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Walking on a lead


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my little man is 14months and perfect in everyway EXCEPT................ walking him on a lead.

When we take him for a walk he will stop and sit at the side of the road when instructed, cross the road when you tell him - basically everything you'd want except for the fact that he pulls like sled dog. Sometimes he's so excited he'll pull so much that the lead lifts him up onto his two back legs and he'll walk like an emu for about 5 metres.

I'm not a fan of 'choker' chains and am hoping someone has got a different solution.

Its not that he's naughty, he just wants to go at 100km p/hr and I want to walk.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers Jesse14wks.jpg

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Does he get any off lead runniing time? Tiga is a puller too when he goes somewhere new, but it's usually because he wants to run. I'll take him to a fenced in ball field or the dog park (which I haven't done since he got kennel cough there). When he gets lots off running time, he's better on the lead. Another things that helps is if I jog for a bit, then walk, then jog for another bit etc.

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I know a very highly trained, herding titled Border Collie who just has to pull when she is on lead. And with mine I have noticed that they are far more attentive to me when off lead. But pups need to be on lead in many situations, and mine also is a puller. The most helpful method I found is a booklet by Turid Rugaas called "MY Dog Pulls, What Do I Do?" Amazon has it. She recommends dogs be on harnesses rather than collars around the neck, and while I had been "trained" to beleive that such harnesses encouraged pulling, I found that miraculously, Ruby pulled less on it. Turid's method has also helped immeasurably. I train dogs in a class setting at my training club, and had worked with many types of dogs that way. I have to say that now that I have BC's, being on lead seems unnatural for them more than other dogs I have worked with. A freind who competes in obedience and agility now has a BC that she got as a pup, and she told me that Focus walked on a two inch lead the first year until she stopped pulling. I wouldn't do that, as my purpose in having my dogs has nothing to do with competition. So there is no single way to solve this problem. But you can happily come to terms with it!!

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Same problem here -- tried the Gentle Leader -- Skye freaked out. There was no way she would move with that evil thing on her nose :eek:

 

I bought a Gentle Leader Easy Walk harness -- presto, problem solved!

 

Lin

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Turid Rugaas does not recommend Gentle Leaders or any other head harness. She says that dogs cannot read dog body language well when a dog is in a head halter, and dogs wearing head halters cannot give signals in the normal manner. Whether a dog can be seriously injured if it pulls or jerks suddenly while wearing one is still a controversial topic. That being said, I used to use them regularly and don't any more. Yes, the improvement seems miraculous at first, but Turid convinced me to change to her method and I have not been sorry. The dogs seem to like it better as well.

 

Kathy Robbins

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My trainer showed me a trick that she uses - - - herding breeds tend to be pullers as they want to be out ahead of you and go to work - - with the leash on the dog - - I use a 6 ft slip lead type - take it around the belly and back thru making a half-hitch around the belly - walk - - if they pull it tightens around their middle - worked wonders for Tess - - the Gentle Leader works but is a major hassle putting on and off and this way you don't have to worry about having it along - - you always have your lead with you - - TRY IT!! You will be amazed!!Tess actually stands and waits for me to put it on - - hahahhaha!

 

Maggie, Tess and Roz

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I shall have to try that with Poppy. What a wonderful idea! I think I've heard of that somewhere but had forgotten about it until now.

Thanks! :rolleyes:

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I notice that normally if Zoe's on her 15' flexi she doesn't pull much (unless she sees something), but if she's on her 6' she pulls constantly. I really think she just wants to be out ahead of me, she likes to sweep back and forth. Getting her in a heel position has helped with the pulling.... it gives me something specific to tell her to do, and made walking a lot easier.

 

Options for less pulling - prong collars, head halters, no-pull harnesses. I wouldn't do any of these with a young puppy, honestly.

 

Training methods you can try involve never letting a pupping pup get anywhere.... every time they pull, stop and/or back up. Repeat. you will probably make it about 10' (that's been my experience). But supposedly after repeatedly doing this, the dog figures out that pulling does NOT get him where he wants to go, only NOT pulling will. (The trainer we went to said to reward the dog (verbally, excitedly) for looking at you - and stand there and wait until they DO look at you.)

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Have you tried searching the boards?

On some different threads there are posts about some great ways to stop pulling. Everything from treats, to toys, to commands, to changing the other direction, and everything in between! Maybe see if you can find some of those - that might help.

 

I know you said you didn't want to BUT, prong collars work really well - but they are not for all dogs (like my Dazzle for example, she just wasn't a strong puller) so you have to be careful. I know they sound evil, and even look really nasty but all they are doing is "biting" the dog around the neck when they pull. They work so well because it is saying in clear doggie-terms, I am in charge - slow down. It is the same thing that any other alpha dog would do, and it doesn't hurt the dog if done right. And don't forget that it is just a training tool - you train with it and then wean off of it, it is not a forever thing. Of course, you never use a prong collar on a pup, or a soft dog. Just saying that I wouldn't shut that door just yet because they look mean and cruel - after all, it was only a few years ago that everyone thought crates where evil.

 

Happy training!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have just got back from the library with books to train dogs not to pull, my pet peeve, so I must work consistantley with the suggestions here and in the borrowed books. Someone has mentioned to me recently, that as a herding dog BC's don't like to heel, perhaps they were right???

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Kat's Dogs said:

I know you said you didn't want to BUT, prong collars work really well (...) I know they sound evil, and even look really nasty but all they are doing is "biting" the dog around the neck when they pull. They work so well because it is saying in clear doggie-terms, I am in charge - slow down. It is the same thing that any other alpha dog would do, and it doesn't hurt the dog if done right.
I have to agree with Kat's statement. With Ouzo, all I have to do is place the prong collar with the prongs pointing outside, not hurting him a bit, and he miraculosly stops pulling and acts like a "normal" dog. The minute I take the metal collar off and attacht the leash to his nyalon collar, he gets "evil" and starts pulling. Unless he's already tired and then he walks normaly.

 

It's more of a psychological took with us, since 99% of our walks the prongs are up, not in the dog's neck. The only time I would turn in the correct way is if there are too many distractions around, such heavy traffic when I realy do not feel like risking anything.

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I tend to prefer the last method Lunar described - that is, simply not allowing it. There are 3 options - stand still, change direction, or back up (penalty yards). They all operate on the same principles - you say nothing to the dog until the lead slackens - then praise/treat the dog for the slack lead, and hopefully for attention to you - big party. The idea of this is that the dog does not get to go where he wants until the lead is slack.

 

Another variation is 'doodling' - where you just wander a few yards in one direction, then change direction and go a few more yards, then rinse and repeat. Agian, you say nothing to the dog until he pays attention to you - then party. The idea is that it is his job, and it's in his best interests to find out what you're doing.

 

If you use a clicker, you can add that into the mix to let the dog know when he's right.

 

Dog Lady, while I think it's true that many Border Collies like to work a bit wide of the handler, you can get some beautiful happy precision heeling from Border Collies. I've seen video of one winning Cruft's Obedience in England - and that was all trained using food and a clicker.

 

ETA I meant to say I love the pic. As Charlie Brown said - Happiness is a warm sleeping puppy :rolleyes:

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Here is what Caesar teaches that I find works well. Wear the dog out before you walk. Ruger is a puller but is getting better and he is 16 months old. Casey is over 8 years old and has walked great for years. Casey is always right along side me and never ahead. Casey's leash is always slack. I walk both dogs at the same time.

 

A good round of frisbee before walking really helps with the pulling. One thing I will have to say about the little guy, he just loves the walks. His head is up, he is prancing, and every now and then flies behind me and nips Casey while I have the lead. He is just plain full of beans when walking.

 

I originally started walking Ruger with a plain nylon collar. I switched over to a choke collar and got a lot more control. However, I believe the prong collar is better. That being said, never jerk your dog around with a prong collar on. There is no need.

 

In the long run you will find time on your side but wear out your dog first. By the way, he is gorgeous.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We are having this EXACT problem. Daisy is 6 months old and strong as a horse. We were at the pet store earlier and someone there had the gentle leader head collar. We bought one and tried it tonight. Daisy went ballistic. I thought she was going to hurt herself. We have a harness but haven't put it on her since we went to puppy class and the instructor said NOT to use it. I am so glad that other people also have the same problem. We have a pinch collar but haven't tried it on her yet. Do you think we should switch back to the harness. She pulls SOO hard. We were at a loss on what to do until I found this web site. There is soo much wonderful info and feedback on here!!!!

 

http://dogster.com/pet_page.php?j=t&i=354818

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I'm not a huge fan of head halters, although I've known people who use them happily. Key to using it is to accustom the pup to it gradually - lots of treats, short time, games in between sessions - all of this before you try going for a walk with it. Do a search on the net and you'll find some suggestions. Each halter is different, but the principles are the same. Make sure you do not jerk the lead while the dog is wearing a head halter.

 

I use harness for flyball and tracking, where I want the dog to pull - oh, and I use Kirra's harness to stop her from backing out of her collar when we're walking along a road - she's a wannabe car chaser.

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Try practicing walking your dog on a leash in your house. There's nothing there they haven't already sniffed - so it won't be very exciting. Use treats and your sparkling & interesting personality to keep the dog focused on you and in the right position.

 

Once that's successful, move on to your backyard, etc.

 

I like the idea of wearing out your dog first - that way they get all that spring out of their step first, while you're busy training.

 

I have seen MANY a herding dog have PERFECT on leash walking and they tend to really respond to your pace changes.

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lucy hated her leash and went crazy every time i put it on her. one day i told her if she wanted to go shopping with me she had to wear her leash. she came to me put her head up and allowed me to leash her. do they understand what you say?

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Daisy absolutly freaked with the head collar. She was pawing at her face so bad we thought she would hurt herself. Her biggest problem with the leash itself is that she wants to eat it. She has almost chewed threw her new leash.

Any suggestions?

Jamie

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The thing with Border collies is that you need to teach them WHAT you want them to do, rather than use all these devices to thwart their impulses - it just turns into a big battle with each side raising the stakes every time something changes - or you get dependant on the device to have a decent time with your dog.

 

I've used Karen's trick for rescues and it never fails. I also just introduced the leash to my three month old pup (he's been trained on Karen's method since babyhood) and there was no freako, first-time-on-leash craziness.

 

It's like "Be a tree" but with a little twist. Use a flat collar and a six foot leash or longer (no flexileads). Instead of standing stock still when the dog forges ahead, you take a step or so backwards. This resets the clock, so to speak, and gives the dog another chance to do it right. If the dog is reasonably tuned to you, he will turn and come back behind you. Proceed. The second he forges (visualize EXACTLY where that will be - nose passing your knee, ear passing your knee, whatever, and stick to it!) - repeat the halt and two steps back - very slowly and casually.

 

Everything is slow and casual, like the dog is hardly even there and the stepping back and forth happens by accident. Throw in some right and left turns, too.

 

Never tug the leash or let it get taut (unless your dog is so intent on going forward that he hits the end of the line when you go backwards). It's just there for the dog's safety, NEVER to control the dog. Ideally you want be able to walk around with the leash so slack you can drape it over your shoulder and trust your dog completely. If he pulls the leash free, you know he's not going anywhere anyway.

 

There will be one walk where you literally get nowhere. Then one where you might spend about half your time walking in circles. Border collies are awfully smart, so the next walk after that, almost guaranteed, will be taken with a slack lead. But if it DOES take a little longer, don't get discouraged. There may be a lot of pushy behavior to unravel first. You just have to be consistent. For puppies remember that you'll have to repeat this lesson periodically until maturity (that part always gets me, I let it slide the next time it comes up).

 

Good luck!

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I used a nylon Martingale (limited closure) collar with Annie when she was a "puller", and just simply continued with it afterward. The collar was specifically recommended by our vet at the time, and ensures that if the dog pulls, the pressure is distributed relatively evenly around the neck, rather than concentrated on the front of the throat (which can cause serious injury to the dog). The Martingale has all the advantages of a "choke" collar without the attendant risks, and thus is far more humane. If you decide you wish to use one, it is imperative that you get the measurements right; see the manufacturer's or retailer's instructions for measuring.

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Originally posted by Jo&Tex:

I tried Rainerlass's half hitch last night and I'm pleased to say it made a huge difference.

I highly recommend it.

I'm trying to picture how this is configured. Can you explain? Is the leash attached to a collar and threaded between the legs and then around the belly? Seems like that would require more than a 6 ft lead.
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I moved Lokis martingale collar around until the ring was on the back of his neck.I attached the leash to the collar.

I ran the leash around his ribs (Loki facing away from me)up the other side, passing it under. It took 42 tries to get it right because he has an insane wiggling problem. When walking, the loop tightened on his ribs before his collar and he seemed to respond more quickly. I can't talk to him (he's deaf) so we communicate through leash touch.

I don't know if I did it right but it helped with his lunging at shadows and cars and general walk performance.

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