Gwendolyn has figured out how to slip 2 different harnesses now. I am not sure what else to try. I have seen one where the leash clips on the front and goes across her chest and another where it is a rope with a hole that is wrapped around and turned into a harness but when she would try to pull or back out it would work like a slip collar. I am half afraid to take her out right now until I figure out what to use. PLEASE HELP!!
what type of harness are you using?
I found the Easy Walk harness is really bad for dogs slipping out. With other types it's more a question of getting it fitted properly.
I think I am going to go with a Lupine Martingale. I was hoping to go with a harness because I don't like the look of collars pulling on their necks but I have had Lupines with all my other dogs with amazing success except for a Boxer/pit who could still get out if he wanted to bad enough. I think her head is bigger than her neck and we should be able to avoid the problems I had with that dog. I am still looking for puppy classes that aren't at PetSmart or Petco but the earliest ones I see starting are near the end of October.
A harness gives your dog more to pull against you with. If your dog is pulling and getting out of a harness it's not working because your dog is fighting it. A martingale collar won't help you either. The problem you have is a dog that is fighting being on a leash. I don't recommend anyone use a harness. No one that comes to training is even allowed to wear a harness. On the other hand, I see why you want a harness...you mentioned that you don't like to see the look of collars pulling on their necks, and you are correct. Dogs can hurt themselves by pulling with a collar. I know someone who's dog crushed their wind pipe from pulling on a collar too hard.
The reason that a dog "pulls" is simply because they don't know they don't have to. Dogs don't know how to walk on a lead...they don't walk on a lead in the wild, so why should they know how to do it nicely? It's completely not natural. To a dog, the collar or harness goes around the neck and you stand near them holding a rope. Every time they pull, they move "forward" or the move in the direction that they pulled in...they don't know that they are dragging you behind them. To a dog, if they pull and move foraward...this must be what they are supposed to do.
How old is your dog? Is this your first dog? Have you had any training experience? What kind of training are you looking into? I'd be more than happy to help you with this problem.
Go with the martingale at first. Definitely look into puppy classes. But once you both have a good handle on the martingale, then go with the harness. Something I'm thinking of doing.
The problem isn't pulling, she is a great walker 90% of the time. She has a few puppy friends she likes to play with and when it is time to go and she doesn't agree with the decision she backs out of the harness. The martingale will solve that problem. She would be my 7th dog. I was going for the super holistic approach with her as that is not how my ex and I trained our other dogs, who all became incredible companions, but I didn't want to go that route. I am finding that instead I just may go back to it. She is my first Lab mix. I've had Pitt/Boxer, Shepherd/Keeshound, fox terrier, Pomeranian and a mix between the Shepherd mix and terrier that looked like a rotty. We had rescued a Lhasa Apso who passed a few weeks after getting him and fostered a St. Bernard for a few months. Puppy training isn't new to me, I was just wanting to avoid the martingale this time but it's not going to happen. I'm still waiting to hear back from this trainer but if I have to wait until October most of what I wanted to accomplish with one I may have already gotten done. We have managed to teach her not to bark while outside and walking, sit, up, paw, lay down, drop.... Still working on potty training but we've only had her a week and a half and before that she lived in a kennel for the past 4 months of her life, so I am not expecting speedy training with that though she has been doing very well with that too. I guess I answered my own question.
Sorry! I just assumed the problem was fighting the leash and that's why she was escaping. I don't know how much you read this forum, but I just cut and copied this out of a conversation I was having with Kaz. It applies to you a little bit as well. When you say you wanted to train this pup "super hollistic" I assume you meant "no corrections, super positive reinforcement". And I'm assuming that you used corrections with your previous dogs. I train obedience primarily and compete. Here is what I wrote to Kaz - hopefully it is a little bit useful to you! -----------
Martingale collars are a great tool for Puppies. There is nothing wrong with that style. I would use a martingale in a puppy size and then once the pup grows out of it, I would switch to a slip style chain. Our trainer and our team use Deval chains. They are fantastic. Our trainer orders tons and tons of them. They come in black, silver, and gold…my boy has worn all three. I don’t think many people sell them so you will have to do some research. Measure your dog’s neck as you want them to fit snug…too loose and you will end up pulling out a lot of your dog’s coat. A quick google should lead you in the right direction. They are all I’ll use. They are a fantastic tool…really popular in obedience training, rally, and used a lot at shows.
There are pretty much 3 different categories of dog training…the first consist of people who bribe, and lure their dogs with food or a toy. They do not use corrections, or distractions while training. Big pets stores like Petsmart and Petco use this type of ineffective training because it is the most “politically correct.” The reason this type of training is crap is because dogs will choose not to do what you are asking because either your reward isn’t good enough, or high enough in value to them. Eventually these dogs end up being aggressive, loudmouthed, and have tons of bad behaviours. It is usually these people that end up returning their dogs or take them to the pound because their dogs are “crazy and so badly behaved, and there must be something wrong with the dog”. The real reason they act the way they do is because of this simple ineffective way of training.
On the opposite side of the scale, there are people who put a choke collar on a dog, and force it to do everything – the old school dog trainers. A lot of professional dog trainers use this type of training because it provides results immediately. The problem with training like this is that the dogs usually dislike and do not trust their handlers. You won’t get very far with a dog that doesn’t trust you.
The third category of trainers is the ones that are right in the middle of these two categories. This is the way I have been taught, and this is the way that I train. A balance between positive training, and corrections. For example, I believe in teaching a dog a command, making sure that the dog understands what the command actually means, and then use distractions to strengthen that understanding of the command. Here is an example. If I tell my dog to lay down and stay, I should be able to walk away, throw a ball in front of him, eat some food, drop food in front of him on the floor, and he should not move until I give him a release command. If he moves and tries to go after the food or the ball, then there will be a correction for being disobedient. You don’t correct a dog unless you know that the dog has learnt that command. Practice inside, with no distractions. Once your pup has mastered “sit” etc. You can start to introduce distractions. Also, if you are interested in teaching hand signals like we have, you would introduce these after the dog has an understanding of the command. Transition to verbal+hand signal commands and then transition to nonverbal+hand signal commands.
I have taught my dogs via the last category but my ex resorted to the second sort of training and it left a bad taste in my mouth. I have a tendency of wanting to do everything completely the opposite of everything he and I ever did so I was going with the "politically correct" method. I will go back to this method as she is a high willed little tyke and I know I can get accomplished with what I want accomplished doing the methods I'm familiar with. I have worked in several grooming shops over the years as well and I absolutely hated clients that completely left their pups do just whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted to. We have asked my own mother in law to stop bringing her dog around just because she has never trained it any manners and she is just a pain in the butt!! Thank you for all your help though. I will be stopping by to pick up a Lupine on my way home later tonight. Have a great day!
Good for you! It's not easy to tell family that their dog is a bad influence...my mom has one of these not trained wild crazy dogs. Puppies are easily influenced. They naturally want to copy what the "big dogs" are doing. There is NOTHING wrong with your "old way" of training. I use force when its necessary. I'll never forget the first time my trainer showed me why and when force is needed. She was teaching this very dominant golden to lay down. Well...this dominant dog said screw you to her handler. The golden actually snapped at the handler too. My trainer took over. Grabbed the leash and said DOWN waited 3 seconds...nothing gave an AH-AH which we use as a warning...still nothing...so she held the leash tight and stomped down hard on the buckle of the leash dragging the dogs head down. Held it there while the dog squirmed and faught it, he began biting and snapping at her foot. She held it until the dog stopped resisting. Let go, and praised him. He now has one of the best downs I've seen, and the owner has now titled in rally.
Sometimes force is required - more so with a dominant dog. Unfortunately to the "politically correct" crowd, this is disgusting animal abuse. To experienced trainers, this is just a necessary evil.
This all made me think of how parents want to be their children's best friends, when actually then need to be their to guide them to the right behavior. I was never my Son's best friend and my heart broke when saying "No".
Necessary evils.. not animal abuse, but sometimes tools needed to get it through your dogs head. All for safety reasons.