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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there guys,

Mac is coming on leaps and bounds since his first operation and we are already up to the 3 x 45 min walks a day. Soon he will be off the lead eek!!!

However, as he was house bound for 6 months of his puppy and the crated after his operation his lead training went out the window and as a consequence hes rather bad on a lead and pulls a lot. He waits at curbs well when asked and he sits and walks on good, I have been trying hard with him.

I was advised by a few people to try him on a Halti lead as this would sure stop him pulling there a miracle cure people told me mmm?

He still pulls and little although there is a small improvement, but I have two types and wondered which was better. Started a chat on facebook and opened a can of worms with this girl I know and now I am worried about Mac and the possible damage I could be causing using this type of lead........

Read below!


Paul Munro
We tried them when we had a Labrador that didn't like walking my way. It didn't help that much really :(

Fiona Judd
i got one for coco they work best thing i bought ive always had them for my dogs

Claire Louise Warden
nah, they can also damage your dogs neck, spine, hips etc ... teaching a dog to heel isnt that hard :)

Fiona Judd
not if you use them properly. just take ya dog to dog training thats what i do and im on the gold already so i dont always use the halti but i do if im pushing my buggy

Claire Louise Warden
The "proper use" for a halti is to stop your dog pulling/lunging. They do this by restricting the dogs natural movement and thus putting pressure on / causing uneven muscle use / fluid build up the dogs spine and hips.

Being "on gold" really doesn't take much work - even the gold award really only covers very basic pet training. What I find puzzling is that you have obviously taught your dog to walk to heel but have not re-enforced it with your pushchair so in effect you are un-doing some of your hard work.

Fiona Judd
i use one so i have total control over my dog when im pushing my buggy.if she sees a cat she runs after them and god forbid if she ever done it when im pushing my buggy at the end of the day my child is not replaceable but my dog is and im not gonna allow my dog to pull over my buggy

Claire Louise Warden
Neither my child or dogs are replaceable! Have you tried training her to leave ??, she should be obeying you not running after cats ? I would talk to your trainer and ask them to demonstrate how you train this.

Shane Russell
@ Claire - feel free to come and teach our lab called Mac to heel - F.Y.I he has just had hip displacia and has had one side done and is on 45 min walks three times a day.

See if its as easy as you say !

Lorna Julie Steggles
It has been a little more difficult with Mac because of starting with him again at 15 month, Now a bouncy boisterous boy still very puppy like, large and strong. I did start to train him from a puppy and he was doing okay on and off the lead, but the hit with HD meant he was house bound for 6 month + now hes just started to lead walk again and he pulls, although have found it less on the halti lead, but I need to try and spend more time with him on the heel work side of things as his wait and walk on seems perfect almost.

Claire Louise Warden
Shane, I'm aware of Mac's condition - thats the reason I answered really as he would be less able to tolerate the kind of stresses a halti puts on a dog than any healthy dog.

As for training your dog for you, I am fully booked at the moment :)

Claire Louise Warden
I would suggest reading this as a start

http://www.dogclub.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2858.0.html

and if you want more specific advice - join and post about Mac.

Lorna Julie Steggles
Thanks Claire but I am already on a very good forum for Labs and have close friends who have and are going through the same thing, just not had much time to post and look and ask about it all, will try later. xxx

Lorna Julie Steggles
Just to clarify I have two types of halti leads, unsure if one maybe better than the other, one controls him from under his chin/ over his nose and the other from the back of his head/over his nose.....!!!

Claire Louise Warden
hi, to work this out you need to look at what happens when he is walking in it :) when he pulls what happens exactly ? head collars with control at one side of the face tend to bend the dogs head towards you as they pull and the stress is primarily on their neck whereas ones that have a central control point tend to cause the dog to arch its back putting stress on the neck, spine and hips more. i would not advise either in a dog recovering from HD or spinal surgery as they are less likely to be able to compensate for this.

the vet who operated on him really should have mentioned this :(

Lorna Julie Steggles
Well on a normal collar and lead he pull lots, so that not good either i'd guess.
 

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Well I use the Halti head collar on Cadbury. He was a puller and was dreadful. Pulling on a flat collar so they are half-suffocating themselves is very bad for both their throats and their necks.

The head collar (used on conjunction with heel training) applies far less pressure and is saving his throat. All this nonsense about building up fluid, damaging hips! I would like to know the evidence for that!

I am now weaning Cadbury off the Halti and we are getting there slowly. I think that woman is talking a load of codswallop tbh. She actually sounds quite rude! Is she a trainer? Because if she is I would avoid her like the plague.

Oh, last check up the vet examined Cadbury's legs when I asked because the day before my boy had slipped over in the kitchen. He said everything was moving fine and the joints were ok. He had been wearing a Halti for about 4 months at that point, so clearly I have not seriously maimed him. :lol:
 

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I remember reading this thread the other week. Have a look

http://www.labradorforums.co.uk/ftopict-63374.html

Charlie was a terrible puller too after his hip ops (similar age). His recall was atrocious too. We had a 1:1 training session and he did improve and now walks nicely on a loose lead. (or he did before his latest op - so we'll see in a couple of weeks :roll: ).
 

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What a load of twoddle Lorna :roll:

Baxter had to go back on his halti after first op and you've seen him ............have i damaged him um no :lol:

Do what feels right for your dog :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys as I thought, can't have him pulling me as my back is weak as well as my ankle and I now do a very physically demanding job. Wanna walk him to relax not feel stressed about it and loss my temper with him and feel stressed after a walk.

Took him for a nice walk Sat and he was great bless him, is getting better on it. Helped that Shane came too, gonna make it a regular Sat arvo walk together. xxx

Must meet up Marie at Harrold country park sometime soon xxx Mac allowed off lead after the 7th, but that's also the day of his x ray and castration in Nottingham, fingers crossed. He had a check up at my vets with his Booster jab and hes lost a little weight hes now 33.5kg so that's good, she said he looks great and felt his new Hip and said there is plenty of muscle there so that's nice to know.
 

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Claire Louise may sound a pompous idiot, but she talks 100% good sense.... ;-) There is no need for any dog to ull LONGTERM. many dogs may need rescholling but as a long term thing pulling is tiresome, horrible for dog and owner, and a bloody great slog to unschool.

I understand you have had to miss a lot of training fireyred. So the very first walk start how you mean to go on. And you will not need these antipull devices. They are absolutely fine to use as a very temproary measure alongside a complete reschooling programme for pulling (and I mean ten minutes a day before anyone says they haven't got time) ;-)

But bin them very quickly or the only 'miracle cure' that happens is you think your dog doesn't pull ;-) Its perfectly fine to use one 24/7 and not put the slog into training. But then all that happens is in a fairly short space of time they become ineffective and you need something stronger....till there is nowhere to go.... and you have the devil of the job itself on your hands to reschool a dog at that point.
Di
 

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I've been thinking about heel-walking a lot lately and I'm really starting to wonder if the reason so many dogs pull is that the just have never been taught how to walk to heel, and I mean taught in a way that they really understand?

I've had pullers, and thinking back on it, I don't think I ever taught them properly HOW to walk to heel- I 'thought' I had taught them, but I don't think I had - not in a meaningful way for them to understand anyway.

Probably the one biggest thing that I have really learnt from khaki-malarky-gun-dog-stuff is that most pet dogs simply don't 'know' what 'heel means.

I'm still working it out a lot myself (this is after 9 dogs!) but I think I'm getting a bit closer to that 'eureka' moment when it might all become clear about what we do wrong!

Personally, I hate head collars of any kind. I've used them in the past, and have found them easier on me, but I've yet to meet a dog who I think looks totally 'at ease' in one. But that's just my personal opinion. If it's a choice between the risk of being dragged in front of a car or putting a head collar on, I guess the head collar wins!

Becs and The Gang
 
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I'm not sure about the fluid build up and other stuff that your "friend" talks about as I haven't heard or read anything to back that up and I would take her up on her assumption that "gold isn't that much work" - having just done it, it isn't exactly a walk in the park, you do have to work at it.

However, I do agree witht her that nothing compensates for proper lead training. If you dog walks nicely on the halti but pulls the minute you take it off he hasn't learnt to walk to heel he has just learnt to avoid the pressure of the halti.

You need to go back to basic training and reinforce your heelwork every time you put the lead on. You sound as if you did OK when he was a pupster, think back to what techniques you used then and go back and give it another try, you may be happily suprised at what he remembers if you are concistent. Going back to classes may also be a good idea as you'll get support from the trainer and I found it really helps when there is someone watching me who can correct MY mistakes to help me get the best out of my dog.

Good luck and don't give up xx
 

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Lorna, i know of the girl who has been feeding you rubbish, she is a bit of a know it all, but she never seems to be able to keep her foster dogs due to be to much of a handful, so she isnt perfect!

We used a halti on brodie and it worked a treat, ebs hates anything aroound her nose os we use the halti harness, not as effective but does help.
 

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Hmmm!

The Halti headcollar was the saviour for mine and Luna's walking relationship as over 2 months of regular use and training suddenly walks were fun for both of us! However, I do agree that the Halti headcollar should only be a training tool. A dog I know who was difficult to walk and was injuring their owner through pulling was controllable on a Gentle Leader; however, I found when I walked him in it that he had learnt to pull into it and his head and neck seemed to constantly be being pulled to one side - I didn't like it and removed it! A dog should be on a loose lead for 90% of the walking time in my opinion with the head control only happening for those cat/bike/noise distractions which could result in a loss of handler control. Luna also learnt to pull in her Halti when she was cared for by friends for 4days while we went away meaning I then switched to a half-check collar.

After Luna had 2months rest we reverted back to using the Halti for only a couple of weeks and we're walking together on a half-check or slip lead now better than ever before.
 

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F.Y.I he has just had hip displacia and has had one side done and is on 45 min walks three times a day.
That was the bit that shocked me! If the dog has HD and is still waiting to have one side done, but is still able to take 135 minutes walking each day I cannot believe it really needs operating on! 2 hours 15 minutes walking with a hip bad enough to need replacing takes some believing.

Regards, John
 

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I don't really like haltis of any kind, I suppose it's logical that they might put pressure on parts of the dogs body when they pull - that's the point isn't it....but so would a flat collar on a pulling dog :?

A halti is a negative reinforcer, ie pull and this will happen. It does little to teach them the positive aspects of walking nicely, if you're lucky your dog might habitually learn to walk in the right place but in reality the best methods involve positive reinforcement for being in the heel position.....and ensuring that's the only place they get any reward ie no rewards of petting by strangers, greeting dogs or getting to floor food when pulling.

For most smart dogs, remove the halti and the pulling is back.

Becs - it's interesting what you say about dogs not knowing 'heel'. I always think if you can't call your dog to heel from a few metres away with the 'heel' command then really it doesn't know it. I use a hand signal with mine (as thwy seem to 'get' them better) for us it's just a clenched fist by my side and that means they should almost be targetting the fist, not in front or way behind it.

edited to add: sorry i didn't really mention poor little Mac :oops: If you're having 3 x 15mins walks a day I would say these are ideal as training walks, forget going from A to B it doesn't matter if you only get up the street and back. Practice in your garden like you would a pup too. Walk him hungry and use kibble rewards if you need to - I'm sure you'll get it back, particularly if you were 'there' before.
Maybe if you did a bit of mental stimulation before a walk that might tire him and take the edge off to curb his excitement too.
 

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There is no need for any dog to pull LONGTERM. many dogs may need rescholling but as a long term thing pulling is tiresome, horrible for dog and owner, and a bloody great slog to unschool.
Absolutely agree! :D

I have used a halti on Cadbury BUT I have always used it in conjunction with training to walk nicely and keeping the lead slack and him by my side. I have seen a few people who bung on the halti and then happily let the dog continue pulling.

With Cadbury it was an intermediate step. It was a way for me to take control back on our walks and to get him working without him him pulling me off my feet.

Now I am walking him more and more without the halti. Yes, he did think he could get away with pulling as soon as it came off, but I was prepared for that. Now if he surges forward he has to sit and ends up going nowhere.

I took him out today on his flat collar and it was fine. The only problem is distractions, and sometimes I still need the halti for situations where there are lots of things happening. But I know I am getting there now and that I will have a dog that walks on a loose lead.

It was never in my mind that I would use the halti forever. It was purely a temporary thing to break that negative cycle of bad walks, and as a training tool it does work. But it can never replace loose lead training and nor should it.

But as it was a choice between Cadbury strangling himself and pulling my arms out of their sockets or a head collar, I chose the latter and don't regret it. :)
 

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" With Cadbury it was an intermediate step. It was a way for me to take control back on our walks and to get him working without him him pulling me off my feet. "


My thoughts entirely as to their usefulness....

The problem is, and this is so common and really difficult to explain (and one of the replies on Firereds original message from a guy challeneging this Claire Louise person to 'come sort his dog out' presumably meaning he can't) but reschooling takes FAR more effort than not letting pulling start in the first place.

The funny thing is, currently I have a 12 week old just starting out. And a 4 month old of my own AND his litter brother here as a guest. Yesterday I took them all out together for a short stroll. Nightmare. Hell on legs never again. You just can't give any individual attention or correct them. You can't use treats as they all pile in. So I understand the folks who walk their pups with small children in tow, or especially prams or pushchairs, have something else to concentrate on. Therefore there is only the explanation to so many posts about using a halti and so on when using a pushchair, that the pushchair is more important (understandably so) but the training goes out the window in favour of cracking on with it and just trying to stop the pulling with a gadet.

I can imagine mums with young kids don't have a lot of time or opportunity to teach a puppy over several quiet trips out with treats as a 10 week old not to pull. I do find that the knock on effect from that is pretty disasterous longterm.

I understand how pulling starts, but the minute we see a problem arising, I wish somehow I could get over how important it is to take ten minutes a day for a fortnight to set it right not plough on hoping the dog will grow out of it or get better on its own. They never never do.

But i know its the old balance about making time for training and having the desire to do so.

Di
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all your words of advice, Mac means so much to me and I just want to help him and do things right for him. Its difficult knowing in possibly 4 weeks he will have the other side done and once again me crate resting for 30 days followed by lead walks starting at 5 mins and increasing, John the reason he is able to walk on his now good hip and not so good is with the aid of pain killers, he needs to walk in order to build up strength in his new hip and muscle tissue. Trust me if you saw the x rays you'd see how much he needs the operation as well as the pain he was in at 6 month, broke my heart.

I too know a little of this women as she is local to me and has fostered in the past from the charity I work, there not too keen on her either said she's a busy body.

I agree that I would indeed not use the lead all the time or as a long term thing, I want him to learn and to walk nicely for me and with me not against me, hes still so puppy like and bouncy.

Think its best to start the real training after his next operation though??? What do you think??? Although I am trying now just a little unsure I guess and maybe too worried about his hips, I let him get away with things.

I have the desire and motivation to sort him out for sure, I am up early every morning to walk him and then home at lunch to walk him and he comes work with me in the afternoons too I am a Kennel maid, then a walk in the eve most the time.
 

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Think its best to start the real training after his next operation though??? What do you think??? Although I am trying now just a little unsure I guess and maybe too worried about his hips, I let him get away with things
I would say no, start now. The training methods suggested on here do not involve you pulling against Mac in any way. It's all about taking it steady, keping his focus on you and learning to walk with you at your pace - I would think this is ideal for him.

One thing I would say is over 2 hours of leash walking a day -bit 8O like John too but if thats what the vet says - anyway that is going to be very tough to achieve while re-training. Even achieving half an hour of nice leash walking is very draining on you and the dog when you are training.
Do you have to do this much - could you do maybe 3 x 20minutes - I think you'd have more loose lead success with shorter walks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well needless to say neither of the halti leads I tired were very effective with Mac so gone back to basics with a slip lead and some real control work with him, after some top advice from a work colleague. He's then hes let on the extension lead to do his own thing, this I have most effective and hes behaving much better for it. As well as making sure I go before him at doors as I had not been doing that tut.
Hes doing much better and starting to once again be a real joy to walk him.
 

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Glad he is improving. It does take time and consistency. At the end of the day it is what works best for you.
 
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