help with pulling dog

Tricks, obedience, behavior, and more.
User avatar
Trisha45
Newborn Bully
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:04 pm
Contact:

help with pulling dog

Postby Trisha45 » Fri May 18, 2012 5:12 pm

I have had Brandy for a little over a year, and she has come a long way from where she was but I just can't seem to keep her from pulling. It can become a bit frustrating and some days to the point where I just don't even enjoy walking her. We can't even walk past another dog witout her trying to pull my arm out of socket. But it can also be a squirrel, bird, paper floating down the street,etc. she's even started pulling when she sees children. Her head and ears go up, chest out and she keeps her eyes on them and pulls. I have tried and tried and tried so many things and nothing works to keep her from this. She just pulls and pulls and I usually can't make her sit for another dog to walk past. If I do she just barks, or lets out this high pitch scream. It's kind of embarrassing. She's friendly, but many people try to avoid her because of this behaviour. She is not at all treat motivated when she is outside. I don't have a muzzle for her (I know she's supposed to) because when she has one on, she becomes aggressive towards other dogs. I have a New Trix head collar for her and it works amazingly, but she hates it! She will stop and roll around on a patch of grass for minutes just trying to get it off, or just stop walking and lay down. She doesn't enjoy going for walks when she is wearing it. It upsets me that she does this, so I have don't use it often anymore. She has a material martingale collar, but that doesn't really do anything to keep her from pulling. I have thought a lot about getting her one of those prong collars, but am so hesitant to do this. I know they can work effectively when used properly, but I have never used one, and the last thing I want to do is hurt Brandy by not using it properly. If anyone has any tips that could help I would so appreciate it.

Thank you,
Patricia

randomroads
Matured Bully
Posts: 541
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:43 pm

Re: help with pulling dog

Postby randomroads » Fri May 18, 2012 5:25 pm

In my opinion prongs really shouldn't be used for pullers alone. There should be a flat collar on the dog and the prong should only be used to give corrections when she drives past you and walks in front when you don't want her to.

Have you tried working on her staying next to you inside? Less distraction, and rewarding her with treats or toys whenever she can stay next to you inside, and then slowly moving it to different areas of the house, the back yard, the front yard, the street in front of the house.

As for her focusing on other animals and children and pulling you toward them, she's just getting over her threshold of being able to pay attention to you and is vocalizing her anxiety about not being able to handle the stress of being so worked up. I'd suggest working on her focusing on you as in her looking at your face or targeting some other part of your body inside and move it outside eventually just like pulling. If she breaks focus and can't get back to it without heavy correction, then you've gone to fast and she needs to back up a bit and start from a few steps back in the training to work back to the point where she has trouble.

And remember, making her think for her treats and food can also help her calm down and exercise more self control on her own. Hiding her food around the house so she has to find it, feeding her out of a kong or treat ball, and going through a pet tricks book (inside) will help.

User avatar
Trisha45
Newborn Bully
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:04 pm
Contact:

Re: help with pulling dog

Postby Trisha45 » Fri May 18, 2012 5:43 pm

I wasn't sure if I should use a prong collar just for her pulling. It seemed a bit extreme to me. Thanks for clearing that up.
When she just walks past me and almost pulls me off my feet, I find that pulling her back and saying 'NO' doesn't really do anything. She just ignores me and keeps going.
I do make her look at me and this seems to help her focus. Just never thought about doing it all the time. I notice she does have some behaviour conflict when we are out and I don't allow her to go near another dog.
I haven't really worked on having her walk by my side a lot. Mostly because she is a bit clumsy and will trip over my feet or visa versa, she also walks into me as well. I don't know if it's because she wants to be close to me or if it's something else.
I live in a fairly small apartment, with no backyard, but could use the deck and then move to the driveway and have her focus on me.
She does have a Kong Wobbler that I feed her out of occasionally. I don't use it all the time because she gets a pill for her hypothyroidism in the morning and evening and also gets a liquid joint/skin & coat supplement in the morning. But I could give her smaller portions. She does like using it.
I would hate to think that she is bored. I do a lot with her and we are outside for a half hour walk twice a day, sometimes longer. I used to take her to a ball field to run around, but have avoided going there because another dog bit her in the face. Should I find another place for her to exercise?
She isn't destructive in the house, but usually follow me everywhere. I don't think anything of it because my other Pitty used to do it too. I'm now wondering if she has a small case of seperation anxiety. What do you think?

User avatar
Celesteandthebullies
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 4622
Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 8:40 pm
Location: Anderson, California
Contact:

Re: help with pulling dog

Postby Celesteandthebullies » Fri May 18, 2012 5:52 pm



User avatar
MarMar
Bully Lover 4 Life
Posts: 1114
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:18 am
Location: Sooke, BC

Re: help with pulling dog

Postby MarMar » Fri May 18, 2012 9:51 pm

It sounds from your description that your girl is so over threshold every time she goes out that she may not be in a place capable of learning. Do you have a place to take her where you seen no one or any animals? Perhaps a yard you can borrow from someone? I would also recommend looking for a professional who can help you with her anxiety outdoors. Be VERY CAREFUL when choosing someone. If you tell us where you live, there are several people on here who would be happy to help you find a good, humane trainer. Have you ever looked in to a front clip harness? If she really hates the halti, it may be an option for you. Check out Sense-ation harness or Freedom Harness. A martingale will just teach her to ignore collar pressure as she pulls. There should be no need ever for a prong collar.

randomroads
Matured Bully
Posts: 541
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:43 pm

Re: help with pulling dog

Postby randomroads » Fri May 18, 2012 11:34 pm

There should be no need ever for a front clip or head halter, either, but people use them as tools and, yes, as crutches when they don't phase them out and just rely on them to force the dog to behave. Everyone's got opinions on different tools to use on a dog, and I agree that positive training methods WITHOUT a prong is the best, but I also think that using a front clip harness is just as pointless. In an ideal world... but we don't live in one.

User avatar
MarMar
Bully Lover 4 Life
Posts: 1114
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:18 am
Location: Sooke, BC

Re: help with pulling dog

Postby MarMar » Sat May 19, 2012 9:03 pm

Sure, any of those things is a tool. So is a plain buckle collar. A dog can be trained to walk nicely on any sort of equipment. The point is that for most dogs, and especially for young dogs in training, it is unreasonable to expect them to walk nicely on a leash at all times, for every walk. They're just learning. And so for those times when you expect pulling but don't want to damage all the work you've done teaching them to respect the pressure of a neck collar, a different tool is suitable. To be quite honest, I'd be happy to see most dogs walking their whole lives on a harness, I think it is much safer and more pleasant for the dog (not in all cases of course). The difference between using a harness or halter and using a prong collar (and the reason I said there was "no need" for one), as a temporary measure is that a prong collar works because it hurts. I'd much rather use a "crutch" that worked without pain. And when you start adding in corrections, you run the risk of behavioural side effects. Of course, in the case of some dogs (like perhaps the OP's dog) the head halter is so aversive it might be as unpleasant as a pinch collar. In that case, you need to either go back to the beginning and ds/cc to the halter or switch to a harness.

User avatar
ChevellesMomma
Adolescent Bully
Posts: 286
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:28 am

help with pulling dog

Postby ChevellesMomma » Sat May 19, 2012 9:25 pm

Uhm, a prong collar most certainly does not hurt a dog if used properly. It pinches, which is uncomfortable, but it does not HURT. Some dogs respond better to physical correction, so prong collars can be needed in certain circumstances with certain dogs. There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to dog training.

User avatar
Stormi
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 5078
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 1:05 am
Location: Seattle
Contact:

help with pulling dog

Postby Stormi » Sat May 19, 2012 9:58 pm

ChevellesMomma wrote:There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to dog training.


No, but there is a science to learning and behavior, and yes, prong collars do utilize positive punishment and do cause pain. If they didn't, they wouldn't "work". I've never met a dog that was reactive due to the use of a front-clip harness, but I've worked with more than I can count that have become reactive due to the negative associations made with other animals or people because of the use of prong collars.

User avatar
ChevellesMomma
Adolescent Bully
Posts: 286
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:28 am

help with pulling dog

Postby ChevellesMomma » Sat May 19, 2012 10:04 pm

Stormi wrote:
ChevellesMomma wrote:There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to dog training.


No, but there is a science to learning and behavior, and yes, prong collars do utilize positive punishment and do cause pain. If they didn't, they wouldn't "work". I've never met a dog that was reactive due to the use of a front-clip harness, but I've worked with more than I can count that have become reactive due to the negative associations made with other animals or people because of the use of prong collars.


I've snapped that thing way harder on my own arm than I ever would on my dog and it doesn't even come close to hurting. If use correctly, they do not hurt. They are not meant to hurt. Now, of course, if you strangle your dog with it, then yes it will hurt. It's all about using the tools CORRECTLY.

User avatar
MarMar
Bully Lover 4 Life
Posts: 1114
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:18 am
Location: Sooke, BC

Re: help with pulling dog

Postby MarMar » Sat May 19, 2012 11:55 pm

ChevellesMomma wrote:Uhm, a prong collar most certainly does not hurt a dog if used properly. It pinches, which is uncomfortable, but it does not HURT. Some dogs respond better to physical correction, so prong collars can be needed in certain circumstances with certain dogs. There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to dog training.


I have never seen nor heard of a dog that "responded better to physical correction". Heavy corrections with corrective collars can lead to suppression of behaviour and the appearance that the dog is "improved", but it is false to say that there are certain dogs that NEED physical punishments in order to deal with behavioural problems.

And I guess I just think that "pinching" IS painful. That's why a prong works to stop pulling. :dunno:

User avatar
ChevellesMomma
Adolescent Bully
Posts: 286
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:28 am

help with pulling dog

Postby ChevellesMomma » Sun May 20, 2012 12:04 am

MarMar wrote:
ChevellesMomma wrote:Uhm, a prong collar most certainly does not hurt a dog if used properly. It pinches, which is uncomfortable, but it does not HURT. Some dogs respond better to physical correction, so prong collars can be needed in certain circumstances with certain dogs. There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to dog training.


I have never seen nor heard of a dog that "responded better to physical correction". Heavy corrections with corrective collars can lead to suppression of behaviour and the appearance that the dog is "improved", but it is false to say that there are certain dogs that NEED physical punishments in order to deal with behavioural problems.

And I guess I just think that "pinching" IS painful. That's why a prong works to stop pulling. :dunno:


The prong works because it is a clear correction, and not a praise. There are several dogs that I have met that needed physical correction due to simple stubborn will and inability to understand what NOT to do as opposed to what TO do. A prong collar is a tool, and if used incorrectly, it CAN hurt. If used properly, it doesnt. You can not make a blanket statement saying that they all hurt, the same way that you can not make a blanket statement saying that none of them hurt at all. It is the user, not the tool, that decides that one. I have used the prong collar very successfully, and I have also seem some dogs not respond to it so well. It depends on the dog and it depends on the user. If it is a breed of dog or even a specific dog that does not respond well to correction, then the prong collar is definitely not for you. But I actually own a dog that needed non-painful physical correction (a prong) to understand what it was he wasn't supposed to do. After that, he was a breeze. Blame the fool, not the tool!

EDIT: if used correctly, the prong is supposed to mimic the none painful correction given to a puppy by its mother.

User avatar
Stormi
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 5078
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 1:05 am
Location: Seattle
Contact:

help with pulling dog

Postby Stormi » Sun May 20, 2012 12:34 am

ChevellesMomma wrote:EDIT: if used correctly, the prong is supposed to mimic the none painful correction given to a puppy by its mother.


Except that it doesn't. At all.

For someone who was claiming a while back that you wanted to go to school to become an applied behaviorist, perhaps some research on the basics of operant and classical conditioning and the fallout of positive punishment would do you well...

User avatar
ChevellesMomma
Adolescent Bully
Posts: 286
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:28 am

help with pulling dog

Postby ChevellesMomma » Sun May 20, 2012 12:59 am

Stormi wrote:
ChevellesMomma wrote:EDIT: if used correctly, the prong is supposed to mimic the none painful correction given to a puppy by its mother.


Except that it doesn't. At all.

For someone who was claiming a while back that you wanted to go to school to become an applied behaviorist, perhaps some research on the basics of operant and classical conditioning and the fallout of positive punishment would do you well...


Perhaps the difference between "opinion" and "fact" would do you just as well. No reason to be snarky whatsoever. If used properly, the prong collar is a wonderful training tool. I have used it and been successful and so have my mentors. I guess those experiences don't exist?

User avatar
MarMar
Bully Lover 4 Life
Posts: 1114
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:18 am
Location: Sooke, BC

Re: help with pulling dog

Postby MarMar » Sun May 20, 2012 11:03 am

No one is saying it doesn't "work". In my post I pointed out that it can and does work. The point is, that if you have two options to train a behaviour, and one is non-aversive and the other IS aversive, the humane thing to do is use the non-aversive option. If a trainer can only use aversives, then they need to examine their skill set. And Stormi is quite right. If behaviour study is your goal, I would find new mentors.


Return to “Training and Behavior”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests