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Trained puppy who walked to heel has started pulling again

1058 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Bordermom
I have a tibetan terrier puppy called Cookie who is 5 and a half months. I have never owned a dog before and have tried to follow as much advice as I can but am finding it very hard work.

I had trained her to walk really nicely on a slack lead using the stopping method when she pulled and rewarding her with treats when she walked nicely. She responded to this well and it had been very successful.

The kids have been off school for a week and so I haven't walked her my normal route and my husband took her for walks. Upon resuming our normal walks I would have expected a little pulling and training needed. However, it is like she'd never been trained - she is pulling constantly and no amount of stopping seems to make any difference. I cant really reward her because she isnt ever walking on a slack lead even for a few steps. My husband assures me that he uses same tactics as me when he walked her during school break.

It's very frustrating to see all my hard work undone and the feeling of starting from scratch, especially as she isn't responding and we don't seem to be making any progress like we did when she was originally trained. Any advice please?
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Stay consistent, calm and don't change your method.
Good luck!
You're on the right path, I'd recommend "My Dog Pulls. What Do I Do?" book which is similar to what your trainer did. It's not free but it's very useful and I'm sure you will like it. You'll often have to "reset" training back to zero, as if you never trained - don't be desperate because your dog will learn a lot faster this time - the first time is always hardest.
Its the age!! A lot of trainers make references to the "terrible twos" or to "puberty/teenagers" because it is very common to have a pup that is well trained suddenly start pushing all the boundaries. So it's not just you!

I would recommend umbilical training when it comes to having a pulling dog - wear the leash around your waist in the house for 30 mins a day, while you do whatever you usually would. Then on walks, wear the leash around your waist, and when she pulls, change direction. Cross the street, walk the other way, whatever. It'll make it harder to keep to a "route" but dogs like variety anyway! In the park, run with her a little, and go around obstacles with the leash around your waist - lots of turns, directional changes etc - you should be running fast enough to be ahead of her. Go around trees, over park benches, zig zags... Umbilical trains the dog to keep watching you, and respond to your movements - it is a real miracle worker!
I think a lot of advice that was given is good advice. The one thing that wasn't brought up though was time. I have a labrador retriever (Jesse) that had a similar problem. Every time I took him for a walk, whenever we passed another dog he would pull on the leash. A few people that I spoke to suggested consistency and positive reinforcement would do the trick, but after almost a month of trying that, the problem was still there. I never thought I would ever use a training collar, but I was desperate. I went looking for one that was the most "humane" for Jesse. I stumbled across this leash called simpleLEASH, which sends out a warning signal before actually zapping. I thought that was a good thing because then Jesse would have the opportunity to stop without getting zapped. I read the testimonials, and saw that it was highly recommended by veterinarians as well as other dog owners that used it. I ended up getting it, and I'm glad I did, because by my third walk with Jesse, he completely stopped pulling and now walks side by side with me.
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That sounds really interesting but I don't think I would want to scare me dog into walking nicely...
Totally normal, puppies grow and their brains take breaks and catch up later. Good news is it'll pass with some continued training.

Bad news is your kids will also go through it from the age of 12-19.
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