Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Help! My dog WON'T stop pulling!

Discussion in 'Dog Walking' started by Sonnygibson185, Jan 7, 2013.


  1. Sonnygibson185

    Sonnygibson185 PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah we had to move as we had quite a small garden and we couldn't get planning permission and he vaulted over the fence without even trying.

    I have just bought a Halti head collar now will see how it is and let you all know!

    Yes he is definitely a dog but he is incredibly strong. I'm a 20st rugby player and he can pull me around when he wants my partner is only small so we need to sort him out :)
     
  2. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    Messages:
    13,822
    Likes Received:
    408
    Hi, I have copied a post I put up about my Malamute, he's 62kgs and I am 51kgs so I know what you mean about pulling especially as he is a sledding dog. ;)
    Anyway this worked for me and as it's so long I couldn't be bothered to type it all again - pick out the pieces that apply and it should work. :)

    Awe chin up she can't be as bad as Flynn was and he was huge even at four months old. I tried all the stopping and turning back, sitting until he calmed down then walking on, taking treats to bribe him to walk close - nothing I tried worked but what did was...........

    Leaving his harness and lead lying about the place and handling it regularly when not actually taking him out. I would move it around, take it to him but not put it on and just leave it on the floor while he went bananas around it, just leave it there and not say anything but get on with something else. I wanted to desensitise him to the sight and sound of it. I would also put it on him and NOT take him out, just leave him to wear it then take it off a few hours later. He'd get so bored that he'd lie down and go to sleep. Some days I didn't take him out at all i just let him wear the harness, putting it on and taking it off a few times - these were training days and not meant to be for walking.
    When it came to taking him out I'd put his harness on an hour or so before then attach his head collar later. If he got excited about ANYTHING I'd make it another training day and no walk - it took the stress away from me too because if you go out in a stressful state your dog will too and with you and OH arguing it will make it even more likely to happen.
    I never said a word when doing his training because I worried he'd pick up from my voice that I was anticipating trouble and if he got excited I'd just walk away and bugger the walk, after all I was doing it for him not me so he was the loser and I'd get the day off.

    I know he's not popular but I agree with Cesar Milan on this; 'if you are going to force yourself to take the dog out and are doubtful things won't be good then don't take it out. It won't do any harm if she doesn't go out - even for a week but it will do loads of harm if you all go out in a stressful state'. In fact him saying that gave me a lot of relief because I'd always thought Flynn had to go out regardless and just by knowing I could have a break made the whole situation a lot better. I stopped feeling guilty if he didn't go out after hearing that.

    So put her walking gear on, take it off, leave it around the house and handle it regularly, make her wear it for hours on end without going out and if she's excited when going out of the door turn around and sack it off. You can try again later if you feel like it or just do the above training.

    Honestly I've had no one to help me with Flynn and he's a bl**dy huge 62kgs boy, would pull like a steam train but I've had cars stop and say how well trained he is, even an ambulance on one occasion. He isn't too good around other dogs but he walks like he's had the best trainer ever.

    As you know Mals are gobby little gits and Kali didn't help with her howling every time I took him out but I never take two out together so you should take one at a time until she is better trained. Even now if Flynn decides he's going to act the clown and just not come to me to have his harness on I just say 'S*d you then' and have the day off or take him later - he never goes out if he's excited, I couldn't handle him if he was.

    Try it and don't force yourself to go out - you've plenty of years ahead to do that but you need to have a good dog first. It's amazing how relaxed you can become just knowing you don't have to go out every day on an awful walk and just to add, stay silent and if you feel you're getting wound up - walk away!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Hardwick Hounds

    Hardwick Hounds PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    23
    They're all good foods so I wouldn't change it again. Swapping and changing a lot can make a dog fussy so I think you are doing the right thing by taking it away after half an hour or so. He will eat it when he is hungry.

    I would suggest avoiding an obedience class as I think it might get him too excited and you may both end up being frustrated. I would suggest trying agility or flyball instead. This will allow him to get rid of loads of energy and it will be fun for him and bonding for you both. It would provide him with mental stimulation too. Try watching a class before you take him and speak to the trainers.

    Good luck, keep us posted on his progress :)
     
  4. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    Messages:
    13,822
    Likes Received:
    408
    One thing I learned not to do was to take Flynn out if he was excited - at all! He's nearly five now and any hint of nuttiness I just drop the lead and walk away, he looks well fed up and the next time he doesn't go silly. Mind you at his age he should have learned something by now but he is a Mal and they're renowned to be that way, spose they couldn't pull a sled if they were too laid back eh?

    I think flyball is an excellent idea, burn off that energy and channel it elsewhere. ;)
     
  5. 8tansox

    8tansox PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    5,718
    Likes Received:
    2,257
    In order to attend agility or flyball classes, at least some obedience must be present to begin. I personally do not know of a single class, certainly in agility, that would allow a boisterous out of control dog attend. I might be wrong, but I doubt it.
     
  6. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    39,244
    Likes Received:
    712
    I know :eek:. I thought Kilo was a big strong fella but a dog that can move the sofa with a swipe of a paw is in another class altogether for me :eek:.

    I'm not sure how an obedience class would get him more excited than something like flyball or agility?

    Finding a good obedience class would be great I would have thought to teach some impulse control, provide mental stimulation and how to work calmly around other dogs before moving up to the faster, exciting pace of something like agility?

    If he is so strong that your partner can't manage him, maybe she could do some activities and training with him at home that are mentally tiring instead so at least he's more settled until you can walk him. I can recommend a headcollar if she hasn't yet tried one too - I walk my eldest on one all the time on one in any place that's very busy or around the streets here due to the huge number of cats!!
     
  7. Owned By A Yellow Lab

    Owned By A Yellow Lab PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Messages:
    6,437
    Likes Received:
    135
    One of my dog's best mates is a Lab x Staffy - and yes he too is a VERY strong dog with a hell of a lot of energy :D He never, ever seems to get tired.

    It's a lovely cross actually, I think - but of course with two such strong, high energy breeds, the mix can produce really robust dogs :D

    I think the more training you do the better - do it on walks, at the park, at home. Make your dog follow a command before every treat, every meal, every walk.

    Re going into the house: the key thing is that your dog enters CALMLY, not that he goes after you :) It doesn't matter who walks in first, so long as your boy walks in calmly.


    Any pics of your boy - I bet he's gorgeous :)





    RE headcollars:

    The Halti can work really well but if for any reason it doesn't suit your dog, then the Dogmatic or the Gencon All-In-One are both fab with very strong dogs. Do use the Halti or Dogmatic with a double ended lead, you will find this gives you FAR more control.
     
    #27 Owned By A Yellow Lab, Jan 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  8. malimute mia

    malimute mia PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi I have just brought a Halti for my mally its amazing !! I would highly recommend :0) but I also still use her harness as I'm not convinced it would hold her back and she has wriggled her nose out a few times so I use the halti and the harness with two leads at he moment just awaiting delivery of my double headed lead :0)
     
    #28 malimute mia, Jan 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  9. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    Messages:
    13,822
    Likes Received:
    408
    I use a dogmatic mia with the harness and attach the dogmatic to the harness with a halti link in case the head collar comes off. Doubtful though as it's buckled and very strong, not come off yet! ;)
     
  10. Hardwick Hounds

    Hardwick Hounds PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    23
    Yes, I think I jumped the gun and maybe agility and flyball are activities to work towards in the future.

    I have heard a lot that obedience classes can have a negative effect on dogs that are under stimulated/over energetic as being in an environment with lots of stimulation can cause frustration.
     
  11. Sonnygibson185

    Sonnygibson185 PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello everybody!

    I have been without internet for a few weeks so couldn't update!!

    We bought a Halti, didn't work as he could get out of it. So we again tried training him to walk without pulling using various techniques but to no avail.

    We then took him to a local park and for the first time we let him off the lead! It was a bit panic-ridden at first (on my behalf) but he is perfect! Comes back when I ask him, doesn't run away... He does run away if he sees another dog that is running towards him, but if he sees a dog and stops to stare at it, if I say not to go after it he won't but he likes playing!

    Today the rain was horrendous so instead of walking him on the park I tried on his lead but he pulls just as much as before!

    I might look into different head collars and try some out but for now the park seems to be fine as it tires him out a lot more. We took him every day the last few weeks for 1-2 hours a time and he just runs for 2 hours straight!

    I have put a few pictures of him up for whoever was asking to see him :)


    His name is Archie.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Wiz201

    Wiz201 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Messages:
    6,421
    Likes Received:
    867
    Try a kumfi headcollar, they're more secure than haltis. Tiring him out is not the only way to stop pulling.
     
  13. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    39,244
    Likes Received:
    712
    Archie looks lovely!

    I'm pleased he behaves well offlead but I'd still tackle the lead walking rather than just bin it for now - perhaps let him off, let him have a play, call him back, practise some lead work for a few minutes, let him off again etc. Make the lead stuff fun rather than a chore if you can.

    Or maybe have an offlead run around as his first walk of the day and have several really short (even just 5 minutes) lead walks to try and crack the problem every day. I'd choose one technique and really stick with it for a good amount of time.

    Did you find a good training class? What does the trainer make of the problem if you did?
     
  14. Owned By A Yellow Lab

    Owned By A Yellow Lab PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Messages:
    6,437
    Likes Received:
    135
    He looks like a very handsome boy :)

    It really is trial and error with the headcollars.

    My Lab is extremely strong and lunges when spooked. I use a Gencon All In One and you might want to try this. It's simply two loops, one round the neck and the other around the muzzle. The neck loop sits high, right behind the ears. When both loops are snug (not too tight of course) the dog cannot easily wriggle out of it and you have a LOT of control.

    Might be worth a try. There is also a Gencon headcollar, different product - from the same designer. Never used it so can't offer an opinion but again, another option.

    The Dogmatic is definitely worth trying with a double ended lead.

    If you email the Dogmatic team for sizing advice, they are really helpful.
     
  15. Sonnygibson185

    Sonnygibson185 PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    No we didn't go to any training classes.

    Just walked him now and when he pulled I made him come to my side and wait until I walked. Took us about 20 minutes extra to do our normal walk but towards the end he was casually strolling instead of pulling along!
     
  16. ejsmith

    ejsmith PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think I'd definitely continue with lead training, you might want to take him on holiday and/or somewhere with no off-lead area - and it sounds like you need to build up general control.

    It might be a good idea to get a new lead/collar, but mainly to signal that this is a new start, as I doubt a change in equipment is going to be 'the solution'. I don't know what commands you've been using but presumably the dog has become immune to them. Get it clear in your head exactly what you mean by 'heel'/'close' or whatever you say - I'd change the word for this 'new start'. You can test it out by instructing a non-doggy person to walk to your heel (it's a good exercise to do with a clicker too, especially if you take turns to be the trainer and 'dog'!) 'Heel' to me means I want you on my left-hand side, sitting whilst I'm stationary and walking with no tension in the lead when I'm moving.

    If you stand in the middle of the room and say 'heel', what happens? Does he come to the right position? If he doesn't then you need to teach that, usually starting on the lead and/or luring with food/toy. Once you've got that nailed you can call 'heel' whilst walking down the hall or alongside a wall and reward the correct position. Do the same in the garden, then at the park, THEN restart lead walking on roads. One simple rule (but oh so frustrating) is never walk forward whilst they pull (stand still or change direction). Keep calm, rise above the frustration and don't decide to undertake this before you go to work as it may take a long time to get anywhere! Whatever you do has to happen 100% of the time, with all the people who walk him. (I'm a bit scraggy but if you keep the lead close to your body and stand still whilst letting the dog get to the end of the lead it's the energy of the dog that makes the correction, not your own strength) The analogy of being consistent I usually use is kids asking for sweets at the checkout. If the answer is always 'no' they eventually don't bother to ask, but if you give in one week and buy them a pack I pretty much guarantee that next week they'll be nagging you for more.

    Once the dog has demonstrated that they do understand the command it boils down to stuborness. Walk nicely and we go to good places, pull and I'm standing still, its the dogs choice. It would be so much easier if you could explain that well-behaved dogs have a far more exciting lives than those who pull arms out of sockets - but that's the challenge and joy of working with another species.

    Good luck!
     
  17. Hardwick Hounds

    Hardwick Hounds PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    23
    Aw it's great to hear that you are getting somewhere with him! I found lead walking the most difficult thing to train, our great danes are very good on the lead but our cocker has to be given lots of commands or she will pull.

    I recently bought a dogmatic for Bella because her halti was getting worn. I have heard so many good things about them on here and on the great dane owners forum but I wasn't amazed. It is good and she definitely prefers to wear the dogmatic, but I don't feel like I have quite as much control as I did with the halti. She is well behaved so I would rather her feel more comfortable but if she was a bit unruly then I'd switch back because she is just so strong.

    Oh and Bella never pulls but if she is excited to be on a walk, she puts her head on my bum and pushes me along :biggrin: I really probably should tell her off but it just makes me laugh.
     
  18. MoggyLuvr

    MoggyLuvr PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2019
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    14
    My Labradoodle pulls like there’s no tomorrow. She has pulled my mum over twice while I was on holiday and my dad can’t hold her. The other day I went to a pet store and bought a HALTER collar thing. I swear down, this helps soo much. It makes it so that she leads with her nose rather than her chest so if she starts to pull it pulls her nose back a bit and she stops all together. I suggest looking for one on amazon because they are quite cheap. About £7/$9
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice