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Thread: Big Puppy Who Loves to Pull

  1. #1
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    Default Big Puppy Who Loves to Pull

    I have an 8 month old Rhodesian Ridgeback, we attended puppy school and progressed onto a reward based training club, we both really enjoyed this. She listens and picks things up very quickly, but is a nightmare when walking her on the lead, she pulls so strongly at times i feel like she will pull me over, she started out in a sensible harness, the one where you clip the lead on the front rather than over her shoulders, but as she has got bigger and stronger i felt i had no control over her pulling, therefore much to my dissapointment i fitted her with a check chain, this works reasonably well, but I hate the fact i have to constantly check her back and ask her to heel, I lost a ridgeback some years ago to a damaged osophugus, and certainly don't want to loose another loved pet to the same fate. I tried a halti on her she hated it and spent the fist 10 minutes desperately trying to get it off, so no hope of walking her in it. Does anyone have any ideas to help us enjoy our walks please ?

  2. #2
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    you could try a martingale collar instead of a choke collar.

    I'm surprised the sensible harness didn't work - it stopped my sled dog from pulling.

    But I'm also working on low tolerance, ie she gets near to the end of the lead - I slow down and call her back to me, like we're practicing recall. And I do that every time she gets near the end of the lead. Cos she wants to go - she has to slow down so she doesn't get to the end of the lead...

    Before that technique I was trying the no go until dog slackens lead but all that happened when I stopped walking - was she sat down and waited for me. Still at the end of the lead.

    Another technique - didn't work for my dog - she didn't care which way she was going, always pulled - was to turn and go the other way the second they start pulling or just before they get to the end of the lead, so like the recall method except you actually turn away from where the dog is trying to go. Probably works if the dog is trying to go somewhere in particular like towards another dog or the off lead park.

    Is she pulling at dog club or only on walks? If she is only pulling on walks, you need to modify your technique and decrease your tolerance so it's more like dog club. You could also ask them for ideas.

    PS with the halti or gentle leader - you have to do short practice sessions to get the dog used to them, and it will take longer than 10 minutes or a single session. Try for ten sessions of about thirty seconds for the first one, gradually building up with lots of treats, don't try to walk with it on the footpath until your dog can walk nicely at home with it. And if it's not fitted correctly it will cause extra irritation and fail to stop the pulling too. Get the people at your dog club to make sure it's fitted tight and high enough.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 05-16-2010 at 09:19 PM.

  3. #3
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    Just a point re the halti. This is actually what most people do wrong, I think. Most dogs wont like it if you simply put it on (same is true for muzzles). They will try everything to get it off. So before you put a head halter on and walk the dog with it you need to teach the dog that it is good - you need to condition it.

    Here is a link to some videos and podcasts ABRI Videos and Podcasts . The third from the top "Conditioning a emotional response" by Jean Donaldson is the one that shows what should be done before walking any dog with a head halter (and actually before it is put on).

  4. #4

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    Simple solution that worked for me was actually walking along holding their collar (only works for dogs tall enough) or keeping them on a EXTREMELY short leash so their shoulders are against your leg.

    Over time, gradually give them a bit of lee-way with the lead.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crested_Love View Post
    Simple solution that worked for me was actually walking along holding their collar (only works for dogs tall enough)
    I can imagine that being pretty uncomfortable with a crested!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippo View Post
    Just a point re the halti. This is actually what most people do wrong, I think. Most dogs wont like it if you simply put it on (same is true for muzzles). They will try everything to get it off. So before you put a head halter on and walk the dog with it you need to teach the dog that it is good - you need to condition it.

    Here is a link to some videos and podcasts ABRI Videos and Podcasts . The third from the top "Conditioning a emotional response" by Jean Donaldson is the one that shows what should be done before walking any dog with a head halter (and actually before it is put on).
    Thanks heaps for the positive advice, I actually put the halti on her today and took her for a walk, she didnt like it at first trying to walk and paw it off, I was armed with lots of liver treats (which she loves) and when she walked nicely i praised her and treated her, it didnt take long at all for her to "forget" about the halti and she walked beautifully a toddler could have held her, even to the point of passing another dog when she would have normally got up on her back legs to go say hello.......... I am one happy slave to one happy Ridgeback.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    you could try a martingale collar instead of a choke collar.

    I'm surprised the sensible harness didn't work - it stopped my sled dog from pulling.

    But I'm also working on low tolerance, ie she gets near to the end of the lead - I slow down and call her back to me, like we're practicing recall. And I do that every time she gets near the end of the lead. Cos she wants to go - she has to slow down so she doesn't get to the end of the lead...

    Before that technique I was trying the no go until dog slackens lead but all that happened when I stopped walking - was she sat down and waited for me. Still at the end of the lead.

    Another technique - didn't work for my dog - she didn't care which way she was going, always pulled - was to turn and go the other way the second they start pulling or just before they get to the end of the lead, so like the recall method except you actually turn away from where the dog is trying to go. Probably works if the dog is trying to go somewhere in particular like towards another dog or the off lead park.

    Is she pulling at dog club or only on walks? If she is only pulling on walks, you need to modify your technique and decrease your tolerance so it's more like dog club. You could also ask them for ideas.

    PS with the halti or gentle leader - you have to do short practice sessions to get the dog used to them, and it will take longer than 10 minutes or a single session. Try for ten sessions of about thirty seconds for the first one, gradually building up with lots of treats, don't try to walk with it on the footpath until your dog can walk nicely at home with it. And if it's not fitted correctly it will cause extra irritation and fail to stop the pulling too. Get the people at your dog club to make sure it's fitted tight and high enough.
    Thanks Hyacinth, your advice was very useful, please see my reply to Hippo....... yes she is much the same at dog club but after today i hope things are going to change, she sure came home one happy dog right beside one very happy owner, made our walk so much more enjoyable

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crested_Love View Post
    Simple solution that worked for me was actually walking along holding their collar (only works for dogs tall enough) or keeping them on a EXTREMELY short leash so their shoulders are against your leg.

    Over time, gradually give them a bit of lee-way with the lead.
    I did try this method but it just seemed to give her more to pull against, but the halti seems to have got her repect
    Last edited by Love my Ridgeback; 05-17-2010 at 03:55 PM.

  9. #9
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    love my ridgeback

    Glad you've got your dog walks manageable. If you ever let your dog off lead to play, take the head thing off too because otherwise other dogs may grab it and do damage to the device or your dog. I sometimes let frosty run with a lead still on, makes her easier to catch but I have to remember to take it off the harness or other dogs can lead her around with it.

    It's sad but the most times something "doesn't work" with dog training is because we've tried too hard (too much time on first few sessions) or we've given up too soon or both. Give it a break and try again with a few short sessions and it works - a miracle.

  10. #10
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    Great thread Love my Ridgeback.
    My pooch is just over 8 months and I sometimes have the same issue. Especially the other day when I took him to a more populated area than usual and he got over-excited and pulled like crazy. We currently use a harness for him but I'm thinking I might invest in a sensible harness or halti collar and see how it works out for us

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