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I have tried everything. Stopping and waiting till the pulling stops. Redirecting by walking in the other direction, rewarding, using the clicker. Nothing is working. She is too young to use a pinch or nylon choke collar (not quite four months) and I'm at wits end. Any advice on stopping this behavior would be GREATLY appreciated. Our long daily walks are becoming torture on my arms.
 

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Bad Wolf
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Before you clip the leash on her, how much exercise is she getting? You have to imagine, at 4 months old she is only a baby and wants to have adventures! Do a 10-15 minute session of fetch, basic OB (sit, down, stand, stay) and zoomies, then try to take her on a walk :)
 

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I use string cheese and the command heel. I hold the string cheese in my left hand and the leash in the right hand. I say the command heel while we are walking and Vinny will nibble on the string cheese. It is working really well. Vinny is walking with a loose leash now. I just learned this 2 weeks ago in Obedince class. Good luck.... Ed
 

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I've just started working on this in puppy classes because I have a real puller too! And the older she's getting, the stronger her pull gets!

They started us off by me just standing with her holding her leash. Then I throw a treat on the floor a couple of metres in front of me. When she pulls for it, I stay in place saying nothing. I don't pull her back - the only tension is from her pulling forward. The minute she releases tension in anyway (whether it be turning toward me, stepping back, sitting down), I say "good girl" and walk her to the treat.

If she pulls again before we get to the treat, I repeat the above. So she only gets to go to the treat once she's stopped pulling.

So the idea is, she associates the feeling of tension, with not getting what she wants or not getting to where she wants to be.

For the longest time she wasn't getting it and I was near giving up.

But I kept practicing this on walks also. When she pulls, we stop and stand there until she releases tension. Can make for a tedious walk! But in the last couple of days, I feel like she's actually starting to get it!

This morning, everytime she pulled, she'd feel the tension then slow herself down because she's worried I'm gonna stop her again.

But you have to be SO consistent! Letting one pull go un-stopped can put you back at square one.

Hope this helps! :)
 

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Do a 10-15 minute session of fetch, basic OB (sit, down, stand, stay) and zoomies, then try to take her on a walk :)
This helps ime. I try to get in some fetch or tug time prior to a walk to burn off some energy before heading out.



But you have to be SO consistent! Letting one pull go un-stopped can put you back at square one.

...and this, sooooo much this. :)

Dee has some really good advise in this post, it can be frustrating, it can take an hour to get to the end of the block and your neighbors will think there is something wrong with you but what you're doing is trying to get the dog to understand what it is you want from them.
 

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Exactly :) and they will eventually get it.

You'll think you're getting nowhere by walking and stopping continuously like a crazy person. Then something suddenly clicks in that big dobe head of theirs and they get it!

Oh, one thing though - don't walk for longer than you usually would. If you normally walk for 30 minutes for example, keep the walk at 30 minutes, even if you hardly get anywhere. Otherwise your dobe will start using this a technique to be out longer!

Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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I learned a new trick last weekend - Jill pulls like a tractor.

Live vs Dead line:
The leash can either be live or dead. If it is pulled tight it is dead and also if it is laying across the back - no tension at all on the leash. A live leash connects directly to the collar and has a little slack in it to allow you to tweak the leash and have it be felt at the collar.

When the dog pulls, you need to stop and have them stop with pull against the leash causing it to be tight and dead. Now you need to wiggle the leash in a forward and backward movement to jiggle the collar. You can also do it side-to-side. It is a nagging sensation. You keep doing it until the dog takes a step backward or sideways to relieve the pressure. Then you start forward again. If you are quick, you can do it without stopping by anticipating when the dog will put enough force on the leash to make it dead again. The leash needs to be live when you "nag" the dog and again, you do that by introducing slackness onto the "dead" leash in short little spurts with just your hand and wrist movement. Many movements per second - a jiggling sort of movement. It is not a lot of force - it should just be sufficient to pull the dog back without causing them to step back - that should be their choice to make, not be forced to step back.

I am not sure any of this makes sense without a demo.

The person who showed me this says this is how he halter breaks horses. I have no idea about horses, but he sure had Jill walking on a loose leash pretty darn fast. Me, I have to practice the movement more - it is not 2nd nature for me - yet.
 

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Kikopup's Youtube channel has great videos on dog training using a clicker. Here is one on loose leash walking (she may have others on the same topic, too): kikopup's Channel - YouTube
 

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I have tried everything. Stopping and waiting till the pulling stops. Redirecting by walking in the other direction, rewarding, using the clicker. Nothing is working. She is too young to use a pinch or nylon choke collar (not quite four months) and I'm at wits end. Any advice on stopping this behavior would be GREATLY appreciated. Our long daily walks are becoming torture on my arms.
I did the stop and start method which was recommended to me by people on here; I also incorporated some clicking/treating and it all worked quite well...in time.

In time...that's what wanted to add here. It took me being persistent for a few months before I found I had a dog who was pretty good at loose leash walking, basically remaining right at my side for the walk. Takes time, and patience.
 

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We are using the Gentle Leader recommended by our vet. Our Zo loves to walk daily. I am glad she does because she makes me get up and go. However, I feel that she walks me instead of me walking her. We walk 2 miles a day. She is 5 months old. We just stated the Gentle Leader and it has been wonderful. You should check into. Good luck!
 

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I learned a new trick last weekend - Jill pulls like a tractor.

Live vs Dead line:
The leash can either be live or dead. If it is pulled tight it is dead and also if it is laying across the back - no tension at all on the leash. A live leash connects directly to the collar and has a little slack in it to allow you to tweak the leash and have it be felt at the collar.

When the dog pulls, you need to stop and have them stop with pull against the leash causing it to be tight and dead. Now you need to wiggle the leash in a forward and backward movement to jiggle the collar. You can also do it side-to-side. It is a nagging sensation. You keep doing it until the dog takes a step backward or sideways to relieve the pressure. Then you start forward again. If you are quick, you can do it without stopping by anticipating when the dog will put enough force on the leash to make it dead again. The leash needs to be live when you "nag" the dog and again, you do that by introducing slackness onto the "dead" leash in short little spurts with just your hand and wrist movement. Many movements per second - a jiggling sort of movement. It is not a lot of force - it should just be sufficient to pull the dog back without causing them to step back - that should be their choice to make, not be forced to step back.

I am not sure any of this makes sense without a demo.

The person who showed me this says this is how he halter breaks horses. I have no idea about horses, but he sure had Jill walking on a loose leash pretty darn fast. Me, I have to practice the movement more - it is not 2nd nature for me - yet.
I think I've seen this before...
I went to a club instructors seminar with a great trainer and she showed us a method of teaching loose lead walking that sounds a lot like this- I was very impressed, the dogs were all walking loose lead soo quickly. Have not tried it myself yet, but will be doing it soon hopefully :)
 

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Alpha SheepDog
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I learned a new trick last weekend - Jill pulls like a tractor.

Live vs Dead line:
The leash can either be live or dead. If it is pulled tight it is dead and also if it is laying across the back - no tension at all on the leash. A live leash connects directly to the collar and has a little slack in it to allow you to tweak the leash and have it be felt at the collar.

When the dog pulls, you need to stop and have them stop with pull against the leash causing it to be tight and dead. Now you need to wiggle the leash in a forward and backward movement to jiggle the collar. You can also do it side-to-side. It is a nagging sensation. You keep doing it until the dog takes a step backward or sideways to relieve the pressure. Then you start forward again. If you are quick, you can do it without stopping by anticipating when the dog will put enough force on the leash to make it dead again. The leash needs to be live when you "nag" the dog and again, you do that by introducing slackness onto the "dead" leash in short little spurts with just your hand and wrist movement. Many movements per second - a jiggling sort of movement. It is not a lot of force - it should just be sufficient to pull the dog back without causing them to step back - that should be their choice to make, not be forced to step back.

I am not sure any of this makes sense without a demo.

The person who showed me this says this is how he halter breaks horses. I have no idea about horses, but he sure had Jill walking on a loose leash pretty darn fast. Me, I have to practice the movement more - it is not 2nd nature for me - yet.
tHis is excellent, almost exactly as I did it with my prev 2 dobes. A friend of mine showed me. He also learned it in Germany when he was stationed there.
It was done with a choker and was positioned high,.
Its really hard to explain but I learned my both previous dobes fast heeling and avoided the pulling by brute force. Essentially they learned prior to having the strength to pull me.
Stopping and getting no where as they know they will not get the full walk. Also threats of going home and doing it worked also.
 
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I put a pinch collar on my pup as soon as I got him, and I never had to do anything with it. I would hold the leash at the very end, and not pull or say anything to him and if he got out to the end he would self correct. All I had to do was stand there and he did all the work. You don't have to use one if you're uncomfortable using a pinch on a pup that young, but Dart is now 5 1/2 months old and hasn't pulled at all on the leash since he was 9 weeks.
 
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