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Old 02-18-2011, 12:00 AM
 
42,409 posts, read 47,526,931 times
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Default Teaching dogs to walk on leash without pulling

I don't care if my dogs heel perfectly, but I need to learn how to teach them to not pull on the leash. This has been a lifelong problem I've had as a dog owner. I can train my dogs to do anything else---but this.

I solved this problem with my labrador, who is 14 years old now, by using a claw collar. Now that he's old, he doesn't need it because he doesn't pull anymore. But my beagle/basset can't wear the claw collar because he's a drama queen. As a result, my beagle/basset doesn't get walked very often.

It's not only a hassle, it's physically dangerous for me now that I"m weaker in my middle age. He might not be big, but he's more powerful than the labrador ever was---and the lab pulled my joints and causes serious pain. A couple of years ago, my husband fell walking the beagle basset and the dog pulled him across the pavement.

Please tell me the secret! I envy people who walk their dogs effortlessly. I'd love to have that relationship with my dogs. It would be good for our health---theirs and mine. I have no desire to go for walks by myself. I'd love for my dog to be a walk companion.

HELP!
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:51 AM
 
1,138 posts, read 1,598,154 times
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Our trainer told us to use a prong collar (never a choke collar). We have a 150 pound German Shepherd. I weigh 110. I have to be able to control the dog until he is completely well trained.

But we didn't just go out and get a prong collar. We are working with a trainer who specializes in training German Shepherd Dogs. He fitted the collar correctly, which wasn't simple. It involved adding links to the collar and taking it on and off the dog several times.

And besides just fitting the collar correctly, he works with us to show us how to correctly use it.

A lot of people use the gentle leader. However, both our vet and our trainer advised against using it. With larger, stronger dogs, there is a possibility of cervical damage should the dog decide to take off. Also, smart dogs learn how to pull against the harness or the collar. Ours did.

The prong/pinch collar stopped the pulling immediately. We only use it for walks, and we remove it as soon as we walk in the door. It's a training tool. Once he is consistently well-mannered, we won't need it.

Last edited by mississippimagnolia; 02-18-2011 at 05:54 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-18-2011, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Virginia
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We bought a Gentle Leader head harness, and it works wonders. He used to pull, bark, try to run behind us and through our legs, and now that head harness thing does not allow him to do anything like he was doing. He walks very nicely now, and even if we walk him with his regular collar, he knows not to pull. Man, he was BAD to walk with.

Good luck!
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:01 AM
 
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I've used the gentle leader, easy walk harness and the prong. All are good at teaching your dog not to pull. Another method you can use is every time the dog pulls you stop, and when the dog stops pulling he gets to move forward, that can take some time but it works, eventually. I think it depends on the dog, I have used the gentle leader on a GSD and it worked great. My male GSD was a lot more stubborn and harder to handle so I ended up using the prong. The only problem with easy walk harness with my Corgi is that I couldn't find one to fit him properly because his legs are so short, not sure if your guy has the same issue with being part basset.
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:22 AM
 
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I've used the Halti collar for all my dogs, it has worked very well. After several months I was able to switch to a regular collar for walking them.


Coastal Halti Headcollars at PETCO
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:51 AM
 
42,409 posts, read 47,526,931 times
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I've read the 'stop when they pull' training theory. I could see my joints getting torn apart with that method. I'm not an old lady but I do have mild arthritis.

I guess I'll look into the gentle leader and the halti collars.

I can't use the prong collar on the beagle basset. The only time I tried, he walked three feet, cried out in pain and threw himself onto the ground. Like I said, he's a drama queen.

The labrador never had a problem using the prong. The very first moment I put it on him, he walked perfectly and happily.

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone!
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:54 AM
 
21,192 posts, read 16,456,661 times
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I am still struggling with Rip.

He is with his third trainer and none have really cared if he leads. They just care how he tracks and his running times.

He has stopped jumping up on me.

I am going to buy a Halti Headcollar today.

Last week Rip got out of the car after I put him in and ran almost twelve miles though the woods. He crossed four roads.

He just would not stop. At times I was less than a foot from him.

If he did not have a GPS collar he could have still been gone.

I might have to get a shock collar yet.
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:56 AM
 
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I also had a hard time training my English Bulldog to walk on a leash without pulling. What the dog trainer advised me to do is to drop a treat for my dog on the sidewalk. Then once they reach down to eat the treat, walk ahead of them slowly. When the dog catches up to you, you should click the clicker and drop another treat where you'd like them to be. This only means drop the treat and feed them back behind your leg.

Try stopping and clicking or treating them for staying next to you. If they pull ahead - NO CLICK/NO TREAT.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:05 AM
 
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Our dogs are funny critters aren't they? Too bad they can't understand that we need their cooperation, more now then ever. I have three boston terriers. They too are/were leash pullers. My kids showed them through the 4H for several years in showmanship and obedience. I would actually recommend a Halti or Gentle Leader as opposed to a choke or prong. I learned with the kids that most people use the chokes and prong collars incorrectly. Did you know that there is a right and a wrong way to put on a choke?

What we learned about pulling is start out walking and have your dog in a "heel" position using treats if need be. When he/she start pulling, very quickly turn around in the other direction and pull the dog. A snap of the collar will also help get their attention. You may have to repeat this constantly, and you may not even get "around the block" or very far on your walk the fist time, but just continue with this method. They pull - turn around quickly, saying "Rover, heel" as you are turning around. Always reward with a treat if they do it quickly and come to your side.

Another thing you should do is work with getting and keeping your dog's attention. This can be done indoors and used as a play. Taking a treat (a yummy one like a piece of hot dog) and showing your dog then moving it close to your nose, repeat "Rover, watch me". As soon as dog makes eye contact with you, quickly give the treat, saying "good watch me" and a give him/her a nice rub/pat. Continue this until he/she understands that if they focus on you, they get rewarded. Most dogs are food motivated, so use it to your advantage. Watch out though not to put extra weight on your dog, also you can use their dog kibble to reward. With a hound breed, you will be extra challenged so make sure your treats are stinky. We learned that the stinky the better.

Good luck and if you have any other obedience questions, I can try and help out. I love my dogs and really miss seeing the kids working them. You can tell they need the work, as if really affects their "happiness" and confidence.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:11 AM
 
Location: FL
1,060 posts, read 1,067,655 times
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Default Works

Quote:
Originally Posted by beatlecrazy View Post
We bought a Gentle Leader head harness, and it works wonders. He used to pull, bark, try to run behind us and through our legs, and now that head harness thing does not allow him to do anything like he was doing. He walks very nicely now, and even if we walk him with his regular collar, he knows not to pull. Man, he was BAD to walk with.

Good luck!
Gentle Leader works! We had a 105lb. dog who pulled, once we started using it he was cooperative and sweet. You guide them by nudging their nose much like a mother dog does to keep the pups in line... worth every penny!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWFPWj08Bhs
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