control him. I'd like him to walk with his head even with my legs, but that seems impossible.

Any suggestions.
First of all you are asking 2 different questions of US, so I can only imagine what your dog is thinking. Heel, and walking politely on a leash are VERY different commands.

I think it entirely unreasonable to ask your dog to be in "heel" position unless you are training for it and understand what it means. Heel, is a position, not a way of being.

To ask your dog to walk politely on a leash, different story.

Which is it?

Whichever collar you choose to have on your dog is your choice, but first you have to define what you are looking for in your dog, reward him for doing it, and reinforce the behavior!

I HIGHLY doubt "nothing works for him" - I suggest that you haven't figured out WHAT works for him.
These guys thrive on doing a job well done!!
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  #4  
Old 03-10-2007, 01:23 AM
purebred82
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Re: How to train "Heel"

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Originally Posted by Cash View Post
First of all you are asking 2 different questions of US, so I can only imagine what your dog is thinking. Heel, and walking politely on a leash are VERY different commands.

I think it entirely unreasonable to ask your dog to be in "heel" position unless you are training for it and understand what it means. Heel, is a position, not a way of being.

To ask your dog to walk politely on a leash, different story.

Which is it?

Whichever collar you choose to have on your dog is your choice, but first you have to define what you are looking for in your dog, reward him for doing it, and reinforce the behavior!

I HIGHLY doubt "nothing works for him" - I suggest that you haven't figured out WHAT works for him.
These guys thrive on doing a job well done!!
"I'd like him to walk with his head/shoulders even with my legs, but that seems impossible. " This is what I stated that I want him to do above. And walking politely. (No pulling.) And to rephrase, nothing I'VE TRIED SO FAR, has worked to correct this. If I could edit my thread title and take "Heel" Out if it, I would.

Rottnkidd, thanks for the link. I will take a look at it. No he hasn't had any "formal" training. Even though alot of you will disagree, I think I can train my dog just fine studying and picking up knowledge on my own. Have in the past, will in the future.
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  #5  
Old 03-10-2007, 01:35 AM
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Re: How to train "Heel"

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Originally Posted by purebred82 View Post
I think I can train my dog just fine studying and picking up knowledge on my own. Have in the past, will in the future.
Oh! Ok.... Good luck!
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  #6  
Old 03-10-2007, 01:54 AM
purebred82
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Re: How to train "Heel"

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Originally Posted by Cash View Post
Oh! Ok.... Good luck!

Not sure, and don't care if you were being sarcastic or not, but Every command he knows what taught by me. He knows more at 9 months than alot of local 3+ year old dogs know. I ask on forums, research in books, the web, my vet, and friends that own Rotts or similar breeds, and bam, good to go in a few days. I post how his walking comes along in a week or so, since I've really just now found this to be a problem. (Since he's 80 lbs now, and getting strong.)

Thanks for the replies thus far.
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  #7  
Old 03-10-2007, 07:51 AM
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Re: How to train "Heel"

I don't walk my dogs in heel position when we are going for a casual walk. I use heel only when going through a short training routine.

Would your dog walking on a loose leash not be acceptable to you without his head being level with your leg...which is heel position whether you choose to call it that or not.

Heeling is putting a lot of stress on your dog if you expect that from him in the course of a lengthy casual walk around the block. He won't enjoy it much and won't get much mental stimulation at all out of the walk.
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  #8  
Old 03-10-2007, 11:24 AM
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Post Re: How to train "Heel"

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Originally Posted by purebred82 View Post
. No he hasn't had any "formal" training. Even though alot of you will disagree, I think I can train my dog just fine studying and picking up knowledge on my own. Have in the past, will in the future.
I suggest you get him into a formal training class. The instructor will teach you how to teach your dog to walk. They have all sorts of methods...if one does not work...then they move onto plan B.

It's obvious that what you are doing is not working...and you are not teaching him what you want.
Many of us here on the forums have had many dogs....and we take each and every dog to formal obedience classes. It gives each dog a time to socialize, and to learn with distractions....and there is nothing better than an instructor and a class full of people seeing what you are doing right and doing wrong.

I learn more from watching what the instructor is doing with the other dogs...it allows me to see where I am going wrong.

Classes are also fun, for you and the dog. It's a great way to bond and build leadership.... Who knows...you may want to get into formal obedience one day? or at least get your CGC?

If you don't want to get into a class situation, then get some one-on-one training...a couple of sessions and your dog could be walking perfectly...just need someone to teach you how to teach the dog.

Gina
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  #9  
Old 03-10-2007, 11:26 AM
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Re: How to train "Heel"

Purebred82 ;...I am going through the same thing with my 1 year old, and it is terribly frustrating, I am meeting with a trainer to get some help , or to just be told what I am doing wrong -----I am also a gym rat but , its no fun always being pulled around, If you find answeres let me know JD
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  #10  
Old 03-10-2007, 12:24 PM
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Re: How to train "Heel"

Quote:
Originally Posted by purebred82 View Post
"I'd like him to walk with his head/shoulders even with my legs, but that seems impossible. " This is what I stated that I want him to do above. And walking politely. (No pulling.) And to rephrase, nothing I'VE TRIED SO FAR, has worked to correct this. If I could edit my thread title and take "Heel" Out if it, I would.

Rottnkidd, thanks for the link. I will take a look at it. No he hasn't had any "formal" training. Even though alot of you will disagree, I think I can train my dog just fine studying and picking up knowledge on my own. Have in the past, will in the future.

Haha I thought that before I owned my rott, no way could I have trained her by myself she will be 1 in 2 weeks and has been in training since she was 4 months, she has alonggggggggggg way to go and only a trainer can help me with her she is very strong and I need the training as well...
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  #11  
Old 03-10-2007, 12:34 PM
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Re: How to train "Heel"

Hi, I am having some of the same issues...smart dog that likes to pull. Let me tell you what has been working so far for me. First I decided since my boy is high energy I wasn't walking fast enough for him so I began to bike with him to release some of his energy. Then we went to a prong so I could control him (I am a small woman 115 lbs) on the walk. I made him heel a strict walk with him beside me for half of the 45 min walk, and any time he began to pull me after that I would make him do a tight heel beside me again. Slowly he has learned not to pull. Yesterday, after a month of work I put him on a choke chain collar. He did very well on the walk with only two occurances of pulling which I made him heel beside me again. With more work he should be able to go on a cloth collar and not pull. Just remember some dogs like to revert back to old behavior so even though I am making progress, in the future I may have to go back to a pinch to work through so of his forgetfulness.
I also wanted to add even though you do not think formal obedience training is necessary; sometimes it is helpful for an instructor to help you refine your training technique.
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  #12  
Old 03-10-2007, 12:36 PM
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Re: How to train "Heel"

I have trained my dog that there are 2 different kinds of walking, one is heel and one is "walk". He knows when I say heel he is to walk next to me, when I say walk, he has more freedom to check out where he wants to do his business. If he pulls out of heel or ahead in walk command, he is made to sit and start over with a quick jerk of his collar. He gets his message. He is going to be 10 mo this month and still loses his concentration sometimes but repetition and praises gets his memory jogged.
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  #13  
Old 03-10-2007, 06:01 PM
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Re: How to train "Heel"

Purebred 82 ,,I havent seen you bounce us back here, but I think some dogs are just more fired up than others ,, yours probably,, and I know mine is. Man I try it all, , she will sit . she will sit hand signals, down hand signals, come hand signals,go back hand signals, speak hand signals,but will not stop pulling, will not stop jumping lovingly on people, it kicks my butt. the pinch DOES nothing. People see me and say- man ; how do you do it every day? I love her- and she will stay mine but, it, my friend is a chore, one I will win !!!!!!!.. you too.
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  #14  
Old 03-10-2007, 07:24 PM
purebred82
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Re: How to train "Heel"

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Originally Posted by jackdee View Post
Purebred 82 ,,I havent seen you bounce us back here, but I think some dogs are just more fired up than others ,, yours probably,, and I know mine is. Man I try it all, , she will sit . she will sit hand signals, down hand signals, come hand signals,go back hand signals, speak hand signals,but will not stop pulling, will not stop jumping lovingly on people, it kicks my butt. the pinch DOES nothing. People see me and say- man ; how do you do it every day? I love her- and she will stay mine but, it, my friend is a chore, one I will win !!!!!!!.. you too.
I've been reading the post, and taking them in. ;) I will let you know what strategies I try, and how well they work.

I know what you mean. My dog is perfect in every way, except the pulling. I've even left him out of his kennel on accident, went to work for 9 hrs, and came back and nothing was chewed, and no accidents! This was a month ago, at 8mths old! So yeah, its fine that we're having alittle trouble with the leash training!
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  #15  
Old 03-11-2007, 12:56 AM
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Re: How to train "Heel"

Quote:
Originally Posted by purebred82 View Post
"I'd like him to walk with his head/shoulders even with my legs, but that seems impossible. " This is what I stated that I want him to do above. And walking politely. (No pulling.) And to rephrase, nothing I'VE TRIED SO FAR, has worked to correct this. If I could edit my thread title and take "Heel" Out if it, I would.

Rottnkidd, thanks for the link. I will take a look at it. No he hasn't had any "formal" training. Even though alot of you will disagree, I think I can train my dog just fine studying and picking up knowledge on my own. Have in the past, will in the future.
Every dog I've ever had was taught to walk on the left side, roughly even with my legs when they were pups. Originally I would pull quickly and say "don't pull" and over time some dogs would get the idea (particularly the smarter ones), but other dogs would never figure this concept out. It made for a miserable time walking or doing anything with the leash (more chewing on the leash, and of course, more pulling). I've never used a choke chain or prong collar, since the dogs were pups and I didn't need to "scare" them or compensate for the dog's strength.

The trainer I'm seeing suggested to teach loose leash walking first. This builds trust between you and the dog first. They are taught that walking is fun and there will be praise or treats or both. After you teach the dog to walk on the leash loosely (with slack), then it's just a matter of taking out some slack. You can then pull to move the dog where you want him, and praise him when he does the right thing. This whole process could take weeks or months, though (Tank is finally starting to "heel" without pulling--but that's just me and him without distractions).

I find that teaching loose leash walking first makes teaching the heel command much easier. The dog is confident and eager to walk. Plus, the dog learns an easier concept and then builds upon that.

With my own Rottweiler, I can't help but to notice how "intuitive" and smart he is when compared to some other breeds of dogs I've had or my friends have had. However, I often have to stop and realize that no matter how smart he may appear, he is still a dog. There are some things that a dog is incapable of understanding and the manner in which he learns and interprets things will be more simplified than a human. All dogs will have to adhere to this method of learning, though some pick up faster than others.

A trainer will offer you some insight into the thinking process of a dog and how to use a dog's manner of interpretation and even some of their own instincts to your advantage. If you feel that a trainer is not necessary for every dog you have, then at least have one dog trained and apply what you've learned to other dogs. This approach may work for most dogs. It's worth a try.
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