View Full Version : Major pulling on lead - HELP!

20th February 2011, 09:22 PM
Hey everyone :)

My little pup is 18 weeks old and her lead/leash pulling is out of control. I have tried everything, but the second she gets outside...she goes nuts. Pulling so hard she is on her tip toes. I have tried stopping, turning around, forced sits, you name it I have tried it. It has always been this way with her, she is very high energy. We have had a trainer come out and show us some of those tecniques, and Brooklyn did great...then the trainer left and she did good for a few days (if we retrace those exact steps we took), but then it was pulling again and she is a bull doser if we try a new piece of sidewalk.

She isnt scared of anything, I would say she is bordering on over confident and she wants to touch, see and be pet by everything. She lunges when people go by (not in a scary way at all...she just pulls to try to be with everyone!). My problem for a while is that she got what she wanted because everyone wanted to pet her and love on her...now I just tell people "I am training, so please no touching" so that maybe she will realize everyone doesnt want to pet her!

Anyway, I need help with lead pulling...is this a puppy thing, or a big problem? I think f I let her walk out in front of me, she would be happy, but I won't let her for training reasons...and when we practice in the house, she is perfect, right next to me...outside is a whole other beast.

Thanks everyone :)

21st February 2011, 01:33 AM
Have you tried the Gentle Leader Easy Walk Harness? It really is good for my boy Jack for multiple reasons. It has the attachment in the front so when they try to pull they go toward you. Only caution is be careful when they are jumping up on people or playing with other dogs, I had mine slip off of jack's legs when he was a little pup, I freaked. It has not happened since. I re-checked the adjustment and he is now a big boy so I am sure that helps.

Kate H
21st February 2011, 10:22 AM
Any technique needs to be used absolutely consistently on all occasions. Don't take Brooklyn with you when you're doing something else as well (even if it is walking her to the park) - just have 10 minutes or so concentrating just on her, and start somewhere away from people and distractions, so that you just concentrate on walking. If you stop every time she pulls (try walking backwards a few steps until she gets to the right position beside you, and then praise her before going forward), you may only get a few yards each time, but once she gets the message that pulling literally gets her nowhere, she should settle down. Once she is calm in a quiet place, then introduce her gradually to distractions, and insist on calm walking. It's difficult with a Cavalier puppy to prevent everyone in the street wanting to fuss her, but if you insist (at home as well as in the street!) that she only gets attention when she is on four feet or sitting, again she should eventually get the message.

But it takes time, patience and consistency - and total attention from you. I get really exasperated when I see a couple walking down the street yacking to each other (or into a mobile phone), totally ignoring the puppy being yanked along behind them. Training a puppy is a 24/7 job.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

21st February 2011, 11:48 AM
ruby used to do this , she just wanted to get to people to say hello .. if someone wanted to pet her id say im training her so make her sit first , it helped that after our walk i took her down a busy high street every SINGLE DAY , twice , still do . at first she was all over the place and i felt self concious but carried on using the technique described by Kate H .. shes now 18 months and walks quite well . its sad sometimes i see her look hopefully at a person and realise theyre not going to say hi and her ears droop a bit , but then shes accosted by someone and she says hello nicely , hopefully sitting down.!!!its perseverance and patience thats needed. i see some being pulled along by their dogs and theyve obviously given up , or never started trying in the first place to train them to walk nicely ,and its a shame because it makes a walk so much nicer . good luck .

21st February 2011, 10:25 PM
Great advice above. 18 weeks is very young -- she is only just learning to even be on a lead. I would not use a collar, only a harness with a cavalier especially one pulling as she could seriously damage her trachea. The techniques as Kate says take daily practice over many weeks -- pulling isn't generally resolved after a few sessions or a few days. It takes a lot of patience and consistency and kindness (eg never 'forced' sits but rather stopping to request a sit -- a dog should never be forced to do anything or it tends to make existing problems worse :thmbsup:).

Also: training a dog to have to walk next to you is generally not really done any longer unless you wish to do competitive obedience -- you want a dog that will walk on a loose lead, never a tight lead, but exactly where they walk surely makes no difference? A walk should be a time to explore and sniff around and my trainer friends all teach loose lead walking, not heeling to left or right (very hard for a small puppy anyway and generally not a task you start to expect a dog to be able to do til much older and able to concentrate and then, only if you have some need for a dog to walk to the right or left). If they learn loose lead walking, they tend to stay alongside you anyway. :)

21st February 2011, 10:35 PM
When Coco was learning (and still is at times!) to walk on a loose leash, I found it very helpful for myself to try to count steps. That way you can actually keep track of your progress! You may be able to take 10 steps in your yard before she pulls, and after a week that grows to 15, etc. Out at the park, it might start out with 3 steps, then 5, 10, etc. I started out just having waaay too high of expectations for a puppy. Counting the steps really helped me see that she was learning!

Tools like the easy walk definitely help, like mentioned before it latches in the front so when pulling goes on the tight leash causes the chest to get pulled around to the side and the dog essentially turns around. And again, as already mentioned, this is a 24/7 job that needs 100% of your attention! If you sometimes let your puppy pull, then sometimes try to get her to walk nice, well...she will always try to pull hoping that this is one of those times you will let her pull. It has to be one or the other, always.

Enjoy your little baby!!!

22nd February 2011, 04:49 AM
Thanks everyone.
The think is that I am putting in 100% 24-7 and I have been doing this for much more than a few days...more like a little over a month. I try quiet areas, busy areas and both multiple times a day. I certainly don't expect too much of her, but everything I have read and what my trainer told me is to never let a dog walk in front of you, loose leash or not...as this established pack leader in the dog and follower in you.

Maybe I will try the harness you mentioned. I find that regular harnesses just add more power to her pull since she can give it from the chest muscles. I dont use a collar, I use a really thick type martingale collar which she pulls a lot less on then putting her whole body into it on a harness...but the one you guys mentioned sounds totally different and worth a good try! Thank you.

I will keep at it. I have shortened her walks and take her out more times for shorter durations to help with the desensitizing of the surroundings. And your right...I do get so embarrassed! People always look at her pulling like mad or go get in her face and it is either so embarrassing or just annoying. I know this is a full time job, and I am doing it 110%, I was just hoping for some extra tid bits and advice that I might be overlooking.

I will let you all know how the new harness goes! Wish me luck...going out to get it today!

22nd February 2011, 06:42 AM
my trainer told me is to never let a dog walk in front of you, loose leash or not...as this established pack leader in the dog and follower in you.

That's your problem, get a new trainer.
Guinness walks ahead of me on a perfectly loose lead, and is in no way dominant towards me. The whole wolf pack/leader dogma is based on old flawed dog psychology, one hears all sorts of ridiculous training methods with this as the logical basis, it just makes me feel sorry for people's pets.

Kate H
22nd February 2011, 11:45 AM
I'm sure you do work at it - I don't think any of us meant to suggest you didn't, we were just sympathising! And some dogs just take longer than others to get the message. But I agree with the previous post - all this wolf pack nonsense has been largely discredited. Walking calmly on a loose lead is the important thing; if you later want Brooklyn to walk close to your side, teach the heel position as a different exercise. I've found the front-clip harnesses work well. I never found a back-clip harness that stopped pulling - I think they just make pulling more comfortable for the dog (by transferring the pull from neck to chest)!

Best of luck - keep at it - pennies will drop one day!

Kate, Oliver and Aled