How do I teach Lewis to stop PULLING on our walks!

General Brittany Discussion

Moderators: Barb Wright, Lisa

Forum rules
Welcome to general discussion!

Did your Britt make you laugh today? Did he do something so smart, you are blown away? Those puppy teeth causing you to tear up, and you need an outlet? Or do you want to post a picture of his or her latest point? This is the place for it!
Post Reply
jholly
Puppy
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:07 am
Location: Oshawa, ON Canada

How do I teach Lewis to stop PULLING on our walks!

Post by jholly »

Lewis pulls like crazy on our walks. I can't attach the leash to the collar because he pulls so much he actually chokes himself. I use a harness on him, which has lessened his pulling somewhat, But I'm sure if I were on roller blades I'd be flying all over the neighborhood. I can't use a "halty" on him as he had a broken jaw. I usually use the 6ft leash. I've tried a shorter leather leash, but that usually means he pulls more (I feel like my arm is coming out of the socket). He has his nose to the ground most of the time and he runs back and forth sniffing. The rabbits in the neighborhood don't help. I afraid one of these days Lewis will tear away from me and attack the rabbits.

Image

Thurs. Oct 25

I bought a Halty for Lewis. I've only tried it on him once. He hated it! He rolled on the ground more than walking just to get the darn thing off his snout. I'll keep trying it and let everyone know if it works out or not
Last edited by jholly on Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mark
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 1232
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2004 2:20 pm
Location: Rosemount, MN

Re: How do I teach Lewis to stop PULLING on our walks!

Post by Mark »

A few thoughts-

1) If the broken jaw is fully healed, I don't see why proper use of a halty or a gentle leader would be an issue. The way both work, is to actually put some pressure on the top of the snout, and the back of the head, when the dog tries to pull. There is, essentially no pressure put on the dog's jaw (and definitely no more pressure than the dog puts on their own jaw when eating).

2) Another option that works well for some people is the easy walk harness: http://www.amazon.com/Premier-Harness-L ... B0009ZBKG4 . We used one to great success with Monty. However, you do need to be careful about chafing- Monty would get a bit raw in his armpits if it was on too long (i.e.- a 3-5+ mile walk).

3) Some around here aren't fans, but we have actually resorted to using a prong collar on Monty when he goes running with Jen. He absolutely refuses to do the gentle leader (he sits like a donkey, and refuses to move), and the easy walk harness was causing him to chafe on runs. The prong collar has been quite effective, and he simply will not pull on one.
Image
Wheeeeeeeee!!!

Monty.
He's so hot right now.
Monty.

SmittysMom
Puppy
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:26 pm

Re: How do I teach Lewis to stop PULLING on our walks!

Post by SmittysMom »

We worked with our trainer, and she put Smitty in in a prong collar plus a choke collar. We originally started training with only the choke, and he was still pulling. So after 3 weeks she added the prong and it made an immediate difference. Since we were training when we made the collar change, I can't fully say how much can be attributed to the collar, but it definitely helped some. Now he will occasionally pull, and when he does we tell him "no pulling" and if he still doesn't respond, we quickly pop his collar to deliver the correction. I can't remember the last time I actually had to deliver the correction.

Mark
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 1232
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2004 2:20 pm
Location: Rosemount, MN

Re: How do I teach Lewis to stop PULLING on our walks!

Post by Mark »

SmittysMom wrote:We worked with our trainer, and she put Smitty in in a prong collar plus a choke collar. We originally started training with only the choke, and he was still pulling. So after 3 weeks she added the prong and it made an immediate difference. Since we were training when we made the collar change, I can't fully say how much can be attributed to the collar, but it definitely helped some. Now he will occasionally pull, and when he does we tell him "no pulling" and if he still doesn't respond, we quickly pop his collar to deliver the correction. I can't remember the last time I actually had to deliver the correction.
Choke + Prong collar at the same time!?!?!?!? That has an accidentally strangled dog written all over it. I would highly recommend you find a new trainer SmittysMom- that scheme is flat out dangerous. I've seen Monty's prong collar get tangled up with his normal buckle collar, and it took a few minutes to get it all free. With a choke collar, if such a tangling happened through the links of the choke collar, and it was to tighten down, you'd have the potential for a disaster.

(BTW: A choke collar on its own, due to the un-restricted tightening nature, can be quite dangerous. There are cases of an over correction (could even be accidental - i.e.- dog bolting for a rabbit on a loose leash) collapsing a dog's trachea. It doesn't take much force to do so.. I would highly recommend staying away from a choke collar all together, and would definitely recommend you NEVER put both a choke and prong on at the same time)
Image
Wheeeeeeeee!!!

Monty.
He's so hot right now.
Monty.

dmedric
Senior Hunter
Senior Hunter
Posts: 340
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:22 pm
Location: Leland, NC

Re: How do I teach Lewis to stop PULLING on our walks!

Post by dmedric »

We've had great success with the SENSE-ation harness (http://www.softouchconcepts.com/product ... on-harness). Our trainer lent us two to try with our dogs and it was like a miracle -- both responded really well to it. We purchased our own and have not looked back.
Image

Lisa
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4031
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 8:42 pm
Location: McKinney, TX

Re: How do I teach Lewis to stop PULLING on our walks!

Post by Lisa »

I finally broke down, and now use a prong collar on Buster when we go for walks in areas where there are lots of bunnies and squirrels. So, that's an option for you, but make sure if you use a prong, that you fit it correctly. Here's a good thread discussing Prongs and the proper way to fit them: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8977&p=85734&hilit ... lar#p85734

For my puppy, I like using a step in harness with a double ended leash - you connect the ends of the leash to the rings on the side of the harness, and use the leash like reins on a horse. It gives you more control and keeps the dog more balanced. Petsmart sells these harnesses as the "comfort wrap" I think.
Image Image RIP Madi
Charm-future agility champ
Britty- RIP March 27, 2014
Buster-CGC, OA, OF, NAJ, APK, APJ, APG, APR, PD

Barb Wright
The Grammar Police
The Grammar Police
Posts: 6851
Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 12:45 pm
Location: Montana

Re: How do I teach Lewis to stop PULLING on our walks!

Post by Barb Wright »

I have to agree with the points that Mark brought up.....a choke and a prong is really a bit much, and the potential for injury much more likely. Choke collars are nasty, and with so many other training devices available I really can't see resorting to using one, ever. JMPO
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

MaggieRocks
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
Posts: 1133
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:34 pm
Location: York County, Pa

Re: How do I teach Lewis to stop PULLING on our walks!

Post by MaggieRocks »

Here is another vote against a choke collar. And I have NEVER heard of using a choke collar in combination with a prong collar! I, too, would look for another trainer.

Lisa
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4031
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 8:42 pm
Location: McKinney, TX

Re: How do I teach Lewis to stop PULLING on our walks!

Post by Lisa »

Not to disparage a trainer, but combining two aversive training tools such as a prong and choke is not usually a good or productive idea. Both the prong and choke collars work by applying an aversive sensation to the dog, which is released when the dog does what he is supposed to. Of the two, I will always choose a prong over a choke collar. The prong collar has a limited tightening capability, and applies pressure evenly around a dog's neck. The choke collar does not have a stop to prevent it from tightening too much, and applies pressure mainly to the front of the throat, which can cause damage. If you are using both at the same time, and they become tangled with each other, then you run the risk of the choke collar not loosening when it is supposed to. That means you're applying an aversive even when the dog is doing the correct behavior. If there's concern of the prong breaking, and so a back-up collar is desired, you can use a regular buckle collar set low on the neck, or a harness. However, if a prong is fitted correctly, it should not fall apart.

When Buster is wearing his prong collar for a walk, I either take his regular collar off, or make it loose enough that it sits well below his prong collar. I don't want the two becoming tangled up. I had that happen one time when I first started using his prong, and the prong tightened when Buster pulled, but it did not release properly when Buster stopped pulling, so the boy was being punished for walking correctly. I noticed it right away and fixed it by taking off his regular collar.

The ONLY time any of my dogs wear a slip collar or choke chain is when Charm is in the show ring, on her show lead or when the dogs are wearing slip leads. These are not used for correction or training, but to prevent the dog from backing out of the lead (or in the case of agility, to facility quickly getting a leash on or off). In these situations, the dog is already under control, not pulling (too much) on the lead, not getting popped by the collar, and I do my best to keep the lead adjusted to make sure they do not have too much pressure applied to their trachea.

If I do choose to use a training tool for walking a dog, I prefer the prong collar when everything else has failed, and you need control (like Buster around bunnies and squirrels). I usually start with a harness or on a rare occasion, a head halter, but I'm not a fan of halters either.

There are lots of training philosophies out there, and you have to choose the one that's best and safest for you and your dog. Personally, I like to use as few "tools" and "training collars" as possible, because I think it's just easier. I also like to keep things positive and fun for the dogs. Yes, sometimes that means I get behaviors I don't intend to teach, but that's okay with me.
Image Image RIP Madi
Charm-future agility champ
Britty- RIP March 27, 2014
Buster-CGC, OA, OF, NAJ, APK, APJ, APG, APR, PD

adele
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
Posts: 2726
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2005 7:12 am

Re: How do I teach Lewis to stop PULLING on our walks!

Post by adele »

Everyone is talking about a product to help get the dog stop pulling. I've tried a lot of different products and not one worked for more than a week or two. (Never tried the gentle leader). I'm against prong collars because my girl wouldn't stop pulling and got hurt (well she got sores on her neck which quickly healed after I stopped using it).

With Lola I learned that you won't be able to work on not pulling if the dog is full of energy. So you must find that tricky balance of exercising the dog before you teach her to walk nicely. I was lucky to have a couple of fields neighbours would let me run her in. But if your's is inclined perhaps a daily trip to a dog park? Or get one of those attachments so you can go for a bike ride? Join agility or even Rally.

What finally worked with Lola was to get two types of harness/leash (I only use a harness on Lola). So perhaps that Softtouch harness first... then you take your well exercised dog out for a walk and so long as you're not being pulled into the middle of the road ... just deal with it. Then, in the last 10 or 15 minutes switch to her regular collar (say... or whatever just so its different from the other harness) and a short leash and PLAY train-me-to-walk-nicely. Train-me-to-walk-nicely is a tiring game for humans but well worth the trouble. Get the dog by your side and give the heel command, walk a few steps, if the dog moves ahead, say "annnnnd heel" and turn around.
Do it again and again. When the dog is walking for several steps at your side... add an element of "simon says" to the game... just randomly "annnnnd heel" then change directions... turn a circle, start to trot... whatever, just play like you're trying to trick the dog into missing your lead. Of course, great praise and cheddar cheese when you change it up and the dog stays by your side. It has to be fast paced with lots of changes. I give the warning that a change is about to happen with the "annnnnd" It won't take long before your dog is expecting this really fun game at the end of the walk. Then once you've got her started always play the game when you're crossing a street. Then I added always playing the game when we were going downhill (because it hurts my knees when she pulls me downhill)... Then I added always when we were in the center of town (and we'd play around sign posts and weave around the garbage cans...

Lola and I don't play the game much anymore because she is "good enough" at leash walking. She's not going to win any awards but if I wanted her to get better I guess I'd just have to play more.
Image

Annabelle
Senior Hunter
Senior Hunter
Posts: 213
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 5:03 pm
Location: Canada

Re: How do I teach Lewis to stop PULLING on our walks!

Post by Annabelle »

Jack was big puller - prong collar didn't work. He really liked clicker training once we discovered it, so clicked and treated whenever he was in heel position on leash or off leash in the backyard. Did lots of training in doors and in classes first before trying it on walks outside. When we did go outside, we did 10 feet in heel and then a break "go sniff" then back to heel. He still pulls when he is in Go Sniff mode but will listen better.

I noticed yesterday that there is a difference in the way he walks depending on the walks we do. Before I had my son I walked both dogs on flexis. After my son while walking with the stroller, the dogs were on 6 feet leashes. Jacks leash went around my waist and I always kept treats in the stroller to reward heel position. He could hardly pull when the leash was around my waist. We haven't walked with the stroller for 6-8 weeks but went last night. I had to keep adjusting the leash tighter on my waist because it was slack all the time. I think he has great walking behaviour while on the six foot leash because I was so consistent about rewarding good behaviour AND having the leash around my waist made it easier to control him/ limit his reward sniffing.
Image

SmittysMom
Puppy
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:26 pm

Re: How do I teach Lewis to stop PULLING on our walks!

Post by SmittysMom »

Mark wrote: Choke + Prong collar at the same time!?!?!?!? That has an accidentally strangled dog written all over it. I would highly recommend you find a new trainer SmittysMom- that scheme is flat out dangerous. I've seen Monty's prong collar get tangled up with his normal buckle collar, and it took a few minutes to get it all free. With a choke collar, if such a tangling happened through the links of the choke collar, and it was to tighten down, you'd have the potential for a disaster.

(BTW: A choke collar on its own, due to the un-restricted tightening nature, can be quite dangerous. There are cases of an over correction (could even be accidental - i.e.- dog bolting for a rabbit on a loose leash) collapsing a dog's trachea. It doesn't take much force to do so.. I would highly recommend staying away from a choke collar all together, and would definitely recommend you NEVER put both a choke and prong on at the same time)
Well considering that this is the trainer that ABR referred to us to, she has a 20 year history of success, she continually updates her knowledge by attending and hosting world renown trainers, and we've had nothing but success ourselves, I think we will stick with our trainer and her methods. :) The choke + prong collar is neither dangerous nor excessive. The leash is linked to both collars simultaneously. If he pulls, he gets both the physical correction of the prong AND the audible correction of the choke chain as it moves. The choke doesn't even need to get tight because he knows that sound as a cue. Also, since the choke is significantly longer than the prong, it goes on first and hangs near the base of the neck while the prong is placed much higher. There are several inches of seperation between the two to prevent entanglement. And even if there were not, the prong is snug, so there's not ample room for the choke to work its way underneath. And even if it did, since he only wears his collars during training or walking, he always has the 100% focus of an adult while wearing them to be able to address any situations that arise. It's perfectly safe if used correctly, Smitty gets extra tail-wagging-doggie-smile excited when we pull out his collars, he doesn't pull on walks, and we're having great success in general with him. I realize that there are many ways to train, and I certainly won't criticize the choices of other owners. I just think that maybe folks shouldn't be so quick to judge a trainer, his/her methods, or a family without seeing firsthand how well it works and how stinkin' happy and healthy the dog is.

Barb Wright
The Grammar Police
The Grammar Police
Posts: 6851
Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 12:45 pm
Location: Montana

Re: How do I teach Lewis to stop PULLING on our walks!

Post by Barb Wright »

Whatever works :) It seems you have the method covered with good supervision. Glad to hear such good news about Smitty....he's a lucky guy !!
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

Mark
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 1232
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2004 2:20 pm
Location: Rosemount, MN

Re: How do I teach Lewis to stop PULLING on our walks!

Post by Mark »

I am not going to just agree as Barb did, as I see some serious issues here.

Smitty's mom- what you don't seem to see is how, even under great supervision, this is a situation that could quickly spiral out of control.

1) A Brittany's neck is hardly "several" inches. The most you could separate the two is 2-3 inches at best.
2) We use a prong on Monty (properly fit and snug). The only other collar he has on during a walk is a relatively thick (padded) buckle collar. Even with the snug prong collar, his buckle collar has gotten under/tangled with the prong collar. A thin chain (choke) collar would slide under the prong collar even easier.
3) 99/100 times, if the choke collar slid under, there would be no issue. HOWEVER, there is a possibility that a prong could slide through/bind on a link of the choke chain, and get tangled in the "O" ring of the choke chain. This is when things get dangerous, as if the collar happened to be tight (say the dog lunges at a squirrel) you very easily could end up in a situation with a dog being choked, without being able to loosen the choke chain (as the prong is now locking it in place). As I said in my previous post- I have had issues with Monty's fat/webbed/padded buckle collar getting tangled in his prong collar before. The same happening with a non-confined (i.e.- it can just keep tightening) collar would be a nightmare.
4) A dog, unable to breathe, would likely panic. Have you ever been around a panicking dog? They may try to run, pull, etc.. and in many cases are in no state to be listening to human commands. I've had trouble before loosening Monty's prong collar when he is simply excited. I can't imagine trying to do so when it is tangled with a choke chain, and he is panicking.

It may not seem dangerous, and may be working for you, but any kind of training method that, with a simple slip-up, could lead to a seriously injured or killed dog is, in my not-so-humble opinion, a very inappropriate method.

I am not saying you are not being careful, but it could end up being something completely out of control that causes the issue.
Image
Wheeeeeeeee!!!

Monty.
He's so hot right now.
Monty.

Post Reply