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Walk Talk: Dealing with Walk Issues
  • I figure everyone must have some issues with their dog in terms of walking them, though I do get jealous when I walk past do owners--especially Shiba owners--and their dog is heeling nicely.

    Of course, Ponta is still just three and a half months old, and will probably get worse before he gets better, but I'd be interested in how other people might handle similar problems.

    Probably everyone has a problem with leash straining. I try to stop, reverse direction, calm Ponta down, and so forth. When he does walk even close to a good heel, I praise him. However, it only takes a few seconds before he starts to speed up again and is straining in no time.

    Another problem is anxiety points. For example, he *hates* grates, even manhole covers, or sheet metal covering openings. He'll go a mile to avoid them. He was like this from the start, and did not have to get his leg caught in one to get the complex.

    Stranger is his fear of stairs. At home, he has no problem with our staircase, but outdoors, he'll see stairs and start straining to go the other way. The only way I can get him to go is if my wife is along for the walk and she goes forward (Ponta can't bear to have her leave his sight); otherwise I have to carry the poor guy up.

    However, recently, Ponta is stopping, digging in his heels, and straining to go another direction for no apparent reason at all. I am wondering if it is just adolescence.

    On the other hand, he has his likes as well. He loves parking lots, can't get enough of them.He adores tall grass, he just makes a beeline for it and runs right through it. Sometimes there is tall grass in a strip by the side of a road along a fence; he'll go for it and just run all its length, and sometimes turn around for another go. If there is tall grass he has to shove his way through, all the better.

    The problem is, he also loves to poop in the tall grass--which makes it very difficult to fish out the poop. Also, Ponta never poops in front of people; he has always sought privacy for that--maybe another reason he seeks out tall grass.

    As for pooping, here in Japan they sell poop collection bags which consist of a soft-paper bag around a longer plastic bag. The idea is that you open the plastic bag and put in your hand like a glove, collect the payload, and then reverse the bag. Then they tell you to flush the paper part down the toilet, and normally dispose of the plastic part. Is this used in the U.S. as well? Just curious. They also sell hoops on poles here--put the bag on the hoop and hold it under the dog when they poop. Frankly, I think it's way easier just to hold the bag-as-glove and collect directly. Either way, you avoid getting gravel or grass mixed in, as well as tall-grass retrieval problems.


    What are your Shiba's likes and dislikes? What issues do you have on walks? What do you find works to get around problems on walks?
  • INU RYUUINU RYUU
    Posts: 1507
    Initially, when I take my 2 Shiba out for a walk they are excited and begin pulling and I feel like I am a dog sled. To stop the pulling I stop and change direction with a command to them "THIS WAY" (the initial training was done while walking on forested trails where there were obstacles to avoid and they were more than willing to walk around rather than go over). They then follow me and walk in my direction. I use praise when I mark the behavior that I want and they eat it up.

    Walking 2 Shiba can be a problem. When one wants to poop the other wants to keep walking. I use "WAIT" directed to the non evacuating one. In short, it takes patience and positive training to get my guys to where they are now. But if a squirrel is near the prey drive kicks in and I am the last person they want to pay attention to.

    INU, my boy lovers sewer grates. He has to stop and smell each one. In NYC one has to be careful because some dogs and people have been shocked or even electrocuted due to power lines in them. Especially, in the winter when the salt used to melt ice and snow causes short circuits. So you might be better off that Ponta does'nt like sewers.

    For scooping I use a plastic bag or examination glove (I get tons of them from work). At the dog park sometimes I get weird looks when I put on the gloves but my hands stay clean. Once I pick it up I pull the glove inside out and have a tidy little package. I can only imagine what my dogs must think that I am doing.
    犬竜
  • Neo hates grates of any kind and will avoid them at all costs too, he has sort of learned how to ignore the manhole covers, but he won't walk over it. Not sure why he is afraid of them, he has never had a negative experience with it (that I know of). Sometimes there is heat radiating out of them, maybe that's why? If I know/see of any types of grates before we get close, I usually cross the street so he doesn't see them. He also will avoid sprinklers or any running water that is on the sidewalk, but he'll walk on wet pavement, hehe go figure...

    He is 6 months old and recently has been not wanting to walk nice on a leash, we'll get out the front door, down the steps and he'll just stop and look at me with a "you want ME to walk?" expression on his face and a little growl/bite of his leash. I am not sure if it's due to the weather lately, been in the 80's here, much warmer than the 50-60 degree weather we had last week. I've noticed he loves to go out when it's cooler, so I guess I have he won't have any problems in the winter... He prefers the early morning, evening and late night walks. I am usually the primary walker, maybe he is getting bored of just him and I walking because he loves it when my boyfriend or another person walks with us!
  • Maybe the grates issue is related to heights; many dogs seem to have a fairly clear aversion to them, which is one way that groomers control them with the high, small tables. As for manholes, the only thing I can guess is that they relate them to grates. Aside from that, I can't figure it. Here in Tokyo, there is never any steam coming from them, they are no different from anywhere else in the street aside from the different color and material. Maybe Shiba don't like treading on metal? Or perhaps just distrust any easily-discernable break in the surface?
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3491
    Hibari, I have never seen the paper + plastic bags that you mention, in the US.

    As far as problems with walks, Bootz use to be scared of cars because our breeder was from a rural area. We basically just spent some time walking her in busy areas. She was fine after a couple of weeks.

    Bootz likes to walk beside us. I notice that if we give her leash slack, she'll have a tendency to pull. Whereas, if we keep the leash tight, she'll walk beside us with no problem.

    I rarely like to walk both my dogs together as it can be troublesome. However, when I do, there is a road by my house that has a dead end. I usually take off the leash from both dogs and let them do their business, (since its kind of hard for them to go #2 on a 6 foot leash). When they're done, they let me know by running back up to me. :)
  • HamletHamlet
    Posts: 146
    Hamlet is deathly scared of grates. It's my fault. On our first walk in our neighborhood the day after we returned from the breeder, Hamlet walked over a grate and his paw got stuck briefly. I should have realized that he wouldn't understand that grates have holes and to walk over them carefully, but I wasn't thinking about it at the time. From then on, he is terrified of walking near grates because they eat paws!!

    Hamlet, almost two years old, is now very good 90% of the time at walking loose leash. One of the techniques I used to train him was to just walk and then stop dead whenever he pulled. Once he stopped pulling, we'd start walking again. You have to do it consistently and it's extremely annoying (and silly looking to our neighborhoods), but it worked for us. My husband also is very good at doing a quick leash correction - there's a certain art to it and I've never mastered it.

    We're still working with Juliet. She's much better now, but she has a ways to go.

    I also don't expect heeling on a walk around the neighborhood, but I do expect loose leash. I want them to sniff and enjoy pouncing on things, I just don't want them pulling.
  • for fear issues, (grates, stairs, etc) we would talk singsongy yet calmly about it: "oh look at the grate - ain't no thang...la dee dah.. and feed treats, put treats near thing, kneel down and let them meet the scary thing. Not force them, but just act all casual and happy...

    eventually he'd realize it's ok and move on...

    What has worked for me (don't know if this is kosher with trainers) but I always walk with a 15 foot cloth leash..I roll up and down as we walk, so it's short, long as I want it.

    My idea is that when a puppy, was more important to teach him to walk in same direction as me with loose leash than to have a traditional "heel" I didn't worry about him walking right next to me, just that we were going in same direction and being polite.

    If there are people/dogs/cars I just loop up leash for "short leash", if no dangers, I let leash out so he can be successful,,,if he would get 15 feet in front and pull, I'd then stop...etc...

    He's now 1yr. 4 months and walks really nicely, gradually worked on the heel, but got the loose leash first..
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    We just have plastic poop bags.

    Saya hasn't had too many issues walking over things her puppy class did a lot of work with that..

    Maybe have super yummy treat and slowly treat him for being near the grate and eventually once used to being near it you can work him slowly going on it to get treat? If he's still small I'd be careful don't want his paws to go through the grate might traumatize him more.

    Bella my mom's 55lb boxer is afraid of grates she doesn't like them at all we don't come upon them often living in the country. Saya seems fine with them though.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • kai_528kai_528
    Posts: 25
    Kai used to be deathly afraid of storm drains and would practically tear up the street to get away from them. After slowing her down and letting her know they were not going to kill her she stopped after a few weeks. Weird the things they are afraid of.
  • AsterixAsterix
    Posts: 90
    Ponta sounds very similar to Chibi. So point, by point, here's my 2¢ worth:

    1) Pulling on the leash. I had this problem in spades when we had the leash attached to his collar. I tried all the tricks they tell you, and that you're trying, and either they'd work for 15 seconds, or fail miserably. Maybe they'd have worked if I had infinite patience, but I wound up just getting frustrated and angry after 15 minutes of futility. I put an Easy Walk harness (front attach harness - don't know if this brand is sold in Japan), and the problem completely and instantly disappeared.

    2) Strange things in the road - grates etc. Chibi is also afraid of grates and has been since day one. I've been told by other friends that this is pretty normal with a lot of dogs. In fact, I remember being scared of them as a kid - how do I know that thing is going to support me and I won't plunge to my death. He's also afraid of walking over metal plates in the road, boards covering holes and anything else that isn't regular sidewalk or asphalt. I've had some success putting a trail of particularly yummy treats across the boards or metal plates, although that's harder with grates. It's slow and tentative, but it will get him across. You need patience. I don't have the stairs problem, but I imagine treats might work to get him up or down them. Or if it's the sight of stairs (I can't tell from your post), just treat him as he gets closer to them, so he realizes they stairs aren't going to jump out and kill him.

    3) Refusal to walk - I don't get this too often. I had it last night after he pee'd for his pre-bedtime walk, but I figured that was just because he figured he'd done what he needed to do and wanted to go home. I was right.

    4) The poo bag contraption you mention is almost certainly specific to Japan. When you have 43 kinds of garbage to separate already, I imagine that this kind of thing is going to be seen as normal. I can't imagine anyone in North America using something like that.
  • mattzmattz
    Posts: 418
    I'm not sure if this is mentioned above or not, but the only problem I've ever had with Etsuko while walking on leash is leash pulling. I got advice from a member who used to post here frequently (Kuro Kai) and it worked wondrously for us!

    So, here's how it goes... Positive reinforcement non-leash pulling training, as I practiced it. We start our walk and almost immediately Etsuko is pulling, she has her scent and she's ready to inspect it. When the pulling occurs, I stop, I become an oak. NO MATTER how long it takes, whether 15 seconds or 15 minutes I stand still until she loses tension in the leash and turns around to come back to me. Upon her turning around, I praise her, tell her what a good girl she is and... For REWARD, I take her to the spot she was so eager and anxious to smell. At first, this was very difficult and trying on my patience; it turned some of our 15 minute walks into 45 minute walks.... but, after about 1 week of doing this steadily, she started to get the idea and pulled less and less on the leash. The next thing I started to do was to give her a warning: when I started to feel her pulling on the leash I would say "slow down," and if she continued to pull I would stop. When she turned around to me, I would praise her and take her to wherever she was wanting to go. After about 2-3 weeks of using the "slow down" warning, she picked it up! Now, 1 year later, on walks if I say slow down she slows down, I rarely have to stop and "become an oak" anymore, because she knows this will only postpone her smelling frenzy. THE KEY is to make sure you reward by letting them smell whatever it is they want. This has worked for me, hopefully it can help some others out there!!!
  • AWE46M3AWE46M3
    Posts: 357
    Does anyone's dog dislike wind? My wife and I have noticed that when it get's windy our dog will do a weird kind of jump/hop thing. It's a strange movement and a little hard to describe. The closest thing I can think of is when he's trying to run away and shake something off of him that he doesn't like.
  • Thanks for the advice on leash-straining. I don't know why it didn't occur to me. I was trying to correct him while walking, pulling him to the position I wanted, but of course that did not work, stupid me.

    I took the method suggested above--the moment Ponta strains on the leash, stop, and don't move till he creates slack. Fortunately, I had been training Ponta to sit on command on walks (he usually completely ignores me), and that helped--Ponta figured that when I started stopping, it was time for him to sit, which created the necessary slack.

    After three days of this, Ponta has shown marked improvement. He now pulls on the leash a lot less than he did, and actually will just all-out heel at times, which he never did before. However, when he is stressed--for example, when he is on a narrow walk next to heavy traffic (unavoidable in Tokyo if you want to go anywhere interesting), he will forget all that. Nonetheless, the improvement is great and I have you guys to thank!

    On another issue--interestingly, Ponta is completely uninterested in snack while on a walk. He'll just ignore anything I offer him. Kind strange, but he's always been that way.

    Fortunately, he showed improvement on the stairs issue today--a stairway that completely cowed him previously was not an obstacle this time. I guess it's just a matter of acclimatization.
  • Lately Foxy has been jumping on the back of my legs during our morning walks. I usually pet her and give her a kiss and then we continue on. Then she'll do it again a few minutes later. This will go on about four separate times during our 40 - 45 minute walks. I'm wondering if she's getting board with our route or if it's just that we are not coming across other people/dogs where when we do she gets attention from them.

    Any ideas?
    Photobucket
  • Inu's the same with grates. At 4 months to 6 months old no chance to get him cross a grate. He will freeze up the moment he reaches one. You can push and pull, no chance.

    At 7 months old, I decided to cross over a grate and just sat there coaxing him to cross. It took a good 5 minutes before he crossed. Once he managed to do it once on his own, he was fine, still frighten but he will cross grates now.
  • Ponta has become more comfortable with grates over time, as he has with stairs.

    Recently, we bought a car (Ponta's needs put us over the top on the decision) and have started taking him to local dog runs and big parks, and it's great. We were worried about socialization with other dogs on walks, but at the dog run he does fine. Still a bit shy, and easily bullied--after two visits, though, he's doing fairly well.

    A different evolution is with eating street trash. Ponta used to gobble up cigarette butts all the time, and lived getting his mouth on discarded tissues. Now he passes up cigarette butts, but has come to adore discarded gum. Ewwww.
  • RooneyRooney
    Posts: 142
    Sorry for the bump, but this is the only thread I've found so far that references a walk issue I've been having with Rooney.

    @HibariShiba, you said "However, recently, Ponta is stopping, digging in his heels, and straining to go another direction for no apparent reason at all. I am wondering if it is just adolescence."

    @Asterix, you said "Refusal to walk - I don't get this too often. I had it last night after he pee'd for his pre-bedtime walk, but I figured that was just because he figured he'd done what he needed to do and wanted to go home. I was right."

    Rooney has been refusing to walk or digging in his paws pretty consistently for about a month now. At first, when everything was new, he had no problems. About 1-2 weeks into having him is when he started this behavior. He's 2 years old, so not puppy problems, but definitely not trained correctly when he was young. The thing is that he doesn't have a fenced yard and our walks are on pavement and sidewalks, so I'm very concerned that any pulling on my part will damage his paws.

    I've been enticing him to walk by offering to pet him if he comes to me and goes the way I want (this usually takes about 3-4 before he starts walking normally). Sometimes this is not enough and he will only come if I get a treat out for him. If neither of those work, sometimes I'll shuffle behind him like a little old lady, gently nudging him to walk. When all else fails, I'll pick him up, move him 10-15 feet, set him back down, and try again.

    Most of the time, I let him pick the route we're going to take (unless traffic is really heavy, then I won't let him cross the big road). So, I don't think this is an issue with him being bored or me forcing him to take a route he doesn't want. IDK, maybe I'm doing all the right things and should just stick with it, but if anyone has any advice, I would really appreciate it.

    I should also add that I don't bother him when he's sniffing and let him take his time, but will tell him to "come on" with a gentle tug on the leash if he's 'sight-seeing' and he's fine with that. The refusal to walk seems totally random. He will be going along just fine and then decide he wants to stop and not move.
    Allison, Rooney's Mom
    Post edited by Rooney at 2014-09-29 12:00:35
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8455
    @Rooney - Welcome to Shibatown...

    Does he do this on every single walk? Or just morning walks? Does he do it at the start of the walk or after you have gone a few blocks? Does he seem tired? Does he seem hurt? Does he do this on all types of surfaces (sidewalks, asphalt, dirt, gravel, etc.)?

    If he stops and you stop and hang out for a few minutes, will he willingly start moving again when you say "this way"?

    My youngest (Nola, who has some medical issues) has a tendency to get bored/tired after a few blocks of neighbourhood walking, even if I let her choose the route. She will just plop down and refuse to move for a couple of minutes. If I let her rest and then tell her "this way", she will get up and keep moving.

    The reason I say this is not only because of her medical issues (the tiredness), but boredom, too is because it does not happen when we are out on a trail. She can go all day. (Part of it is also because trail tread is much easier on her joints, too.)
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1253
    Haha here's another citizen in Shibatown. With Juni it is absolutely boredom or the fact that she wanted to go another walk than the one I picked. She too can hike all day if the scenery is right.
    To cure bored shiba I bring treats and throw them on the ground or let her do tricks for them, or I pick up a stick or pine cone or something else on the ground for her to chase. After some play she forgot she was bored.
    But occationally when we are in a hurry we pick her up and carry her...oh it makes her so happy, she loves it. Oh yes she is lazy.
  • RooneyRooney
    Posts: 142
    @sunyata Morning walks are better because he really has to go after being in his kennel all night. Lunch and after work are worse. My townhouse door is inset a little, so coaxing him out to the asphalt is tricky. Sometimes he stalls and sometimes he's good. Today at lunch, it took treats to get him both to the asphalt and to cross it so he could reach grass and pee. Once he got going after that, he was good the rest of the walk.

    The post-work walk was better starting out, but he stalled out after about 3/4 of a mile with probably about 1/2 a mile to go. We cut through the grass/asphalt/playground at a school with minimal issues (it had started raining, which didn't seem to bug him). Once we reached the sidewalk on the other side, Rooney made it about 10 feet and wanted to turn around. Petting wasn't a good enough incentive and it was a no go on the treats. I realize that this was partially my fault for wanting to go the shorter route home, but it was a solid 40 feet of me shuffling behind him and gently nudging him before he decided to walk normal. The rest of the 1/2 mile home was fine. He stopped to sight-see a bit, but started up right away again when I said "come on."

    He never seems tired or hurt. Gravel, grass, sidewalk, asphalt, etc. doesn't seem to matter. It's so random! I guess the good news is that everyone seems to think Shibas look like puppies, so when they see me trying to coax this small dog with treats they think he's a puppy and I'm not a crazy person. Hahaha

    @Juni I think Rooney has some lazy tendencies too, especially at the dog park where he mostly stands around and just absorbs the joy of being outside. :)
    Allison, Rooney's Mom
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1253
    Juni don't know how to play with a group of dogs, if there is one or two she can enjoy it but otherwise she just ends up standing and staring too.

    I have another trick I use sometimes. We like to go up on a hill nearby, part of the fun according to Juni is to graze on some patches of grass and sit and look at the view. When I get bored with that I bring out some grooming tools and start brush her. She is not overly keen on getting brushed so that gets her moving...

    On our regular walks we actually have a lot of routine things going on that Juni likes, a rock that she climbs to get treats, a house where we usually see cats, a stretch of road where I throw sticks for her, sometimes I tie her to a tree or something, walk off just out of reach and hide treats on the ground or on a tree or bush and then lets her go search. Maybe you can prepare something fun for him like that before he gets "moody".

    Juni's favourite protest is to just lie down and show her belly. Look I' m super cute and fun, pet me and let's just sunbathe for awhile... If I'm not amused I just pick her up so she stands up and drag her along. She is not happy with me then.
  • Quake has gotten Shiba stubborn on the late night walks. That is the last walk he gets before going to bed. He insists on making the walks last a full 30-35 minutes by not emptying his bladder until the last five minutes!! He gets two other walks that are 45-50 minutes long each in the early morning and late afternoon so it's not like he's sedentary. I have decided to just let him indulge in his last little antics which include sniffing everything, having to greet every human he sees, and refusing to move if I have headed in a direction he prefers not to go, and standing right in front of a neighborhood bar called the Zoo Bar and howling because he wants to go inside when the jazz band is playing! Then the patrons sitting outside all want to pet him and gets very happy since he loves meeting new human friends!!! I have to say that my little furry angel has taught me to calm down and hear the music!! LOL!
  • RooneyRooney
    Posts: 142
    On the walk right after work yesterday, he made three human friends that pet him and got to meet six other dogs. We had to change direction mid-walk to join two of the other doggies, but the owner was super cool about it. Rooney was the best behaved he's ever been. Maybe there is a little boredom causing his stalling, so I'll try to spice it up a little like you said @Juni when he digs his paws in for a stand off.
    Allison, Rooney's Mom
  • Rina_LinRina_Lin
    Posts: 37
    Bumping!

    I'm having issues with Kitsu pulling a lot. I use a harness now, but he's still pulling. So I'll do that "be a tree" thing or I'll turn around but he's not shaking the habit. If I stand still and wait for him to stop, he won't tug as much but he'll still lean the direction he wants to go. If I turn around he'll turn with me but runs ahead of me to pull again. Can't seem to figure out how to get him to stop. :/

    We visit my family a lot and in their neighborhood all the townhomes looks exactly the same, so he'll get confused and lie down on the sidewalk if he thinks I'm passing their house on the way back. This isn't so much an issue as I think it's funny that he will insist "No, no, THIS is their house, I'm sure of it!" =))
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    @Rina_Lin sounds just like with my husband---constant pulling. Don't know if your pup will ignore you like he does my husband, though hehe. He still hasn't figure it out, though he does several things that I do and I don't have much trouble with Coal (this may be a bonding issue, though).

    First of all, I make sure I give plenty of sniffing time. One thing our trainer said that made sense: the less time they have to enjoy what they want to do, the more likely they are to pull. I am very clear---I say go sniff and release the leash enough to give them slack to wander. When it is time to go, I pull up the leash, say "let's go" and set it at a comfortable (but not too long) length.

    Second: I changed from a harness to a limited slip collar (also known as a martingale collar) Harnesses encourage pulling, especially in a pup like mine. No amount of training/stopping/tree worked for him, but changing to this collar was a huge game-changer. Still not much help when he sees other dogs, but on the low distraction walk, it helps.

    Third: I incorporated training into the walks. Usually just a few minutes. I focused primarily on the non-verbal back exercise where you take 5 steps backwards away from your dog and then just bend down so that you are holding a treat at his level between your legs. no calling or prompting, just wait for him to come to you. This has been huge because it taught him about leash pressure, following it, and that it is a cue to look at me. I am now at a point where I move in all sorts of directions and just kind of bounce around and he will keep up with me completely.

    Fourth: Any time he ever looked at me or stayed with me at a length I wanted, I would yip/click (yip is my go-to cue word for good now) and treat. I've been able to weedle it down from just barely loose to where he only gets a treat when he is within a certain area around me (not much).

    Fifth: When he is being particularly stubborn, I will stop and wait until he looks at me. I don't care if he sits, stands, paces, or whatever---until his eyes meet mine, I do nothing. Once he makes eye contact, I mark it and lower a treat right next to my leg. Before he takes it, I make him sit, then give it to him. Then, off we go.

    Oh, that is a big thing. I always deliver treats beside or directly in front of me, I never take the treats to him. He has to be beside me to get the treats.

    Sixth: any distractions or things that make him go crazy, I just calmly back away until he falls in line with me. After I feel we are at a good distance, I stop and ask him for a cue. Then I keep doing training cues and treats until the distraction is gone.

    Seventh (yeah I picked up a lot of stuff over the months) I keep a long-leash for play and free time. Even during these times, I practice loose-leash walking--he just has a lot more length. He will stay fairly close to me until I release him now, as long as there are no interesting new stuff around.

    I started just the red-light-green-light thing when he was small, but it didn't have much impact. The method outlined above really works for me, and I have few trouble on my walks. The thing is---my husband uses these techniques as well and it hasn't worked for him AT ALL XD Okay, maybe 60 no 30 yes and 10 somewhere in between. So take it for what it is worth.



  • Rina_LinRina_Lin
    Posts: 37
    I like the idea of giving treats when he makes eye contact and teaching him about leash pressure! I'll try to use some of these ideas and see if I have any luck, thanks! :)
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    @Rin_Lin good luck! Also, kikopup on youtube has some great ideas. Love her videos. I got most of my ideas from here and a few others from Patricia McConnell and Brenda Aloff books, to name a few ^_^
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1110
    I've been really strict about pulling since Ozzy was very young. At first, he mostly just wandered around with the leash on to get used to it. But once he was like 4 months old, I found that consistency is the most important thing... I don't think he pulls because you haven't tried the right method, like being a tree, turning around, etc. But I think it's important to pick a method and stick with it every single time he pulls, even when you think it isn't working at all. I can't tell you how many times I've stuck with the same method, feeling like we're getting absolutely nowhere until the next day when Ozzy shows that he really did understand, he just wasn't in the mood to cooperate and probably hoped I would give in. :))

    I brought along treats and a clicker on walks, and every single time he would pull, I would stop and keep the leash short until he looked at me on his own, unprompted (similar to what Anjyil does). Of course, the first few times it took forever just standing there doing nothing until he finally made eye contact lol. But, once he figured out what to do, it took him no time, and was one of the things that really helped him to learn to pay attention to / look at me without being prompted. Later on, I incorporated that into having him sit and look at me every time, because when he was overexcited about something, he needed to take a minute just sitting and resting or he would work himself up more hah. At first, I had to have super high priority treats and be somewhere pretty peaceful, because Ozzy usually loses interest in treats outdoors. Once he learned the concept, it was easier to practice in more challenging environments, like parks with other dogs and people. Every single time he pulls, I say "ah ah," shorten the leash, and wait for him to sit and look at me. He really almost never pulls, except if there is something super exciting like frogs. I just got back from vacation in Texas where there were soooo many frogs lol. So it felt a little like I was teaching this process over again. xD But even after the first day, he learned not to tug towards the frogs. I do also allow him times to go out and sniff, though. Especially when he was being good, I'll reward him and say "okay, go on" and let him go sniff around. The more difficult part of this training was making sure that my boyfriend was on the exact same page. I would let him hold the leash, and made sure he was just as consistent with Ozzy as I was. I do feel like it took longer for Ozzy to walk nicely with my boyfriend than me, though. I think my boyfriend tends to lag between steps and would sometimes forget the words or not know what to count as "eye contact," lol, stuff like that. And absolute consistency is so important. So it was more about training my boyfriend to be completely consistent and dependable. :D

    I used a harness teaching this, and had to kind take a step back once I transitioned to a collar. Just as a side note, there is a difference between limited slip and martingale collars, though the concept is the same. They both cinch when the dog pulls in any direction to prevent them from backing out / slipping out of the collar, but they don't cinch enough to choke them. Martingales have a spare loop where the leash attaches, usually the loop is chain or fabric. Limited slip is designed more like a slip collar, but of course has a stopping point. Limited slip collars should still be fit with the part that attaches to the leash coming over the back of the dog's neck rather than under, so that when it narrows, it puts the pressure over the neck, not under it. With the pressure under the neck, sometimes the collar doesn't tighten and loosen as easily, and the dog tends to be more responsive to the pressure on top of the neck, not pushing on the trachea. When putting on limited slip style collars, you should try to make it look like the letter P (as in Puppy), with the dog's head going through the loop of the P and the leash attaching to the bottom "leg" of the P. Martingale collars are more like an 8 with one of the loops (that attaches to the leash) being smaller, so it's always distributing pressure the same way no matter which way you put it on ha.

    I think I made that sound more complicated than it really is, though lol. I personally greatly prefer limited slip collars, though I do like martingales too. Usually limited slips have less hardware (like one additional D ring to prevent the the collar cinching too much, while martingales have 2 to feed the loop through). So, there are less places for the dog's fur to get caught, tangled, pulled out, etc. on a limited slip. It's not a big deal on dogs like greyhounds, with their very small heads and very short fur hah. But since Shibas are double coated, I like that limited slip collars go the extra mile in preventing fur damage. I also feel like limited slips are less likely to get caught on something. Since martingales have an entire extra loop, I could see them more easily getting caught on shrubs or other dog's mouths. I also think over the long term there might be more rubbing / friction on a martingale collar, so if the loop is fabric, it might wear down more quickly.

    I second the resources Anjyil suggested. :D We probably watched the same kikopup video about pulling lol. I also really like Sophia Yin's stuff. She's got some good videos as well. But I'll have to check out Brenda Aloff, since I'm not familiar with her stuff! :)
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2017-08-17 21:39:36
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    @Lilikoi yeah, I did something similar when he was a pup but then my asthma hit and my husband took over the walks during those crucial months. I love my husband, but he really struggles with consistency sometimes. Once I was able to step in more, I lost a lot of time and had to apply different techniques to different situations.

    Haha limited slip and martingales certainly sound the same XD Most people use them interchangeably, which I can see why now that you described them. I agree, though, the limited is much nicer for not catching in thick Shiba fur, and I love that they are padded. They feel nice and comfortable.

    I watched pretty much ALL kikopup's vid and lurked around her website, too hehe. Brenda Aloff is amazing--I simply adore her work. She is extremely thorough and gives excellent examples in her books. Not light reading ,that is for sure. She is also one of the few author's I have read who actually says "hey, look---in a perfect world, we would practice until the dog was ready for the real world stuff. But this isn't a perfect world--you can't prevent your dog from experiencing things they are not ready for, and that is okay. Just do the best you can in your situation." No other author has said that---everyone else is "gotta do it perfect, make sure they NEVER practice, this is your only chance" etc. So I really respect Aloff.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1110
    I'm really interested in checking out Brenda Aloff now lol. I've been really wanting to read some more dog books. Been reading a couple that I got while in Texas about like natural dog care. I like the idea of things being handled realistically instead of people just rushing to point out the flaws and critiquing how the perfect situation should have been handled.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    @Lilikoi I have been reading books non-stop since I got Coal XD I tend to get a little obsessive, especially when he started biting us---focused a lot on books that dealt with aggressive dogs, dog trainers who handle them, etc. Now that he has calmed down, I am going back to random books. Brenda Aloff just struck a real cord with me. She has a website with some video clips, too. I like her no-nonsense attitude in the clips. Man, if I were in the states, I would totally take a class with her.
  • stralimstralim
    Posts: 94
    At first, I didn't pay attention to my male pulling until I got lost on a walk in the woods. I couldn't find my way back to the trail and he knew it. I would try one direction and then try another and didn't recognize my way back. My male knew and started pulling me so I followed him and he took us back to the trail. I was shocked as I had only had him for a month.

    Another example where I was directionally challenged was visiting a friend in AZ. I decided to take the dogs on a walk through the neighborhood and when it was time to go back I was lost. Once again my male shiba begin pulling me in one direction and I was telling him, "No, I think it's this way!" But he insisted and he was right.

    So now when ever he doesn't want to go in a certain direction I take it as a warning. He is now trusted to guide most of the walks. And my female is learning this from him and will now guide when she wants to go somewhere specific. It is really cool to watch her do this as it was not her nature.

    Recently, he has been cutting walks really short. He will do his business and want to go back home. I let him know it's my females turn and to let her do the same. Once she has, he knows and wants to go back. This just started in the last 4 weeks. So something I am tracking. They are given 3 walks a day.

    The shibas seem to be are massively aware, sensitive to their environment, and know how to pick up on their human's energy. Let them show you what they know. My female will detect where you have pain in the body and transmute that pain by laying next to it. Its pretty amazing and but I do have to tell her not to take on in her body what I am working on at the moment.

    Honor when they are trying to tell you something. The most common remark I get when walking these dogs is Wow, why are your dogs so calm?
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    @stralim when my pup stops following the frog or cricket into the rice field (like literally into the knee-high water) I may consider letting him, but right now, he doesn't demonstrate that kind of responsibility. He has a high prey/tracking drive and can get really off-track. Weasels, stray cats, bats, birds...he would follow them into a ditch (and almost has once!) Every dog is different and needs to be handled accordingly ^_^
  • ColtyHanColtyHan
    Posts: 37
    Zoomie tries to refuse to go for walks. Just like a cat, she digs in and won't move. When I do get her to move, she walks a few steps and then lays down and rolls and chews on the leash. If we use lots of treats, she will move but it's a struggle.
  • Jazzi is almost 8 months old and LOVES to go for walks. We live in an apartment and have no yard. I wish I had one for her to run around and play in. My recent issue I am having is that she likes to go too often. We can go for a 20min walk, she does her business and then 5 minutes later she wants to go again and if she doesn't get her way she will move all the patio door blinds, ring the bell, give me this look, bark at me and do this quite a few times until she realizes we are not going back out just yet. Sometimes she settles down and then starts the behavior again. Being she is a puppy, it is hard to judge, does she really have to go or does she just want to be outside. Now I know she can hold her bladder better so she should be able to go a few hours between walks. I usually give her a 20min morning walk and then off to work I go. Hubby has her in the daytime but he is not active with her like I am. When I get home from work around 7pm, weather permitting, we go on a nice long walk 45 min or so and then a quick walk around 10pm. On weekends I try to get her out as much as possible. But she is a terrible leash walker. I have enrolled in her classes at Petco for both her and myself. I need to learn how I can be better at guiding her to be better behaved. I am already displeased with the trainer calling me before the first class to tell me that Shiba's are difficult to train. And she didn't give me a positive, hopeful vibe. No kidding...that is why I enrolled her. But seriously, they make me give up hope before I even started. I decided to go to the first class and see how it goes. That is this weekend. If I don't get a good vibe, then I will take my business elsewhere.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1110
    I mean plenty of us aren't professional (or employed as) trainers and have no problem training our Shibas. I'd be pretty annoyed too. That seems like someone who just googled shiba inu and now thinks they're an expert and is informing you about the dog you've spent 8 months with and already know the personality of. :)) of course, petco doesn't have like expertly trained professionals or anything.. but if those are your options, it's worth a try.

    Anyway, maybe 20 minutes isn't long enough for her. She probably just wants to be outside more and enjoys her outdoor time. I understand not having time at the start of the day for a long walk. But I don't think it's wrong of her to want more time outside. My pup is particularly fond of his morning walks haha. I'm about to move to an apartment where we'll no longer have outdoor space, so I hope he'll handle it okay. If at all possible, I would try to lengthen the morning walk. Or have more playtime or mental stimulation to help tire her out before you leave for work.

    8 months is a particularly fun age, too. Now at nearly 2 years old, i feel like Ozzy is finally becoming a total gentleman. He's always been sweet and good, but rambunctious and energetic lol. Especially around 8 months. He seemed a lot more apt to acting out or testing boundaries. Now he's much more amicable.

    What kind of walking manners are you needing to teach? I was very committed to good walking behavior from day one haha. Ozzy is superb on leash, which just makes walking a good time. Whenever he would pull, I would stop and just stand still until he looked at me on his own. I brought along the clicker and his breakfast kibble (tho now he is raw fed, so I'd just bring treats) and would click when he would look at me naturally. I didn't make any noise or prompt him, I waited for him to look at me on his own. It took some patience the first few times, but he picked up on it quickly and began looking at me more and paying more attention to me on walks. Now if he ever pulls, I have him sit and wait for him to look at me before we move on. Every single time. We used to walk to my boyfriend's work (2 miles away) every day, and when his workplace came into view, Ozzy would get so excited and pull towards it haha. It would take foreverrrr to actually get there from 100 feet away because Ozzy would immediately start pulling again after he sat and looked at me and I gave him the "okay" to continue. I would literally stop like every couple of feet lol. But I am more stubborn than him. I do not give up. And now he knows that the way to get what he wants is to walk at my pace. And he gets rewards when he cooperates. :) He also gets to go further out and sniff around when he's walking well. If giving him a longer leash causes him to start pulling, I shorten it until he's walking with manners and then allow him another chance to go sniff around.

    You could always try a front clip harness to use while teaching her to stay by your side during walks. They're helpful so that if dogs do pull, it kind of turns them to face you rather than having them pull away from you. It draws their attention away from whatever they're trying to get to and brings it back to you. I don't use front clip harnesses that often, i prefer to just train appropriate behavior, but I think a front harness along with consistent training can be helpful.

    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2017-10-13 18:29:33
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    @Lilikoi Coal is the exact same way when he sees his Goal is almost in sight! I did pretty much the same thing as Lilikoi: stop and wait for him to look/sit, then treat. I have upped the ante to letting him sniff the thing he wants only if he gets the five paces without pulling (it takes a while to get to that 5 pace mark haha). Key is consistency there, though.

    As far as demanding...wow, I have never had that problem. Coal does get demanding, especially with my husband (he seems to know better with me) but we flat out ignore him. The only time he gets his way is when I *know* he needs to go potty badly--and I have gotten good at figuring that one out. You could try just removing yourself from the room to make your point, but it does sound like lack of stimulation. This is a big issue for Coal right now, too--with my health being all wonky and him refusing to listen to my husband. We try to balance his walk with actual play dates and time--usually afternoon if the weather is good. Dog parks are good for that, too, if you don't have a yard. We do training sessions with Coal throughout the day, give him an antler before bed (this has helped with a ton of bedtime issues) and use puzzle toys with him (sparingly because he has possession issues we are still working on).

    As for training Shibas? I didn't have a problem. They are just like any other dog, just more into the What's in it for me mind frame. Shibas are very fast learners once you have their interest, and as far as mine is concerned, really enjoys the interactions between us. Shibas ARE strong-willed, though. When they don't want to do something, they just won't do it. Very similar to cats XD My husband gets that more often. I generally just say "okay, later" and try again after a few minutes. They aren't hard to train---just hard to motivate XD If your pup likes treats or their kibble, you should be fine. Can't wait to hear how it goes.

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