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Old July 9th, 2008, 01:00 PM
Whistler's mum Whistler's mum is offline
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Question Extreme leash pulling

My year old black lab is an absolutely wonderful dog, except on a leash! I have been to dog training with him which calmed him for a while but after three months, he still hasn't learned. I am currently walking him using a gentle leader harness but he can still pull considerably on this and has open sores behind his front legs from pulling. I have also tried a halti head collar which seems to work miracles with other dogs but unfortunately, my guy scratches madly at his face with significant bleeding gashes as a result.

I'm starting to lose faith as there are limited and unappealing off leash parks in my area. I really want to be able to walk him on a leash with my other more well behaved dog and get my life back.

Anyone in a similar position?
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Old July 9th, 2008, 01:13 PM
edwpang edwpang is offline
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I have been using the Easy Walk Harness with Butter(75lbs Labradoodle) since he was 8 month old. It really make a big difference.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 01:28 PM
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Chaser Chaser is offline
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What types of things have you tried with him (other than halters and the like)?

I've noticed this is a trend with labbys.....and mine is a little over a year and still using a Halti, but it has gotten a LOT better! I'll let you know some of the things I've been doing, but since you've been training I don't want to tell you things you may have already tried! No point in being repetitive....
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Old July 9th, 2008, 01:59 PM
Whistler's mum Whistler's mum is offline
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Hey Chase Mom

Other than the harness, I've:

- Taken him to obedience classes specifically for loose-leash walking
- Tried turning 180 degrees every time he pulls - he walks OK for a few steps then lunges back into husky-without-a-sled mode
- I've tried being a 'tree' and standing completely still until he stops pulling. Unfortunately, he eventually sits down and then as soon as I move forward he goes into the lunge again
- I've tried treat training from a bag around my waist but to be honest he's so completely in a different mood when we're outside. He loves treats inside but couldn't care less once we set foot out of the door. There are squirrels, leaves, rabbits and blades of grass blowing in the wind that capture his attention.
- I made some little elasticated booties for him to cover up his dew claw so I could use the halti but he can get them off eventually.

Any help/suggestions would be very, very much appreciated!
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Old July 9th, 2008, 02:17 PM
Whistler's mum Whistler's mum is offline
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I also forgot to mention he has an overbite which may be contributing to his discomfort using a head collar.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 02:36 PM
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TeriM TeriM is offline
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When my then one year old 90 lb lab approached one year old I had to give in and purchase a prong collar. He absolutely went nuts to scape off the halti as did your pup and the body harness only worked to a small degree. The prong has been a great tool for us. Many people look at them (myself included prior to this) and think they look like a torture device but in fact they are much more humane then a regular choke collar. I would definately advise that you find a trainer that can show you how to fit and use the collar correctly. Also be sure to look for a quality collar (Herm Sprenger) is the best design and not one of the cheap knockoffs as they can have poorly finished prongs. I also personally like the quick release model for ease of putting on. Here are a couple great articles to consider.


http://www.flyingdogpress.com/prong.html

http://leerburg.com/fit-prong.htm

http://www.cobankopegi.com/prong.html
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Old July 9th, 2008, 02:45 PM
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Chaser Chaser is offline
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I figured you would have covered all of the basics since you said you had done training....that's tough! Chase didn't like the treats outside either....he actually spit them out.

I wouldn't push the Halti if he is really not having any of it....I only use it as back-up now. It seems to remind Chase to be good and keeps him calmer.....but if he was really pulling severely I wouldn't use it anyway because it can cause neck injuries by jerking the head to the side.

Where I found the most improvement with him was with the use of a martingale collar (NOT a choke), using a quick leash correction anytime he pulled ahead, praising him whenever he stayed at my side even for a split second, and continuing with abrupt changes in direction. I also did umbilical (leash around my waist) with the martingale, and attached Chase to me while making dinner, vacuuming etc. - I aimed for about an hour a day, and it helped teach him that he needs to go where I go, and that the leash doesn't equal going full steam ahead. The only problem with the martingale is you have to be ready for him to pull and correct before it happens.....it doesn't minimize pulling like the Halti does so if they get enough momentum and pull away from you, there is not enough slack on the leash to give a correction anymore AND you can end up with some nasty rope burn! Oh, and I also practiced basic things like he has to be in a sit-stay before going outside, I go out the door first, and he needs to be invited out.....things to drive the point that you are in charge.

Just remember that whatever you try, progress can be very slow. Chase is 13months old, has taken nearly five months to show real progress, and we're not all the way there yet. He was so bad on leash and got so strong at 7 months I realized I was shying away from walking him, but once I decided just to keep practicing over and over again he started to improve. It can take a lot of time and a lot of consistency.
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Kailey (Misunderstood Gentle Beauty) - GSD & foster failure #1
Rupert (Gold-Medal Winner of the 3 a.m. Kitty Destruction Olympics )

Heidi - RIP my sweet baby girl
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Old July 19th, 2008, 04:53 PM
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yettiyodamarlo yettiyodamarlo is offline
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I'm sad to hear it's being difficult for you

Don't lose hope yet!

I've read many times that a quick 'check' helps teach them to stop tugging, although some owners don't like using this.

Another method that I DID like, was if the dog is say going too fast, tugging too much, or insists on walking infront of you; stop and tell the dog to sit or lie down. Wait a few minutes until he has calmed down and hopefully this will help.

Good Luck!
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Old July 24th, 2008, 05:58 PM
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kigndano kigndano is offline
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see my post in the general forum re: illusion collar.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 11:31 AM
Miss Dottie Miss Dottie is offline
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Wow - the pulling in "Huskie without a sled" mod really made me laugh, as my 15 month lab does the exact same things.... I have tried all the "tricks" you did and had identical results... The prong collar did help some, but just when I think she is ready to move to the regular collar, it's back to the same issues. Did any of the suggestions work? One thing I found helpfull is a ball session in the yard to tire her out and calm her down first...
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Old May 27th, 2009, 01:10 PM
lia12 lia12 is offline
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I've watched countless dogs pulling their owners like you describe. I've seen Haltis cause damage to dogs and I wouldn't recommend a choker either. But if you try a prong (get someone knowledgeable to teach you how to use it) you will notice your dog stop pulling immediately. We recommend then in obedience class for the frail or elderly who have trouble controlling their dog and in one session the dog is walking at heel nicely. It's like having power steering. You don't have to do any correction with this collar, the dog corrects himself and ususally a few times is all it takes.
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  #12  
Old May 27th, 2009, 01:46 PM
Nagini Nagini is offline
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Whistler's mum:

One question. (And to everybody else too)


Why dont you just make it simple for the dog, dogs like simple, and just show the dog:

we do not take any steps further, not even a babystep, while you are pulling

I know youve done this before, but you also must correct your dog, and show that it not wanted. And as soon as she takes 1 step correctly, stop and praise. Start walking 3 steps, stop. If she pulled, then try walking 2 steps. Etc
Im no trainer, but with this logic (also includes corrections such as tellig the dog off when pulling, stopping when she pulls, making the dog calm down and sit behind me everytime we stop, but also includes ALOT OF TREATS () AND PRAISES WHEN DONE CORRECTLY!) ive succeeded training my dog, which is also my first dog


Edit
It took me a long time to do this though, the dog has to know that no walking unless she does it correctly. First week we walked 1-2hours a day, normal amount, but the length of the walk trips was like 200m a day! But a mental problem like that is also very energy draining!!
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