I just rescued an eight year old dog. He is 1/2 chow and 1/2 german shepard and we are butting heads. I am trying to teach him how to not drag me when I am walking him, he seems to be winning this one. Does anyone have any tips? I have never trained a dog to do this. He is very smart. Any tips will help. Thanks!
You will get many great answers here. my favorite for remeding a dog that can't or won't walk on loose leash. take the dog to the training area of your choice. and go for a mock walk. when he decides to lunge forward, turn around abruptly. pulling on the leash just hard enough to gain the dogs attention. keep doing this everytime the dog goes ahead of you. do not wait till it is at the end of the leash. at the same time the pull comes say heel and praise the dog when reaches your side. This porblem is because the dog wants to lead and turning around when he is in front quickly puts you back in the lead. A follow up exercise is walking in a big square use the techniques above except the dog should be fine walking in the heel now. this will teach the dog to pay more attention to you. Also continue ith commands the dog already knows and follows well. this reinforce the reward system and your role as leader. remeber have fun and try other methods. the best trainers have the biggest bags of tricks
i thnk gunnys idea is a good one. if you aren't making any head way then try a gentle leader or a halti collar. it is similiar to a horses halter , it goes over the bridge of the nose and behind the head. the leash clips to the nose ring. and when they pull their head is automatically turned towards you. i have a chow/keeshond mix. he is the smartest dog i have ever met, but because of this he has been the most difficult to train too. i started with a prong collar on him and now i walk him on a buckle collar. the prong worked well to train him and now he doesn't need it. i tried the halti on him but he spent more time rolling around trying to get it off. he chewed thru 2 of them so then i went to the prong. most dogs need an adjustment period with the halti but they usually aren't as adverse to it as my dog was.
As far as pulling goes, the best thing I've used is a prong, or correctional collar. They must be used w/o force, as they do have dull prongs that face into the dog's neck. The collar annoys the dog, but does get it's attention. Eventually the dog figures out that pulling causes the annoying feeling and learns to walk at side. Always walk the dog at side. If you let it run ahead and sniff, then be pulling it back to side, you are sending mixed signals. Most dogs want to be good...it's hard to figure out what good is, sometimes. A very Alpha dog may require a bit of distraction and this can be food, voice, a poke in the buns w/ a finger etc. They try to ignore you. Establish dominance and they are happy to look up to a leader, once you both figure out it is not the dog. Be consistant. Be firm. And don't bark (yell) at the dog too much. Good luck. Oh, check your town recreation dept. for cheap obedience classes. Being pack animals, they tend to "monkey see monkey do".
Oh, take the collar OFF when the walk is over! Never leave a chain collar on a dog. Deadly when used unsupervised. When the dog walks at side for quite a while w/o difficulty, replace the pinch/prong collar w/ a choke chain. Buckle collars may work after considerable practise, but are too easy to slip out of and/or pull owner along. Head halters are ok if the dog tends to leap in the air at other people. I thing the correction is faster, and more comfy for the dog w/ the pinch/prong collar.