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My wife and I recently got a new Golden Retriever puppy a little more than a month ago and have been training her ourselves. She is about 14 weeks old and is doing well, but I was hoping to get some advice from some seasoned veterans in terms of making the walks more enjoyable.

I've read a number of books about the importance of walking in front or beside the dog and if she starts to pull to turn around and start to walk the other direction. We've been doing that regularly and she seems to be doing a bit better. Our dog does decent during the beginning of the walks by walking beside us, but toward the end when she senses she is on her way home begins to pull ahead. Despite turning around and trying to persuade her to follow us the other direction so we are the leader, she puts on the breaks and refuses to follow.

A lot of the YouTube videos and articles I've read make it seem like it's not big deal to turn around and start walking the other direction if the dog starts puling in the front. Unfortunately I haven't found that to be true in practice. Should I lure her my way with a treat so she starts walking my direction? Or does anyone else have any better guidance?

I'm new here, so if this question has been answered before I apologize. But I'm coming up empty on my searches.

Many thanks in advance.
 

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When training a puppy to stay near me/not pull (and that's ALL I care about, walk in front if you want, dog), I absolutely use treats and rewards. I want the dog to want to be there, and to be able to communicate that being there is a good thing. Praise and treats do that. I don't think it's really fair to expect the dog to get something without that kind of really clear communication. Leash corrections are something I'll use with an adult dog (gentle ones) with the right temperament, but a puppy? Nope. You have to teach. Best teaching is showing them what what they're doing isn't working (Ie: pulling won't get them anywhere) AND showing them that being beside you (or wherever) WILL. That means treats, or praise, or pets, or happy voices, or whatever works.
 

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Agreed, but my puppy begins to pull even if I have treats near my side when she senses she is almost home. The only way to stop her from pulling is to stop dead in my tracks and wait until she sites down. Unfortunately when I start moving again, she starts pulling again.

How do I encourage her to stay near me without resistance on the leash but not always giving her treats every 3 - 5 feet?
 

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Agreed, but my puppy begins to pull even if I have treats near my side when she senses she is almost home. The only way to stop her from pulling is to stop dead in my tracks and wait until she sites down. Unfortunately when I start moving again, she starts pulling again.

How do I encourage her to stay near me without resistance on the leash but not always giving her treats every 3 - 5 feet?
You start by passing out treats every 3-5 feet, and then go to 4-6, and then 5-7, and - You phase the treats out the same way you do in any other training situation. Spread them out, first, then you randomize and sometimes give a treat and sometimes not and then usually just don't. It takes some time. Leash training takes a long time. I swear, it regresses more than freaking housebreaking, but this may be made worse because my husband's attitude is 'eh, doesn't bother me so who cares'. ME! I care! Because I have to walk them when you're not around, silly.

Anyway, it will take time and patience and a lot of walks where you don't get far, but you'll get there. Starting out with a tired dog can help a lot, too.
 

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My puppy did (and still will once in a blue moon) pull and put the brakes on when we are about a block and a half away from home. There's nothing to do but wait it out, or else all your puppy is learning that she has to behave up until then. It's taken me a half an hour to walk the last half of a block before. But we did it! When he put on the breaks after I tried to change direction, I just waited him out. He eventually figured out that he only got to move if he was with me and only got to move towards home if he didn't pull
 

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I agree with CptJack and blenderpie. Sometimes when you're walking a puppy, you don't get far. OR, it takes you forever to go a couple of blocks because you're constantly stopping, or turning to go the other way, etc. But, it's more important, IMO, to take awhile to go a few blocks, if you are laying the foundation for good walking, rather than worrying about getting somewhere, etc.
 

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I hope you are getting the idea that dog training of any kind isn't an overnight operation. There are also hills and valleys and rough spots.

Also, as has already been said, you dogs position isn't anywhere near as important as the loose leash.

There's a sticky on this forum (top of the page) that covers loose leash walking - basically, it's Karen Pryor's method of teaching this. Read that first.

Another method is called Silky Leash Training - basically, it's Shirley Chong's method. Here's a link to Shirley's original description of that method (before it was even named Silky Leash)

Shirley Chong Loose Leash Walking

Ahimsa Dog Training has some nice videos on line illustrating Silky Leash Training.

There are other methods, too.

Do some web searches on Loose Leash Walking and on Silky Leash. You'll find a wealth of information available.
 
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