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Murphy seems to have developed a ponchant for pulling me on the lead ....... This is new as he was actually doing heel very well on the lead,  but as he is almost 10mths he must be bored with it now! :-)


Our walk goes a bit like this, 5 mins from the house to the fields where he is fine (was actually good before) then he is off to run and play for maybe 30 mins or so but rather than walk home through the fields I like to take him along the very quiet road and its then when he is pulling worst of all .... I sense a tiny objection to my choice of route but hey ho we are walking and he needs to be on the lead .... Now he isnt charging ahead but he does want to sniff every blade of grass no matter how far from the pavement! He is (thank god) remembering to stop at the road ends, what I mean is he hasnt totaly reverted back to the I hate the lead days .......


We are having our first frosty mornings and although I am usually in wellies I am aware this could go a bit wrong as he is a strong boy ........


Few things I am not keen on are choker chains and the body harness things but I have seen dogs on the nose type harnesses? Oh and when I taught heel it went a bit like this;


Sit (treat in my hand)

then saying heel as we walked him staying in close to me as we walk with a loose yet short lead ....


How would you all have done it? and what are your thoughts on harnesses ........


Thing is he is so good and will hardly go out of my sight why is he still pulling as it must hurt !



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Rightly or wrongly we have always walked our 'boys' on a Halti, just feel I have a little more control IF they decided to take off. I also don't like the idea of them pulling on a choker or collar,not saying we're right just a personal preference.

Good luck Lois
Thank you, I googled Halti and I can see two different types but even the body harness isnt what I thought it would be like ....... I had hoped to manage this but it seems not unless I get myself some full body armour actually my biggest concern is that he gets hurt so I am looking for your advice and opinions ...... Its taken me a few days to post this as I hoped I could fix so it might even be trial and error as I want him still to enjoy himself just to walk nicely and safely .........
Have a look at Dr Roger Mugford's website www.companyofanimals.com he created the original Halti head collar.Quite agree regarding them pulling and injuring themselves, had a very bad experience hence only Haltis for the 'boys'
I shall leave the advice on how to train your dog to walk on the lead to those who have had success! That said, I have been instructed to use a similar methodology to you and it works a treat in a controlled environment, and in fact I can successfully go quite long distances around the garden in various loops and configurations..... it is just when we go out into the big wide world that Bella (13 months old) pulls like a train. Interestingly Bella's pulling started at a similar age to Murphy having walked like a charm up to that point.

I have tried a harness and it worked for a week or two but then the novelty wore off and Bella realised that with a change of technique she could now pull with no discomfort on the neck - what a winner for her! I still use it when utilising the long line out in the woods where there are Deer a-plenty but otherwise I must confess I am now an owner operator of a head-collared dog.

I resisted for a long time despite my Trainers advice as I hated the look of it and saw it as an admission of failure, but our walks were becoming miserable, often not getting very far as we were also employing the "you don't get anywhere if you pull" rule. What was so frustrating in our case is that some days she wouldn't pull at all which beggars the question why she couldn't walk nicely on a consistent basis despite me spending hours on repetitve exercises, praise etc when she did it properly. I have also had the additional problem that Bella is quite fearful of roads (we are surrounded by 60mph country roads with only a small amount of verge, I admit I am not a fan either) but the introduction of the head collar has helped that hugely and she is now a lot calmer. I have no dog psychology knowledge but it would seem that when she couldn't freak out as I had greater control, she realised that actually there was no need to panic after all.

I have tried the Halti and the Gentle Leader headcollars (my trainer lets you try before you buy which is great) but I have actually ended up with a Kumfi DogAlter which definitely fits her snozzle better and unless she gives it a damn good rub on your leg (happens less and less now) it doesn't ride into the eyes. It only took about 1 day of acclimatisation to get it on Bella, and then after about a week she realised it was the key to the great outdoors and has always sat down like an angel to have it fitted. I now can take it off her on a walk when we are in the fields and she'll sit and let me put it back on with no fuss when it is time to head home. She still has moments where she'll chance a pull if there is a particularly interesting scent but it's a futile exercise as she just can't achieve anything with it and so the spring is definitely back in my step.

All that sounds so great, and it is, but every day that I put it on I still wish it wasn't necessary in the first place. I was out about a month ago and we met a woman with a boy of about 10 who gave Bella lots of fuss and she sat and lapped it up, behaving herself impeccably and he asked me why I needed to muzzle my dog, who had she bitten? I explained to him of course that it wasn't a muzzle but it did sadden my heart that he thought that in the first place.

I am still working on the heel work so all advice and techniques gratefully received, I'm determined not to give up trying anyway.

I wish you lots of luck Delia!
i think it should be http://www.dogmatic.org.uk/

I have had a look at all the various suggestions and I liked the look of the dogmatic one .... He sat very nice for the measuring but imagine when his new collar comes it might take a bit of getting used to!
Many thanks for all of this, before reading I felt as I had failed a bit but it seems its not just my setter boy who pulls ...... I will have a look at the various products and get the measuring tape out .....
Hi Delia. I think we've all been there ... tugged down the road, that is! My two red girls could pull, but it was not difficult for me to keep them reasonably under control. Cosmo, my first boy setter, is another matter. He is just bigger and stronger than the girls ever were and he's only 9 months old. I have just now started getting him used to a Halti-type collar and it is working wonderfully. It will mean he can have much longer walks once he is fully used to it ... he still falls on his poor little nose now and again as he uses his front paws to try to get it off. He will still get to run off-leash at the dog park on weekends. I really view this as a safety issue, as we live in an urban area. I can't have him pulling himself and/or me into the street. And when winter comes and I have to walk him occassionally on slippery surfaces ... a slow, controlled walk is essential. Best wishes!
Oh the joy of walking nicely on a lead - or not as the case may be! I have a gentle leader and do use it every now and again too but I am so stubborn i haven't used it for a while and am doing the stop dead in my tracks method. Reuben does understand this and does come back to my side but sometimes he just can't seem to help himself in going too far forward. So what i have been doing is attaching the lead to my trouser belt and carry on with my stop start method but because the lead is not in my hands it stops me from the urge to yank him back if a tad frustrated. And as daft as it sounds I get really frustrated with lead walking when I have PMT (which is about every 3 weeks)!. if I dont have time to do that like school run or need to speed up things I loop the lead around his neck and it goes under his chest like a harness and keeps him close to me without pulling on his neck (a bit like a figure of eight I think).
I think you have to use whatever is appropriate and comfortable for you and your dog and if a headcollar/halti helps then that is no failure and much better tahn a very frustrated owner and dog.
I AM determined though to keep trying but could be trying forever possibly, haha
Good luck
Now at 16 months old Rio has days where he walks really nice at heel, on quiet roads he is better off the lead and then some days he pulls like a run away train, Jinty was just the same - think they all are. They tend to walk better the faster you do but hey I would have to be running!.
I think the pulling can make you bad tempered as you are walking 'off balance' all the time - I tend to get back ache with it!.
Rio has a thing about looking through field gates so he pulls to get to them to see what's in the field!,
I have told him what curiosity does to cats!.
But the moment Rio pulls I stand still - for the most part it works but youth and enthusiasm get the better of him!.
Someone recommended a chest harness for Jinty but all I found that did was let her pull harder she found she could really put all her strength behind it, she could have been a sled dog!.
I still have Rio on a collar but after reading all the comments am once again considering a head collar.
My boys are fine if they are walked alone, but if you take them together (which obviously we do the majority of the time) then it's straight into super competitive mode and they pull like trains!!!
I had the same problem as many with the Halti, in that it rode up and rubbed their eyes, so I think I will try your suggestion Fran of the Infin8 headcollar.




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