Help walking Lab Puppy! Sore arm(22 Posts)
I have (eventually) agreed to us having a labrador puppy. After years of pleading from my 5 year old son we are now the proud owners of a very happy and playful 6 month old pup Benson.
He's been doing really well with his training and is overall an absolute delight. My only issue is that he tends to pull when out and about, to be fair hes not on the lead alot as we live near quiet beaches/quays etc in rural Cornwall so he has free roam. I have been advised by dog trainers that a figure of eight style lead would help. I'm baffled by the range online, has anyone had any experience? should I put him on the lead more to get used to it?
Ideally in the long term (years from now ) I would love my son to be able to hold the lead, he is disabled (CP) so balance is an issue, and this is very much going to be his dog/company.
If you want him to walk on a loose lead, you'll have to spend time training him to walk on a loose lead...
Things like figure of 8 leads just stop them being able to pull quite as efficiently, they're not really a substitute for training.
It might help in the short term to lessen the pulling while you work on it, but they won't stop it.
I swear by the dogmatic headcollar. Pricier than some of the alternatives but does not budge or ride up into the eyes like other types ive tried.
I would also attend some classes to brush up on loose lead walking, the headcollar should only come into play when the dog is pulling and the rest of the time should be loose
I use the halti body harness for my lab. It was the only way I could cope with her pulling. I don't like face harnesses.
Thanks for all the replies, certainly food for thought. I should mention I may well be having to walk my neighbours dog alongside ours at times. It's his sister and they play together well. She does tend to pull as well. Someone mentioned a double figure of eight type lead but I can't find one.
i have just rang the original lady who did his training and arranged for some 'top up' sessions. Is it better to have my Son walking by his side, behind?(when I have him on the lead) he tends to go on ahead of me and the puppy which I'm wondering if this may be part of the issue that benson is trying to keep up etc.
Agree that training to walk on a normal collar and lead is the only thing that works long-term for labs. Labs are very strong dogs and "no pull" harnesses, canny collars etc may seem to work at first but dog soon learns how to pull even harder.
If you google "loose lead walking" there's lots of info.
What worked for my lab was getting him to focus on treat held in my L hand, so he was in heel position then letting him have it after he'd been walking well without pulling. Start off with just a few steps then gradually make him walk longer till he gets the reward.
Thanks for the great tips. I'm making notes and will come up with an action plan!
Head collates and figure of 8s "work" by causing the dog discomfort. As has been said, training is the only cure.
Personally my preferred training tools are a two clip harness and a double ended lead. Stop dead when he pulls, treat when he lets the lead go loose of his own accord
As everybody else has said, training is the long term solution. We are working on it with our 6 month old lab x cocker. He is getting much better on the lead unless he sees other dogs and the he pulls. He will stop and sit but if I am also pushing my buggy or can't spare the time til the other dog(s) pass I need to be able to control him asap. A godsend here is just using his normal rope slip lead in a 'figure of eight'. No expensive equipment and when the trigger has gone the lead can go back to normal. You just have the lead on as usual and then pull larger below the neck, twist once and slip the new loop over the nose. Some dogs fight it (or at least initially) but he just calms right down and walks with the lead loose.
"Head collates and figure of 8s "work" by causing the dog discomfort"
That's not how all head collars work, some tighten when they pull, some don't do that, they're fixed and they just stop the dog being able to use its weight in the same way when pulling.
The dog putting its pulling force across the nose is what causes the discomfort tabularasa.
Meh, that's like saying collars are designed to pull across the throat and cause discomfort or front clipping harness cause discomfort under their armpits...
Ones that don't tighten don't just pull on the nose, the weight is pretty much over the whole headcollar.
By neither a collar or harness are designed to stop pulling in the same way head collars are.
I don't think the OP needs one, but causing discomfort across their nose is not what fixed headcollars do.
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Hate haltis, they just slide up up onto the eyes. Get a sliplead, pull the excess under the throat and twist it back over the nose-simple figure of eight that allows me to walk my 'trains' without being pulled over. It's not a long term solution, no, but for q child with balance issues, it may be the thing that allows him to walk his own dog until it's trained to loose lead walk.
Do kennel club good citizen classes and keep going till you get gold award, don't just stop after bronze.
Work on a good recall, and once that's in place let the pup off lead in safe places and throw balls into progressively heavier cover and further away so he has to work hard to find and retrieve them. Get him in swimming for retrieves if you have a safe place. It's what labradors are for and a physically and mentally well exercised dog is more likely to be mannerly.
Sorry, failed to read your OP properly...I see that he is off lead most of the time. That's probably a good thing in that you only have to insist on good lead behaviour for a short time, as it's really wearing for you and the dog to insist on perfection for long (and you do really have to insist on good walking when he is on lead- like any undesirable behaviour pulling becomes habit forming). I'm in the same situation as I live very close to a park. My dog pulled a bit at the start, so I got into the habit of doing a few minutes of heelwork when I got there (nothing fancy just a rapid series of turns, sit, down, close, turn, sit etc to get her listening), then sit, unclip lead, wait....and release command to let her hare off. This got her in the habit of paying attention rather than pulling all the way there in anticipation of a "release the hounds" moment as soon as we got through the park gate.
Like you I have a gundog breed- makes it easier as they are breed to be trainable and walking quietly to heel is one of their jobs...even if it doesn't feel like it when they're young! Good luck, I'm feeling quite envious of all the lovely Cornish beach walks!
There's an easy lead exercise to stop pulling.
Pup on lead, desirable item (food/toy) on floor. Walk pup towards item, if he pulls turn and walk away. Keep repeating until you get near to the item, then hand to pup (don't let him snatch it in the final moments).
Our dog (vizsla) pulled quite a lot at first. The treats in hand training worked quite well, but once she was a bit older we used the method where you just stop walking if she pulled. You only start walking again if the lead goes slack. Initially you'll be stopping every couple of steps, but quite quickly the dog learns that it goes nowhere on a taught lead, only when the lead is loose. Every now and then my dog reverts to pulling, but a couple of times simply stopping walking works.
If they don't let the lead slack, turn away and take a couple of steps so they have to follow you. This stops the lead being tight, then carry on walking where you want to
My oh and I are not good at training. The one of ours that had a tendency to pull gets walked differently on lead to the one that learned loose lead. When ever the puller pulls we stop ane being her to heel ane keep the lead short until she remembers. We have to do this a few times at the start of most walks. On a short lead she simply can't pull or jerk. She gets lots of praise and then remembers how to walk on lead. Could be worth experimenting what works for your pup. We had lots of 1:1 lessons with different trainers ane that helped us to find our method. We also moved from neck collar to harness.
Get a Dog Games Perfect Fit harness and a double ended lead. Google the 300 peck method of teaching loose lead walking.
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