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Discussion Starter #1
Chester is 7 months now and he is now walking nicely on a loose lead :)

I am sure this is possible much earlier on but I really struggled to find the right method for us. I was getting a bit worried as we are getting close to winter where it's slippery and he could easily pull me over!

Still got some work to do but he's improved so much. Yipeeeeeeeee
 

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That is very exciting! And, I am jealous :p.

What method worked for you?

We were doing the stop moving/going in a different direction with pulling method for awhile. But then, Darwin got REALLY bad. Distractions, and I mean any distraction, are our problem. So, we have decided to use the gentle-leader for awhile. It has definitely given my shoulder a break! And, he seems to be getting it a little better now.
 

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I think the breakthrough came when he really started to understand what 'heel' meant at obedience classes. I found when we were out walking I would do really short bursts of making him heel while I had a treat or toy in my hand. It worked quite well because it fitted in while we were out on the walk and at least he understood what heel meant.

I thought it was probably a little OTT to shout 'heel' every 5 seconds when we walked down the road and really I don't want him to heel I just don't want him to pull! So ... I came up with another idea. If he pulled I would give him a good check (he's only on a normal collar) and say 'No'. He'd then walk nicely for the next 5 mins and I'd have to repeat the no.

I spoke to our trainer at the weekend to ask what I should be expecting from him and how to go about it. I was on the right track but I found what really finished it off was walking with the lead in my right hand, dog on the left and keep my left hand free so he knows when that hand comes onto the lead it means he is going to get some kind of check. I swapped the check for a pull and a few steps backwards on the lead so I am effectively pulling him back in the other direction and then round in a circle back to heel with an added 'no' for the full effect! My lead is quite short so it really only reaches across my body onto him so he can't go too far anyway. I keep my pace exactly the same so he can't stop to sniff or pee unless I let the lead loose. If he does stop the motion of my legs pulls the lead tight and he will carry on walking. The hardest thing is keeping my right hand relaxed and really only use that left hand when needed. I found once you get into your stride it all fits into place. You can tell as soon as I start to get annoyed with him or loose my concentration he messes around and will start to pull again. I find that really interesting.

That makes it sound really complicated but it's not. Really similar to what Gunnr posted about but for me I found I had to wait until he matured a bit and could really understand what I was wanting from him. I don't doubt he could've done it younger but personally we struggled.

Good luck! I am sure different methods work for different people and it really felt like it was never going to happen!
 

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Chestersmum said:
I think the breakthrough came when he really started to understand what 'heel' meant at obedience classes.

So ... I came up with another idea. If he pulled I would give him a good check (he's only on a normal collar) and say 'No'. He'd then walk nicely for the next 5 mins and I'd have to repeat the no.

Exactly! :D

Chester is much, much safer now. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Robh said:
Chestersmum, do you think you get Chester to have a word with his sister and make her see sense!!??
He can certainly try! I think he prefers to walk on a loose lead because he is not strangling himself and his mum is a lot more relaxed!

I would like to point out that if the following distractions come along we do have to work a lot harder - leaves, sticks, rubbish, exciting people, exciting dogs, ambulances/police cars/fire engines, children, ducks/swans/moorhens. Pretty much everything you would see on a walk!! Easily distracted but learning fast :)

Oh he also soon sussed out the pulling backwards on the lead and spinning around was quite fun so I slowed it down a bit and put in a pause just before we would set off again so it was me setting back off rather than him.
 

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Thanks for the bump! It's my first time seeing it! ;D
 

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Chestersmum said:
I think the breakthrough came when he really started to understand what 'heel' meant at obedience classes.

Yes, same here! In our last round of classes, we worked on loose lead walking but Finch (10 mos) would still pull a lot - she'd be great for 4-6 minutes, then she'd suddenly zoom forward and I'd give her a correction, then she'd slow down and the cycle would start again. But we just started the next level class a month ago and "heel" was the first thing we worked on... following the first few heel lessons, I saw her loose lead get dramatically better. In fact we had the best walk yet this afternoon - a full hour and I only had to correct once... but then I realized she was only pulling to get to the grass to go to the bathroom! I was especially impressed b/c this was in an area that we've been off-lead a few times this week, so I expected more pulling than usual since I kept her on the lead the whole time today. So the "heel" training was definitely the trick to making it all come together for us.
 
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