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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Question ? Will heel Off Leash Perfectly but a Pain On Leash

Okay so assuming everyone knows Moe's back story here is my latest question with this little pup that seems to keep me on my toes.

Moe heels perfectly off leash, both sides, no issues even with distractions...

On leash he is a constant walking correction. Don't misunderstand I can get him to do it. He has his CGC, but every time I take him someplace he is on leash I find myself coming home and working on heeling again. It's getting old. I've done all the tricks; turn in the other direction, reward, make him "watch me", no luck.... A pinch collar works, but I've never had a Golden I had to use a pinch collar on long term. Simple answer is don't put him on a leash, but that's just not an answer. This weekend we went to a competition and he was probably the best behaved dog there. It just annoys me that I'm constantly correcting the behavior.

If he's on leash and I drop it he heels perfectly. Give me your suggestions. I'm looking for advice so anything is welcome. I won't get offended.

Addition - Wanted to add that when doing beginning training for field, and obedience he did not do well on a long line. We ended up doing better without it. As a puppy he was so preoccupied with the line it was just a hindrance.

Last edited by DblTrblGolden2; 10-07-2019 at 02:26 PM. Reason: Addition
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 03:11 PM
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Sounds like my Ellie girl. Off leash heeling is vastly superior to on leash.... she knows she has to focus on me whereas the leash means she doesn't have to focus more. I honestly think that in my case I need to spend a lot more on the onleash portion - I have given more attention to off leash I think. My fingers are crossed that you get some magic answer here


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nolefan View Post
Sounds like my Ellie girl. Off leash heeling is vastly superior to on leash.... she knows she has to focus on me whereas the leash means she doesn't have to focus more. I honestly think that in my case I need to spend a lot more on the onleash portion - I have given more attention to off leash I think. My fingers are crossed that you get some magic answer here
At least I'm not alone. I'm hoping for some magic answer too. I don't have time to keep reading training books
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 03:32 PM
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I do all my training off leash and must admit I had totally forgotten the long sit and down is now part of the novice/CD and on leash. When I put the leash on was shocked to have the same problem and every time we did a sit or down and the leash moved it totally broke her concentration.

So I had a tiny leather leash I used for the chihuahuas that had a tiny little clasp, put a nylon buckle collar so it wouldn't create any tension on the collar. When we did the long sit & downs I actually let it hit the ground so when I returned it didn't wiggle.
Believe it or not this worked! Then attempted the heel and honestly let it hang way down and held leash in left hand so as not to put any movement on the collar.

To her (very sensitive pup) any movement from the leash she perceived as a correction. We got the CD in 3 before she was a year old, go figure! I hope this helps but can't hurt to try :-) Good luck!!
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 04:10 PM
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Well...depends on the cause. Could be it can be made better but maybe it's his nature---training will improve it but maybe "this is who he is". Could be that he needs more on leash training.
My high energy field dogs heel better off lead, not uncommon.
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Originally Posted by puddles everywhere View Post
I do all my training off leash and must admit I had totally forgotten the long sit and down is now part of the novice/CD and on leash. When I put the leash on was shocked to have the same problem and every time we did a sit or down and the leash moved it totally broke her concentration.

So I had a tiny leather leash I used for the chihuahuas that had a tiny little clasp, put a nylon buckle collar so it wouldn't create any tension on the collar. When we did the long sit & downs I actually let it hit the ground so when I returned it didn't wiggle.
Believe it or not this worked! Then attempted the heel and honestly let it hang way down and held leash in left hand so as not to put any movement on the collar.

To her (very sensitive pup) any movement from the leash she perceived as a correction. We got the CD in 3 before she was a year old, go figure! I hope this helps but can't hurt to try 🙂 Good luck!!
No where near where y’all are at. But my 6 month old is starting this same issue. He’s amazing off leash. On leash it’s noticeably harder to heel. We do all sorts of training including classes and working our way up. This is a great idea ... lighter and softer lead. Not distracting. Hmmmmm just want to follow this thread for ideas as I go forward with Tuck. 😊
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 04:23 PM
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My Golden, Luke, heeled so well off leash, but it took a long time to get him to walk properly on a leash. He did everything else very well. I worked with him a lot and even tried a dog trainer, but she got frustrated too. I think it was me finally giving up and using a harness that did the trick. He absolutely hated a collar round his neck. After that, we spent many miles enjoying walks. I know this wasn't any help. lol
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by diane0905 View Post
My Golden, Luke, heeled so well off leash, but it took a long time to get him to walk properly on a leash. He did everything else very well. I worked with him a lot and even tried a dog trainer, but she got frustrated too. I think it was me finally giving up and using a harness that did the trick. He absolutely hated a collar round his neck. After that, we spent many miles enjoying walks. I know this wasn't any help. lol
Someone that I have hunt trained with before mentioned trying a harness as well. They said their dog only uses a harness when walking on a leash and a collar for everything else. Maybe I should give it a try. I was trying not to let him get away with the behavior, but I'm running out of ideas.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 05:41 PM
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I have to do micro corrections with Maggie as well. Her off leash heel is spot on and will do a backwards enthusiastic hop if she notices she's even a touch in front of my feet with her front 2 feet. I don't really care for that heads up heeling either. It seems really unnatural for the dog and I don't do comp heeling anyway. I do so much off leash training that I feel Maggie just doesn't get why a collar is even on her. I only use a collar on her when out in stores like Home Depot or PetSmart (obviously a requirement). I even do off leash distraction training at dog parks (outside the fence and only inside if 3 dogs or less are inside).


She doesn't pull per se but she will take up the slack and a slight tug moves her back into position. I've gotten to the point that the normal amount my arm swings while walking is enough to move her back if she gets slightly a head so I have just gotten used to it.


Thinking more about it it is probably me. I use a standard collar with a retractable leash for just in the immediate area around my house for quick bathroom breaks and a pinch collar on a 4 or 6 foot lead for when at store just for extra control. She knows that the regular collar is for getting a bit away from me and is a knucklehead on it sometimes and the pinch is for being more serious. Though even with the pinch collar she likes to walk far enough ahead that eventually the pinch collar will cinch slightly every couple of minutes of walking.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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I have to do micro corrections with Maggie as well. Her off leash heel is spot on and will do a backwards enthusiastic hop if she notices she's even a touch in front of my feet with her front 2 feet. I don't really care for that heads up heeling either. It seems really unnatural for the dog and I don't do comp heeling anyway. I do so much off leash training that I feel Maggie just doesn't get why a collar is even on her. I only use a collar on her when out in stores like Home Depot or PetSmart (obviously a requirement). I even do off leash distraction training at dog parks (outside the fence and only inside if 3 dogs or less are inside).


She doesn't pull per se but she will take up the slack and a slight tug moves her back into position. I've gotten to the point that the normal amount my arm swings while walking is enough to move her back if she gets slightly a head so I have just gotten used to it.


Thinking more about it it is probably me. I use a standard collar with a retractable leash for just in the immediate area around my house for quick bathroom breaks and a pinch collar on a 4 or 6 foot lead for when at store just for extra control. She knows that the regular collar is for getting a bit away from me and is a knucklehead on it sometimes and the pinch is for being more serious. Though even with the pinch collar she likes to walk far enough ahead that eventually the pinch collar will cinch slightly every couple of minutes of walking.
So everything you said above is Moe in a nut shell. I'm going to keep trying, but I've also come to realize that having Duke, who walks on a completely loose lead easily, also makes Moe appear worse.
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