Dog lead problems (stubborn dog)

Swim Jim

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I'm not sure if this should be in the Doggy thread or warrant a thread of its own.

We are presently trying to train our 4yr old rescue Labradoddle Bella to go out for walks wearing a halter dog leash. We have had the dog since she was 15months. Walking her has never been perfect but recently she seems to be really pulling and sniffing constantly. So we bought her a halter dog leash. Initially she wasn't happy but she did walk with some mild persuasion. We've been on a few really good short walks around the park which have been a real pleasure

Over the last couple of days she has really ramped up her stubbornness. She just lays down in the drive and digs in and wont budge. We can bribe her up the drive with treats and along the road for 50yds. She just keeps hitting the deck. It really is bad as you have to drag her to her feet. Obviously their is only so much you can do without it turning into abuse which we would never dream of. We know she is stubborn and does everything on her own terms as we have tried training her to do other things in the past. If she sees something or someone in the distance she likes she will walk normally to it.

She does have a thing about harnesses as we got her a body harness about 2 yrs ago so she could sit in the van with me and be fixed in. From being a bouncy energetic lunatic the body harness turned her into a statue. She also wont wear a rainproof dog coat as it has the same effect. We have no idea what went on in her previous life but im positive shes a very clever dog and knows how to play the family. Admittedly I think she had a real phobia against the body harness, but the halter leash im not sure, as she wasnt too bad for the first week or so.

My youngest son he's 19, has been guilty on a couple of occasions of not having the patience to persevere, and just used her ordinary lead. I gave him a talking to explaining the error of his ways and its sending the dog confusing messages. I have now totally taken over the training of the dog to try and get it comfortable walking with the halter.

Yesterday was terrible I got her 50yds from the house and that was bribing her with steak. I stuck it out for about 40mins then had to give up. Generally it seems to be effecting the happiness of Bella as she is obviously not getting sufficient exercise. We do have a large back garden though which she can run around in playing.

I'm still happy to stick it out for another week or two but obviously the dogs welfare is at the top of my agenda

I'm at a bit of a loss any ideas would be so appreciated
 

ukzero1

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Maybe a word with a dog trainer if there's any dog training classes near you. It could be just a matter of the dog not liking the halter.
 

Dave

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Stop the treats. If shes clever she'll learn that if shes stubborn she'll get a treat, as she is doing now.

Will she walk with a normal lead and collar, or a slip lead?
If so use that until she realises that the lead means a walk. Make the walk fun, make a big deal out of going and she'll associate the lead with play.
Once shes used to going out on the lead then consider a halter or harness, if needed.
Little steps.
 

Swim Jim

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Maybe a word with a dog trainer if there's any dog training classes near you. It could be just a matter of the dog not liking the halter.
Yep that's one line that we could definitely consider. I was worried at first when I seen you had responded to the thread I thought you were going to suggest threatening her with the Walther!!! :unsure:
 

Swim Jim

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@TiggerXFM As I mentioned in the opening she was really pulling and sniffing everything with an ordinary lead on and thought that more control was needed over her. I suffer with a few aches and pains and a pulling dog was very uncomfortable for me. The halter was purchased as a way of guiding her on a walk. Which in the beginning was working to some extent.

@Dave totally agree with the association of treats with being rewarded for stubbornness, I just needed it pointing out to me ill knock that in the head.

If I cant get her used to the halter then I'm thinking of backing off and returning her to her normal half choke collar and intensely training her to behave on that. I'm not giving in just yet as its only been 12 days it just seems a hell of a lot longer.
 

TiggerXFM

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All you needed to do was give the lead a sharp tug when she starts her sniffing and scold her a bit. Sounds like persisting with a halter is gonn'a stress you all out....jmo of course.
 

nejohn

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Definitely stop the treats as she is now associating her stubbornness with receiving a reward. One of our 2 rescue Pointers was really bad on the lead when we got her and she would not tolerate a haltie type harness. It took a little while but I persevered by having her walk alongside me with praise when she did walk and a very light tap on her nose (just to get her attention) with one finger and a firm 'No' command when she started to pull, then more praise when she walked to heel, I did start this by using a very short lead then increased the lead length as she got the message. She is much better now but still has the odd excursion away from my side when she gets the scent of something that might be more interesting but if she pushes it to far a gentle tug on the lead and a firm walk command usually brings her back. I think the trick is that dogs generally want to please and lots of praise when they do things well tends to register better than a telling off
 

squimp

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A friend of mine is currently rehabilitating a wilful rescue dog. She is working with a dog behaviourist and working on exercises to bond the dog with the owner and NOT going for walks.

I’m also 3 weeks in with a rescue dog (no fishing since Easter!). He is great apart from suffering from separation anxiety and also barking at small dogs. His behaviour is moderating more every day with consistent training - but we may go down the behaviourist route once he has chilled out a bit more.
 

bluemack

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A lot of dogs hate being on a lead she may not have been on a lead in her previous life SO would it be feasible to walk her without one and walk alongside her?(keep one in your pocket if needed).
🐶🐶 good luck.
 

TiggerXFM

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A lot of dogs hate being on a lead she may not have been on a lead in her previous life SO would it be feasible to walk her without one and walk alongside her?(keep one in your pocket if needed).
🐶🐶 good luck.
If you mean over the fields with no one about that would be ok, but on pavenments etc it is illegal to have a dog off the lead, and rightly so.
 

Swim Jim

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A lot of dogs hate being on a lead she may not have been on a lead in her previous life SO would it be feasible to walk her without one and walk alongside her?(keep one in your pocket if needed).
🐶🐶 good luck.
:ROFLMAO: I’ll tell you now she would run off As I’ve mentioned she will go on a lead but she greatly misbehaves. We take her to the local beach when the tide is miles out. We let her run freely. I leave an old trailing long lead on her that I can stand on if I can’t get hold of her but I can get close. She is ok on a beach free running and generally circles within range. I wouldn’t let her off the lead in areas were I would loose sight of her she would definitely disappear.
 

Swim Jim

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@squimp we looked at a behaviour therapist 12 months after we got her. Regarding recall and leaving/dropping issues. The prices for one to one were £85 a session and she would definitely need several. She has allergies and other vetenary requirements we are insured but still costs us a small fortune so a behavioural therapist is not an option in the present financial climate. We certainly have our hands full.
 

AndyUnderwood

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We have a Cocker Spaniel, Ada. She is 5 years old. We have had every harness, collar, Halti and so on, but to no avail, she pulled like a Tug Boat. Someone suggested a rope lead that forms a figure of eight around her neck and over her nose. For Ada, this works brilliantly. It used to irritate her a bit and she would try to push it off her nose, but now it's really good.
 

stikflote

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My dog likes to sniff everything when walking ,which i always think is what a dog
does when out ,
i dont like to see people just dragging dog on lead ,.

We do have a problem with Daughters Yorkie who does a lot of barking at other dogs
and also barks when he wants something demanding food when we are eating ,.
not managed to stop it yet
 

62tucker

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We have a Cocker Spaniel, Ada. She is 5 years old. We have had every harness, collar, Halti and so on, but to no avail, she pulled like a Tug Boat. Someone suggested a rope lead that forms a figure of eight around her neck and over her nose. For Ada, this works brilliantly. It used to irritate her a bit and she would try to push it off her nose, but now it's really good.
That’s what my mate ended up getting for his lab.
Hates it but stops him pulling
 

The Landlord

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The polar bear in my pic was a proper loon on the lead. We got him from rescue at two years of age & he was so bloody powerful. I was recommended a gencon & from that day, never looked back. I could hold him with two fingers & it's much better than a halti.
We started off with the all in one but than changed to just the head-collar with a chainlink lead (he chewed through the nylon lead).

 

AndyUnderwood

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My dog likes to sniff everything when walking ,which i always think is what a dog
does when out ,
i dont like to see people just dragging dog on lead ,.

We do have a problem with Daughters Yorkie who does a lot of barking at other dogs
and also barks when he wants something demanding food when we are eating ,.
not managed to stop it yet
When dogs sniff lampposts etc they are picking up dog emails..... "Bruno was here" "Jasper was here" etc etc
 

Tinca Steve

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I have only used two tennis balls to train all my dogs, one being a squeaky one. The squeaky one never leaves my hand or pocket. The real one they get to play with at the right time. All my dogs have a standard collar. They all walk with me without a lead everywhere. Only have cookie left now and we walk over/cross 5 roads to get to where she gets to play ball then 5 roads back. If she's a good girl she gets to carry it all the way home. We see cats foxes and birds even a deer once but she stays with me.
The squeaky ball is just to get her attention whilst training and never carry it now.

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