Post # 31
I have been a Wedding Bee lurker for years and I signed up just so I could respond to this post. Please don’t put a prong collar on your puppy! With the exception of not being involved in his training from the beginning, you have done everything right so far! Keep the training positive! I have a 90 lb lab. When he was a year old he pulled me down and drug me on the ground at the park. Now at 2 1/2, my two year old granddaughter can walk him with a loose leash. Our trainer recommended the gentle leader harness but we actually never had to use it. We were able to get good results with treats, praise, patience and a front clip harness like you’re using now. Our trainers follow the Karen Pryer positive training method which is something you can look up. Please don’t be embarrassed! Focus on rewarding good behavior. You’ll get there!
Post # 32
Not sure if others have recommended it yet but a harness that goes around the torso where the leash is attached to the chest of the dog instead of the neck solved most of my problems. When the dog pulls the leash it makes them go sideways instead of forward.
Post # 33
When the dog pulls, you stop. He will learn that pulling gets him nowhere. He only gets to move when he’s moving appropriately. This will take a lot of time.
Absolutely do not use a prong collar. He is not a working dog. The breed may be used to work, but your dog is a house dog, not a working dog.
Your boyfriend sounds selfish. IDGAF about his past trauma; raising a family dog must be a family effort.
Post # 34
JFC. As someone who has had multiple shepherds do not use a prong collar. I am shocked anyone would recommend one. He just needs more training. And your bf needs to grow his ass up… all household members need training with a new dog
Post # 35
I’m sorry you’re going through this, bee. I know that it can be frustrating when any pet doesn’t heel when you need them to! Have ya’ll looked in to additional training/professional training?
Post # 36
I understand dog training is terribly controversal. I used to be one of those that never thought I would use any corrective devices… that was until I adopted a dog reactive 70 pound pitbull. Purely positive training was a joke with him. We tried for EVER! We were even told we would either need to seclude him in our house or euthanize him. I started following Shawn the Good Dog trainer on instagram and following his training techniques. We now have a 70 pound dog that doesn’t pull, doesn’t resource guard, and doesn’t lunge at other dogs. We can walk him off leash in our off leash walking trails. Definitely recommend checking his site and/or books out!!!
Post # 37
In combination with suggestions from others on this thread, it’s important that the dogs knows you are alpha. The dog needs to respect you. To do this, you also need to be giving the dog meals (your SO can prep them) and you need to be practicing training with the dog. That might not totally solve the pulling issue, but it’s important that the dog knows you’re boss. Good luck!
Post # 38
- Wedding: May 2021 - Orlando, FL
To everyone, thank you again. Yes, I will try to slam my fist on the table in this one and be as involved in training. I will definitely attend his next training classes, which would be the 3rd course he takes.
To the one “dog trainer”, I seriously doubt that you are one, not that it even matters. I have not seen a single dog trainer that would be so judgmental, and does not even know that not all dogs learn the same way or at the same pace, not even GSD. Perhaps you just don’t possess the proper education.
My bad, I was pretty sure I mentioned his 2 full basic training courses. He is not my first dog, and whatever I’d done with my previous ones worked for them, but not for him.
I don’t think he’s alpha himself. He always submits to other dogs, which may just be him not trying to escalate the situation. He respects me at home, just not when he gets excited. I will still look into the link though, in case there’s something new to learn! Thank you!
Woooooow that’s so amazing! I will definitely check him out. I used to follow Zak (I think that was his name) on YouTube, but my boyfriend thought his methods were too “learn a thing step towards the goal, repeat forever, another tiny step etc”
Yeah, he is 70lbs right now being an 8 months old, his sire was 135lbs – crazy for a GSD and not even an overweight dog. Your story sounds encouraging though! I will check that trainer out too.
Post # 39
- Wedding: May 2021 - Orlando, FL
ood to know that we are not alone. I hope one day we all can brag about our pups finally knowing better than to pull
Post # 40
Also I want to say it seems like you’re a good dog parent! You care about your dog and you’re asking for help when you need it, and that’s what matters!
Post # 41
My pup would pull me, run around me, bite me (when he was teething), jump on me, etc. when we would go on walks. It was SO frustrating and I will admit I did start crying a couple times trying to train him. Don’t give up though! He is 4 years old now and while he does pull a little still when we first begin a walk, he behaves perfectly after the first minute or two when his initial excitement wears off.
I did several things to train him. The main thing was that I kept trying to walk him once or twice a day, even when it was the LAST thing I wanted to deal with. The more you do it the less of a novelty it is. I also took him to “Puppy Kindergarten” classes and I went with my husband so we were on the same page. I know that with the Coronavirus this might be difficult to do, but maybe see if some trainers in your area are willing to do social distancing training with you or even virtual training? The main thing is that since your dog lives with more than just you, everyone in the household needs to be on board when it comes to training and care. There isn’t really any way to get around that. Your dog needs the same interactions over and over and over so he learns what is expected of him ALL the time and not just with you.
Post # 42
Please don’t use a prong collar on your dog. They are outdated and cruel — that’s according to the RSPCA, the Humane Society, and any canine behaviourist who has had training in the past 10 years. I would find it far more embarrassing to showcase my ignorance of evidence-based training by using a collar like that than I would being pulled by a dog.
For more information, here’s an article by Victoria Stilwell, her website is also a good resource: https://positively.com/dog-training/methods-equipment/training-equipment/choke-and-prong-collars/
And here’s another trainer, Susan Garrett, with excellent tips and online learning programs: https://susangarrettdogagility.com/2020/01/stop-my-dog-pulling-on-leash/
Susan Garrett has also made one of her online training programs available for free during the pandemic, there’s a waitlist to join right now but it’s worth signing up, excellent material: https://dogsthat.com/home-school/
Another great resource is Pippa Mattinson: https://dogsnet.com/dog-will-not-stop-pulling-on-leash/
You think your puppy knows how to heel right now but he doesn’t. In reality he only knows how to heel in very specific circumstances, the behaviour isn’t “proofed”. Dogs cannot easily apply what they know in one situation (how to heel without any distractions, or in a specific place, for example) to others (when you’re approaching the park). Your puppy needs to learn this skill bit by bit, working up with more and more distractions and more locations gradually.
What you are describing is one of *the* most common issues dog owners face, there’s no reason to be embarrassed. I promise, if you put in the effort to train that gorgeous pup using modern, scientifically-based techniques (rather than disproven, cruel ones) you will have a far more rewarding relationship with him! And it will be effort, but it’ll be fun and so so worth it.
Post # 43
- Wedding: May 2021 - Orlando, FL
Thank you! I appreciate your kindness
Great, thank you so much for the links! I will get right to them