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Old July 14th, 2009, 06:10 PM
sockenwolle sockenwolle is offline
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My dog pulls sideways on walks

My dog is around 9 months old, and on every walk she pulls. For the forward pulling, I stop completely, the top half of her body hovers over the ground with her pulling, but eventually she has to stop and we continue. But how do I deal with her pulling sideways? I bought a gentle leader, but she refuses to let me me put it on her, so I have to deal with this with a regular leash. I've read that pulling her back makes her want to pull more, so I've been trying to turn around and walk the other way but then she pulls on the other side.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 08:04 PM
jazzy jazzy is offline
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Do you use 'heel'? When he gets too far away (to the front or side) give him a pop with the leash and say 'heel.' Then when he comes to your side, praise him with 'good boy.' If you keep pulling they'll resist even more, which is why you need to give the leash a pop. And you're not supposed to stop. You're walking him, he's not walking you.

I've done that with every dog I've walked. My 3 month was awful at first, but he's doing very good now with this.
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Old July 15th, 2009, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzy View Post
Do you use 'heel'? When he gets too far away (to the front or side) give him a pop with the leash and say 'heel.' Then when he comes to your side, praise him with 'good boy.' If you keep pulling they'll resist even more, which is why you need to give the leash a pop. And you're not supposed to stop. You're walking him, he's not walking you.

I've done that with every dog I've walked. My 3 month was awful at first, but he's doing very good now with this.
I agree. I have trained both my Pug and my Siberian Husky (!! major puller!!) to walk nicely this way. Our obedience trainer taught us this method and now both dogs walk beautifully. Hold the bulk of the leash in your right hand, and grab the leash with your left hand so the dog doesn't have too much slack to wander off, but the leash shouldn't be taut while walking. (The dog should be on your left). As soon as she starts pulling, give her a leash correction to the side (a "pop", as jazzy said) and say "heel" firmly. As soon as the leash goes slack, you should praise her.

I hope that made sense, it's difficult to describe certain techniques through writing!
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Old July 15th, 2009, 08:24 AM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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Sockenwolle, if you'd rather not train your dog using aversive methods, here are video segments that will teach you and your dog how to enjoyably and gently learn loose leash walking.

http://www.monkeysee.com/play/14157-...alk-on-a-leash

When not actively training loose leash walking, we also 'umbilical' where a dog is attached to us by a lead (tied around waist or belt loop on pants) indoors and out when we're working around the house. When starting this method, we reinforce with a marker word, "yes" (you can also use a clicker) followed with treats and praise if the dog willingly/eagerly moves in our direction.
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Old July 15th, 2009, 09:31 AM
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LP, this woman recommends a gentle leader/halti - wouldn't you consider this an aversive method, as it "corrects" the dog when he pulls? There is some debate about the safety of this product:

http://www3.sympatico.ca/tsuro/_arti...le_leader.html

Anyway, the umbilical method or "passive healing" are also good places to start. You may find you have a problem praising your dog with treats when walking, though - my Pug is not very food-motivated, and although my Husky is food-motivated, she is rarely interested in treats when out for walks. But different dogs will find success with different methods.

Good luck
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Old July 15th, 2009, 10:08 AM
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If one is simply going to slap it on their dog and go for a long walk, then of course it will be an unpleasant experience for any dog. She explains clearly that one must acclimatize a dog to the head halter, and begin with short sessions in a non-distractive environment building up the distraction as the dog gets used to it. She also advocates the use of a harness that clips in front of the dog's chest and goes on to say that this tool doesn't take much, if any, time to acclimatize to.

If one watches and listens to all the video clips carefully, one would know that loose leash training does not entirely depend on the tools used but, more importantly, the approach and attitude the handler uses.
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Old July 15th, 2009, 11:10 AM
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We have used a Halti to train our GSD to walk properly without pulling. He is a big guy and it worked very well for us. Nowadays i walk with him and the leash is slack in my hand, something i would have found hard to believe a while ago.... However we had to be careful to ensure that the halti stayed away from his eyes (it could ride up when he would pull).
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Old July 15th, 2009, 11:12 AM
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I completely agree with Luckypenny - it is very important to get your dog to associate the halti with a positive experience. In the begining we would put it on and give him treats and play at home so it became a 'good' thing. He got used to it very quickly....
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Old July 15th, 2009, 11:24 AM
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I have a gentle leader that acts like a harness but does up in the front chest. It's definately better than a collar. I've heard that the haltie type that does around the nose is very successful. both will not allow to pull forward though. The choke chain works with quick pops from the right hand to the right side as someone suggested. As long as the pulling doesn't choke the dogs trachea. This is not pleasant. You can reward with treats when the walking is positive. Don't worry you'll overcome this with time.
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Old July 15th, 2009, 09:28 PM
sockenwolle sockenwolle is offline
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Okay, so I had to quickly share what happened tonight on our nightime walk. I bought a new double handled leash, and we had our first non-horrible walk ever! The beginning started off with the same drama, but then it was like a switch flipped and she was walking calmly beside me. We walked past the gas station, which usually has her in the air and pulling my arm out, but today she was mainly looking forward. At this point, we were walking with a loose leash. Plus, when we got home, instead of freaking out once we got inside, she was acting much calmer. I'm not sure how this improved things for her, but she paid more attention to me than ever. Very exciting!

Could this new leash be acting like a halter does? Not letting her pull, so she automatically calms down?

Last edited by sockenwolle; July 15th, 2009 at 09:30 PM. Reason: Adding a question.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckypenny View Post
If one is simply going to slap it on their dog and go for a long walk, then of course it will be an unpleasant experience for any dog. She explains clearly that one must acclimatize a dog to the head halter, and begin with short sessions in a non-distractive environment building up the distraction as the dog gets used to it. She also advocates the use of a harness that clips in front of the dog's chest and goes on to say that this tool doesn't take much, if any, time to acclimatize to.

If one watches and listens to all the video clips carefully, one would know that loose leash training does not entirely depend on the tools used but, more importantly, the approach and attitude the handler uses.
LP, I absolutely did not mean to suggest that the halti is "unpleasant" simply because some handlers use it without acclimating the dog to it - I can perfectly understand that this is the case with many training tools. However, there is some evidence that there are more serious issues with these head harnesses than just clueless owners who don't use them properly - that explanation is trivializing the issue. Please take the time to read the article I posted if you would like more information. I have never used a head harness myself and wouldn't use one without helping the dog get used to it. That seems like common sense to me.

While there are people who have used haltis/gentle leaders successfully (i.e. Masha, as posted above), some other members of this forum agree that they can be harmful - this was brought up on another thread. In fact, even Masha reports that the harness could slide up the muzzle and irritate the eyes. I would still consider it an aversive method as it uses physical corrections to control pulling. But I have absolutely nothing against other owners who use them.

By the way, I did watch all the videos - please don't try to suggest otherwise. I only took issue with that one (which is why I mentioned it). I did like the idea of the harness, and I did mention that the trainer's other methods were useful and to be more specific, I have also used the passive healing method. It sounds like the OP has also tried it, and like she was in a similar situation to myself - the dog behaves most of the time but still strays to the side and needs a gentle reminder of how to walk politely - at least, it sounded that way until her last post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty11 View Post
I have a gentle leader that acts like a harness but does up in the front chest. It's definately better than a collar. I've heard that the haltie type that does around the nose is very successful. both will not allow to pull forward though. The choke chain works with quick pops from the right hand to the right side as someone suggested. As long as the pulling doesn't choke the dogs trachea. This is not pleasant. You can reward with treats when the walking is positive. Don't worry you'll overcome this with time.
Nobody here suggested a choke chain. I would never use a choke chain, and would never suggest it, either. I use leash corrections with a martingale collar on my Husky - it is adjusted so that it is too loose to squeeze her neck even when it tightens (essentially, it is so loose that she could probably slip out of it when the leash is relaxed). I use it only because the sound of the chain serves as a reminder to heel.

With my Pug, I choose not to use a collar because of his short face. We actually successfully use leash corrections while he is wearing a harness, of all things. I rarely have to do leash corrections for either dog anymore. I suppose I have to stress that they are used in conjunction with praise for correct behaviour, and I am not talking about yanking, pulling, or strangling my dogs. I can appreciate that there are different methods of training and not all work with every dog. I only ask that you respect my position as well. I am trying to be civil, here, even though I feel I am being persecuted.

Last edited by EndOfFashion; July 16th, 2009 at 08:39 AM.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 08:35 AM
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On a more positive note, sockenwolle, it's good to hear your walk went well! By double-handled leash, do you mean the one that has a loop halfway down the leash?
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Old July 16th, 2009, 09:45 AM
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sockenwolle, please describe this double-handled leash, I have never heard of those? (unless i know them by another name?) But great news that you had a good walk!

I don't want to get into a debate here but I just wanted to add that I have found that the halti works best for us (Molly and I). We tried the no-pull harness, but it kept slipping and getting too loose across her narrow chest, and then within 5 minutes of our walk it was no longer serving its purpose. Sure, it took Molly a while to get used to the Halti, and I still find it makes her face kinda "itchy", but its better than her choking herself with any other type of collar IMHO
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Old July 16th, 2009, 09:59 AM
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sockenwolle, please describe this double-handled leash, I have never heard of those? (unless i know them by another name?) But great news that you had a good walk!
Mollywog, if it's the leash I'm thinking of, it's called a ProLeash - which I guess is actually two leashes in one.

As for the "debate" - I wasn't intending to start a debate. Like I said, I've never used a halti so I don't know from experience if the concerns are founded. But just like I wouldn't criticize you for using one, I would rather not be criticized for using leash corrections. That's all! And I thought it odd that leash corrections would be considered "aversive" but the halti wasn't? I really don't want to start an argument - I have nothing but respect for all the regulars on this forum.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 10:35 AM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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No one is criticizing you or your preferred methods, EndOfFashion, only offering up alternatives and personal experiences and opinions. There are plenty of threads here that debate different training tools, this is not one of them.

Sockenwolle, can you give us a name for this new leash you found? Glad to hear it seems to be helping you both enjoy your walks. Keep up the positive attitude .
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Old July 16th, 2009, 11:25 AM
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EndOfFashion EndOfFashion is offline
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Originally Posted by luckypenny View Post
Sockenwolle, if you'd rather not train your dog using aversive methods
This statement is what felt like criticism. Perhaps you didn't realize, but it sounded like a passive-aggressive way of criticizing my leash corrections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luckypenny View Post
If one is simply going to slap it on their dog and go for a long walk, then of course it will be an unpleasant experience for any dog. She explains clearly that one must acclimatize a dog to the head halter....

If one watches and listens to all the video clips carefully, one would know that loose leash training does not entirely depend on the tools used but, more importantly, the approach and attitude the handler uses.
And this for me is what started the debate. I absolutely did not intend to turn this into a debate of the pros/cons of haltis, my point was that since leash corrections are aversive then haltis should logically also be considered an aversive training method. I didn't want to confuse the OP. I dedicated all of 2 short sentences to the topic of haltis in my second post. The original reason I posted the link is because the OP had mentioned that she already tried a gentle leader - I thought she should be informed.

Also, I found your wording in the second paragraph to once again be somewhat passive-aggressive. If this was not your intention, please allow me to apologize for apparently being too sensitive. I can get that way sometimes, and I absolutely want to impress on you that I have nothing but respect for you and certainly appreciate alternate training methods. I use a variety myself.

Aaanyway, I will stop at this point because I don't want to take any more attention away from the issue at hand. No hard feelings on my end.

sockenwolle, best of luck to you in your training. Please do tell us which leash you are using, I'm really curious! I'll keep reading. for the unintentional threadjack

Last edited by EndOfFashion; July 16th, 2009 at 11:32 AM.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 03:48 PM
sockenwolle sockenwolle is offline
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Google "double handle lead", and those links show what it looks like. It basically has a handle about a foot away from the collar and another handle at the end of the leash. This way, we can walk with a loose leash, or the short leash when she starts to pull or we're trying to cross an intersection. This didn't work as well this morning, she saw a big Doberman twice that she really wanted to growl at, so we struggled a bit more with keeping focus on the walk. It's a temporary solution, we're starting obedience classes in about 2 weeks, but this is making our walks much easier for now. It was very needed The regular leash we were using before tore up my hand, and now I have calluses on my fingers.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 03:54 PM
sockenwolle sockenwolle is offline
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Originally Posted by EndOfFashion View Post
I agree. I have trained both my Pug and my Siberian Husky (!! major puller!!) to walk nicely this way. Our obedience trainer taught us this method and now both dogs walk beautifully. Hold the bulk of the leash in your right hand, and grab the leash with your left hand so the dog doesn't have too much slack to wander off, but the leash shouldn't be taut while walking. (The dog should be on your left). As soon as she starts pulling, give her a leash correction to the side (a "pop", as jazzy said) and say "heel" firmly. As soon as the leash goes slack, you should praise her.

I hope that made sense, it's difficult to describe certain techniques through writing!
Yes, I'd been trying that, the leash just kept sliding through my hand and hurting me and she still kept pulling to the side. I stop walking completely when she pulls me forward, so she doesn't get rewarding for pulling forward. Not when she pulls to the side, but I think my new leash is going to help much more with the side pulling. My left shoulder and hand are already thanking me

ETA: The leash is meant for larger dogs, and smaller people, I think. If I hold the shorter leash just behind her ears, I can hold the leash with my entire hand, otherwise I have to use just a few fingers since I am tall and my dog is too short. Her collar sits at the base of her neck right now, and it's a simple nylon collar.

Last edited by sockenwolle; July 16th, 2009 at 04:09 PM. Reason: Adding more info
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