Maggie can be impossible out walking-pulling and choking and doing whatever she wants as much as possible. Believe it or not, even the gentle leader is not much of an improvement. True, she doesn't choke, which is a good thing...but she STILL tries to pull! I just enrolled her in obedience training, and this guy says she is just a typical bird dog-as stubborn as can be, especially when she gets her nose to the ground to follow a trail. He suggested using a choker collar on her. I kind of don't like choker collars, especially since Maggie has such a little, scrawny neck! Any thoughts/opinions on my situation?
i do not like choker collars either. what i would do is get a prong collar. they make them in different sizes ranging for small dogs to large dogs. have your trainer fit it properly to her neck because if there are too many links in it it will be ineffective and she will still be able to pull. that with the obedience training should help.
When she's pulling you what do you do? Do you keep walking, or try to pull her back? If so try a new technique...when she starts pulling stop don't move at all. Don't move until she has completely stopped pulling and their is slack in the least then reward her w/ a nice yummy treat, and procede to walk again. If she starts pulling again stop again and repeat the process. this might take some time, but she should figure out that when she doesn't pull she can go for a walk!
U need to be in charge of that walk. Sometimes the leash incites a dog to pull. You should set her up to succeed not to fail. By this I mean, if you give her 3 or 4 feet on the leash she will use that to pull and drag. If you dont give her that much lead she cant fail and choose to pull. You have to be the one walking her not vice versa. Start off with a good collar. I prefer a slip chain. (I'm not sure if that's the proper name for that collar but that's what i call it) Ask her to sit and stay before putting the chain, and the leash on. Make sure you are first out of the door. Ask her to sit & stay calmly again. Then ask her to come. Keep her on your left side. Make sure her chain in higher on her neck, not low closer to her shoulders. If the chain is lower it makes it easier to pull and actually strengthens those muscles around the neck. If the chain is higher up under the chin, it keeps the dogs head aligned with his/her body instead of low to the ground leading with her nose. Also with the collar in this position if a MILD collar correction is given the dog will respond immediately. While walking maggie make sure you are the calm assertive one. She feels your energy, so if your nervous, stressed etc... she could be picking up on that. Also be aware of the surroundings. What makes her excited? Other dogs, people maybe the mailman. See how she responds to other stimuli. Try and use a mild collar correction with a calm assertive NO, when she starts to pull or buck. How is maggie at home?
Have you ever read up on clicker training? I hope this helps. I know how you feel. My dogs are great on seperat walks but together it's a nightmare!! I'm still working on that. I hope i didnt confuse you. good luck and sorry about my spelling. Genn!! :0)
I've used the prong collar with a couple of dobies that I have fostered that were adults and had absolutely no manners. If fitted and used correctly they can be very effective and have no ill effects on the dog. Just be prepared when you are walking in public however, sometimes people can make nasty comments about the collar.
I've tried both the choke chain and the prong collar on my Basenji. Problem being, both slip down from their proper, under-the-chin, positions constantly, and it drives me crazy, since they don't seem to work at all if they're not properly positioned.
I have since switched to a Premier easy walk harness. It works great!
Merphy and I are working on the same thing right now. I start him on my right side with the leash in my left hand, and reinforced with my right. I give him very little slack so he has no choice but to be at my leg. At the slightest step out of place, I give him a gentle tug and (I try to) give him a firm "uh uh!" I live among the hills, so sometimes I say uh uh so many times I am completely out of breath. When he takes a few steps "properly" then I tell him "Good boy, good Merphy!" I'd reward him with a treat, but he will not eat a treat whlle on a walk, or in public...he must be self concious! He was a puller, so bad that I thought he would pass out because he couldn't breath. The trainer recommended a harness, so I used that yesterday. While he breathed a lot easier, I was having a hard time because the leash attaches about 3 inches down his back, so it was awkward for me to keep control. Yesterday, I found that he would correct himself actually better, with me just saying "Ott" But, I must have sounded like I had turrets to all the neighbors, so I'm gonna start using the clicker. Slowly, but surely, it is working.