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Help With Pulling And Lunging


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We got Max (87#) 1 week ago. Until today, I have always walked him in the neighborhood, and he does lunge at squirrels, pulling me with him. A firm uh-uh usually stops him. Today I walked him at a wide open park with a path. He lunged aftwr every squirrel. It was so bad my knee and back are injured (i am only 125#) and I am afraid to walk him. He even knocked me to the ground at one point. I'm lucky he didn't escape.....although then I wouldn't be injured.......any harness out there that is safe for gh? Help!!!

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That's a lot of dog for you!

 

You will hear varying opinions. but there is a reason sled dogs and draft horses wear harnesses; it enables them to PULL. Yes, you can get a "no pull" harness (Wiggles Wags & Whiskers--good harness!) but a standard harness will not only free his biting part, it'll put all his power right where he needs it to pull harder!

 

Check out the WWW harness at 2Hounds

 

I imagine they make other sorts of no-pull devices, but this is one that I have.

 

Having said that, I find a properly adjusted collar FAR more effective for training a dog not to pull.

 

I see many people with their collar adjust way too loose. It should ride up closer to the head, not down at the "bottom" of the neck. Keep the leash short, and start training your big boy to heel.

 

He has probably never been trained how to properly walk on a leash. I know mine certainly wasn't!


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Guest Wasserbuffel

I know some people don't like them, but I'm a huge fan of the Premier Gentle Leader head collar. I got one for Jayne to teach her to walk nicely and now we don't need it except for when I take her to new places where I know she's going to get over-stimulated.

 

The head collar works by giving you complete control of the dog's head. If he lunges, instead of pulling you, his head comes back around so he's facing you, not the object he was after. If you go with a head collar never use it as his only collar, pull on it or give him enough lead so that he hurts his neck if he pulls against it.

 

Here's how I use mine:

 

I leash Jayne up with her martingale, but I run that leash around my waist (through my belt loops). That way I know she's secure and she only has a couple of feet of leash, which means that even if she were to lunge, she wouldn't go far. (This may not work for you, being small. I'm 5'10" and weigh about 170# so she's not taking me anywhere). I then hold the leash that is attatched to the gentle leader in my hands. I don't have any pressure on the head collar, and it will only tighten if the dog pulls forward nearly to the limit of the other leash. The times Jayne lunged with this setup it took almost no energy on my part to keep control of her and settle her down to walking nicely again.

 

When I first got her, she had horrid leash manners, which is to say that she didn't have any. She pulled the whole time for our first few walks and lunged at anything that moved. It was a constant pain on my arms to keep her under control and I absolutely hated walking her. The difference on our walks was immediate once I got the head collar. Instead of spending all my energy trying to control the dog, I was able to spend it working with and teaching her what I expected from our walks.

 

Now, I walk her with just her martingale on a 6' lead. She perks up and prances when she sees a rabbit or something she wants to chase but a simple "leave it" reminds her and she doesn't lunge.

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I'm about your size. I posted this on another thread but it's worth repeating here. I learned this trick here on GT years ago and it has helped me immensely.

 

My boy Dazzle was a puller in his younger days. Here's the trick I used.

 

Put on a normal martingale collar + leash combo. Hold the leash about a foot and a half away from the clip. Wrap the excess in front of the dog and back around to your hand. This lets the excess drape in front of their legs so that when you pull back, not only do you have more leverage, but the dog has less range of motion of his front legs as well.

 

Cheap, fast, easy, and no risk of damage to you or the dog.

 

leash01.jpg

 

Ta da! You can now walk your puller with one hand.

 

 

To testify that it does indeed work, all of my dogs were taught not to pull using this technique. Eventually I was able to do this...

 

blading03.jpg

 

The picture is a few years old, but that's about 125lbs of human and 270 lbs of dog. On rollerblades. ;)

 

 

This is getting long-winded so I'll wrap this up, but please remember that no tool or technique you use is worth anything unless you can use it correctly; the timing has to be precise or the dog won't learn anything.

| Rachel | Dewty, Trigger, and Charlotte | Missing Dazzle, Echo, and Julio |

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I agree - so often, martingales are not fitted correctly. Go with a narrow one, because the narrower they are, the smaller the point of pressure, and the impact on the dog is much greater. He'll feel it more. And make sure it is fitted *right behind* the ears.

 

Then, keep slack in the lead, unless he is pulling. Then, give him a pop backwards, and tell him "No pull!" (or whatever word you'd prefer) When the pulling stops, praise to let him know he is doing the right thing. Use food if you'd like, to keep his focus on you. And above all, make it fun and playful.

Sarah, the human, Henley, and Armani the Borzoi boys, and Brubeck the Deerhound.
Always in our hearts, Gunnar, Naples the Greyhounds, Cooper and Manero, the Borzoi, and King-kitty, at the Rainbow Bridge.

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Guest Jubilee251

When there are squirrels or rabbits closeby, I keep Molly on a VERY short leash (about a foot). That way, she can jump and lunge, but she has no momentum to rip my arm out of the socket, or pull me to my feet.

 

And LOTS of "leave-it" training.

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Guest cyndiandsaoirse

You might want to consider an obedience class. Let the trainer know that you specifically want to work on pulling/heeling.

 

When I got Saoirse, she was the same way- although she was only 53 lbs (I can't even imagine walking 187# of greyhound). But, still, when she pulled, it just about jerked my elbow out of joint.

 

We went to obedience class 3 times (we had to drop out because the puppies freaked her out, so I would recommend finding a small class, and maybe with adult dogs instead of pups). But, she learned to heel, pay attention to my body signals, walk at my side, not pull, and even sit (Yes, Virginia- a greyhound can sit!). Since then, Saoirse started hiking with us, and has managed to heel even when seeing deer, a raccoon, and rabbits!!!!

 

Good luck- and once you get your boy trained, you can enjoy the wild outdoors!

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THe collar is fitted tight, and it is a narrow one. He is just VERY strong. I went out and bought a gentle leader easy walk harness......I hope to high heaven it helps. I have a double loop leash that has a loop low by the d-ring, and he still dragged me to the ground. Believe me, I'm not exaggerating! I have done the "no pull" etc, but the squirells are too enticing, and believe it or not he is cat tolerant of our cat! ha ha

 

I'm about your size. I posted this on another thread but it's worth repeating here. I learned this trick here on GT years ago and it has helped me immensely.

 

My boy Dazzle was a puller in his younger days. Here's the trick I used.

 

Put on a normal martingale collar + leash combo. Hold the leash about a foot and a half away from the clip. Wrap the excess in front of the dog and back around to your hand. This lets the excess drape in front of their legs so that when you pull back, not only do you have more leverage, but the dog has less range of motion of his front legs as well.

 

Cheap, fast, easy, and no risk of damage to you or the dog.

 

leash01.jpg

 

That's impressive!

 

Ta da! You can now walk your puller with one hand.

 

 

To testify that it does indeed work, all of my dogs were taught not to pull using this technique. Eventually I was able to do this...

 

blading03.jpg

 

The picture is a few years old, but that's about 125lbs of human and 270 lbs of dog. On rollerblades. ;)

 

 

This is getting long-winded so I'll wrap this up, but please remember that no tool or technique you use is worth anything unless you can use it correctly; the timing has to be precise or the dog won't learn anything.

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Are you keeping him right by your side as you walk using that extra loop?

Do you have a fenced yard to practice in? Is this an exercise walk or a potty walk? If it's exercise I don't allow sniffs (mean mommy :rolleyes: ).

 

I used the leash-draping technique demonstrated by Brindles and it worked perfect for my Gracie.

 

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What I've noticed with Tracker, who is leash reactive with other dogs (but loves/ignores all dogs off leash), that he's so far gone attention wise once he's spotted that dog (in your case that would be squirrels) that I just can't access him. Even "Leave It" would go unheard. To that end, I've started him on clicker training, to make the concept of paying attention to me heck of a lot more interesting (with the goal to always be able to override HIS desires of the moment if needed). I find that to truly shape their existing (undesirable) behavior into something desirable and cooperative clicker training is the way to go. I don't have proof yet with Tracker, because it's been too soon, but from all the leg work I've done it's certainly one great and permanent way (that doesn't rely on gadgets) to change behavior. And it's fun!!

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Yes, I try to keep him right by my side with extra loop. I guess I am a wimp.....he pulls SO HARD! :):)

 

Are you keeping him right by your side as you walk using that extra loop?

Do you have a fenced yard to practice in? Is this an exercise walk or a potty walk? If it's exercise I don't allow sniffs (mean mommy :rolleyes: ).

 

I used the leash-draping technique demonstrated by Brindles and it worked perfect for my Gracie.

[/qu

 

I've read about that. Are you clicking just with your tongue? Are you in a class, or using a book?

Thanks!

-Kathy

 

What I've noticed with Tracker, who is leash reactive with other dogs (but loves/ignores all dogs off leash), that he's so far gone attention wise once he's spotted that dog (in your case that would be squirrels) that I just can't access him. Even "Leave It" would go unheard. To that end, I've started him on clicker training, to make the concept of paying attention to me heck of a lot more interesting (with the goal to always be able to override HIS desires of the moment if needed). I find that to truly shape their existing (undesirable) behavior into something desirable and cooperative clicker training is the way to go. I don't have proof yet with Tracker, because it's been too soon, but from all the leg work I've done it's certainly one great and permanent way (that doesn't rely on gadgets) to change behavior. And it's fun!!

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I use a little gadget called a clicker though you can also clicker train with your voice. A good place to start is here: http://www.clickertraining.com/. I used Karen Pryor's books, and also When Pigs Fly, by Jane Killion (I highly recommend it, because it's about clicker training more independently thinking--and therefore sometimes more challenging to train--dogs like hounds and terriers); with those books, I taught myself, and also by watching many youtube videos on the subject.

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

The easiest way to control your hound is to slip your four fingers through the extra loop on the martingale collar and hold like a suitcase. This way you are in total control and your hound should not be able to get enough momentum going to actually pull you. Do this when you see a squirrel and keep on walking. You should get into a greyhound training class (if you have adopted through "GO" then they have obedience classes regularly throughout the year, just watch the emails) and use the "leave it" command when you see squirrels. Your hound will get better with time, you two just dont have much of a relationship at this time and he needs some manners. Realize its been a long time since he has been so close to moving prey (last time was when he was on a farm being raised). If you need info on the next training class, call the number you were given with your adoption and ask.

 

Chad

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Thanks, I guess I thought I was choking him when I did that.....

 

The easiest way to control your hound is to slip your four fingers through the extra loop on the martingale collar and hold like a suitcase. This way you are in total control and your hound should not be able to get enough momentum going to actually pull you. Do this when you see a squirrel and keep on walking. You should get into a greyhound training class (if you have adopted through "GO" then they have obedience classes regularly throughout the year, just watch the emails) and use the "leave it" command when you see squirrels. Your hound will get better with time, you two just dont have much of a relationship at this time and he needs some manners. Realize its been a long time since he has been so close to moving prey (last time was when he was on a farm being raised). If you need info on the next training class, call the number you were given with your adoption and ask.

 

Chad

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have you ever owned a dog before??? the reason i ask, is you have some work cut out for you. not an excessive ammount, but some work. i personally like working in a group situation, two or three heads(instructor and assistants) are always better than one. look for a certified trainer, accredited thru the akc (a club) or apdt(american pet dog trainers). communicated w/ the director of the school and feel them out and see if you are comfortable w/ their methods. positive reinforcement is what you are looking for, food and praise is the way to a dog's brain and those greys are most definatley food oriented. stay away from one of the pet stores who offers training classes.

 

i personally perfer a thin collar for training (lupine 1" should fit well) and either a leather leash or cotton webbed leash. nylon is difficult to grap and will cut your hand.

 

think positive, praise and establish some contact w/ your new pup. he most likely doesn't know his name yet. that's the first step, and work w/ someone locally. slow and steady!

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Lots of good advice here. I noticed that the OP said she's only had her dog for a week. So I'd like to add my experience with Ajax, my boisterous, ferret-brain, 3-month-old-puppy-in-an-80-pound-body...

 

When we first got him, he would zigzag like crazy and spin in circles on walks. I know that was my fault for giving him too much leash. But after a few days I realized he was acting like that because he was anxious and scared about the new situation with things he'd never seen before. If a truck drove by us, he would spin. Our first few weeks were a bit of a trial, but we were patient and he's gradually relaxed and after a couple months is a calm walker. Except when he sees squirrels, cats, and other dogs...

 

I'm finding that if I stop and we all just calmly stand there it seems to help him. Because he will stand nicely and stop pulling. If I try to walk past a cat, he'll lunge for it, but if I stop he will stand there. My theory with this is that he will learn he can only stand and observe the exciting thing but not go after it. By not pulling him away, I don't feed his anxiety of "I MUST get it!" When he looks away from the cat/squirrel on his own, I know he's no longer that interested and we can continue walking. I might have the patience of Job, but this seems to be working so far. Use the tools correctly like the others have described, but I think my suggestion is more of a strategy.

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What I've noticed with Tracker, who is leash reactive with other dogs (but loves/ignores all dogs off leash), that he's so far gone attention wise once he's spotted that dog (in your case that would be squirrels) that I just can't access him. Even "Leave It" would go unheard. To that end, I've started him on clicker training, to make the concept of paying attention to me heck of a lot more interesting (with the goal to always be able to override HIS desires of the moment if needed). I find that to truly shape their existing (undesirable) behavior into something desirable and cooperative clicker training is the way to go. I don't have proof yet with Tracker, because it's been too soon, but from all the leg work I've done it's certainly one great and permanent way (that doesn't rely on gadgets) to change behavior. And it's fun!!

 

I agree that some dogs are so prey driven or leash reactive that it becomes impossible to get their attention once they have gone into that zone. I had a foster like that, and once he saw another dog, there was virtually nothing I could do to distract him, including leash correction, commands, and the yummiest treats. I tried two different types of harnesses--neither made any difference for him. He would become so agitated and focused, he just couldn't hear me.

 

Clicker training is definitely something I would try.

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Ok, so I bought the gentle leader easy walk harness (leash attched to front at chest), and he is a different dog on walks! I use two leashes --one on martingale, one on harness. Someone also suggested walking him muzzled. Anyway, he walked next to me, doesn't even lunge at squirrels. It's awesome!

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That's good news! Hopefully it continues to work. It'll make life much easier. :)

 

I shy away from the idea of walking him muzzled. It's not exactly good PR for people who aren't familiar with the breed.

| Rachel | Dewty, Trigger, and Charlotte | Missing Dazzle, Echo, and Julio |

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Learn what your greyhound's life was like before becoming part of yours!
"The only thing better than the cutest kitty in the world is any dog." -Daniel Tosh

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Guest MonsterMomma

Like Rachel (Brindles), I am also 125lbs and had a bucking bronco named Manny who weighed 100lbs. when I got him. He'd buck and leap and twist as soon as his collar and leash went on, and was a nightmare to walk. I used the double loop method just like she described it. Now Manny is a perfect gentleman on leash (and a svelte 94lbs.)

 

Another suggestion: limit your walks to places without a lot of squirrels until your boy learns some self-control. Save the park for when you can both safely enjoy it.

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I'm glad the gentle leader is helping. For additional training, besides standing still as Jetcitywoman does, you can also try immediately turning in the opposite direction and pulling him. The goal behind that strategy is to teach him that if he pulls, all that's going to happen is that he's going to end up going away from whatever fascinating thing it is.

 

I don't have any real experience with a lunging dog, but standing still and reversing were suggested by the trainer in a recent obedience class we were in.

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