OK, I need help - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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OK, I need help

and this is really embarrassing to be asking this now.

Jackson is now a year old...and he is a stinker on the leash. Pulls like crazy, even with a choke collar on..he minds beautifully in the house and in the back yard...but when we are out the front door with the leash...impossible.


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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 01:46 PM
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Re: OK, I need help

Stop every time he starts pulling. It will take forever to move down one block, but he will get the message.

Or you can loop the leash in front of his chest so it dangles in front of him - he will feel it as a barrier when he moves forward too quickly (you will be holding the leash in two hands - one on the handle, the other holding the centre so the leash will dangle). This has worked very well for us.

I have friends who swear that a harness has stopped the pulling - Option 3.


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 01:53 PM
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Re: OK, I need help

You need a prong collar and correct him when he pulls

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 01:58 PM
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Re: OK, I need help

I concur with the stop training. Another variation is to change direction when he starts pulling. You may go back and forth a lot in the beginning, but they get the point.

We use the Easy Walk harness by Gentle Leader. It goes around the trunk, not the head and we have found it is an almost immediate success with our two when we first introduced it. The control point is in front of the chest and they almost can't fight it when you need to correct the pull. It's actually easier on the dog and does not pull the head like the other harness they make.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 02:03 PM
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Re: OK, I need help

Obedience training teaches dog and handler how to walk on leash with the dog at your side and not pulling! I am new here and don't know if you have had a session of obedience training, it is worth every penny! He sounds like a great dog!
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 02:08 PM
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Re: OK, I need help

I love my Halti. Pup is excellent with it on , Plus he has learned watch me, what a wonderful command. Yes the head halter looks funny but it sure has saved my shoulder from all that correcting with the flat collar, the prong works well on Pup also but if he will work on the Halti I will use that till he learns well enough to be put on the choke. (plus petsmart will not allow prongs or chokes)
Good luck!!

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 02:12 PM
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Re: OK, I need help

Another supporter or the stop and wait method. They get the hang of it eventually, just have a lot of patience.

However, your neighbors might think you have a screw loose though going 2 feet and stopping over and over again!


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 02:51 PM
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Re: OK, I need help

If he knows his commmands but is just not listening when faced with distractions, look for an obedience class that focuses on 'distraction' training ie classes are done in different settings each week (first class is usually indoors).

If he's been pulling through a choke for the last while, don't expect him to quickly give in to the Stop Method especially if everyone is not 100% consistent.
Is he able to pull you forward?

If you decide to go with a head collar, please read this article first (you may have to register first but it's free & instantaneous).
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 02:59 PM
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Re: OK, I need help

is this pulling on the leash new or is it something you never corrected?
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 04:41 PM
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Re: OK, I need help

I would first do away with the choke collar - the risk of damage to your dog's neck is not worth it.

Second, I would set him up in something that helps encourage him to NOT pull .. the Easy Walk Harness from Gentle Leader is an excellent tool for this. The ring for the leash clip is on the chest strap, so when he goes to pull it gently puts him off-balance and he'll stop wanting to pull. But this is only a TOOL and won't teach him not to pull .. that's your job!

He needs to be taught that not pulling is wonderful, and that pulling gets him nowhere. So I would encourage you to do some attention training with him so that he understands that looking at you is rewarded. I tend to use a LOT of reward in my training (positive reinforcement) because I want my dogs to respond with happy anticipation, not with fear of punishment. When I teach them to walk on a loose leash, I head out the door and if they go to the end of the leash, I stop and wait. I don't take another step until they come back to my side. I also don't talk to them - they can figure out what I want. Once they're by my side, I praise and take a treat out of a pocket and give it to them.

Then I take another step. If they stay next to me, more praise and another treat. If they run ahead, I again stop and stand there ("be a tree!" is what I tell my students). It won't take too long before your dog figures out that staying by your side is rewarding, running ahead is boring because everything stops.

Now, you don't want to try this under a high level of distraction (like other dogs running around) until he's learned it well under a low level of distraction (like a quiet, calm street). Dogs have to learn how to behave with distractions around and they have to be trained in varying levels of distraction to obtain this level of training. Starting out with too much busy stuff around him will just sabotage your training and make both of you frustrated.

The eventual goal is to not have to use any sort of special tool to have him walk calmly by your side - you should be able to do it with just a plain flat collar on him. But he has to learn the behavior first. The Easy Walk harness helps you gain control while you teach him the proper behavior. You can also just plan on using the Easy Walk for the rest of his life (and not do the training) but it's easier to live with a dog that doesn't require anything special.

Good luck!

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