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Any ideas as to how to stop your dog from pulling the lead?

Hi everyone, I was hoping to get some tips from you regarding loose leash walking.  Eva is 11 months old (we got her when she was 5 months old.) She's had basic obedience training and walking her has always been a challenge. I have tried using a harness and then a halter. No matter what I try she still pulls the lead. I also tried stopping when she pulls but no progress in 6 months.  She has a very sweet nature and she does behave very well over all but this is an issue that we need to solve so I will be grateful for some new ideas ;) Many thanks

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I've found the figure 8 leads and head collars are very effective, if the dog will tolerate them...

I'm going through the same thing myself.  I've always used a Halti or Gentle Leader on Benson and he's happy with that but I decided that I was going to persevere with Rigsby.  We have spent countless hours training and he knows what is expected of him but as soon as we are out the door, excitement takes over.  

I would say there must be an Irish Setter that will walk nicely on a loose lead and standard collar, but I've yet to meet this paragon of virtue so I've yielded to temptation and now he is also walked wearing a head collar! 

Thanks for the response Lesley, I use the Black Dog Infin8 Halter on Eva which is almost the same thing as a figure 8 lead. I guess persistence is the key to training :) I just hope to see the day that she walks nicely on a loose lead.  

With us, consequence was the key. It is true, Abby pulls on the lead when she really feels the need to water whatever patch of grass comes across; but she will stop once she has done so and then walk nicely. We are also still working on her walking without pulling inside the woods. But apart from that, she walks just fine.

I think what I did was to use a mixture of responses to her pulling: Stopping when she reached the end of the leash and waiting until she took at least one step back; telling her to come back all the way to my side when she reached the end, or making her sit down and wait until I have passed her by a few steps before she was allowed to walk on. After a while, when she reached the end and felt me stopping, she would start to walk a big quarter-circle around me and came to my side without any encouragement.
I also made a point of praising any attempts of her walking by my side (mostly after long an tiring walks or when she was really realxed). This was one of the crucial steps because after I started doing so, we made progress a lot more quickly
Also, consistency is the key. Whenever you leave the act of pulling slide by without any response, that will work against you. I have heard from some people that make a difference between harness and collar. They decide that their dog has to work well when wearing a collar and make a point of being very strict about that, but when they know that they are in a rush or will walk in a group with other people and will not be able to concentrate on the dog and his pulling all the time, they will put on a harness and be fine with being less strict so as not to undermine the progress they may have already made with the leash and the collar.

Abby is still far from walking well on the leash in every situation (as I said: the woods are a BIG problem,...), but I am very happy with our progress.

I use the halti front leader on Riley and Cassie....the leads clips onto their chest so as they pull you just turn them towards you...you can also use as a double lead where it clips on their chest and their shoulders...I like it as Riley is a water baby and can still swim with it on as its fabric...

I, too, tried a harness and headcollar - although the headcollar stopped her pulling it rubbed off a patch of hair by the side of her mouth. I decided that all my 'instruments of torture' were just masking the problem, and I really needed to train her to walk on a loose lead.

So at 14 months we went back to basics. Stopping when she pulled, and waiting for her to relax, and only walking on when she was back by my side. Consistency is the key - if you want to get a walk over and done with as its raining, for example, you'll be two steps back again. After a month she's getting a lot better. If she starts to pull I stop and she walks backwards to my side. I walk her on a flexi, and when it's extended she was pulling ahead like a steam train then too, making walks very unpleasant. She now is a lot better, as before she reaches the end I say 'don't pull', and she slows down so the lead stays loose. Our walks are a lot more pleasant, but there's a long way to go. And any training goes out of the window when she sees a pheasant.

The problem is walks with my husband. Bess takes advantage and he thinks she understands English. 'Will you bl***y stop pulling' is something she translates as 'put your head down and really put your back into it'! :0). But once I'm out on my own again, my commands and the subtle tweaks on the lead have her behaving like a different dog.

Ha Ha! These men...my husband just relies on his strength to hold them back. I now only let him walk the oldies regularly, as he ruins all my hard work:)

I don't like the Halti for the same reason but the front leader by Halti does not go on the head its a harness but the clip is on the front and not the back.....it works great for mine...:0)

I did try a non pull harness, but she managed to slip out of it and I lost her for a terrifying half hour. Mind you, I complained to the company and got my money back!

I found with the non pull harness mine pulled even harder lol....with the Halti front leader harness they cant get out of them and they also clip to their collar...:0) 

Oh how I relate to the man = pull if you like syndrome. Credit where it is due, my husband has trained our youngest girl on recall and done a fantastic job, he had her sitting and staying at 10 weeks. She will leave a game with other dogs if he calls her BUT she drags him all the way to the field and he just takes no notice, so when I take her out we have 10 minutes of stoping, returning, walking ect. etc. she is on collar and leed.

Good luck Senam

This discussion reminds me of an old blog of mine - enjoy :-)):


Nice one Cornelia, very true and great pictures <:0)




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