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Old 10-02-2013, 11:26 AM
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Default I can't take the pulling anymore, suggestions please???

Norris is very high strung, and he will suddenly jump and try to run when we are outside on a walk. This is very unpredictable, as I never know when something is going to startle him. It could be a car door, or a child yelling something from somewhere, or the wind blowing on a wind chime. And lately, he's started flipping out about something when we go out my back door to pee in the common area. I almost lost him again yesterday because of it. Two of my friends were sitting on the couch, and I took Norris downstairs to take him to pee and when I opened the door, he bolted outside and down the wood steps and I had to let go of his leash, because he was pulling SO HARD it was either that or go face-first down the stairs. He stood in the yard and I called him to me, and he started dancing around like he wanted to play. So I said "Norris here!" while holding my palm face up (like when we work on hand-targeting) and he ran up to me. There was lots of praise. I have almost had to let go before on the front stairs, which are concrete, because I'd rather not go to the hospital.

But I can't just keep being told "give it time" because it is NOT SAFE for me or him the way he pulls and the way he flips out. I don't think I could use a prong or a starmark collar on him, I think the Something Different on his neck would make him flip out. Norris does not do well with change. Norris is STRONG and I need something or some way to deal with the pulling.

The other irritating thing Norris does on walks is constantly trying to pick up and eat things. I live in a poorer area, so I guess nobody here knows how to use a trash can and there is trash everywhere out by the street where we walk and he's always trying to pick up tissues, wrappers, moldy sandwiches, and I even had to fight him for a mummified squirrel carcass once.

Help! Please
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:26 PM
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Honestly, I think he'd probably react better to a prong than, say, a head halter, if he is that sensitive. At least, Chloe did. She didn't care when her prong was on, but when I tried a head halter she was torn between being shut down and hyper-reactive to everything.

And while I don't think a prong is the best tool for a reactive dog (from your discription, I can't tell if he gets startled and is trying to bolt, or just gets super excited and wants to GO), it is much safer than the dog being able to drag you around.

You could always try a front clip no-pull harness. That way if he throws his body into it he will just turn around!

But, in the end, the collar/harness is just going to be a tool to give you control to work on training. I would start enforcing a "wait" before going of of any door. He must not bolt through the door, or it gets slammed in hs face. He can only exit upon your command, and then when he does he must redirect his attention to you as soon as he goes through. (I think Control Unleashed has a section on this? Or maybe it was Click to Calm. Can't remember.)

I'd also work on a leave it command. Once he's no longer able to drag you to the goodies on the ground you will make more headway, but a solid leave it foundation would be your best bet.
With my own dogs, I'm not above giving mild leash corrections to enforce my leave it, especially if it is that, or let them eat a nasty cigarette butt. Be sure to provide a high value reward every time they redirect to you instead of the gross thing on the ground. If I'm in a very enticing area I work on management - short lead and no sniffing allowed, because if they can't reach it, they can't eat it.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:30 PM
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Definitely a dog I think a prong would make worse. If he is already freaking out the prong is going to add to it for sure IMO.

I would use a front clip harness or even just a simple leash wrap for now. I can control my danes and my previous crazy husky mix really pretty easily with those tools. I did use a prong on my husky mix and besides making her worse, she learned to just pull right through it. She was so over threshold she didnt even notice it and the only control it gives is the dog reacting to it. A leash wrap gave me very good control of her and helped keep her calmer as well.

But yes, in the end training is what is needed to fix this.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:42 PM
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I'm going to vote no prong in his case for the same reasons I wont put a prong on Bamm... I think it would be too easy for him to start associating the things he fears and wants to bolt to to the pinch feeling of the collar and more than likely it will make it worse and his fear will be escalated. If you choose to try a front clip harness we sell them at mine and Jeff's work so one of us can get you our employee discount.

Norris is definitely a dog I would try the click to calm method on. You will have to start working on the training in places without things that make him super fearful and then build up to those scary things. You want him to associate those scary things with something good while you build up his confidence again. The biggest thing I've noticed with this dog is he is severely lacking in confidence and seems overall fearful in general.

You can push through this though and let me know if you want any help with him on days we both have off. I would be more than happy to help.

ETA: Also... like I mentioned when I was at your house last night... teaching him a solid "here" or emergency recall is extremely important especially since he is a bolter. If you don't have a long line to work with him on you can use one of mine. For emergency recall training I use the highest value treats I can find and ONLYYY use them for emergency recall training and not for other things.

Teaching a solid leave it will really help keep him from grabbing things during walks too... like that mummified squirel ugh.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:13 PM
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Thank you all for your suggestions so far. Would one of you mind telling me what a leash wrap is and how to do it? Thanks

As for the doorbusting, training on that presents special challenges. Norris is terrified of the main level of my house. I have three levels. The basement, which is occupied by my tenant and is off-limits to Norris, the main level which is the living room/kitchen, and the top level which is where my bedroom, bathroom and a spare room are. Norris and I hang out in my room all the time when I'm home. I only spend time downstairs when I'm cooking or I have friends over, which is infrequent (the friends, not the cooking). Norris will come downstairs to go outside, and that is the only reason. He refuses to spend any time downstairs otherwise. So today I attempted to work on having him sit before we go outside, and he wasn't having it at all. He is very food motivated, but he refused treats, had his head down, tail tucked, ears flat and was looking back and forth. I have no idea how to work on door busting when this is the behavior he is showing whenever we are on the main level.

We did, however, work on some stuff outside. I attempted to work on pulling using the turn-around method, and he shut down. He laid down on the ground twice as if to say, "I don't understand, this is too much." So I stopped using that method, and just worked on teaching him to pay more attention to the handler by calling him to me and having him sit, or using my hand-targeting command "here" to call him, and giving him a treat. This helped. He will take treats outside, and he does generally well on walks, you just have to get really creative at times when it comes to training. Admittedly I haven't done much since I brought him home because he's such a scared dog, and I have been trying to figure out where to start. Norris does already know sit, down, here (hand-targeting) and he loose-leash walks about 80% of the time.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:19 PM
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Prong collar and big soft plastic muzzle. Oddly, Im having the same issue with my knucklehead except that her pulling very consistant but thanks to getting hit by a car recently my back and shoulders arent up to holding her back. i have on order a boxer muzzle and that will take care of the bizarre PICA
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:39 PM
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http://dextersdays.com/2011/07/the-l.../#.Ukyf4j_VGzw

Here's a link to the leash wrap I assume is being referred to. I've used it with Gusto before when he's just so amped he can't control himself (walking past the groundhog holes, for instance). It does work freakishly well. I don't use it much, as I can't imagine it is all the comfortable, but I'd certainly do it to get down your stairs, or in situations like that.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweet72947 View Post
Thank you all for your suggestions so far. Would one of you mind telling me what a leash wrap is and how to do it? Thanks

As for the doorbusting, training on that presents special challenges. Norris is terrified of the main level of my house. I have three levels. The basement, which is occupied by my tenant and is off-limits to Norris, the main level which is the living room/kitchen, and the top level which is where my bedroom, bathroom and a spare room are. Norris and I hang out in my room all the time when I'm home. I only spend time downstairs when I'm cooking or I have friends over, which is infrequent (the friends, not the cooking). Norris will come downstairs to go outside, and that is the only reason. He refuses to spend any time downstairs otherwise. So today I attempted to work on having him sit before we go outside, and he wasn't having it at all. He is very food motivated, but he refused treats, had his head down, tail tucked, ears flat and was looking back and forth. I have no idea how to work on door busting when this is the behavior he is showing whenever we are on the main level.

We did, however, work on some stuff outside. I attempted to work on pulling using the turn-around method, and he shut down. He laid down on the ground twice as if to say, "I don't understand, this is too much." So I stopped using that method, and just worked on teaching him to pay more attention to the handler by calling him to me and having him sit, or using my hand-targeting command "here" to call him, and giving him a treat. This helped. He will take treats outside, and he does generally well on walks, you just have to get really creative at times when it comes to training. Admittedly I haven't done much since I brought him home because he's such a scared dog, and I have been trying to figure out where to start. Norris does already know sit, down, here (hand-targeting) and he loose-leash walks about 80% of the time.
Working on training, doesn't even really matter what you train at this point, should help him being so scared. In general training helps build confidence, helps him feel like he has more control. Wish you the best with him.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
http://dextersdays.com/2011/07/the-l.../#.Ukyf4j_VGzw

Here's a link to the leash wrap I assume is being referred to. I've used it with Gusto before when he's just so amped he can't control himself (walking past the groundhog holes, for instance). It does work freakishly well. I don't use it much, as I can't imagine it is all the comfortable, but I'd certainly do it to get down your stairs, or in situations like that.
I actually just wrap under the chest/belly and back up through the ring on the collar but that way would work well too
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:11 PM
StillandSilent StillandSilent is offline
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Try a freedom harness. Not only does it help with pulling, but its the only thing ive found that Gambit cant slither out of when he panics and tries to bolt. I don't think I would personally use . prong on him.
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