Poodles/walking your poodle
I have a poodle that is just over a year old. When she was 6 months I was taking her for walks and running with her occasionally for very short distances (maybe 1 mile). However, she has always pulled and not allow me to walk her properly, even after going to school, and training her "heel". I would like to be able to train her to walk and run nice with me. My question is how often should I be going out with her to get her used to walking/running with me and not pulling?
I assume that you have a Standard Poodle. I would say that you should be taking her out everyday for walks. Its beneficial to you and her. We need to deal first though with her leash pulling. There is a simple way to get her to stop pulling you.
Start with a 6-8 foot leash, preferably not a retractable leash. You will want to give your dog about 1/2 of the leash. Take the loop of the leash and loop it over your thumb, then make another loop of about 1-2 feet and loop that over your thumb. So now you should have about 1/2 the leash looped over your thumb (2 loops) and the rest of the leash for your dog. Start walking with her. Since she is a puller she will pull that first section of leash off your thumb. When she does this, stop walking and give her a gentle tug. She should stop and look back at you. Repeat the process. Gather up your leash and start off again. She should get to the point that she will stop when she feels that section of leash drop off your thumb. You may only move a few steps before you have to stop again, but this will teach her to respect YOUR leash space, because its your leash and you give her a specific amount and she needs to respect that amount, no matter if its 1 foot or 10 feet. Once she will stop when the leash drops off your thumb, you can progress. This time, while you are walking, Stop first, Before the leash drops off your thumb. Then if she doesn't stop and pulls the leash off your thumb, give a tug. You want to get to the point where First off she doesn't pull you anymore, and secondly that she is watching or noticing you and what you are doing. In the beginning you might want to stomp your feet a little when you stop so that she knows you are stopping and will stop with you. You can drop that as she starts paying attention to you. Also, since she knows some Obedience, put some Sits in there if she is really pulling hard at something. If she sees a dog or animal or there is something she really wants, Give her a tug, then make her sit before you start off again. This makes her wait until YOU tell her she can go. Remember lots of Praise and encouragement when she does something you want her to do. Poodles are smart and will pick up on what you want her to do.
When she starts respecting your leash while walking, you can start your walks again. I would build her up to the distance you eventually want to go.
I hope this helps you some. If you have other questions about this or other Poodle questions in general, please feel free to ask.
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