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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I apologize this is so long. I just want to provide enough info.

I'm worried about my Colt. Over the summer we had some major setbacks in our life and my family and I were forced to move from a home with a very very large yard to a home with a yard about the size of 3 parked cars. I knew this was going to be a rough change for our beagle/blue heeler and I knew I was going to have to work extra hard to try and make sure he got enough exercise and outside stimulation. Its turning out to be so much harder than I thought it was going to be though, for both of us.

Since we moved I've been trying to take Colt for walks. I know he needs that desperately. The only other outside time he gets in on a lead for a few minutes in our tiny yard. He doesn't even try to play, he does his business and comes back to the door. He's been very difficult to walk though. He's done the normal pulling and all and I expected that until he got more used to it, but we've had some really scary moments. Once he pulled out of the harness. He ran into the woods and we chased him for over an hour, once losing sight and almost giving up before we were able to lure him close with food and grab him. Since then he's acted strange at times, when we're outside. Sometimes running in tight circles or flipping around like he's trying to get lose again. He's pretty strong and I can't do much more than hold on when he does this. I can't pick him up and carry him when he's fighting me. He has shown no aggression though. Not towards me or my family or even the cat that bats him in the face when he gets too close. He's a love bug other than those freak out moments.


Its gotten so I avoid walking him. I'm afraid he's going to get away from me and we might not be so lucky next time. We live near a couple very busy roads. I want to help him and do what's best for him, but I don't really know what to do. I was hoping maybe some of you might have some advice for me. Is he too old for obedience classes (he's 3)? Is he doing this because he's not getting to run like he used to?

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Karin
 

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He's never too old to learn. An obedience class may help a lot. Also giving him mental stimulation as well as physical exercise would help him. You really should work on loose leash walking. There are a couple of ways to teach it. Two that I use are to either, when he pulls just stop walking. You need to wait for him to stop pulling then praise and continue walking. Or when he pulls you turn around and walk the other way. Once he is walking with you, you can turn back around the way you were going. At first you are not going to get far, but with practice he should be walking nicely.

In the mean time you could always get a front hooking harness to help with the pulling. But they do not teach him how to walk on lead. It will just help you with his pulling while he learns. There are also head collars but not all dogs take to them. I do use one on my dane because while she does walk well she is young and strong. I can not hold her back if she decides to go. Also, you can get a coupler, like you would use to walk two dogs. A short one and hook it from his collar to his harness. So if he pulls out of one he will still be attached to you. Or just double lead, one to collar, one to harness.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Annageckos. Especially for the suggestion of the coupler. That will go a long way in helping me feel more comfortable, and maybe if I'm more relaxed he will be too! Very excited to pick one up tomorrow and give it a try : )
 
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