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Old August 25th, 2009, 01:33 PM
lady247 lady247 is offline
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my dog, the ultimate puller

I almost forgot about this wonderful forum, and have been reading a lot of posts related to the issue I'm experiencing with my dog: PULLING! Although advice is plentiful, I’ve tried a lot of the methods and haven’t found anything that has really stuck to my dog. I was hoping to receive more advice on my individual case...

My pup:
-Husky-golden retriever mix
-1 year and 3 months old
-75-80 lbs
-highly distractible
-tons and tons of energy, usually most energetic when pulling during walks!

“Tools” I’ve used:
-martingale collar (currently in use)
-gentle leader (not in use, as he started to pull with it on = very straining on him)
-nylon 6 ft leash (currently in use)

Methods I’ve used:
-taught the heel command
-feeding his dinner kibble as rewards for heeling, treats as well
-stopping immediately when he pulls, not budging until he comes back
-changing direction of walk without any warning
-changing routes frequently so he can’t anticipate the next move
-“touch” command to refocus his attention (rarely works outdoors, only indoors)
-play in backyard prior to walking – this often makes him more energetic! Like a warm-up..
-method of weaving leash across his chest, behind one leg, and through the collar (apologies, i forgot what this method is referred to as)

Some other info:
-he’s fine in offleash parks, where he will return when his name is called, and never strays too far
-a major issue seems to be distraction, as he will pull if you go 20 steps forward, but once you turn around and walk those same 20 steps back to your original location, it will be loose leash! (although not always)
-he understands the heel command, as he returns to our side (usually by walking backwards until he reaches us) but only when he “feels” like doing so!
-this was less of a problem when he was younger, as he didn’t know his own strength. Now he knows how to use his strength, and each method we’ve used only works for about 1-2 weeks now!

I’m hoping that this forum will give me some advice on
a. How to maintain his attention on me during walks/reduce his distractibility
b. How to gain control over his strength, as I am 115 lbs and if he really wanted to pull me across the street, he could!
c. methods that have worked for your dog, perhaps some info on short-term professional training, long leashes, etc?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I love the concept of walking my dog, but enjoying the walk has become a totally foreign reality for me!
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  #2  
Old August 25th, 2009, 01:51 PM
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Winston Winston is offline
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Welcome! I have seen the Cesar Millan Illusion colllar and it works fantastic! I have a very strong dog and I use a prong collar. However I am just trying a new Martingale to see if it helps.

Good Luck!
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Old August 25th, 2009, 02:18 PM
friend2animals friend2animals is offline
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Huh... I've never heard of the prong collar. I have a HuskyX, who has strong tendencies to pull. I have used harnesses in the past that have worked.

As long as it doesn't cause any pain or discomfort to the dog, then I am all for it!
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Old August 25th, 2009, 03:39 PM
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Melinda Melinda is offline
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I use the gentle leader harness and use the front clip on it, so when she pulls it sort of tightens across her chest and turns her a bit, to get his attention on you, talk...a lot to him, I use to say "watch me brina" and when she'd look at her I'd treat her....over and over and over again, time and patience will win out
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Old August 25th, 2009, 04:31 PM
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Bailey_ Bailey_ is offline
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Is it possible for you to see a trainer in your area? It sounds like you're trying a wide variety of methods, which is great, but sometimes a proffesional can pinpoint what we're doing wrong and help us further, even when sometimes we don't realize it or think we're doing anything wrong. Even our posture can affect how a dog views us, as well as if we speak to the dog too soon, or attempt to correct him too late.
If your dog knows the heel command, that is a great step, but obviously his attention is easily redirected when he gets bored of whatever you're doing and wherever you're going and thus is easily distracted by other things (dogs/people, etc.)

Being obedient inside your house and being obedient outside the house are two very different things.

I'm a huge fan of the martingale collar (as probably everyone here knows) but it HAS to be used properly, just like any training tool. It's a fairly forgiving collar when you don't know how to use it to innterupt unwanted behavior, but it's VERY effective when you can have someone show you how to use it properly and safely. Like any collar/harness, if you're unable to learn how to redirect unwanted behavior, you're essentially not going to have success. And of course, your goal is to not have to rely on these training tools in order to help your dog.

Huskies are known for their high energy, so is it possible for you to go biking/jogging with him, or put him in classes like flyball or agility? Generally huskies need a lot of energy-burning excercises, and the best way is to work their mind as well as their body.

Are you able to have a proffesional come meet your dog, even for a few starter lessons to get you back on track?
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  #6  
Old August 25th, 2009, 09:13 PM
lady247 lady247 is offline
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Thanks for all the great suggestions everyone!

I will be looking at each, although I am leaning towards getting a private lesson or two with a professional trainer, who I hope would be able to recommend the proper combination of tools and methods for my particular dog.

Does anyone have a ballpark rate for how much these lessons would cost? It's my understanding that they are usually rated per hour. For reference, I live in Toronto.
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Old August 25th, 2009, 10:57 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melinda View Post
I use the gentle leader harness and use the front clip on it, so when she pulls it sort of tightens across her chest and turns her a bit, to get his attention on you, talk...a lot to him, I use to say "watch me brina" and when she'd look at her I'd treat her....over and over and over again, time and patience will win out
That's how we do it with our guys. I just wish they made the harness in Lucky's size .

We also do allow our dogs to sniff and wander ahead, behind, alongside of us. Only we've put a command to it and have designated spots and they know to sit before they head off. Walking directly beside a human doesn't come naturally for all, if not most, dogs and takes lots of concentration on their part to learn. I think there's nothing wrong with breaking up the lessons during a walk to allow them to de-stress and do what dogs do, use their noses to read what's happening in town .
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Old August 26th, 2009, 09:21 AM
lady247 lady247 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckypenny View Post
That's how we do it with our guys. I just wish they made the harness in Lucky's size .
is this the gentle leader harness you are referring to? http://www.premier.com/View.aspx?pag...uctdescription


we do let him sniff around on the grass and don't expect him to be by our side all the time, but what is particularly difficult is when he is REALLY curious about something, he knows he is strong enough to pull very hard to that particular area. that's when walking him becomes very stressful! thus, a way to control that abundance of energy during those super curious times would be helpful.

if anyone is reading this thread and has worked with any trainers in Toronto for this issue, please send contact info my way!
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Old August 26th, 2009, 09:53 AM
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Melinda Melinda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckypenny View Post
That's how we do it with our guys. I just wish they made the harness in Lucky's size .

We also do allow our dogs to sniff and wander ahead, behind, alongside of us. Only we've put a command to it and have designated spots and they know to sit before they head off. Walking directly beside a human doesn't come naturally for all, if not most, dogs and takes lots of concentration on their part to learn. I think there's nothing wrong with breaking up the lessons during a walk to allow them to de-stress and do what dogs do, use their noses to read what's happening in town .
brina is 70 pounds and we only use a medium, I used a large on a st bernard, how large or small is Lucky?
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