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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2013, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Lead pulling

Hi all

Is it just our Havvy or do they all seem to want to pull on the lead when you walk them? He is only 12 months old, but until he gets tired from walking he is constantly pulling at his lead!!!

We are going to try and train him to walk beside us, but it may take a while ! :-)

Mr B, the 22 Pounder from down under!

Last edited by BarneyBoy; 12-03-2013 at 01:03 AM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 07:17 AM
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A front clip harness such as Sense-ible can help while you are training. Clicker training is a good positive method for communicating to your dog where you would like him to position himself during walks. It takes LOTS of practice and patience and persistence so that you don't reward the pulling instead of the walking nicely.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 09:13 AM
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No dog, of any breed, is born knowing how to walk nicely on a leash. This is a sill that needs to be trained. And as Pucks104 said, depending on the dog, it can take a LOT of patience, persistence and practice to get it reliable. I think people with big dogs either train it early kurt of self defense, or go to much stronger, aversive measure like pinch collars when their dogs are pulling their arms out of their sockets. Since little dogs can't physically HURT you (much) with their pulling, many owners simply put up with it and let the dog pull for its entire life. Any behavior that you allow to continue uncorrected becomes more and more a habit, and harder and harder to break.

A front clip harness can definitely help your dog learn, but without proper training, dogs can learn to pull on these harnesses too. If it's important to you for your dog to walk nicely (and I think it should be!) I strongly suggest taking some lessons in loose leash walking from a good positive based trainer. This could either be classes, or you could hire someone to work with you and your dog privately.

In the mean time, here is a very good method to get you started:

http://youtu.be/kfiNFtembDA


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 12:05 PM
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While no puppy comes trained to walk nicely on a loose leash, or a formal or informal heel... some dogs prefer to be right by your side. My Oz (anatolian is like that). also, I never let him walk in front of me when he was a puppy, so he always walks at an informal heel.

things that have worked for me:

1) get a 3-4 foot wooden stick, from Micheal's craft store, you need it to be long enough so your non-leash hand can dangle a treat at the end of the stick (skewer the treat at the end of the stick, so not a thick diameter stick). dangle a high value treat maybe 4-6 inches in front of your pup, reward maybe begin with 30 seconds, then increase the time interval. be sure he's walking where you want him to be, in line with you. so either at the seam of your pant leg, or 1 foot slightly in front or behind you, whatever it is you want.

2) if he pulls, stop immediately. realign yourself with him (don't let him keep walking in front of you), then resume your walk. stop EVERY time he pulls. hav's are smart he'll get it 3-5 times in a row.

3) if he pulls, go the opposite direction. I just walk backwards so I can watch him. let him walk a few steps in the opposite direction, then resume going forward.

the first one was the most helpful for me.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprorchid View Post
While no puppy comes trained to walk nicely on a loose leash, or a formal or informal heel... some dogs prefer to be right by your side. My Oz (anatolian is like that). also, I never let him walk in front of me when he was a puppy, so he always walks at an informal heel.
That's absolutely true. They aren't born knowing anything about leashes, but some have that innate desire to be right beside you, which is DEFINITELY a plus for loose leash walking. OTOH, THAT can have it's own set of challenges for further training. I have a friend whose young standard poodle was like that. But her goal for him was formal obedience, and it took almost an entire year before he was comfortable in "front" position. (sitting toe to toe in front of the handler) Since many exercises in obedience end with a "front" followed (on the judge's signal) a "finish" (return to heel position), until he felt comfortable NOT staying always at her side, she couldn't progress with large chunks of other training. All dog s have some behaviors that are "preferred"… those that stay willingly at side are the easiest for pet owners, in terms of walking, but not necessarily for people who want to do more advanced training!

I also agree that there are LOTS of different approaches to teaching loose leash walking (informal heeling). Some will work better for some dogs than others. …And often, it makes sense to use a mix of techniques, at different times, to help the dog generalize the behavior.

And, BTW, teaching a dog to do formal heeling does NOT necessarily translate to casual loose leash walking. It's a pet peeve of mine to see dogs who are letter perfect in formal heeling, off lead in the ring, who then DRAG the owner out of the ring and back to their crate when the run is over.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 07:09 PM
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I found the sensable harness good when I first strated using it with Miller but I switched him over to a martingale collar and he walks perfectly. Of course combined with clicker training. Now after about 3 months of clicker training when he was younger he knows exactly what is expected of him when we are walking and if he starts to pull me he gets a small leash correction and hes back by my side. But that is rare. Hes gotten really responsive and now I can just wiggle the leash and he knows to slow down and walk beside me.

Brittany and Miller

Last edited by miller123; 12-04-2013 at 07:14 PM.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 07:18 PM
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I found the sensable harness good when I first strated using it with Miller but I switched him over to a martingale collar and he walks perfectly. Of course combined with clicker training.
Just remember that ANY dog, even one who is very well trained for loose leash walking, can get momentarily distracted or frightened, and bolt against the end of a leash. ANY type of collar can cause damage to their spine, trachea and thyroid gland. Even for a dog who is GREAT on leash, a harness of some kind is a much safer option.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 01:56 PM
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If I let Oz off leash, in an appropriate park (trails), he basically does wind sprints up and down the trails, checking on me. he's got the best 'come' of all my dogs. very attached. being a white dog, by default he loves to get dirty.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miller123 View Post
I found the sensable harness good when I first strated using it with Miller but I switched him over to a martingale collar and he walks perfectly. Of course combined with clicker training. Now after about 3 months of clicker training when he was younger he knows exactly what is expected of him when we are walking and if he starts to pull me he gets a small leash correction and hes back by my side. But that is rare. Hes gotten really responsive and now I can just wiggle the leash and he knows to slow down and walk beside me.
I used to use Martingale collars for my guys, way back when, before switching to harnesses. One day, while out walking with them in the collars, Bailey spotted something he wanted to go after (so long ago I don't recall what) and managed to pull his head back and right out of the collar, even though the Martingale tightens when pulled against. Thank goodness it wasn't a busy street as he darted across it. I think that's probably when I switched to the harnesses. What a fright I got that day!


Mary (miss you, Bailey-1996-2011 and Tyler-1997-2015)
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