Golden Retriever - leash pulling

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Golden Retriever - leash pulling

This is a discussion on Golden Retriever - leash pulling within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi guys and girls. It's my first post on the forums so I hope I'll make the question as understandable as possible... Especially considering, English ...

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Old 10-03-2017, 12:27 AM
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Golden Retriever - leash pulling

Hi guys and girls.

It's my first post on the forums so I hope I'll make the question as understandable as possible... Especially considering, English is not my native language so please, bear with me

So, here's the deal. We got a 5 months old Golden Retriever male at home. It's a dream that came true after aprox. 12 years since I first saw the dogs from a very good breeder in Slovenia - my home country.

I understand now, why these dogs are so popular and always described as a perfect family dog. He is such a fast learner, eager to please, he is great with the kids (6 and 3 years old) and our house training (is that correct?) went smooth as... Well, you know.

Sit, lie down, come, wait... These are some of the things we learned quite fast and he obeys even, if when he is off leash.

Yet, our struggles come from a very very odd situation. When on leash, our dog walks beside us with no problems. That is, until some other (un)known person comes by, that gives our puppy a look or god forbid a smile or a word... My dog snaps. He starts pulling so hard and simply doesn't give up. He is not aggressive in any way, he is just a *everyone I see is my friend so please cuddle me hooman!* type of the dog but he is getting big, heavy and such things are becoming annoying and dangerous.
Now, I'm quite a big guy, I don't have problems holding him but my wife is a bit tiny plus she is pregnant so that really gives her headaches.

Yesterday, he pulled the leash so hard, I thought he is going to choke himself, considering the way he was breathing... The funny thing is, he doesn't react that way, when off leash. Maybe, he will run to someone to "say hi" but that's about it.

So, any suggestions how to "tackle" this thing?

Thank you very much for your time and responses.

Sani
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:46 AM
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A harness will give you a little more control, and a gentle leader or halti collar will keep him from pulling. But those are only bandaids, not solutions.

You need to work with a trainer on issues like that. There are a lot of ways you can shape his behavior to stop pulling and learn leash manners.

For example, when you're walking you can carry some treats and a clicker in your free hand. Whenever he's paying attention to you, click and drop a treat. He'll learn pretty quickly that good things happen when he sticks close to you.

Also, have him on a leash and toss a treat further than the leash will let him go. Hold on to him and don't let me go to the treat until he's calm and there's slack in the leash. Once he's waiting calmly, walk him to the treat and let him have it. But if he takes up the slack, or starts pulling, turn around and go back to the starting point. He'll learn that he can get what he wants if he waits politely and walks to it with you.

Like I said, a trainer can help you with this. It's very common and easy to take care of.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:39 AM
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LOL, for not having English as your main language, your joke about potty training going as smooth as **** made me laugh out loud.

I also have a 5 month old Golden Retriever, AU, and he's also totally in love with all humans. I started out with him very early on, in taking him into a local thrift store and a farm & ranch feed store that allow dogs in their place. (I buy the dog food at the farm and ranch store).

While I don't have AU completely leashed trained, I have taught him to 'sit'. And this is helping me now with the people thing...of him wanting to go meet everyone he sees. As soon as someone approaches to ask to pet him, or I see he's showing interest in someone. I tell him to 'sit'...and 'stay' - so far *most* of the time, he will do so...but it's very difficult for him, as he will wiggle about while still trying to 'sit'. lol.

He's learning though, that often, if he sits and stays the person will come to him, and he doesn't need to rush over to them...and those that don't want to come see him, are usually quickly forgotten as other things catch his interest. So, hopefully, this is teaching him that people at a distance, or who ignore him...are people he shouldn't invest a lot of energy into trying to greet. I also keep a pocket full of dry puppy chow kibble as a distraction...as it seems food trumps Everything else with AU, lol. It's also his reward for 'sitting'

Anyway, AU, will probably end up about 75 to 80 pounds, and I'm on disability for a bad back and a bad leg, so yeah, that pulling is a worry for me also.

I'm sure there are other and probably better training methods out there... if what I'm doing can even be called a training method. But so far, AU seems to be responding to the sit/rewards method and lately seems to be a little bit more calm about seeing other people and he's not pulling insistently on the leash and listens to me when I tell him to sit (and calm down in doing so).

Stormy
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Old 10-04-2017, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
A harness will give you a little more control, and a gentle leader or halti collar will keep him from pulling. But those are only bandaids, not solutions.

You need to work with a trainer on issues like that. There are a lot of ways you can shape his behavior to stop pulling and learn leash manners.

For example, when you're walking you can carry some treats and a clicker in your free hand. Whenever he's paying attention to you, click and drop a treat. He'll learn pretty quickly that good things happen when he sticks close to you.

Also, have him on a leash and toss a treat further than the leash will let him go. Hold on to him and don't let me go to the treat until he's calm and there's slack in the leash. Once he's waiting calmly, walk him to the treat and let him have it. But if he takes up the slack, or starts pulling, turn around and go back to the starting point. He'll learn that he can get what he wants if he waits politely and walks to it with you.

Like I said, a trainer can help you with this. It's very common and easy to take care of.

Well, I read Your reply yesterday and got to work with my dog... Did as You wrote and it is looking good. Still, I have to ask my trainer for additional tips but I believe we are on a good way.

Anyway, thank You for the reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StormyPeak View Post
LOL, for not having English as your main language, your joke about potty training going as smooth as **** made me laugh out loud.
I will take this as a compliment... )))

Thank You for your reply.
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Old 10-05-2017, 03:57 PM
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A suggestion

I am reading "Let's Go" by Beverley Courtney and have found it very helpful. It helps the reader get inside the dog's head and understand the problem from the dog'r perspective. It then offers a simple step by step method to stop your dog pulling on the lead. I bought it as a Kindle book for less than 3 pounds sterling.
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Old 10-05-2017, 10:51 PM
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Arrow "Choose to heel" can be used as inspiration for "Choose to LLW"

this is "choose to heel" - note that there's no voice-over,
this is training without chatting to the viewer or the dog. Don't assume the video is on 'mute',
This is how dogs are expected to learn from us - with no language, & guessing at what we want of them.


A Loose-leash Walk / LLW is only a slightly different, less-narrow criterion for reward.

- terry

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Old 10-11-2017, 03:30 PM
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I myself just got a lab about a month ago. Been searching across blog after blog to find some answers on training all around, she pulls just like yours does.
I hope it helps!! Happy training!!

Last edited by Shandula; 10-12-2017 at 09:29 AM. Reason: Removal of link.
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:53 PM
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Arrow Oops. // Bad website choice.

@almoore86 - a brief FYI:
This is a positive-reinforcement Forum; suggesting the use of applied punishment / aversive tools / confrontation, etc, isn't permitted.

this is part of the page U linked, above -
QUOTE,
_________________________________
Do #1:
Make sure that you talk firm with your dogs
When you have a dog that is heedless for some reason - it could be just because they are spoiled - make sure that you give them a stern talking to when they do something wrong. Sometimes, a loud, strict voice is all it takes for your pet to smarten up & become more disciplined.

Do #2: Give Ďem a flick
We know that there is no dog lover that would ever hurt their animals on purpose, but when they do something wrong, give them a tap on the nose, a flick on the forehead, send them to bed, or even bring them home & don't give them a treat. That's right. I said it.

Do #3: Keep your dog on a short training leash
... to make sure that you are in control of your dog. When your pup is on a long leash, it will most likely take you a longer time to react when they go running off.

The Doníts
So, what are the things that you shouldn't do - other than the opposite of what we just said? Well, there are a number of things that you should not do when you are walking your doggy.

Donít #1: Do not let your dog walk you
When you are walking your dog, it could be tempting to just say 'whatever', & let the dog go wherever he wants to. But making sure that he knows you're the master is what will help you so much, when it comes to leash training your dog.

Leash Training - Donít #2:
Donít let your dog go up to people all the time
...some people are afraid of dogs, so not only will it benefit your dog's discipline, but you'll also be seen as a courteous pet owner.

__________________________



"flicking" a dog?! Is that anything like waterboarding, where we call 'drowning someone repeatedly, over & over', ANYthing but drowning?

"a tap on the nose, a flick on the forehead" is HITTING the dog - it's just phrased more elusively.
U can tap a dog's nose with a fist, a hand, a stick, _______ . U can forcefully flick a dog's forehead with a finger, snapped abruptly under tension off Ur thumb - & if U do that to a human, be prepared - they may respond violently.
Dogs are more forgiving - which is why ppl can get away with these suggestions; U can't train a killer whale with a choke-chain, a prong-collar, or a remote-controlled shock collar. But U can teach a killer whale to pee into a cup, on cue, with rewards.

"mastering" the dog, & "discipline", are both terms that traditional-trainers use often, when they talk about dog training.
Dogs aren't wolves, & even if they were, wolves don't master one another; there's no 'Alpha'. There are parents, & there are pups. Parents do not struggle for mastery over their children - they provide for them, they protect them, they teach them. When their children are all grown-up, they leave, find a mate, & set up housekeeping - & become, in their turn, parents... who are heads of families, made up of their children: the youngest, the yearlings, the 2-YOs, possibly 3-YOs who have not yet left 'home' to find a mate, & set up a territory.

'Discipline' is often used when taking about dogs - "ya gotta discipline her / him", "they need discipline", & similar. // IME of over 40-years with dogs, the humans need a lot more discipline - meaning SELF-control, SELF-starting, doing what they say they'll do, saying what they mean, meaning what they say --- than the dogs ever do.
When they talk about discipline & refer to dogs, they never use it as the dog fulfilling her or his part of an unwritten contract; it's virtually always just a polite euphemism for punishment when the dog does something we don't like / don't want.


Personally, i find it far-more efficient & much-more effective to teach a dog what i want, & that when they give me what i want, the dog gets whatever s/he wants in return.
Easy-peasy; i reward what i want, & get more of it. I shape what i want, & get more of it. I capture what i want, & get more of it. I goof-proof the dog's learning, & make what i want, easy - as close to inevitable as possible.
I make what i DON'T want, hard to do - as close to impossible as I can make it.
The dog does the easy thing, i reward it, hey! - i get more of it. Works for me.

- terry

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Old 10-11-2017, 09:02 PM
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Okay so what I normally do is stop. My huskies pull really bad when first being trained unless they are I'm going to stay by you and never leave. I have three of those anyway when they start pulling I stop and tell them no walk. Saying walk is the cue then I go again saying walk. They usually catch on pretty fast. They will also give you a look that they think your crazy when you stop but it works so if that helps :-) I would also use a harness a little but more control over the dog that way and they can't slip through the collar by accident :-)
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:26 PM
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Arrow front-clip harness, for Management or for LLW-training

Front-clip harnesses can be used for Mgmt alone, or for teaching a dog to walk on a loose leash.

here's a dog with a long habit of pulling badly on any collar, & this is her 1st-ever walk with the leash clipped to the CHEST of a body-harness -

she's calm, she's happy, she can move freely - her handler is not being dragged along behind, & she's even able to handle her other dog without worrying about her "bad" / pulling dog, getting all 3 of them into difficulties with distant dogs, passing peds / bikes / cars, seeing a stray cat, etc.
Life is a lot-less stressful when we can safely & humanely control & direct our dogs - not strangle them, not poke their necks, not zap them, but safely control which way they go, how far they go, & in what direction.

ANY sturdy, well-made Y-harness will work; it needs to fit the dog well, so it should adjust in at least 3 places, & preferably 5 [usually that's 3 buckles & 2 sliders]. U don't need a name-brand, & U definitely don't need a "no-pull" harness that contracts when the dog pulls! - they can cause all sorts of physical problems, from harness galls to skin damage.

If the harness fits well, with no hardware near the dog's elbow / thin-skinned "armpit", where it can pinch, rub, chafe, or cause sores, that's great; if U PULL ON IT with both hands, 1 on the shoulder / neck-strap, 1 on the heart-girth, & it only shifts slightly, even better; it needs to be snug & compress the coat of double-coated dogs, & even the skin & muscle of smooth-coated dogs - so that on double-coated dogs, the haircoat bristles along the strap-edges, & on smooth-coated dogs, a slight roll of skin stands along the edges of the straps.

OK - U've found a sturdy harness with box-stitching where every strap meets another; it fits flat & snug; & BONUS!, there's a metal ring joining the 3 straps on the dog's chest! Clip the leash to the ring, & go.
OK - it's sturdy, it fits well - but there's no ring on the chest; the straps are simply looped over one another, & the overlap is stitched. Never fear - a locking carabiner will solve that problem. Carabiners come in all colors, various metals, powder-coat paint, etc; buy a LOCKING model that is rated for 2X the dog's weight minimum, or more.
Slide the OPEN carabiner under all 3 straps on a diagonal, LOCK it, clip the leash to it, & go. Enjoy!

When U want to let the dog run [inside a fence, on the beach, ____ ], don't take off the harness, & don't remove the carabiner; just un-clip the leash. That way, no one can forget to *lock* the carabiner when they put it back on - as it never comes off; it stays on the harness, locked, ready for use.

- terry


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