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New to the forums :)

We have a wonderful Vizlsa .. His name is Miles and he is 3.5 months old - He is our first and in the past 3.5 months we have discovered why you fall in love with them, and why all the breeders would tell us, make sure you are up for the challenge. We have had mostly German Sheppard's family members in the past, but we are marathon runners and have been looking for a running partner for me mostly, (although my hubby will take him for a few miles as well) and after months of research and the passing of Csonka our 16 year old German Sheppard we brought Miles into our family.

He is finally .. (dare I say) finally showing signs of successful potty training, we are enrolled in puppy elementary class. Of course he was the most energetic and the smartest :)

My question is do you always use a lead when walking? Our daily routine is to walk 1.5 miles in the am, and another 1.5 in the PM -- when he is on the lead, of course he is easier to control (no pulling) but when we are using just the leash he is uncontrollable, his poor eyes are red and panting so bad from pulling the entire walk. Are Vizsla's always on a lead even as adults? I'm just unsure If I should always be using a lead for our walks or if I should let him "lead" on some of the walks

Any advice is helpful
 

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Welcome!

Walking on a leash is a topic that comes up regularly - have a look through past topics and I'm sure you'll find plently of advice. The "Gunnr" method of teaching to walk at heel or on a loose leash has been used successfully by quite a few people.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "lead" and "leash" though. Are you talking about two different ways to be attached to the dog? Or are you talking about being on the leash and walking at heel "off leash"?

From my vast ;) experience of 2 years of vizsla ownership and walking...... they can be taught to walk calmly on loose leash but it took Merc and I a bit of work and even still at times something "over there" is more interesting than walking with me. At 3.5 months Miles is still a baby with a lot to learn so don't expect too much from him. Puppy class should help.
 

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Find some post by a member on here that goes by Gunnr, he has kindly (more than once) explained a trusted technique for walking your dog on leash.
It will help.
Also, just a side note, he's a little young to be going out for runs as your running partner right now. He's still growing. At least this is what our guys breeder told me. He said not to take him for any long distances until he is at least 1.5 yrs. Just a thought.
Good luck with Miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the quick replies - I will look for some past posts.

Mercutio - By lead I'm actually talking about a Halti a no pull harness. And by leash I mean using just his collar and a leash
Crazy Kian, Yes Miles is way to young to run right now, we do absolutely zero running, only walking, well some would call our "only walking" a pretty fast trot when Miles is leading the walk. He is always in hurry to go everywhere :)

Since he is still so young that is my concern if I always take him for his daily walks with the halti on, will he always need the assistance of the halti in order not to pull. But last night we went with out the Halti and he was pulling so much he was chocking him self which is not a fun walk for either of us.
 

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Country Cruiser

I love that name "Csonka" for a dog. With a moniker like Csonka, He'she must have been somethiing special. Any dogs named "Kiick"? ;)

First, have no worries about a running partner. Your boy will one day very soon be able to beat the field at Boston and keep going. I was a USCF Cat II Cyclist, and triathlete, and my V's were my training partners in all three disciplines for years.

" Do you always use a lead when walking"?

Short answer is no. You will eventually get to the point where Miles is not on either a lead, or leash. At 3 1/2 months though he should be under control, leash or lead, for his safety unless he is in an area that is safe to let him go play.

I'm not sure what the difference is between lead and leash. A "leash" for me is a short lead typically less than 10' in length . A "lead" is something much longer, or what I refer to as a "check cord", I've had them as long as 150', though typically for me they are 30'-50'.

On the "leash" he should not be either "pulling", or "leading". He should be "Heeling". At 3 1/2 months old you can now gently begin to teach him to heel up.
Don't ever let Miles "lead" on a leash, even if he is going towards the destination that you want him to go to. He should be in a position where his neck/shoulder is at your left knee.
When he pulls on that leash gently start walking the exact opposite direction. At 3 1/2 months, I would start walking backwards in the opposite direction, while calling him. Lots of happy voices and praise. No pulling or yanking on the leash at all, maybe just apply a nice low even pressure, releasing immediately when he moves in the direction that you desire. Later on there are more physical techniques to perfect the heel that use the dog's weight and balance against himself, but for now he is way too young, and your "heeling" sessions should be of short duration. Be happy and satisfied with just a few correct responses from Miles, and lots of praise and petting.
If you are not heeling him, and he is on the leash and still pulling, stop. Let him pull but don't you move, or pull back on the leash. Let him stop on his own. Once he finally stops pulling, bring him to heel and move off in the opposite direction.( I actually stood and read a magazine for about 15 minutes until my dog, Tika, finally stopped pulling on her own. We were 15' from the back door.

The "lead" or "checkcord" by my definition, being much longer allows for more freedom but still under control. It's long enough that you can drop it and let him play, but still allows you to get ahold of it and then bring him back for. safety.
On the checkcord I begin to "extend the leash", meaning that I start to enforce the "come" command, and introduce the "whoa" and "Stay". Psychologically I am conditioning the dog to accept that no matter what distance they are from me, I can control them, and enforce a command when given. Miles is old enough to start these commands. Keep the sessions short, and gentle with lots of happy voices and praise again. Make it almost like playtime and Miles will willingly, with desire, comply.

I know that some of what I wrote is very basic,and with you having had a German Shepard for 14 years, you probably already know. I don't mean any insult. I'm just unsure as to where to begin the discussion.

I'm sure that you will find Miles' intelligence on par with Csonka's as he gets older. Both are very personable breeds that exhibit strong owner loyalty. A big difference is going to be Miles' "genetic blueprint". Miles is designed to "seek and course" and be "forward", or leading. It is his "job"so to speak. If you run trails or safe dirt roads let Miles have his head once he is old enough and he'll run with you but he will start to do figure eights in front of you, naturally "making game". He may get 60-80 yard away and come back to "check in" repeatedly. He will run much further that you. It's really cool to be able to run with your dog through the woods. For now, let him be a puppy,keep the work interval short, and let him dictate the pace.
 

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Our guy is also 3.5 months old now. It's taken me a couple of weeks for him to be comfortable on the lead without sitting down and stopping every 2 mins. Now we're into the pulling phase so I need to start working on getting him to walk nicely.

I think I'll use the above method as Gunnr said. Agreed walking backwards will probably work best as if I turn around and walk in the other direction he sits down and stops.

If I am putting this into place each time we walk I suspect we won't get far. How do you drain his energy? I guess it's working his mind so that will help but will a 20 min session but say only walking 10 houses distance be enough?

I'm still using a puppy collar and lead - is this ok? I have a gundog lead but this is obviously too big for him yet.

He has off lead time for about 20 mins in the evening. This seems to give him more energy but if we put him in his crate when we return he settles.
 

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Chestersmum said:
If I am putting this into place each time we walk I suspect we won't get far. How do you drain his energy? I guess it's working his mind so that will help but will a 20 min session but say only walking 10 houses distance be enough?

I'm still using a puppy collar and lead - is this ok? I have a gundog lead but this is obviously too big for him yet.
Chestersmum

No you won't get very far at all. You can also practice it outside of his daily walks inside the house.
All of the V's I've had from a puppy were started out on the leash, and to heel, in the kitchen and the basement. A few steps one way, change direction and few steps, lots of praise and pets, and repeat. It's kind of a drag, but it doesn't take lot of time.
If a puppy is started out properly, a few weeks of "work" early in their life will yield years of positive results.
A human, on foot, does not have the ability to tire a Vizlsa out. At only 3 1/2 months old Chester is already an aerobic machine. He's just waiting for his joints to catch up to his lungs and legs, and then watch out world! :D.
Keeping his mind engaged is the hardest, and most important thing.
 

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I put Archie in a gentle leader head collar & he walked to heel but I don't like it round his nose so I persevered with a normal collar & lead. If I walk him on a different than usual route he walks nicely & doesn't pull. However, if I walk him to the beach he really pulls! Off lead he is now getting more confident & not coming back to me like he used to. And he has mad running in huge circles in the fields or on the beach sessions now. I used to think he had tons of energy when he was younger - now he's 7 months its doubled! & like you say I try to mentally exercise him also. Plus am worried about hip displacia so I don't want him to over exercise.
 

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We had a practice session at lunch. We did about 20 mins and assumed we wouldn't get far. If he pulled I stopped dead until he stopped pulling (he actually sat down each time). I couldn't get him to come back to my heel (I had no treats!) but he would stay still until I set off walking past him again. My other problem was it's a windy day and he was v distracted by all the leaves blowing about! typical!

We'll keep trying this one and I think I'll take some tasty treats next time (although I don't really like using them too much).

Any advice to stop the biting and then having a tugging match with the lead?! My usual correction doesn't seem to do anything :/

Give me an adult dog and I'd have him walking nicely within mins but these puppies are tricky customers!!
 

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Chestersmum

Next time he sits down on you, (which actually isn't that bad of a thing, just sort of annoying) when you back to him pick up his little rear end, turn him the direction you were going and have hime step off with you. He is probably sitting down right now because he's a little confused, and at 3 1/2 months old it's OK to give him the benefit of the doubt. He's got a lot to sort out right now.

Biting the leash and tugging is just a puppy thing. Gently take the leash out of his mouth and give him a stern "NO". It will take a little time for him to outgrow it. He's just being a fresh little guy. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Gunnr! I have been stopping and waiting for Miles to stop pulling every time he pulls. Our walks have decreased as far as how far we go, but after 3 days he is making progress!!!

He is also sitting after he figures "well I guess we're not going anywhere might as well have a seat " :)
After he sits down I bring him back to heel and then we try again.

You are correct a different mind set then a German Sheppard -- but we have most definitely fell in love with him, how can you not? ;)

We will keep you posted on how he is doing -- Thanks again -- I'm sure I will have lots more questions as he gets older
 

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How old should the pup be when you introduce a leash and a lead? Our pup is 8.5 weeks old, and she has a puppy colar on and also we have put her in a small harness that does up around her chest/shoulders. She seems to not mind either, and she will walk close to my legs with either on.

She tends to do more chewing on the leash as we walk then anything else, but im sure its because she is so young. For the most part, we walk with her without a leash and she follows us no matter where we go. She will stop once and awhile to smell or check something out, but once she sees that we are further away from her then she is comfortable with, she bolts towards us, and continues to walk with us again. The cycle repeats itself.

We put the leash on her anytime she is in a situation that we think she might get hurt, or be uncomfortable/unsure of. ie- a busy street, coming up to people she doesnt know (she tends to want to play with everyong and forgets to follow us) or when we want her to stay close by.
 
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