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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I have an 8 month old Hungarian Vizsla who I’ve been training “heel” and “close” and also recall. When we’re on a walk and he starts pulling on his lead he will completely zone out and won’t listen to me. Even if I show him the dog treats he doesn’t even want to eat them or sniff them. Please if you have any food/treat recommendations that will make him more encouraged to stay near me please help. Also if you have any tips on loose leash walking and pulling please help. Any help will be highly appreciated. :)
 

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Hello Lucy,

Having a 30 Kg Vizsla (who thinks he is a Husky) I have tried everything, regular collars, regular leads, rear fastening harnesses, front fastening harnesses, choke collars, haltys, slip leads, the lot.

What I have now not only works, but doesn't have some of the drawbacks from the above list. It is called a 'GenCon' and you can read all about it here https://gencon-allin1.co.uk/

I have several friends locally, with both Vizslas and Pointers, all are using 'GenCon' leads.

I particularly like the version with the spring clip on the end, as I can either clip it to the lead for a regular hand hold loop, or clip it onto Rafa's collar for a second point of contact or if I need to quickly get him under control from being off leash to get past another dog owner I can actually use it in reverse and clip to his collar and then release him again after a few seconds.Putting the GenCon on the regular way takes a little while longer in these fast circumstances.

I am sure the others here will give you advice about alternative training, I just wanted to mention the best lead I have found that actually stops the pulling.

Regards

Philip
 

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The "gentle leader" style devices as mentioned can be tremendous aid, but they too have to be introduced.

At 8 months old, if you can get keep your puppy to walk at heel for any length of time at all, you are doing fantastic!!
The "heel" is not a natural position for a dog. It's a trained, learned, patterned, behavioral modification that takes time, and not a small amount of work. That work is disciplined, boring, repetitive, and generally not a rewarding experience for the handler. Primarily it takes a lot time and patience.
His "natural" physical position, in relation to yours, is not to be right next to your side. His natural position is to be 50m in front of you, swinging in a 50m arc back and forth. That's "close" for him. Understandably not for you though.
There is a "box drill" for walking at heel, and there are some other fundamentals to modify the behavior. You may be working on them right now. f not, let me know and I'll detail the mechanics of the drills.
First and foremost, do not let him pull any longer. He pulls, you stop!! Immobile, as unyielding as a tree. You do not pull back. You plant yourself. The moment he lets any pressure off that leash, you turn 180 degrees and walk the opposite direction. he gets in front and starts pulling, same sequence.You may walk back and for in the same 10m area for 20 minutes or more. Never reward the pulling behavior. As I said, it is not fun. Distractions throw everything out the window also, and at 8 months old, everything is going to be interesting to him.
I work with Finn on a daily basis, and he's still resisting the walk at heel, and I know for an absolute certainty that he knows exactly what I want him to do. He's just testing me to see what he can get away with.The eventual goal is to to have him at the heel with no leash. He's not there yet. He will be though.
Keep working at it, and in the eventuality that you do transition to some form of a "gentle leader," the drills and training techniques are still performed on the gentle leader, and there is nothing at all wrong with that.
 

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Hello!
I subscribe to PhillipL - this kind of lead is the most effective and is recommended by good trainers using positive methods. We tried it as well and had high hopes for it, but Oscar went crazy when we put it on (jumping, zooming, crying, trying to take the thing off). It was a mess. I could not walk him because he was rolling on the ground and jumping like a goat with that thing on. Also, to date, Oscar is not interested in treats outside the house.
I have found the most effective method for us to be short frequent sessions of heeling, repeated over and over again. Even in circumstances when he was expecting something else. We went to our playing field and would make him heel until he could do it well enough before we started to play with the ball. On longer walks (and when walking with an aim - like having to arrive at the office), we applied leash corrections in order to avoid giving the command too many times, as well as perfecting Cesar's "tshhh" while applying the correction. The correction was a short, stronger leash pull with the aim to get his focus back, more like a zap, not pulling him back into position - he resumed the position by himself. When he caught a scent and was adamant about going in that direction, I started to stop. Stay - sit - wait - attention - heel. Every time he pulled, I stopped and we started again, and again, and again. However, I think I have done these things thousands of times until I got results.
Leash pulling is also a form of disrespect in dogs later in life, when they understand the command and understand what is expected from them. For example, Oscar never did it with my partner and actually he is able to heel 90% of the time without a leash when with him (with me, I would say maybe 70% without a leash, but now heels nicely when on a leash). Following Cesar and other trainers, I understood that he pulled on me sometimes because I was not good at being a leader for him. When I changed my behaviour and started having clear boundaries with him (in all aspects of our daily lives - from where he can sleep, when he is allowed on the couch with me, to how he receives the food, how he welcomes me and who gets to go out the doors first, etc.) and enforcing every single command, his behaviour towards me started to change slowly. And since I set up boundaries and he hasn't been allowed to ignore me, lots of things have changed.
So my recommendation is to always focus further than heeling (you should practice this every single day, over and over again, but also focus on other aspects of your interaction), focus further than the commands. Focus always on becoming a leader for your dog and he will not only obey better, but he will trust you more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello Lucy,

Having a 30 Kg Vizsla (who thinks he is a Husky) I have tried everything, regular collars, regular leads, rear fastening harnesses, front fastening harnesses, choke collars, haltys, slip leads, the lot.

What I have now not only works, but doesn't have some of the drawbacks from the above list. It is called a 'GenCon' and you can read all about it here https://gencon-allin1.co.uk/

I have several friends locally, with both Vizslas and Pointers, all are using 'GenCon' leads.

I particularly like the version with the spring clip on the end, as I can either clip it to the lead for a regular hand hold loop, or clip it onto Rafa's collar for a second point of contact or if I need to quickly get him under control from being off leash to get past another dog owner I can actually use it in reverse and clip to his collar and then release him again after a few seconds.Putting the GenCon on the regular way takes a little while longer in these fast circumstances.

I am sure the others here will give you advice about alternative training, I just wanted to mention the best lead I have found that actually stops the pulling.

Regards

Philip
Oh my goodness thank you so much. I’ll definitely look into that ‘GenCon”. Thanks for the recommendation :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The "gentle leader" style devices as mentioned can be tremendous aid, but they too have to be introduced.

At 8 months old, if you can get keep your puppy to walk at heel for any length of time at all, you are doing fantastic!!
The "heel" is not a natural position for a dog. It's a trained, learned, patterned, behavioral modification that takes time, and not a small amount of work. That work is disciplined, boring, repetitive, and generally not a rewarding experience for the handler. Primarily it takes a lot time and patience.
His "natural" physical position, in relation to yours, is not to be right next to your side. His natural position is to be 50m in front of you, swinging in a 50m arc back and forth. That's "close" for him. Understandably not for you though.
There is a "box drill" for walking at heel, and there are some other fundamentals to modify the behavior. You may be working on them right now. f not, let me know and I'll detail the mechanics of the drills.
First and foremost, do not let him pull any longer. He pulls, you stop!! Immobile, as unyielding as a tree. You do not pull back. You plant yourself. The moment he lets any pressure off that leash, you turn 180 degrees and walk the opposite direction. he gets in front and starts pulling, same sequence.You may walk back and for in the same 10m area for 20 minutes or more. Never reward the pulling behavior. As I said, it is not fun. Distractions throw everything out the window also, and at 8 months old, everything is going to be interesting to him.
I work with Finn on a daily basis, and he's still resisting the walk at heel, and I know for an absolute certainty that he knows exactly what I want him to do. He's just testing me to see what he can get away with.The eventual goal is to to have him at the heel with no leash. He's not there yet. He will be though.
Keep working at it, and in the eventuality that you do transition to some form of a "gentle leader," the drills and training techniques are still performed on the gentle leader, and there is nothing at all wrong with that.
Thank you so much for the help. The problem is that he is so strong that he is now able to pull me. I’ve been trying to just stand and not move when he pulls so he doesn’t think that he is the leader who can determine the direction. I’ll try to do what you said and change the direction and just keep doing that. I know that now he is at the age where he will try to challenger us. I will try to do the “box drill” as you said I just need to do more research on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hello Lucy,

Having a 30 Kg Vizsla (who thinks he is a Husky) I have tried everything, regular collars, regular leads, rear fastening harnesses, front fastening harnesses, choke collars, haltys, slip leads, the lot.

What I have now not only works, but doesn't have some of the drawbacks from the above list. It is called a 'GenCon' and you can read all about it here https://gencon-allin1.co.uk/

I have several friends locally, with both Vizslas and Pointers, all are using 'GenCon' leads.

I particularly like the version with the spring clip on the end, as I can either clip it to the lead for a regular hand hold loop, or clip it onto Rafa's collar for a second point of contact or if I need to quickly get him under control from being off leash to get past another dog owner I can actually use it in reverse and clip to his collar and then release him again after a few seconds.Putting the GenCon on the regular way takes a little while longer in these fast circumstances.

I am sure the others here will give you advice about alternative training, I just wanted to mention the best lead I have found that actually stops the pulling.

Regards

Philip
Thank you so much for the recommendations. We’ve been struggling quite a lot since he’s become stronger and bigger so he can pull us a lot. I’ll definitely look into that leash as we’ve been using the flexy lead (which I know isn’t good ) so I appreciate all the help
 

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you will need to do the training first in no or minimum distraction environment. break it up with lots of playtime where he has to follow you off leash, follow your hand, throw toys etc. find what is a low, medium and high level motivator for him to pay attention to you during different level of distractions. keep practicing before you expect him to on on street walks, and staying next to you. best is to have those sessions at 8 months after some energy release, like off leash runs.
if you have to go somewhere with where you will need him be on the leash, like vet`s office, you can control him with belly band type of solution. we bought one on Amazon than also made some at home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
you will need to do the training first in no or minimum distraction environment. break it up with lots of playtime where he has to follow you off leash, follow your hand, throw toys etc. find what is a low, medium and high level motivator for him to pay attention to you during different level of distractions. keep practicing before you expect him to on on street walks, and staying next to you. best is to have those sessions at 8 months after some energy release, like off leas runs.
if you have to go somewhere with where you will need the leash, like vet`s office, him you can control him with belly band type of solution. we bought one on Amazon than also made some at home.
Thank you everyone for replying. I’ll look into that and definitely train without the distractions first. I just wanted to ask what the belling band is? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of it
 

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belly band is when you take the leash after attaching it to their collar/neck, wrap it around their torso and create like a mini harness whereby you can control them fully via their body. we use it often on the bird field when dogs get super excited about the bird scent. i prefer it to halti / gentle leader type collars as those can cause injuries if you have a strong puller trying to resist, chiropractors have lots of stories about it.

you can buy a pre-made one, an example from Amazon, i have been using.


can`t help but inserting a picture of an animation show we used to watch in Hungary when being kids, the dog leading the guy (uncle Charles) is a vizsla indeed. lol

103255
 

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I've been training my 5mos old girl to heel in low distraction environments. She knows what it is and is doing well in those circumstances. I went from inside the house, in the driveway, to making it halfway down the street and will keep working on it. That being said, distractions are the real challenge. I like how above Gunnr mentioned that the training is beyond the heel. I'm working on socialization to have normal everyday things like people , other dogs, loud cars, etc not cause an over-stimulated reaction. I think a good heel would be impossible with a reactive dog as something would always be setting them off. I'm also working on teaching her to pay attention to me with frequent check ins, to be in a state where she wants to be near me because good things tend to happen (praise, rewards, etc). It is slow going and sometimes i feel like no progress is being made. In reality I am progressing it is just very slowly, this is where the patience comes into play. I've met so many other dog owners in the neighborhood who openly admin they "gave up" and just use devices that physically prevents the dog from pulling on all walks. I'm sure those devices could be great for training but I'm really trying to avoid being in a situation where I would have to use one for life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've been training my 5mos old girl to heel in low distraction environments. She knows what it is and is doing well in those circumstances. I went from inside the house, in the driveway, to making it halfway down the street and will keep working on it. That being said, distractions are the real challenge. I like how above Gunnr mentioned that the training is beyond the heel. I'm working on socialization to have normal everyday things like people , other dogs, loud cars, etc not cause an over-stimulated reaction. I think a good heel would be impossible with a reactive dog as something would always be setting them off. I'm also working on teaching her to pay attention to me with frequent check ins, to be in a state where she wants to be near me because good things tend to happen (praise, rewards, etc). It is slow going and sometimes i feel like no progress is being made. In reality I am progressing it is just very slowly, this is where the patience comes into play. I've met so many other dog owners in the neighborhood who openly admin they "gave up" and just use devices that physically prevents the dog from pulling on all walks. I'm sure those devices could be great for training but I'm really trying to avoid being in a situation where I would have to use one for life.
Thank you for the advice! We’ve been trying to do the same thing. I started in the house, then in the garden and now in the park. It gets quite frustrating but I know it takes time and in the long run it will all be worth it :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
belly band is when you take the leash after attaching it to their collar/neck, wrap it around their torso and create like a mini harness whereby you can control them fully via their body. we use it often on the bird field when dogs get super excited about the bird scent. i prefer it to halti / gentle leader type collars as those can cause injuries if you have a strong puller trying to resist, chiropractors have lots of stories about it.

you can buy a pre-made one, an example from Amazon, i have been using.


can`t help but inserting a picture of an animation show we used to watch in Hungary when being kids, the dog leading the guy (uncle Charles) is a vizsla indeed. lol

View attachment 103255
Ahh thank you, now I know that you mean. I am absolutely loving the animation 😂. Totally describes the vizsla life
 

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The problem is that he is so strong that he is now able to pull me. I’ve been trying to just stand and not move when he pulls so he doesn’t think that he is the leader who can determine the direction.
First and foremost, your dog isn't trying to dominate you or be a leader, he's just trying to smell the nearby bush! Second, you can't teach loose leash walking in a vacuum. You first need to satisfy his needs for sniffing before asking for any impulse control. It's just not fair otherwise!

The thing that helped with Aron's pulling is carrying a clicker and a treat bag with me. I carry a few different types of treats because we also work on some dog reactivity. I carry his kibble which is low value then medium value treats (hot dogs, cheese etc), and squeeze tubes filled with cream cheese, baby food or something similar which are high value. Click and treat and make a party for EVERY check-in. Remember, reinforcement drives behavior. Also teaching heel is helpful because it teaches them attention but I do not walk him in a heel position all the time only when we're passing people. I let him sniff. It's his walk. BUT if you do have problems with loose leash walking I would interpret heeling a short amount of time with a high level of reinforcement and then release to sniff. Then again, heel, treats, ok go sniff! Also, you can condition a kissing sound or tongue click that means hey, pay attention to me! You do this the same as with a clicker. The sound then treat! Also, I found the technique that gunnr said works best if you stop dead in your tracks when they pull, and then when they turn back to you you click for attention then treat. This helped a lot with Aron's loose leash walking but he still has days where he doesn't care about me whatsoever. So I put him in a heel for a short period of time and when I see I have his attention he's released. Another thing is to give it time. In loose leash walking, there are many things that may influence the pulling. Ask yourself, am I using high enough reinforcers? Am I walking in too distracting environments? If you're using kibble and trying to teach him LLW in a store that is full of people and other dogs then that is a recipe for disaster. You will get frustrated and your dog will get frustrated.

You want your dog to want to be next to you not do that because if he has to (if he doesn't something bad will happen). Learning takes time and LLW is very complex. I first started seeing results after a week maybe but that will depend on your dog, you, and the environment. When you've built his reinforcement history, try to lessen the number of times where you cue heel. You'll see that if he has that reinforcement history built very well and for a period of time he'll come close to you without you needing to cue it. Again, reward every check-in and make a party of it. I'm cool with Aron being everywhere around me if his leash is loose (unless if we're passing other people or cars) but it all comes down to personal preference.
 

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Hey guys, I have an 8 month old Hungarian Vizsla who I’ve been training “heel” and “close” and also recall. When we’re on a walk and he starts pulling on his lead he will completely zone out and won’t listen to me. Even if I show him the dog treats he doesn’t even want to eat them or sniff them. Please if you have any food/treat recommendations that will make him more encouraged to stay near me please help. Also if you have any tips on loose leash walking and pulling please help. Any help will be highly appreciated. :)
Hey guys, I have an 8 month old Hungarian Vizsla who I’ve been training “heel” and “close” and also recall. When we’re on a walk and he starts pulling on his lead he will completely zone out and won’t listen to me. Even if I show him the dog treats he doesn’t even want to eat them or sniff them. Please if you have any food/treat recommendations that will make him more encouraged to stay near me please help. Also if you have any tips on loose leash walking and pulling please help. Any help will be highly appreciated. :)
Higgins Gun Dog Leash Training

 

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Very nice video!!!
At 2:41, you could see there was going to be some "discussion" getting ready to happen. ;)
I like it. No harsh treatment. The dog corrects itself. He never lost patience, or got physical. He put the ball in the dog's court.
One note from experience, It is very easy to get that loop over the nose the first time. The second time there may be a "fight". A smart dog will quickly understand that device. Practice putting the loop over the nose by itself as a separate session.
Thank you for that video.
 

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Ellie
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belly band is when you take the leash after attaching it to their collar/neck, wrap it around their torso and create like a mini harness whereby you can control them fully via their body. we use it often on the bird field when dogs get super excited about the bird scent. i prefer it to halti / gentle leader type collars as those can cause injuries if you have a strong puller trying to resist, chiropractors have lots of stories about it.

you can buy a pre-made one, an example from Amazon, i have been using.


can`t help but inserting a picture of an animation show we used to watch in Hungary when being kids, the dog leading the guy (uncle Charles) is a vizsla indeed. lol

View attachment 103255
Thank you for that leash recommendation. I bought one and it is working so well for our 5mo old girl. She is learning very quickly that pulling/yanking on the leash causes the loop on her belling to sqeeze which she does not like. She self corrects and it results in us having a nice walk instead of being yanked around all over the place with her harness. It is not harsh like a "choke" collar which I find to be an unacceptable device. It is also not as aggressive as a prong collar for which I'd rather not use and she is too young for that type of device anyway.
 

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Hey guys, I have an 8 month old Hungarian Vizsla who I’ve been training “heel” and “close” and also recall. When we’re on a walk and he starts pulling on his lead he will completely zone out and won’t listen to me. Even if I show him the dog treats he doesn’t even want to eat them or sniff them. Please if you have any food/treat recommendations that will make him more encouraged to stay near me please help. Also if you have any tips on loose leash walking and pulling please help. Any help will be highly appreciated. :)
Hi there.
We've been in the same place as you.

W found the only thing that worked was PetSafe brand Sound & Shock collar. At first the sound tone didn't work.

But after one or two medium level shocks, at level 8 or 9 ( goes to level 15), she obeys the tone sound 9 times out of 10.

Funny, now she even stays close by us when she knows the collar is on her.

When it's off, she slips every easily back to her old habit of not listening!!

Collar back on, and one press of the sound .. we don't even have to use it again!! That's how good it works!
 
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