My 5 month old lab is really bad on a leash. She pulls and drives the entire time we try to walk anywhere. I try to stop and make her sit, and she will do that but then as soon as we start walking again she goes right back to pulling. I have been doing a lot of research on choke collars, prong collars, and other different collars but wanted to get some other advice before I make a decision. Any advice on what method I should use would be much appreciated. I would also like any advice on shock collars. I have really been considering one.
Whoa! on the shock collar. It doesn't sound like the right application and it doesn't sound like you have done the research and learning how and when to use one. I have one, I use it. But you have to educate yourself first.
Now to your current problem. Lots of things to try and I would not jump to a prong or choke collar.
(1) Try a Gentle Leader of Halti. Or if you prefer a Gentile Leader harness. The dog would not particularly like it, but should stop pulling. They turn the dogs head when he tries to pul and that is contrary to what the dog wants to accomplish.
(2) Keep the lead short. When the dog pulls, as soon as he pulls. Stop dead like a tree and do not budge until he releases the pressure. Be consistent about this, that is how they learn.
(3) As soon as the dog starts to pull, reverse direction. You are in control, do not let the dog control this.
Working (2) and (3) are no cost solutions and should work. The big key is to be consistent. You have to do it every time the dog pulls, no exceptions. He will get the idea. (1) is the next step as an aid, but the same rules apply.
Finding a class to sign up for would be a good idea also. The instructor will be able to give you some hands on instruction after seeing the behavior you are trying to correct. One of the biggest benefits I have seen from these classes is when a good instructor sees you are not having success, or not truly listening to what they are trying to tell you takes the dog from you and shows you the dog is smart and will learn. It will generally take them no more than three corrections of the dog and the dog becomes the perfect student. Owner is truly embarrassed and works the issue hard before the next class when they return with a perfect angel. I have seen it happen many times. I have been that owner.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
I have tried doing the 'stop like a tree' but have had no success. That collar seems to be a great idea, I am going to try that. I was just curious about the shock collar for other things such as jumping on company and eating out of the other dogs bowl and things of that nature. I have just heard of people using them. I would love to educate myself more before I ever try to use one. Do you know some books or guide books I could use. I love my dog to death but I really want her to be well behaved.
Supervision and training are the best tools. Dogs need to learn what is expected of them, often we humans assume they know everything already.
A few questions: what is your daily routine? How much adn what type of exercise is the pup getting? Have you taken any obedience classes yet? What type of daily/weekly training do you do with the pup?
Puppies are hard work at all ages. Labs especially as they are mouthy and energetic.
For jumping on company, get friends/family to turn around and ignore her if she jumps. Also keep her on leash when you open the door and correct the behavior. The more guest pet her (or yell at her) the more she wins as she gets attention. If you can set her up that is even better, get someone willing to ring the doorbell and come in. Then completely ignore her until she is calm (no talking to her, turn their back to her). As soon as she is calm they can talk and pet her (but keep it low key, no high voices as it will exite the pup)
A tip for walking - get the pup to release some energy before going for a walk. Throw the ball in the backyard or something else to get them running around. Once they have the sillies out of them it is easier to work on training. It takes time and consistancy to teach them not to pull but it is also easier when they have already gotten some exercise and are not as high strung. Some walks you may not get far at all as you "are a tree" and don't get teh driveway. But be consistant.
Practice walking in the backyard or in the house where there are fewer distractions. Use treats and/or talk to them to keep their attention. Once the pup understands the idea in a quiet environment you can start getting more distractions in.
Any what on earth is wrong with eating out of the dog bowls??
Last edited by Tanya; 02-09-2010 at 11:59 AM.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
The problem is that she won't let the other dog eat. I just have to feed them at different times. As far as a daily routine goes I don't really have a set routine. I take her to throw the tennis ball everyday. I usually work with her on the typical sit, stay, and come for about 20 mins a day. I heard that any longer than that and you will lose the dogs attention. I am currently signed up for a class that starts march 1st. The class is for dogs 6 months and older. That will hopefully help. I'm really just looking for any advice. The biggest problem I'm having is the pulling on the leash. Think I'm going to try a gentle leader
have you tried treats? The first time make sure your puppy knows you have treats and give her some every few steps. then just keep extending the number of steps till you give a treat. This made my puppy stay right next to me because her attention was on me. After doing this for a couple of weeks, she is much better! She is now 4 months and even without any treats, a quick tug will make her walk right next to me in those times she wanders off. Or i would just walk really slow and she too slows down n goes right next to me.
My puppy was a constant puller at first, the stop like a tree didnt work too well for her either, as like u said she would just pull the moment you start walking.
*the very first time i practiced leash walking with her, i was walking backwards and give her the treat if she is not running to the front, so basically i drop the treats infront of her.. everytime she goes in front, she doesn't get a treat. I used her meal time kibble as her treat. good luck!
Well, I was having the same bloody problem with Dio, who is 8 1/2 months. I finally bought a halti last week, and after 2 days of putting it on, giving a treat, and repeat, he is walking wonderfully on it! The first walk he was uncomfortable, but after that, he was walking proud! His whole demeaner changed, tail is up and wagging, body is nice and long, head up... seems that he is also enjoying the halti! No more yanking, frustrated yelling, grumbles... just praise and cheers. I dunno, it really worked for us!
Dio (Best Bud since July 18th, 2009)
Kaity (Sweetheart since April 29th, 2012)
a GL should help.
How long do you throw the ball for? 20 mins twice a day? Is that the only exercise she gets?
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
She eats at 6:30am and at 7 pm. The other dog eats after I leave for work at 7am after Bailey is in her crate and I have to hold Bailey while the other dog eats at night. No she is not free fed. Yea thats prob about her normal exercise routine except for the weekends when I take her to the park most all day Saturday and Sunday.
ok not going to repeat the excelent advice already given.
just going to add that if you use a prong on a 5 month old( i see nothing wrong with this aslong as you do it right). first introduce the dog to the prong, fit it properly(there are links already on this board for that.) then let him wear it around. the idea is that he does not associate the collar with some thing bad, you neutralize him to the collar. after about a week or so of this hook him up to the prong and when he pulls stop dead dont move. he will auto correct himself. you should not be doing leash pulls or correcting him at all. let him do all the correcting.
again you are not correcting him but letting the collar auto correct him for pulling.
i will probly get flamed for this.
ok if you go about it right it is just a tool, something to wean him off of latter.
oh make sure you have a flat collar on him as well and hook the flat collar to the leash with the prong, prongs do pop off and most of the time when they do that it is at the worst possible moment.