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I have had my new dog Scout for about 5 months now (he just turned a year), he is my first dog, and hes doing surprisingly well with training. (I planned on getting him into obedience classes right away, but some unexpected medical bills keep pushing it back.) He is doing well on everything except walking on a leash. He LOVES walks and going outside, but he gets to excited seeing other dogs/people/cars/trees/everything and pulls no matter what I do. Even when we practice in the house he is distracted. I got him a front hooking harness to discourage pulling and to keep him from choking himself. The harness has helped, but mainly just has him flipping around to face me constantly on our walks. Any recommendations on what I can do?
 

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There are lots of different methods, techniques and ways people tackle issues with lead pulling and it can be a case of trial and error and whatever works for you I guess – never a right or wrong way of doing anything but generally speaking, it's an idea to try and understand the reason for pulling.

More often than not it's not through being naughty or disobedient dogs pull like mad they just want to get to wherever we're headed faster than we can walk.

My personal way of tackling it is to make it totally unrewarding for the dog to pull on a lead so that could be by stopping dead as soon as he pulls and making him stop and wait until you're ready to move off again. When we move off again I make it very slow paced so the dog has to follow suit and slow his pace to match mine before we gradually picking up to normal walking pace.

At the first sign of pulling I do the “Hey!” and stop dead for however long before moving off at an excruciatingly slow pace and repeating x 1000 or until the penny drops and the dog realises pulling is getting nowhere and taking much longer to get where he wants to go.

When the pulling is out of excitement at seeing other dogs or people I do the same thing as above but turn in the opposite direction to block their view of whatever they want to see. Once calmer and sat quietly I'll turn and start walking off again but at the first sign of overexcited pulling or jumping will do the same thing again and again.

From what you say about Scout's excitement and being so easily distracted at home and outside I'm temped to think it might be an idea teaching him how to focus a bit better? If he's so super excited by everything and not listening or paying any attention to you it's likely to take him a lot longer to learn what the “no pulling” rule means. Not only that it will be incredibly frustrating for you too.

Some dogs are so excited by the world and everything in it they need to learn how to focus their attention and until they understand a certain word, sound or command that means “Watch me / listen to me” it makes even basic obedience training difficult.

Including a couple of links with info that might be helpful :)

https://positively.com/dog-behavior/nuisance-behaviors/leash-issues/pulling-on-the-leash


https://clickertraining.com/node/925


The Dog Trainer : How to Get Your Dog's Attention :: Quick and Dirty Tips â„¢
 

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Thank you so much for the suggestions! I'll definitely try the stopping and walking slow anytime he is on the leash so he can get used to it. I'll also try to work on getting him to focus on me more. He focuses really well when there's some kind of food or treat, but other wise he gets distracted lol I'll read the articles and see what I can do. Thank you!
 
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