Leash training

What do you guys suggest I do to train Abby to walk like a good puppy? I did not have the oppertunity to take her to puppy classes when she was younger as the one school in my area was full and the other offered classes only on saturdays which I have to work. So now I am playing catch up with her to get her to be the good puppy I know she is. I have been trying to snap the lead to make her stop pulling (without a choker) but I was wondering about getting a halter lead and see if that works. My snapping her lead does not seem to phase her at all, I have even tried to use treats and that didn't work either.😕

In my experience every dog reacts different to different types of training collars. If you are just using a flat buckle (if she's over 4 mos) this will probably not work unless she is a 'soft' dog. If you can't control (somewhat) your dog by your side you'll never control her elsewhere. You may want to get some GOOD advice about trianing collars-not necessarily from the pet shop employees. While some have a clue, most are paid minimum wage and just don't care or don't know about training collars. I've found that harness don't correct the problem (either head or body) they just mask it and create other problems. Treats should not be used more than 5% of the time. Re-inforcing with treats can cause a dog to rely to heavily on treats and not on you. I have trained dogs from 4 mos to 15 years! No dog is too old to learn. The catch is with you. It's up to you to reinforce good behaviour. You should also be training for at least 20 min per day, everyday, and everywhere. You don't want her to pull you along and have her choking the whole time.

A head halter can help you be able to go for decent walks to tire her out, but it won't train her to walk politely. It is a good "aide" to use while you are trainer her to walk though. I like the method that when the leash gets tight you stop, when the dog checks in with you, you go again. You can use food or not (I use food). The main reward is getting to go forward when the leash gets loose again. Snapping the leash won't do a thing, and frankly, I don't like using a choke collar at all, it is more effective to go straight to a pinch collar (rather than a choke) for a dog that has a history of pulling already. I prefer to use a head collar, or sensible harness (trademark).

The key here is consistancy. The dog should never, ever get to move forward when that leash is tight. It takes A LONG time to undo a habit of pulling, but with work you can do it.

How does this work when you want to run with the dog or allow them to sniff when you take them out to potty?

it's never too late to enroll in classes. I'd suggest taking at least a beginner obedience class to teach YOU how to teach your dog. You can use a tool, but tools do not fix the problem. They merely help control it while you work on the training part of it.

I'm particularly fond of the Black Dog Training Harness as a tool:
http://www.blackdog.net.au/halters.php

I find it doesn't ride up into the eyes like the Gentle Leader tends to.

another good one is the Easy Walk harness by Pemiere:
http://www.premier.com/pages.cfm?id=74

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I find that this one has too much play in the chest strap because of the martingale style. I prefer the Sensible Harness
http://www.puplife.com/dogsupplies/sense.html
But that's just me 😉

hee hee, i think they're the same idea. I like that one too! basically the point is like wearing a t-shirt 2 sizes too small. you can't really lift your arms all the way up… same idea here, the dog can't gain too much ground on you in order to pull you around.

I just looked at the pic but my ? is, if the strap is in the front isn't it really uncomfortable to maneuver or is that the point?

I can see myself getting all twisted in that thing

the strap goes across the chest/shoulder area, to limit the dog's steps. shorter, smaller steps are less likely to result in pulling. I used this type of harness when my dog was a pup, once he was grown, I switched to a head harness. all the while I continued working on his leash manners on a regular flat buckle collar though - that is the most important point here, leash manners need to be taught - harnesses are not a fix, they are just tools.

@luzmery928:

I just looked at the pic but my ? is, if the strap is in the front isn't it really uncomfortable to maneuver or is that the point?

Do you mean uncomfortable for the dog, or the person? Either way, it isn't uncomfortable for the human, and only for the dog if they are trying to pull.

It is more about leverage of where the leash attaches, than it is about discomfort though. The physics of it make the dogs body come around when the dog pulls.

Maybe it's ME (and it very well could be) or my B is just TOO much of a puller. I find he pulls just as much with the harness as he does with a martingale leash or the gentle leader…I've basically tried it all 😞

Querk will still try to pull with the GL, when he is really excited. He did better with the Sensible Harness…but Bella was able to pull pretty well in the harness. I think it may matter what the dog is shaped like. My dogs will all still pull some when they are wound up, or when I am walking multiple dogs...I just haven't put enough time into training them to walk politely 🙂 But we can all still enjoy a nice walk in the park, and that is my main goal 🙂

I have a 5 month old puppy. He has not been to any training yet but I am taking him out on the leash. He is a lunatic! running, sniffing, running around in circles, zig zagging. The only way to keep him next to me is to hold the leash really tight and then he gags but is pulling still. Should I not be even taking him out until he is trained on the leash. Help! I actually think I am teaching him to think that a tight leash is the way it is supposed to be. He is pretty smart and is learning other things so quickly I think it is me who is the dummy!

There is a thread here about training polite walking somewhere. In a nut shell, the secret is never take one step forward when the dog is pulling. And, yes, keeping his leash tight won't teach him anything. As you walk, when the leash gets tight, you stop your feet immediately, and wait for him to check in with you. It is important to have taught him to pay attention to you first as well. There is also a post somewhere here about teaching "attention" or "watch". You have to dedicate a lot of time to training him to walk politely, before you can expect it to happen in a stimulating environment.

I had to make an unexpected trip out of town Last Wednesday night, my leash training was not going well at all, I loaded his cate in the trunk, and packed him a bag, with Toy's, treats. I went back into the house, put his leash on and Presto he was a new dog; I was so surprised I made a stop at a rest area and no problems at all. I was surprised to see his mane stand up for the 1st time, that was neat. He did well on all of his potty breaks, If I could get him to do that well at home!! I only wish I had the time to stay with him though out the day. Glen

The pulling on the leash dosen't work for us either and I think he might even like it cause he stands on his back paws and walk like a human. I just bought a new leash..sorry don't know the name nut it helped some. He started crying after the second day cause he couldn't pull or jump so I took it off but I plan on putting it back on at least one walk a day.

If any of you are familiar with horses, the concept of a halter is a good one… at least it worked with our B. We'd tried choke collars (soft nylon web) and obedience school.. hah!

The idea behind a dog halter (regardless of which one you get) is the idea "Where the nose goes, the head & shoulders will follow". The pressure is on the bridge of the nose (just below the eyes and no, you can't choke or suffocate your dog with these collars). When they start to get ahead of you, the pressure across the nose actually turns the dog's head towards you, in turn causing their shoulder to "pop out". This stops the movement of the dog (same principle if ever you are on a runaway horse... take one rein and pull. An animal can't go forward if it's head is pointing one direction and it's shoulder another.).

It took Rocky all of 5 minutes to figure out he actually got to walk if he went the speed I asked of him, instead of hell-brent-for-leather-while-choking. A very different dog when we walk now. He's actually calmer too!

I also recommend some basic "pack" manuvers: you lead with the dog either at your knee or slightly behind your movement; when going thru a doorway, you go first, then your dog; whenever you stop, make dog sit and wait to move until you give command to do so. I know, I'm asking alot of a B (commands? Hah! I laugh in the face of commands! What's in it for me?!?) but once you start reminding them in subtle ways that you are top dog, they tend not to grumble so much about walking at your pace.

Good luck!

@RockysWoman:

If any of you are familiar with horses, the concept of a halter is a good one… at least it worked with our B. We'd tried choke collars (soft nylon web) and obedience school.. hah!

The idea behind a dog halter (regardless of which one you get) is the idea "Where the nose goes, the head & shoulders will follow". The pressure is on the bridge of the nose (just below the eyes and no, you can't choke or suffocate your dog with these collars). When they start to get ahead of you, the pressure across the nose actually turns the dog's head towards you, in turn causing their shoulder to "pop out". This stops the movement of the dog (same principle if ever you are on a runaway horse... take one rein and pull. An animal can't go forward if it's head is pointing one direction and it's shoulder another.).

It took Rocky all of 5 minutes to figure out he actually got to walk if he went the speed I asked of him, instead of hell-brent-for-leather-while-choking. A very different dog when we walk now. He's actually calmer too!

Thanks for the info. I tried a choke collar too and it didin't work. He just kept yackin. Then the nylon semi-choke and it doesn't seem to be helping either. I'll try a dog halter. Fingers crossed this will do the trick.

Vanessa626, it's called the Gentle Leader Headcollar.

http://www.gentleleader.com/pages.cfm?id=19

Good luck!

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