walking my furr kids

Training and behavior topics, guidelines, and tips for Chow Chows.

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sjeane01
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walking my furr kids

Postby sjeane01 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:10 am

I have 2 Chow Chows/ One is a male that is 14 months old and weighs 62 lbs( he has been to obedience school is is a little better than my other one. She is a female and is 11 months old and weighs 59 lbls.

They both as so strong that i can no longer walk them on a leash. She has jerked the leash right out of my hand twice and now I am afraid that she will either pull me down or get away from me.
Right now I have a step in harness that is really not working. They both pull so hard that they are coughing and I know that is not good for them.I have looked on the internet seraching for a harness and leash that would stop them from pulling so much whereby I can walk them. I will not use any equipment that would harm my pet such as a choke collar . There are so many options on the internet that it hard to decide so I am appealing to other chow owners for advice.

I love my pets so much and I want to be able to walk them withou fear of them getting away from me.

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Tippsy'smom
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Re: walking my furr kids

Postby Tippsy'smom » Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:56 am

An Easy Walk Harness worked for my chow girl... It works for my chow mix, Jasper too. But it failed with my mix girl, Dixie... With Dixie, I tried a choke chain, the Easy Walk harness, the Easy Walk head collar, and the prong collar. Each worked at first, but she began pulling again even with the tool. The only thing that has continued to work is the prong collar (and I don't care what other's opinions are on choke chains and prongs; used right, they work and will NOT hurt the dog. If you doubt your ability to use them go to a trainer and have them teach you). However, no tool is a substitute for TRAINING. And just because trying to train one way hasn't worked, doesn't mean your dog can't learn what you want. After a year of working with Dixie on not pulling when walking on leash, I can walk she, Jazz and Todd on roman style harnesses with no pulling from Dixie or Jazz (Todd's only been with me 3 weeks, so he's still learning). In public I use a prong on them both just so they remember, but it's not really needed anymore.
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R.I.P. Cinder~1992-1994, Tippsy~9/00-4/11, Jasper~10/08-10/14, Todd~2/11-7/15
Dixie: mix Rebel: mix

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Ursa's daddy
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Re: walking my furr kids

Postby Ursa's daddy » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:53 pm

it IS a matter of training, like Tippsy's mom says, there is no single method. I have two chows, Ursa, a female, weighing around 50 pounds and Malachi, a male, weighing 75 pounds. If they wanted to, they could easily overpower me. The good news is that I can walk longer than they can before I am tired of walking. That is your secret weapon. I prefer the body harness that has the attaching point in about the middle of the back. You can also get one of several types of no-pull harnesses. When we first started out, we would just more wander than walk. The purpose was just to get the dogs used to the leash and harness and the idea of them walking with me. They could more or less pick the direction. If the pulling was excessive, we would stop and sit. If we got to an intersection, we would stop, sit, and wait. When I decided it was clear to cross the street, we would then cross. Lots of repetition. Eventually, they learned to walk along either in front or to the side of me. I did not work on training them to heel. Eventually, they would not pull and try to go on their own direction, but would follow my lead. Now I am a bit laid back, and if they want to smell a bush a little longer, I can wait. I talk to them a lot to encourage them to follow my lead. I walk them together with both leads in one hand. I will put my hand through the loops then hold the lead loosely in my hand. I have arthritis, so there is no way I can really hold them tightly for any length of time without my hand hurting. What I have found is that walking to the point that they get tired of pulling, then walking some more at a leisurely pace eventually trains the dogs.

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TyChowgirl
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Re: walking my furr kids

Postby TyChowgirl » Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:50 pm

You can train them to walk properly. It just takes a lot of time and effort (and maybe the right tools) to get them to do it. Most are not hopeless causes. Ursa is right, time does help. I trained Ty from day one he needed to walk loose leashed and he still does, no matter what he has on. Though if he really has to poo or sees something he wants, the easy walk gives me better control if he does decide to lunge or pull. But the long walks are what helped me. That and I would insist he walk next to me short leashed until he stopped pulling, and then I let him go full length. If he started again, he would be stuck next to me again. That and some other tricks and it was success. He was a puppy of 4 months when we started so he hadn't developed any bad walking habits, so that helped. Also, because I don't have a back yard, outside time was also walk time, so there was a lot of practice involved. Honestly, your best bet is to work one on one with them for a bit. It's easier to get them to walk better if they both know how to walk properly. When you get them together, then you just have to correct them, but they should know better too and it'll be less effort. Then it's just finding your pace and routine. You'll get it.
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Cam Atis
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Re: walking my furr kids

Postby Cam Atis » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:28 am

Get the correct and well fitting harness. It does not put a lot of pressure on the neck and it displaces the force of pull from one single point (neck) and spread the force to the back and shoulder of the dog, thereby making it easier for you to control the dog. As the old saying goes: Its like driving a car with power steering.
Harness must be around the chest, under the front legs and the lead or leash is attached at the back of the dog (shoulder area)

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Cocoa
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Re: walking my furr kids

Postby Cocoa » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:02 am

Like Ty's mom I don't have a yard so I worked with Cocoa on leash from day one, whenever she pulled we stopped and I made her sit. In the beginning we did a lot of stopping but she learned quickly that she got where she wanted to go faster if she didn't pull. I use the easy walk harness and that helps as well. My experience is that traditional harnesses where the leash attaches at the back make dogs want to pull (sled dog) so I wouldn't recommend them for your chows.

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TyChowgirl
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Re: walking my furr kids

Postby TyChowgirl » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:58 pm

Cocoa, that was my other trick! Which I recommended on this site previously. And I agree with the traditional harness. The one Ty's brother had on gave him perfect pulling strength and he wasn't trained to walk properly. His main walker and owner, Shannon, is petite, and he would lunge and nearly knock her over! I tried working with him a tad (he wasn't pleased!) and I can tell you it was hard to get a good handle on him. She saw my easy walk and bought one for Chrysalis, and she said it helps a lot more. No leverage. Most of it's training, but I swear that harness was made for a sled dog.
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Re: walking my furr kids

Postby Cocoa » Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:39 am

I see lots people in my neighborhood with small dogs on traditional harnesses and flexi leads and the little dogs are out of control, pulling and going wherever they want. The owners seem to think it is cute :? and I have had several tell me that Cocoa needs a longer leash (I use a 6-ft. but usually keep it at more like 4-ft.), I tell them that no she doesn't their dogs need shorter ones.

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Ursa's daddy
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Re: walking my furr kids

Postby Ursa's daddy » Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:46 am

I have to agree with Cocoa on the lead length. Now I do like the traditional harness, and have trained both dogs and cats to walk with it. Currently, I use a 5 ft and a 6 ft lead, one on one dog and the other on the other dog. This is just because that is what I happen to have. I do have a 6 ft lead with a loop near the snap. I find this to be a good training tool, because it allows me to have the dog walk next to me without having to wrap the lead around my hand. With this short a lead, there in not any length of the dog to gain momentum and jerk me off my feet.


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