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I currently use a toggle collar to walk him. I've tried the stop-and-go method, the 180 degree method, I've tried using treats, but nothing has worked. He will pull when he has ANY slack. If he's stopped, he will look straight ahead until I let him walk again. He won't turn around to look at me, no matter how much I call him, clap, whistle, whatever. I have to physically pull him back to me. I praise him whenever he walks by my side, but he only does for about 3 seconds max. And if he sees a dog, he gets so excited! He will start baying, crouch down and then jump straight up into the air, over and over!
When my boyfriend walks him, he uses an Easy Walk harness. I hate it. Not only does it NOT prevent pulling, but it rubs his "armpits" raw and causes scabs! I tell my boyfriend to stop using it, but he won't.
I don't want to rely on different kinds of harnesses to make him walk well. I want to teach him the correct way to walk. Other than this, he is a fairly quick learner. Does anyone know any tips or tricks to teach him to behave on a leash?
When you're about to take him for a walk, how does he behave? I suppose he gets over excited? Do you let him calm down completely before you step over the threshold? You should make Boh realize you are the pack leader and that you, as a pack leader, leave the house first while he should follow. Tell him to sit, then go outside and invite him to come to you. Perhaps you will have to repeat this over and over again until he gets the message to calmly follow you, but this is necessary to be achieved so that he doesn't bring his excited (=uncontrollable) mood outside. When the dog's mind is calm, it's much easier to set proper communication with him. Eventually he'll get the point - a walk starts only when he's calm and submissive, and when he steps out after you. Never else.
It's also very important that you yourself (and your boyfriend) stay calm, confident, consistent and firm. Do NOT get anxious if you don't succeed at once because Boh will immediately sense and inherit it, becoming more excited. Be ready that you'll need a lot of time and patience, and stay calm. A lot depends on the energy you emanate.
Please let us know if it helps and how it goes so we can give you further advice.
Thanks for the follow up. He is doing pretty great actually, walking him is so much more enjoyable now!
He still has problems when he sees other dogs though. He wants to play with everyone. If he sees another dog, either walking or in a yard, he goes crazy. He will start baying, jumping, pulling, spinning in circles, and just generally act like a maniac! Thankfully this usually doesn't happen more than once during a walk... but I still get stares from everyone in hearing distance of my crazy boy.
I've tried correcting him, but I can't seem to break his concentration. Any tips?
I'm sorry for a belated reply - the work has been keeping me busy. How exactly did you try to correct him? Were you firm and patient (and calm within) enough when you were doing it? As I said earlier, it's a very important thing, but it's also very easy to forget about it when emotions take you over.
An addition to my previous post: does he receive a sufficient amount of daily exercise to burn his surplus energy? How does he react to other dogs after he's had lots of playing and running?
Anonymous:Well, Boh pretty much only has two settings... full speed, or off. If he's not sleeping, he's playing. I like to think he gets a good amount of exercise everyday. Besides his walk, we usually play fetch every day, and he has chew bones and puzzle toys that he plays with. A couple times a week he plays with my parents' dogs or we go to the dog park. And if there is somebody to play with, you better believe he is playing! He can go for hours and hours and hours of nonstop running, and still have the evergy to go into crazy mode during our walks! And of course every night, right around 10pm, he is out like a log (:
As for corrections, I will stop whenever he starts pulling. When it's just another dog on a walk, we just stop altogether until the dog is past us. He jumps up and down, spins in circles, and makes this terrible screechy baying noise that sounds like he's being brutally murdered. But there are several houses with dogs he likes, the one that makes him the craziest has three pitties. And he knows when we're close. He is generally okay (besides the pulling) until he actually SEES the dogs... I have tried everything I can think of to get his attention off the dogs--making him sit, standing in front of him to block his view, tapping his butt, telling him to focus on me. It's all I can do just to keep ahold of his leash. I don't get frustrated with him anymore, as I'm completely expecting it, and I pretty much have to drag him past the yard. I don't know what else I can try!
As soon as you notice that Boh spots a dog, give a quick jerk at his leash and say "NO" in a firm but calm voice, then keep on walking. It's very important that you don't stop because otherwise he gets completely consumed by his excitement while you as a pack leader should keep his mind occupied with what YOU want him to do. You may also try a squirt bottle and use it when he gets over excited, and give him a firm "NO" once again. Do this regularly and I believe he'll learn. Moreover, you should never avoid other dogs because of this problem but purposely meet them to get him used to dogs around him.
Also, do NOT expect him to start that madness. On the contrary, expect him to be obedient and well-behaving. Think positively. Dogs feel the vibes you emanate so if your thoughts are focused on stuff like "Oh no, here's this yard again, now that will start" -- "that" has way more chances to start indeed. Think like a pack leader and the boss, for example "I am patient, confident, and firm. He'll understand my message and will follow me regardless of the surroundings".
By the way, is he obedient when you're at home? Does he obey the basic dog commands?
People are waiting to help.