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Hi everyone!

 

Ed is now 18 months old and is still crazy on the lead. When he's off the lead in the park he's golden! He's attentive, playful and well behaved. On the lead is a different story..he's like a tazmanian devil! He pulls me along! He pulls that hard he's made himself sick before now! I've tried stopping until I have his attention, clicker training, telling him off, changing direction, no pull harnesses! I see other dogs walking off lead perfectly to heel...then I look at Ed who look like a big barrel of crazy! :rolleyes:

Anyone have any suggestions?

 

Thanks.

 

xx

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Hi everyone!

 

Ed is now 18 months old and is still crazy on the lead. When he's off the lead in the park he's golden! He's attentive, playful and well behaved. On the lead is a different story..he's like a tazmanian devil! He pulls me along! He pulls that hard he's made himself sick before now! I've tried stopping until I have his attention, clicker training, telling him off, changing direction, no pull harnesses! I see other dogs walking off lead perfectly to heel...then I look at Ed who look like a big barrel of crazy! :rolleyes:

Anyone have any suggestions?

 

Thanks.

 

xx

 

I found that Skye learned how to walk best on lead when she was tired, so after a play in the park or a long hike off leash and the attention is focussed more on you and less on play, or getting to the destination (pre-play in park).

I used the stopping and/or changing direction strategy -- but I did have to do this EVERYTIME. I can't tell you how important consistency is. That way she learned she didn't know what I was going to do next and focussed more on me and the moment rather than something in the distance. Although I was tempted to yell when I was frustrated I did try not to do this :D

At the same time I taught her to heel, esp when we were crossing the street (combined with stopping and sitting by my side at every intersection). Doing this with a treat in my hand by my hip. This can be done on or off-leash.

 

Most of my early walks with her were actually off-leash and so when I would leash her, it was something I realized I'd have to give more attention to, esp. since my friend who takes care of her when we go away usually does leash walks at least once a day (phew, that was a long sentence :D )

Good luck,

Ailsa

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Like afrancis said we also use the play first method before walks. When Piper and Skyler are tired they walk much better also. When they get too pulling and acting too crazy we make them do a a sit,stay. Kind of a timeout, and it seems to help.

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At 18 months, this may well have become simply a bad habit, that sounds as if you have given him every opportunity and plenty of chances to correct. Personally, I feel that wearing a dog out first is much like lunging a horse that tends to buck. You cant get up and have a decent ride until after it has been lunged for 45 minuets, but what happens when you need him fresh out of the stall? It doesnt really have so much to do with the tools you use, as much as it has to do with getting his mind in the right place before the training session. If I have a difficult OB task that I want to work on, the first thing I do with a dog, is crate them away, in a room all alone with the door closed. Perferably, at a time when the house noises are pretty quiet. This works especially well, if a dog is use to having free roam of the house or yard and is allowed to follow you around during your time at home with him. I leave them locked in a crate for anywhere from half an hour to an hour. No toys, or chewies. Thats a biggie. That way he has nothing to do except wish he was out with you, so that when you do take him out, his mind is focused on you. Then, I wouldnt start my training sessions any further than your back yard to do a couple of short 5 mineut sessions. Then, put him back up for another half an hour or so, to allow him time to think about what just occured. When you let him back out, ignore him for a bit. Keep praise down to a minimum, dont throw a party if he is heeling or walking on a loose lead. Simply stop him, put him in a sit posistin, and pat him on the head and tell him in a quiet voice, good dog. Throwing a party, takes his mind out of the zone you want him in, and then the session is blown, no use trying to get him back focused on work, he now thinks its play time. I would suggest along with this, to get a prong collar. It is a gradual training tool only, and not meant to use all the time. It allows you to give a light correction, with out having to make a big production of yanking and pulling to get the dog under control. All things that get the dogs mind back out of a training mode. Everything in so far as leash training done with a dog like this should be done in a calm and quiet manner. He sounds quite excietable, so after he can manage heeling and walking on a loose lead in the back yard, then I would progress to the front yard, where perhaps there are a few more distractions, and dont move on from there until he can walk right every time out there. Dont expect him to do some thing at the dog park, that he cant manage to do at home. Consistancy on your part is going to be a big thing too, you have to expect compliance every time. Not just here and there. If you give the command HEEL, start him out in the heel posistion with the dog sitting on your left side every time, and start out everytime with your left foot, everytime. After your consistancy starting out the same way, he will quickly begin to understrand what is expected of him before you ever start your walk. Tone of voice plays a big part here too. You dont want to be to playful, nor to strern, use a workman like voice, letting the dog know its not playtime, but also letting the dog know he isnt in trouble, that its simply time to get to work. During this initial training time, dont allow others to walk the dog, until they understand the right way to walk with him, and are reliable in being just as consistant. If you see a training session going to hell in a handbasket quickly, dont fight with the dog, just stop, dont talk to him, and put him back up for a bit, then try training again on the next day. This has been going on with him for awhile, so dont expect results overnight, but do expect results however small, with each session. Good luck.

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Which anti pull harness did you try?

 

We have used for a long time, well up until recently (they both got new fitted harnesses and Holly has been walking a lot better so at the moment the fitted harness is enough) the halti harness. Used at first with the halti training lead clipped to the back and the front part of it. That gave me a lot of control over Holly. It worked well with her, we still kept up with the stopping, starting off again etc and training that way.

Then when she was walking well we unclipped the front and had the lead attached to the back only. Attaching it back on when she was pulling again. Holly is quite strong and that gave me full control of her especially when she got excited which was when she pulled more. Anyway if you have not tried it i would definately recommend it. We tried another make before it, i think it was a Mikki one but i can't remember, this worked but i didn't like how it could rub the fur unlike the halti which didn't at all. :rolleyes:

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At 18 months, this may well have become simply a bad habit, that sounds as if you have given him every opportunity and plenty of chances to correct. Personally, I feel that wearing a dog out first is much like lunging a horse that tends to buck. You cant get up and have a decent ride until after it has been lunged for 45 minuets, but what happens when you need him fresh out of the stall?

 

This is really a good point. I think that your goal is to have a dog that complies, no matter what the request and no matter how tired or not they are. And 18 months is no longer really a puppy who is more interested in ANYTHING other than you :D .

 

If I have a difficult OB task that I want to work on, the first thing I do with a dog, is crate them away, in a room all alone with the door closed. Perferably, at a time when the house noises are pretty quiet. This works especially well, if a dog is use to having free roam of the house or yard and is allowed to follow you around during your time at home with him. I leave them locked in a crate for anywhere from half an hour to an hour. No toys, or chewies. Thats a biggie. That way he has nothing to do except wish he was out with you, so that when you do take him out, his mind is focused on you.

 

My initial failure with leash walking training was expecting Skye to learn how to do it calmly on the way down to the street to the dog park. Obviously this was a lose-lose situation since all she could think about was the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel (i.e. park=play).

 

Then, I wouldnt start my training sessions any further than your back yard to do a couple of short 5 mineut sessions.

 

This is also a really good reminder. Keep it short.

 

Keep praise down to a minimum, dont throw a party if he is heeling or walking on a loose lead. Simply stop him, put him in a sit posistin, and pat him on the head and tell him in a quiet voice, good dog. Throwing a party, takes his mind out of the zone you want him in, and then the session is blown, no use trying to get him back focused on work, he now thinks its play time.

 

This was also a mistake I first made. Having a party when they do something right is SO tempting, esp if you are that type of person, with the high voice and all :rolleyes: Tone and volume of voice is so important and I think can't be over-emphasized.

 

I would suggest along with this, to get a prong collar. It is a gradual training tool only, and not meant to use all the time. It allows you to give a light correction, with out having to make a big production of yanking and pulling to get the dog under control.

 

Never used the prong collar but can see it would be quite useful in this scenario. I have heard that it is actually preferred to the choke chain.

 

During this initial training time, dont allow others to walk the dog, until they understand the right way to walk with him, and are reliable in being just as consistant.

 

Ideal situation -- but I think most of us are in this position, i.e. we are our dogs PRIMARY caregiver/trainer.

 

Great job Sheepdoggal. Thanks for the detail -- it reminds me of what I did wrong and reinforces the most important points in order for the OP and others to achieve success.

Ailsa

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