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Retractable lead injury (dog)(55 Posts)
So Ddog is now settled in and has come out of his shell, because he’s now more confident he no longer stays close by and his recall has kind of gone out the window, he’s also started to chase anything that moves. In order to give him enough exercise and let him have a bit of a run I have been trying him on an extendable lead, it’s not really been a success, he keeps running full pelt and then when he gets to the end of the lead he almost dislocates my arm and causes himself to back flip, he doesn’t seem to realise and will do it again and again. Today he took off so I thought I would press the button on the lead before he reached top speed but the lead wrapped around his front legs and caused rope burn , he yelled but we continued our walk and all seemed fine. He now has 2 bold lines where the lead was caught around his front legs and I feel terrible. He is fine (sleeping next to me).
I’m not sure what else to try with him. I want to start classes with him and hopefully work on the recall and pray drive but there’s a waiting list for training. If I keep him on a short lead he just doesn’t get tired. We have tried a long lead but he just gets tangled all the time. I can’t risk him being off lead unless we are miles away from roads or live stock as once he sees something exciting (bird, dog, sheep) his recall goes out the window. He’s not interested in treats as rewards when out so getting him back isn’t easy.
You need a trainer, sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, ditch the flexi. They have their place - I use one on my deaf old dog so he can have a bit of a sniff and a rummage without getting lost. But for a runner they’re a nightmare - I had a scar on my leg for years from a encounter with a top-speed dog on a flexi that ran around me to get to my dog and fuck me, it hurt! Stick to a short lead but do training on walks to keep his focus on you and tire his brain. You may be able to find an enclosed space for him to run in - perhaps an indoor riding school, they can be hired sometimes. The place I used to work used to do that and was hired by people with sighthounds that couldn’t be let off the lead in safety for a good hooley.
But find a good trainer - you may need one to one sessions but it will be mine well spent if they can help you tap into what motivates your dog.
Are there any local dog training areas? We have a place near us called Centre Paws you can hire, it's basically just an escape proof field and you can have it all to yourself. They also have agility courses that can be hired.
It's his retractable lead clipped to his collar or a harness? We use a harness and that helps until his training is complete
can you go jogging or running with him?
You can get extendy leads that are a thick tape and bright yellow - e.g. amazon.co.uk/Large-Retractable-Tape-Style-Lead/dp/B01JFMNOHE/ref=sr_1_13?crid=1JT8NAACJS8Y6&keywords=flexi+lead+professional&qid=1565463599&s=gateway&sprefix=flexi+lead+pro%2Caps%2C146&sr=8-13]]
These are much less likely to cause injury than the thin black string ones.
If he's back flipping I am guessing it's attached to a collar. Clip it to a harness instead. Never a collar.
If he doesn't know where the end of the lead is, build him up slowly. Only give him a couple of metres, yell a warning sign ("careful!") and then stop the lead. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Once he learns that "warning" indicates the end of the lead is coming then you can start to give him more length.
Alternatively, look for rentable dog fields near you. These are secure spaces that you rent (normally about £10 a hour) and have them all to yourself. Your dog can go off lead safely and you can practice recall.
There are other ways to tire a dog out that don't involve running. e.g. scatter some treats in long grass and have the dog sniff them out. Another great game if there are two humans is to play recall between each other. Use your long lead and one of you restrain the dog whilst the other person takes their end of the lead and walks as far away as possilbe. They then call the dog to them excitedly. Lots of rewards when the dog gets to them. Do the same back again. Repeat.
Finally, depending on how far he runs off, a trailing lead might also be useful. It's a long lead that attaches to a harness and trails along the floor behind the dog. This means you don't have to catch right up to the dog to regain control - you can stomp on the lead at a distance. Obviously these are not safe in all spaces (e.g. around livestock or where the dog can get out of a field and onto a road, for e.g.).
We are quite rural, we live opposite a huge field and if I stand in the middle I can let him off the lead, he circles me but in quite a big circle. The nearest trainer is 10 miles away, they are very good but always booked up.
For those that don’t know, Ddog is a ten month old rescue, he came to me just over a month ago and was so nervous he wouldn’t leave my side, up until a week ago he was walking off lead as he wouldn’t go far. He’s now gained confidence and is a totally different dog, full of energy and his recall has just gone out the window (when he sees anything interesting). Walks are now not very enjoyable, he’s gone from walking nicely next to me and sticking to the path to leaping into bushes and running off in all directions. Most of our walks are in fields or woods (not much road walking).
I would like to run with him but as soon as I run he starts jumping up at me and nipping my arms.
He’s a cross breed, SBT x Boxer x Chihuahua, I think the craziness comes from the boxer in him, he’s very bouncy and playful.
You need a trainer to help and a proper training plan.
Is also get rid of retractable leads. It's personal opinion but I find more tuggy pulling dogs on those than on a short lead and even off lead (once properly trained)
Our trainer has a book on Amazon called reliable recall. It's worth a read.
My cockashit isn't food driven either, we take her favourite toy with us on walks and she responds to that, might be worth a try.
He’s not interested in toys either (unless it’s a sock).
Just had a look online as he seems to be more hyperactive since I changed his food. He’s been having tails dog food, looking at the reviews it seems several people have had problems with hyperactivity, he’s been on it a few weeks, it’s also making him poop 4/5 times a day. Should I try a different food? Apparently tails is high in carbs?
Can anyone recommend a good dry food for hyperactive dogs?
He is also an ‘orrible teenager testing the boundaries at that age - some of this is probably that.
You may need to travel further for a trainer if necessary - where roughly are you? Perhaps MN-ers can make some recommendations? If you’re within striking distance of the Norfolk / Suffolk border, I could point you towards two or three possibilities.
Are there no dog exercise pens in a local park? You can just let them off and they run and play with other dogs? Seriously has saved me so so much money! And my pup is so much happier. A great place to practice recall too! Mine is the same she does not care for treats. But finally she just stays next to me. He is only young still but absolutely you need a trainer and consistent training. Use one word and try clicker training? Over the top praise for him coming back. And do it in the house too just randomly. Does he not like balls?
You say he likes socks - worn ones, is that? Ones that smell like you?
If so, small soft toys (dog safe ones) can be kept in your boots or even the laundry basket so they get your scent, then kept as special walk toys to play with. Try hiding them in the long grass for him to find (look out for grass seeds though) and give him lots of encouragement so it becomes a fun game. Or have a short game with it when he comes back.
Ditch the flexi: They're dangerous, and teach appalling lead manners (as a pp said, they have their place, but I don't think that's on a young dog). Use a longline (and watch out for rope burns on you with those, too) and work on recall: if you live in a rural area, you do not want your dog running off and chasing livestock.
Take some high-value treats out with you and play a lot of games with your dog, so that his focus reverts back to you. Start in the garden if you don't feel confident in the field. Sit! Treat as soon his arse hits the grass. Lie down! Treat. Round behind me! Treat. Recall! Treat. Through my legs! Treat. The treat doesn't have to come from your hand, you can chuck it a distance, which will soon have him bouncing around, snarfing the treat, and looking eagerly back at you. The key thing is that you become the source of fun, games and tasty chicken/cheese/whatever. You can use a clicker here when he does the action you want, which will help with other training too. Playing games will also help to develop a good bond between you and the dog, and recall should become very much easier.
Contact the trainer and book in for a future session for lead walking. Personally I use a slip lead and a combination of click'n'treat and random direction changes, as well as off-lead heel, but advice from a good trainer is usually worth getting.
Ah, sorry, missed the bit about not interested in food rewards... I'd still try the games in the garden, though: and see if he'll do for it something like cheese.
he keeps running full pelt and then when he gets to the end of the lead he almost dislocates my arm and causes himself to back flip, he doesn’t seem to realise and will do it again and again.
Well clearly the dog isn’t the only one with the learning problem as you’ve repeatedly risked severe neck and throat injury to your dog again and again!
Get a long line or a regular lead and do some training on walking to heel and recall. You need to spend tine training your dog.
Vet he’s on a harness not collar so I haven’t risked injury to his neck and throat. He’s on a very good harness (cost me a enough), it has two clips one on the back and one on the chest, he has it clipped onto the back clip. I am spending time training him, that’s why I’m here asking for advice 😐
Thank you everyone for your tips.
Try a double ended lead like a Halti while you get his lead walking under control - then I would just switch to a plain rope lead that clips to the harness with a padded handle for yourself, but only once he's mastered walking nicely!
I tried retractable leads. Hate them for just that reason. The dog doesn't understand, thinks they are off lead, and also I never felt I had a sure grip. I also have tried training leads, they are long ones that aren't retractable but you manage yourself, felt they were too much to be carrying around. I have harnesses like the one you describe and I have cheap 8 feet long regular leads off Amazon. They've lasted years with daily use. I can then guide dogs to slow down when they are near the end, I can also use it to"drive" then right or left. When I first got dogs I was warned off retractable leads by trainers who described users losing fingers. Ick.
We have a horse lunge line for ours as he has rubbish recall. It's got a bungee bit that absorbs a shock and it's nice and soft so you don't burn your hands