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considering e-collar... opinions needed please

July 8th, 2006, 11:03 PM
as a last resort, we are considering buying an e-collar for our incredibly stubborn dog... he is a 110 lbs male akita, very smart but also very unwilling to heel on the leash no matter what. training only works while with the trainer, when with us he will not obey. outside holds way too many interesting smells and stimuli for him.

we tried a halti, he learned to pull with his head at a 45 degree angle. we tried halter-type leashes, he will yank us off our feet and get sores under his elbows. pinch collars have ripped the fur out of his neck, chokers make him pass out as he cuts the blood supply to his head from pulling. we are at our wit's end. he sees another dog or any distraction and will pull so hard, he faints! we both have shoulder and neck injuries! and now a few days ago, his once-beautiful-thick neck fur has been rubbed raw in two places from pulling and his skin is red, sore, and starting to bleed. it is breaking our hearts, we want the pulling to stop and for him to heel properly. and yes he knows how to heel, perfectly, but chooses NOT to. :confused: he is otherwise an angel, very well-behaved and totally the beta in the house.

so, him being so smart yet so stubborn, we thought that using an e-collar would be a good, humane solution to teach him what is acceptable behavior, and what is not. either this, or he will bleed from his sore, furless neck and not be walked anymore. :( does anyone here have any input, good or bad, any experiences on this? please help!

July 8th, 2006, 11:44 PM
E collar? Umm.. Like the ones for not licking at wounds and incisions? :confused: Or E as in electric?

Have you tried the newtrix one yet? If not, bring your doggy to any store that sells them and ask to try it out. If the store has any customer service at all, they'll show you how to use it and let you test it for a bit. I'm telling you, this one is different.:)

No pulling angle will be a good angle. ;) Boo lunges still when he sees squirrels, bunnies and cats but with this sucker on, he doesn't even move. It's a principle like grabbing the neck fur on a cat- you know, the instinct thing. This is supposed to mimic how the mother doggy corrects the pups (right behind the head). Some dogs still pull on it though- which is why I say try it out before buying and make sure you have it fit properly and put on properly..

July 9th, 2006, 02:40 AM
Do you mean these babies: ?
My parents used one on our dal years ago, but it never really worked. Then again, she had an entirely different personality from Dakotah... she wasn't the brightest lightbulb out there (But bless her heart). I think it would be worth a try though.
I agree with Prin on the Newtrix. Layla has one, and though she's not much of a puller anyways, this eliminates all of it, even when a squirrel is near by (otherwise unheard of!!)
I hope his neck feels better soon though.:grouphug:

July 9th, 2006, 07:41 AM
which harnesses did you try? And what training methods did the trainer have success with?

The problems with e-collars are

a) that your timing must be impeccable - you have to push the button the INSTANT the leash goes tight - wait too long, and you may correct for a loose leash

b) what you want him to learn (tight leash=shock) may NOT be what he does end up learning.. for example, my trainer worked with a border collie that chased the family cat - owners got impatient and went to electronics. Dog went after cat, owner pressed button, child laughed - and dog made association "children's laughter=pain" . It started nipping at the child every time she laughed, and if I remember rightly, dog was either rehomed or euthanized.

A couple of really good articles on teaching loose leash walking

July 9th, 2006, 07:47 AM
It's just a suggestion, not a criticism.. but don't you think that perhaps if he was neutered he would become more focused on you and not every smell etc around him?:o

July 9th, 2006, 08:06 AM
Oh, he's intact? Yes, neutering him will more than likely refocus him on you, rather than "FIND THE GIRL FIND THE GIRL". I neutered my lab at 13 months, and within 2 months, it was like night and day - from completely distracted to a velcro boy who loved to please me

July 9th, 2006, 09:53 AM
I agree... I've heard (not sure if it's true) that some scent dogs aren't neutered because somehow they smell more clearly... (and if you neuter, no more testicular cancer! :highfive: )

July 9th, 2006, 10:24 AM
girls or no girls around, he ALWAYS pulls. out in the middle of a huge green field where no dogs go, he will pull and sound like he has a bad case of asthma :mad: at the end of any walk, when we are near to home and he is tired out, of course he does not pull anymore, scents or not. and since we are not getting him neutered for another few years, we are looking for a humane yet effective solution. Prin do you know which stores in Montreal sell the newtrix yet? i'll try everything before going the "shock" method, which really disgusts me.
funny thing, hubby taps dakotah's head with the nylon leash handle when he pulls and he falls into step instantly, cuz he haaates that. we just have to show him the whirring leash and he walks well. but try doing that downtown or in the woods or anywhere for longer than 15 minutes! it's just so exhausting, specially alone walking two dogs. that's 180 lbs of dog walking ME at 120 :eek: and god forbid we cross a cat... and they're everywhere... i've lost the battle too many times. :(

July 9th, 2006, 10:28 AM
Quite a few have them now... Not sure which ones downtown, but I know there's a place on Monkland and Woofer's on sources has them too.

July 9th, 2006, 10:32 AM
i'll drive to monkland :) do you know the name of the store? i'll call ahead & make sure they have his size so we can try it on... looked at the collar and it seems promising. :fingerscr that, coupled with rigorous training, will hopefully work?

July 9th, 2006, 10:34 AM
NATURALANIMAL & PAWTISSERIE at 4932B Sherbrooke St W (right across from where I work) sells them.

July 9th, 2006, 10:38 AM
I sent you a pm... Don't use it like a choker though... It should tighten on its own and get uncomfortable. No yanking.;)

July 9th, 2006, 10:40 AM
Our Eskie is also a puller but then he weighs only 25 lbs. - but then he has a lot of power. We have a NewTrix which works well for him when he gets his weekly walk at socialization but with me he thinks he is being murdered so he started to do opposite - would get behind me so I was the one doing the pulling. We started him on specific issues training with a private trainer who came to the house - NO TREATS! - she uses the Barbara Woodhouse method - so choke chain - but husband kept putting it on as a Q rather than a P - I checked each time by applying first to my wrist. After my husband scared me 3 times, I bought the Martingale - the "Ultimate" model made by Canine Equipment - has a good amount of fabric and is "almost" idiot proof - you can't put it on incorrectly but Not so Dear Husband, can hook up lead to wrong hook. Can't win. He doesn't hate the Martingale - and I carry the choke chain on my wrist as a reminder. Correction isn't as good with the Martingale but I can live with that. We have just been practicing our Downs again with the Martingale - If I get the metal part at about 8:00 and tug ever so gently he will do his down. If I am holding any form of food - his, ours, etc. he is on his belly in a second - so knows the word. But he is walking a whole lot better and I know I am not hurting his neck. He favourite word is "Place" - the Place is his Deluxe Double Donut bed (right - he sleeps with us) but he obeys that command as I drop the leash and settles right in - "escape" from the Mommy trainer. Eskies are very smart and stubborn as well - so makes them difficult to train. When he gets into the Double Donut he is stubborn by laying semi-flat but resting his elbow on the "arm" of the sofa like bed. The trainer feels he should be completely flat - but heck, can he help it if "his" sofa has an arm - good enough for me! I am just so grateful he hasn't chewed the $$$ bed - it might be because his groomer, where he goes every Thursday to socialize has a couple on the floor and he might have somehow picked up that chewing these beds is a definite no-no. But it is great - comes completely apart - insides and out can be washed. Groomer has had hers for 8 years. Can't tell you with other dogs how many $50 beds we bought that were shortly toast. I did ask the trainer about the e-collar as someone 2 blocks over was critical when she saw me with choke chain - right as if I was really using it properly - but told me the perfect thing was an electric shock - especially for barking. Sure Eskies are barkers, but my guy sleeps all night, is not tied in yard to bark at everyone, nor does he sit on couch barking at everyone who goes by. She feels e-collar as last resort - but for pulling problems you could be shocking every 2 seconds. A couple of my guy's friends have them, but they are used only for barking when in their own yards. Maybe give the NewTrix a try - my Eskie is very sensitive to his own pain - sometimes will yelp first just to remind you. His was properly fitted - we are one stop shoppers - his boots were properly fitted as well but he won't wear them, little devil. We won't be moving on to a rolled collar next because he has 3 of Canine Equipment's Safety Harnesses - all in good shape and they are great for anti-pulling - and he can't escape from them. Big problem though with the metal on the Martingale and choke is the staining of his very pristine white fur - "ring around the collar". The groomer has whitening products but this is almost impossible to get out. His tags hang from his harness and don't touch his fur so we didn't have this problem before and we got them in finish that doesn't stain. Good thing he loves the mud - looks dingy a lot of the time anyway. Hope you solve your problem.

July 9th, 2006, 10:49 AM
NATURALANIMAL & PAWTISSERIE at 4932B Sherbrooke St W (right across from where I work) sells them.

ah that's good news! i'll go Tuesday when we're back in town, thanks sooo much! crossing fingers.... :fingerscr

July 9th, 2006, 12:53 PM
Sorry I'm late to add to the post, but I have to COMPLETELY agree with trying the newtrix... my Sam is 85 lbs and the strongest dog for his size I've ever seen. He doesn't even make the leash taut with the newtrix. We had it readjusted the other week at Slobberfest to make it more comfortable for him. Choke collars, haltis etc did not work with him either.
Good luck!

July 10th, 2006, 02:38 PM
This is my favourite no pulling aid. It's the only one that worked for us.

July 10th, 2006, 03:16 PM
I use the Black Dog Head Harness. it stops the pulling, and doesn't ride up into the eyes. but I only use it when necessary - I try not to rely on it.

I think at this point, you should maybe take (or re-take) some OB classes and train how to walk properly on a regular flat collar & leash.

Tucker used to walk perfectly w/ my trainer, and be a ballistic pulling idiot on the leash for me. my shoulder hurt. my neck hurt. my hands hurt. and I was to the point where I didn't WANT to walk him. I used the Black Dog head harness to regain control - it didn't take long at all. Once Tucker realized I'm the LEADER, I started going back to the flat collar.

I think training will help the most, but as another option for a training tool:

I use the Training Halter (2nd one on page) but the first is designed to go from head harness to regular collar.

July 10th, 2006, 04:22 PM
i'm really glad to see so many other options out there that WORK for stubborn pullers... really don't want to use a shock collar. so tomorrow we'll go try the newtrix and see if that works, only hiccup is hubby not wanting his boy wearing anything that looks like a muzzle, i said i don't care what other people think, what's important is stopping this behavior and finally enjoying our walks with him! :o

July 10th, 2006, 04:47 PM
Is there something in particular the trainer does to make him listen? The fact that he at least walks nicely for someone is a good start. :)

July 10th, 2006, 04:54 PM
Is there something in particular the trainer does to make him listen? The fact that he at least walks nicely for someone is a good start.

that's because all the training happened inside... and he loves to please other people and be on his best behavior to impress them :o also he behaves well inside (heeling) for 30 mins to an hour, after that his brain takes a vacation and he just forgets we're at the other end of the leash... put that all outside and it's just h8ll :evil: if we constantly speak to him, look at him and remind him the leash is there by waving it in front of his head, he will heel. try doing that when walking downtown with two dogs and trying to talk to other people, LOL! anyways, we'll continue looking for the perfect training tool for Mister Bonehead and work on our parenting skills as well. will keep you guys posted, for sure! :highfive:

July 10th, 2006, 05:18 PM
I think you need to back up here .. you have a slight foundation (inside, with a trainer. So you need to practice and build on that foundation - start with practice inside the house (see those links I posted for tips on how to start). Then move to the back yard. Then the front yard. Idea is to begin with no- or minimal distractions, slowly increasing it. You can't expect him to jump from kindergarten to PhD level immediately.

I would walk him alone, at least for the training sessions (which only have to be 5 - 10 minutes at this time. If that isn't possible, have hubby walk the other dog while you work with him.

Best of luck - and remember, whichever harness or halter you end up using, is a management tool - it won't train him to walk nicely on a flat collar, which I hope will be your goal.

July 10th, 2006, 05:40 PM
I think you need to back up here .. you have a slight foundation (inside, with a trainer. So you need to practice and build on that foundation - start with practice inside the house (see those links I posted for tips on how to start). Then move to the back yard. Then the front yard. Idea is to begin with no- or minimal distractions, slowly increasing it. You can't expect him to jump from kindergarten to PhD level immediately.

i would, but... tiny appartment, big dog, no front or back yards, LOL! ah, life in crowded montreal... :rolleyes: but yes, the training would be one-on-one with him, short sessions to start with, the ultimate goal being to walk him with his flat gorgeous leather collars that hang useless in our house (grumble grumble). hubby is on board now with the training.... that was the biggest hurdle! :cool:

July 10th, 2006, 05:42 PM
take a look at these links about shock collars

this link includes report

One of the other risks not mentioned in the articles is redirected aggression, if you have two dogs out together and one feels the stab of the shock it many attribute that pain to the other dog and turn on them as a result

July 10th, 2006, 06:13 PM
thanks for the links OG! we'll figure it out without a shock collar... i just can't wrap my mind around it. :yuck:

July 10th, 2006, 08:14 PM
[QUOTE=Prin]Have you tried the newtrix one yet? If not, bring your doggy to any store that sells them and ask to try it out. If the store has any customer service at all, they'll show you how to use it and let you test it for a bit. I'm telling you, this one is different.:)

I agree, my boxer pulled like crazy, I tried everything from Harnests to a Gentle Leader, but all that did was make him turn his head everytime I pulled back. I just got thes Newtrix and it works amazing!!! I can't begin to tell you the difference its made. Our walks are now stress free, and when he see's another dog or anything that catches his eye he can't pull if he tried. I've also found that it seems he's stopped even trying to pull, I totally recommend it! Well worth the $40 bucks I paid for it! Good luck!

Oh and I was somewhat the same about how it appears to look like a muzzle, its not that I care what people think, I just don't want people thinking he's vicious, soooooooo many people come up to me and say awwwwww poor thing, has to wear that around his face, like I'm a bad mom, that drives me nuts! But you know what, I don't care, with the Newtrix we both enjoy our walk 10 times more, forget about other people. Once you've walked him a hundred times in your neighborhood they'll get to you know you anyway and know your dog is loving and not vicious... I have to explain everytime, that if he doesn't wear it he walks me, lol...

July 11th, 2006, 02:23 AM
There was something wrong with their website when I visited today (uhhh I guess that's yesterday now) and I am having difficulty picturing how this fits differently from a Gentle Leader and where it's control points are distinct from a Halti/ Gentle Leader etc. - does anyone have pix with it on your dog?

I am not happy with Ceili and her collar (one of these days I'll post a picture of her doing her "NO, I'm NOT going and you CAN'T make me. You're NOT the boss of me" faces). And I don't want to necessarily go back to the Gentle Leader since SHE hated it.

:sorry: for the hijack Technodoll - but enquiring minds gotta know!

July 11th, 2006, 02:51 AM
This is the pic from their website. The thicker part (black and red in the pic) goes around the muzzle with the big ring under the chin and the rest (all red part) goes behind the ears and clips onto the leash. The difference is, if they pull, it tightens the part that goes from ear to ear behind the ears. Like where the red in the pic meets the black (the two rings in the middle), the red part tightens when pulled. See how one red strap goes from one ring to the other? That is what tightens behind the head. Does that make sense?:o

I'd show you a pic, but an all black newtrix on an all black doggy doesn't show one bit.
(I've edited this so many times to try to make more sense, but I just can't. :o:D)

July 11th, 2006, 05:34 AM
Im at work right now, but if no one has posted a picture when I get home I'll take one of Rex and show you, I know that the picture from the site is hard to imagine, although if you go on the site it does show it on a dog. But the big difference is like Prin said, i pulls from the back of his head, rather then his chin, where a Gentle Leader would pull. When you pull back using a Gentle Leader all it does is turn his head back, and I read articles that its not good in the long run as it can cause problems, can't remember what exactly but something to do with the neck and back muscles. But when you pull the Newtrix it pulls the back of his head, and it tightens the muzzle piece, it only does that when the dog pulls. I find after 1 week of wearing it, Rex doesn't even attempt to pull anymore, unless he see's another dog, but in general he just walks beside me now. If you read the website I beleive it does explain all that, probably better then me:) Good luck!

July 11th, 2006, 09:49 AM
Does anyone else's dog hate the Newtrix lead. I tried all the recommendations on the package and the behaviour expert gave me some more, but Soozie still grabs it off her face every chance she gets. She gets so frustrated when it won't come off that she goes a little crazy and sometimes scratches herself. I totally agree it works though. I no longer have to put my arms back in their sockets when I get back from a walk. She still pulls a little though as she is very stubborn, but only with this one thing. Everything else she has been totally easy to train. Perhaps her prey drive is just too strong. The foundation I rescued her from is for ex hunting dogs. I think she has hunted in the past and just goes after everything that moves. Any suggestions on what else to try? How long will she have to wear the Newtrix lead before she gets it do you think. She has been wearing it every walk for 2 months now and still doesn't get that she can't pull.

July 11th, 2006, 10:09 AM
I think she has hunted in the past and just goes after everything that moves. Any suggestions on what else to try? How long will she have to wear the Newtrix lead before she gets it do you think. She has been wearing it every walk for 2 months now and still doesn't get that she can't pull.

she won't just "get it", she needs to be taught.

look up Tenderfoot's "be a post" method. Literally BE A POST when your dog pulls. don't move. the dog needs to learn pulling will NOT get her ahead.

You can also try to change direction. When walking, dog pulls, turn & go the other way. or start going backwards. If my dog pulls, we take steps BACK, not ahead. (I walked around in circles for a while)

keep the dog at your side - so it learns not to walk in front of you, or pull you down the street. When the dog starts to get ahead, walk INTO the dog, making a tight circle into her. this literally cuts off the dog's path, and forces the dog to watch you - stay with you, and follow your lead.

My dog is also a hound, and would choose to just sniff everything, going off to this side, that side, in front, behind me... on the advice of my trainer, I taught "heel" in a fenced area with NO leash. I just walked around the fenced area at a normal pace, and EVERY time the dog was walking nicely by my side, he got rewarded. then I re-introduced the leash.

I agree the harnesses are a great tool, and can be a lifesaver when out in a very distracting place, but really they are just a tool, and proper leash manners still need to be taught.

July 11th, 2006, 06:50 PM
I'd show you a pic, but an all black newtrix on an all black doggy doesn't show one bit.
(I've edited this so many times to try to make more sense, but I just can't. :o:D)
Here ya go:
If you've ever put a horse harness on, it's a lot like that, just no bitt. They come with great instructions too, figured it out first try. (and showed the sales girl at the same time!)

July 11th, 2006, 06:54 PM
It should be loose enough for a full yawn, and some slack on the sides, but not loose enough to fall off.

July 11th, 2006, 07:07 PM
the pawtisserie petshop has the newtrix collars on backorder, they will call me when the shipment comes in... i reserved a size L! should be within a few days... can't wait! :fingerscr hoping it works, looks like a fine training tool!

July 11th, 2006, 10:27 PM
omg that second one of layla is adorable.

They don't like the newtrix too much I think- Boo rubs his face on strangers that approach him. But after he associated it with long peaceful walks where he doesn't get yelled at at all, he doesn't really mind it and gets excited when I pull it off the hook.

I hope the large fits- Boo is a large...:o

July 13th, 2006, 05:18 PM
so, is it a newtrix with a different name? :confused:

July 13th, 2006, 05:20 PM
No, it's the "newtrix easyway". :)

July 13th, 2006, 05:28 PM
ha ha! too funny... they "trixed" me on that one :p

July 16th, 2006, 05:49 PM
I just read this post and, TD, I hope you love the Newtrix as much as I do. I purchased mine from this site (thanks Marko) and just got it last Thursday.

What a difference!! I thought I would have trouble with my husky getting used to it as he hated the Gentle Leader and I ended up giving in to him and just using a harness. He doesn't mind it at all and my arm loves being back in it's socket. :D

I am definitely going to order another one from here for my lab but want to wait until he's completely full grown. The one I ordered (50-80 lb.) fits him now but I'm expecting him to weigh about 90lb. eventually. So he's wearing the Gentle Leader for now. :(

Let us know how you like the Newtrix.

July 16th, 2006, 06:08 PM
as soon as the store calls me, i'll go pick it up and let you know! :) glad to hear about so many good results with it!

July 24th, 2006, 03:04 PM
Technodoll....have you got your newtrix collar yet?

July 24th, 2006, 03:21 PM
not yet! the store JUST called me today, what a coincidence :D they have a large one in stock now, but i can't get it for another two weeks... i leave town Friday morning to work in Boston for a grueling 8 days, and the store closes at 7pm this thursday - i cannot make it out there on time.

in the meanwhile it's Training with a big "T", hubby is doing wonderfully well on NOT letting dakotah pull on walks anymore, already it's made a big diff. the boy still wants to pull, but knows that "it ain't going nowhere no more" :o

July 24th, 2006, 04:19 PM
Can't your hubby pick it up or will they put it on hold for you?

July 24th, 2006, 05:05 PM
lol only on are people all excited about somebody buying a fancy leashy thing.:D

(but don't stop- I want to know how it goes too!)

July 24th, 2006, 05:08 PM
let's put it this way... i have to remind hubby every day to fill up the dog's water dish! :rolleyes: so no, he won't drive out there to have it fitted and see if it's for dakotah or not... ya know? :o but yes, the store will "kind of" hold it for us, they said they rarely sell a size Large and in the event they do sell it before i drop by, they will order another one. Very nice place! :thumbs up

July 24th, 2006, 05:19 PM we have to wait another two weeks. :(

July 24th, 2006, 06:24 PM
TD, do you want me to pick it up for you? I do afterall spend my days right across the street from there. :p

July 24th, 2006, 07:42 PM
thanks puppyluv :o i do really want to have it fitted at the store to make sure it's the right size and i know what i'm doing, you know? we've waited this long... a few more days won't be too bad. i do love that store though, do you know if they sell raw frozen green tripe? :p

August 5th, 2006, 05:10 PM
well i decided not to get the newtrix after all... tried it on, tried it out, and dakotah doesn't pull any less, it looks like an awful contraption on his head and the muzzle strap kept going dangerously close to his eyes because of the pulling, it looked painful, and he could not really pant in it like he needs to in the summer, so all in all: not for us. we'll just keep working on the training and eventually he'll get better at heeling during walks.

jesse's mommy
August 5th, 2006, 05:24 PM
I can't remember if anyone brought it up before, but what about a prong collar? When we moved to Florida Jesse became a demon dog to walk -- more so for the honey not so much for me because she listens to me more than him. Well we were at the store and looking at different options and the woman was helping us out with different suggestions. When we got to the prong collar my first reaction was NO! Honey wanted to consider a choke collar and that was a DOUBLE NO! So we went back to the prong. I had the lady adjust it and we put it on my arm and pulled as tight as possible and to my surprise it didn't hurt. I think for dogs it's the idea of it tightening and not actually doing what a choke collar does. For those hard to leash train dogs I would definitely recommend it, but only for training, not a permanent thing. Anyway, we used it for about two months with Jesse and we no longer need it. She now walks just fine on a regular collar.

August 5th, 2006, 06:01 PM
techdoll, how old is your doggy? I've seen you post a lot but I don't think I've ever noticed.
Keep working on the training, it takes LOTS of time, my 45 lb chow mix used to be an awful puller (yes she's not that heavy but I'm only 5 foot 1, and she's all muscle), but after working on her EVERY single time I took her outside, finally she's getting better. I took her for a walk yesterday and she only got distracted and pulled maybe 5 times within the hour, which I think is the most pleasant walk I've had with her.
We could never use a halti on her because it never fit right on her head, and she hated it. I think 'cause of the chow in her she has a large head with a fairly short muzzle so nothing fits right. We used a normal harness on her for awhile but she just learned to pull worse with it and she somehow learned to slip out of it (unless I have it on really tight, but she has a deep chest and it impedes her breathing). The no pull harnesses didn't really keep her from pulling that much and they rubbed really bad on her elbows and underarms. Her chest is so deep and her ribcage is so big everything she wears has to be in an extra large, and doesn't fit right on the rest of her body.
I have yet to find (or try) a device that works well on powerful, large or stubborn/dominant dogs, so I guess just lots of training and work is about the only thing to do :( .

August 5th, 2006, 06:03 PM
jesse's mommy, prong collars can make large and dominant dogs agressive or nippy. We used one on walnut at one time but it made her EXTREMELY nippy, and after a few minutes the corrections didn't effect her anyways.

I think for dogs it's the idea of it tightening and not actually doing what a choke collar does.

Prong collars work on the theory that the prongs feel like the teeth of another dog correcting your dog. This is why it's not good on Large agressive or dominant dogs, because it can make them worse.

jesse's mommy
August 5th, 2006, 06:05 PM
I guess it just depends on the dog because it worked fine with Jesse. She just walks next to us now and doesn't pull at all. We used the prong for two months and that was it. Back to her Mickey Mouse collar. I can actually hold her leash with my pinky.

August 5th, 2006, 06:12 PM
Yeah it works great on normal dogs that don't have any dominance or agression problems or aren't extremely stubborn.
Walnut is stubborn enough that if you let her she will pull and choke herself on her normal collar, a choke collar, OR yes a prong collar. Plus like I said it made her nippy which was annoying :rolleyes: . She's also developed dominance problems recently so I'm glad I didn't keep using it on her.
We just had to work a lot on obedience with her, and this is doing the trick.

August 5th, 2006, 06:18 PM
dakotah is 2.5 years old, a "mature adolescent" LOL :rolleyes: i wish we could use the prong collar on him but it totally rips the fur right off his neck no matter what, and stains it gray on top of everything. grr. he does walk better with it on but his neck & fur type are just not ideal. bummer. and forget any halter... halti... yep big head, short muzzle, deep chest, etc... typical akita!

the good thing is that this forces both hubby and i to work extra viligently at making sure we enforce the Heel command on walks, he's already so much better and i :pray: this continues!

August 5th, 2006, 06:24 PM
Just be patient, it will get a lot better (with some frustrating relapses lol).
Walnut is completely obedient in the house (I'm even teaching her to go turn off the light switch :eek: ), but as soon as she steps through the door oh god.
I think I had to drag her back in the house about a million times before she would actually sit after walking out the door, lol.
She'd sit obediently at the door then we'd walk through it and it would be like a light flickered on or something, and she'd pull as hard as she could trying to get off the porch and look at stuff. I felt like I walked outside and back in for about in hour before I could get her to notice I was there after we went outside.

August 5th, 2006, 06:57 PM
Aww, TD, sorry to hear the Newtrix didn't work out. It works like a charm on my siberian husky. I can actually walk with a loose leash now. ;)

From reading all the posts every dog is different though. Good Luck with Dakotah. :fingerscr

August 5th, 2006, 07:56 PM
You might want to try the target stick ? Some people get very good results...

August 5th, 2006, 08:40 PM
How would you use a target stick for leash pulling? You can use them for teaching dogs to do stuff like turning on and off light switches, which I'm teaching Walnut right now, but other than that I dunno.

August 5th, 2006, 09:24 PM
Same thing as with any command. The stick simply shows the dog where we want him to "put his nose". In the same way a dog will learn to lie down where we point the stick, he can learn to heel.

August 5th, 2006, 09:58 PM
I have taught my dogs to touch a target stick, and it does have its uses.. but I tend to stick to the simplest solution, especially for walks. Instead of the stick, teach "touch' to your open palm. One less thing to carry. :thumbs up

August 5th, 2006, 10:39 PM
I think something like that would probably work ok for teaching heel (since heel is a target command) once your dog knows how to not pull on the leash, but I don't see how it would serve much of a use with a heavy puller because that particular dog needs to learn that if it pulls it's not going anywhere first.
That's where prong collars and stuff come into place because a 110 lb dog with no leash manners is going to be able to drag you down the street if all you're doing is holding onto a leash connected to a flat collar.

August 6th, 2006, 07:19 AM
You can either chose to make your dog heel with coercion or with cooperation. Whatever the weight of your dog, both methods work, it all depends on the way you see things and the amount of work you want to invest. The point in heeling is having your dog behave as if he had no collar and leash, and so the type of restraint he is wearing should not play any part, providing you teach him what you expect. Not saying it is always easy though...

August 6th, 2006, 11:40 AM
That sucks, technodoll. Maybe the fur is too thick and dulls the effect... You should feed your dog ol' roy for a while so the fur will thin out, become all sickly and then the collar will work.:thumbs up (do I really have to tell you all that that is sarcasm?)

Good luck finding another method though.:fingerscr

August 6th, 2006, 11:56 AM
LOL! prin you don't even have to mention it, i know how you think and was LMAO!! :D we're back to training with the combo-collar (flat nylon collar, but martingale-style so it's not a complete choker), and he's much better now because he's getting the drift that we're not pushovers anymore. yey!! :thumbs up

August 6th, 2006, 03:19 PM
I am sorry to be jumping in so late - especially on a 3 page thread. I have been gone for month and am late on everything these days.

Inverness has made some very good points. All of the gimmicks you can try won't teach your dog to have manners without the gimmick. As long as you rely on a gimmick or treats so does your dog. It typically won't hold for the long run when you are working with distance and distractions.

Simply walking one step in the direction your dog is pulling teaches him to pull, and he will do it more everyday and pull harder to get where he wants to go. There is another post on pulling/carting which describes how to teach a dog to pull - most people are experts at teaching it and their dogs are champions at pulling.

Your walks should be about where you want to go not about where he wants to go. Don't think you are going to go from point A to point B or to the park or around the block. He goes forward only as long as he has manners. This could be 1 step at a time until his brain kicks in and he starts caring about what you want.

Dogs that pull not only learned it from their people but are also typically in charge of their own world a great majority of the day. They do what they want to 24/7. The walk is no different - they are pulling you where they want to go. So often this can be about so much more that the pulling itself. How well does your dog do 30 things at distances and with distractions? How good is he in general? This is about respecting the leader and not being so independent that he blows the leader off and yanks him around. You see grown men being pulled around by their toy poodles so it shouldn't be about size - it is about engaging the brain. Granted an Akita is strong but if he is being asked to think about his behavior then his size shouldn't matter.

We start with the '2-step dance' before we ever go on walks. But very quickly the walks are successful because we created a good foundation for manners. Manners are simply NO pulling and NO walking in front of me.

August 6th, 2006, 03:56 PM
Iverness, I think you may have mistook what I mean.
I'm not saying to use a choke chain or something to yank on your dog and teach him where to go.
The only reason I use one on my dog is because it makes ME feel more secure that my dog won't be able to run off and get hit by a car or something. Also, she feels the chain pull on her neck quicker so it doesn't get to the point where she's pulling against her flat collar and I'm having to drag her along.
When training my dog not to pull, as soon as the leash becomes taught in the least I change direction and click at her with my tongue (she already knows when I click at her to pay attention), this causes her to look at me and also change direction and she learns that if she follows me the pressure on her will disappear. When she's walking beside me I give her lots of praise (though not excitedly because this will get her hyper and make her want to pull).
I NEVER use a leash to train my dog inside , it's just not necessary, but outside there's so many things that could happen to her it's necessary. All the chain does is prevent her from becoming fixated or running after something , like I said it is NOT a no-pull device.
Honestly when we're out somewhere like the river where there's no traffic or people I don't even leash her because I don't need as quick a reaction time from her. There's also more distance to work with. For example, she starts to lead ahead of me, I can turn around and keep walking the other way, suddenly she'll notice that I'm ignoring her and she'll come follow me instead (this has actually helped with her leash pulling too).
There is no danger of her running off and getting hit by a car or something.

The BEST way to teach your dog not to pull is to set the proper foundation as SOON as you get them as a puppy, but for some of us that's not possible.
When I got my puppy I didn't know much about dog training and I had to learn everything as I went.

I'm not suggesting people do what I do, I know my dog, and I know what works best for her.

August 6th, 2006, 04:04 PM
providing you teach him what you expect

Sorry I just wanna respond to that (I know I'm typing too much). I'm not disagreeing with you I just wanted to add on to that.

A dog can know what you expect but it doesn't mean the dog will want to do it.
You still need set rules and boundries for the dog and give it a stable enviroment or else it won't WANT to follow anything you tell it to do.

It took me a long time to learn that, and lots of people still don't get it.

August 6th, 2006, 06:14 PM
Which is why it comes down to leadership. Provide good leadership and your dog will do as you ask. If he doesn't respect you but respects the collar - then he is not working with you he is working for the collar.

August 6th, 2006, 07:52 PM
in the house, dakotah does everything we expect him to do and alot more. His manners are impeccable and he is the best behaved dog ever. We have used the NILIF training method since the first day he came home and it has worked like a charm. Outside is another story: his off-leash recall is very reliable albeit sometimes he takes his sweet time responding. Once the leash is on though... it's like he loses all respect for whoever is on the other end of the leash, it's baffling. he knows how to heel perfectly well, but he chooses not to respond or only respond grudgingly.

I know we are responsible for this because we let him get away with it for so long, and now he is testing us to see if we will give him that proverbial inch so he can take the paw. If we get REALLY pissed and scold him loudly, he will just sit in the heel position and give us a "high-five". then he will walk well until the next distraction... if he is tired, he heels. If we are walking back towards home, he heels. if he sees another dog... all bets are off. I've started making him Sit/ Stay when another dog passes by, and it helps a LOT. Walks are a constant training session, watching & correcting & praising & doing the turns, the stops, the positioning, etc. Not very pleasant, specially with two dogs and crowded sidewalks, but it has to be done!

i'm really curious though, WHY he does this. He's a very smart dog, he respects us, he knows his place in the pack, he knows how to heel... is this his little form of rebellion? his way of saying "you're not the boss of me all the time"? :confused:

August 6th, 2006, 08:28 PM
if he is tired, he heels

Maybe he just doesn't have enough exercise in general, I know that's a lot of my dogs problem. Aren't akitas fairly high drive dogs? My dog can swim for about 6 hours straight and barely tire out, that's how high drive she is, so I know that's lots of her problem.
I'm actually planning on getting her a treadmill to exercise on because when it's extremely hot out, like it's been for months now, I can't exercise her outside much (unless it's in the river which I can't go to every day) as she gets overheated easy. My house isn't very big so running her around indoors doesn't work. At night, when it's a little cooler the mosquitos attack us (I live in southeast missouri surrounded by rice fields and all kindsa swampy areas), and even OFF bug spray doesn't help.
I know exericise helps a lot, when we take her to the river she's EXTREMELY well behaved on and off leash because she's having fun and being active.
I'm also thinking about teaching her weight pulling/carting, which I saw in another thread, because it seems like something that we could do outside and she could use her brain and burn off some energy, plus it could be like a little job for her.

Not very pleasant, specially with two dogs and crowded sidewalks, but it has to be done!

Maybe you could try taking them out more one on one 'til he gets the hang of it, that's what I do a lot with my dogs.

August 7th, 2006, 09:24 AM
In other words he is great if it suits him.

He is in the habit of bolting when he sees other dogs. Thats his habit and it has worked for him. Stopping might work in certain situations but you need to stop the thought before it becomes and action and get his mind busy and on you.

I would work on your speed of interruption. for a while you should try to change what you are doing with him every 5-10 steps. Changes direction, speed, stop, TURN INTO HIM a lot. As much as you can don't use the leash just your body language. Of course you have the leash on but try not to use it unless you have to. In the beginning you might need it a lot but then see if he will cue to your voice or body. Exaggerate your actions so that he can cue in. i.e. when you stop scuff your foot loudly and stop abruptly.

If you can stop the thought before it becomes an action then you are changing his habits and preventing the adrenalin rush that comes with going after other dogs.

The micro-second he sees another dog - when he first raises his brow or twitches an ear - you cut right into his shoulder and do a 180 turn into him. Walk away - work on drills - be a bigger distraction than the other dog. Each time you head towards the other dog you should be able to get 2 steps closer. Progress. Soon you will be able to walk past the other dog with no lunging. Don't forget to reinforce the 'leave it' command if he starts towards that dog.

August 11th, 2006, 06:02 PM
in the house, dakotah does everything we expect him to do and alot more. His manners are impeccable and he is the best behaved dog ever. We have used the NILIF training method since the first day he came home and it has worked like a charm. Outside is another story: his off-leash recall is very reliable albeit sometimes he takes his sweet time responding. Once the leash is on though... it's like he loses all respect for whoever is on the other end of the leash, it's baffling. he knows how to heel perfectly well, but he chooses not to respond or only respond grudgingly.


I've been reading this for awhile without having any input mostly because I have an extremely small dog (Maltese X, 9 lbs), and if he decides he wants to pull, it isn't difficult for me to get him to stop.
I wanted to reply today to mention one thing that I saw on TV, in Stanley Coren's "Good Dog" show. He said that, to a dog, a leash is (or should be) an extension of their master's arm. He recommended a dog *always* be trained on leash, because then they will learn that the leash means they're connected to you and they can't just go and do their own thing.
I know that probably doesn't help you very much, but I really don't know what else to tell you. Perhaps something like agility or flyball would provide a place to train him and give him & the other dog the ability to blow off some steam as well as playing with other dogs.
I'm sorry that you're having such a difficult time with him, and I hope that you can find a way to teach him. Have you considered enlisting the other dog to help you? What kind of dog is the other? Is he anywhere near the same size? Could you use a leash splitter to connect them and then praise the other dog for not pulling? Often a well-behaved dog who is getting praised can be the best teacher to a dog who isn't behaving well and realized that he is getting no praise.

You might also want to consider carrying your dog's regular food around during your walks (for treats), and not feeding him at home at all. Perhaps a few days of not eating will make him realize that pulling is a bad idea. I've seen this work for other dogs (a drug-sniffing beagle), but it may or may not work for you.

Good luck.

August 11th, 2006, 11:04 PM
thank you so much for all the helpful advice everyone! made hubby read it since he walks dakotah most of the time (i have maika) and he's applying most of the techniques and doing his best to remember the tips. i don't see any real improvement yet over a few weeks ago (but those are much better than a few months ago so we're on the good path i think), and that's because i noticed tonight that hubby is NOT consistent in many things. i tried to explain to him that you wouldn't expect a young child to understand why he can only stay up late and watch tv on a saturday night and not the other nights of the week, right? well when he "chooses" to let dakotah drag him to sniff another dog's butt while walking on the leash just because the other owner ok'd it, well that is SO wrong. the dog then assumes this behavior is ok so why change? :frustrated: anyways... let's hope the advice sinks in soon! :fingerscr

August 11th, 2006, 11:12 PM
and that's because i noticed tonight that hubby is NOT consistent in many things. i tried to explain to him

LOL....I can certainly relate to that !!! Most hubbies are never consistant when it comes to things that are important to us. :D

August 11th, 2006, 11:34 PM
Most hubbies are never consistant when it comes to things that are important to us.

and then they complain that we NAG! :frustrated: if they only did what they're supposed to do in the first place... grumble grumble i swear, men have a gene that blocks them from changing the toilet paper roll or seeing grease splatters on the stove! :frustrated:

August 12th, 2006, 05:43 PM
Well I for one can say my b/f is COMPLETELY consistent with our dog. :rolleyes:


His reasoning is "but she's so cute and cuddly!"

jesse's mommy
August 12th, 2006, 05:48 PM
I know that my honey is also consistent. He is so consistent he wonders why Jesse mouths him and paws at him to get what she wants -- and of course, she does. :rolleyes:

August 12th, 2006, 07:28 PM
LOL, Jesse's Mommy. Your hubby and my hubby must be clones. :D