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our dogs a puller...

(22 Posts)
alwaystryingtobeafriend Wed 03-Sep-14 14:47:10

Our newly rescued staffie likes to pull when out walkies. We got him a harness which is meant to gently press on his nerves to stop him pulling and it was working until he started getting irritation around his chest and has also made a fine effort of chewing through the harness.

I feally dont want a 'halty' for him as people already cross the road because he is a stafffie x. (This really upsets me) he hasnt attacked anyone just gets over excited sometimes and i dont think he would hurt anyone like i say he is just playful.

Does anyine have recommendations of what we can use for him? I dont like just a collar as when he pulls he practically chokes himself. ( we are starting obediance classes so hopefully it wont be for too long and he will learn to heel)

Thank you.

MehsMum Wed 03-Sep-14 14:55:21

My dog was a puller (badly brought up - by us!) I went though various ways of trying to establish good behaviour on the lead, including puppy classes. Then I stumbled across this:
And I tried it and it works. He still needs the odd refresher, but he can be relied upon to walk next to me without being a loon (unless he sees a cat, a rabbit or a dog he doesn't like...)

I hope you enjoy your dog: Staffs and Staff xs are usually lovely and have a rep they don't deserve.

SistersOfPercy Wed 03-Sep-14 14:59:02

I have a harness that goes under the armpits, its very effective actually as it's just enough pressure that he stops pulling. Sadly I couldn't tell you where I had it from as it's been here for years.

When he does pull I tend to stop dead, turn around and walk a little back where he came from, then turn and start walking in the direction I want to go again. If he pulls, we turn around.
It cane take bloody ages to get 100 yards up the road but he soon realises if he pulls he gets nowhere. Sadly he forgets this on the next walk because he's a bit daft like that grin

SistersOfPercy Wed 03-Sep-14 15:01:12

Found it! It's a Mikki Anti-Pull Harness. It's done three dogs now. The ropes that go under the armpits have a cushioning on them so as not to irritate the dog.

alwaystryingtobeafriend Wed 03-Sep-14 15:06:06

Ill try this in our lunch time walks its usually fairly quiet. Xx

SistersOfPercy Wed 03-Sep-14 15:07:50

It does work always, dog wants to go that way and they soon associate pulling with not going that way. Lots of praise when he heels. Good luck grin

alwaystryingtobeafriend Wed 03-Sep-14 15:09:25

The harness we have has the cushioning but the front of the harness rubs on his chest and is irritating hin he has a wee red mark on his chest. Poor wee thing.

Ill have a look for the one you mention see if its slightly different. Xx

WeAreGroot Wed 03-Sep-14 15:20:05

Have a watch of this You don't need any special gadgetry, a normal harness is just fine.

I really would avoid anything which tightens or causes discomfort to discourage pulling. Years ago I used one of those Mikki Anti-Pull harnesses for a determined puller (before I knew any better) and despite the padding he tore open both armpits (legpits?) in just a few minutes during one especially bad walk sad

Lilcamper Wed 03-Sep-14 16:01:13

That blog is awful advice and could hurt your dog.

Look at a Dog Games Perfect Fit harness and have a read of this Loose Lead Walking

SpicyBear Wed 03-Sep-14 16:41:10

That blog is absolutely horrible. You really so not need to hurt your dog to teach them loose lead walking. A long lead should never be attached to a collar let alone a choke collar. It may well work but only because the dog is frightened of the pain. You won't have changed his desire to pull, which you can do with positive reinforcement as suggested by lilcamper.

My staffie has sensitive skin and a dog games harness (either type) is the only one that hasn't rubbed her.

SpicyBear Wed 03-Sep-14 16:42:37

And groots link as well. Kikopup vids are great.

MehsMum Thu 04-Sep-14 15:53:11

Lil and Spicy, you did read the trainer's comments about pain, didn't you?

The point is not to get the dog to heel because he is scared of pain, but to heel because he understands that if he focuses on you, he will spare himself discomfort, and receive the reward of your smile (just as effective as praise, in a calm situation).

You might try this link
to see the level of understanding of dogs which is brought to that blog

SpicyBear Thu 04-Sep-14 18:13:53

Yes I did read the comments. They are nonsense. How is sparing himself discomfort different from avoiding pain? It isn't working because you smile at your dog. It's working because otherwise you will do something that will hurt them. Fine if you are okay with that approach but don't dress it up as something else.

MehsMum Thu 04-Sep-14 18:35:20

Discomfort and pain are different things. Pulling a child's hand away from a naked flame may cause them discomfort; hitting the hand away hard will probably cause them pain.

I think we will have to agree to differ, both about how words are defined and how we train our dogs.

alwaystryingtobeafriend Thu 04-Sep-14 19:59:19

Well other half went for the halti- he chewed the obe the shop tried on and subsequently the one we bought �� do yOu thibk its ok to take it back to the shop? we have spent almost £400 this week on the dog and iys just one thing after another. I actually want to cry. I just want The dog to walk to heel every time. Aarrggghh!!! dp is getting frustrated. Its not the dogs fault. We just need ti have patience. Thsnks for the suggestions. Im sure we will eventually get something that will work for us. Xx

soddinghormones Thu 04-Sep-14 20:25:08

Always - I think you need to relax a bit! You've had the dog for what, a week? It's very early days ...

Go for the perfect fit harness and make sure you get one with a front ring as well, use a double ended lead with one end attached to the back ring and the other to the front, if your dog pulls it won't end up going anywhere

Lots of dogs find head halters quite aversive - a harness is usually tolerates better

There are v few essentials for dogs - they need food, collar/harness & lead, food bowls, chew toys, harness or crate for the car, bed, but apart from that and vet bills/insurance they don't need to cost a fortune

EveDallasRetd Thu 04-Sep-14 20:38:34

I second what sistersofpercy said. We did this with MuttDog and with the 2 year old untrained rescue Rotty that weighed 8 stone. Within 2 weeks my (then) 6 yr old could walk RottDog without being pulled.

As soon as the dog pulls STOP. WAIT. Start to walk again, dog pulls, STOP. WAIT. Start to walk again, STOP, turn around and walk about 10 paces back the way you came (you may need to pull the dog to do this). Turn around, continue to walk the original direction and repeat the above for up to an hour.

Then give up and go home!

Try again for the next walk.

Yes you look crazy, no the dog doesn't get a proper walk whilst he won't listen, yes you'll be pissed off with it, but it's worth it in the end.

I have done this to lots of dogs (I used to help out at a rescue) and haven't had a failure yet, some take longer than others, but I had a collie pick it up in about 20 mins!

You have to persevere, dog ownership is like that I'm afraid smile

LividofLondon Thu 04-Sep-14 22:28:03

Eve I was just about to post a Dr Ian Dunbar YouTube link to exactly what you've explained. I've no idea how he's regarded these days, but I always remember his kind and simple training methods way back in the 1980s.

sarahj80 Fri 05-Sep-14 12:31:36

My dog is full of beans and really struggled with her on walks and recall - she'd just dart off when it was time to go home and really stressed me out! We found a local dog class and although she didn't pass her exam (bless her) she is a completely different dog. What I learned in the class was more about how to communicate with her and get her to listen - I'd certainly recommend giving it a go. And don't give up! smile

WeAllHaveWings Fri 05-Sep-14 13:20:37

agree with most of the pp. harness or head collars never worked for our lab.

if he pulls stop and turn around EVERYTIME on every walk. treat when walking to heel.

it means you wont get far and you'll look and idiot (I had to do every walk and look the idiot for the first couple of weeks until it was much better as dh was too embarrassed) but after a couple of days he'll start to get the idea (pity dh's are harder to train)

If possible drive to places for offlead exercise for a while so you don't have to walk far and allow pulling on the lead until the issue is firmly resolved.

triballeader Sat 06-Sep-14 17:12:32

Staffy's and Staffy crosses respond badly to punative training methods. I do not recommend using any such approaches.
They do respond well to positive training methods. This RSPCA video shows the improvments made over time with Buster a real lead puller.

Similarly the Dogs Trust has a serious of Dog Training Videos including walking where you can watch Weallhavewings advice being put into action.

The Staffy Forums are worth joining as they can give breed specific more indepth advice on training Bull breeds to walk with their owners.

A good bull breed harness is worth getting. I use the EzyDog harness from Pets at Home as it has a wide chest pad that moulds to the dogs chest. I also have a Perfect Fit Fleece Harness. It does not rub those senstive Staffy armpits raw. They offer an additional front clip ring to provide better control with a training lead.

Its worth buying a padded training lead and as others have said going back to basics.

A really high value treat on you when you go out such as dog garlic sausage or cooked chicken that only comes out for walk training can work wonders in getting an easily distracted dog to pay you a lot of attention and help them associate good walking with very nice happy things.

Stick to short walks so your dog is set up to succeed whilst you wait for the penny to drop in regards to walking on the lead. If you can play brain games, obeidence training and offer chance to play a fast game of fetch your dog will still get tired even if the kind of walks you would like to offer are in the category of work in progress.

Have a look for Kennel Club good citizen training scheme near where you live as they cover basic lead work in their pre-bronze groups and continue in the bronze groups. Sometimes having people in the same boat as you and that bit ahead can give you hope that your dog too will get there. They should not be hideously expensive and you may find having a trainer who can advise on how to get the best form your staffy a real help.

Good luck.

alwaystryingtobeafriend Sat 06-Sep-14 19:25:44

He seems to like the anti pull harness from pets at home. Although like i say it rubs his chest which is a shame. He responds really well to it and doesnt seem in any discomfort. when we go somewhere new or there are other dogs he gets really excited and pulls. I think obediance classes will help his socialisation. cant wait to start them.

We have had him a week now and i see a big difference already. His recall is good not great and he is a wee snuggler. He loves to just chill in the couch and snuggle in. We really just need to control his excitement stop his mouthing and get him to take orders every time not just when suits him. he is doing well for only having him a week.

Thanks for your advice x

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