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Old June 26th, 2010, 03:00 PM
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Question A BIG PULLING DOG - how to retrain please?

I have a lovely neighbour who rescued a large white dog (labrador type) about 5 years ago. She is of a petite frame and struggles to walk her dog as he is of the pulling type. I would greatly appreciate any tips, information, advice etc. on how to retrain a dog that pulls? This also causes great stress on parts of her body that ache! Thank you very much!
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Old June 26th, 2010, 03:35 PM
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Question Pulling dog - opinions needed re: Neck collars+damaging cervical spine?

I would appreciate any experiences on the most humane "device" to use, (at the end of a leash), when walking a very strong and large dog? I posted a question today on how to retrain a pullling dog, but I am also quite concerned with regards to damaging the dog's cervical spine from years of pulling and wearing a neck collar. At the moment the dog wears a collar that becmes so tight around her neck as she is pulling.....but she still seems to be pulling!! Are there any types of body harnesses that might be healthier for this type of dog to wear, to avoid future health issues concerning her neck area? If yes, are there any names, brands of any suggested products that I could receive so that I can help my neighbour and her beautiful rescued dog Jazz?
Thanks.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 03:38 PM
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You would do better to add your question to the other post instead of having all the different posts going. It gets confusing. Especially when you do all the funky colours.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 03:40 PM
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I would either get a halti or a harness.

but does your neighbor know how to train a dog to walk ? When the dog pulls too much , she has to stop and change direction ... type thing.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 04:11 PM
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I walk my large dog on a prong. I have tried harnesses and slip chokers and martingale collars. The prong was the best solution. They also have little rubber ends you can put on the metal ends. BUT the prong does require training on proper use. It is meant for a quick correct and release. My dog pulled like mad. With the help of a trainer we figured the prong was the best bet.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Frenchy View Post
I would either get a halti or a harness.

but does your neighbor know how to train a dog to walk ? When the dog pulls too much , she has to stop and change direction ... type thing.
Thank you for your reply. Today when I saw how Jazz was pulling and the collar was unbelievably tight around her neck, I did decide to suggest a harness around the body. (I have a little dog who wears one.) She mentioned that she does have one, but that it caused her greater difficulty as somehow her dog was able to pull her with even more strength! That is why I was wondering if there is a specific brand of harness that I can recommend to her, from experiences of other members who may have or have had pulling dogs.....? It worries me, as I heard a horrendous story of someone who had a "pulling dog", and the dog eventually had a great physical mishap from the pulling, that ended up with very serious and sad medical problems......

And no. she does not know how to train a dog to walk ..... that is why I am posting on this forum.... to obtain some information to hopefully be able to help her and Jazz out, and to give to her some advice, links, etc... i.e. such as this little tip you suggested...."she has to stop and change direction ... type thing".....I would like to perhaps find some more details on how to do this method, as it sounds great.....>? (i.e. when she stops and the dog is still pulling and panting.... how does one physically then change directions? Are there any words spoken to the dog? etc.etc.) Thank you. I appreciate your replies!
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Old June 26th, 2010, 04:29 PM
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when your walking the dog and the dog starts to pull just make like an about face and start walking the other way. the dog will learn to follow and not to lead. if the dog is pulling no matter what kind of collar they have on there should be quick correct and release. like a snap of the leash and a let go. I use the "lets go" command with my dogs. if they start pulling I will turn around start going the other way and say lets go...
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Old June 26th, 2010, 04:30 PM
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The method will work best if your friend is strong enough to actually change the dog's momentum--if the dog is powerful enough to pull her over, it may not work.

If she can find a safe fenced-in area to start, it will be safer.

She walks the dog forward and the very second the dog moves out ahead and the leash starts to get taut, she does a 180 and walks off in the opposite direction, tugging the dog with her. Ideally, the dog stops and comes along, too. Every time the dog forges ahead to pull, she changes direction randomly, bringing the dog along. Eventually, the dog will begin to learn that it has to watch its owner and follow along.

It does work after a while but all the pivoting and direction changes can be dizzying till the dog gets the idea.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 04:30 PM
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You're so much more concise than I am, maneater!
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Old June 26th, 2010, 04:37 PM
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I also know an older lady who was having problems with her dog. She was told to stand in one spot and give the dog the full 6 feet of leash. *not thoes retractable leashes... garbage in my opinoin* when the dog got to the end of the leash she would give a quick snap of the leash and the dog learned that once he felt a pulling of the leash he would back off and let the leash fall lose again. With my dogs I allow them the full 6 feet of leash so they can sniff and stuff.. I keep walking and if they don't follow I give the "lets go" command and a quick snap of the leash and they come. I only have them walk on a heal if we are crossing the street or people are walking towards us or any other situation like that. Let the dog wear the leash around the house to get use to the leash...
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Old June 26th, 2010, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by maneater View Post
when your walking the dog and the dog starts to pull just make like an about face and start walking the other way. the dog will learn to follow and not to lead. if the dog is pulling no matter what kind of collar they have on there should be quick correct and release. like a snap of the leash and a let go. I use the "lets go" command with my dogs. if they start pulling I will turn around start going the other way and say lets go...
That's it

also , to help before the walks , if your friend has a backyard where she can "tire" the dog first. Like make the dog run and play , then she goes for the walk. A tired dog makes it easier to train
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Old June 26th, 2010, 09:26 PM
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We stop (a really sudden stop), as soon as the dog moves ahead of us where she loses us from her peripheral vision. And when we stop, she has to go back and sit beside us, and look us in the eye for direction. As soon as she looks us in the eye, we decide where we will go.

Or we will make a 180, and turn into the opposite direction without warning (usually when she walks too far ahead of us before the leash gets tight. If she turns when we do before there's a snap in the leash, she gets a love party and a treat.

These techniques would depend on the amount of time we have available for the walk. But during training walks, we will use the 180 as preferred method, since it gives our 95lbs dog the opportunity to really learn that we are the ones who decide where we are going.

Also, but not immediately related to the walk in practical sense, is having the dog leashed to you in the house, and expecting the dog to go where you go. You need to go to the kitchen, dog has to come too. You need to sit on the couch, dog needs to settle down too. Etc. It tells the dog that YOU are in charge and decide where things are happening, rather than the dog deciding what's next.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 10:07 PM
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Old June 28th, 2010, 02:33 PM
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Gentle Leaders have been known to 'tweak' the neck and cause a sideways whip lash effect. Gentle Leader does make aN 'Easy Walk Harness' that clips in the front and compress' the dogs chest when he pulls forward - it works on SOME dogs.
If you could help to train this dog (since you seem to care a lot and the owner seems a tad infirm?), you could help teach the dog not to pull at all and then transfer the methods to the owner.
First of all...people are the ones who teach dogs to pull. Every step you take with the dog on a tight leash teaches the dog to pull the human because it works.
Begin by standing still - lock the leash to you (leash hand with thumb in pocket works great). DO NOT MOVE ONE INCH!! Allow the dog to pull against the pressure of the leash as if he is tied to a tree. Trees are great teachers because they don't give and they don't move. The dog creates his own pressure by pulling against the leash and when it doesn't work he steps back and creates slack in the leash to get comfortable. Praise when he does this.
Do this several times in different locations until he stops pulling against the leash. You can give it a word like "close" so he learns what you are asking for.
Then you need to progress to moving. Have the dog on a short but loose leash beside you. You are going to take 2-3 steps forward on a loose leash and then stop abruptly (with a slight stomp of your foot to cue the dog). If the dog stops with you then relax, keep the leash loose and praise him. If he step 1 inch past your toe line then you are going to turn sharply into him and go 2-3 steps in the opposite direction and repeat the drill. It is very simple. If he flies past you before you even get to the 2-3 steps then you are going to INSTANTLY go backwards 5-10 steps - bringing him back to your side and when he gets beside you start walking forward again. Consider this a 5 yard penalty for rushing.
It is always best to start drills in the house on carpet. Less distractions and the carpet provides good traction.
You are teaching the dog to be aware of your body. He gets pressure for moving past your toe line by having to turn around or go backwards. He learns that pulling to what he wants only gets him further away - but walking nicely beside you on a loose leash gets him moving forward which is what he wants.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 08:05 AM
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Personally I would use a Lupi harness. I find these really help to keep the dog from pulling. I trained a 120lb Bloodhound to walk on with manners on a leash. This was a dog who had never been walked on a leash and could pull me down the street. In two days he had done a complete 180. In 2 weeks he was walking with a regular collar and no pulling. Most harnesses will actually give the dog more power to pull.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 09:15 AM
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Lightbulb

We use a prong collar on Jack (105 lb GSD) and it
saved us from dislocated limbs, lolz. These collars
do work & are harmless..even the "dog whisperer"
recommends them for headstrong/heavy dogs
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 09:21 AM
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Prongs will work as well but I would use it as a last resort. I have used them so I am not against them but I would really try the lupi first. If you do go with a prong make sure you get instruction on how to use it properly because used improperly they can do more harm than good.
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Old July 7th, 2010, 12:57 PM
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Prongs should not be used unless a very last effort. They have much more negatives then positive.

Try using a head collar -halti, control ease, gentle leader. This head collar goes over the snout and still allows the dog to eat, pant, basically keep its mouth open. When the dog pulls he will automatically pull it's head sideways and find it uncomfortable.

I have a dog who is the most stubborn dog on pulling and this is the only thing that works. Head collars aren't meant to be used as a crutch, it's a training tool, eventually you should go back to using a flat buckle collar.
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Old July 7th, 2010, 01:22 PM
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I honestly do not like halti or gentle leaders because once you remove them and go to a regular collar they go back to pulling. Prongs are very effective as I said before but must be used properly. When used properly they are very effective and not really negative.
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Old July 7th, 2010, 01:51 PM
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Head collars are paired with verbal cues or physical gestures.

e.i. when they walk beside you say "good heel" . Using the association of them walking beside you and praise. Like I said it's not meant to be a crutch, it should be paired with praise for the alternative behavior. Dogs are smart and will clue in, hey when I do this my owner likes it and I get pets/treats/toys, whatever.

Prongs do work on stronger pulling dogs and larger dogs who are VERY calm but just pull, usually over 100 lbs too, because people usually cannot physically restrain a 100 lb pulling dog. But as a trainer I've seen too many dogs have prong collars and have become aggressive and have negative associations with them. If you pull back if the dog is pulling at a kid, that pinch could send a wrong message association pain=child and can become aggressive to avoid having that negative feeling.
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Old July 7th, 2010, 11:54 PM
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But as a trainer I've seen too many dogs have prong collars and have become aggressive and have negative associations with them. If you pull back if the dog is pulling at a kid, that pinch could send a wrong message association pain=child and can become aggressive to avoid having that negative feeling.
Exactly...people don't realize that they may be creating a whole new, more serious issue. Same thing can apply to head halters as well though...I've seen people yank their dogs wearing these too .

When my dogs used to pull, or sometimes still do, I try to determine what exactly is causing it. Is it just a restless sort of I-gotta-get-nowhere-fast, or caused by anxiety. Are they lunging after a little critter (bird, mouse, etc), or are they lunging out of fear/warning? It's important to address the issues that underlie pulling and lunging. Either the dog wasn't taught to walk properly on a loose leash, needs more practice/training with focusing on me, needs to be desensitized to objects it fears, and/or needs to be taught a new, opposing behavior.

Find the most gentlest method to begin with to avoid creating even worse issues and remember...collars, harnesses, head halters, etc. are all tools. They don't train dogs, we do.
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 11:10 AM
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I agree, It's not just a matter of getting a new collar or harness. You have to assess why the dog is pulling and provide training for how you want the dog to walk.
I have found that chin harnesses work for some dogs and body harnesses work better for others. Either case, I would reward behaviour that I wanted. I would reward them for when they walked with a loose leash, even couple of metres they'd get a 'good girl' and the odd kibble treat. When they did pull out ahead, I'd stop and they'd stop tugging and turn to look to me, I'd click and reward as soon as they looked at me or better yet, came back to me.
The "Reverse Walking" method laid out above is also very effective for most dogs.
Some dogs do well with a "get behind me" reward method where you drop treats or kibble right behind you and so they learn that staying close behind you is rewarding. Regularly praise them for staying close to you. Do it for a week and then start fading out the treats but continue praising. Then slowly faze out the praising expect for the odd 'good girl" and the odd treat.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 05:35 PM
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Hi all. I'm new here but this thread is relevant to my present experience. We recently adopted a two year old poodle/Lhasa apso mix named Max. His on-leash walking behavior was excellent when we tried various things in the house. He didn't pull and he stopped walking when I stopped. He maintained excellent eye contact and walked right next to me wherever I led him. The problem is, as soon as we get outside, he pulls. He only does this for about the first half of the walk. Then he walks much more nicely after that. So, my question is, how do we eliminate the pulling part of the walk? I use a regular collar and a four foot leash.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 06:02 PM
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i defintiely recommend that you start a new thread with a more applicable thread title -- you will get more responses that way...

What i found most effective against pulling is the stop and go method as well as the stop and redirect (not sure if its an official method or just something that worked for us): basically every time that our guy would start pulling i would stop or switch directions, the goal was to teach our guy that if he pulls, the last thing that he will get is to go to his 'destination' faster. It requires ALOT of patience, a 30 minute walk may take an hour ... but it really worked well, basically he eventually learned that to keep moving forward he needs to not pull because pulling would just slow him down even more... this has worked with both my guy and my parent's dobey

i am sure others may have other ideas. good luck and remember - patience!!!
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Old April 6th, 2011, 06:05 PM
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Halti

A Halti I think would work good in your case. It is also good to confirm that she is dealing with this behavior in a proper way(training how to walk) most of the time it can be solved without an added device.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon W View Post
A Halti I think would work good in your case.
I like the halti when used properly, but for a small dog like this (lhaso apso mix) i would rather use a harness than a halti, i dont think that a halti is necessary or useful with smaller breeds... imo its more to help control the larger and stronger breeds...
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Old April 6th, 2011, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masha View Post
I like the halti when used properly, but for a small dog like this (lhaso apso mix) i would rather use a harness than a halti, i dont think that a halti is necessary or useful with smaller breeds... imo its more to help control the larger and stronger breeds...

Ahh,I was not paying attention to the type of dog lol. Yeah I agree then harness would be better,Ive tried both with my boxer. Harness on big dogs just braces them more so they can pull easier. She hatess the halti ive only put it on her like 3 times maybe. All i got to do is tell her ill put it on,and she stops pulling haha. Thanks for the correction.
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Old April 7th, 2011, 12:18 AM
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Did you see this excellent advice Hatchman?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tenderfoot View Post
Gentle Leaders have been known to 'tweak' the neck and cause a sideways whip lash effect. Gentle Leader does make aN 'Easy Walk Harness' that clips in the front and compress' the dogs chest when he pulls forward - it works on SOME dogs.
If you could help to train this dog (since you seem to care a lot and the owner seems a tad infirm?), you could help teach the dog not to pull at all and then transfer the methods to the owner.
First of all...people are the ones who teach dogs to pull. Every step you take with the dog on a tight leash teaches the dog to pull the human because it works.
Begin by standing still - lock the leash to you (leash hand with thumb in pocket works great). DO NOT MOVE ONE INCH!! Allow the dog to pull against the pressure of the leash as if he is tied to a tree. Trees are great teachers because they don't give and they don't move. The dog creates his own pressure by pulling against the leash and when it doesn't work he steps back and creates slack in the leash to get comfortable. Praise when he does this.
Do this several times in different locations until he stops pulling against the leash. You can give it a word like "close" so he learns what you are asking for.
Then you need to progress to moving. Have the dog on a short but loose leash beside you. You are going to take 2-3 steps forward on a loose leash and then stop abruptly (with a slight stomp of your foot to cue the dog). If the dog stops with you then relax, keep the leash loose and praise him. If he step 1 inch past your toe line then you are going to turn sharply into him and go 2-3 steps in the opposite direction and repeat the drill. It is very simple. If he flies past you before you even get to the 2-3 steps then you are going to INSTANTLY go backwards 5-10 steps - bringing him back to your side and when he gets beside you start walking forward again. Consider this a 5 yard penalty for rushing.
It is always best to start drills in the house on carpet. Less distractions and the carpet provides good traction.
You are teaching the dog to be aware of your body. He gets pressure for moving past your toe line by having to turn around or go backwards. He learns that pulling to what he wants only gets him further away - but walking nicely beside you on a loose leash gets him moving forward which is what he wants.
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  #29  
Old April 7th, 2011, 12:25 AM
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That was just amazing info. Thanks for posting..
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Old April 7th, 2011, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mummummum View Post
Did you see this excellent advice Hatchman?
Yeah actually that is one of my favourite posts in this thread. I'm using it as my guideline. I also will follow up, starting today, on Masha's method of quick reversals or changes of direction. I tried that a while back but I think I gave up too quickly on it, thinking I'd best start from scratch. I just need to be consistent and patient. Max is very smart and trainable and quite eager to please. He'll get it if we keep repeating (and rewarding when warranted).

Thank you everyone.
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