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Lead training help!(8 Posts)
We have a 15mo rescue Labrador cross that we got at six months old. He's an absolutely brilliant dog with a super nature. We made a good start on training but then DH had an injury which set us back a bit (dog still got walks and attention, but we didn't really have the capacity to devote to training).
We've recently picked back up and he's doing really well - he obeys sit, stay, steady, here and he is generally fine off lead on his walks now.
The trouble is when he is on his lead he pulls like mad. He's fine if we're in a busy town centre but the first bit of his walk along our road is a nightmare - he's so excited and pulls and pulls and then lunges for the houses that have dogs in their gardens. We are both quite big and strong so can just about manage him (he is massive) but my repeated 'heel' commands with pulling the lead to my side are having little effect. Any advice on techniques I can try to encourage him to be better on the lead? For info, he had the snip about two months ago.
Is he quite food driven? Being a lab he probably is. We are currently doing loose lead training with our lab and our trainer has us doing the following:
Get dog on whichever side you prefer them on, so for example left side and then hold lead in right hand to leave left free for dispensing treats. Then we do the '100 game'; count 1 step then treat, then 1 2 steps treat, then 1 2 3 steps treat and so on. The aim is to get to 100 steps without the lead going tight once. If dog does pull you start back at the beginning. The idea is it's more fun to be right next to you.
It's working brilliantly with our puppy, we're regularly getting to 20 now before she sees a bird or a poo or something equally as exciting to run to.
Our dog was like this and we Bought a harness with two D loops. Ours is made by Perfect Fit. The d loops are between her shoulders and under the chest. It stops the rearing forward.
To stop the pulling I suggest you stop, give a sit command and a strong ‘No pulling’ the dog hopefully will get bored. Once you move again keep strong smelling treat in you hand and give to him as he walks. We use frankfurters.
The Perfect Fit harness as mentioned above is great. Essentially when I train my dogs they learn very fast that pulling = going nowhere. If they pull I stop and will only move forwards again once the lead is slack and they are giving me attention - I name that "close" and treat / praise etc for it too.
When you’ve trained consistently for nine months using any or all of the usual recommendations, and got absolutely nowhere, buy a Halti head collar. Instant results.
We are new to dogs and only have a puppy but I watched quite a few videos on pulling.
I like the idea of the 100 steps tactic. (But it feels like our puppy gets treats constantly already for everything he does that we like!)
We are trialling a different tactic. Basically it says that a dog pulls because they feel that’s how they move us forward. So stop. Every time the lead is right then stop walking and do nothing. Wait until the dog looks back at you or comes back towards you (in confusion usually) and then verbally reward and walk again.
It’s fruatrating at first as you get nowhere! Our pup does seem to pick it up quickly once we get going though. He just forgets again on the next walk.
It’s suggfested that for the times you just have to get somewhere have a different harness/collar/lead or something so that the dog can tell the difference.
Not sure how that works practically though.
Sorry for delayed response. Thank you for all these tips! As with anything like this I guess it's time, consistency and patience!
We use these gencon leads now on our retrievers - we can walk them to heel on a loose lead using one. They are very quick to put on and can also be used as a normal lead just around the neck. I wouldnt be without them now!