Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Walking without pulling

AnimalLover05
October 18th, 2006, 10:25 PM
Okay so here is another dillema i have with my boys. They pull so hard on the leash....and they aren't exactly small puppies. Chance(pit) is 71lbs and Rowdie(boxer) is 60lbs. I have tried to keep them on a short leash and tell them no when they pull but they get so excited when they go outside they just run amuck. If you have any other suggestions or can help in any way please let me know. Oh yeah I was thinking about getting them harnesses thinking that might help a little bit but am not sure...either way I am going to get them harnesses because they like to pull us on our skates...LOL but please if you do have any suggestions please let me know.

Prin
October 18th, 2006, 11:27 PM
I think you have to train them individually before walking both together.

MyBirdIsEvil
October 19th, 2006, 01:28 AM
It's almost impossible to train 2 dogs on leash at the same time if neither knows what to do. Once they both individually know not to pull, you can start practicing with them on leash together. Considering your dogs are so large, it's important that you teach them NOT to walk ahead of you, ever. I usually use a strong hand gesture to keep mine behind me, or maybe a slight leash correction, but for the most part you want to avoid pulling on the leash a lot to correct them for pulling, because it's counterproductive - it teaches them to pull rather than teaching them not to.
Make sure not to correct them for pulling, but to correct them for walking ahead of you. Once they're pulling they've already completed the behavior that you're trying to avoid, and they're probably already distracted by something else, which means you have to get their attention all over again. If instead you teach them where to walk, they learn that it's not ok to walk where they want, and pulling shouldn't be a problem.
Once you've taught each dog individually what to do, you can put them on leash together and practice it, it's just like moving up a distraction level with anything else. The only difficulty is that you have to pay attention to them both at once. Where you make your dogs walk while on leash together is largely a matter of preference. I usually make mine walk on the same side of me, with my least distractable (and most confident) dog on the outside, and my more submissive dog on the inside, because then he's not likely to lunge if something scares him, and he's also less likely to get distracted with me on one side and the other dog on the other side. I make the outside dog walk a bit further behind the inside dog and use the same tactics you use when teaching them to walk behind you individually.
My dogs actually walk better while on leash together because they're concentrating on walking the right way more than looking around at everything. It makes it kind of like a little job to them, each one walks in a certain position, and they know if they keep in that position they're doing good.
One mistake you don't want to make is praising them excitedly for walking in the right position, because they'll get excited and fall out of place.
Sorry if that was too long or incoherent, that's just the method I use, and many other people use different methods, but this works for me.

Oh yeah, just for the benefit of teaching them at first, you may want to exercise them BEFORE you train them to walk, because they'll be much less likely to catch on if they're very excited. Dogs often see going on a walk as an exciting thing, and it causes them to want to pull even more. You could try doing some kind of heavy activity with them, and then try walking them once you let them calm down a bit and they're slightly worn out.
Also, don't just walk outside with them on leash and automatically start correcting them and nagging them and making them walk with you. Let them sniff the air for a few minutes and calmly take in their surroundings, they'll be much less likely to try go explore everything once you start walking.

MyBirdIsEvil
October 19th, 2006, 01:44 AM
Hmmm, I hope that wasn't complete jibberish.
I'm tired and I reread it and it seemed confusing.
If my post confuses you just ignore it, lol.

jessi76
October 19th, 2006, 09:25 AM
...either way I am going to get them harnesses because they like to pull us on our skates...LOL but please if you do have any suggestions please let me know.

this may be the root of the problem. you allow pulling when on skates, but dont want pulling when walking. You may want to not use your skates until they have good leash manners, then start to train a special command to PULL when you do have skates on.

HunterXHunter
October 19th, 2006, 11:14 AM
Train them individually, and I would suggest a Gentle-Leader (or similar products) to help you with the training. :thumbs up




Oh yeah I was thinking about getting them harnesses thinking that might help a little bit but am not sure...either way I am going to get them harnesses because they like to pull us on our skates...LOL but please if you do have any suggestions please let me know.

Just make sure you can stop/stop them or else it could be dangerous :eek:
Also, with a harness they can/will pull harder because it won't choke them as it might with a regular collar.

MyBirdIsEvil
October 19th, 2006, 03:49 PM
I don't know how safe or effective a device like the gentle leader would be while walking 2 large dogs at once. I'm not against it, but does anyone have similar experience with it? I've also heard it can be dangerous if used incorrectly, and I'm not sure how easy it would be to use while paying attention to 2 dogs at once.

I'd think it would be ok while training them individually, but I personally wouldn't use one on both of my dogs at the same time. I guess I'm kind of a traditionalist anyway, I'd rather train my dogs to walk nice on a collar, because using a gentle leader doesn't mean they'll do any better when I put their collar back on.

As far as the harness, a normal harness probably isn't going to do anything to prevent such a large dog from pulling. An anti-pull harness may work, but they can still learn to pull on it. I had a harness on my 50 lb dog for a long time and she learned how to pull, and eventually she learned how to actually slip out of it somehow.
If you want a harness to have your dogs pull you on skates, I'd probably get a harness meant for pulling, because a normal harness actually puts pressure on their back and can hurt them because of the way it's designed and where the leash attaches.

And I also agree with jessi, until they know not to pull on their leash you probably don't want them pulling you on skates. Once they have leash manners you can start putting a harness on them and teaching them to pull. That way they know to pull when they have the harness on and get the command, but not when you're walking them on their collars.

AnimalLover05
October 19th, 2006, 04:30 PM
When we take the boys for a walk I never do it by myself. My husband goes with and he takes one and I take the other. At that point it almost seems as a challege for them who can pull farther.....When they walk alone they do not do too badly. They generally do not pull too bad and when they do I tell them NO PULL.....and they usually stop or if they don't stop then I make them stop and sit. I just do not know what to do when they are together its horrible...it turns out to be a nightmare. I am going to work a little more with them individually and then see but in the mean time I guess I do not know what to do. They do not have harnesses right now they just have regular collars with individual leashes. Is it easier to have them both on the same leash? I do not know if those are better or not. Any suggestions

MyBirdIsEvil
October 19th, 2006, 04:53 PM
There should be no difference whether you're walking them individually, or you and your husband are walking them together.
If he's walking one and your walking one, you need to treat it just like if anyone else was walking with a dog a head of you, it's a distraction. The dogs need to know that they're not following each other, they're following YOU.
You still need to never let them walk ahead of you, because once they get to the point where they're pulling it's harder to correct them. By that point they're pulling on the leash, you're pulling on the leash, and it doesn't teach them anything. Have you tried obedience training? Your dogs need to learn to walk next to or behind you, and it's A LOT easier to have someone show you in person.

One way is to put the dog in the sit position. Take a step and either give a command, or make a sound to let them know to follow you. As soon as their nose gets ahead of you at all, put your hand in front of your dogs nose and do something to distract them such as snapping your fingers so that they'll fall back behind you again. If the dog gets completely ahead of you and falls out of position, stop, put him the sit position and start over. The point is that you want them to walk as if they're not on leash, they need to know what position to walk in, and if they don't break position it's impossible for them to pull. Once they start to catch on you can calmly praise them for walking in the right place. This way you're teaching them what they SHOULD do, instead of teaching them what they shouldn't do by correcting them for pulling over and over again, which doesn't work.
Your dog is a lot more likely to catch onto the sounds that you make and your hand gestures than he is to you nagging him constantly by pulling on the leash to correct him. Afterall, he's pulling on the leash, so you pulling back at the leash to correct him isn't going to do anything. It just gets you into a fight over who can pull harder, and unless you're a very large strong person, the dog is going to win.