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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had Cooper for 9.5 months now and he's been very difficult to train. Daily walks are becoming impossible. How do you get a dog to walk when all he wants to do is sniff the sidewalk? I've tried walking in the road but that smells just as good as the sidewalk and grass. Morning walks are non-existant and evening walks are a challenge. This morning he refused to move from the driveway. He "put on the brakes" and sat down. When he did move, he pulled toward the house. He was content to be in the backyard. This evening's walk was better but we only made it halfway around the block before he turned around and headed back the way we came.

The only command he knows well is sit. He can do a sit/stay too. He doesn't understand "down" or "shake paw" no matter how I try to lure him with a treat. If I cover his head with a blanket, he barely tries to remove it. He lays down as if the world has gone dark suddenly. I've hidden treats under a cup for him to find and he pushes it all over but never knocks it over. When I lift the cup, he doesn't find the treat. He's too busy sniffing all the places he moved the cup.

I'm beginning to think he's hopeless. Do I just accept the fact he'll never walk like a "normal" dog? He gets excited when he sees his leash and to go outside, but he's happier smelling the ground. The only time he gets real exercise is at the dog park on weekends. He runs like a mad with other dogs.

Any advice?

Thanks,
Eowyn
 

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Hello Eowyn ,

When we talked about 5 to 6 mos ago you mentioned going for walks with Cooper. Has anything changed?
So I can get a picture of how Cooper is at home, please describe how he responds to you at home and in your back yard , and also at the dog park. Is his general health good? When you go for walks and to the park is it just you and Cooper?

Does Cooper have any bad habits? Is he food motivated? Is he house trained now?

I'm just trying to get a good idea of what Coopers life and relationship with you is like on a weekly basis.

I really think that you can achieve an acceptable level of loose leash walking with Cooper if you have time and determination to make this your goal. This would not be difficult but would need to be consistent with some training daily to reinforce what you will teach Cooper in a positive way.




OH , and BTW , don't give up................

Best , oldhounddog



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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi oldhounddog,

Cooper is an awesome dog. He's sweet, friendly, and has a great personality. At home, he's playful. He has a laundry basket full of toys that my son and I use for playing indoors. He runs in circles at full speed through the house and loves the attention. When I’m home, he follows me everywhere.

When he’s in the backyard, he sniffs every inch of it. He doesn’t usually listen to me unless I have his food bowl. He is very food motivated. He responds to clicker training for sit/stay/come indoors. When it comes to shake paw or down, he doesn’t have a clue. His head position is low and he looks at me with sad eyes.

Cooper is 98% housetrained. I still rely on walks to make sure he’s empty but he does pee/poop in the backyard on his own

I usually walk Cooper alone. Sometimes I make my son come along to motivate him. I take him to the dog park. He loves it there. He plays very well with other dogs and loves chasing them. He’s very friendly with all the people too.

Tonight we walked well together. When Cooper wants to go for a walk, it’s a pleasant experience. I have loose leash walking with him, when he walks. Our morning walks are early (5:30am) and sometimes, he doesn’t want to get out of bed. Other times, his mind is set on the backyard only. If he doesn’t want to go in a certain direction, he won’t budge. When he walks, his nose is on the ground. Occasionally he lifts his head to look around. It’s like he’s following a scent and if he loses it, he doesn’t want to go any further. We walk twice a day for 30-45 minutes, depending on his mood.

His past is uncertain and I doubt he had any training. When he was rescued and brought to NY, he was very underweight. Whenever he’s in the car with me, he shakes terribly for the first 5 min of our trip. He then lies down and hides his head in the blanket. He must think he's being returned to the shelter.

Hope this helps.
Thanks,
Eowyn
 

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Cooper is an awesome dog. He's sweet, friendly, and has a great personality. At home, he's playful. He has a laundry basket full of toys that my son and I use for playing indoors. He runs in circles at full speed through the house and loves the attention. When I’m home, he follows me everywhere.
I have reread some of your earlier posts and would like to give some perspective.

First , Thank You again , for the rescue of a sweet Beagle that needed a family to love. The very simple lines written above are testament to the fact that the wonderful Beagle is a perfect companion pet. I would say there are many people with fenced back yards for their Beag to play and have fun with kids and family that never realize that the family dog is a "Fierce and Noble Hunter" capable of withstanding the harsh outdoor environment even enduring pain so as to never loose a scent. It is this trait in the genes of the very talented "Scent Hound Breed" that give us pause for a greater understanding of those wonderful "Sad Eyes" of the Beagle , Blood Hound and Basset Hound. Some may say that Hounds are stubborn and can not be trained , and , for those who would say this are obviously blind the fact that there is almost no training required for their "Natural" hunting abilities to abound.

So now we know why so many Beagles are returned to shelters and abandoned without ever knowing what they did wrong. In real truth , as long as you are willing to accept the fact that a Beagle may not be 100% reliable "off leash" , behavior modification and simple regular command reinforcement of the positive type will give you most of what you want from your Beag................

I am a Hound person and look at basic dog work as a labor of love and train or retrain older dogs just like I would start out a new pup. Some trial and error will be needed to determine what type of training technique and discovery of which treat/food yield the best results.

What I would recommend will follow in next post...

Best , oldhounddog



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Eowyn,

Lets keep this simple and fun. I would start with any commands that Cooper knows and chain some of these to any fun activiety for Cooper. Use any device , toy or event and have Cooper follow any command, for example: before meal , going outside or games. Keep sessions short , 10 min or less. What you want to do is to start getting Cooper to focus on you and listen , and of course earn rewards in the process.

Here is a link to a very good trainer that has many free videos , take a look and use any that apply to your needs.
Link to vids: http://www.youtube.com/user/kikopup

Eye contact: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiMGJBxRtBw

Leave it : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNAOe1djDyc

Use the above as your time permits , this will set the ground work for Cooper's walk training. Cooper will benefit the most from Luer Reward Training to correct the walking issues.

Example of process. First make sure Cooper is hungry before walk , you could feed him a small portion of his meal first and the rest as small one bite training treats on walk.

The walk: Tip = This training walk needs to be just you and Cooper...
Get his attention and let him know you have treats in your hand. Call him by name ( use high pitch happy tones) and start walk with short leash in right hand and treats in your left just over his head. After a few feet of walking , stop and give one or two kibbles and praise. Restart walk and increase distance a little . treat and praise. Make sure he knows the lure is in your hand and over his head. Repeat , Repeat , Repeat and have fun.

You can try this in reverse after a trip to dog park when Cooper is a little tired out and hungry.


Tip: After walk training a few times you can increase the value of the Luer Reward Treat by pouring 1 cup of kibble mixed with fried bacon bits in a sandwich bag and let sit for 30 min or more. This equals Jackpot Treats.

Example of Lure Reward Training process.
Link : http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/lure-reward-training

Take a look at the above and let me know what you think.

Best , oldhounddog



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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Oldhounddog,

Thanks for the advice and the training videos. I checked out these and a few others. They seem like they could really help me get Cooper’s attention on me because that’s where the problem lies. His nose is a powerful distraction.

A trip to the pet store to get the good training treats tonight and we’ll begin tomorrow. I’ll post back with my results.

BTW…I watched the training videos in the room where Cooper was sleeping. When he heard the clicker and dog, his head popped up and stared in my direction.

Thanks again,
Eowyn
 
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