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i have a strange question. loose leash walking is our biggest problem. ive tried many different approaches and none have worked very well. now that winter is here and it is dark by the time i get home from work, we are unable to go to our free-run exercise area and i need to walk him around town on a leash. the complication for me is that we start obedience classes on the first week of january. i hesitate to start another wave of loose leash training that might not agree with what the obedience class will teach. which might confuse him even more. is it bad to just let him do what he wants on leash for a month and then hit it hard once classes start?
 

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I wouldn't let him do what he wanted.

A method that somewhat works for Elka and I is, once she gets ahead, I stop in my tracks. We don't keep going until she comes back to me. Sometimes I ask for a sit, and then step off with her in "heel", so that she's starting out correctly. If the leash isn't loose, you don't move. That takes time, and patience, and perseverance. Overall, however, the best thing that's worked for loose leash walking, for my dog and I, is when I use a clicker and treats to mark and reward the correct behavior. If you're worried about interfering with training styles, though, I guess perhaps you don't want to start in with a clicker, but maybe you might, I don't know. I have not used a prong, nor have I used a choke chain.

I applaud you for not using a prong when you know you don't know how. I see a lot of people walking dogs in my town who aren't "doing it right".
 

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You could try something like one of the no pull harnesses for now. It will not fix the problem but it will keep him from pulling and learning more bad behavior. I would NOT let him pull even for a month.
 
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I like the stop, start method. You look stupid out in public, but the dog will eventually understand that pulling gets them nowhere :)

There was one time, Chase just got a little carried away by a scent, so I stopped dead in my tracks, not realizing someone was walking really close to me texting to someone, and he walked right into me! Lol, well I guess I was training two pupils that day ;)
 

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If you are not teaching heel then I would say it doesnt matter which method you use. I used a few different methods. I did the turn in the other direction, stop until he lets the leash loosen. I also did what my trainer taught me with the prong.
 

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thank you all for the replies. here is what i have tried so far:

i tried the immedieately turn around the other direction for awhile. he didnt care at all. he just made a wide loop and off in the other direction we went.

i tried the stop abruptly method. he doesnt mind. he will stop and willingly be reeled in or wait until i start walking again, then take off against the leash.

i tried the "no" command when the leash went tight. he would stop pulling, wait for me to catch up and then start pulling again

i had the MOST success with the command "easy". he would go to a "heel" position long enough to get a treat or verbal praise and then go back to pulling. that then morphed into him figureing out that he could pull, then be callled to "easy", get a treat, pull, call to easy, get a treat, pull etc etc etc

so thats where i am. he knows heel, both on and off leash. but he wont do it forever without treating. its kinda funny, there is no "energy" in his pulling, so to speak. there is no dominance or struggle in it. he doesnt drag me down the street. its just this constant, uncomfortable, and inconvenient pulling.

i look forward to your advice now hearing the history of the problem. i also would like to hear from anyone about the PROPER way to use a choke or prong collar. not that i will immediately go that route, but more just for education on the matter.
 

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When I walk my dogs on what I call a loose leash. It doesnt mean I let the whole leash hang down and they stay by my side. You need to choke up on your leash. If you give them the length they will take it. In my opinion loose leash is no pulling without it being taunt from my hand to their neck. So I give them a certain amount of leash when walking. When they get to the end of that length they do not pull but adjust their stepping to stay within that length of leash with a slight bit of the leash loose hanging from their neck. If I give the whole leash they go to the end but do not pull. Once they feel the leash tightening they slow down. Now they know verbal commands also that I can get them to back up. Kyrah, if I give her the whole length only goes so far before she turns to check on me and then realigns by my side. One terrier not so much. He would pull if I let him. The other is getting older and usually walks a little further out to the right of me or behind me.
 

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thank you all for the replies. here is what i have tried so far:

i tried the immedieately turn around the other direction for awhile. he didnt care at all. he just made a wide loop and off in the other direction we went.

i tried the stop abruptly method. he doesnt mind. he will stop and willingly be reeled in or wait until i start walking again, then take off against the leash.

i tried the "no" command when the leash went tight. he would stop pulling, wait for me to catch up and then start pulling again

i had the MOST success with the command "easy". he would go to a "heel" position long enough to get a treat or verbal praise and then go back to pulling. that then morphed into him figureing out that he could pull, then be callled to "easy", get a treat, pull, call to easy, get a treat, pull etc etc etc

so thats where i am. he knows heel, both on and off leash. but he wont do it forever without treating. its kinda funny, there is no "energy" in his pulling, so to speak. there is no dominance or struggle in it. he doesnt drag me down the street. its just this constant, uncomfortable, and inconvenient pulling.

i look forward to your advice now hearing the history of the problem. i also would like to hear from anyone about the PROPER way to use a choke or prong collar. not that i will immediately go that route, but more just for education on the matter.
For teaching purposes, the "easy" method sounds like the best. We recently began training with a new trainer and that's the method he uses, and Kaiser has been the most responsive to it. Like yours, Kaiser has ignored stopping, direction reversal, etc. The only two things that have been effective were this method and a prong collar.

For current walking purposes, however, you may want to contact a trainer who can help you learn how to properly use a prong collar. That way, the walking experience will be more pleasant for you... especially since you don't have much actual training time anymore. Hopefully, your dog will pick up on the proper behavior this way, too.
 
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