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Weird one- Teaching a dog to lunge (longe)?

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  • Weird one- Teaching a dog to lunge (longe)?

    Or creative ideas for doggie exercise needed.

    My hubby has broken his ankle at work (came off a ladder last night). He's looking at at least eight weeks before he can walk any distance.

    Normally, that wouldn't be a problem, because I would be at home to walk our dogs, but I'm looking at a lot of travelling over the next 5-6 weeks because we're scrambling to find contracts and keep the ones we have at work.

    Three of the dogs are fine- they run around their paddock, play with each other and generally self exercise. I'm worried that our big lazy dog (BLD) will start getting fat again. I've just got him down to a good weight. Do you think I could teach him to lunge?

    I was thinking that hubby could sit on a stool and make BLD walk around him. If not, any other ideas? I've tried a treadmill before with BLD and he just refuses to move on it. I can try again, but I don't think that he 'gets it'.

    I would get a dog walking service in, but I'm trying to save money at the moment.

    Thanks!
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  • #2
    Well, there's no harm in trying.... If you succeed, be sure to take a video clip and post it here.
    I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo

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    • #3
      I gather that BLD doesn't like to fetch? That's always a good way to get them to run.
      When I was younger there were people who would run their dogs using their cars - we had a quiet county road that lead to the stables and people would let their dogs out of the car and drive off with the dog in hot pursuit. They did this on a regular basis so it wasnt just some lowlife dumping the dog.
      I know that lunging must be used by circus trainers but if the dog won't go, ie lies down on the moving treadmill and gets choked then I can't imagine he'd be amenable to moving on a circle either.
      Hmmm. Any racing trainers with an automatic hot walker nearby?
      I guess really the only thing I can come up with is chasing the car and that may not work for you at all. Sorry.
      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Nope, he won't fetch at all. Just very lazy/laid back!

        I'd thought about using the car, but we both drive trucks, and I'm worried that he'd get hurt. Plus, hubby can't really drive anything.

        I'l have to try the treadmill again. He just stands on it until it rolls him off the back. Won't walk at all.

        No-one close by with a hot walker.
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        • #5
          Depending on how dog feels about water - how about using a hose? That's how I used to exercise my hyper collie mix in the summer - I basically watered the garden and she'd come around every few minutes and start stalking the stream of water, so I'd start moving it around and she'd chase it. She'd end up soaking wet, exercised safely in the heat. She wasn't a lab - she didn't wallow in the water, so it was about 50/50 her chasing the water/me chasing her with the water.

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Not sure how he feels about the hose, but it's worth a try.
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            • #7
              Hire a dog walker? Check at the local vet/kennel/shelter etc. for responsible high school or college kids who are volunteering there or doing internships, etc. Maybe they could stop by and walk the dog for a pretty low fee?

              Otherwise my suggestion would be to feed that dog separately and cut back the ration by 1/3 or so, to make up for the lack of exercise...

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              • #8
                You can teach him to walk on the treadmill, Cesear Milan does it all the time on "Dog Whisperer" check it out on National Geographic channel or get his book.
                www.stonoferrystables.com

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                • #9
                  Hilarious!! When you figure out a solution - patent it! You'll never have to work again!

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by twofatponies View Post
                    Hire a dog walker? Check at the local vet/kennel/shelter etc. for responsible high school or college kids who are volunteering there or doing internships, etc. Maybe they could stop by and walk the dog for a pretty low fee?

                    Otherwise my suggestion would be to feed that dog separately and cut back the ration by 1/3 or so, to make up for the lack of exercise...
                    I might have to hire a walker. I'm kinda in the middle of no-where, and it would be tricky to reach me without a car. It's an idea I'm keeping in mind though.

                    BLD is fed on his own now (or he steals the other's food). I worry that he'd be missing out on nutrition if I cut his feed too much. I've been bulking it out with veggies, so maybe I can up the veggies and reduce the kibble.
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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Stono Ferry View Post
                      You can teach him to walk on the treadmill, Cesear Milan does it all the time on "Dog Whisperer" check it out on National Geographic channel or get his book.
                      I've seen that.

                      My dog isn't that bright. I've tried him on the treadmill quite a few times, and he just doesn't get it.

                      I will give it another try though.
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                      • #12
                        I've known people who've taught their dogs to move away from a lunge whip. Then they use it to "lunge" (sp?) the dog. You could also buy a clicker and a trick book and let the dog work for his food. Hubby wouldn't have to move at all, but you could train the dog to go out and touch targets around the yard. Dog sounds food motivated, so it would probably work.

                        Good luck!

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                        • #13
                          Try putting a food item or toy the dog loves on a rope or fishing pole. Then just swing or cast and the dog will follow. Even dogs that wont fetch will run for a treat they think is thrown and then run back when its reeled in. And its fun

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by WombatCA View Post
                            I've known people who've taught their dogs to move away from a lunge whip. Then they use it to "lunge" (sp?) the dog. You could also buy a clicker and a trick book and let the dog work for his food. Hubby wouldn't have to move at all, but you could train the dog to go out and touch targets around the yard. Dog sounds food motivated, so it would probably work.

                            Good luck!
                            Thanks! That's very positive to hear.

                            Oh, yes. BLD is very food motivated!
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                            • #15
                              Chiming in late, but our just-turned-a-year-old Malinois longes, both with and without a line. It was the best way I could come up with to get his super-energetic little self sufficient exercise. He also "free jumps" both on and off the longe, and is learning to ground drive (I intend to train him to harness soon). I worked him just the way I would a green-baby-don't-know-nuttin'-'bout-nuttin' horse, paid attention to his responses, and voila! Got me a longeing pup!

                              He's advanced in the longeing enough (and has become reliable enough loose around the horses) that I can have him track outside my older, very dog-broke mare if I work her on the longe. He prefers to do the bulk of his work in "canter," so he is often outpacing the old lady, who does mostly walk and trot, but he does change direction with us pretty reliably.
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                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by coloredhorse View Post
                                Chiming in late, but our just-turned-a-year-old Malinois longes, both with and without a line. It was the best way I could come up with to get his super-energetic little self sufficient exercise. He also "free jumps" both on and off the longe, and is learning to ground drive (I intend to train him to harness soon). I worked him just the way I would a green-baby-don't-know-nuttin'-'bout-nuttin' horse, paid attention to his responses, and voila! Got me a longeing pup!

                                He's advanced in the longeing enough (and has become reliable enough loose around the horses) that I can have him track outside my older, very dog-broke mare if I work her on the longe. He prefers to do the bulk of his work in "canter," so he is often outpacing the old lady, who does mostly walk and trot, but he does change direction with us pretty reliably.
                                Thank you!

                                Do you use a whip? How big do you make your circles?

                                I'm so gonna have to give this a try tomorrow.
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                                • #17
                                  I tie a biscuit to the end of the longe line lash. Works a charm. Longeing as if it's a horse, not so much.

                                  We are going to set up a lure for the dogs to chase. Car battery, a little pulley wheel, and a string.

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                                  • #18
                                    A vote for swimming too if you have a creek or pond on your property. Swimming burns lots of calories.
                                    "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
                                    you have a right to be here." ~ Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

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                                    • #19
                                      I've done this but the dogs don't like it much. I'd have him *chase* a lunge line instead of driving him forward.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Personally I've used a lunge whip with a dog. Tie the dog's favorite toy to the the end of the lash and stand and twirl the whip around you. The dog gets a great game of chase the toy while the person with the whip doesn't have to move. There's even an episode of "I'ts Me or the Dog" that Victoria Stillwell used the technique with a hyper terrier type dog, if I remember right.

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