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bigphil

How to train spaniel not to pull?

She is 11 months old and very eager, but has pulled the wife off her feet and tonight when eldest son (9 years and sensitive) gave her a nudge with his welly to remind her not to pull he was abused by a female jogger.
How can I solve this pulling problem, please help!?
MrsWW

Have you tried a halti?

If you haven't (they're hard work to get used to), I have one somewhere (practically unused) that I tried on our Border Collie and your'e more than welcome to it.
Gareth

Oz got out of his halti the first time we put it on him, then he chewed it up.

We then bought theK9 version which is supurb product: http://www.k9leads.com/category.asp?cid=44
Jonty

Phil,

I have a springer and it's their natural flushing tendency to hunt and work, therefore they will naturally try and get ahead of you. Not in competition, just their hunting nature coming out.  You need to train her when she can do what comes naturally to her and when she has to do what you want.

In my opinion, halti harnesses aren't the answer, you need your dog to walk at heel whatever lead you have them on, whatever situation you are in.

The method I use does take some time (maybe 2 months) but it's a sound investment of time to ensure you will have a dog on a slack lead for the rest of your time together.  

The method is to train the dog that as soon as she feels pressure on her collar caused by her pulling that she doesn't get anywhere.  to do this you'll need a conventional lead and a chest harness.  Only use the lead when you are training, when you have sufficient time to be 100% consistent and not let the dog move an inch on a tight lead, it's imperative that you stick to this completely otherwise you'll undo any effort you've put in with the 1st minor slip.  For all other quick nip round the park or out for a pee walks, use the chest harness, the dog can pull on this all she likes, pressure on her chest doesn't matter - as long as you do the lead training correctly she'll know that pressure on her neck meand no progress.

the first few sessions need only be 5 minutes and you may only get 10m or so.  put her on the lead and start walking, as soon as the lead goes tight, stop, don't pull her back or say anything.  eventually she'll look confused at you or possibly sit down, then encourage/guide her back to your side and as soon as she's there start walking.  Lead goes tight, stop and repeat.  like I say, you'll not get far, but you must be 100% consitent.

After a few goes, she'll kind of get the message and you'll need to double the time of the sessions to 10 minutes to reitterate the point, when she starts to come back to your side start with masses of praise, but, never the heel word.

Soon the penny drops that a tight collar meand no progress and you should be able to do longer sessions, loads of praise and remain 100% consistent.  Once the dog is walking alongside you, give loads of praise as they walk along, at this stage, any pulls should be dealt with by a complete direction change, a sharp no, a few steps in the opposite direction so the dog isn't getting where it wanted to go and then stop to let the dog accept it's fate and come back to your side. and then praise again and start off.

Once she's walking next to you quite well, start with 'good heel' in a praising voice (and only when the dog is actually where you want to call heel) after a while, whe'll associate heel with meaning walking next to you..... So many people get dragged about on a tight lead shouting heel, heel, heel reaffirming to their dog that heal meand tight lead wnd them in front.

remember, during all of this, if you've only got 5 minutes to nip the dog out for a pee before you go to work, use the harness, she can pull all she wants in that.

I think that after 5 short sessions a week for 2 months you can have a dog that will walk on a slack lead for the rest of your time together.  I can't repeat it enough though, you have to be soooo consitent during the training period, if you don't have the time to be 100%, use the harness or you'll undo any effort you've put in.

My dog is no superstar, when he's at heel he's fighting the urge to be ahead of me rather than staring intently up at me like the ones at crufts, but 90% of the time we're out together I don't need a lead and 3 or 4 times a week he'll walk up and down skipton high street off lead at heel past all the pie shops   For a little input, you'll reap great benefits - honest!!


Sorry about the waffling post too!!
Canburne

How did you get on with Jonty's method?
bigphil

Still working on it. The dog responds better to me and now my wife, anyone else it still pulls.
It is very enthusiastic, which is good, but ranges to far when flushing and then chases the bird.
I am trying to concentrate on the obedience training but like a walk in the woods too.

When she is good she is very very good, but when she is bad...
12Bore

... she's a spaniel!    You'll get there, some hounds just take longer than others.  

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