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Mom to Geddy and Sawyer!!
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Has anyone managed to get their dogs NOT to pull during a walk? If yes... what did you do?

Geddy is pretty good for the most part with clicker training in our neighbourhood. But if a person and/or dog is near then she starts to pull. I don't want to reinforce the pulling, so I either turn around or stop. As soon as we stop she's learned to sit. But once they get close, then it's up and jumping.

At only 7 months she is 52 lbs of strong pulling dog.

We purchased the gentle leader that attaches infront of the chest a few months ago... and it helped... at first. But now she seems to have gotten used to it, and doesn't mind pulling against it at all. So now we are thinking of getting the muzzle style gentle leader. I am partly nervous that she'll just get used to it as well. Or that I'll never be able to walk her without the gentle leader on.

I'd like her to "learn" what it means to walk nicely... not just be discouraged (by devices) to pull ya know?

Ug... anyone have any advice?
 

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We use the halti and it works great. But I too am worried that we will always have to use it. Every once in a while we try walking him without it and it doesn't go well. He jumps and pulls and lunges. I don't trust myself to use a prong even though many swear by it. The only bad part with the halti is when we're finished walking I have to take it off real quick cause be tries to get it off himself. I have no problem getting it on him tho, he actually comes over to me so I can put it on.
 

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It sounds like you are doing a great job...just keep doing what you are doing! With Tilly we had a similar method of stopping still everytime she pulled and she did eventually get it...she walks beautifully now (although she is 3 so she blooming well should!) The clicker is great for heel work which I use with my younger dog...BUT the gentle leader (the one on the muzzle) really does help and works better than the harness (which we have also used...Harry also learnt to pull on it...I dont think they really CAN pull on the headcollar version) anyway....the headcollar is a GREAT tool for using when you really don't have the time to train using the stopping method or the clicker. Just say you are in a rush before work and you take them for a quick walk...you maybe wouldn't have the time to use it as a 'training' walk...so the headcollar would be great in this instance is it is SO unhelpful to training if one day you are working hard on heel training then the next day you end up letting them pull because you don't have time to keep stopping. So combining the methods really can work...or you can even still train her whilst she is wearing the gentle leader...he will still learn the concept. Just keep going with her!!
 

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Mom to Geddy and Sawyer!!
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks!! I was wondering if it was just a matter of "time and patience"... sort of something they learn gradually. Like "with age comes wisdom!".

Geddy is really good around our neighbourhood, esp. if we walk late and not many ppl are out... but now that it's finally warming up, we are starting to walk her out in public, on nature trails.... since I want her to be "good" about walking them in future. I do know that you have to "go thru this phase" to get to the other side... but it sure is frustrating. Not to mention, I think my arms are beginning to seperate from the rest of my body :p
 

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With a very strong puller,I would buy a prong collar.
It teaches them not to pull,in a very short period of time.You could buy a prong for meduim size dog and add pieces,to fit her neck,when she grows..
Ask a trainer,to teach you how to use it,propally.
 

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Old Gold is the Best Gold
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My dogs do not pull. It is vital as we have members of the household with trouble walking and poor balance. I do not allow any pulling at all. Starlite wanted to as a young, enthusiastic pup. A few corrections with a prong collar and he's good as new. I never need it now. Keira will get her turn soon ;)
 

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<---Bring on the grub!!!!
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I use a prong collar because Biscuit will, and has, pulled me right off my feet without it. Here is a good article about the Prong Collar.

Training With the Prong Collar - article by Suzanne Clothier

The good thing is that just because you may use something like this now, while they are learning not to pull, you don't have to use it forever. My previous golden only needed one for around 6 mo and then she was all set.
 

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Cheeky Curmudgeon
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Prong collar and a good trainer. I know clicker training works for some dogs, but after seeing how it did nothing for my high prey drive dog, I'm tempted to burn my clicker.

The prong collar must be fitted properly and you can get detailed instructions at Leerburg Dog Training - How to fit a Prong Collar for Dog Training I purchased a prong collar from k9toolbox.com since I needed one that didn't change my dog's coat colour, but I bought a 3.25mm (medium) gauge link that was 23inches (58cm) in length. Leerburg.com also sells the prong collars in stainless steel.

The prong collar is not a substitute for training. We can also use a choke collar on Wiggles which is what the trainer uses, but I find the correction much harsher and less effective in my hands. Everyday, I practice heeling, heel sits, down, come, stay etc on the prong collar. I'm at a point where I can randomly put Wiggles on a nylon slip collar and he'll heel during the walk.

Ditch the Gentle Leader Easy Walk Harness,...I bought one and it took no time for Wiggles to continue pulling...like I said before..if anyone wants mine PM me...Most of the time, the GL or Halti will not teach your dog to walk nicely once it's removed.
 

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Cheeky Curmudgeon
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Agree, though the clicker is fantastic for training new behaviors, I don't use it to stop obnoxious pulling. I just do not tolerate that crap (pulling).
My right arm is disproportionately larger than my left arm because I tried all these different methods stop, act like a tree, use treats to lead the dog on loose leash, etc and Wiggles STILL pulled.

I've learned a lot from the trainer and from leerburg.com and I don't tolerate it anymore. It just meant I was letting my dog be pack leader on the walk and it was making life difficult!

The last thing any Golden Retriever owner needs is to be pulled INTO traffic because their dog wants to chase a dog, squirrel, rabbit or car across the street....
 

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Hi!
Just to let you know you're not alone during this exasperating stage. We also have a seven month old female, Cara, who probably weighs 52 at this point as well. Our trainer strongly urged us to get a Gentle Leader which we did and it works when Cara has it on.

We took a nice walk yesterday and all was well, but returning home she pulled the thing off her muzzle. I didn't want to bother putting it back on and so removed the GL and walked her home the old way -- she pulled me. It was awful.

I just cling to memories of how our late golden Jodie was just as awful as a pup -- and how she turned out just fine! Just stick with it, and know your arm is not alone!

Helaine
 

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Cosmo is great on a leash....but Samson, especially if he knows we're on our way to the park, wants to pull...and choke himself...all the way there. Just walking around the block or up to the store, he does pretty good. But as soon as he knows we're going to the park, I better be ready...

I've been considering a prong collar, just to see how much it'll help.
 

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I think you have to have patience... what you're doing ist good. If it can be avoided, don't use a prong (there's a reason it's been banned from the shops in Austria).

Have you ever tried distracting him before he see's other people/dogs? It means you have to see them first, though...

When Nando was a pup I'd always pull out his favourite toy when there was another dog in the distance and distract Nando with a play of "Tug of war". After some time, when he spotted another dog in the distance, he'd look up at me: "Time for a fun game, huh?"
 

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Cheeky Curmudgeon
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Unfortunately, pulling from a dog's perspective IS the reward as are chasing animals, objects, etc. Does your dog see these as even better rewards? if so, the treats become secondary and the dog will go after the better reward!! There's no consequence to the pulling so it continues.

As for catching your dog seeing things first before he does....dogs rely on smell, then sight and lastly sound. He doesn't have to "see" something to start the chase and pull you down the street. It should be YOUR walk. You pay the mortgage, you buy the food, you are the pack leader. Your dog may love you, but does he respect you?
 

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Maybe its just our dog, but I never had to get any special collars. The best way to stop pulling was to just not let her pull you. (harder then it sounds.)
As soon as the leash gets tight, give it a yank, stop in your tracks, and don't let her pull you one inch. Wait for her to heel or even sit before you start moving again.
It will be slow going at first. You might only go half a block in 10 minutes, but they'll understand soon that when the leash gets pulled tight, they aren't moving.
IMO, walking with a loose leash is one of the greatest luxuries of having a trained dog :)
 

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Oh I am so thankful for this thread!! And I feel the same way. Levi is only 4.5 months old and he thinks he's a lead sled dog!! Walking him is killing my arm. We have tried the sit, wait, walk... and when they pull you tug them back.and start all over.. doesn't work with him. He sits and when you take the first step he leaps ahead and pulls. I keep the lease very tight, but he would sooner choke himself... determind!! We are still just using a regular collar, but I will definately be looking into the prong collar or the choke chain... It's to the point I HATE going for a walk with him, it's so frustrating. I'm very thankful for this forum and all the responses here will surely help.. I can't wait for the day that I can write back and help someone with this problem and say I remember when Levi would do this... lol.. Thanks everyone!!
 

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Old Gold is the Best Gold
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Prongs are far kinder than chokes... for the record.

Most dogs I have handled have only need the prong collar a few sessions. I never use it on regular walks- only for a training session. My dogs walk with a buckle collar or off leash.
 

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Oh I am so thankful for this thread!! And I feel the same way. Levi is only 4.5 months old and he thinks he's a lead sled dog!! Walking him is killing my arm. We have tried the sit, wait, walk... and when they pull you tug them back.and start all over.. doesn't work with him. He sits and when you take the first step he leaps ahead and pulls. I keep the lease very tight, but he would sooner choke himself... determind!! We are still just using a regular collar, but I will definately be looking into the prong collar or the choke chain... It's to the point I HATE going for a walk with him, it's so frustrating. I'm very thankful for this forum and all the responses here will surely help.. I can't wait for the day that I can write back and help someone with this problem and say I remember when Levi would do this... lol.. Thanks everyone!!
Dou you tell her right 'n' wrong, too?

I mean when she pulls and you yank her leash or pull her back, do you ever tell her "no" (firmly). At the second she's with you, do you praise her and talk to her? (nice, high pitched voice?)

I didn't have to use a prong on all 9 dogs I had.

This is how I proceed:

I put them on leash and we walk a few steps, if the dogs pays attention I praise them and talk to them. When they do get ahead and try to pull I tell them "no" (very firmly, almost a growl). If they turn around I praise them instantly and we walk a few inches, I talk to them. When they pay attention they get a treat (do not walk with treat in hand but have it in a pocket) or we play tug of war with a toy. I only train 2-3 meters with puppies and only train longer distances later on.

If you decide on a prong/choke chain. Please have someone very experienced showing you how to use it.
 

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I strongly recomend:

Obedience school. I was told that my Golden was "High Energy" and I ended up with Tendonitis in the shoulder. I don't want that to happen to anyone else.
 
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