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Pulling springer help please...

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by springer-lucy, May 7, 2011.


  1. springer-lucy

    springer-lucy PetForums Junior

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    Hi guys, hope you're all well :D

    It's been a while since i've asked for your advice as Lucy has been super! She's now 10 months old, an absolute joy to be around and we've tackled nearly all the little problems we've had come our way but one thing we still haven't mastered is... the pulling!

    Now I know this is a very common problem with springers and i've been told by many springer owners that they never learn completely but I really am quite desperate now as my arms can't take much more and our friends and family don't like walking her.

    We have tried all the training suggested to us, we've walked slowly, stopped when she's pulled, turned around when she's pulled, gone back when she's pulled and used loads of yummy treats in the process but she never seems to learn, I don't even think she's improved.

    She will ALWAYS pull like a steam train TO the park, but walk beautifully on our way home, so I know she can walk nicely, she just can't contain her excitement and energy on our way there.

    It's become quite clear to us that she's never going to learn doing any of the above training so i'm starting to consider halti collars or harnesses (which i've never been keen on if i'm honest).

    Has anyone used these with springers and if yes what did you use?
    Is it worth trying or should I just face the facts that she's never going to learn and live with it?

    Thank you muchly in advance ;):D

    Chelle and Lucy x
     
  2. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    10 months old, only pulling on way to the park, you deserve a gold star (or glass of wine or something) ! :)

    What makes you say she's not learnt doing your training, when she "walks beautifully on our way home"? To me you know the reason, you said "she just can't contain her excitement and energy on our way there".

    You shouldn't feel like you & your dog are failing, it'd be awful if your dog didn't like going to the park. I've walked 2 13 month old dogs recently, and I see much improvement in last 5 months, they walk beautifully alongside cycles or on foot. Neither despite lots of exuberance in past, now are head cases on approach to the awesome park they love and live for.

    Personally if it's a problem deterring walkers, I'd find a comfortable anti-pull harness front clip, or like the Halti double clip which means the dog turns if it tries to drive forward, a good safety feature and comfortable to wear.
     
  3. lexie2010

    lexie2010 PetForums Senior

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    hi,
    as the usual stuff hasnt worked i would try a harness if i were you. i have a beagle and i was using a halti on her since sept 2010 as she would pull to try to find the most tempting litter/fox poo to eat-shes a classy girl! the halti i have to say works very well on her put despite doing all the right things she would still rub her paws at it or rub her face on your leg when wearing it ever so often. last week i got a dogmatic to see if it would be any better and i am getting the same results with it (i can walk with lead in one finger) but she still rubs a little with it on. the other option is a canny collar which i havent tried.
    but go for a head collar not a body harness as they can just pull with all their shoulder strength in a body harness whereas the head collar teaches them not to pull as it is counter productive.
    hope that helps a bit
     
  4. springer-lucy

    springer-lucy PetForums Junior

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    Hehe thank you RobD-BCactive, we have worked very hard and you're right, she obviously has learned something otherwise she would be pulling on the way home too, maybe I don't give her enough credit, she has done really well.

    Also thank you lexie2010, I'm not keen on the idea of the head collar but if it's what will work best then i'll certainly give it a bash.

    Would be lovely if we could get her walking a bit better before August as she'll be going to stay with my family for a few days while we're away and they're not confident with dogs as it is, let a lone one that's going to take them for a walk!
     
  5. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    As you have not mentioned any dog aggression and have mentioned casual walkers, I would try anti-pull harness first they do prevent pulling!
    To see the principal how front clip is intended to act this sales pitch video demonstrates - Basic Bad 2 Good on Vimeo unfortunately without showing dog reacting to anything, so you don't see the GR getting out of line and turning towards handler.

    Without habituation, your dog is likely to try to rub off a head collar, and with control of head comes responsibility.

    There's a long and at times argumentative thread that discusses pro/cons of various walking systems http://www.petforums.co.uk/dog-training-behaviour/150472-self-correction-collar.html if you have stamina for it. I hope that discussion does not get rehashed here.
     
  6. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    Not necessarily.

    I have a harness with a front clip and also practice 'walking in balance' - there is a video on it on Xtradog's website. Essentially, each time the dog pulls, you meet the pressure then 'melt away' - the lady at the TTouch workshop called it an 'ask' and a 'response' and it really, really works to get the dog just walking nicely by your side.

    Like you, Lucy, I have a dog that walks really nicely on a flat collar and loose lead for the majority of the time but will pull if something is intensely exciting.

    I have a Dogmatic for 'urban' type situations like shops or crowded places where there may be food etc at tempting head height and a harness for situations where he may not be able to go off lead for a whole walk but may still encounter exciting things like birds.

    It sounds like a lot of kit, but I like to tailor equipment to suit the situation. Following my TTouch workshop I use the harness for all walks bar very short A-B trips, say from the car into work. It does not mean that LLW training must suffer; it can be continued just the same.
     
  7. XxZoexX

    XxZoexX PetForums VIP

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    Jacks the same age and exactly the same.. Walks beautifully on the way home :lol:
    I have a halti harness and the one time ive used it he was much better.
    Dont know if anyone can answer this tho (without high jacking the thread) As hes a little Dare devil when off lead. Jumping up and down and over everything is it safe to leave the harness on? I worry it may get caught hence it being used once :(
     
  8. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Any restraint or attachment on dog needs to be fitted correctly, even flat collars. I did use a Halti double clip harness, and as customer reviews suggested the main drawback was tendency of adjustment straps to loosen. I have met ppl who's old dogs were killed impaling themselves on fallen tree branches in a wood, so there's risks even without any such system. Even a collar can get caught on a fence if the dog miscalculates a jump over it.

    As Dogless points out, as systems have different pros/cons, their suitability varies. A rear clip harness I've used recently (not on my dog but a non-puller) is very convenient with rear and side clip attachments for paths, or open land. But is not the safest design for a dog allowed to roam in woodland. Other harnesses I've seen have less to catch.

    I have seen dogs allowed to run free in head collars, I wonder now how safe that practice is.

    I guess it's an argument for systems that is easy to take on/off when needed and that the dog likes to wear. The harness I tried, was much appreciated by the dog involved, which was used to stressing against a flat collar, so the low force anti-pull walk went down very well, with dog coming on sight of harness.

    An advantage of a top clip, is that any line is carried clear of legs, so tends to avoid the entanglement which you have with traditional system, when the dog stops over a slack lead.
     
    #8 RobD-BCactive, May 7, 2011
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  9. XxZoexX

    XxZoexX PetForums VIP

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    I suppose as he walks well on the way back i could take it off and then walk him back on his collar :)
    Thanks :D
     
  10. ChatterPuss

    ChatterPuss PetForums VIP

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    We have a similar problem with our springer pulling despite being well trained and obedient in most other areas. We bought a Halti head collar (size 2) last weekend and it worked instantly. He is now a pleasure to walk !!!!
     
  11. smudgebiscuit

    smudgebiscuit PetForums Member

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    Springer-lucy,
    We also have a 10 month old springer & exactly the same problem. We have tried nearly all devices & techniques known to man & she still pulls!! She spends a lot of time trying to rub it off her face which just adds another problem to the mix. She has had me in tears on some walks as i feel like i'm failing her, so don't think it's just you that feels like this.

    Some days she isn't too bad but other days she just pulls like a train & it's painful for me & sometimes embarrassing when other dog owners have their dogs trotting along side them happily.

    We had a trainer come to assess her 2 weeks ago & she suggested continuing to use The Gentle Leader-but we've tried it before & it just rubs her eye when she pulls & gets us nowhere.

    We have considered yet another device-The Gencon-think i saw Victoria Stilwell using it on 'it's me or the dog' but if that doesn't work then who knows what we'll do??
     
  12. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Hence habituation for head collar so hopefully it doesn't start messing with it, but accepts it as part of walkies. I've seen VS suggest Head Collars in her shows, and promptly remove them when they've become over distracting to the dog. New information changes her mind.

    Some days good, some bad, may very well due to how aroused/calm she is. I really would not worry about what other owners are thinking about yr spaniel, we've all been through issues training young dogs. There's always something to work on say barking, or scrounging from strangers.
     
  13. edidasa

    edidasa PetForums Member

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    premier no-pull harness. ? tried that?
     
  14. Statler

    Statler PetForums Member

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    i came across this video on youtube yesterday and explains what i do and why it only takes 10 mins to get a dog paying attention and heeling. from the narrative the lady has only had the dog a short while and is struggling to walk the dog.

    Chris Burns is a respected gundog trainer who writes a training column in a shooting magazine. its obvious that its his first lesson with the dog but very quickly gets the dog attention. the dog obviously knows what heel is but chooses to take no notice. a couple of minutes in the dogs attention starts to wonder.

    this process needs to be reinforced daily till it becomes habitual but with patience its simple

    flak jacket at the ready.

    notice the dogs tail wagging at the end and is happy to walk at heel off lead even tho he doesnt know the handler

    YouTube - Training a dog ( English Spring Spaniel ) to walk to heel
     
  15. poppydog1

    poppydog1 PetForums Member

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    Hi we had a springer who pulled like a train we bought a canny collar great fit she wasnt keen to start with but soon got used to it and it helped alot hope this helps:eek:
     
  16. vicki.burns

    vicki.burns PetForums Senior

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    Hi there, we have a similar issue with our little one, he's 4 months now and was awful when we had his lead on him collar... awful is an understatement, he pulled EVERYWHERE and constantly chocked himself.

    We now use a 'Sporn' training harness... over the head, put his legs through and tighten up. It's brilliant and works brilliantly. When he starts to pull which is very rarely now, pull him back and tell him to heel. When you pull back it all tightens under his arms and across his chest (basically disabiling) and he's as good as gold again.

    No longer hear that horrible heavy breathing and coughing chocking noise!!

    I got it from a local pet shop called Kennelgate, I know there are a few of them across the country so there might be one near you if not Sporn have a website...

    By the way your dog looks gorgeous lol!

    The Sporn Company
    Kennelgate Pet Food Store Locator, Address Details, Interactive Map & Directions

    Hope this helps

    (If you are Leeds, I think your closest one is their Wakefield Store)
     
    #16 vicki.burns, May 8, 2011
    Last edited: May 8, 2011
  17. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    The caution I would have here is that the harness works by tightening and your pup's skeleton is still growing and developing which would concern me.
     
  18. springer-lucy

    springer-lucy PetForums Junior

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    Thank you so much for all your kind advice, I think we might try the halti head collar first and see how we get on as lots of you have been successful with it.
    It's going to break my heart putting it on her lovely little face though :(

    Can you change back to regular collar/harness after a while of using halti's?
    Do they learn not to pull this way or is it just dealing with the problem as it happens?
     
  19. vicki.burns

    vicki.burns PetForums Senior

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    Was advised at our puppy class by a professional dog trainer, so so far so good and he hardly pulls at all now so we rarely have to tighten it around him. Seems to have worked and done what it says on the tin though.
     
  20. vicki.burns

    vicki.burns PetForums Senior

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    Our trainer said that when he gets really good with the harness we should be able to go back to the collar
     
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