It has been a week since I switched to a half-check collar and I have started to notice some results on our walks. However, this is for the first 1/4 of our walk (around the first 4 mins or so). After that, Bilbo seems to really start pulling. The lady at my puppy training class said to use it to correct pulling behaviour by yanking it quickly, but I have read a lot about this and never yank it like that,, I just rely on the tightening that happens gradually as he pulls more. Whenever he pulls, I always slow to a stop and say "No pull" and wait until he stops and relaxes or sits, then I walk forward and say "come on!" In a bright friendly voice. Also, when he has a prolonged period of not pulling, I say "good boy!" Really enthusiastically
The lady at puppy training said I won't be able to get him to heel consistently until he is two years old! Surely this isn't true?! Especially as after a week of using it he is heeling well on the first portion of the walk?
Sorry for all the mistakes, I'm using a tablet to type and it's hard to correct mistakes
My pups are just about 9 months and I would say they heel about 90% Of the time on a walk.
I'm no expert by far but in my experience I would never tighten anything around my dogs' necks. It was never necessary for me and I don't want to chance the risk of trachea damage. I think consistency with stopping when your dog pulls with a change in walking direction would probably work better.
I'm sure more experienced owners have other ideas.
Cleo, our black beauty
Zeus, our yellow, mellow, fellow
I think half-check collars are supposed to be ok for trachea damage, as they distribute pressure and only tighten gradually (unless you use them like my trainer said and 'pop' them! Which I don't do...). What are your pups' personalities like? Bilbo wants to get into EVERYTHING. Every person he sees, every dog he sees, he is desperate to go and say hi! I took him into Lichfield (my city, but it is more like a quiet town) the other day to socialise him with larger crowds than we would see on our walks, and he was constantly pulling because there were so many people to greet and say hello to!
Also, as I tend to use a similar route on our walk because it has minimal road use (I do cross roads with him and get him to do it sensibly), I am wondering whether the pulling in the last 10 minutes of the walk is because he knows he is going home. The pulling is worst when we loop back on ourselves... Do you vary your pups' walk routes all the time?
Kass was pretty good, but didn't stop pulling until she was at least a year old. If we went to different places she would get soo excited she couldn't control herself. Each dog is different. Erns, Gems and Tessa were older and each needed different technics.
We don't have half check collars or martingales here and I don't like the choker chain so a flat collar is all we have.
Kass it was stop and make her sit before going on.
Ernie it was turn so he didn't know which way I was going and had to watch me. I did it in our street for weeks until we finally got to the end of our street and into the next. Took time.
Gems was hard. I tried everything. Treats she ignored, clicker she didn't hear. Lose lead until she pulled then stop and make her come back to me before going. She was horrible to train and think part of it she was always in a hurry. She was best off lead.
Tess isn't too bad, and the stop and turn worked for her.
I used a halti on all of them. Kassa didn't mind, Erns does the halti waltz, the other 2 refused. I used it as a training tool.
Good luck it takes time.Bilbo is still a puppy so will take time.
ETA. You posted while I was was typing. Mine don't pull coming home. We have never understood it, but presume they know they are going home and don't want to. One trainer told me if they play up turn and take them home. We would be lucky to get to the end of our property if I did that.
At first I didn't vary the walks as they become too excited and don't listen. Once they had our street ok I extended it. Even now if I can't be bothered walking Erns I take him on our usual walk and he just trots along. Anywhere new and he pulls a bit, and needs to sniff everything so takes a little more work.
Work out what suits you and your dog.
Last edited by kassabella; 11-07-2012 at 12:42 PM.
Brown is pathways, black shows route and direction, green is grassy field... the rest should be obvious.
I'm starting to wonder whether it should be a matter of trying new routes? Although new routes = intensified sniffing, which then = pulling in all directions to get to things. No clue!
Oh, forgot to mention that on those grassy areas there are lots and lots of dead leaves which often blow around... this gets him really really excited! Could be another factor in the intensified pulling seen when we go across the grassy area! I don't want to stop going on the grass though, as this is where I encourage him to poo, as it's much easier to clean up than off a pathway :P
Erns was an adult when I got him and very strong so I need to get him under control. I did feel stupid turning all the time, but had to. After a couple of months and we extended our walk to a street further up the hill. I was about ready to give up as I didn't seem to be getting anywhere. A man sitting on the deck called out if it had been his dog he would have taken him home and never walked again. lolol. He had been watching and said he couldn't believe the difference in him. This gave me the confidence to keep at it.
Your pup is young.
Hopefully some of the experience dog people can give you better advice. This is what I did and could be better ways.
I like mine to sit if I stop because if anything happens and I stop they have to as well. Bums parked it is harder for them to jump or when I feel them move can plant my feet before they lunge.
Last edited by kassabella; 11-07-2012 at 01:19 PM.
Thanks for your advice! Every time I stop, I'll make him sit. There's nothing I'd hate more than him having an accident because I didn't train him properly
I forgot to ask about sniffing... how much do I allow for sniffing. I feel bad just going on a walk without sniffing so I do stop at about 3/4 trees/lamp-posts/dog bins on the way and give him about 20 seconds to have a good sniff. I also stop next to dog bins for a couple of minutes to try and encourage him to poo, as it minimises distance I have to walk carrying a bag of stuff haha. This means he can have a good sniff about (I relax the lead a bit at these points so he can roam within about 1-2m of me).