I need advice on getting my 6 month old pup to stop pulling on the leash. She is getting really bad about it. I'm not a very big person and she has pulled the leash right through my hand rope burning me. Any advice or ideas would be welcome. I don't know how to correct her in a way that she's going to respond to but not be scared of me or walking on the leash. She had been doing really well up until about 6 weeks ago and now she is just getting worse and worse and her first show is supposed to be the end of the month!!
My first Gordon was to be a "show dog" and I abandoned all heel work because the ringcraft people shouted "dont teach him that". by the time he was a year old he could put his shoulder into the lead and he went like a train. My only hope was to walk along a street that had lamp posts every fifty or so yards and I careered from one to the other.
I worked away a lot and it wasnt til I was off work one week and buying a bottle of wine in the local shop that someone finally owned up and said they thought I drank!!!
GiGi is my first show dog but I have trained many Arabian Halter horses and am doing much of the same work with her that I did with them. I do not see how heel work with a show dog will cause problems in the ring and would be interested to know why someone would think that. My horses always had to know that I was the leader and they the follower, it gave them the confidence to show to the best of their ability to know that I was there to tell them what they were supposed to do. But as I said, I don't know a whole lot about showing dogs and am pretty much just winging it and learning as we go ;)
this was my first show dog 13 years ago. when I thought about it I was fully aware that you can teach a dog to run in a nice position for show, just as you can teach a dog close heel.
there is still a belief among show owners that you shouldnt teach a dog to heel. Half of it comes from the notion that - in good heel work - as soon as you stop in competition heelwork the dog should sit.
Hence dont teach your dog to heel so that he doesnt stop and sit unnecessarily on a show matt.
Daft...... I hear it still but I now realise that those trainers dont have to walk 40lbs of Gordon Setter!
That seems a bit silly to me. I surely won't trade a well behaved dog for a Champion title. I think with work there is always a way to have both. These dogs are very smart and can learn anything we are willing to take the time to teach them. Yes, GiGi is almost 7 months and probably 45-50 lbs. so not teaching her to walk nicely on a leash is NOT an option since she weighs nearly half what I do already!!
I have heard the same thing from so many show owners for years since I had my first show Aussie. Funny when at conformation classes trainer would say she loved my trained Aussie as she would behave and moved out so well in class. She learned the difference between the collars on what she was to do. Just used different commands for what I needed her to do. Saved wear and tear on my shoulders also.
Sue, I have to say I agree with you. I would much prefer a forward going dog that I have to train to hold back a bit than one I have to encourage to get up and go. She is just lovely when she is moving out and I can't wait to get her really well trained and competing. She should be a blast!!
My 5 month old puppy is doing the same thing now. He is 33 lbs and it feels like a truck is towing me. I am working on the switching directions thing and your right we don't get past our house! But he gives up a bit after the fifth or sixth time of staying in one place. I also find he walks much nicer on the leash after he has had his playtime off leash. Running around and playing for an hour calms him down for a nicer walk. I have had this pulling problem with every setter I have owned and they all seem to get better after about 3 years!
Cash is dragging me into the woods everyday now. His tail going crazy, he is ready to get running and find his birds and I am the anchor or party pooper at the end of the leash holding him back from fun. Oddly though he will sit perfect for the release, like a pillar, just pulls like a truck to the gate. Our evening stroll now is mainly training to walk nice. We haven't left our front sidewalk yet since I change direction every pull. Weeks of just back and forth in front! I think the neighbors wonder what in the heck I am doing.
I have a dog from a same littler as Katie and mine pulls a lot also. This is a main reason I am surfing forum - to find real stories and real answers - not from just general book pages. Real "setter pulling advice". My hands got burned pretty good also - she took skin off my fingers. And both hands. It was tough. Mommy with burned hands ... I have family to take care of. And I am not a small person. When she pulls - I just stop - she would turn around and look at me with question in her eyes. But then start pulling again. I am all confused.
I am considering private lessons now. Hope we can afford it. Group class didn't help much.
The method of stopping and walking in the opp direction does work, I do this when I want to try walking with out using the gentle leader, takes a long time to get anywhere, but it does work.
As far as this pulling behaviour happening in the ring, well its a compleatly different enviroment for them so the chances are the same pulling behaviour wont happen, when I'm on a walk with my youngest it feels like he's walking me, but when we are in the ring it feels more like I'm pulling him round the ring (though this is getting better!)
Good luck, I hope you manage to get the pulling under control and that your first show goes well. :)