(Closed) Embarrassed to take my dog out

posted 3 months ago in Pets
Post # 2
7992 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

If he can heel with no distractions, you just need to work up. That is actually a REALLY amazing start already. And your spouse has a weird view on training, it should be BOTH of you doing it. 

But anyways. 

Practice the heel in the house with no distractions and high value treats. Then try with some distractions inside (maybe a tv with barking dogs or someone walking by the windows). Then try in the backyard with minimal distractions. Then try in the backyard with more distractions. Then move to a secluded outdoors area. Then a busier outdoor area. Etc. 

Definitely something you should work on ASAP before he gets too much bigger! Honestly, your bfs lack of support while still expecting you to walk the dog is pretty gross. That’s a bigger issue IMO. BUT this isn’t insurmountable, even if it feels embarrasing and horrifying to try to take the dog out. You can absolutley overcome it and have a well trained pup! 

Post # 3
4284 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I just want to comment with something funny and to commiserate.

I have two Puggles, one is much more like a pug, chill, calm, happy, etc. my other dog is more like a beagle, a crazy, psycho freak, and when we try to take her on a walk, she pulls you with he-man strength like a fucking rhinoceros. If she sees anyone at all then something worse happens, she yelps like a fucking banshee, she makes this noise that is the most high pitched, loud, obnoxious, screech/howl/yelp that wakes the entire state.

People just stop and stare and shake their head and just can’t believe what they are seeing and hearing. It is a total disaster. We try to walk her when there’s no one around, or we let her run around in our backyard because she’s embarrassing as fuck.

LOL so I completely understand what you’re going through. 

Post # 4
2275 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

View original reply
@dramaisnoqueen:  the worst thing you can do for a large breed that wants to pull is put a harness on them. You might as well hitch up a sled, since you’re harnessing all the upper body strength.  “No pull” harness does not exist.  My professional recommendation is to get a prong collar.  I probably will get some hate for this, but I am a veterinarian and these collars are absolutely safe when used properly.  Every GSD working dog including police dogs I have worked with, use prong collars).  I have used them with my own dog because I didn’t want her dragging me on her walks.

Post # 6
7992 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Well it sounds like YOU are committing to training him, even if your bf is being a lazy POS right now lol. Just doing small sessions, multiple times a day will really help. And as a plus, the mental training will also help tire him out! 

Post # 9
5023 posts
Bee Keeper

I’m sure others will have more dog-focused advice than I can offer.  Cause honestly, you sound like you have a boyfriend problem, not a dog-problem (or not primarily).  You have an excitable baby that is mostly well-behaved and with a little more work can probably be trained out of the pulling.  It may seem embarassing for you in the moment, but I’m sure most everyone relates and isn’t judging as harshly as you are judging yourself.

The actual problem is you have a boyfriend who is hell-bent on living out a childhood fantasy to the detriment of both you and the dog he claims to love so much he wants to be the dog’s number one love instead of actually working through whatever residual issues he has from past trauma.  The fact that your boyfriend cares more about being the dog’s number one love more than he cares about the fact that his girlfriend is getting dragged up and down the street and the dog misses out on physical activity and social interaction is a huge problem.  He’s putting his childhood issue ahead of both of your safety and well-being – that isn’t love.

So I would be making it a non-negotiable that you need to be part of training from here on out and it needs to start immediately even if it interrupts video game time.  And once shelter-in-place restrictions lift consider some additional professional training if you aren’t getting there on your own.

Post # 10
1005 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I think revisiting training is an idea


Am obedient well trained dog doesn’t pull or bark at other dogs 


Post # 11
1542 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

Hi Bee,


I have a Golden Retriever in the awful teenage phase right now and it.is.HELL.

When you’re on your own, at home, or in your backyard, they’re perfectly responsive. Leash training for my boy is super easy when there are no distractions. He’s perfect, attention on me, sits when I stop etc.

Then, I take him out, and it’s like I never trained him at all. He is so stubborn, pulls constantly. And unfortunately, for the longest time, I let him get away with it. Now he’s 18 months old, its like the new normal. So I am working hard every day to correct the behaviour.

All I can say is: please do not be embarassed and do not blame your dog, blame his age and the fact he probably hasn’t had all the training he needs. Teenage dogs are straight up assholes. Following their nads before their heads. Instinct before thought. And does there exist a more instinctive dog than a GSD? Haha probably not.

WHat I’m doing now, is simple – anytime he pulls follow these steps (starting in your backyard, then adding distractions in your backyard (like food), then moving outside):

1. Stop dead in your tracks. Do not let him get to whatever he wants to get at, even if it’s just for a sniff.

2. Make sure he sits.

3. Bring attention to yourself. I know for my boy, even the tastiest treats (I have tried EVERYTHING from meat to dried fish to biscuits – things he goes nuts over at home) he straight up ignores, because the world is more interesting. So I stamp my feet, click, make noise. Anything to bring attention to myself. Make sure he looks you in the eye.

4. Say your release word (ours is “ok”) and we continue on. 

5. Don’t be discouraged if he pulls immediately. Sometimes it takes us 10 minutes to go 50 metres. Constant stopping and starting. Especially when we’re close to his favourite places, like the park!

6. When he walks with a loose lead, praise him constantly

We have been to a professional trainer who recommends this approach. Of course, we had to pull out of training early because our boy needed shoulder surgery and he REGRESSED in the 2 months he’s been on forced rest. So back to square one for us!

I’m right there with you Bee. This phase is the worst, and with big dogs like ours you can expect it lasting until they’re 2-3 years old. Don’t be discouraged! Patience, daily training and lots of love, and you will both get there in the end.

Side note: you need to have more of a hand in his training. In dogs this young training isn’t transferrable from one person to another if one hasn’t had an active part in obedience. Expect him to behave worse for you than he would for your SO if you don’t get involved more. GSDs are easy to train but they are headstrong! 

Good luck!

Post # 12
1031 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

No pull harnesses do exist. My dogs outweigh me by 80 lbs and are very well mannered on walks but can randomly decide they’d like to chase wild rabbits, squirrels or a cat. With the Easy Walk harness they can’t pull me at all no matter what we see on our walks.

I would check to make sure the harness is adjusted correctly that’s the only time I have ever had an issue with it, the front part where the leash connects was to loose on one of my dogs so the turning effect didn’t work at all. Adjusted it and it worked again. Yours might be to big. They also have the gentle leader head collar you could try. I’d just keep working on his leash manners. 8 months is still pretty young and there are lots of leash training methods, involving sitting and eye contact and treats. My dogs are great at heeling and ignoring other dogs but.. random rabbits and squirrels with dogs that outweigh you isn’t fun! 

Also I wouldn’t expect fantastic manners from a unexcercised bored working dog that is an excitable puppy. Do you take your dog on jogs? How much excise is it getting? Start going on morning and evening jogs and the behavior will improve. Also much harder to pull you if you are already running. Just like a hyper excited child the puppy is going to be hyper and excited to go out and play. Now if you get some energy out with a running routine when you go out on walks they arnt hyper and listen. Adequate exercise and mental stimulation is really important for all dogs but especially working dogs. Your boyfriend doesn’t seem like he’s the active owner the dog needs so you need to be!

Not saying this applies to you, but I find it awful how some owners barely take their working breed puppies out but when they do they put prong and choke collars on them and expect them to behave when they are not getting adequate exercise or mental stimulation. A prong collar is not a substitute for proper pet care. When my dogs were puppies I did 1.5 mile runs twice a day! 

The dog is going to like who it likes! I had a roommate who’s dog liked me better, it was three when I met it. My first dog liked my ex better even though I was the one that raised her. My dogs now don’t have an obvious

Post # 13
143 posts
Blushing bee

My mother recently got a pronged dog collar for our pointer. It works magic for pulling! They are a bit controversial, but make the dog behave better. It doesn’t actually hurt the dog as I’ve seen her have no marks after a much more peaceful walk. Your dog is probably excited about the dog park. Mine pulls like crazy to the park too!

Post # 14
7450 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

This is 100% a training issue. There is no excuse for dogs to be an embarrassment to walk; it just tells the world that the owners couldn’t be bothered enought to train the dog properly. As someone already stated, if your dog can follow directions with no distractions, that’s half the battle. The dog already knows what to do, just not when to do it. So you need to work up with minor distractions in a controlled environment until the dog learns that the command means what he learned no matter what else is going on. You can absolutely do this, and if you can’t, a professional trainer can help. It isn’t safe for you to walk a dog you cannot control.

Post # 15
1313 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2020

You wouldn’t be having this problem if your SO had “let” you also train the dog. This is indicative of a much greater problem in your relationship 

The trauma your SO went through is absolutely terrible. He needs to get it treated, not monopolize all the “fun” parts of having a dog. An uncontrollable dog can be dangerous. He might race into traffic. He might trigger a hostile dog. He might make you fall if you’re holding onto the leash.

An animal living in the home should be free to love and bond with all household members. Attachment is not a finite resource. Your SO is acting selfish, possessive, and lazy.

You list more than one example of how your SO expects you to labor over “his” dog while he gets to do the training and feeding. Your SO only does 30% of the walking of “his” dog, even though you walking his dog can be hazardous. Why is he having you prepare the dog food? It’s “his” dog is it not? Your SO treats you like a servant who gets to step in when he wants you to.

These are huge red flags. If your SO is like this about a dog, he’s probably going to be this way about housework, maintaining possessions, and children. He will do all the “fun” stuff and you’ll end up with the grunt work.

Open your eyes, Bee. The dog is not the problem.

The topic ‘Embarrassed to take my dog out’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors