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Thread: At My Wits End with My American Staffy

  1. #11
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    Thanks for your advice guys. I don't think kikopup's method would have any effect in the immediate future with Chevy- she will stop when I stop but she most certainly won't come back to me just yet. that's something I've been trying for a while. Treats don't really have any appeal to her when she's on the lead too but I reckon we could get there after a while; like kikopup's vid says, she needs to become more aware of me. I have been using a verbal command 'uh uh' that I think cuts through to her when she's in her pulling daze, that seems to be helping.

    As for the sitting- that's something she already does so I'm not concerned with reinforcing it. She is a fairly big girl, much bigger than my toddler, so the fact that she immediately sits at most things is something I'm pretty cool with.

    I think both methods used together should have some effect; I have to get her walking with me first, not just reward her walking with me etc.

    Thanks for the help, I'll keep you posted on how we go!

  2. #12
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    Harley does the exact same thing. I use to make such a big fuss with walks that now he gets so excited I don't exist to him. I can have the tastiest treats and stick them in front of his nose and he takes no notice. He pulls and pulls until we get to the half way point of out walk, and on he way back we are able to walk loose lead until he see's another dog, but then I just tell him to ignore, and it loosens up and we carry on, he is getting better!

    I've tried the stop as soon as he pulls thing and as soon as I take a step he goes to take off again, 30kg of muscle is sometimes rather hard to control for little weakling me! lol I will be getting him a head halti thing today and trying him out on that, plus he will be going to training next month so hopefully the trainer can help me out!

    Its very frustrating and makes walks not fun! I didn't take him for a walks for a long time because I couldn't deal with it (all good we were on acreage so he had plenty of room to run).

    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

  3. #13
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    I tried a head halti with Chevy but she went crazy scratching and bucking until I took it off. Too scared she will hurt herself. It sounds like Harley's more than half way there though. I use a halter that goes under her front legs now that tightens when she pulls- uncomfortable but not hurting her. It's quite hilarious watching her though because she is so stubborn that she'll walk a blog with her legs out straight (the way the halter makes them go) instead of loose lead walking

  4. #14
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    Yeah I am not sure how he is going to like the head halti. I did have a harness that clipped up at the back, but it didn't really do much! Just gave him more body to pull with I think! lol Bella is just as bad, but I can easily control her cause she is only 20kg! she will power off, then stop so that I run into her! She is far to excited as well! lol I took her for a run last night and she would be running then stop dead in front of me!

    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

  5. #15
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    You might not have the money for a professional trainer but what about the local obedience club? A joining fee and a weekly ground fee of a couple of dollars applies to many clubs but all up pretty cheap advice for a year and then renew membership if desired.

    I don't prescribe to any one method with the puller, no two dogs are the same let alone the owners. But whatever method you use you have to give it a real go, be consistent and find out why it didn't work before moving on to something different.

  6. #16
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    OK and if you still have problems and are no good at training, what i often help people with is to put a front attaching harness on a pulling dog.......I personally prefer to stop a dog from pulling, but for some handlers this is initially too difficult/time consuming and it prevents training in general.
    So the harness has the clip attachment ring at the chest, not back. When the dog pulls, the dog ends up facing you. It is a little like getting a hindquarter-yield in a horse. If you have good timing you can actually use the rhythm on the lead with the front-right foot (if dog is on your left). Everytime the dog creates a loose lead, reward.......and so on. this is often happening in about one hour. Many new Beginner dogs come into class ( which is only four weeks) pulling like steam trains and they are adult and not puppies. the owners are often upset because of this, so we give them a front attaching harness and make it easier.
    It also stops the possible harm the collar does on the larynx of the dog that is pulling.
    "kumalong" is one brand and "easy walk" is another
    Pets are forever

  7. #17
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    We just had our first go of mixing up both techniques and I've gotta say, she did pretty well for a first go! I had a bag of treats that I know she likes - she completely ignored them while on the lead as I suspected - and a clicker. We live on a busy road so there were cars zooming past and my other dog in the backyard crying his eyes out, and she still held her focus pretty well after working out what I wanted from her.

    I know we have a long way ahead as she still pulled each time, but changing directions and constantly stopping seemed to have an effect. We didn't get past the neighbours yard but I consider the fact that I got her attention at all a pretty good start. Chuffed!

  8. #18
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    Woohoo! Well done both of you!

    I use cooked liver for treats for my dog. I get a chunk of lamsfry and put it in the microwave in my steamer. Then cut it up into little cubes. Just in case you need some even better treats. Though sometimes food indeed just doesn't seem to do enough to break the spell.
    Last edited by Beloz; 10-21-2011 at 03:36 PM.

  9. #19

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    Just try different food. Sometimes something you think might be boring might actually get there attention more just because it is different.

    Something that really gets both my dogs going and what we refer to as "doggy crack" is Yoghurt Drops, dogs go wild for them.

    Finding a really good food motivator might take some trial and error as well.

    Great to hear that you are feeling more positive already. Your attitude/stress etc all play a huge part as well and the better you feel the better you and your dog will do together.

  10. #20
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    "Doggy crack"

    Another useful trick with the treats is to mix up some different ones together. I used to buy "pizza pieces" from the local supermarket, which was cubed ham mainly and some bits of salami and then mixed that with bits of cooked chicken and sliced frankfurts. It just makes it a little bit more exiting if they never know what exactly they are going to get.

    Sorry, slightly OT but I just love talking dog treats!

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