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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Magnus is now 6 months old and can take stubborn to a new level! Following our failure to stop him pulling on his lead and pulling me over we eventually got him a merkuti harness. He’s quite good on it, I’ve more control and we’ve been enjoying a few good walks....until this week! Yesterday on 3 occasions when we were out we stopped to chat, he went berserk (at me), jumping up, grabbing my arm with his teeth, I now have a big bruise on my wrist and a puncture on my hand. Two of the folks had dogs who he seemed quite happy to meet, the other was an elderly couple. Today my husband took him out and he refused to walk, wanted to go home and just sat there in the pouring rain for 10 minutes whilst they worked out who was the most stubborn! We’re wondering if it’s a protest to the harness as we’ve only been using it for a week. His adolescent behaviour is really starting to show, before he would ‘leave’, now he’s often snatching before he’s told. It seems to be his way or no way.
I know we are a big part of the problem and we are trying really hard to be consistent and fair but I’m not sure how we tackle this. HELP please!
 

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Harnesses. Contrary to the harness manufacturers claim, no dog, on having a harness put on, says, "This is an XYZ harness, we dont pull when wearing these!" Harnesses work in two ways, by restricting the natural movement, and by causing discomfort/pain if the dog does pull. There is no other reason. I dont like harnesses, to me the control centre is too far back. Possibly a figure eight lead would give you more control. (I dont like the webbing ones, I always feel it it slips it could damage the eye. I prefer to see the leads made from round rope.

It really sounds like you have not got the relationship right. In the nicest way, dogs do what humans say, not the other way round. At 6 months old he is feeling his feet. Dont be afraid to tell him in words of one syllable that his conduct is unacceptable. I find a sharp growl in the back of my throat helps because in a small way I'm using his language. I know it's not the right time of year for it but I like to go sit on a bench in the park for a few minutes with my dog. I'm teaching patience, so important for a working gundog, but important for all dogs. I know when Chloe was a baby her attention span when I stopped to talk to a passer by was almost non existent. It was almost, "OK, Done that dad, now lets go do something else." It's natural, but it's not desirable. Humans MUST be in charge, it's a life or death situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you John. We are aware that we are the problem, we got the Merkuti lead as it has 2 connection points so a double lead. The flat lead and collar lead to him straining and choking all the time. He was good in puppy class and when there are no distractions doing heel work but the slightest thing and he’s off.
I take on board and appreciate everything you say, we are probably too wordy, probably do let him away with too much putting it down to him being a pup. We’re putting a dog bed in the sitting room rather than let him sit on the sofa with us, we’ll establish with him who’s in charge.
Quite funny that we’ve always had dogs and Magnus is the first one who has seriously challenged us
 

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Writing briefly, but it really is experience. I had a couple come to me for some help with a young GSD, son was over 6' tall, GSD was a big young dog. Asked the son to walk the dog up and down under control doing various turns, dog was all over the place pulling the guy everywhere. I took the lead and walked the dog up and down, the dog tried to take control and I didn't let him, just quietly and calmly made sure he knew we were going to walk in that direction, then we turned and he was expected to follow, and so on. Within a few minutes the dog was walking beautifully, not an instant cure, lots of work still needed, but the training is needed for the dog handler more than the dog.
 

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Writing briefly, but it really is experience. I had a couple come to me for some help with a young GSD, son was over 6' tall, GSD was a big young dog. Asked the son to walk the dog up and down under control doing various turns, dog was all over the place pulling the guy everywhere. I took the lead and walked the dog up and down, the dog tried to take control and I didn't let him, just quietly and calmly made sure he knew we were going to walk in that direction, then we turned and he was expected to follow, and so on. Within a few minutes the dog was walking beautifully, not an instant cure, lots of work still needed, but the training is needed for the dog handler more than the dog.
Absolutely Tarimoor! We’ve always had smaller dogs before so he is a challenge to us with his strength and wilfulness. We are aware the problem lies with us being in charge and being consistent.
 

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Absolutely Tarimoor! We’ve always had smaller dogs before so he is a challenge to us with his strength and wilfulness. We are aware the problem lies with us being in charge and being consistent.
I was very lucky in that my first Labrador was just as good as gold, she had her moments where she might pull, but generally she was a very easy dog to train. Then I got her half sister who had me tearing my hair out until she matured at around 3 years of age, they are all different and even close relatives can be very different characters so you never know what sort of learning curve you get with each dog. I have three generations currently of Labradors and each generation has their different quirks.
 
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