Advice regarding leads etc for a rescue who pulls.

(12 Posts)
doggydaze Mon 03-Dec-12 16:15:58

Please may I have some advice from those who know!

We are picking up our rescue dog on Thursday. He's a JRT cross, bigger/chunkier than a standard JRT, not massive but quite strong. Piccies on profile. We walked him on Saturday and he did pull on his lead.

I would eventually like to train him to walk nicely on the lead but accept the fact he doesn't at the moment. He is who he is at present.

I have had various bits of advice and have in my possession the following;

1. Standard collar and lead (for me to aspire to!)
2. A slip lead donated by friends (it's soft rope with a leather handle). They use this type of lead for both their dogs but, to be honest, they both walk beautifully to heel as they have had a lot of time put into them.
3. A 'stop pull' harness' on the advice of Pets at Home, who said this would stop the pulling but not stop him sniffing the ground as JRT's love to do? They advised this over the type of thing which goes over the mouth, not sure what this is called. I am having visions of having a bit of a mare getting this on him to be honest, it looks complicated and I might steal a cuddly toy from DD to practise on smile

Any advice would be welcome please.

Also got clickers for all 4 of us, treats etc and envisage lots of time spent in walking up and down the garden training, clicking, treating. I also know to stop still each time he pulls, so he eventually learns it gets him nowhere by pulling. That's fine, looking forward to doing this but just wondered where to start!

Sorry, maybe simple stuff.

Also, do I start this immediately or allow a bit of pulling and stop/starting initially?

RedwingWinter Mon 03-Dec-12 20:20:51

I am sure others will chime in with their experience, but personally I prefer a no-pull harness to the halti. Mainly because some dogs take a while to get used to the halti round their mouth and if they thrash around on it, it looks like they could cause some damage to themselves. Some dogs walk really well on it though, so it depends on the dog.

A no-pull harness like the easy-walk harness fastens on the front. You have to have the right size but the pet shop would help you to fit it. It makes life much easier. As far as I can tell, there is less to go wrong with a no-pull harness.

Some people use a martingale collar on a dog that pulls. This is like a half-choke, in that it will tighten a bit on the neck but to a limited extent, and will release again when the dog relaxes the lead. They are useful for dogs who walk nicely on the lead but might try and slip their collar (or have anatomy which makes their collar slip over the head). The risk of using one of these on a dog which is pulling a lot is that it will keep on pulling - out of excitement - and could damage its neck. So a harness is a much better bet.

Kikopup has a great video on teaching loose leash walking here. If you watch it to the end, it suggests another video which is also worth a look, as it shows her working with various rescue dogs, including a St Bernard wearing a harness. It's a really good explanation and you get to see it in practice too.

In my experience, some dogs will learn very quickly if you just stop every time they try to pull. Other dogs will need a bit more help ('I must be pulling in the wrong direction! Let me pull this way instead!!'). Kikopup's technique is fantastic.

RedwingWinter Mon 03-Dec-12 20:25:48

P.S. Don't use the slip lead, you will both have a miserable time.

RedwingWinter Mon 03-Dec-12 20:26:49

He's gorgeous - congratulations. Bet you can't wait til Thursday!

Rikalaily Mon 03-Dec-12 20:35:25

Dogmatic headcollar! It's designed like a horse bridle and you clip the lead under the chin, they can't pull and you can lead them in any direction you want, has the added bonus of calming them once they get used to it. It can't slip up into thier eyes etc like a halti can, it's very secure and comfortable for them, you just need to get the measurements right, they have the sizing guide on thier site but you can call them if you are not sure.

Our dog is 33kg and pulls like a steam train, he injured me with his pulling and lunging - got the headcollar and he did try to pull it off (they can't get it off unlike most haltis) but once we started walking he forgot about it and it worked like a dream, honestly, I had tears of relief in my eyes! Even my kids can walk him now because if he tried to pull his chin is brought down to his chest with it being clipped under there so he doesn't even bother, just trots along happy as larry.

You can use it with a training lead so you can leash train while using it with the headcollar as back-up. It's pricer than most but it is 100% worth every penny. We have the padded webbing and are onto no.2 as he's just outgrown the first one we got. I honestly can't recommend this thing enough, you just need to check out thier FB page to see what customers think.

www.dogmatic.org.uk/

Jayne266 Mon 03-Dec-12 20:58:23

It sounds like you have lots of bits and are excited about your new edition.

First of all enjoy each others company first you may go out for the first few walks and he might be so excited he will be worse than normal or at the opposite end of the scale.
Their are loads of products I personally don't like general leads that can go round the neck only they can get out of it and I have seen many dogs with neck injuries from people pulling them back as part of training (this can happen with a halti lead as well (lead round the nose)).

I personally use a harness but I have SBT and I take them in the car a lot and they have the seat belt attachment.

But whatever one you use make sure it fits correctly and your happy with it.

kilmuir Mon 03-Dec-12 21:02:11

i like the dogmatic

spudballoo Mon 03-Dec-12 21:08:31

Congratulations! I bet you are counting down the sleeps. How fantastic, super news.

I think pulling on the lead solutions are many and a bit controversial. I tried the 'you pull and I stop' method for months and months, seriously - never ever let him pull...the lead went straight (never mind tight) and I'd stop. He'd stop, we'd move on, he'd pull....repeat. It didn't work for us. Then I tried 'you pull to I walk in another direction'. that didn't work either.

I now use a rope slip lead which is fitted very high under his ears, which is how a gun dog is trained to walk to heel on a lead. It's not comfortable for them at all so they very quickly learn to heel, and the lead is thus kept slack.

I'm no doubt about to be flamed, but this resolved pulling on the lead for us immediately. I put the lead on him and say 'heel' and he sticks there like glue, the lead is on but loose, no pressure on him at all. It's rarely even vaguely near his ears anymore.

Good luck and enjoy your new chap!

littlewhitebag Mon 03-Dec-12 21:18:48

I started a dog obedience class with my 6 month old lab and the trainer uses a slip lead with a noose bit that goes over the nose. My pup hates it with a passion and spends a lot of time trying to take it off and has now rubbed a raw patch on her nose. I am at my wits end with the thing. I might look at the dogmatic. She also has a halti which she likes better but i worry the loose bits will catch on branches when i let her run off the lead. I am spending a blooming fortune on collars and leads!!

Mynewmoniker Mon 03-Dec-12 21:33:06

Figure of 8 lead. See Amazon. Best thing I ever used for my pulling dog.

doggydaze Tue 04-Dec-12 08:36:26

So many replies and lots of opinion. Thanks all.

Thank you for the link to the kikopup videos RedwingWinter. I watched the clip re walking well on the lead last night but I see that there is a wealth of stuff on there that will be useful so thanks, I will definitely be watching some more clips.

So I have the slip lead already, a standard collar and lead, and last night I bought a non pull harness from Pet Planet which has good reviews too. Then I will try the halti/dogmatic.

I hope you find a way forward soon littlewhitebag.

Spud - The slip worked for our friends too, together with training smile

Trial and error might be the way forward I suspect and lots of training. Also, he didn't know us at all on Saturday, we were just some random people who had turned up to walk him. As you say Jayne266, he may be vastly different when settled in a home environment (for good or bad!)

Nicolamilo06 Wed 05-Dec-12 22:24:03

I dont know if you have tried a halti head collar but I hve a dog as big as horse who is one and half pulls like a train ! Haven't been able to walk him alone since he was 6 months as kept pulling me off my feet we finally decided to invest 20 quid on the halti and it has been the most amazing transformation ! He walks so nice now just doesn't like it on when stationary for long time but he realised quickly if he walked nice he didn't get turned around by the collar ! We have turned it into positive thing lots of treats when he is out with it on and now he is slowly learning to walk nicely without it I can't commend it enough and so gentle as well no punishing parts or hard tugs required like a horrible choke chain ! X

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