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Discussion Starter #1
I really think this is the cause of Hudson pulling so much on the lead, but I'm not sure how to approach it.

Me and OH have very different ideas of training and discipline. So far we're agreed on one strategy but I think my OH's frustration gets the better of him sometimes. I go for a reward based approach, encouraging and rewarding the correct behaviour. OH is a little more heavy handed and tense. He doesn't smack Hudson or anything, is just very stern and not so giving/rewarding.

So, Hudson sees another dog or person and gets really excited. He wants to run over and say hi. My reaction: stop, don't give with the lead, try to get Hudson's attention with either a squeaky ball or sausage in order to ask for a sit and reward him. Doesn't always work, but he's 7 months old and I get degrees of attention that I'm usually pleased with. OH's reaction: pull on the lead, often really hard (thank God he wears a harness and it's not attached to a collar) so that Hudson's pulled to OH's side and shout at him. Today I saw him actually lift Hudson's front paws off the ground as he was yanking on the lead.

We have horses and I apply some of the principles of schooling a horse to training a dog - there's got to be something in it for them. My horse can be incredibly strong and I've learnt that if I hold him back and get tight on the reins he pulls even more and gets stronger. So I allow with the reins, relaxing my elbows and wrists and put more leg on to encourage him forwards and use my weight to adjust the pace/speed.

I know this isn't right on many levels. First of all, I believe it's teaching Hudson to pull more on the lead and when I'm walking him it's harder for me to hang on as I'm only little. Second, it's affecting my methods of training in that he's paying less and less attention. Third, it just appears cruel to me and goes against everything I believe in.

I don't know how to approach this. If I express my concern at the time OH just hands me the lead and tells me to get on with it. And I don't feel confident in my argument to bring it up at other times. He's had many dogs before and I've only had one when I was a child.

What are your thoughts? What wise words can you give me to sort this out?
 

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Hi Ruth,

I can tell you what has worked for us. Ours are 10 and 7 months and until a couple of weeks ago were still a bit of a nightmare on the lead, not helped by the fact that most of their walks are off lead in fields...

We've been going to obedience training and followed similar methods to you - using voice, treats and distraction if there is something else going on. This was fine as long as you were treating/talking to them. But if we have to walk for 20-30 mins on lead is impossible to keep up.

Since starting our gundog training, we've used a sliplead and the trainer told us to give a firm yank if they pull and also to change direction and speed frequently (turning to the left if they walk on your left side so you are walking into them). They soon learn they need to pay attention to you in case you do sometime crazy like walk in front of them. I was a bit against the firmer method at first, but I have to say that it has been a miracle cure for ours and they have suddenly clicked that they are expected to walk like this all the time, not just when they are getting treats or being praised.

I know plenty of people get good results from the treats/reward method and I'm sure there will be people along to help you if you want to continue down that route. I just couldn't seem to make it work myself.
 
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Ruth, a dog needs one trainer really. Having conflicting trainers just confuses them. Maybe until you have Huds the way you want him, you should not let your OH do any of the training....after all you wouldn't let someone else ride your youngster using opposing methods, would you :wink: .

I certainly don't let anyone else do any of the training of my pups/young dogs and I don't allow my hubby to lead walk any of them until they are well and truely trained, as it is so counterproductive (he's a big softy and lets them get away with pulling all over the place :roll: ).

If you are confident in your methods and you feel they work for you (well they would do if he didn't use conflicting methods) then you take charge. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks both for your replies.

Victoria, you did make me think perhaps I'm being 'too nice' in worrying about the yanking on the lead thing. I've seen a bit of the method you talk about, taking them by surprise and I tried it once and nearly went arse over t!t!! Perhaps it's one I should discuss with our trainer next weekend.

You're right Jules, I don't let anyone ride my horse as I find that he generally goes better with just me. Not saying I'm a better rider or anything, just he's a one person horse and gets used to my ways. I can see how this applies to dogs too now you mention it, although the practicality of it is quite hard. Today for instance, I couldn't be in control of the lead because I've hurt my leg and it's quite sore to put weight on and at other times OH walks him when I'm stuck in traffic or at the yard. I guess if it's a one off then it'll do less harm and there's less risk undoing any good I've done with him.

Food for thought, thanks guys.
 

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I agree with Jules's advice.

I do the dog training here and take overall responsibility. My husband is lovely, but he has the opposite "problem" to yours and is soft (I am soft too but the dogs take more notice of me :lol:) and wouldn't have the inclination to keep on enforcing the training, so I pretty much always hold Minnie-Moo on lead while we're still working on her "enthusiasm" :)
 

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Ruth, all of this is why my OH now has no hand in training the dogs. He will not listen to the fact that you need consistency, and need to use the same commands for each action. Instead he seems to think that dogs are masters of the English language, so it will not matter if he uses something completely different. He then wonders why the dog does not uusally respond and he starts getting het up. :roll:

I think Jules is right. You will only achieve consistency if you have one person doing the training.

Print out a list of the commands you are teaching the dog, with the methods you are using. Put it up somewhere where he cannot fail to see it regularly and point it out to him. Then at least he cannot claim he did not know any of this on the odd occasion he does have to reinforce a command to the dog.

I have a very headstrong character in my Charlie. I do find that reward based training generally works, but there is always the occasion when he decides to bog off and ignore me. Then I have to be much firmer and can end up really thundering at him. That can sometimes work because it breaks his concentration on the mischief he was about to commit. :wink:

Your OH sounds like he could be from much the same mould as mine where the dogs are concerned. :roll:

Helen.
 
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If on the rare occasion I have to let my hubby walk the dogs, I get him to take them for an off lead run, rather than let him walk them for more than a few yards on lead...much less chance of him mucking them up then :wink: .

If you can't do that, then could you take Huds to the yard with you, rather than take him out for a structured walk? Mine love a hooly round the yard, running up and down the muck heap and eating dung...They come home rather smelly but very happy and tired. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the further replies.

We do training classes together so there's no excuse for using inconsistent commands, but that's not really the problem. Well I suppose it is, but it is just relating to the pulling.

The practicalities of me doing all the walking are a bit of a challenge. I don't let Hudson off the lead around the yard - it's attached to a riding school and just wouldn't be very sensible. I travel quite far to work so it's almost impossible to pick Hudson up and take him to the yard in the evening. I've managed to encourage OH to just play and chase Hudson round the house if I can't do the walking that evening and fortunately on the two days he has a pet sitter she takes him to hers and he plays with other dogs so tires himself out for the night.

Since this thread I've done the majority of the lead work and to be honest I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle. I don't know where to start to work this out but I have these awful visions of what I must look like and can see us appearing on Dog Borstal or something - the kind of episode that I tut at, shaking my head in dismay at some poor love with an unsuitable dog that's out of control.

He's wonderful in every other way but this. And he's nearly had me over several times. I fear that our inconsistent ways to get his attention and stop him dashing over to other dogs has made this extra challenging. I don't know what to do.

I haven't tried the halti head collar outside yet. I was holding off, thinking that this is for real problem dogs who pull all of the time. I borrowed a friends harness - one that tightens round the shoulders when the dog pulls. Didn't make any difference whatsoever. In fact he was so strong I couldn't hold him and the lead slipped through my hand and he was gone, straight over to another dog in the park. The other dog wasn't on a lead and it appears the owners have similar problems to me and just let it get on with it.

I'm going to e-mail our trainer, because I can't walk him like this. It's too dangerous. What if he's pulling so hard to get to a dog over the road and gets away from me? What if the dog he's trying to get to isn't very friendly?

I feel totally useless.
 

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Ruth, can I just say I have been in the exact same boat as you are in right now. I persisted 6 months with my trainers instructions of stopping when Cadbury pulled, calling him back to heel, rewarding, moving on.

There is a thread somewhere on here that I posted about one time Cadbury pulled 100+ times in a walk AND that was only on the return part of the walk 8O

Each time I stopped, waited, heeled, rewarded. Walks that should have taken half an hour were taking an hour or more, it was getting ridiculous, so I have now switched to a head collar for walking and the difference is immense. Honestly, it makes walking pleasurable again.

I also now have a half-check collar and a slip-lead (not used in conjunction I might add). I tried the half-check at training class because he can't wear a halti there and it did make an improvement.

Also on very short trips we have used the slip-lead, but I am also not good at 'yanking' Cadbury, so the head collar really works best. I am also working on Cadbury's heelwork and have to say with the pressure off on our normal walkies due to the head collar, Cadbury is more focused on me and in training class he is responding better on the lead - though he can still drag me across a room if he chooses.

Don't feel useless, it isn't because you haven't tried. Some dogs seem to be more natural pullers than others.

I would suggest trying a head collar, even if it is just to give you a bit of a break and a chance to feel more relaxed during walks.

Good luck gal.
 

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OH and i are different in our training, and cant say i think he does a good job (not that i am great) Its very rare i let him walk Poppy, and can really tell the difference in her when he has.

I use a half check with Poppy, don't always need it with her but i find it helps to give her a gentle yank/tug when she spots another dog. I do try and get her attention before she see them, but she has got wise to that. When i tell her to watch she looks round to see what am trying to distract her from. When she spots another dog at times she goes nuts, barks and is up on her back legs to get to them. It looks as if she is being aggressive but is not, she is just desperate to say hello.

Its me that takes her training, so i do all the walking once Poppy is sorted i shall then work on training my OH. :lol:
 

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This is a really interesting thread :D

Jasper has turned into a puller with his slip lead - sometimes after a good run he doesn't pull despite me checking/changing direction etc etc and sometimes he des. He always does at the start of the walk though.

I used a gentle leader/halti with my old lab and he responded great to it - he also had a half check collar and afer about 6 months walked well to heel. I has thought that Jasper may need it too but i shall speak to my new trainer on Monday and see what she thinks. ESS is a dreadful puller and has had MIL nearly over 8O OH won;t hear of a halti or half check though :roll: Jasper is good with MIL she just says WAIT which he knows well and he'll stop and sit until she ie ready. Its a command I wanted him to know early on.

Good luck and it'll be intresting to see how we all get on with commands and pulling :D

Emma
XXXX

PS: Apologies if this has gone off topic - OH doesn't walk Jasper - but al commands are all the same for both dogs - though OH uses CLOSE and use HEEL.
 

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training ideas are like bums, everyones got one and all that matters which ever methods you choose to employ is consistancy and that alone will prove successful :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Chocice - I've read about Cadbury's antics and it is a comfort to know that someone's coming out the other side. I just got so depressed after our walk (silly I know) and at a complete loss as to how to resolve it. I'm going to give the halti a go, I said I would last week but resisted it. I need to nip this in the bud now because it's already gone on too long.

When he first started to get quite strong I changed to a harness, through advice from our trainer. I was too soft to try a half check and that may be my downfall!

I'm laughing at the idea of Poppy lookng around to see what it is you want her ignore Dizzy!!

Hudson's worse at the beginning too Emma. This afternoon he was an angel walking back from the park once I'd let him off the lead and we played ball. I'm interested in what you say about teaching 'wait' from early on. Something else in one of Di's threads got me thinking that this is much deeper in that he's been allowed to pull at some point which has resulted in him always pulling when he sees other dogs. And the OH tugging on the end of the lead has made him pull twice as hard. I'm thinking I need to do some basic work as well as try the halti.

You're absolutely right Trev!

Okay, so I've e-mailed our trainer. Our next session is on Saturday. So I'm going to leave it for tonight, perhaps do a little training in the house. Tomorrow afternoon, I'll try the halti but have a good play just before we venture out.

Will update with progress (if we have any)!
 

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Ah, you've heard about Cadbury :lol:

He may not like the halti at first (or ever) Cadbury doesn't like it because he can't do what he wants when he is wearing it.

I don't know where I went wrong with the lead training, but I am just building up the basics again now, he does some lovely heelwork when I have got his attention, but other dogs are just so much more interesting than me :lol: But the halti has made a difference. Its not a 'forever' thing, but just until he understands how he should walk.

Trust me, if it makes Cadbury walk nicely it can make any dog walk nicely! Goodness, they think he's a nutcase at training. But I know when Cadbury wants to do something he gives it 110%.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've put the halti on a few times in the house and he's not best pleased, but I've been distracting him with a toy or treat which has helped a bit.

Interesting point my OH just made - in all the ways we've tried to stop him getting to other dogs we've increased their value, hence why it's probably so bad now. There was something John W said to me a while ago about having a command to release the dog into play. It knows it's going to get to the other dog(s) eventually and over time will pull less and less.

I guess what I've done is get so stressed that I've not wanted to appear to 'give in' and allow him to get to the other dog. So I've stopped him altogether and therefore increased their value to him. It's like the ultimate now isn't it?

Maybe in using the halti to gain more control and actually taking him upto other dogs rather than avoiding them altogether, I can improve this. One day in the future he may actually pull less because he knows he's going to get to meet the other dog.
 

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You may have a point. I must say with Cadbury's pulling I was getting more and more stressed about walks and I suspect this passed to Cadbury. The more annoyed and frustrated I got, the more he pulled because he was sensing my tension.

The halti has broken that pattern, enabling me to be calm on walks again and suddenly Cadbury is listening to me again! When we went on the first walk with it I asked him to wait when we reached a curb and on every occasion he responded instantly on the first command. I can't remember a time before when he has done that!

One last thing, use a double-ended lead (halti make one, it has a trigger catch on each end) clip one to the halti and one to his ordinary collar, just in case he gets the halti off, or he releases the trigger catch from the halti (which Cadbury did!)
 

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when i first got asbo dog i was daft enough to buy a halti and used it for a week then left it on the worktop to which asbo decided he didnt like it and chewed it up into 10 pieces
 

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I guess what I've done is get so stressed that I've not wanted to appear to 'give in' and allow him to get to the other dog. So I've stopped him altogether and therefore increased their value to him. It's like the ultimate now isn't it?
When Basil was a pup I let him meet 99% of dogs if he was on lead, the more dogs he sees the less interested he is in them.
I'm glad I did because now they are no biggie and he often needs to walk past guide dogs training on our high street without greeting them.

Basil would walk nicely and heel until the last 4 or 5 metres and then it would all go out of the window.
I used to do a couple of things, sometimes I'd just use treats to maintain the heel (a bit of help never hurts :wink: ), sometimes I would ask for a sit and then he could be rewarded for that and if I thought he was too giddy I'd leave him in a sit for the other dog to come to us rather than he pull if that makes sense?
I made it a win-win for him really, he had an opportunity to earn a treat and get to greet the dog.
 

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just as a side note it is very easy to use a slip lead in the same way by looping round the nose too for when i need that extra head control like a visit to mug the vet :D
 
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