Tag Archives: training techniques

Beginning Leash Training With An Aggressive Dog

I was working a dog in North Orange County tonight and got to thinking back when I first started training her. This particular dog is one of the bully breeds and she is not all that friendly with most strangers. The training techniques in this article go over how I started leash handling with this particular dog. I have to say I did a lot of just getting to know the dog before we started the leash training.

When I first started working with her on leash I did what is called a loyalty transfer. This is where you walk next to the owner and the dog and then the owner give the new handler the leash and falls back.

Chow Chow With Muzzle
Chow Chow With Muzzle

The first part of this exercise is walking next to the owner and the dog without getting bit. If the owner/handler can control their dog, not getting bit is usually not all that difficult. With unpredictable dogs or where there may be an accident I recommend the dog wear a muzzle. The photo is of a Chow Chow I worked the same way. However I thought the chow might bite more seriously than the pit bull. Not that I wasn’t a little extra cautious with the pitty. But the pit bull showed more avoidance than the Chow did.

Once the dog will let me walk next to the handler I’ll have the handler do right about turns. How this is accomplished depends on how much experience the handler has along with how much control they have over their dog.

During the right about turn the dog is close to me and moving by me at the same time. Hopefully in a way where the handler can move the dog further away if it should decide to sample some Andrew Ledford flesh. Also this move should put me in a position to move out of the dog’s reach, if everything works as a choreographed move.

If you are doing this with an inexperienced handler don’t plan on it going real smooth. An inexperienced handler often will let the dog get too close or turn at the wrong time. Both of these can have negative consequences and should be anticipated.

Once the dog is doing nicely at the turns I will begin walking on the outside of the handler/dog team. The trainer needs to be able to read the dog at this point and judge the proper distance.

When the dog is somewhat comfortable with the trainer waking on the outside it’s time for the trainer to resume the standard position. From the stander potion of the trainer next to the handle the transfer is made.

After the transfer is done a whole new dynamic is introduced along with a different set of handling skills.

Wishing you the best in dogs and the best in life,
Andrew Ledford
So Cal Dog training
714-827-4058

How Important Is It To Hold The Leash Properly For Training Your Dog

While working with a new client I was once again reminded how important holding the leash properly is for training your dog. I use four standard leash grips and one prompt.

  1. The alpha grip
  2. The double alpha grip or baseball bat grip
  3. The drop grip
  4. The left hand check (this is for dogs walking on the left side)
  5. Left hand prompt used with beginning dog that walk in front of the handler.
Double Hand Leash Grip Used For Dog Training The Alpha Grip
Double Hand Leash Grip Used For Dog Training – The Alpha Grip

The first four are most important for controlling wild out of control dogs. These five essential leash grips are important for all type of leash training. I use the same grips with slip collars, pinch collars, martingales, harnesses, and head collars such as the gentle leader. While the use of each type of restraint is different the leash grips used remains the same.

As I travel around the area I live I can’t help but notice a large number of pregnant women. I think we are in the midst of a mini baby boom. How does this tie into leash grips? Well, I have modified some of the basic grips to specifically work for pregnant women. If you are pregnant and especially if you are in the later stages of pregnancy I suggest you talk to your doctor before you do any dog training. Getting your doctors approval is even more important if you are training a large dog. Even if you have a small dog and we choose to use a target stick for training, leash handling is still a significant part of dog handling.

You will notice in the target stick training video I use a clicker. It may be of interest to know I have also developed leash handling protocols for working with the clicker as well. I awhile back I was working with a client on some target stick training who had worked with a fairly famous clicker trainer. What amazed me was that the clicker trainer never taught them proper leash handling for clicker training.

When you work with me you will see that I have broken all the training techniques into step by step procedures. This way anyone who practices can learn proper dog handling and training skills.

Wishing you the best in dogs and the best in life,
Andrew Ledford
So Cal Dog training
714-827-4058

Teaching a Boxer Dog with Ducks and Geese

In Home Dog Training With a Boxer Dog
In Home Dog Training With a Boxer Dog

In this video you will see an in home dog training lesson with a reactive boxer. This dog is not terribly aggressive but he does react to big birds taking flight. On this day we are training at Heritage Park in Irvine California. This is the first part of a thee part video series. We begin with our arrival at the park and a critique of previously learned training techniques. Including a crisp and precise about turn and the two leash grips I most commonly use. You’ll also get to see the change of pace exercise used to keep the dog’s attention in distracting environments.

In the video I go over some personal equipment requirements and how it relates to safety. Along with this I go over techniques that make executing commonly use training movements safer. One thing I don’t mention in the video but it is important is if you are moving quickly such as running don’t do a square left turn or you are likely to fall over your dog. I did add it as annotation in the video. Left turns should be done as a deliberate and precise movement even when moving at a normal pace. If you have good knees and a good back you can probably get away with doing a square right turn at a fairly quick pace.

In Home Dog Training at the Park  With Geese
In Home Dog Training at the Park With Geese

There is a little control issue when the dog wants to bolt after a flock of flying geese. It’s at this point that I go over how to use a stable stance to control the dog. In this section of the video I explain what good body positioning for control should look like. Good body positioning is especially helpful when the dog is getting out of control.

It’s sometimes easier to know what needs to be done than to actually perform the technique when needed. The reason I give specific drills is so the dog handler will have the behavior in their repertoire at a moments notice. One should be able to react without thinking too much about what needs to be done.

Throughout the video I encourage dog handlers to be aware if their dog. I actually edited most of this information out because there were too many children in that part of the video. However, you should focus on what is important and not be distracted by superficial events.