View Full Version : Training question -

3rd December 2009, 09:31 AM

Just wondering if anybody has any advice on lead pulling? when I bring stitch and ben for their walkies, ben trots along quiet happily beside me but Stitch gets so excited that he literally drags me up the street! so you can imagine what it looks like stitch in the lead dragging little 5ft me and me being forced to drag poor old Ben! :rotfl::rotfl:

I have tried to bring training treats with me on our walks to get Stitch to pay attention to me and get him to walk by my side but he gets so distracted by cars and other people that it never works he wont even sit when we are outside - he is great at "sit" and "lay down" when we are indoors...

He is still young so he has boundless energy but just wondering if this is something that can be overcome or is it just something that is normal and will continue to happen!

I havent let him off lead outside yet as I am afraid he wont come back but maybe thats what he wants or needs?

Any thoughts greatly appreciated!


3rd December 2009, 12:42 PM
Absolutely there is hope! I went through this with Max a few months ago. He thought every leaf and every car was put on earth specifically for him to chase.:D. I would say just keep it up. You might have to take him out for short walks alone. I started with walking him on a leash inside and having him watch me. 95% of the time he was walked with Mindy - his alone walks were never more than a few minutes. I used training treats and they work well for him. I have to get his attention BEFORE he is distracted though. I would also practice his sits and downs outside. Max will walk around the block without taking his eyes off of me if that's what I ask of him. I'm now starting with Rylie:D I certainly wouldn't let him off leash until I was 100% confident of his recall. You could try a light long line first to see how he does on that.

Kate H
3rd December 2009, 09:19 PM
I find that walking backwards works well! As soon as Stitch starts pulling, walk a few steps backwards, encouraging him to turn and follow you. Then, when he's beside you, start walking forward, saying 'walk', and reward him for being in the right place. This method also emphasises (which Cavaliers catch on to quickly!) that pulling gets them nowhere except backwards, and that they'll only get to the park if they walk nicely. You'll need to practise it with Stitch on his own, and to start with be prepared not to get very far and to spend a lot of time walking backwards!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

4th December 2009, 05:35 AM
Mindy's Mom's advice about getting your dog's attention before he is distracted is so perfect that I felt compelled to respond just to reinforce it. Keeping your dog focused on you is a big part of walking nicely on leash.

Short walks with a tired and hungry dog will help a lot. A game of fetch or tug you play before the walk can work out some of the excess energy and help make you seem more interesting.

Also, practicing the "Name Game" inside and then "taking it on the road" can help with attention. I have a handout on the name game here:


For "dedicated" pullers I sometimes recommend a "front connection" type harness like the ones from http://www.softouchconcepts.com/ . Even though I'm not really in the business of selling hardware, I started carrying these with me because they provide some quick relief for pulling that gives the human some positive reinforcement so they'll stick with the training. There are also great for a dog like a Cavalier that shouldn't have too much strain placed on the neck and throat.

Here's a handout on loose leash walking:


Hope that helps.

4th December 2009, 09:28 AM
All the above is good advice. I'd add that you will need to work separately with Stitch as it is really hard for a dog to pay attention and learn if another dog is there as well plus there are all the exciting distractions of being outside. Generally you want to start this kind of work at home inside or say in front of your home on the green. :) I use the front clip harnesses myself -- Dog Training Ireland carry them. I have three that will pull and two that are fine.

4th December 2009, 09:55 AM
Hi guys, some great advice here, It wont be a problem to walk Stitchy alone as Ben absolutley hates going outside in this weather! We are going to take a walk to Equipet in the morning to get a harness as I think this will help alot..... Thanks and i will put some of these tips into practice I especially like the walking backwards one! lol

9th December 2009, 08:29 AM
Just wanted to update you guys on this - I got Stitch a harness on Friday evening and its really helping. I have alot more control with him. He still isnt great on the lead but we are getting there. I have noticed that the harness is relieving another problem he has - snorting.... I have hardly noticed him doing this since he went on the harness - even though the poor little guy hopped around like a rabbit when it went on him first, and he got very upset with Debbie in the pet shop when she tried to put it on him for me! Hes used to it now though ;)

9th December 2009, 09:45 AM
Thats great. What type of harness did you buy?

9th December 2009, 09:55 AM
Hi there,

well I wanted to get a puppia or another brand that seemed stronger but when we went to the pet store they didnt stock puppia and the other ones were only in large and extra large...I cant think of the brand that I ended up getting but it seems strong and comfortable enough. It was about 25e for the harness and matching lead.

29th December 2009, 04:06 PM

You have gotten a lot of good advice. I too would recommend a harness. The Simon Edwards collection of easy walkers are great, they are based on the Tellington Touch.

Now for technique, it takes patience, but everytime your pup pulls just stop, stand still and quiet, wait until they turn toward you (this may take a bit of time at first) when they do turn toward you praise them and treat and turn and walk in the opposite direction encouraging them to follow. Keep doing this CONSISTANTLY. You can use a clicker at the moment they turn back to you. Your dog will eventually learn that its place is beside and moving with you. Again, you need patience and a quiet calm demeanor. Don't forget to treat and praise when you get the response you are looking for.

Ignore the behaviour you don't want and praise the behaviour you do want.

Best of luck!