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CupcakesandTea's avatar

How can I get my dog to stop pulling when she is on a leash?

Asked by CupcakesandTea (353points) May 25th, 2010

I have a German shepherd that I adopted a couple of years ago. I don’t believe she was ever on a leash prior to me getting her. I have tried everything to make her stop pulling but she doesn’t get it. I have used the prong collar, a regular collar, and even those head collars (she does not tolerate this one very well). I am at a loss about how to train her to be good on a leash. Any advice would be very appreciated.

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16 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

I heard you can stop every time she pulls, and she will get tired of stopping. It seems to work with my Queensland Heeler.

syz's avatar

The absolute best thing that you can do is sign the two of you up for an obedience class.

njnyjobs's avatar

Use a choke chain, but make certain that you use it correctly. Check this article for tips

dpworkin's avatar

A choke-collar and a lead, held correctly, to give a proper correction. Learn how first.

Response moderated
chyna's avatar

Agree with choker collar, but I would get with a trainer to help in the correct use of one.
You could possibly hurt your dog if not used correctly.

downtide's avatar

Every time she pulls, stop, give a sharp “No!”, turn around and walk a few paces back the way you just came. Stay there until she stands or sits calmly, then turn back round and continue. Repeat every time she pulls.

A halter (which fastens round the muzzle) also works very well for pullers. I used one to train my dog and found it more effective than a choke collar.

Cruiser's avatar

The choke chain and a short leash will get her used to walking “with” you. Praise and reward even 1 minute of controlled walking and build from there.

Divalicious's avatar

This is what I do with my dogs. It worked great with two of them. The third one is stubborn, and I’m still working with him.

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xxii's avatar

@Divalicious has good advice. If you stick with that method and be consistent you will get results. Consistency is absolutely key with leash training.

Choke chains, head collars, harnesses and prongs are all training tools. The ideal goal is always to eventually stop using them and go back to the regular flat collar and leash. They are ineffective, not to mention extremely dangerous to your dog, if not used correctly.

It really sounds like professional help would do you some good. I would definitely sign up for an obedience class or look for a good trainer in your area. These links will help:

rooeytoo's avatar

Step #1 is definitely an obedience class. If there is none available in your area, then do about turns that is whenever your dog starts to forge ahead, without a word turn around and go the other way. This gives a sharp correction to the dog and he will soon start to watch where you are going so that the correction does not happen again.

I use choke collars from day 1 until the day they die. It is the only way you can be sure you have control over a dog that is stronger than you are. I did not leave any collars on dogs in a kennel run but other than that, they wear them all the time.

xRIPxTHEREVx's avatar

Really you don’t. Dogs just want to explore their natural world, and a leash really hindering them from doing that. They’re really only doing what their instincts say.

xxii's avatar

@xRIPxTHEREVx – Getting hit by a car or getting attacked by an aggressive loose/stray dog can also hinder a dog from exploring its natural world. Good thing we have leashes so neither of those things can happen.

xRIPxTHEREVx's avatar

That’s true. I’m not against leashes, if that’s what you’re thinking. I’m just trying to propose a theory on why this is.

drdoombot's avatar

The most effective advice I’ve seen is from the Dog Whisperer himself. You should walk straight, shoulders up, with a confident stride. Hold the leash without too much tension and when your dog starts getting away from you, tug the leash to the side. Dogs get into a “mode” when they’re looking in one direction, so tugging the leash and focusing their eyes in a different direction shakes them out of it. It will take consistent repetition of this sideways-tugging, but it will work eventually. With my Papillon, it took only a few minutes to get her to walk beside me instead of in front of me.

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