Post # 1
Back in July, FI and I adopted a 1 year old, 50 lb, American English Coonhound. He was found as a stray and was living with a foster. He gets along great with our wiener dog. He has been fine in our house and responds well to commands while in the house. However, he is horrible on the leash. He pulls like crazy nonstop. If he sees another dog (or any other animal) he will flip out barking and trying to run at them. He’s not aggressive, he just barks. If/When he meets the other dog, he just sniffs them and that’s it, no aggression. I’ve tried several methods to try to break the habit. Just giving him a little jerk when he pulls, doing the “tsss” Cesar Milan thing, stopping and waiting for him to put some slack in the leash before walking again (the problem is that he starts pulling as soon as we take another step). I know I should reward him when he is walking well, but he never is! I tried the Gentle Leader head collar, and that worked, but mostly because it made it impossible for him to pull, it didn’t actually teach him to walk well. We stopped using that because he was constantly scratching at his face and rubbing it on the ground to try to get the collar off. We bought a prong collar, but we are waiting to be shown how to use it without hurting him.
Does anybody have any tips? Did anything work for you to get your dog to stop pulling?
Here is a picture:
Hi, My name is Quincy and I’m a jerk on walks!
Post # 2
SithLady: Well my advice was going to be the Gentle Leader, but since you tried that all I have to say is CUTE DOGS!! Oh my gosh are they cute!!
You should definitely follow thiswildidea on Instagram or FB if you’re not already. It’s a really cool guy who adopted a coonhound named Maddie. I have his Maddie on Things book. He’s very insightful, has traveled the country and also talks a lot about how good rescue is. I got to meet both Maddie and Thiron!
Post # 3
SithLady: Go buy an Easy Harness like this one now!
It has to connect in the front like this one. They sell them at Petsmart and I believe mine is called EZ Harness. It COMPLETELY stopped my dog’s pulling. We learned about them in obediance class! I was so frustrated with him before but this completely fixes it. It’s a correctional type harness and will pull the dog’s legs together when they try to pull. My 9 month old lab puppy doesn’t even try to pull anymore, it taught him to walk right by me.
Post # 4
Have you tried the Gentle Leader Harness? it goes around the chest and clips in between the shoulder blades. It works amazing! My pup will pull on a normal leash but with this he walks right next to me.
Post # 5
The gentle lead works, but you need to be consistent with it. Give him praise when you put it on, give him a little treat. Make it a positive experience. And use it every time you walk him. With some dogs, it clicks right away, and they realize “I don’t get anywhere if I pull”. With other dogs, it takes weeks of repetition for them to grasp the concept.
The other thing that helps is to train ” I stop, you sit”. Walk a bit, stop and tell him to sit. Praise him when he does. That really helps when you’re dealing with crossing a street, you don’t want him trying to pull you into traffic.
My in laws had a German Shepherd that was a horrible walker. They used both the gentle lead and stop and sit techniques. It took time, but he turned into a great walker!
Post # 6
I would go with the easy walk harness. We raised German Shepherds as guide dogs for many years, and the gentle leaders do not work. We used them with every dog to comply with the training program, but all it ever did was squish their faces and give them permanent burn marks on the bridge of their noses. Didn’t stop any of them. The easy walk harness is what fixed the pulling problem (we used it on one of the dogs that became our pet because of hip issues). I’m getting a dog that grows to 130 lbs and that’s what I’m planning on using. 🙂
Post # 7
I have a 70lb bloodhound mix puppy and I had the same issue for awhile. Now I use a harness on her – one that has the leash connection on her back, not her front – and it works so much better!
Post # 8
SithLady: As many previous posters have said try the easy walk harness that goes around their chest. We tried EVERYTHING with our one dog. Choke chains, harnesses, the head type harness, training with treats. The training helped, and I would reccomend going to your local SPCA/humane society and seeing if you can get a class or training session on that as professionals can pin point what you are doing wrong (as its usually us and not the dogs). The head harness got results, but he HATED it. He would stop in the middle of our walk and rub his nose against everything. We eventually ended up buying the easy walk harness and it helped SO much. Between that and treats (lots of treats!) he’s a completely different dog.
Post # 9
We also started to use the harness shown above. On top of that, *everytime* he pulled we would just stop walking, he would have to stop look back at us for the ‘ok’ and then we would continue. It made the first few walks VERY long, but eventually worked.
Post # 10
We also use the easy walk harness above. I don’t really know how to stop the pulling, but walks are much more enjoyable with the harness. The stopping method didn’t work for us. He never made the correlation between him pulling and us stopping. He thinks we are just stopping so he can smell.
Post # 12
Were you actually using the Gentle Leader appropriately? Just about everyone I see walking their dog on a Gentle Leader either doesn’t have it fit properly, or they aren’t using it right. You can’t just slap it on and the pulling instantly goes away. You also shouldn’t be holding the leash super tight. There shouldn’t be burns or marks on the dog’s nose like a PP mentioned if it is being used correctly.
Here’s a good video about fitting it, getting the dog used to wearing it, and using it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLlTnthi_bY
The leash should not be constantly tight pulling on their face. If they pull, you use the Gentle Leader to put them into a sit and wait. Makes for a long walk while they get used to it, but you won’t see any change if it is not being used the way it was intended too.
I feel harness with the leash attached to the back can actually encourage pulling, so would try the one attached to the front like the Easy Walk.
Post # 13
We have 2 Siberian Huskies (who are instinctive pullers). One of ours is an INSANE puller when he’s on leash. My husband is 6′ tall and very strong/fit and this dog has caused him more sore arms/shoulders than we can count. He (the dog) would pull and jerk and somersault and jump and whine every time we walked him. About 5 years ago someone suggested the “Lola Limited” training collar so we looked it up and bought one for each pup. BEST THING EVER. Especially because it lets our dogs (who love to pull) keep the leash taut without ripping our arms off.
http://lolalimited.net/ We have the Secret Powers Training Collar in plain black via special order.
When we run with them or go on long hikes, they wear their running harnesses. It gives them freedom to run/jog without sacrificing head/neck range of motion. Also, it means that we don’t feel a tug/pull every time they turn to sniff something on the trail. And since the leash attaches at mid-back for them, it makes it easier for us to correct their progress and gently guide them in a different direction.
We use the Urban Trail Harness from this company: http://www.alpineoutfitters.net/scripts/prodList.asp?idCategory=16
Lastly, if your dog still pulls a bit or they like to keep a taut leash, I suggest a thick, double-layer leash. They are much easier to hold on to and don’t slip through your hands like the shiny, single layer ones do.
Post # 14
I agree with using the EZ walk harness! But be aware that it doesn’t work completely for all dogs. I have a 3 year old cattle dog/pit bull mix that is super strong, even when he was a puppy. I tried the stopping and starting thing for months and it never made a difference. The only thing that worked for him was the EZ walk harness mixed with holding treats/hotdogs above his head, and giving them to him when he wasn’t pulling. Now he walks great!
On the other hand, I also have a 2 year old German shepherd/whippet mix who still pulls as hard as she can with the EZ walk harness. She’s just learned to kind of side step and pull at he same time. It’s still way better than with just her leash and collar but it still gets frustrating.
But even if the EZ harness doesn’t stop it completely, it definitely makes it much more manageable for you!
Post # 15
I also recommend the easy walk harness.
My brother recently adopted a bluetick that pulls like a freight train and they use the gentle leader on him which seems to work well, but I’m personally not a fan of them.