Pulling dog - update

(41 Posts)
Countrywalks Tue 25-Mar-14 21:37:21

I posted recently about my cocker spaniel pulling on the lead. Various harnesses were suggested and she has been on a gentle leader type of lead, a head figure of eight harness. It's brilliant , stops her sniffing and she walks nicely on it. I realise I still need to get her to listen and am encouraging the close and heel command. Thank you all for your input, big improvement so far.

hairypaws Thu 27-Mar-14 08:48:07

Great news. I have a pulling cocker too. She is 3, do you think it's too late to train her with a gentle leader or is it worth it?

Countrywalks Thu 27-Mar-14 08:57:28

Hello Hairypaws
My cocker is 9 months old. Because it controls her head it stops her sniffing when on lead so she walks with her head up and doesn't pull my arm off. I wouldn't have thought it's too late. Your cocker probably won't like it at first as the loop comes under her eyes over her muzzle. She can still open her mouth, for treats of course! My dog will paw at it as we start the walk and if we come to a stop, but during the walk , walks so well. I'm trying to reinforce the close command saying good close as she walks well, and I'm hoping eventually we can go to just a collar and lead. That would be amazing and I'm not sure if that can ever happen. I was given this lead otherwise I was going to purchase one recommended by Everlong. It's worth a shot and I really don't think you would be wasting your money.

Lilcamper Thu 27-Mar-14 09:07:35

I came across this interesting article on head harnesses recently Head Halters

ender Thu 27-Mar-14 09:44:55

Lilcamper, yes interesting article. Confused about this though, any idea what it means?
..dogs only pull on lead. I have never seen a dog pulling off leash - ever!

ender, having just read the article I think she means that pulling and walking nicely is a two-way street, i.e. it isn't just about training the dog, but about training the handler too. I guess she uses that phrase by way of illustration: when off-lead the dog is effectively flying solo; when on-lead, the dog and handler are literally and figuratively connected, so both must work to get the best out of this connection.

This is my interpretation of it, anyway.

Countrywalks Thu 27-Mar-14 13:54:28

Very interesting Lilcamper. As a first time dog owner I am guided by books, training classes, fellow dog walkers and of course the doghouse with its fab knowledgeable dog owners and trainers. I am easily swayed. So, I tried the walk to the off lead walk with just collar and lead , no harness or leader. She did okay. I will now try to reinforce my training with her, slow for sure and to the point of frustration sometimes. Am I being unrealistic to expect her to walk to heel nearly to the field?

moogalicious Thu 27-Mar-14 14:03:38

Thanks for that article Lilcamper. I am in the process of training my 2yo to walk nicely without any head halter, just using positive reinforcement. But because he pulls on practically every type of lead, I am thinking he needs to want to stop pulling iyswim.

Anyway, 2 months in and we had a lovely walk back from the beach with no pulling! He usually pulls my arm off, and my hand is sore from gripping the lead. Walks have been a nightmare - he is a staffy cross so is very strong. It has been bloody hard work and even a few days ago I wanted to give up. But today showed me there is light at the end of the tunnel!

moogalicious Thu 27-Mar-14 14:05:15

countrywalks I started with a five minute walk and have built up from there. Today's walk was a mile. Although he did pull a little on the way there, but it was better than being dragged.

Lilcamper Thu 27-Mar-14 14:29:48

It's worth thinking that sniffing stuff is part of the whole experience of a walk. That is a doggy equivalent of reading their email, good for their mental health smile

sweetkitty Thu 27-Mar-14 14:34:32

I've been thinking of a head halti for my 8month old ridgeback but she only pulls on the way to the park and the closer we get to so am thinking this is just puppy excitement, on the way back she's very good no pulling (probably as she is shattered) don't know what to do

Countrywalks Thu 27-Mar-14 15:06:20

Same Sweetkitty. She walks calmly and on a loose lead on her way home. When I say pulling , now it just means she is slightly ahead of me, rather than my arm being yanked off now. I would like a nice military brisk march by the side of me, head up and total concentration! That would be nice, just at dog training so we can achieve our first puppy foundation award!
Anyway, back in my real works she is improving or rather I am improving on honing our walking skills bit by bit.

Countrywalks Thu 27-Mar-14 15:07:09

World not works

Floralnomad Thu 27-Mar-14 15:34:59

Loose lead walking doesn't mean walking to heel ,my dog doesn't pull but he walks about 3 or 4 ft in front of me ,I think he thinks he is in charge ,he's not ,but if letting him delude himself means a nicer walking experience for us both who cares.

Lilcamper Thu 27-Mar-14 15:56:55

Who's walk is it Country? Part of a dog walk for a dog is having a good sniff. The military march 'heel' isn't needed as long as the lead is loose.

Owllady Thu 27-Mar-14 16:55:18

Sweetkitty, I am not criticising you (life is too short) but I would try to curb it a bit as a dog pulling to the park gets a reward at the end of it, the park smile

Countrywalks Thu 27-Mar-14 17:07:18

I'm only joking about the marching! I think I need to loosen up. We amble to the field , with a bit ( a lot of sniffing) and I think I'm getting confused with the aim of the training class, dog glued to my side , not ahead, with everyday walking , with control and loose lead and sniffing too. Thanks for the comments, perhaps I'm worrying too much, expecting too much.

Owllady Thu 27-Mar-14 17:20:41

I feel a bit the same 're training class, I think I forget that some people that go are training to SHOW their dogs iykwim
Pigeon

Owllady Thu 27-Mar-14 17:21:23

Sorry I have no idea where the pigeon came from grin

chattychattyboomba Thu 27-Mar-14 17:30:24

Ah the pulling cocker spaniels! We have 2 and they egg each other on!
You can spot a cocker a mile off because they seem to all do the same zig zag, attention deficit, hyper active walk/sniff/leap/pull grin
We have been trying for years (6 now) to get our girls to stop pulling... They have the memories of gold fish.
We did the whole 'change direction' approach. As soon as they are not looking where we are going we completely change direction and walk in another line... This can result in hours of me looking like a bit of a nut to anyone observing as I will mostly only get about 2 meters before one or both try leaping ahead.
I try to imagine what's going on in their little peanut brains and I think it would go something like...
"Smell! Bird! Park? Beep! This way? Food!!! Friend? Park? Dog!dog!dog! Bum! Lamp! Bird!!!!shoes? Wheels? New smells? Park? Park? Oh bin!!!" Etc grin

Countrywalks Thu 27-Mar-14 18:03:41

Love it chatty! Made me burst out laughing ( as did Owl's pidgeon! Haha) yes they like food dogs and bums not sure which order most! Got to love them though, even though they are so dopey, so so lovable.

Countrywalks Thu 27-Mar-14 18:05:57

Shall I pretend my phone misspelt "pigeon" gawd, the shame.

chattychattyboomba Thu 27-Mar-14 18:49:08

Lol! Yes food obsessed! We have one 'working' cocker (well she doesn't work but from a working line) and she has a shoes/sock fetish. Doesn't eat them or chew them. Just collects them. When we have friends over she will slink in all stealth, steal their shoes and take them back to her bed. She'll have up to 8 pairs in there at a time. Can't sleep without one of DH's slippers or socks. It's like a comfort thing. Anyone else's do this?
I love their nutty personalities. Best dogs ever!

Countrywalks Thu 27-Mar-14 20:37:19

Yes we have a sock and if at all possible, a knickers thief. She waits by the washing machine for anything I drop whilst stuffing it all in, and runs off with her prize. Loo rolls too, I now know the Andrex puppy was not just a marketing ploy, she will make off and away with it, if we are silly enough to leave a doir open, making a real mess everywhere. Grrrr.

chattychattyboomba Thu 27-Mar-14 20:49:34

Naha knickers oh yes. I kind of neglected that little embarrassing fact blush
We've had our golden cocker (the stickier of the two) rummage through the bin and devour one of Dd's stinky nappies confused that was a very, very bad day. Boak!

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