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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Okay, so I need some help with Shep please. He's my 56 pound black and tan. He's only 1.5 years old. He's the tallest one on the right side of my siggy. Shep has a very strong will and very strong body. ...Or I'm just very weak. Anytime I try to take him anywhere, I try to remain in control but I think the only thing I remain in is looking like an idiot, lol. I've never lost my grip or flew behind him or anything but our travels are not, by any means, leisure.

I've tried training him how I trained the others but I haven't figured out how to connect with him yet. I've tried standing still until he calms - which he usually doesn't, but when he does, as soon as we begin again, he's full throttle. I've tried the bit where as soon as there's tension in the lead, I turn and walk the opposite direction and then continue that method, (like what Victoria does on It's Me or the Dog). When I do that though, after a couple turn abouts, he has just sat down and gave me a look that said, "Look, Lady, make up your mind!! Which way?!"

I don't think a Shep was ever built to tire out - EVER. Lol. Due to the pulling issue, our outings have dwindled on down and he really doesn't go anywhere anymore. I'm not confident in his recall, so he's never off leash. His running area is the house and the back yard. Other than that, the dog park. He LOVES the dog park. But even getting him from car to dog park is a chore and me looking like an idiot.

So I thought I'd give one of those anti-pull leashes/harnesses a try. But there's so many, I don't know where to start. Also, though opinions widely differ on them, didn't know if trying a prong collar would be an option to consider. (Not trying to start anything with that AND, of course, I'd want to be properly trained on how to use a prong collar!)

So ... any suggestions?

EDIT:
Unbelieveable. Out of the 100,000,000's pictures that I take, I couldn't find any recent pictures (that were sorted) that would show Shep's size. Most of the sorted pics are of him as a puppy or are of him running through the yard. Lol, so here's the best "size comparison" picture I could find. He's not big. Just strong.

This was back in 12/24/11 - Shep and I sleeping on the couch.
 

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Have you watched any of the Kikopup videos on leash walking? They're kind of like the Victoria Stillwell techniques but she goes into far more detail on how to train the behavior.


 

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I have a very strong 2 yr old pit mix and he about pulled my arm out of the socket. Recently purchased a Gentle Leader and WOW what a difference. It is like walking a different dog. Took some training to get used to the strap over his nose but he is fine with it now. The only suggestion I make is watch the video (that comes with it) if anyone is considering buying one of these head collars.
 

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I've tried training him how I trained the others but I haven't figured out how to connect with him yet. I've tried standing still until he calms - which he usually doesn't, but when he does, as soon as we begin again, he's full throttle. I've tried the bit where as soon as there's tension in the lead, I turn and walk the opposite direction and then continue that method, (like what Victoria does on It's Me or the Dog). When I do that though, after a couple turn abouts, he has just sat down and gave me a look that said, "Look, Lady, make up your mind!! Which way?!"


So I thought I'd give one of those anti-pull leashes/harnesses a try. But there's so many, I don't know where to start. Also, though opinions widely differ on them, didn't know if trying a prong collar would be an option to consider. (Not trying to start anything with that AND, of course, I'd want to be properly trained on how to use a prong collar!)

So ... any suggestions?

EDIT:
Unbelieveable. Out of the 100,000,000's pictures that I take, I couldn't find any recent pictures (that were sorted) that would show Shep's size. Most of the sorted pics are of him as a puppy or are of him running through the yard. Lol, so here's the best "size comparison" picture I could find. He's not big. Just strong.

This was back in 12/24/11 - Shep and I sleeping on the couch.
Two words- prong collar.
Obviously you've tried all of the positive reinforcement you could do and, obviously, it's not working on your dog. So the prong collar would be your best bet, definitely, to do a quick sharp correction as soon as he starts to pull. THen relax your arms, and as he goes to do it again, another correction. He'll get the idea quickly.
No, the prong collar isn't particularly painful for them. You can try it out on your arm to see if your comfortable with it, though. Just thing that since it goes over they're scruff, where there's all that fur and skin, it just snaps them out of it.
The prong collar will also make him respect you more, seeing that your the alpha and not just some toy to be dragged around.
"I've tried the bit where as soon as there's tension in the lead, I turn and walk the opposite direction and then continue that method"
By doing that, although it can work on certain dogs, you do make yourself a submissive target. Your not establishing any leadership.
Of course, you do want to maintain a friendship with your dog. But right now, even without looking at him, I can tell her has little respect for you and that's a really unbalanced relationship that you're having right now.
Yes, prong collar all the way. You just have to stay consistent with it. :)

Sorry I'm not reading over this post before I put it up, so if it doesn't make sense I apologize
 

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I have used a prong collar with success, although I don't believe in any of the "alpha" or "dominant" bunk. It wasn't about hsowing him who was boss, but simply finding something that he felt strongly enough to break through his concentration on hunting (deer, rabbits etc). I have since transitioned to a regular harness and prefer that when possible. I will occasionally use the prong for high mental stimulation situations where he can "tune out"


I have used a regular walking harness and VERY consistent "turn randomly" practice a la Victoria Stillwell or Kikipup's vids and had good success with more than one strong pulling pit bull (like, a 40 lbs dog that enjoyed weight pulling 400 lbs for fun)
The key is not waiting until there is tension on the lead but rather turning randomly (like zig-zagging haphazardly) and letting the dog get to the end of the leash on his own or not...when he starts to catch on that you are not tugging him anywhere nor putting pressure on the leash but it is he that is hitting the end of the leash by not following closely to you, you start to get the loose leash concept into his head. A martingale collar works well here.

Of the head collars, the only one I like is the Newtrix, made in canada and a little hard to find in person (orderable online though and comes with a training DVD). I feel it is much safer in design and works on a dog's natural instincts rather than just guiding his nose around. One of the problems with using a "tool" like a head collar or a prong collar is it can become a crutch- teaching the dog to listen to the tool rather than actually learning to walk without pulling.
 

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Loose leash walking is what you want to teach Shep. He will be in the palm of your hand. I work in a shelter, and have trained several dogs to walk with the loose leash methods, they have become less reactive and a joy to walk. I use the locally made Wonder Walker harness on my dogs, and its great and very easy to put on. But teaching a dog how to walk with me is primary.
 

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I agree about the loose leash walking. However, in the mean time, I think it's important that you're able to manage your dog when walking.

I have a 95 pound lab mix that is reactive. We have had extensive loose lead walking training and have made great progress. (The reactivity is the big problem.) I've tried just about every no pull harness available. I have not found the perfect one. My dog can still pull me down when she goes over threshold. The no pull harness that works the best for my dog is the Sensation. Some people love the Freedom no pull harness. It rubs my dog behind the front legs. The Easy Walk blisters my dog. Halti has a no pull harness, and it's my second choice. It's flimsy IMHO and lasts only a few months before one of the straps breaks at the seam.

I am now mostly using a Gentle Leader head collar. It took a long time to desensitize my dog to the Gentle Leader, and sometimes she still paws at it. I do use a no pull harness as a backup although I'm told it really isn't needed. (A head collar is really useful for me when ds/cc.)
 

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My favorite (and one my students really like) is the Freedom harness - which has a ring in front and a ring over the shoulders, and a double clip leash. It's more difficult to pull against two points of contact than one. But my really favorite tool for loose leash walking is teaching the dog to pay attention. Thing about management tools, dogs eventually become habituated to them or find a way around them, and then you have the same problem you had before, except now you have to get something more powerful (and possibly more aversive) to get the same result. This goes for prong collars as well.
 

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Thing about management tools, dogs eventually become habituated to them or find a way around them, and then you have the same problem you had before, except now you have to get something more powerful (and possibly more aversive) to get the same result. This goes for prong collars as well.>>>>

Id add that although sometimes true sometimes a management tool breaks the cycle and is all thats needed. Ex. Way back when we had a pitbull that my wife had trouble walking. We used a prong (not sure if head harnesses or front clip harnesses existed at the time) dog stopped pulling with no corrections purposely given or training. eventually transitioned to flat collar w/o a hiccup. Now that is not always the case and is dependent on the dog.
 

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My pit mix, Sacha, is very strong. I didn't train them to loose-lease walk (or leash walk at all) when they were babies- which was a big mistake. I used a Gentle Leader with her until kikopup's and Ahimsa Dog Training's methods took.

She did react very strongly to a cat last night- hurt my elbow- but that hasn't heppenned in a while. I wonder what the cat said to her. :wink:
 

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The prong collar will also make him respect you more, seeing that your the alpha and not just some toy to be dragged around.
"I've tried the bit where as soon as there's tension in the lead, I turn and walk the opposite direction and then continue that method"
By doing that, although it can work on certain dogs, you do make yourself a submissive target. Your not establishing any leadership.
Of course, you do want to maintain a friendship with your dog. But right now, even without looking at him, I can tell her has little respect for you and that's a really unbalanced relationship that you're having right now.
Submissive target? Gah. What nonsense.
 

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But right now, even without looking at him, I can tell her has little respect for you and that's a really unbalanced relationship that you're having right now.
Yes, prong collar all the way.
I wouldn't take advice from someone who imagines to know my dogs 'feelings' of respect. A bit out there for me.
 

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Hi, apart from the great training advice above, have you also tried getting him to burn off some steam before you take him out for a walk? If you have room in your yard to play catch or other activity? My dog walks so beautifully when he has burnt off some steam first, but is still a work in progress the rest of the time. I'm hoping the penny will drop soon and he will walk nicely on the leash all the time! I'm thinking of also teaching him to jump through a hula hoop, which I can do in my small back yard before we go out for walks.

As for not returning when off leash, one thing that helped me a lot was to get my dog interested in doing tricks, in particular jumping up onto the rock wall near our house on command. I always rewarded him with a ball throw as he's not so interested in treats. Then I noticed he was looking to me all the time to see what fun thing he could do and actually the ball part was not necessary. He actually enjoyed the trick as much as chasing the ball. So on walks I started to call him back to me to do a trick or just a sit or other command every now and then, and he started to come back to me very excitedly each time. Then I send him off excitedly to have a run and sniff, which he likes too, as he knows that usually after I call him over he will get to go back to sniffing or playing or whatever it was he was doing. Now I never have to worry about him not coming back on walks.

I think it's all about finding what excites the dog enough to make them want to come back to you or do other things that you need them to do, whether it's treats or a game or something else. I'd be interested to find out what has helped your dog since your original post.
 

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The easy walk harness was magical for Brooklyn! I put it on her, she went to pull but the leash clips in front so her body turned completely around. She tried one more time and then never pulled again. She was also about 4.5 months when this happened. I would at least give it a try.
 

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Thank you!! She was billed as a 'lab mix' on the rescue site. They thought maybe lab/some kind of shepherd mix. There is a dog that comes to our dog park that is a southern cur dog and she looks exactly like that dog. So maybe she is a southern cur or at least part cur?? Who knows.
 
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