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how to stop pulling on leash

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Panda

sweet little- biter
 
 
Barked: Fri Feb 22, '13 6:42pm PST 
My pup is 18 weeks old (Aussie, Heeler, Border Collie mix). Still pulls despite efforts to keep her by my side with treats and praise for "heeling" which I actually use the term "stay close" for. I've read that when she pulls you stop. And that a tight leash means no forward progress and a slack one means we get to continue walking. I've employed this technique a lot without success. Any thoughts on getting my pup to stop pulling? Cheers
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Clyde

Ice cubes? YES- PLEASE!
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 24, '13 3:36pm PST 
Sounds like your pup, being a mix of a lot of high-energy breeds, needs to be tired out before being walked. Sometimes, they just need to run really hard in a safe off-leash area before they will listen. This can be by playing fetch, play-chase, etc. A dog that's too hyper will be completely disengaged and find everything but you interesting.

Have you tried just training her to stop and look at you? Clyde used to be (and is still in some ways) a chronic leash-tugger. I found by rewarding him (praise, treat, and continue walking) for stopping and looking at me whenever we stopped, he developed a habit of paying attention to me and thus became easier to leash train.
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Addie CL1- CL2 CL3 NAJ

if it moves,- I'll chase it!
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 24, '13 10:08pm PST 
As Clyde mentioned, try wearing your puppy out, those are high energy breeds! Go running, play in the backyard etc before doing walking training.

A few things that helped with us.. We started out with a gentle leader ( I could walk her with one finger!) then progressed to a prong collar ( made sure I had instruction from a trainer before using) then to her regular martingale collar. What we did was a combo of several things.. we started working on heel inside the house with no distractions ( with some AWESOME treats!) and gradually worked our way outside and on longer walks. I also taught a watch me command, and used the stop when pulling, but slightly modified.. I would stop, then turn in the opposite direction and say " oops, lets go!" walk a few steps and turn around, as long we she wasnt pulling my arm out we went ahead.. over time I increased my requirements for how close she had to be. In exciting situations its still a work in progress ( and shes 4 years old!0 but for the most part does well. Dont give up hope, find something that works for your dog and keep up with it.. dont be discouraged or afriad to try different tools, even if just as a training aid smile

Edited by author Sun Feb 24, '13 10:09pm PST

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Member Since
12/24/2012
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 11:37am PST 
Uh, yes. Do be afraid to try some tools. You might end up with a leash reactive dog since dogs are associative learners. Your dog just might associate something unpleasant with what he or she's near or even looking at. The unpleasantness could indeed be prongs digging into her skin. You won't know until you've got a problem. Not to mention that some tools are downright dangerous if the dog is so overstimulated that they continue to put a lot of force into them and don't notice the injury they're causing themselves.

So, OP, I don't know about you but I'd start with something less aversive and either work your way up or better yet, hire a professional to try to avoid an possible unnecessary fallout that comes with punishment tools and methods.

What you've been doing sounds good. With the first OP's advice of first draining some of your dog's excess energy, and maybe a no pull harness or PROPERLY conditioned head collar, you'll eventually be able to get her back down to a regular collar or back attach harness, if you want. Or save your money and get one that attaches in the front and the back so you can just pick and choose depending on her progress. And avoid punishment fallout all together.

Edited by author Mon Feb 25, '13 11:39am PST

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Addie CL1- CL2 CL3 NAJ

if it moves,- I'll chase it!
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 12:04pm PST 
Unnamed poster, with a proper trainer, tools are not a bad or evil thing. I do not recommend randomly getting a prong collar and yanking on your dog when you feel like it for example. Because that CAN cause fear and mistrust. It highly depends on the dog. I meerly stated what worked for us, but it may not be right for every dog. Do not be afriad to try any tool with proper instruction and research, I should have more clearly stated ( apprently multiple times smile ).

Basically theres no one RIGHT way to train, just like there is no one right food for every single dog. Clicker and positive training and the gentle leader worked great for us for the most part, but we needed a little extra help when weaning off the gentle leader. Only after proper instruction did I use mild corrections.

If you're at all confused, people here offer great advice, but do seek advice from a professional for further instructio non any meathod if you arnt seeing the resutls you'd like smile

Edited by author Mon Feb 25, '13 12:08pm PST

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Member Since
12/24/2012
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 2:20pm PST 
What, to you, constitutes a "proper trainer"?

This field is unregulated and anyone and their brother could be a professional dog trainer.

You won't know that you've caused leash reactivity until it's happened. So would a "proper trainer" use a crystal ball to avoid this?

The fact is that MANY a dog trainer causes leash reactivity and then covers that up with even harsher corrections and tools.

So where does the cycle end?

I guess it's up to the OP if they want to use whatever's out there cartblanche just because some "proper trainer" couldn't figure out how to get results without resorting to harsh tools and methods. It's very easy for us to so freely subject our dogs to whatever we will, but it's another thing for our dogs to actually experience and endure it. That's the part that most seem to conveniently forget.

OP, do what ever you think is right for your dog. I wish you and your dog luck.
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Clyde

Ice cubes? YES- PLEASE!
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 27, '13 6:11pm PST 
Prong collars aren't evil. wink I've met plenty a dog who are amazingly polite on leashes while wearing prongs. In fact, I sometimes use it a bit on Clyde to no ill effect. However, I personally would not sanction using a prong collar without knowing how to use it correctly. They are very risky pieces of training equipment when in ignorant hands.

But halters, chain martingale collars, and front-clip harnesses are awesome training tools that are much harder to go wrong with. Regardless, Panda seems to be using gentler methods and I don't think her handler plans to yank her around with a spiky collar as a way to train. smile
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Panda

sweet little- biter
 
 
Barked: Wed Apr 24, '13 8:06am PST 
I Started This Topic At 4 Months Old. She Is Now 6 Months. Still Pulls Every Time. Stopping And Waiting Doesn't Work. She Comes Back To My Side When I Stop, But A Soon A I Start She Pulls. We've Practices This Over A Thousand Times. What's The Deal?
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Ace

Mischief is my- middle name
 
 
Barked: Wed Apr 24, '13 6:10pm PST 
I bought what I think was called an Easy Walk harness. It has a D ring in the front of the neck. It is surprisingly effective on Ace, and somewhat good for Teeko - he still pulls, just not as persistently. I only have one, and Ace seems to have better manners with a regular harness now. She's not perfect by a long shot (SQUIRREL! BICYCLE! DOG!) but isn't regularly pulling as a habit. Teeko wears it most of the time now, and does fairly well on it.

I don't really aim for perfection though. As long as the three don't yank my arms out of the sockets.
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Panda

sweet little- biter
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 26, '13 8:52pm PST 
Got Easy Walk Harness. It Works Immediately. Wish I Would Have Known About This Months Ago
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