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Old December 12th, 2007, 04:37 PM
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Lissa Lissa is offline
Agility Addict
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 1,402
I must commend you for addressing the problem now instead of when your pup reaches her adult weight!

Some good points have been made so far... I agree with TeriM about it being a dangerous idea to use head halters or choke/prong collars on a puppy. But I also believe that at this age, no training tools should be necessary. Right now your pup is easier to handle and fairly eager to please/motivate. So if possible, avoid training tools!!! It's too easy to become dependent on a training tool (rather than actually training with it)...

I personally would never put a choke on my dog. I did put a prong on Dodger when he was a year old (for competitive OB) and I will never go near one again. I do use a halti when we're at trials/classes (he is reactive) - but it is not used as an anti-pulling device. I don't like using negative punishment to "train" a dog but its even worse with "pain insensitive" dogs.

So like dogcatharmony, I tend to either freeze or walk in the other direction when a dog pulls me. For some dogs, the reward is being able to walk again (once there's slack in the leash) but other needs a treat or tug to really motivate them. The secret behind laying the foundations of loose leash walking is engaging your dog. Keep them guessing (frequently change directions and paces), be more interesting than distractions, be consistent, set the dog up for success (so she can't self-reward), start small and progress in small steps (add distraction and duration seperately). It's also imperative that your dog is well-stimulated (physically and mentally) - if not, then IMO you cannot expect them to walk nicely.
Dodger had pulling issues as a puppy so I know how you feel and how slow the process seems.
As with most dog training issues, its the handler that's at fault, not the dog... For instance, I never realized how much Dodger was pulling until I started closing my eyes... I was amazed - with my eyes close I knew the instant there was the slightest tension in the leash - whereas with my eyes open, I'd let it become full-out pulling before redirecting (I don't correct, I redirect)... The point being that I was letting Dodger self-reward unintentionally - I was not being consistent and I definately was being passive about it (which meant I wasn't engaging him)... Doing everything wrong basically...

It can also help, especially with pulling breeds, to get them into carting, sledding or skijoring. Obviously your pup is too young to start now but it would be a great outlet in the future.

Good Luck and keep us posted! :-)
"Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to."
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