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Thread: First time walking a bulldog

  1. #11

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    Hi Gem,

    This is only my opinion ... so please disregard as needed. Hyacinth's idea of a front harness sounds good ...

    but here are my additional thoughts (hope they help). With a pulling dog like yours, with a strong neck and high excitement its true that a correction chain or martingale is likely just to choke the dog (it wont overide its pain and stop pulling) regular harnesses encourage pulling.

    Front harnesses or halti are the only way to go for these breeds, but only while you are bonding or trusting their off lead behaviour. Walking your guy on lead is very unlikely to drain much energy at all unless you go for an hour or so plus.

    With a dog like you describe your goal is recall then as much off lead time as you can get to drain their energy. Unless you do that you will have many behavioural problems coming your way from excess energy. Walking a dog should never involve saw arms. I have only changed over from a correction chain to a martingale this year, as my dog has gotten to that point after five years.

    Good luck on your mission!
    Bruce is a "dog walker in inner west Melbourne" & sells "Healthy Dog treats." My dog Archie approves of these things.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    melbourne australia
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    3,082

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    " Walking a dog should never involve saw arms"
    i had to chuckle at that. I have tennis elbow permanently from 30yrs of throwing balls
    i have arthritis in my shoulder from years of tracking

    Front harness or halti will manage the dogs behaviour, and prevent a pulling habit forming. It wont train your dog to walk to heal, but will save your arms from all the pulling.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Geelong, Vic
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    871

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    Front harnesses or halti are the only way to go for these breeds, but only while you are bonding or trusting their off lead behaviour.
    You never put head halters on Brachycephalic breeds EVER I don't care what people recommend. So before the advent in the past few years of head harnesses and front attach harnesses did no one ever walk these types of dogs? Dogs did not used to pull, they actually pull more now then they did before when people were not so PC. And they were happy.

    If the dog is pulling you're not using the correction chain properly. When its on the dog you should only have about a few inches spare when it's tight. Now have a decent length lead on the dog, hold the end of the lead in your right hand and let the dog go. If the dog is about to pull apply a sharp correction, walk backwards with some food and call the dog back to you. When the dog comes VERBALLY reward and give a tiny piece of food. Try walking foreward, every time the dog makes eye contact with you and doesn't pull PRAISE THE DOG. Don't go ballistic just 'good dog, good dog' and when the dog is doing a SUPER JOB add a FOOD REWARD. If the dog rushes ahead, correct and walk backwards again to get the dog to come back to you, you can even do a 180 and call the dog to follow. Don't forget high reinforcement but to not just keep treat, treat, treat. The point is the trick is the icing on the cake, you want the dog to work harder to get that treat and still bond to you, not the treat.

    Dont use chain leads, short leads, wrap it around your wrist etc. Also do not verbally chastise the dog at any time at all, all you do is be positive and happy when the dog is behaving and the collar does the work when he's not. Also do not let the leash go tight then try and correct, that is not how the collars can work.

    It's not that hard, but if the dog is pulling hard you're missing a few steps in how to use it.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    near Sydney NSW
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    727

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nekhbet View Post
    Dogs did not used to pull, they actually pull more now then they did before when people were not so PC.
    What does PC mean?

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
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    PC - "politically correct" - I'm guessing - avoiding using anything that might look painful to the dog (or make the owner feel bad).

    Back when people were not so PC, you didn't need to use a lead at all.

  6. #16

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    Ok back for an update. With the help of my loyal little pack I'm happy to say that Loner is progressing beautifully. 20 minutes of jogging before his morning walk seems to drain his energy enough to make walking him quite easy. He still needs to be corrected a fair bit but there have been times when I've walked along for a good 5 minutes without him trying to step in front. I haven't tried walking him up the street yet where there are more distractions and have just stuck to the bush tracks at the back of our property. And yes I'm still using a choker chain.

    I've been trying to figure out what his life was like before he was picked up by the pound. I think that whoever owned him before just stuck him in the backyard and didn't pay him any attention at all. It's not just that he doesn't have basic training he doesn't seem to know anything about anything it took him 2 days to figure out that a tennis ball is a toy and a lump of wood isn't. I also have a theory that he was taken from his mother and litter mates too soon there are some pretty basic doggy things that he just didn't know, my dogs had to teach him how to play chasies which is a pretty basic game you chase me, I chase you, we all chase each other the poor boy just stood there watching he looked very confused eventually he joined in and I had 4 dogs doing laps of the house. The other thing was his inability to understand that when another dog growls and snaps at him it isn't trying to play it wants to be left alone. I had to to step in and settle him down a few times before Zelda got violent because he just kept getting in her face. He's getting better with that though I think it finally sank in when my little princess drove him into the ground and then bailed him up for chasing the cat. I really wasn't expecting Zelda to be the one teaching him his dog manners she's always been the sweet submissive one but with Loner she's one ballsy bitch.

    Sorry still no pictures, still looking for a camera.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,583

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    I do love an update...

    I wouldn't bother trying to figure out what happened before you got him. Just work with what you have. I got my puppy, she was 10 weeks old and she has been completely different to any other dog I've ever tried to train. She does most of the cattle dog things, but was completely roll over friendly was well. And totally soft, I couldn't use any kind of correction without her going to jelly custard.

    She had perfect dog to dog manners tho and now she's older she tells off other dogs who get it wrong.

    She still doesn't get the concept of fetch and quite likes chewing on sticks. We don't play fetch with sticks tho. She chases it, and then sits down and chews it.

    Some things - a dog will just look confused about for about the first month in a new home. There's all new rules and places to learn.

  8. #18

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    I'm not really worried about his puppyhood, I don't think he is either he has a new home now the past is past, but I just can't help but wonder.

    It was really funny watching him trying to figure out fetch, once he realised that he's suppose to get the ball he still couldn't beat the others to it even if it landed right in front of him, he's just too slow.

    I'm also considering changing his name "Loner" seems a bit depressing and doesn't really suit him considering he's very pack orientated, always has to know were the people or other dogs are. My brother suggested calling him Tyrion based on the fact that he seems to have similar traits to the Game of Thrones character ie he's short and stocky, his eyes are different colours and because he looks different people judge him and don't realise that he's actually very intelligent and quite a sweetheart. My other brother told me he looks like Yoda so there's another one to think about.

  9. #19

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    Finally got a couple of pictures. The more I get used to his funny face the cuter he seems.
    DSCF5737 (800x600).jpg

    DSCF5738 (800x600).jpg
    Loner playing with Ruby and Zelda.

    Any ideas what's going on with that tail, it looks like it's been broken.

  10. #20

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    "You never put head halters on Brachycephalic breeds EVER I don't care what people recommend. So before the advent in the past few years of head harnesses and front attach harnesses did no one ever walk these types of dogs? Dogs did not used to pull, they actually pull more now then they did before when people were not so PC. And they were happy."

    "Brachycephalic," ARE " Pug, Boston Terrier, Pekingese, Boxer, Bulldog, Shih tzu or any one of the other breeds with "pushed in" faces"

    Now we have that sorted, I was just giving general advice in a general dog forum. There are also dogs with weak tracheas that you are not supposed to use correction chains on.

    What I think I and other members were trying to suggest, that is in the meantime you want to get immediate control over your dog, so you dont give up dog walking. Yes if a particular type of lead is causing distresss (choking etc) you need to remedy it.

    The only reason I suggested these types of leads is that they are far better than a car harness that encourage all dogs to pull and be the pack leader. Ideally you will train your dog to not pull, and you have given great descriptions, but not everyone immediately gets results, so short term strategies plus training are always recommended.

    "they actually pull more now then they did before when people were not so PC. And they were happy." I am of the camp that would like to see more off lead dog areas. I hate how councils have become so punitive (to avoid insurance claims). But at the same time there are a lot of new owners out there with powerful breeds that have no respect. Dogs with aggression or no road sense is the reason for me agreeing with the on lead rules. I am not sure that dogs were all happy back in the good old days, because a lot of negative reinforcement was used, and dogs obeyed by fear. There was a lot of cruelty in disposing of dogs, and very bad diets (not that today's grain diets are much better).

    I have a client with a staffy that pulls like a train. I asked them to get a halti so my female dog walker could manage walking this dog. I gave them information about the altona dog obedience club, but many people are time poor, or full of excuses, that a dog walker is as far as they will go to 'fix' the problem. It took a long time for me to get my dog to walk on lead (correction chain, held close by me, as instructed by trainers) but he was just very excited and dominant. Nearly ripped his head off several times. It seems only age has mellowed him a bit, but I am sure if I used negative reinforcement (he would be psychologically damaged) and may obey (while he had to).

    So many schools of thought. I am just offering up what I have seen work, and what I do myself. IMHO !
    Bruce is a "dog walker in inner west Melbourne" & sells "Healthy Dog treats." My dog Archie approves of these things.

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