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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there! I have a quick question about my one and a half-year-old boxer who basically pulls me down the street. I have tried multiple harnesses, making her sit and not look /ignore dogs passing by (she goes crazy 80 percent of the time) and giving her treats when she walks slowly next to me. I know not to make a big fuss when other dogs pass by and I have tried stopping and not walking when she pulls me. Nothing is working! I’ve owned multiple dogs and never had this problem so if anyone has any recommendations I would so appreciate it!
 

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Hi there! I have a quick question about my one and a half-year-old boxer who basically pulls me down the street. I have tried multiple harnesses, making her sit and not look /ignore dogs passing by (she goes crazy 80 percent of the time) and giving her treats when she walks slowly next to me. I know not to make a big fuss when other dogs pass by and I have tried stopping and not walking when she pulls me. Nothing is working! I’ve owned multiple dogs and never had this problem so if anyone has any recommendations I would so appreciate it!
Hi. Welcome to the forum.

When she "goes crazy" at other dogs, she's over threshold. I've posted this just this morning on another forum, but it's relevant here too:

He'll have a sweet spot - a distance in which he feels safe - where he can see a dog, but still relax. You need to find that spot - even if the dog is a mere blip on the horizon., and keep your dog under that threshold. See a dog in the distance coming towards you? Tell your dog "Let's go!" in a happy voice, turn around and march in the opposite direction. If that's not possible, block off line of sight - a wall, a bush, behind a parked car, around a corner, hold a treat in your hand and don't release it until the "threat" has passed. If off leash dogs approach him, toss treats on the ground and make your get way, or carry a stick and wave it around in the air in the general direction of the off leash dog. This will hopefully do 2 things simultaneously:
1) The dog will hopefully keep away through self preservation.
2) It should galvanise the owner into action.


How long have you tried these methods? As they do take a while to sink in.

Plus, at one and a half, she's a teenager. Her brain's in meltdown. ;)
 

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Ha, that made me laugh-teenager is right! I will try this method. For her, it appears to be excitement more-so than fear. The hard part is I live in a neighborhood where dogs are out and about all the time. She doesn't do this at the park. It is worth a shot! Thanks again.
 

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Does she often get to greet other dogs? My pup greets some dogs on his walks, but I always ask the other handler if our dogs can greet and 50% of times owners decline (due to their dogs not being friendly ect). So Ozzy doesn't expect to see every dog. It's definitely worse if the other dog is wanting to see him for him not to pull and want to see the other dog, but it's a work in progress. Most times he can watch the other dog calmly and we carry on as usual when I say "ok let's go".

You'll get there, it takes a lot of work, not gonna lie, but worth the effort now for the longterm.
 

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At this point, probably having him greet other dogs isn't a great idea. Not because that is a bad thing on its own, but because: #1, it will make him more excited, because he thinks he has a chance of greeting the other dog. #2, He needs to learn self-control before meeting other dogs. If he is too crazy and in the other dog's face, they will become annoyed or frightened. Best case scenario, the other dog will leave, resulting in one less doggy friend for your pet, and possibly one annoyed dog owner. Worst case, he is seriously bitten by an intimidated dog. #3, if he is allowed to meet another dog after pulling towards it, he has just been rewarded for wild behavior. So, for now, probably stick with a few doggy friends, and any new meetings should be in a fenced area, off-leash, with a confident and well-behaved dog.

And yes, every time the dog pulls, turn around. Whether he's just pulling because he's a fast walker, or because he sees something, he needs to learn that pulling gets him nowhere. (Don't say things like "no" or "bad", or give leash pops or other punishment. He needs to learn this as a cause-and-effect thing, not a rule enforced by you. Which also means you need to be VERY consistent.) No-pull tools (sometimes only unsuccessfully attempt to) address the symptom of the problem. They are not actually training the dog, nor are they a long term solution. The problem needs to be solved differently, but there is no problem with using them for management until the problem is solved by training, but it is never going to be a solution. (it sounds like your dog is very strong, so if it make it slightly easier, then go for it)

To increase focus (thereby reducing pulling) and encourage your dog to walk by your side, you could also try turning around before your dog pulls- the dog begins to realize that you could change your direction at any time, and sticks closer, paying attention to see where you go next.

She doesn't do this at the park.
If you sit outside the park, as opposed to letting her go to the dogs, does she behave more wildly? if so, the park is still a great place to start. If not, just work on calmness starting in the easiest of the environments in which she is still wild. Start in the home, looking out the window. If she can do that, move to your backyard. If she can do that, move to the front yard. And so on.

Work on teaching a good eye contact command, such as "hey", "look at me", "watch me", or "focus".
 
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