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Great at everything but the leash

Jake's family
January 22nd, 2007, 07:10 PM

In the summer of 2006, my husband and I (no kids) adopted an approximately 1 year old stray poodle - ? mix (we think the ? is either lab or pointer). He has been a delight and a challenge. Both being dog owners for our whole lives, we have been able to train Jake into a great dog.... he is very smart, taken him to begininer obedience (he got most improved!), sorted out his allergies and skin condition, fixed the running out the door when open thing (although he does occasionally still make it into the trunk... who knows why he likes it there). The one thing we are still have a lot of trouble with is walking on the leash. He is fine when there is no other dogs around. He is fine off leash with other dogs (ie, with our neighboor's dog in the same fenced backyard and a few days at a local doggie daycare). When is on the leash, however, he barks, growls and spins around in circles when he sees other dogs, especially when the other dogs are not calm too. We are currently using the Halti which he spins out of thus making it ineffective. We have also tried walking past without making a fuss towards him, making him sit and pay attention to us, treating to let him know it's ok.... none of which have worked. We don't know what else to do and need help. He is really obedience everywhere else but on the leash. PLEASE HELP!

January 22nd, 2007, 07:39 PM
How in the heck is your dog spinning out of a halti?? Are you sure it's on right? lol

Check pic (the nosepiece often gets put on backwards, making it easy to "spin" out of).

January 23rd, 2007, 08:14 AM
I use a head harness made by Black Dog.

here's the link:

I use the Training halter, as you'll see as the 2nd product on that page. they also have a connector, 3rd product on page, this connects the head harness TO a regular collar. so if for any reason the dog slips out of the harness, the lead is still connected.

I would use something such as this for extra security while you work on his leash manners (w/ other dogs around). sounds like you're doing it right, by getting him to focus on you. Have you considered taking another obedience class to work on this one issue? I took OB lessons also, in a group setting. small classes, about 5-7 ppl and their dogs, so it really helped my dog learn his manners in the presence of other dogs.

January 23rd, 2007, 08:24 AM
I have used a Halti as well, and Hunter has gotten out of his a couple of times as well. For the most part he is good and very well behaved, but on occasion, he has make a very quick manouver and gotten out of it.

The one we use now, may still be a Halti brand, I can't quite recall, but it has a place where it can be connected to a regular collar, so if he spins out of it, he is still leashed.

January 23rd, 2007, 09:07 AM
I'm sorry... which one are you using exactly? The halti's I've used all get tighter when the dog pulls, so I'm a bit thrown that the dog can wiggle out of it. What about the Gentle Leader? It's the least effective for head control, as it hangs under the chin, but I've seen dogs pratcically try hang themselves, rub their face on the floor, pull at it with their paws, and spin madly trying to get it off. That thing just doesn't come off. Most dogs seem to just haaate them at first, but adjust quickly. (Personally, they're not my choice of walk control either)

January 23rd, 2007, 09:34 AM
I'm not exactly sure which one it is, as I am at work now.

Hunter does this sort of quick stop then duck thing where his head can come right out of it. When we are walking, if he is pulling he will never get it off, but he learned that with a quick stop and a ducking of the head, the thing will slip right off. I don't know how he figured it out, but it has happened numberous times, moreso if someone other than myself is walking him, as he will test them out.

I am pretty sure we don't really need it with Hunter now, but as he is the same weight as I am, I would rather know for sure that I have control, then to just trust that he won't lunge.

January 23rd, 2007, 11:51 AM
Best thing to do is work on your obedience, and teach your dog the "watch me" command so that when you see another dog you can put him in a sit and have him watch YOU for direction. My one MinPin was like this and it took time but he's fine now. Just redirect that energy, do some tricks, puppy push ups (down, sit, down, sit) use lots of rewards for good behaviour and keep at it. The other thing that works as well is if he starts to fuss, turn around immediately and then do a sit/watch me etc.... It takes time but does work. Once he's more reliable, ask friends with dogs to help you walking by etc. Remember to breath and don't get upset, stay calm.

January 31st, 2007, 08:10 PM
Have you tried an anti-pull harness? I have had some success with the Lupi.

As mentioned in the prong discussion thread...there are a lot of things out there for pulling but they don't all work for every dog - it really depends on how your dog will deal with it. For example, I have found the Gentle Leader to be very effective with my golden but Spirit seems to be saying that it doesn't work for his/her dog. Every dog is different.

There is only one way to find out and that's to try different things!

February 1st, 2007, 04:09 PM
My dog can wiggle out his Halti if it is not adjusted properly. The adjustable strap can work itself loose with time. There's a safety link conecting to the collar/harness which comes with the Halti so that he can't got loose if he slipped out. I personally wouldn't walk my 80lb dog without the Hilti. He hates the Halti with a passion and complains everytime I tried to put it on him. Well, I'm used to my adolescent kids talking back. He is at the age too.

February 1st, 2007, 05:52 PM
I know its impossible to control his environment all the time but at this point, you want to be far enough away from other dogs so your dog is NOT reacting... That might be 10, 20 or 50 feet away - sometimes even out of sight at first... It sounds like working on attention in a less distracting environment will also help, as well as deliberately practicing "near" other dogs (but again far enough away that your dog will still give you attention). The idea behind this is to set your dog up for success and slowly work up to his biggest distractions! If you work far enough away, you should not need a training tool - although its your choice (and you may want to continue working with the training tool until your dog will give you 100% attention or in case a dog "sneaks up" on you guys so you still have some control). You need to figure out what motivates your dog (food, toys, praise, petting) and use it as the reward - tugging would be my choice because it promotes interaction with you (and makes you more exciting than anything). To increase your dog's toy drive, get a special toy and only take it out when you are working on attention around dogs. Don't work on attention all the time - for instance, let your dog sniff, play fetch or even watch the dog(s) from a distance - but make sure that when you call your dog over, you reward big time! If at anytime your dog loses interest in the reward, you have either been practicing too long or have moved closer to the distraction than your dog is ready for!

If you are using a head halter, your dog should not have enough leash to walk in front of you... Head halters are supppose to be used in close proximity to you - like heel position (otherwise there is a danger of neck injuries).
If you decide to try the prong, I'd again make sure your dog is quite close to you so he cannot lunge... The only reason why a prong would worry me in this case is because your dog gets so excited around dogs that he may not notice the prong tightening and lunge with lots of force...BUT if you keep him on a short enough leash so he cannot lunge and are able to get his attention and walk away without jerking/pulling him, then a prong may be for you.

Another option is an easy walk harness (which I have no experience with):
Or another head halter called New Trix easyway collar (again which I have no experience with!)

I only have experience with the halti and the prong (not for pulling issues though)... I've never had an issue with the halti so it's one of my favorite tools.

Good Luck:thumbs up

February 1st, 2007, 07:36 PM
My choice of walking collars is the gentle leader. It is more expensive than the halti but has more ability to adjust in size. I find the halti doesn't fit every dog as it is made for dogs with a narrow, long nose. The neck area is adjustable but the nose piece isn't and if your dog falls between sizes it won't fit properly. Many people don't size it correctly which is the reason why they now have the collar attachment. If you were to size it correctly the neck piece should fit snug behind the ears and the nose shouldn't be too large that they can pull it off or too tight that it constantly corrects. The dog should not be able to back out of it because when a dog pulls forwards or back the nose piece tightens and there is no pressure at all on the neck.
With either of the head halters it doesn't matter where they walk as long as the leash is slack.