Sunday, August 15, 2010

Genting Weekend

We took Eva up to Genting Highlands this weekend to have a breath of fresh and cool air :) 
You could call this weekend a "training challenge". 

We have been trying to get her to sit everytime a call or motorcycle passed by and give her a treat everytime she sit-stayed. However, it seems like she's not so interested in food when something is more interesting, and she's not so interested in toys either. So what exactly will keep her attention from the interesting objects? 

Sometimes she doesn't do much about them, but other times, she can go crazy!
We've been thinking of getting her a harness so that the pulling doesn't damage her throat, but I heard that harnesses let them pull even more.

Does anybody use a Gentle Leader Harness and comments on it?

Eva was a little social butterfly too. Rosie's little cousins came to see her, and as you know, kids who don't own dogs behave differently from kids who do :) So yesterday, Eva learnt not to shy away from sudden actions and behave herself, not to jump on others, etc. 

Today, we took her up to the mountains (a 4km walk up and another 4km walk down) to go to a little waterfall and this time, meet up with middle-aged, old people :) 

The morning dew settling on this heart-shaped leaf.
Macro flower shot from Rosie's camera

Starting our 1.5 hour journey
Cable-cars along the way
Sometimes when the road was too steep, Eva would get a ride :)
Mom, are we there yet?

Arriving at the waterfall

When meeting an old 7 year old girl, Eva went up to her boldly and made the first move, sniffing. However, the little dog was not so social and so shyed away. Lucky for her, Eva learnt from her Grandma Laura that disturbing oldies is never a good thing to do, so she didn't keep sniffing her but kept her distance.

Meeting an elder
Don't you think the poor doggy has a worried look on her face?

While walking, I noticed Eva's cute little ears and just had to take a video!
I'm sure many of you sheltie owners will see this everyday, but it's just too cute!


Lola said...

Well, I guess we can't give too much advice because I pull on the leash something terrible and now so does Franklin. Hero says that's the Pei way. Like Eva, we like a nice treat but we're not food motivated enough to be trained that way. I'm all grown up, too, so it's extra difficult. Plus, we're very strong and our humans aren't so young. Harnesses do encourage pulling on the leash, but nothing they've tried has discouraged it either, including training collars. Other than that we're very well behaved and very motivated by praise and positive reinforcement. If you get any tips let me know, but I bet you get this issue fixed with Eva before we even get close. Shelties are famously good at obedience, whereas Peis are very good dogs, but when we don't agree with our humans we can be quite stubborn.

lotsa licks, Lola

The Sprollies 'n' Border Collies said...

So adorable!

Sara said...

Oh, I love Eva's butterfly ears! She's so precious.

I've always walked both my dogs on regular harnesses, and neither of them pulls unless they see a squirrel or rabbit. When they do, I say "look at that!", then I press my clicker, and usually they spin to me for a treat.

Since Eva is so young, you may need to practice the "look at that game" under less stimulating conditions first, so she knows how to play. Try it in your garden when she is investigating things for a few days. Then, you can start taking it on the road. Having her sit may just be too difficult, but if you can at least have her stop pulling and focus on you it'll at least your walks will be calmer.

Just something you could try.

Happy said...

If you really need something. A gentle leader is the great choice, ignore others who might think that your dog is aggressive when you're out. Gentle leader normally works well for pullers.

Sara said...

Here's a video of someone playing
"look at that"

George the Lad said...

Lovely photo's, and your ear wagging is great, if I get to just the right pace I can do it to.
See Yea George xxx

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Eva's butterfly ears are very cute!

We tried a gentle leader - it was difficult to get it to fit on my skinny muzzle and I hated it and mom gave up. Susan Garrett in her book Shaping Success writes about how to introduce a dog to a head halter and for her it is the only way to go.

I do the sit/stay thing when cars go by and I am allowed to watch the car but as long as I stay and am quiet, when the car passes, I look up at mom and get a treat. BUT mom tried this with me for years before it started to work at all. Some of these things get better as the dog matures.

Ricky the Sheltie said...

PS. Sorry I forgot to say that that was a very good training challenge!!!!

Diana said...

Ive used a gentle leader and its very effective. It takes some time for the dog to get use to it. And yea poeple think your dog is wearing a muzzle because they are aggressive. There are also harness that are no pull too. Sorry, I cant remember the name of them. So if Eva is too excited with the motocycle, you arent starting soon enough. You have to get her attention before she sees or hears the motorcycle. I would also use a clicker. As soon as you say her name and her head starts to turn toward you, click and treat. Work toward the sit but right not work on getting her attention when you call her name with the motorcycle coming. and then continue with the "look at that game". I hope that makes sense. Good luck Diana

Rohan Shelties said...

I used the gentle leader for Shelby when she was a baby because she was a TERRIBLE car chaser! I used it to get a bit more control while working her with the treats; it worked great! The important part about getting a GL is having it fit by a professional (trainers are usually good at this) and working through the "rebellios" phase when they try to get it off. We used to offer 45 min into sessions (including the fitting) for 30 bucks. It was pretty successful =0) The other thing is make sure you have treats that are 10's-kibble usually ranks 1, hard cookies a 2-3, semimoist treats 4-5, dehydrated treats 6-8 and deli-ends and meat an 8-10...the lower distraction section is for lower distraction situations. So try higher value treats "on the road" and when distracting her from the GL.

Best of luck!
oh, and btw-the treats really have to be only about the size of 1/2 your pinky figernail; not that big!
Sheltie hugs!
Jenn, Heidi and Shelby

katie said...

Maizey uses a Halti. I prefer them because as ricky said a gentle leader can be harder to fit correctly. I will try to get a post done about this for while I am gone.

The type of harness that people feel encourages pulling is a regular harness, not a head halter. (Perhaps you read that on the TL's group?) For maizey however using the puppia harness was the key to getting her to walk nicely. The harness becomes a cue that walking however she wants is okay, then using the TL's LLW) the buckle collar and leash is a cue to walk nicely in LLW. (MANY MANY posts on this under the LLW and Walking Challenges tag at Lessons From and For 4 Legs.

I love the LAT, but one warning from our experience: if used with out precision in a situation where the dog is barking a behavior chain of barking and reorienting to you for a treat can happen. From my experience it is not a fun chain to undo if once done!LOL (Crystal at Reactive Champion has done a series of posts on this that are wonderful!

Gorgeous pictures again! And what a great challenge!

katie said...

P.S. just wanted to say I am sure you are a much more precise clicker trainer than I am and will have great success with LAT. ;))

Caren Gittleman said...

As always a superb posting! I LOVE how you notice everything around you (the heart-shaped leaf)

I am interested to hear about if a harness works as well. Dakota will sometimes lunge at passing cars and people on bikes. He doesn't like it at all.

The video of the butterfly ears was priceless!

Love all of the new additions on your website, Eva is becoming soooo famous!
I can say I knew her "when"

Cat Chat

Tanuki Maxx said...

Hi Eva! Waterfall, cool air, long walk plus transportation
when you get tired! Wow, that's really pawsome!
Mom's been to genting once, about a decade ago. She luvs it there! Hope you get yummy meal
and good rest after all that adventure!


Tanuki Maxx said...

Hi Eva! Waterfall, cool air, long walk plus transportation
when you get tired! Wow, that's really pawsome!
Mom's been to genting once, about a decade ago. She luvs it there! Hope you get yummy meal
and good rest after all that adventure!


kathi said...

I see most people are commenting about the Gentle Leader head halter, but I am wondering if you are also asking about the Gentle Leader Easy Walk harness? I have tried both with my Rottweilers.

In general, I am not a big fan of head halters, but I know others have had excellent results with them. Perhaps I would have better things to say if most of my dogs hadn't objected so strongly to having something on their faces. It's definitely possible I should have been more patient or tried other brands for a better fit. Gentle Leader, Halti, and Snoot Loop all fit slightly differently.

On the other hand, I do like the Easy Walk, which is a body harness with a front clip connection which does not encourage pulling. I still don't completely understand how it works, but it does work! The only other brand I am aware of is SENSE-ation/SENSE-ible (one is an economy version).

BlogDog said...

Nice trip! Bingo and benji always envy how Eva can go around with you and socialise like a real social butterfly! What a trip. We do hope we can bring them to genting one day (if Bingo can stand the shaky trip, of course!) p.s. We love Eva's ears too! How cute..!

Noah said...

That looked like it was a beautiful trip. Eva is so cute!

houndstooth said...

What a great walk you had! I love going hiking in beautiful and interesting places, too!

We are not fans of the Gentle Leader, but know that some people are. We've had better luck with the Wiggles, Wags and Whiskers No Pull Harness, but different things work better for different dogs!


Bandit's Pack said...

I wasn't sure what you meant by "butterfly ears," but as soon as I clicked on the video it became very apparent - they do look like butterfly wings!! Looks like a fun outing. We have never used a harness, but Bandit has a special training collar for walking nicely beside us. I can't remember the name at the moment, but if you're interested let me know and I can find it somewhere for you. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Yoda_the_Dog said...

The Gentle Leader works great on me. Mom and dad stupidly tried to put it on in the store (okay so they too cheap to pay for something that didn't work). Disaster! But, mom looked at instructions and realized it takes proper coaxing so she bought it anyway. I still pull some but not so much. I got used to it and now sit patiently when he puts it on when we go out. He always snuggles my head after he puts it on - a very special moment for us! But folks are right - they don't work for everyone!

Mango said...

Not just the ears. She is all around adorable.

Mango Momma

Nat said...

Love Eva's little flopping ears! Cute!

RYKER said...

What a lovely day trip. You got a lift carry? Wow, I only got that once when I was in trouble, as in being bad.
Loved the pictures of the waterfall and the video of your dancing ears. You are so cute!

Sagira said...

Your right those ears are pretty darn cute!

MadameMoiselle said...

Hi Eva

This is some very informative post... I was busy reading on all the comments everyone left.

We didn't know there are so many different type of harness.. We tried a few different harness but i believe the harness we have are the normal harness..

I used to pull a lot and chock myself.. so mom and dad figured it would be great to use a harness so at least when i pull im not hurting myself..

True I still pull... but they have a better control over me when start pulling...

I hope you will find the right harness soon..


'de Boys' - Brutus and Tytus said...

I will have to have mom video my ears while I'm swimming, dad is always commenting on how I bob my head and my ears flutter. -- Tytus

What a beautiful trail, where is it?

Little Miss Jada Kiss said...

What a wonderful training challenge! While we've seen the gentle leader harnesses, mommy never used it on me, just a regular harness. That's so I'm able to be strapped into my car seat. Oh and the butterfly ears are so adorable!! They flutter so perfectly :)

Ben and Carrie Tracks said...

Those ears are super cute - and not being a shelty owner - we don't get to see them everyday so I'm so happy you posted this video! Glad to have stumbled upon your blog and looking forward to following your adventures :)

Lioness said...

I just found your blog. I thought I would weigh in on the gentle leader.
I personally never recommend them, especially for puppies. First of all, a dog's neck can be seriously injured if he is to dart after something and get his head snapped around (which is usually more likely with a spastic puppy) than even if he is wearing a regular buckle collar.
The other reason I don't recommend them is because they don't teach anything, they simply manage behavior. I would much prefer a dog be taught the meaning of instructions such as "heel" or "walk" or whatever you want to use instead of relying on a particular collar. It's a lot like just keeping a dog on leash his whole life so you don't have to teach a solid recall.
I always prefer to give a dog the opportunity to learn what I want and chose to do it himself than to be "forced" into it by a piece of equipment. (I realize a gentle leader is not particularly forceful, but in the end it is operating on the principal of making doing the "wrong" thing uncomfortable for the dog.)

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