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Pulling During Walks...help!


Guest snoopycomehome
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Guest snoopycomehome

I am stumped. Our two greys have been easy to train, and we have them sitting, shaking, etc. We even got them to stop jumping up on us when we get home. But we are having one issue that we can't seem to resolve.

 

When I walk Dragon alone, he is perfect and heels without being told.

 

Gypsy finally does the same, if walked alone. It took a long time to get her to not pull.

 

When dh and I go out together, they are fine b/c we each have one.

 

Our problem is we like walking them together, but then they start pulling more...as well as more sniffing-the-bushes behaviors that they don't do when they are alone. We have tried 4' leads, 6' leads, a coupler between them, walking them in the street rather than the sidewalk (which I have been doing more lately due to frustration). We use a harness on Gypsy, which helps a little. I have tried to walk between them. I have tried the turning around every time they pull, but that is difficult to do with two of them...they don't 'get' what I am doing and mass confusion entails. The one thing that they seem to do naturally is that Dragon always goes to the right of Gypsy, and if they get switched around...they will self-correct.

 

Any ideas?

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Guest snoopycomehome

Oh...with the leads...we have tried to hold them close so they are next to us as well as going out front. They will defer to us and know that we walk ahead of them thru doorways and up/down our stairs, but won't do that on walks unless we walk one at a time.

 

I long to have my 'pack' walk next to or behind me 'Cesar Millan style', and I don't want to bring a third grey into the picture until we fix this issue.

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You would have to train them "heel" separately, one on the left and one on the right. First give them treats for being in the correct placement. Your treats should be high-value (hot dogs, chicken, cheese, about the size of a raisin). Continue by keeping the treats in your fist, holding them at your chest. If the dog is keeping pace and looking at you, give them treats. Then try it with both of them in the backyard or somewhere with minimal distractions. Heel is one of the more difficult commands to teach... Greys are naturally pretty good at loose-leash walking, but reliable heeling is a quite a bit harder.

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I disagree with the suggestion of one on each side.

 

We had four English Setters, and as a 12 year old, I could walk them all easily. They all walked on the proper (or should I say traditional!) side, together.

 

If each dog understands "heel," then they're probably competing with each other when they're together. Let's not forget--they are bred to race! You just need more training.

 

I find working on heel is best done with a lot of quick and sudden changes of direction. You need to keep a brisk pace and be calm, quiet, and firm. I grasp both leashes with both hands (right hand through the leash loops and holding the body of the leash, left hand clasping the leash a few feet from the buckles). Maybe because I rode horses, I have no problems controlling which leash I'm making a correction with.

 

I also find that narrower, leather leashes give MUCH better control than the thick nylon ones that are so popular. Not sure what you're using, but consider narrow leashes.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Guest memadeit

I had the pleasure of ending up in the Er on morning after my one dog pulled during a walk. Messed up my back. You don't want to have that happen to you. I ened up one on each side of me, short leash, brisk walk, and no stopping untill I decided it was time to pee. No if ands or butts.

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Guest rennina

Oh interesting. I just met a lady in the dog park today. She complained to me about her two dogs (non-greys) pulling when walked together. She had to walk them separately and felt bad about it. Now she takes them to dog parks so the two pups can play together.

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Hold the leashes about 4"away from the collar in the same hand (i always use the left, but do what you're comfortable with). They will learn quickly that they aren't going anywhere. I would also use 3/4"-1" martingales for this and make sure the collars are right behind the ears. Once you get then used to this, you should be able to start giving them more freedom.

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Guest snoopycomehome

Thank you so much! This is all very helpful. Both on the left is something I never thought to try, but that would fix the problem of Dragon trying to pee on EVERY bush along the way, which he only does when walked with Gypsy. I think we originally put him on the right so that he can pee without hitting her. I will let you know how it works tonite!

 

I have a back injury, so this is one of the reasons I *really* need the walking to be easier.

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Guest Symphony7

If you DO need a quick fix for the time being, because of your back injury and not wanting to hurt yourself more, I do recommend the EZ Walk harness. It's probably the best harness I've used because it completely eliminated Desmon'ds pulling, it makes it pretty impossible for them to tug even a little. I have a terrier who is a notorious puller on a regular collar, coupled with high energy/high prey drive and he is pretty unpleasant to walk because he is wizzing all around. I put him on the EZ Walk to allow both of us a break while still allowing him to buzz about on his Flexi back in the woods. I won't run him off leash, so that is the closest he gets to being "free" and it helps to cut back on his energy, so I don't want him walking by me the whole time...because his walks are about burning off his energy and desire to sniff and track and run. But with his collar he is choking himself half the time because he is so boisterous and gets to the end of the leash so fast. He does know heel and will come back to position and walk calmly when I ask him, it's just the time he does get his "freedom" that he is not a puller so much as a bounce to the end of the leash and keep going.

 

Just a thought, if you needed a quick fix while working on the behavior.

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Guest snoopycomehome

And here I thought making the kids walk the dogs was the best quick fix. It worked for me :hehe

 

LOL! My kids would hate that! Sometimes my 12yo will come with us if she doesn't have to hold a dog, but it's rare. I :beatheart my walks and wouldn't give them up for anything! Even after my back surgery and was using a walker...I was out there walking my dog! We had just moved in to this house and the neighbors looked at me funny for being so young with a walker :hehe

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Guest snoopycomehome

OK...so walking them both on the left just solved 80% of our problems!!! Let me just tell you...that was the best walk we have had in months. In fact, we walked it twice because it went so well. Not to mention Dragon gets skittish around skateboards and bicycles and screaming kids so we usually walk later...however there was LOTS of commotion going on outside and he stayed calmly next to me. In fact, when he was most stressed he put his face against my hand! I was able to relax both arms and walk more naturally, which improved my balance. When they did well, they got jerky pieces.

 

I didn't try this before because I am right hand/arm dominant, so I thought to 'control' them I should do the opposite that GeorgeofNE suggested. I did it the opposite and although it feels awkward, they weren't pulling nearly as much (Dragon=zero pulling). I was able to take my eyes OFF my dogs and look around at the Christmas lights and people.

 

I have wanted to get a waist/hands-free lead, and if this continues I think we will be able to eventually.

 

Also, I did check their martingales and tightened them up. I have to 'shimmy' them past their ears now...it seems uncomfortable on/off but they are higher up their necks.

 

Thank you all so much for your help! :bow

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