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6 month old male leash pulling

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:28 pm
by linsey
Hi Everyone!

We have an almost 6 month old male Brittany who pulls on the leash...really bad. When we're in the backyard, he walks great on the leash and will look up at me when I say his name, but as soon as we hit the sidewalk I don't exist. Can't get him to look at me at all (I have to wave a treat in front of his face to get him to look up). We're almost finished with a basic obedience class, and the instructor recommended a pinch prong collar. It irritates his neck, so I got the tips for the prongs, and we also have a martingale and the gentle leader (which rubs his snout a little raw). We rotate between the collars so his skin doesn't get too irritated.

When we're walking I will turn around when he starts pulling hard and when he walks with the leash loose, I'll tell him that he's a good boy and give him a treat. It's impossible to get very far when I keep turning around and he needs his exercise, so what should I be doing to stop the pulling?

Also, he's constantly putting his feet up on the counters and high tables looking for food. Any ideas on how to stop this? I give him a stern no and tell him to get down, but he keeps doing it.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Re: 6 month old male leash pulling

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:44 pm
by Cindy
I am NOT really into training and prefer "crutches" when the typical behavioral things don't work. We've pretty much cured our Layla from counter surfing but you might find some good ideas here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8954 . Keep us posted.

Re: 6 month old male leash pulling

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:43 pm
Hi, Linsey,

I couldn't use any collar on my Brit that began to rub him raw, irritated him or gave him any pain, so we switched to a front harness. The pulling decreased a LOT. Specifically, we use the Freedom Harness. If you buy it directly from the website of the owner, rather than through Amazon or a dealer, they will replace or repair it once if chewed. Ours is just about ready to be sent in.

Other than that, it sounds like you are on the right track.

Some of the best advice we were given by our trainer was that walks really aren't that great of exercise for puppies, and to limit it to training sessions. So, until the extra distractions outside of backyard are more easily ignored, don't feel guilty keeping the walks short and close to home. We had to limit ours to just down our own block and back, many times a day. For real exercise that really gets them tired, we played a fast paced game of ball in the house, down a hallway, or on the stairs. Throw a second ball the second he returns with the first. He'll drop the first one at your feet as he chases the second one. (Well, usually!) Of course, there are other ways to tire a Brit, but we were dealing with winter, snow and ice at the time.

Counter surfing is hard because the possibility of instant reward is so fast and immediate! Gus swiped a freshly washed and deboned chicken breast the other day, so I'll pass on what I learned but haven't had total success with. First of all, in general, there should never be a crumb on the counter or he's gotten his reward. Secondly, the way they taught us was putting a treat on the counter and working on 'leave it!' and rewarding him with something even better. We'd walk the dog on a leash and every time he walked past the treat, looked the other way, or did anything even resembling NOT counter surfing he got a BETTER treat than was up on the counter. We started with uninteresting treats on the counter (think dry kibble) and worked up to really hard to resist ones. At no time can the counter treat be given as the reward.

Hope this helps. Gus is still a puller at 15 months, but that's our fault - we've been letting him get away with too much. In fact, just this week we began to address it again. I don't mind a little pulling and he knows it. It's the downright dragging me down the street that's unacceptable, and boy, can he do it if it's allowed! As far as counter surfing, we're careful what's within reach and usually a command of 'leave it' will have him immediately getting 'four on the floor again.' Unless my back is turned and there's a freshly washed boneless chicken breast on the counter close to HIS dinnertime.

Re: 6 month old male leash pulling

Posted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:38 pm
by Barb Wright
Here are some links to threads on leash pulling from our archives:

Threads on leash pulling:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9152&p=87057&hilit= ... ash#p87057

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8977&p=85734&hilit ... ash#p85734

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=2311&p=82673&hilit ... ash#p82673


This tip is a good one to try....
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=6418&p=63392&hilit ... ash#p63392

On the counter surfing problem...Counter-surfing is usually more difficult to deal with simply because it almost always happens out of your sight. Dogs, although considered primarily a predator, are also natural born opportunists and scavengers. So, checking out all the places that food can be found, from counters to cupboards to garbage cans, is again absolutely normal in dogdom. A very important command to teach dogs is “OFF” or “LEAVE-IT” as there will be many generalized situations come up where it is crucial that your dog obey that command. If you can catch your dog in the act of scavenging, that command may get the message across in pretty rapid order. Otherwise, you're really going to have to find imaginative ways to make the practice of counter-surfing either unproductive – if you are not in attendance there is nothing edible on the counters- or, counter-intuitive (no pun intended), something scary happens if the counter is surfed. There are any number of clattery-bangy devices that will dissuade most dogs to by-pass the counter even if it smells pretty good, which in a psychological way can have positive results because the “scary” event is not connected to you but to the counter. But, probably the best results come from being present when the “crime” occurs and making it a training issue. Dogs have to be taught the rules in a fair, just, and consistent manner. Otherwise they will naturally do what their instincts tell them, and stealing food is high on their list of “it’s the right thing to do” :lol:

Threads from our archives on counter surfing:


This from the ASCPA: ... ge-raiding

Hope some of the above tips and ideas help with these two training issues.

Re: 6 month old male leash pulling

Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:43 pm
by linsey
Well, keeping the counters cleared helped with the surfing! (surprise, surprise). This dog is going to make me have a clean house yet! Thanks for all advice!

Re: 6 month old male leash pulling

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 12:58 pm
by jacleveland
When our Georgia pulls when I'm walking her I just stop. And wait. Often she'll sit, and when she does I'll say "wait" and step on the leash as a signal to wait until I've caught up and then say "Let's go" when I'm just past her and of course lots of praise when she waits (esp on her own!). Sometimes when I stop she'll turn around and walk back toward me, which is even better. Either way I guess it's the act of sending the message that if they pull the walk stops and gets pretty boring :)

She's definitely pulling less, except when she's on the scent of something--makes it tougher!!!