The one thing I have had the most trouble training Tal to do is walk on leash without pulling. I have tried standing still, walking in reverse direction and he still pulls. Sometimes he does just fine...and other times the joy of pulling seems to overtake him.
My question is this. What kinds of collars or harnesses to you guys use when walking your dogs and are you able to eventually get them to walk properly on a regular flat collar?
Dogs pull, quite simply, because humans walk too slow. Walking is not a natural pace for a dog. Trotting is. Of course, the only way a human can keep up with a dogs natural pace is by breaking into a slow jog which is obviously not recommended for a pup. So there lies the problem -- we must train our dogs to slow it down and walk at our pace as aposed to theirs.
As Enders Mom said, there are hundreds of topics on this subject here on the forum. Use the search feature to find them. Everyone uses a different method so really it is about finding one and sticking with it.
For me personally, I use a rope leash. A rope leash is a collar and leash in one and it works similarly to a choke chain. Over here, we use them to train field dogs. When placed correctly up against the ears, usually, you have total control of the dog.
Now as my dogs are fully trained I use a regular buckle collar and nylon leash or a rope lead. If we are going off leash the nylon is easier. I use light nylon leads because I can slip them in my pockets or over my shoulder. If I am doing some roadwork or training that requires closer control, I use the rope leash.
similiar to trickster's response, here is my standard reply to this topic (sorry for the copy and paste, but it is rather long winded ):
if you pause to think about it, a dog's natural walking pace is much, much faster than a humans, so it is a bit awkward and uncomfortable for dogs to have to walk slowly by our side or even a few feet ahead on a loose leash. this is where training comes into play. we can train them and condition them to behave contrary to their natural canine instinct and slow down their walking speed.
there are lots of dogs who simply ignore the threat of being choked or ignore the pain of actually being choked due to lack of training and or high interest/drive in getting to something more desirable than walking at the pace of death near their owner. on leashed walks, some dogs regard being choked by collars as an unavoidable phenomenon, so they pull and learn to pull harder, ignoring their discomfort and the damage being done to their throats. they don't fully understand or make the connection that they are the ones causing the leash to get tight, and it doesn't dawn on them that they have any control over the situation. some dogs simply don't care about being choked. to them, being chocked is just a normal part of being able to get somewhere they want to be. these dogs don't learn how to walk on a loose leash, and the dog's lack of self control continues to be left unaddressed, so the vicious cycle continues, including possible damage to their throats.
the big question is How to Train for Loose Leash Walking...the answer or solution varies for each person and their dog. what works for one may not work for another, so it's up to you to figure it out.
many people use training collars, and most training collars work on the premise that the dog will cease pulling in order to avoid being choked, pinched, or pronged. unlike regular flat collars, most training collars have added features that enhance the feelings of discomfort for the dog, so that the dog will be more likely to behave in order to avoid the more uncomfortable feeling of being restricted by a training collar vs a flat collar. for the safety of the dog and the owner, it is far better to be able to restrain the dog using such tools rather than allowing an out of control dog choke themselves and drag their owners all over town, in my opinion. also, please be mindful of the age of your pup as certain training collars may not be appropriate for puppies.
training tools are great and they can help us communicate with our dogs, but i think that often times we put way too much emphasis on the tool itself and not enough on the training. when a dog is properly trained and or has sufficient self control and willingness to work WITH their owner, any training tool or lack thereof will work, but on the flip side, if those characteristics are missing in dog, then even the best training tool is simply a restraint - something that limits the dog's mobility. if the training is thorough and effective, then the training collar becomes just another intermediate step in the training process, and you can go back to a regular flat collar. keep in mind, some people never need to use a training collar. they teach their dog to walk nicely on a flat collar from the beginning and try to avoid being in a situation where they need the extra help of a training collar.
until actual training is taking place, the use of any training collar functions only as a restraining collar, helping the person physically control the dog more easily. however, a lot of people use training collars permanently with no plan of ever not using it. if the person and their dogs are happy with the results and the dog is not constantly choking on their collar, then there is nothing wrong with that either.
as with any training tool or training advise, there is no substitute for taking the time and making the effort to train a dog to offer behaviors we want, and taking part in an obedience class is always a good idea.
"Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford
Choker chain for Rocket. He does great with that. A regular collar chokes him and he manages to wiggle out of it.
A close friend has to use the choker with the teeth for his dog and it works really well. His lab mix is 130# and only 10mo so Mike can't afford for his dog to dash.
Also, the higher up you place the collar (right behind the ears) the better your dog will respond. They don't have the muscles up there like they do lower down the neck. When I'm training this placement works better.
Thanks for the replies. I have already enrolled us in an obedience class. The orientation session is Sat 13 Jan and we bring our pups beginning the 20th.
Thanks Luke from georgia....I now remember that but just couldn't find it. I am more than willing to train him but so far seem to be somewhat unsuccessful. Class isn;t that far away so I can hang on for a few weeks and keep trying.
I help train service dogs and when we have one that is a puller we use a Gentle Leader. They are a wonderful training tool. When you use a choke chain the dog can continue to choke itself and hurt it neck, but with a gentle leader it pulls there head sideways so they can not continue to pull forward. We call it power steering. Once you have trained your dog to walk nicely beside you can wean it out of the gentle leader.