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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19464
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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My dog has been pulling violently on his lead the last week

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My dog has been pulling violently on his lead the last week or so when I took him out . Had to take him home tonight it was bad and nearly took my arm out of socket ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Hi JaCustomer,
My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or repy, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply. I hope you can be patient.
Is this new behavior?
If so, do you know of any particular thing that may have started this?
What obedience training has he had?
Is he neutered?
If not are there any female dogs in the neighborhood?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My partner has been taking him out for the last 3 months without a lead but now working away from home it has just been happening since he left he has been biting and pulling the lead in the opposite direction for about a week now and he isn't neutered and hasn't been trained
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Jennifer,
There are several ways of going about correcting this situation. One is leash training. I have a set of instructions that I give my clients that I will put here for you. Remember that following that I will have a couple of other suggestions as well.
If your dog is pulling while walking then a little retraining is in order. It's a matter of getting your dog to want to come with you regardless of the leash being attached. You will get multiple answers depending on whom you talk to as opinions differ on the best method to solve this problem. Some experts will suggest a Halti (head collar) which you can try but they can cause neck issues. . I personally believe in establishing control over the dog with training. I use a chain collar for training purposes.
Number one, put your dog on a leash before leaving the house. Make your dog sit or lie down before leaving. You walk out first and the dog should follow you out. With a proper walk, the dog should be right at your side or slightly behind. You dog should be paying attention to you, frequently glancing at you to be sure you haven't changed your mind about where you are going. I will be using the word correction. A correction will indicate a short quick tug and release of the leash. It is meant to remind the dog that he is supposed to be paying attention to you. Initially, keep training sessions short and where there will be minimal distractions even if it is just in your yard. A walk should be fast paced and not a stop and start exercise. The dog should not be investigating, sniffing or socializing on the walk. Walk to a destination and allow the dog some time at the destination to do those things.
I use a food and praise reward system. I use almost paper think pieces of hot dog as the oil from them coats your hand and keeps the smell on your hand. Let the dog smell the treat in your closed hand. This gives your dog motivation to be by your side. He should be happy to follow your hand around the yard. Keep your leash short, but without pressure on it. If the dog starts moving away, a correction toward you should be made. Give him a treat every once in a while initially so he understands walking by your side get him treats. Try to time it so it is before he gets distracted. If he starts to glance elsewhere, give a correction and tempt him with sight of the treat. When he is back to paying attention, reward him with the treat in a low calm "good boy". No excitement to your voice as you want him calm. Repeat when you think his attention is shifting. As he gets better at paying attention to you and your "smelly hand", make corrections giving more praise and less treats. Before you know it, your dog will be walking right next to you all the time, with or without treats. When you stop, praise your dog with your voice or a few pats to let your dog know how good he has done. You can train him to sit or lay down when you stop if you want as well. This helps prevent his trying to run off if you stop to talk to someone.
Once your dog is pretty much always walking at your side, you will want to make a correction any time he stops paying attention to you. For instance, they are looking at a cat in a yard, give a correction so they look at you. if he is busy looking ahead and hasn't glanced at you for awhile, give a correction and reverse your direction. Do not stop and wait for the dog, just a quick correction and reverse and walk. They learn to keep an eye on you as well as on what else is going on. Try an be confident during these training sessions. Try not to look down at your dog but more out of the corner of your eye. Act like you are paying attention to the scenery. It sounds strange, but it does work.
Once your dog is doing well in the yard, try adding a few distractions such as family in the yard, then progress to another dog around continuing to correct if he even looks like he is going to glance at the other dog. If you wait till he is already distracted, it is too late. You have to catch him before he focuses on the other animal or person. It is a lot of work and takes lots of practice but it does work.
As for other suggestions, a prong collar can be a good training tool but shouldn't be used full time on a dog. They should not be pulled on excessively either. The prongs are not sharp so they do not puncture the skin but do make it uncomfortable for a dog to pull. See one here:
http://www.petco.com/product/111525/Petco-Training-Chain-Prong-Collar-for-Dogs.aspx
Another better quick fix suggestion is a chest clip harness. The clip is on the front of the dog and when they pull, it turns them around to face you which thwarts their intention.
I would start obedience training if at all possible. The following site is helpful in teaching owners how to train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below. http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm http://www.cairnrescue.com/docs/NILIF.pdf
A trained dog is more likely to walk by your side since they respect your authority as the boss which is accomplished through obedience training. So this can help the situation.
It is spring, so you might also have some females in heat in the neighborhood which will drive an intact dog crazy. So you might also thing about taking the dog in the car to another place and see if he does better there. If he does then a female in heat might be a contributing factor in which case, it should ease up when she goes out of heat in a few weeks.
I hope you found my reply helpful. If you need further clarification or more information, please reply and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19464
Experience: Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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