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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone. My puppy is almost 10 months old. He has been going to obedience class weekly for 5 months. He does great with obedience and is really coming along. He heels great in class, in the house, and in the yard. He even heels right by me off lead like this. BUT... he is a hunting dog by nature. As soon as we get out of the driveway his nose goes straight to the ground and he starts to pull. I got him a prong collar which worked for a while.. but now he pulls despite the prong collar. I like to jog with him to burn off extra energy but he just isn't staying close enough to me. He gets out in front and pulls harder and harder with his nose on the ground until i have to jerk on the collar and correct him. I know this isn't the correct way. I've tried to be a tree and I've tried treats. But when his nose goes to the ground I can't distract him. It is like he is in another world.

Do I just need to lose the prong collar and start completely over with loose leash training? I don't want suggestions for different halters or head collars or what not. I want him to stay by me no matter what collar he has on. Esp if I'm going to keep jogging with him.

Thanks
 

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Have you tried the method in which you turn and move in the opposite direction every time he hits the end of the leash? Each time he pulls to the end of the leash, you turn 180 degrees and walk in the other direction, pulling him with you. As he passes your leg -- the spot where you want him to be walking -- praise/click and deliver a treat. He will most likely keep going past your leg and hit the end of it again... just rinse and repeat, turning 180 degrees again and reinforcing for a correct position. You may be walking in figure 8s for awhile, but he'll soon catch on.

If he's already too strong for you to pull him back in the other direction, you might want to consider a no-pull harness as a temporary measure to help you implement this method.
 

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Geez I feel your pain. Today was a bad day for Rafa and reminded me I need a lot of work to do. He's almost 7 months old and usually walks ok with me during our neighborhood walks and such. Still working on it and by the end of the walk he's loose leash walking. But today....I took him to the lake which has a huge trail that goes around it. Boy did he go nutz. He wouldn't look at me at all distracted about all the noises on the trail...squirrels, birds, people, dogs. All he wanted to do was move as fast as he can forward on the trail or sideways to catch a bird/squirrel. It made me realize I have a lot of work I still have to do so I'd love some advice also. It was funny because I was trying the whole everytime he pulls we stop and he has to sit. That didn't work at all for about 45 minutes. He didn't seem to get it. A lady that was walking her dog gave me a tip about the wonder walker? Anyone have any experiences with that sort of leash?
 

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I know you said you don't want suggestions on halters and such, but I think they can be great as a training tool. We used a front-clip harness in combination with treats and other techniques like the 180 and random stopping. After 4 months we were able to lose the harness for good.

On a different note, what kind of treats are you using? Surely they have to smell better than whatever the ground smells like, right???
 

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I copied a post from another thread (Nash's Training) below on how I taught my new GSD to walk on a loose leash. He was a strong puller when I first brought him home.

Here is my post from the other thread:
Nash and I seem to have conquered loose leash walking. He had/has a no pull harness on so he couldn't pull me down, but I never pulled the leash. I used a clicker and stopping when he started to pull on me. Today he did not need one reminder (ie: stopping) at all. He just walked on a loose leash the entire time. I've been keeping the walks short, about 15-20 minutes as I don't want to push my luck. For exercise we have been playing lots of fetch.

The first day I took him out back on a long line (about 15 feet) and stood in one spot. After a short while he came up to me to see why the heck I wasn't moving along with him. I clicked and gave him a treat (c/t) and sent him back out to sniff stuff. Within a few minutes he wouldn't leave me alone. We took a break and went back out later. Did the same thing, he caught on a lot quicker, so I took a step, c/t, we got up to 12 steps with him within a foot of me, so we ended there.

Second day we did the above again in the back yard on the first session and got about 20 steps and I was c/t every few steps. After a break we hit the road with a 6 foot leash. I stood in one spot and when he gave me attention I c/t. After about 30 seconds he was paying good attention so I took some steps and he did really well. I c/t when he was walking on a loose leash somewhat next to me. If he started to pull or go to far ahead or behind I just stopped moving. When he would give me he attention back I c/t and we continued to walk. We did about 10 minutes. Another session later we did about 15 minutes.

Third day we did the same as above but skipped the backyard step. We got about 15 minutes on the first session. The second session was also about 15 minutes. I did a lot less stopping. I was still c/t almost every 2-3 steps, sometimes every 4-5th.

Today (fourth day working on this) we got a good 15 minute walk in without me having to stop once due to him pulling or forging ahead. I was randomly c/t, sometimes every 2nd step, sometimes every 4th step, then 2 in a row, then every 6th step, then 3rd and so on. We also worked on him being on my left side instead of my right (for some reason he always wants to be on my right). I c/t more frequently when he was on my left and gave him a few jackpots while on my left. Towards the end of the walk he was choosing to be on my left much more often.

Its very important to send them back out to sniff in the beginning. Put sniffing on cue and periodically on your walks when he is being really good about walking next to you mark it (good, yes or what ever you use) and tell him "go sniff". To put "go sniff" on cue, when he is sniffing around mark it and give him a treat, after marking and rewarding it a good 20-30 times for 2 or 3 sessions (should be quick, each session only a couple of minutes) add the cue "go sniff" when he starts to sniff and then mark and reward it. Do that 20-30 times in 2 or 3 sessions and then try giving him the cue "go sniff" prior to him doing it, if he does it then he's got it. If he doens't then do the previous step a few more sessions and then try again.

The places where I put c/t sometimes give a treat, sometimes mark it and then tell him to go sniff, some mark it and give him 5 or 6 treats one after another (not all at once, dogs have a sense of quantity but not so much of portion), if he plays tug sometimes mark it and pull out a tug toy. If he want to go up to a squirrel, get a few steps of loose leash walking and then go chase the squirrel up a tree with him.

You also might want to teach him to track, with a specific harness or collar on. Try to find one that feels different than what you normally use. If you give him an outlet for tracking it will help other times. ie: you can track with this collar on, but not any other time. And then loose leash walk to a park or field and as a reward for the loose leash walking, he can go tracking for 15 minutes, then do some more loose leash walking, then tracking as the reward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks for all the advice.. Mel I like your thinking and I think I'm going to give that a whirl. I'll let y'all know how it goes.

So Mel I just went out with Scout for our first session. He did great in the yard and knew I had cheese in my pocket. He wouldn't leave my side so he breezed through that step. Went out to the road and walked back and forth in front of the house. He pulled twice and I would just stop. Once he paid me attention I'd say "yes" and give a treat. (I don't have a clicker) We walked around in front of the house for about 5 minutes and he only pulled twice.

I think this might work. I think I've just been letting him get away with murder. Maybe if I do short sessions each day and find some other form of exercise for him in the mean time this could work.

I wonder how it will work with me jogging with him.... I guess I'll have to put that off for a while until I know he won't leave my side.

Thanks for the advice.. Now I just have to make myself be consistent!!

I think it worked so well b/c I got his attention in the yard first with the treats.
 
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