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Discussion Starter #1
Really at the end of my tether now, no pun intended. My 8 month old Samoyed pulls like a train during walks, constantly, and shrieks when other dogs go past. He is oddly very good when off lead, keeps an eye on me all the time and comes back when called. But on lead, a nightmare. He pulls every second of the walk, no matter how much mental and physical work he has had (e.g. after a two hour obedience training class and an hour's walk). We have tried stopping dead when he pulls and walking in the opposite direction, etc. But he will still pull in any direction you go. Plus he is strong. This is beginning to affect my relationship with him; I much prefer the company of our other older dog who is polite and a pleasure to take on walks - and I think he knows it. I tried putting a halter head collar on him and he writhed and shrieked and pulled it off in a matter of seconds.I've tried getting him to walk to heel with a treat in my hand but as soon as he's had the treat he rushes off ahead again and pulls!

Any advice would be great. Thank you
 

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There is no mystical secret for getting him to stop pulling right away. The impression I get from reading your post (and forgive me if im off base) is that you are easily frustrated by his behavior and either stop training or stop walking.

The best medicine for something like this imo is to start small. Go somewhere with no distractions, quiet, and calm. Then start doing all of the things you mention in ur post. It's of the utmost importance to remain calm and patient with your boy and to find little victories that you can both celebrate. Slowly build off these victories a little at a time until you get to the end goal of no more pulling while on lead.
 

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Have you checked out the http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/loose-leash-walking-1683/ sticky ?
Most dogs are uncomfortable with head halters so if you use one you need to make sure you condition them to it first.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PhfTSo1VTI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wakterNyUg
I would suggest trying a no pull harness if you haven't already.

As sully said, this is something that takes time and a lot of patience. Start somewhere with little distractions such as in your house or yard then slowly build up to places with more distractions.
The sticky goes into more details about what you need to do.
 

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I had a very hard time with loose-leash walking with my terrier, who was leash reactive to the extreme (meaning he lunged and acted aggressive only when on a leash - it sounds like that may be your dog?). It took a lot of patience, different techniques, and compromises on both our part before he got there, but I am proud to say I can now pretty much walk him with his leash tucked in my pocket. The absolute best advice I received (that isn't well-known, at least) was a tip a dog trainer gave me. She said that when he lunges at another dog, to simply turn and walk into him. You walk into the dog's front, not the side, so basically they have to back up a bit and look at you. You do it gently; you're not kicking your dog! This worked like magic on my dog when nothing else had so much has phased him. Another thing that helped was teaching him to switch sides on command. My dog walks on my left, not at a traditional heel but basically to the left, but if I see something I know will upset him on our left I will pat my right leg and say, "this side!" in a happy voice. He them switches to my right until we pass whatever it is. Note that this only works if your dog is well below threshold; if he's already lunging and freaking out he'll ignore you. I'm sure you'll find lots of info about loose leash walking; that's just the extra stuff I found really helpful!
 

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I find when training loose leash walking it helps to move quickly and make lots of turns. It makes the dog pay closer attention to you, plus you are more interesting to the dog when you move faster. Move quickly and frequently change directions. Keep the dog following you. Turn away from your dog AND into your dog. Once your dog is focusing, try altering your pace. You can start by moving quickly and then slow down for 30 seconds or so, then speed back up, and so on. Make sure to reward every time your dog is doing the right behavior.

I also like to train the automatic sit. I move, dog moves, I stop, dog sits. My boys actually look forward to the stop/sit because it's usually accompanied by a treat.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all, some great advice here. So far all we've tried is stopping dead or changing direction, but I'll try giving him commands while walking and going faster - the only trouble is he is mushing hard and doing his best to break into a run himself while pulling so my speed seems to be of little concern to him, unless I were to actually break into a full out sprint. Plus he is not very food-oriented so pays no attention to cheese or sausage if another dog is going past.

I should clarify though, there is no leash aggression at all. He is just desperate to go up to other dogs and sniff and play. When this does happen, both dogs are play bowing and sniffing each other in circles, there has never been any lunging or growling whatsoever. Also, we do not stop walking/working/training as a result of his pulling, being the high-drive working line dog he is he would probably destroy the house if he didn't get enough mental and physical work.

I wanted to try and avoid head halters or harnesses as much as possible if we can as we are big believers in getting the dog to choose to perform the intended behaviour, although we are close to giving in and trying the no-pull harness anyway as walking him on-lead is becoming physically painful and quite embarrassing!

Could we have an idea of how long it took/ what age your dogs were generally when they stopped pulling manically on the lead?
 

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I am also a big fan of my dogs choosing not to pull on a leash vs being afraid or corrections if they move in from of me but I also have 0 patience for the stop like a tree until there is slack in the leash method. It drives me completely insane. I have found no-pull harnesses to facilitate in decision making in that way.

The way I've been training my Boston Terrier- who at 6.5 months is really showing improvement- is to start with a no-pull front clip harness (which IMO is an invaluable tool for pullers, which she was also, because it takes a lot of their momentum away from them and consistently turns them back towards you if they try to lunge or anything) and start in the least exciting environment I can (in my case the quieter streets in my neighborhood when I don't think dogs will be out). When she pulls I will give a verbal reprimand (eh, eh, eh) and try to snap her out of it, but I don't stop. If she looks back at me/moves back to my heel (she doesn't 100% have this on command yet but we've done enough work inside on it that she knows I like her to walk there and sort of understands it) then I give tons of praise and usually also a small treat.

I really love the no-pull harnesses for training, honestly I don't think I'd ever train another dog loose leash walking in a flat collar. Some craftier dogs can sometimes slip out of them so I'd suggest either using a caribeaner to clip it to their flat collar or, what I have done in the past is to use a small size cotton choke chain and attach the noose end to the flat collar (slip it around and them buckle the collar) and clip both the harness and the other end with the leash.
 
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