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A.k.a. Jennifer.
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230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
My little Jupiter is 14 weeks old now and he is about 30lbs. I am having problems leash walking him. It seems like he is either pulling me or I am pulling him ALL THE TIME. I have read all of the forums on training not to pull, and I have tried the following: 1. Short-leashing him. 2. Turning and walking in the other direction. 3. Being a tree. 5. Training him to target my left hand, which he will do if there are no distractions, but when we are on a walk there are always distractions. I am growing incredibly frustrated. He would rather choke himself and pull me like a plowhorse than anything else, and I feel like I have tried everything. I'm trying so hard and he is so good at responding to his name and targeting my hand indoors, but if we even go out in my very quiet little backyard he is distracted to pieces. :( Help!
 

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Inactive
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4,512 Posts
Teach him how to deal with the distraction. I would teach a good 'leave it' and then 'stay here' (which means when I stop you stop within the leash distance). Once he will stop when you stop and tell him to stay here without pulling you can introduce distractions.

Keep the distractions low level at first and build up. Walk him close enough to them that he is aware of them but far enough will still be successful when you tell him to stay here. If he listens, good! Reward and walk away. If not, work him around it until he does listen (you may be too close or the distraction too much). Do this and slowly get closer to it and over time add to the distractions.

Now if your dog pulls toward something, you tell him to stop and he comes to you do not reward. Why? Because he will think the game is I pull, I stop, then I come. You want him to learn not pull at all.
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Or you can buy yourself a head collar or no pull harness and safe yourself the frustration.
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Or you could buy yourself a head collar or no pull harness and use it when you are in environments that are too distracting or you are not in a training mode.

Best of luck!
 

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Debbie
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644 Posts
Have you tried treats? That's what we learned in puppy class and it works very well for Riley as she is very food motivated. I cut up (Wellness puppy) treats into very small bits and put a handful in my pocket. When we begin our walk I'll say, "Let's walk!" and treat her when she starts. Then if she walks without pulling I say, "Good walking!" and treat again. If she pulls I say, "Let's walk nicely!" If she stops pulling it's, "Good walking!" again. Our walks are filled with lots of praise and treats. Occasionally I have to be a tree but not too often. She's not perfect by any means and one day we hope to give up the treats. She does get lots of compliments from people about how nicely she walks for a young pup. Good luck!
 

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A.k.a. Jennifer.
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230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh, yes. Treats galore. I always treat for good behavior, for not pulling, for good walking, for targeting my hand. Am I setting my expectations too high for a 14-week old?
 

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Premium Member
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18,600 Posts
Keep in mind 14 weeks is still just a baby and it totally normal for him to be distracted by everything around him, it will take time, patience and practice for him to learn to walk with you without pulling.

In the meantime, try a Gentle Leader head halter or an Easy Walk Harness (by Gentle Leader).
 

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Now Caue's Dad Too!
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37,489 Posts
I agree that it is nearly impossible to take a normal walk with a young pup. He may be 6 months before you see the first hint of what you think is a normal walk. They are thinking with their nose at that age. It will get better with some work.
 

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A.k.a. Jennifer.
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230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update

I bought a Gentle Leader and Jupiter hated it, even after just putting it on and feeding him cookies for a whole week. So I tried the Easy Walk harness and now I am sorry that I didn't try it first...it's so great! We are still working on targeting and other commands on the leash, but in order for us to get our daily exercise, the Easy Walk harness is the ticket. Thanks so much for all of your help.
-Jennifer
 
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677 Posts
Easy Walk Harness. They are awesome. The dogs do not seem to notice them, but they eliminate pulling almost immediately. Make sure someone who knows what they are doing fits them to your dog, and yes, the fastener is in the front of the chest, not between the shoulders, with a martingale attachment. Nobody I know who has tried one uses anything else!
 
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