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Hi everyone we have a beautiful gsd x husky called blue. He’s almost 9 months old and he’s huge. I can’t walk him anymore as he pulls so bad. We’ve tried all sorts of training, one to ones, residential and classes.

When I take him to the park (in car) I have him on training leash as he will not come back if he’s sees another dog.

It’s realky getting me down and I feel like such a failure. We have a three year old pomsky and I can’t walk them together at all as it’s too stressful.

Has anyone else had walking issues and will it get better?

Otherwise he’s a great pup obviously he’s pretty boisterous but he’s still a baby. He will destroy toilet rolls if anyone leaves downstairs toilet open and chew things but I can cope with all of that, it’s just the walking/
 

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Ditch your harness for walking. A prong will work but there are other alternatives that help, too. Ones that are less likely to worry you and/or other people especially on a dog under a year old. They do make a "puppy" prong as well.


One method that helped with my gung ho pup was to attach the lead to the flat collar, bring the lead along the back until it is in line with the "arm pits". then take the lead underneath the dog from one side to the other, bring it up and under itself where it comes back from the collar. What you will have if you get this looped correctly is a lead that will exert pressure around the dog's girth - and that helps control the pulling. The dog self regulates on this - you just hold the lead.


And it can get better with applications/encouragement to the dog to do something besides yank you around. I'm thinking here that you can use toys or a favorite snack to lure the dog into the position you want (like beside you and not pulling you across a field or into bushes or down the road, over to another dog, in pursuit of a squirrel.) A good treat, a favored toy when used with discretion on walks .... People frequently get sport dogs to the field by carrying either a toy or a treat up to the point that they enter the field when they hand off the reward discretely to a friend.
 

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If your 1-on-1 trainers are telling you it's ok to walk your large dog with a harness, you need to find a new, more knowledgeable trainer. What @Sunsilver said...harnesses are designed for pulling.

Also, if your dog is not coming back to you, then you need to work on the "come" command especially with distractions. And NO, you're not a failure. You just need to put more into training. Use a long training lead and high value treats (or toys if he responds better to toys). My dog loves his frisbees over anything else. So I use them for training.

Another thing...he's 9 months old. He's in his adolescence. He's gonna test ya. So stay strong and follow through on your commands. If he doesn't sit, make him sit after you said the word once. You shouldn't have to say it 10 times in a row before he does it.

At the park, if you call out his name, does he at least look at you? If he doesn't, you'll have to start at the beginning again with his name. And you can't just do the training inside your home. Then he thinks it's only at home that he has to listen to you. Work on the training on walks, in your yard, at the store, even in your car, etc. For example, do random sits on your walk. When you get to the park, that's a good opportunity to do some training. Lots of distractions there. Bring the long training lead with you.
 

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First, I’d ask an admin to remove the second picture that shows a phone number, edit it, and then repost it. Not only dog owners troll these sights!

Second, I have the twin to your boy. All he wants to do is pull pull pull. So we gave him pulling outlets. When it’s time to pull, his harness goes on. That’s the cue to let him know he’s being hooked to something to pull. Urban sled has been his favorite. They sell them online. We built ours, but it’s already starting to fall apart after a year and a half, so I would look into something more long term. They also enjoy having weighted packs on as well. Or you can get one of the children’s plastic wagons that has the long easy to hold handle, drill some holes on the sides for ropes to distribute the weight evenly, and add weight. You control the wagon with the handle, and him with a long lead attached to a flat collar. You could probably do this with a number of items with wheels and a handle, I”m sure you get the basic idea. We also built a home agility course for him and change it up when he gets bored. That helps a ton with excess energy on days we can’t do the urban sled and regular long walks.

We have to use a prong to walk him. These dogs were bred to pull. It literally took the first walk with a prong to get him to not pull when on a leash. Now he knows if a harness goes on, he gets to do his favorite thing ever. If the prong goes on, hey, at least I get to smell around and mark a lot.
We phased out of the prong in about one-two weeks, but we still have to put it on him. We just don’t attach the leash to it. We tried without the prong once he would walk fine attached to the flat collar, but nope, he’d be dragging DH down the street in a second. Still trying to figure that one out ?

This is what we have to be on guard with our guy over. You may never experience these issues, every dog is different, but just a friendly heads up!

Digging holes in the yard when bored. Not large ones, small deep ones that are ankle breakers, all over the backyard.

Digging under fence lines to escape. Our house now has an RV gate, so it has a concrete pad. Before that, fair game at any gate that had dirt under it.

Jumping. My guy can jump a 5ft fence from a sitting position, and jumps on the agility course are his second favorite thing (pulling being the first). If you think he can’t jump it, think again. We’ve found him on top of our fridge once when we had a snack basket up there for the kids after school snacks.

Squeezing through the narrowest crack in the front door as people are coming and going. He hides, waits for the door to be open and someone to be distracted, and bam, there he goes. We built a large baby gate close enough to the front door that he can’t jump it without slamming into the door, so he tried it once, smacked into the door, and was stuck in a small space (which he hates). That has stopped the escape artist antics for us. We also had him microchipped, it’s so beyond necessary with our guy.

If not mentally stimulated enough in addition to physical exercise, and is left unsupervised, he can and has demolished a wooden coffee table, taken down two trees in the backyard, and teaches himself naught things, like how to get into the pantry and gorge on any box/bag he can get open.

I got him at 9 months, he was a hot mess. He’s now 2 1/2, and has calmed down considerably. He’s still the most hyper out of our pack though. First and last time I will own a breed with Husky in it. He’s gorgeous, and we get stopped frequently, and he is the biggest cuddle bug after being worked, but his energy is just a manic energy that I can’t connect to. At his worst, he was basically a full time job. At his best now, he’s a part time job. I’ve managed to work out most of his behavioral issues (mouthing like crazy when he wanted attention or exercise), counter surfing, incredibly high prey drive. But it is a daily training situation (as it is with most dogs).

He won’t be as laid back and “easy” as your pomsky, he has two high drive breeds in him. Two working dog breeds in him. You’re going to have to find creative ways to train and exercise him that other breeds/crossbreed don’t need.

I’ve never been a fan of cross breeding, especially with large breed working dogs. It’s a crap shoot. You don’t know which temperament and drives you’ll end up with. In my case, I got the worse of both breeds minus the aggression. Luckily, I didn’t end up with a bag of nerves, scared of his own shadow type, which can and does happen often with crossbreeding.

Anyway, good luck with your guy, hope some of my trial and error experience helps you out some! And some pics, because who doesn’t love showing off their beauties! This was a few weeks ago, with two of the pack, my favorite of all 4, and one of the gate to stop the escape artist antics.
 

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So first thing, he is still young but he isn't a baby anymore, he's a teenage dog. Keep in mind that he's young but he's past the babying stage.

Since he's a mix with a husky it depends on if he takes more after the shepherd or the husky. Huskies are notorious for not being as easily trained, not as reliable a recall, pulling etc.

Like others have said I'd ditch the harness and switch to a prong or you could try the different harness types made to prevent pulling.

A better trainer may be able to help you. Many of the positive only trainers in my area are super gimmicky and don't know what they're doing, so be careful of that. It's also super important to do the training at home and randomly.

I'm a fan of prongs but you need to know how to use them correctly. So a trainer to help may be a good idea. For example you never leave a prong on, it only goes on where you're training/going for a walk. You also have to make sure they never put pressure on it. You don't just let them self correct. When he starts pulling you say something like psst, and a quick but not harsh pop. There are many other techniques, the important thing is being very consistent and not lettting him get away with it. If there's pressure on the leash then correct.

A common misconception people have is that things will miraculously fix themselves with age. That is and isn't true. Dogs will change and often mellow out once they get quite a few years older. But for behavioral problems and training the owner needs to put the work in and fix it. Don't expect the dog to just know what you want, you have to teach him what you expect out of him.

There are some great training videos on YouTube to start getting an idea on how to handle him and hopefully you can find a good trainer to teach you how to work with him.
 

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What Jchrest described has been true of all the husky-GSD-Xs I've known through rescue/shelter fostering too -- pulling, jumping, digging/landscape destroying, and most of all ESCAPE ARTISTS. And I'd also add: they've also all wanted to be cat-killers, if given the chance. Overall, they were much harder to train and more stubborn than GSDs, so you may need to just assume he's going to take more time and need more patience learning whatever you want to teach him. Her advice to find exercise activities that work with those genetics, rather than against them, is very smart!


The husky genetics seem to be dominant in the mental structure/thinking style/personality/temperament of all the crosses I've seen, no matter how shepherdy they look. They really do seem to inherit husky brains no matter what mix of body traits they pick up.
 

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@Jchrest good catch, did you (can you) report the post please? That way a notification can go directly to the mods of this forum. Thanks!
 

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For example you never leave a prong on, it only goes on where you're training/going for a walk. You also have to make sure they never put pressure on it. You don't just let them self correct. When he starts pulling you say something like psst, and a quick but not harsh pop. There are many other techniques, the important thing is being very consistent and not letting him get away with it. If there's pressure on the leash then correct.
Another important part of the teaching not to pull: TREATS! If your dog is food motivated, use treats to get him walking by your side instead of forging out ahead. And if he is forging ahead and responds to the correction by coming back to your side, reward with a treat. When not using all positive training methods, you need to make sure you generously reward the correct behaviour, whether verbally or with some other positive reinforcer )treat, favourite toy, tug, etc.) I use a verbal reinforcer, an enthusiastic "YES!!" for correct behaviour, then treat. It's the verbal equivalent of using a clicker.

Since your dog is already a dedicated puller, let me reinforce what Kazel said. DO NOT allow him to pull! You must correct immediately. I have heard of dogs that were such determined pullers that they still continued to pull when wearing a prong. It's gong to be difficult at first, I know. This is why I STRONGLY recommend you get an experience trainer to help.
 

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Magwart;9197469 The husky genetics seem to be dominant in the mental structure/thinking style/personality/temperament of all the crosses I've seen said:
Ha ha, I seem to have gotten the rare exception. Mine responds well to training, is velcro even in the great outdoors, and when we accidentally went out to dinner and left doors open, we found him in the house when we came home!

And, he is not good with strangers - he didn't inherit the usual husky friendliness. I'm very careful with him when we are out and about.

OP, yours looks a lot more like a GSD than mine does, though!

Mine was trained not to pull with the "Stop if he pulls method", the "Turn if he pulls method" and teaching of a "Heel" command. He's also middle-aged and less energetic than a young dog. So probably our training will not work with yours...

And if you want to keep using a harness, try using a NoPull harness...our obedience teacher was a big fan of those - although we never used one.
 

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Oh my, they are all beautiful - those eyes on your husky x are absolutely stunning!! We are already experiencing the digging, blue loves to dig and, like you said they are generally little deep holes that catch you when trying to hang out the washing!! Thanks for pointing out about the no. on the photo I didn't notice that. I've emailed Admin asking them to remove it. This is my first time on a forum so I'm a bit rubibsh at the moment. The pictures I posted of Blue were actually taken by the residential trainer when he was about 7 months old. We've stopped using the harness now and are using a half choke chain. I think that might be the UK name for a prong but I'm not sure. Our new trainer says that a choke chain will sort him but he can't use a full choke until he's 12 months old. The half choke is't actually working at all.

He's such a lovely dog, he's a big goof that loves to cuddle but he's bloody naughty!!! I can cope with all the naughtiness, I'd just like to be able to walk him. At the park we have a 25m training lead as his recall is ok but not when he sees another dog or squirrel. Then all bets are off. He LOVES children too (we have three) but strangers don't tend to like a 30kg dog runnig up to their kids hence the training lead.
 

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I have a female GSD and a 95lb black lab/pitbull mix I walk at the same time, and I'm average in size for a guy. They outweigh me together by ~20lbs.

I use Puppia harnesses (make sure you measure by the size of the neck hole, as they go over the head. Both of mine need the largest size (I think its 'jumbo') even though they show a GSD in the pics for a smaller size that was hilariously too small. Very easy to put on, one strap and clip, and easy to take off. Very durable.

I use extendable strap leads that have a brake button, about 15' but I can shorten it to zero. I live in a fairly rural/sparse suburban area.

Both dogs wanted to pull when I first got them. If they do I hit the break and warn them to slow down. If that happens more than 2-3x, we turn around and go straight home. When they don't, I praise them and their walk continues.

It took a few weeks, but eventually they figured out the deal. Pull and go home or go easy and keep walking.

My GSD was a rescue, and came with a pronged metal collar. Absolutely couldn't care less about it biting into her neck. I also tried one with plastic prongs that were wider but not as pointy. No joy at all using those.

The extensible leash lets them wander quite a bit without pulling.

Definitely NOT for urban walking or where there are a lot of other people/dogs.

The extendable is also nice for if you encounter a deer or squirrel that they want to chase...gives you a few second to realize whats happening and hit the brakes and reel them back in.
 
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