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Thread: Terror Twosome - Who's Walking Who?

  1. #1

    Default Terror Twosome - Who's Walking Who?

    Hi, we've got x2 American Bulldogs (x1 M x1F) and walking them is an absolute nightmare! They're usually such obedient dogs and we've spent time training them but for some reason they totally lose the plot when we walk them. They pull on their leads and are very excitable, especially when they see another dog or person.

    They're 9 and 10 months old and are very friendly dogs, not aggressive in the slightest and I don't know if its because they're still young dogs or if it will be an ongoing thing if we don't go about it all in the right way.

    When they're doing the right thing and walking nicely, we compliment them and are currently only using a normal collar and leash that is sometimes converted into a "chocker" sort of set up but they dont seem to respond to chastising or the choking concept.

    Anyone got any advice? My patience and skin on my hands are wearing thin!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Hi AmBullx2

    For each lesson you teach a dog, you need to re-teach it in each environment. So there is the dog class park, then there is home, then there is the dog exercise oval, then there is the beach, and the footpaths and local streets around home. And more. Each place you need to start over with the basics.

    So dogs are being rewarded for pulling on walks along the local footpaths - ie you keep walking. You need to stop moving until they stop pulling. Will be easier to do if you can have the dogs separate, or walk them one at a time initially.

    I read one web page that suggested - taking one step - only if the dog is not pulling and standing still if they pull, until they stop pulling. So it might take 10 minutes to get out the gate... I'm not sure I have the patience for that.

    Another bunch of dog trainers (Cesar Milan, Victoria Stillwell, Dr Harry) suggest walk and turn the dog around until it stops pulling ie make the dog walk away from where it is pulling. Which works - unless your dog pulls in any direction it is pointing, like mine used to. She would alternately hug the ground and refuse to move, or pull with both front feet in the air, leaning all her weight on the collar and my arm and her back legs. Not much fun for either of us. But she does perfect heels on request at dog class, the back yard and the ovals. Something freaks her out about walks on the footpaths. Too much doggy information perhaps. Scared of cars? Really excited?

    So I got a front attach training harness, and a horse cotton rope lead. This was after I got a gentle leader (nose band). She hates the nose band, it works but she hates it. The gentle leader one comes with a DVD that says it is ok for short nose dogs but I'm not sure.

    Anyway - the front attach harness works so that's what I use. There are several on the market, premier/gentle leader make one called "easy walk".
    Dog Behavior and Training Products - Premier Pet

    I got a different brand called "sensible" from
    Dog Harness, Dog Training Supplies | Sense-ible and Sense-ation Dog Harness
    They have Australian distributors - you can email them for who/where. In Adelaide the local distributor will fit the harness for you and show you how to use it.

    When my dog is calm - I practice all the sit/heel stuff on the street. When she is freaked out, the harness gives me control - mostly to stop her jumping in front of moving cars. She's gradually calming down on the footpath walks.

    Depending on why your dogs don't "listen" on the footpaths, you could try short practices on the nearby footpaths, and doing the real exercise walks somewhere else like a dog friendly oval, park, beach.

  3. #3


    Hi &

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009


    I suggest you use this as a last resort, but a 'Gentle Leader' did absolute wonders for my Kelpie. For those that say it doesnt deal with the problem and it just stops the pulling, tell that too Lady. It works fantasticly.
    You can pick them up from your vet or pet store.
    Gentle Leader Product Description - Premier Pet
    Education not Legislation

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009



    Join your local dog obedience club. This will give you plenty of opportunity and help with training your dogs to behave when in the company of other dogs and perhaps lesson their excitement to see other dogs.

    Also be aware of your actions and emotions when you come across other dogs while out. You don't want to transfer this young excitement into aggression as they mature by them picking up on your feelings of dread when you see another dog.

    In these situations I also like to train one dog at a time and set up training situations with friends with dogs etc. Start at a distance where they are aware but not overly excited etc etc. But all in all I think your local club could help.

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