I'm new to the forum and I have a problem I'd like to discuss.
We recently got a lab two months ago. We've been around dogs all our lives but this is our first time owning one. We are trying our best to train ours with the assistance of obedience classes. One problem that bothers us a lot is that she constantly pulls on the leash and runs when when try to walk her. Usually, I just continue walking if she lunges in a different direction and I try to walk the opposite direction if she runs forward. She is able to loose leash walk at sometimes, but when she sees another person, she will try her best to run up to them while ignoring me. How do I get her to correctly walk on the leash, I understand this is a puppy but any help would be nice.
Consistency is the key. When she lunges or pulls stop (and refuse to move until she is next to you) or turn in the opposite direction EVERY TIME. Pick one method and be consistent. Sure, it is annoying and you might not get anywhere . . .
We practiced leash walking with Bauer when he was very little. I tethered him to me in the house, and while I was cleaning or doing housework he had no choice but to follow me. We also practiced a lot in the yard. If Bauer moved in front of me, I would turn in the opposite direction. After I had him thoroughly confused about where I was going in the yard, we did the same on the street. In my opinion, training something in a controlled environment (the house / yard) until they are consistent then taking it to an area that has distractions is the key. It is important to get leash behavior under control now. It is a lot easier to deal with a 4 month old pulling then with an 80 lb. adult pulling.
Debi and Bauer
Some people are like slinkies. Not really good for much, but bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.
Are you in obedience classes or puppy kindergarten? This is usually covered in basic obedience.
You need, first off, to be patient. Puppies don't have a lot of attention span. I would also tire the puppy out a bit before you go on the walk in order to have her pent up energy released. 20 minutes of fetch and then a walk will make her more compliant I bet. I would also work on teaching her "watch me". Will help reduce the distractability.
Train in small chunks. Reward success. You should also be using a leash no longer than 6 feet. No flexi leashes. On a short leash you can better control the dog.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Our Sophie was a "puller"...we bought this harness and it sure changed things. It is super easy on and off and she doesn't pull at all with it.
Petco Black Non-Pull Mesh Dog Harness at PETCO
Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo
Sophie 15 months, with Skye
We have a 19 week old and yes it can be a challenge. I think the previous posts are all great suggestions especially remembering to stay patient!
One other method is to hold the leash in your right hand and keep the pup on your left by making a "pup pup pup"sound (any sound to get her attention) then when she looks at you, reward with a treat held in your left hand by your left hip/leg.
Repeat this 4 or five times as you are walking just to get her used to being/following in that position. I would keep sessions short and maybe put her in a sit command every 4th or 5th treat then repeat the process in another direction. Also the suggestion about tiring her out before starting this lesson is very important! Make she she is exercised before working on a new command so all that energy isn't pent up inside the little pup!!
Oh and always remember to keep things fun and give lots of praise!!!
This is great advice!
“The more people I meet, the more I love my dog.”
You can also work your dogs boundaries while out and about. Figure out how close you have to be to another person and then stay just outside that range. Circle the person (or thing) keeping the distance where your dog is challenged, but not failing. You can also put your dog in a sit or a down at the boundary and wait. The game is essentially challenging your dog while overwhelmingly having your dog succeed. It takes a while, but it can also be fun too.
Your pup is 16 weeks. Have some patience. Continue with classes and practice every day. You could also talk to your trainer to find out if a prong is appropriate yet.
While a lot of people have harnesses or special collars that prevent the dog from pulling, they are more like a bandaid since they don't actually fix the problem, they just prevent it. Teaching dogs to heel on a loose leash is hard, even for my older dogs, but training and practicing will help. I trained Kolby as an adult when I rescued him using a clicker and treats.
We have two rescues, neither of which had been leash trained and did not walk well. For Ellie, our first, we used a Weiss walker (goes around her body and then attaches to the collar). This worked wonders!! After about our third walk she was not pulling at all. When we got Scarlett (our second rescue) we had constant problems with her stopping to sniff everything for several minutes. Ellie began pulling again because she didn't want to wait. I got two Gentle Leaders. These have solved our issues. Both dogs now walk without pulling (Ellie forward and Scarlett backwards) and we are all enjoying our walks!
As others have said, don't give up. It takes patience and endurance and the use of whatever tools work for you and your dogs....