Help please! We have just adopted a 2 year old golden lab, Bailey. He is a big lad, and has obviously not had any real leash training. I tried a halti head collar - he loathed it and went beserk trying to get it off, but pulls extremely hard if on a simple collar and lead.
I'm going to try him on a harness but any tips on how to even begin training him to walk with me would be gratefully received. He is very good in the house - just not outside!
Something very simple is to "be a tree"- whenever Bailey pulls, stop walking and stand still until the leash is slack. My twist on it is to call the dog back to me. I make mine return to a sit on my left side before we continue.
do not use a harness that is not ment to help with a pulling dog. Most harnesses do nothing to prevent pulling, and in fact, make it EASIER for the dog to pull as your are attached to their strongest area (shoulders). Think sled dog.
there ARE no pull harness that do work, just make sure the one you have is a no-pull harness.
I recommend (highly recommend) taking a class. They will give you some hands on tricks.
I also recommend making sure the pup has some exercise before you start working on heel (at least that way they have the crazies out of them and should be able to concentrate abit more.
Finally, some tricks are to either "be a tree" as mentionned above, which is to stop when the dog pulls. I.e. if the dog pulls they do not get to where they want to go.
Or, do a sharp turn when the pull (go in an different direction). Again, the goal is that the dog never gets to go in the direction they want when they pull.
Of course, these methods mean your walks will not get you very far the first little while which is normal. Heck, the first few days you may not make it out of the driveway (maybe halfway down the block). But it is short term pain for long term gain.
There are also other collars you can try like the martingale or the prong (if you go the prong route make sure it is properly fitted). The martingale is good as it also stops a dog from "escaping" the collar.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
You are getting good advice, and a class would be great for you.
The Halti, or Gentile Leader. They will work, but you have to be consistent and stick with it. Hershey Kisses hated the Gentle Leader also. WOuld refuse to walk, would geton the grass and try to paw it off or rub it off. Just have to stick with it. They get used to it, and they will not pull when theirhead is being turned. Good to use it along with the tree stance. Also good to attach lead to you belt. That's it, doggie. That is as much lead as you get. Not going to get an extra arms length, and not going to get to pull my arm out of the socket either. Changing directions also helps.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
I fully agree with the training recommendations already mentioned above. In the meantime, you might want to look into getting a Gentle "Walker" harness, which is leashed on the front/chest part of the dog rather than the back/shoulder part of the dog.
Miko (April 6, 2009), CGC
Please read my post in
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
thanks everyone! All really helpful and will definitely try these tips. I'm going to check out a training class next week (that's a must).
Really grateful for all the advice.
And - thank you very much for rescuing him!
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Jersey was pulling me like a sled dog! I found this video: How to train your dog not to pull- Loose Leash Walking, and it really helped Jersey get it.
She also has a video on Leash Walking- Equipment tips
That was a good video clip. Thanks. I have done the back and forth thing in front of the house with my chocolab, and what she said is true. Even I forgot which way was forward. lol
That'll do, Chief. That'll do.
"There is no cure for birth and death
save to enjoy the interval."