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Update: I caved and bought the gentle leader, and holy crow what a differrence on our walks. Scout hardly pulls at all, walks nicely beside me and almost prances. He actually takes the time to look around rather than just be obsessed with smells. It has made a huge difference

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Scout is almost 7 months old. We've had him since he was 8 wks. The dog is a fool on a leash. He pulls and pulls. It has nothing to do with seeing other dogs or squirrels or anything like that. It has to do with scent. He constantly has his nocpse to the ground.

He's been in obedience classes for a while, and despite our earlier attempts and the trainers suggestions we are still ver unsucessful in getting him to stop pulling. We have tried shortening the lead a lot, doing the whole tur ing around and going the opposite direction if he pulls (but then it takes us an hour to go 50 ft), and we've tried just stopping and waiting until he stops, which he will, but as soon as you start to walk again, he pulls. I would actually like to enjoy taking him for a walk instead of having it feel like my arm is getting ripped off.

Any suggestions beyond what we have tried? I'm think my next choice is going to have to be a gentle leader, which I kind of wanted to avoid, but if its all that works, then we have to go there.

Eta: He's not oulling because he wants to mark either. Its all just a need to smell and get going faster to smell things faster. The dog doesn't pee or poop on walks, he prefers the privacy of his backyard for that :)
 

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Re: walking on a leash and pulling

Try a Halti Head Collar. The moment I put this on my V was the moment I could start to enjoy walking him on a lead. Best investment ever! :)
 

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Re: walking on a leash and pulling

SandraDee

Scout is still pretty young, and he's going to be inconsistent, but his leash manners should be better.

I would try a two pronged attack. I would go to the Halti, or Gentle leader for the immediate problem, but more importantly I would really go after the leash work in seperate sessions.
Scout needs to learn, first and foremost, to heel properly, and that's where I would start.

I don't use Gentle Leaders, choke chains, or a Halti Head Collar, only because they are inconsistent with my end goals of hunting the dog. There is nothing wrong with using them though. It's not giving up or admitting defeat or something to avoid. They are simply another tool available as a resource.
 

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Re: walking on a leash and pulling

Sandra dee,

I hear your frustration, we had the same problem with Axel, and we were at wits end, and then we bought the gentle leader and Axel walks perfectly now, he does not pull and his nose is not constantly on the ground sniffing at everything. I am not saying it is a permanent solution, and hopefully we will use a normal collar at some time, however I am not planning to use Axel for hunting, or a show dog, etc. Just want a friendly companion that will walk normal. (and at this time this works for us) We have gone to obedience and puppy class as well, and as Gunnr stated you just have to spend time doing leash sessions and be patient and do the work. i think I just got a little frustrated and took the easy way out. (for now anyways)

Ok, I made a mistake, I do not use the gentle leader as I stated!! I use the premier easy walk harness that goes around his body.. I think the gentle leader goes around his nose. Sorry my mistake..
 

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Re: walking on a leash and pulling

We have same problem w/ Mac. Although he is only 16 weeks old, it's still a problem b/c he's so strong and we rely on my parents to walk him sometimes, or if/when we go on vacation, they will be looking after him. He's still young so saying everything we've tried hasn't worked would be a little foolhardy as he requires more patience and training. However, I picked up a half choker (no idea what to actually call it - it is a combo of nylon collar and choke chain, but it can only choke so far) he hasn't minded it at all thus far, and we're in much better control of him already. Also I don't think a gentle leader at his age is a problem, but everyone has there own opinions...personally I don't think they're all that cruel, your dog will get used to it. Ideally of course you wouldn't but some need it to help keep a sense of control and remind the dog who is walking who. As a bit of solace, from everything I've been told from other V owners, pulling is something that most of them do, and thankfull,y most grow out of after their first year.

Best of luck w/ it.
 

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Re: walking on a leash and pulling

I agree that he is still very young. We are still having this issue with Holley and she is 9 months old and is in her second obedience class. The trainer also said that she is still very young to be perfect on a leash. We utilize an Easy Walk Harness when going on our walks. It has made a big difference. We still incorporate our training lessons to teach healing while she is on it so that we can eventually remove the harness and have her walk on a leash. It takes alot of time, consistency and dedication. Keep up with the good work.
 

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Re: walking on a leash and pulling

Our trainer is having us do to different training methods since Ruby is so young (13 wks) We are doing follow the leader - walk on the leash and when she starts to walk ahead of you, you turn in a different direction. You do this for a few minutes a day to get them used to concentrating on you and not everything around them. The other thing we are doing is using the choke collar and walking slow and as soon as she starts to move ahead we do a quick tug and stop and try again. Just started these methods 2 days ago and she is already getting better.

If not making progress on this - then we will try the Gentle Leader collar. I have one now but her head is still too small.

Good luck
 

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Re: walking on a leash and pulling

I have the same problem with my Banjo.. he is 8 months old, we've had him since he was 11 weeks, working on loose leash walking the whole time, and he still drives me crazy on walks with the pulling pulling pulling in an effort to smell everything in the world! We figured it was better to "admit defeat" and try the Gentle Leader head collar rather than never take him for a walk, and it really does work miracles. He heels right by my side when he has it on. However, he also recently decided he hates it (after having it for a couple months), and any time he sees a patch of grass he dives head first into it and flops around oh-so-pathetically trying to work it off his nose. We recently got the Easy Walk Harness made by the same company, and it gives us a little less control but doesn't seem to bother him, so I think it's a happy compromise.

The only other thing that ever worked for us was walking with treats in our hands.. he would keep his eye on me the whole time and heel like a little gentleman. ;) But I don't want to have to walk with dog biscuits in my hand for the rest of his life so we had to find another solution!
 

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Re: walking on a leash and pulling

Mischa is 14 months old and this is still an issue for us. It's leaps and bounds better than it was, but still not as good as we'd like.
We've tried the 'follow the leader' heel training with every collar out there. Choke chain, prong collar, gentle leader, and easy-walk harness....

There is a stair case on our daily walk that was covered in ice all winter. I got her to follow me down the stairs and not pull at all. Now after the snow has melted she still follows nicely.
I can't for the life of me get her to walk with a loose leash until she is really tired though.
She is very excited so I understand that she wants to run, but it would sure be nice if we could walk to the park, then run like crazy.

I'm sure she'll get it eventually, but there is definitely something wrong with the way I'm doing it. As soon as she heels, I praise, and of course this excites her, so she goes back to pulling. facepalm!! ::) ;D
 

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Re: walking on a leash and pulling

I think the most important thing about leash walking is that you don't walk if the dog pulls. It's like giving a crying 5 year old an ice cream cone when he crys. If you want him to cry it's a good idea. If not, don't reward him. It reminds me of Gunner's famos leash walking post. I think he stated he would read the news paper in place if the dog started pulling him back home. They are smart dogs and always looking to train us and get thier way. Once they realize it's our way or no way; they say hey, do I want to go for a walk or just be leashed and stand in place or get jerked around every time my master changes direction. Hummm....I think I'll stop pulling and eventually I'll get to where I want to go! :)
 

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Re: walking on a leash and pulling

I guess to reiterate, I always start off at the Heel. The Heel is the first command that is taught for me, or rather, the first I will begin to enforce. The Come command is worked in at every opportunity possible, but the Heel is my focus. I don't enforce the Come command until well after the heel is established.
A dog that doesn't heel will usually be a little unsteady on a walk, and pulling really sucks!
Linescreamer's memory is correct. I literally stood holding onto the bed of my truck thumbing through a magazine for probably 20 minutes until Tika stopped pulling for the back door. She's a built little girl,and it hurt when she yanked on that leash. She was already almost 2 years old when I got her, and had no training whatsoever. It just took a little patience and an LL Bean catalog. ;D, but we got through it.
The goal, for me at least, is to have my dog off the leash, and under control as soon as possible. Everything I expect of my dogs on a leash is expected more so off the leash. That's the end goal, and everything has to coincide and fall out with that end goal in mind.

One trick I use for the heel is to loop the leash under their belly. I use a wide cotton leash about 9 feet long. The leash comes from their collar to my hand, and then loops down under their stomach and back to my hand. If they start to get a little out of control, I just lift up on the loop under their stomach. They need those back legs, and I take them away to a small degree.

If you're going to try this there are some safety considerations, or you can seriously injure your dog. The leash needs to be soft, no nylon or leather with sharp edges. It needs to be wide, 1" minimum. The leash is only looped under their tummy, it does not make a hitch around their body which can tighten. I've even used old beach towels instead of a leash.
You're not trying to pick up the dog's rear end. You're just trying to make it uncomfortable by applying upward pressure on the tummy, and not letting them pull forward out of the heel. No pain is involved in this technique.
 

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Re: walking on a leash and pulling

Strider (11 months) and I just finished a 2 1/2 hour off leash romp. The last 1 mile he was perfectly on heel walking along the old county road. We got to this point with a "choke" collar and about 3 of our 12 hunting dog obedience classes. Whatever way you choose, be consistent, and do not allow the dog to dictate what s/he wants; to you.

One thing the teacher drilled into us was a "rule of 5". Most dogs need to be able to lean a behavior in many different settings before they can generalize what we want them to do. So Strider could "heel" at the class and in our house during training, it wasn't until we worked on heel on the road, in the field, at my neighbor's and on a sidewalk that he really learned what "heel" really meant.

We would work on the various commands "heel, whoa, down, come" for about 15 minutes a day, just judge your dog and don't burn them out on the training. Maybe 2 - 10 minute chunks vs. 1 - 15 min etc. The time you spend with your V will come back to you many times over.

Good Luck,
Tim
 

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Re: walking on a leash and pulling

I'd like some advise too! My dog Ruby is a 3 legged basset vizsla mix. she's missing the back right leg and is very low slung to the ground. I'm worried that any kind of restraining collar or easy walk harness will pull her off balance. she's only 30lbs so she doesn't pull my arm off, but it would sure be nice if I wasn't being dragged along behind her all the time! Any ideas would be much appreciated. She's about 2 years old I think. we adopted her from the humane society about 9 months ago. Thanks
 

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We just bought a slip leash, our breeder recommended it. It works great! You place it up high behind their ears so you have control of their head. What a difference! She can walk very nicely now!
 

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kellygh

Right now I'm working 12's, six days a week. Up at 4:30am, home at 7:30pm. So it may be awhile.
I have a co-worker that does video work and has volunteered to help me do a short video on basic leash work. He's also on 12's right now. Hopefully after we get the plant, nuclear power plant, back up online we'll be able to get to it.
 

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Well you could not sleep or ever sit down, Gunner! Ha. Totally understand of course. Bless you for hard work, especially in the nuclear field. We live very close to a plant, & I have profound respect for folks working in them/industry! Thanks for even considering the video.
 
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