Heeling

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to thank you for some of these great threads..it's been so fun to read!

We have a two-year old named Jackson and he is loved by everyone. His behavior is also improving now that he is no longer a puppy.

Heeling, though, has always been tough. I was just wondering if anyone's in the same boat here? Or if you might have some advice for the rest of us?

FYI, he's easily excited outside, i.e. dragging us to get to another dog or a squirrel; stopping at every tree and pole; generally walking us!

We've watched dog whisperer and all that..but basenjis don't respond well to punishment. I'm sure he'll walk better with age, but how can we speed this process up?

THANKS!

Every one is different, but in general they are not going to be good at anything off leash except for coursing and things like that. Their prey drive is too strong and they love to smell around and check their surroundings too much.

Yes, I believe it is common. My lenny thinks he is a sled dog. The only thing I have ever found to help is the gentle leader leash… although when he has it on, he is constantly trying to get out of it....

With my 2 4yo adults (I walk them both together w/2 separate leads)…they are mostly model basenjis on walks until they see another animal or human...then, all bets are off as their prey drive or friendliness 😃 kicks in. And by model, I mean, they don't walk by my side but they aren't pulling...they are usually in front of me and their 6ft leashes are slack. Personally, it isn't important to me that they walk calmly by my side...

If they really are bent on pulling (I'd say this happens less than 10% of the time), then I keep abruptly changing to the opposite direction until they calm down. Seems to do the trick pretty well...although there have been times that it has taken over 1/2 hour to go a mile with that method. 😃

OK, here's what the rescue breeder told me to do with Buddy.

Loose lead walking or formal heeling? Here's a good link about LLW:
http://www.shirleychong.com/keepers/LLW/

For formal heel work, I'd suggest Morgan Spector's Clicker Training for Obedience.

Personally, I'd start with a dog who has already been exercised. I think basenjis do need time to run around. I don't know how much walking you do, but for me, the amount of walking I'd do would not be enough exercise for a basenji.

@nobarkus:

OK, here's what the rescue breeder told me to do with Buddy.

Yup, that's pretty much exactly what I do! Although my kids don't end up staying beside me for too long, the correction they know is at the end of the lead, so after a while they will walk in front of me, but not as far in front…and they look back to see where I am. At least the lead is slack...which is all I want.

@agilebasenji:

Personally, I'd start with a dog who has already been exercised. I think basenjis do need time to run around.

That's a good point. Mine always get about 5-10 minutes in the yard to run around before I take them on a walk. A good B500 seems to take the edge off nicely!

The video is similiar to what I do as well and I believe that is also one of the methods used in Morgan Spector's book. I really like training them to walk by your side off leash first in the house or a fenced area. I've found that to be pretty successful with both my dogs. Then add the leash.

I learned a really cool method for training using traffic cones, but I'll probably post that separately.

We got Corky a Puppia Harness and although he does not heel, he does not pull anymore.

I took my Cody to an animal behavoralist specifically to teach me and him to walk on a leash. After a few tries with different methods I now use a gentle leader. I spent a lot of time and begged friends time practicing approaching, passing and proper greeting techniques with my friends with and without their dogs. I have to say now Cody will turn his head as the dog or person passes but he will not move from the heel postion beside me. If I stop to talk to a person he simply sits down right beside me and waits.

Hey all,
Thanks for the great tips..!!
Jackson is walking better already, thanks to this very embarrassing 180 trick. But it seems to do the job!
Now if only we could tone the excitement down!
Thanks again,
Matt

Houston

Nobarkus,
We just came home from Otis' second day in Obedience training and this is what we did today, inside the store with lots of things to look at and distract..and Otis did marvelous. The trainer even said she was amazed at how well Otis was doing..being that he is a Basenji and all..My daughters Schnorkie, she was a different story though, she was simply a disaster..

Gossy does well inside (even with distractions) but outside is a different matter. I did use a Gentle Leader for awhile (she didn't like it and would hide when I pulled it out) and then went back to regular collar. Initially she'll pull and run so I just put the brakes on - then she settles down. The idea of exercise before a walk is one I'll have to try too.

I've got Chance to walk to heel quite easily - the other Bs are a different story! I use a piece of liver cake in my right hand, loose lead in my left. I hold the liver cake by my right thigh and make sure the B knows it's there. If he moves in front or to the side, I stop and call him back to me and use the word 'heel'. After doing this a few times he got the hang of it and now I don't always use the liver cake as he just follows my hand.

Sorry if my description is not all that clear - it is quite difficult to explain without showing someone how to do it! LOL! 🙂

Had not thought of the basenji 500 as a prewalk calm down! but the few times we have been to friends homes who have a fenced yard (ours is falling down, getting it fixed Soon), and OoZoe calms right down. She will Not wear a gentle leader. Though she has come a long way from the skinny frightened 4 1/2 yr old almost 2 yrs ago! Thank you for the insight!

@Benkura:

I've got Chance to walk to heel quite easily - the other Bs are a different story! I use a piece of liver cake in my right hand, loose lead in my left. I hold the liver cake by my right thigh and make sure the B knows it's there. If he moves in front or to the side, I stop and call him back to me and use the word 'heel'. After doing this a few times he got the hang of it and now I don't always use the liver cake as he just follows my hand.

Sorry if my description is not all that clear - it is quite difficult to explain without showing someone how to do it! LOL! 🙂

This is the method we have been advised to use at our first puppy class, bit tricky at the moment as she is so small and we have to bend down to show her the food. The trainer has told us never to move the dog by pulling the lead as the dog will naturaly pull against a taught (sp) lead.
This is a completely new method to me and we shall have to wait and see.

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