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Dog keeps pulling on leash and doesn't care when I stop


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Showing 1-22 of 22 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 6, 2012 5:31:10 AM PDT
Scott says:
I have a ten week-old who I am trying to teach to walk. We have been at it for a couple weeks now. Whenever he pulls ahead, I stop and wait for him to come back to me or look back at me, so I don't reward him for pulling ahead (as advised in "Imagine Life with a well-behaved Dog." The problem is, my dog doesn't care that I have stopped. He is perfectly content sitting down and surveying his surroundings or going off to the side and playing in the grass. Is there a better method to get him to walk alongside me? I tried the gentle leader but that was a disaster on the first day. I'm sure I probably just need to keep using it though. But he freaked out pretty hardcore with it.

Thanks for any help

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2012 6:09:00 AM PDT
MsCynic says:
Simple 'direction changes' work well in this instance. Whenever he gets too far in front of you, do a quick "about face" and start walking. At first he will race to get back in front of you, but repeat the same process a few times and he will begin to watch you because he's not sure where you're going or what you're doing.

Posted on May 2, 2012 2:58:50 PM PDT
I completely agree with the direction change approach.
every time the dog goes off on his own, change directions.
forces the dog to think about what you are doing, and not just wader on their own.
Although I must say, you do get some funny looks when you are first doing this with your dog, but the neighbors will get over it when you have a well-behaved dog!!! lol!!

Posted on May 2, 2012 3:22:07 PM PDT
Pamela says:
please give the gentle leader another try. My method is to reward the dog just for touching it, with a treat, so every time he sees it, he gets rewarded. Do this consistently until you are able to put it on for a treat. Then let him just wear it around, do not try to walk him with it until he can accept it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2012 5:57:41 AM PDT
MsCynic says:
When I got my 'three time loser' Belgian Rescue, I think I never left my front street. I turned around so much, I was dizzy, but he has obedience/rally/CGC/TDI titles now. People will think you're a bit nuts, but they'll feel much better than watching you get dragged down the street towards them.

Posted on May 3, 2012 6:08:09 AM PDT
Scott says:
Thanks for all the comments. He is doing a bit better in that he doesn't growl EVERY time at my feet and try to bite them, but he still leads me a bit instead of watching me. I guess I need to stop walking around the block and go back to a open field. I use a slip collar now that my trainer suggested, so when he goes off course I give a quick tug and correction, but it doesn't work as well when he leads. He will still sit down and not move and just look around, although he will occasionally look back at me, at which point I praise him and start walking again, but he goes right back to leading.

This weekend I'll try to do a bunch of direction changes. He is 3 months now, so I hope the bad leading behaviors he's learned aren't ingrained into him. I can't thank you guys enough for the advice.

Posted on May 11, 2012 5:07:50 PM PDT
Do you know how late is too late to do the change direction method?

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 6:03:00 AM PDT
MsCynic says:
Typically it's never too late. I've been working with Rescue dogs/shelters and rehomed animals for over 20 years. Just calmly/quickly do a 180 and start walking, when they rush to catch up to you, quietly praise them (can give them a treat if you like, but ONLY if they're looking up at you), and start off again in the other direction. If it takes off in front of you again, a quick 180 again. I had one dog that I don't think I left my front street for almost a week LOL!

Posted on May 14, 2012 7:36:35 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 14, 2012 8:57:15 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 16, 2012 2:47:26 PM PDT
yup. an old dog CAN learn new tricks!
it tends to get harder and take longer the older a dog is, but it is truly never too late!

most importantly, though, when you do the turns, just expect the dog to follow you. dont hesitate. dont look to see. just do it.

it is true that the number one training tool is confidence. both in you and your dog.

In reply to an earlier post on May 16, 2012 2:49:53 PM PDT
scott--

try varying your path each time. maybe walk the other way. maybe go halfway and turn around. that way the dog has to rely on you to know where he is going instead of just knowing already.

In reply to an earlier post on May 16, 2012 7:46:36 PM PDT
bugs6685 says:
It is never to late to do this method. I have done it with my rescue dog that is now 16. I did with her when she was 10.5 yrs old. she definitely responded to it almost immediately.

Posted on May 21, 2012 6:30:36 AM PDT
Scott says:
Thanks for all the great advice. I am planning on starting this training today. Is it best to do it on my sidewalk and make 180 degree turns, or to go somewhere like a field or parking lot and make 90 degree turns? Also, should I issue a verbal correction such as "heel" at every turn? Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 11:54:51 AM PDT
i think you should vary it. but make sure to turn in a direction the dog is not looking.
and, no do not give a command. just do it. you want the dog to be watching you for instruction, not listening for a command.

Posted on May 21, 2012 12:36:42 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 21, 2012 12:38:15 PM PDT
chixdilla says:
My dog (he's about a year old now) used to pull me and walk ahead of me whenever I walked him. Our trainer recommended the triple crown collar Tc Triple Crown Collar Large, and it's worked wonders. He stopped pulling after the first day we used it and now walks next to me throughout the walk. According to our trainer's instructions, you're not supposed to PULL the dog, you're supposed to make a sharp "tug and release" motion to get him to come back to you. The tug and release tightens the collar and startles the dog enough to get him to stop pulling on the leash. I know the collar looks scary but it's made of plastic, so it doesn't hurt the dog, it just makes it uncomfortable for them when they pull on the leash so they eventually learn that it's best not to. My dog has never had a problem with the collar. Good luck with your puppy!

Posted on May 22, 2012 7:40:29 AM PDT
Scott says:
Last night I took my dog out for his first attempt. It lasted about 5 minutes. I walked on the sidewalk in front of my house and changed directions every time he started to get ahead of me. I would make a quick jerk on the leash (attached to a slip collar) and then start walking. He got frustrated very quickly and started growling and trying to bite the leash and my pants. I'll try again today. I had to go in because I was worried someone would see me and think I was abusing my dog by jerking the leash like that.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 9:18:44 AM PDT
MsCynic says:
If he's particularly young, have a toy (Kong Wubba) or something there for him to vent his frustration/attention on. Or use his food/treat for focus. Just out of curiousity, did you mention what kind of dog it is?

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 9:49:21 AM PDT
Scott says:
He's 4 months. German Shepherd/Husky mix. I try to get his focus with the sit command but he doesn't seem to care. About to take him out again. I'll see how he does.

Posted on Jun 4, 2012 10:45:36 AM PDT
Scott -- you have a mix that's got two high-energy breeds in it. You might try exercising him in the house/your yard and tiring him out a bit before trying the "let's walk nice on the leash" exercise. A tired dog (and it takes a LOT to tire some puppies/breeds) is far more apt to be willing to walk gently. Good luck, and don't give up!

Posted on Jun 13, 2012 12:52:48 PM PDT
smartdog says:
Hi Scott, I wouldn't jerk the lead at all especially if its a slip lead as this will choke your dog, he may be growling because you are inadvertently hurting him. Also jerking a developing dog by anything attached to the neck can cause spinal injuries, so be a bit careful. I usually recommend practicing circle work in the garden to teach your dog to walk on the lead properly. This way he can concentrate on what you are trying to teach, rather than getting distracted with external environmental stimulation. Also keep you lead training short duration as it is hard work for both you and your dog. For more info
The Perfect Companion - Understanding, Training and Bonding with Your Dog!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012 5:01:20 AM PDT
DisplacedMic says:
in my opinion, an extended leash is a privilege to be earned. all of my dogs start on a 4 foot leash. once they master that sometimes i'll switch to one of the extenders but in all honesty, i prefer keeping them next to me - i really only use the extender if i'm going somewhere where i'll be sitting and need to keep them leashed.

my particular dogs have responded well to click training, so i invested in a few clicker leashes to make it easier. they're about $30 though so you could make your own if you didn't want to front that kind of $$$ but wanted to try it

Posted on Jun 14, 2012 5:47:22 AM PDT
Scott says:
He has gotten better. He still walks ahead of me, but he looks to me usually immediately now if I stop and he makes directions changes quickly. He will still wander off to the side and pick up every piece of trash off the road. I need to stop taking him on exercise walks and only do directional walks in front of my house until he understands that I want him by my side, but it's difficult to cut out the exercise walks when he stays inside 10 hours a day. He still growls at me and tries to bite the leash occasionally, which can be pretty embarrassing, but as long as his mind is occupied and he doesn't get into play mode, I can usually prevent it.
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Discussion in:  Dogs forum
Participants:  11
Total posts:  22
Initial post:  Apr 6, 2012
Latest post:  Jun 14, 2012

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