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My Pup ALWAYS pulls on walks - HELP!

April 19th, 2008, 11:40 PM
Since 1 weeks after we got him, Chase has pulled like a fiend on walks, and we have been trying to correct it ever since. He's 11 months now and we are sick of it! He is so good with everything else! He is great off leash and comes when he's called, leaves things alone or drops them as soon as we tell him....he always looks to us for direction and listens very well. In general, I feel we have excellent control over our dog....except when he's on the leash! He always wants to get there FIRST, and pulls incredibly hard when he sees a dog he wants to play with or a person he thinks will pet him. Just to clarify it's clearly not aggression....but rampant, uncontrollable curiosity and determination. Here is a list of everything we've been doing:

- we always go through doors ahead of him
- we go up and down stairs ahead of him
- quickly changing direction (trying to show WE control where we go)
- we tried a Halti for several months, but he started pulling so hard it was rubbing his eyes and I was scared of doing damage
- quick leash corrections (with a martingale collar) - but when he REALLY pulls it's hard to have enough slack on the leash to give a correction....we try to anticipate the pulling but sometimes it's just constant.
- we give him a very short amount of leash and keep him at our side
- stopping and putting him in a sit-stay (which he does VERY well, even with another dog 12 ft. or so away - but as soon as he's "free" and we take even one step he's off and pulling again)
- and we NEVER reward the behaviour by letting him see whoever he was trying to get to

Any advice? We just don't understand it.....why will he plunk his butt down and not move an inch towards something he wants yet as soon as we're walking again he pulls so hard that he's essentially filing his nails on the pavement?

BTW, any Lab Mix I have ever know has had a similar problem....has anyone else noticed this in Labs?

April 19th, 2008, 11:50 PM
Ceasar Milan markets a collar that I think might help solve your problem. Sits high on the neck like a show ring collar. Might be worth a try.


April 20th, 2008, 01:03 AM
Thanks, it looks interesting. I'd like to avoid spending that much money on a collar...mainly because I would like to resovle the problem through training. But if things don't improve in a few months, I will certainly consider investing in it - I feel I could trust a product developed by Cesar to be effective, and had no idea it existed, so thank you! :)

Does anyone have any training suggestions? Something I seem to have missed? I noticed an improvement when we started using the martingale collar two months ago - it helped a lot with the pulling in general and we got him to stop racing ahead on stairs....but it hasn't helped stop him from pulling when he sees something he wants....things which are annoyingly frequent! :frustrated:

April 29th, 2008, 05:37 AM
I've also been having pulling problems and did a little reading and am planning on going right back to square one - check this article out Loose Leash Walking (

I figure it's worth a try even if it means no walks for a while(I'll exercise her at home).Hope that helps!

Cass :)

April 29th, 2008, 08:07 AM
Here's some suggestions from this website

Leash Training Do's
-Use a body harness and train your puppy to accept it the same way you teach puppy to accept a collar. Check here if your pup is frightened or leery of the collar/harness or leash.

-Use lures and praise to keep puppy at your side.

-Keep the leash loose at all times. If you see your puppy starting to forge ahead, abruptly reverse directions so that puppy finds himself suddenly behind or beside you instead of forging in front of you. Don't wait until the puppy is clear at the other end of the leash, pulling ahead before you take action. The leash should always remain loose except for that one split second it takes when you're reversing direction. Do not drag your puppy back to your side. Use a quick tug, then immediately release so the leash is slack again. If it doesn't all happen in 3/10ths of a second, it's taking too long and your puppy will not learn to walk nicely on leash. Put another way: Instead of correcting your dog after he is already pulling, do not give him the opportunity to pull. If he never pulls, he will never learn to pull. You must correct him BEFORE he pulls!

-Practice now before your pup learns to pull. Since your pup is unable to walk the streets yet, begin teaching him to walk around your house and yard. He should be taught not to pull before hitting the streets.

Leash Training Don'ts
-Do not let your puppy pull you around.
-If you cannot correct the puppy in time, do not reward his pulling by letting him continue on his way. Better to slowly just turn around and go the other way, or stop in your tracks and say, "We are not going one inch further until you stop pulling." Then wait, it may take 30 seconds; it may take 20 minutes. Do not move until your puppy is in control. Now you can start over and give the correction before he starts pulling again. If again you are too late in your correction, start again.

-Do not yank and pull on your puppy's throat and neck. Use a soft, adjustable, non- restrictive harness. As soon as your pup learns leash manners, you can switch to a regular collar for walking. Do not leave the harness on your dog unattended. Use it only while you are practicing.

-Never use a choke collar.

April 29th, 2008, 10:59 AM
I noticed in your post that you do not, or you just didn't mention it, reward the pup for doing the right thing. A couple of the links provided to you, especially the clicker one, will help you with that. I have one more idea and it is to change your collar and leash. Most working dogs have a special collar or something that they wear when working. As soon as it is put on them they know what their job is. I'd try it because you have inadvertently taught him it is OK to pull when he wears his current collar. Start with just using the new collar, or whatever you choose, when following the clicker instructions in the house, for example. When going out to a place where you know you don't yet have a hope of getting the required walking nicely use the old colllar so as not to confuse him. Expand the use of the new collar as you expand his training. Another thing is to now use different words to tell him what you want as he has learned your previous words mean what HE wants. For instance, if you've been saying HEEL, change it to something else.

April 29th, 2008, 08:05 PM
I was having the same problem with my Lab pup until my BF showed me how to put a half-hitch in her leash, which worked very well once I got the hang of it. You will need a fairly long leash (maybe 8-10 foot) then you just simply hold it in a loose arc to one side and a little above the back, then bring the other end up underneath the dog, slip it under the arc, and gently pull it through til it's snug. It takes some practice.
He told me that was how his dad used to leash train their bloodhounds.
Good luck.