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Problems with walking lab - advice?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Alice144, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Alice144

    Alice144 PetForums Newbie

    Jul 20, 2018
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    I have a three year old black labrador. He was with my mum for 2 years until she fell ill and had to go to a temp home for a short while until I found a place that would accept dogs. He has now been with me for nearly a year and I am really happy with the progress he has made. He is very good at healing on the lead, I have taught him to use his nose so he now likes to sniff, and he is really well house trained.

    I couldn't ask for a better dog but recently he has become a nightmare on walks. He has always been boisterous with dogs and I have had a couple of dog trainers to try and help with his behaviour but no luck. If he sees a dog he just pulls frantically trying to get towards them and barks at the same time. Although he is not aggressive his behaviour can seem quite alarming to other dogs and their owners. Recently when we are on a walk all he seems to do is try and spot dogs - he looks in peoples windows hoping a dog or cat will be there and every person we walk past (even on other side of road) he pulls to peep to see if they have a dog. Even if there is no dog but he hears a sound (a front door opening) he jumps ahead to have a glimpse.

    He is a really strong dog so when he suddenly jumps forwards it can be very difficult - especially if there is another dog he will not stop until they are out of sight. I use to get help on walks from my partner but unfortunately he works away a lot. I will not give up on him as he has been through so much (and I don't agree in taking on a dog to give them up). But really in need on some advice - walks have become very stressful. I live in a city so no quiet places nearby to walk him.
  2. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

    Feb 18, 2009
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    First thing is to get a walking belt. You have much more control as you can plant your feet and lean back, it takes all the strain off your arms and shoulders and, being attached to you lower down, it gives you a much stronger centre of balance. I walk 3 collies on one (total 38kg, sometimes wanting to go in different directions) and it makes such a huge difference. You can buy them ready-made, but I made mine from the bottom section of an old back pack. Lead handle is hooked through a carabina on the waist band, and some have a section of bungee cord for extra cushioning against jerks.
    With that, you can work on him not moving forward until he's being calm and in the place you want him.
  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Jan 5, 2013
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    Look at kikopup for some training tips to refocus his attention to you.
  4. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

    Aug 11, 2009
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    Ive found headcollars effective for pulling dogs . There are also harnesses where you can clip the lead to the front of the chest for more control .
    What did the trainers suggest . Does he focus on you if you have a high value treat
    Are there any activities you can do with him , he is a young dog and maybe he needs more to do
    Jamesgoeswalkies likes this.
  5. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

    May 8, 2014
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    I do know that it can be difficult when you live in a busy area but generally there are quiet times that you can walk and for other walks can you not pop him in the car and drive out somewhere quieter? This isn't because you need to completely avoid dogs when walking on the lead but more that you need time and space to train him when you do see a dog.

    My advice would therefore be cook some delicious sausages before you go out walking and let your Lab know that you have them with you. Walk at a quiet time or drive to a quieter place and if you see a dog either do an about turn (reward), cross the road (reward) or call your dog into a space and ask him to sit (reward). Use those sausages. Lure him with them. Let him smell them and start to reward him well every time he walks past another dog even if it is half a mile away. And keep practising that lead walking until he gets it.

    As Labs can be strong then make sure you have a good front lead harness and if he is a lunger, have a separate lead running to a headcollar to use when he lunges.

    I would also look to try to enjoy some off lead walks where there are no other dogs so that you can start to teach him that it is fun being with you - play with him, train him, work on his retrieve etc. Some Labs can be very focussed on other dogs if they love playing but they have to learn that you can be fun too.

    And if it is just exuberance perhaps have a chat with a trainer about joining a class?

    kimthecat likes this.
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