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It hasn’t helped that my bunnysitter says it has taken her 7 year old dog 6 years to get better for his leash reactivity !!!!
Oh geez! Lol..
I think different methods for different dogs with different problems is the key.
Just like with kids and adults.
Find what works and what doesn’t.
The Key word within the key words? Patience and keeping calm. Hah !!!!!
Sounds like you’re making great progress Vienna! Slinking off to the bathroom when he’s bad!
I’ve read a little bit about shock collars lately. With Otis being a hunting breed, most websites about GSPs are for and by hunters, and they use them a lot, usually for recall. I kinda feel like they have a worse reputation than they deserve. The big problem I think is that a lot of people don’t know how to use them properly. They buy the collar, put it on the dog and expect him to come to them (or do whatever else they want him to) without first taking the time to teach the dog what the shock means and what he’s supposed to do. Then when the dog doesn’t respond correctly, they keep dialing up the intensity. So what you end up with is a panicked dog, cringing and crying in pain because he’s getting shocked on level 10 and has no clue what to do. That’s the image a lot of people have in their heads when thinking of a shock collar. A collar that’s set to a low level doesn’t hurt the dog, and most of them come with a vibrate setting that doesn’t shock at all. It’s just supposed to give the dog a nudge to snap them out of whatever they’re doing, just like Cesar Millan giving a little finger poke.
I hope your collar works out for you both. Baloo is so lucky to have an owner who’s this patient!
Got my new leash for Christmas, and holy moly, it works like magic! I can actually walk him now, without getting my arm ripped off! He’s not too happy about it, he wants to run but can’t, so he just prances along next to me.
Gorgeous He’s growing up so fast!
What’s this halter/leash called? I’d come across one not very well marketed called safecalm collar you clip leash to the back (like yours extends from the back of neck). And had that had that toggle thing to tighten everything up.
Thanks jersey! Yeah he’s getting big, almost 50 lbs now.
It’s nothing special, just a plain old kennel lead, looped around the neck and snout in a figure eight. His regular leash is a slip lead too, but it’s way too thick, if I put that on his snout he wouldn’t be able to see. This one is pretty flat. We got it on Amazon, it’s made by KVP. It didn’t come with a stopper, so I put a hair tie on it, works just fine to snug it up.
So… since you all seem to know about dogs, I have a question!
I don’t have one, but my bf’s family has two big ones, a Scotch Collie and a Maremma Sheepdog. I’m afraid of big dogs and I’m still wary of the collie, but I’ve made friends with Luna, the sheepdog, and I’ve started taking her on walks when I’m sleeping over at bf’s place (with bf. I’m not comfortable being alone with big dogs…)
Luna’s always had a choke collar, which is illegal now but still accepted for heavy dogs. Since she’s 9 years old I’ve raised concerns about her collar possibly damaging her windpipe if she gets too excited while walking and we’re discussing about getting her a harness. So my question is: since she’s an old dog and doesn’t really pull on the leash except for the first few minutes after she’s out of home… would it be worth it to switch her to a harness? would it be hard to make her get used to it? Is there a kind of harness that’s recommended for a 40kg dog?
Sorry for the n00b questions ^_^;;;
You could try a harness. It’s very common here for both big and small dogs. If she’s reactive towards other dogs, it could be difficult to control her in a harness though. Make sure the harness isn’t of a type that she can eel her way out of. For the first walks in the harness she could still wear the callar so you can switch back to the collar if you need to. It’s good if the harness allows movement of the leash clip across the back or the leash will pull the harness sideways.
Effi often wears a harness. Especially when we’re hiking. Her harnesses are from a Finnish company called Hurtta. (She has several harnesses because she’s spoilt and pampered). I don’t know what you have in Italy, of course. I looked up Zooplus Italy, they seem to have Julius K9 harnesses, I haven’t used those myself but I often see them here on quite powerful dogs.
I’ve also sown a Nome harness for Effi, if you like sowing that’s a nice little project.
Harnesses have become n°1 here as well after the righteous choke collar soft ban. I used to dogsit a wolfie that was barely controllable (bad bad owner) and that was one dog you surely didn’t want to put in a harness ^_^;;
She doesn’t care or is afraid of other dogs, so she doesn’t go close to them or bark. She just cares about checking each and every pee she finds So she pulls a lot, especially during the first road cross
I love the shape of the Nome harness, but I’m afraid it wouldn’t be the best to go across trafficked roads because of the clip so low on the back. Julius K9 is really popular over here, so I can easily find it! I see some models also have a handle on the top, so that’s extra nice to keep her close by when crossing the street.
So… we have to measure the larger point of her chest and her back to find the correct size?
Julius K9 seems to go by chest width only. For a Maremma dog you’d need either L-XL (stl 2) 71 – 96 cm or (probably XL) (stl 3) 82 – 118 cm. I’ve only met one or two Maremma dogs in my life, they look huge (and beautiful) but a lot of the size is probably fur.
(I’ve put a metal ring to fasten the leash in on the part over the shoulders on the Nome harness, forgot to say. Otherwise it’d be completely useless on walks. I made it so she could pull a plastic toboggan, but then we stopped having snowy winters and now she has her back issues anyway.)
I wish I had a good picture of her. She’s all fur and is getting her grey tips but she’s still a beauty <3
Ahh, now the nome harness makes sense! And I’m jealous of the facts that: 1) you have a dog; 2) you have snow to walk the dog in; 3) you have snow;
Hmm. Julius K9. Are these anti pulling harnesses? Im not sure. I see them everywhere. I hate them. Hate maybe a tad harsh…. People put any old harness on their dog and then wonder why the dogs pulls even more when the instinct of the dog is to pull like an ox.
Ooops logged out too soon,….
Be careful with the sizing. I’ve just received a Halti Easy Walker which i ordered last week.
Baloo is a lab/ border collie cross and weighs 23kg. I ordered an M.
Too big !!!!
Don’t be going telling me that he is an S??!!!! Unless it’s a pony harness !!!
We have the Ruffwear Front Range harness for Otis. We really like it, it’s well made and comes in funky colors. We don’t walk him with it, we bought it for car rides and to run him next to my bicycle when he’s older. There is a spot on the front (chest) where you can attach the leash and it’s supposed to help with pulling. I tried it out once, didn’t make it completely down the drive way before I turned around. To be fair, this is not marketed as a no pull harness, it’s just a regular everyday harness. I always used to roll my eyes at people who were being dragged all over the place by their dog. Boy, am I eating a lot of humble pie now…
When we ordered the harness, there was a sizing chart that went by rib cage girth. We decided he’s a medium, and it fits him perfectly.
Vienna, how is the Gentle Leader working out? Did you encounter a problem with it or are you trying the Easy Walker just because?
Hazel. The Gentle Leader is great to keep the nose in and seems easier to ‘steer’ him by it. And because it attaches under his chin, it makes him walk closer to your leg at heal even when he is trying to pull.
But when he kicks off at another dog he pulls and barks and then turns to face me and barks even more and shakes his head from left to right which makes him look like a fish wiggling ferociously on the end of a line. And a major part of it seems to be frustration at the GL. He is always charging head first in to a hedge or between my legs to try to get it off !!!
So I’m trying the Halti Harness. (Second day) He seems happier to have a free nose. Although I feel his pulling a bit more. The straps are at absolute maximum for him. When he kicked off at other dogs tonight, the pulling is a bit more, but he doesnt turn around and bark back at me held only by his muzzle, which proves that it is that which he doesnt appreciate with the GL.
I guess Baloo has multiple problems (issues) which i can’t sort out at the same time (pulling and reactivity).
I am SO with you in the humble pie !!! ROFL
(Although i do think the majority of those poeple really haven’t tried correctly at all )
One lady (with her pointer dog) looked at me tonight as if I had a monster at the end of my lead…..
Others i can explain to as we pass them : “Bonsoir. He’ll bark any minute now, but dont worry, we’re working on it – smile”
Posted By Vienna Blue in France on 1/11/2018 1:50 PM
One lady (with her pointer dog) looked at me tonight as if I had a monster at the end of my lead…..
Wasn’t me, I swear! At least Baloo isn’t actually mean. What I hate is people who insist that their dog is friendly when it’s not. We were outside with our dog once and this guy comes down the street with his dog. They act like they want to meet, and he says “It’s fine, she’s friendly”. Well, as soon as our dog got close enough, his tried to bite her face! Then, of course, came the obligatory “She’s NEVER done this before!”… Yeah, right.
And I agree, a lot of people don’t really try when there’s a problem. You’re working really hard with Baloo, and he’ll get there, slowly but surely. Hopefully Otis will keep improving too.
Well im guilty of saying “he wants to say hello” and then try to snap, but i pull him back and then say oh I’m sooooo sorry and then go off and cry
But of course you dont want Otis having bad experiences at his age and i dont go near puppies…
Yeah well, some dogs just don’t like each other. It’s probably hard to tell if Baloo is mad at a dog or just excited, since he barks in both instances. But the important thing is that you’re working with him, and meeting other dogs is part of it. So don’t feel bad if it doesn’t always work out just right!
Otis would probably run from Baloo, he’s a big old wuss!
Baloo vets this morn for limping, crying, yelping last night and generally being weird. He wouldnt get in a lift last night to a friends flat where hes been twice before this week, walking in without any hesitation. He couldn’t bend down and eat from his bowl last night. I lifted it up and he did eat so i wondered if it was cervical. He didn’t eat his Kong and is refusing a bone this morning. It seems to be his front legs and ankle joints which are preventing him from bending down. And now he links the Kong with pain so he’s not touching it (even with a hotdog in it !!!)
Of course the vet pulled and pushed and twisted his paws and legs and neck and he didn’t yelp or lick his lips or anything (she called it the “vet effect”) lol. Although she did feel resistance in one of his ankles.
So I’m doing three things to try to make a difference for him :
1) putting him back on SALMON OIL he had for 3 months and which i stopped just before Christmas – this may or may not be making a huge difference.
2) changing his meds from metacam to RIMADYL and adding LOCUX to the meds (horse type flexi joint supplements)
3) putting him in the hard BOOT of the car when travelling and not on the soft back seat to prevent him from wobbling and trying to keep his balance on a soft cushion seat with his ankles that are obviously causing him pain and aggravating it.
Maybe his bad attitude outdoors with other dogs is related to this…. who knows. We can but try….
Ive also had a dog osteopathy suggested to me….. kerching kerching kerching… !!!!!
I hope it’s only something minor.
oh poor pup (((Baloo)))
hope he will be better ASP
Glad to see this post here, I will have to dive in one of this day in all this posts.
Generally Rocky (German Shepard/ Malinoa/ Wolfdog) and I had a quite the journey for the last year and the half. But I must say a hugeeee amount of love, time and dedication does pay off.
Oh no, poor Baloo! I hope he feels better soon!
Niamian. Oh really? Oh you must post your experiences…. what you learnt was good and what you would not do again.
So after Baloo making his aggressive bark even more so, and for my own piece of mind, I’ll be looking at getting Baloo a cage muzzle for when we go for wood walks in close contact with other dogs.
He had a fight with another dog this weekend. No puncture wounds. Surely all impressive nips and tumbling, but i can’t risk it until he’s used to other dogs… if ever. . It may or may not have been his initial fault, but he wasn’t an innocent party once it got going…
The muzzle will also be a sign to others that i am aware and taking responsibility for my dog.
Its such a crappy viscious circle that he needs other dogs to say hi to, yet the way he reacts, no balanced dog is interested, only the curious bold ones that make him go berserk. He can say hi calmly to some dogs, the trick is knowing which ones and there is NO pattern whatsoever.
My trainer couldn’t understand him kicking off earlier today. The dog he was kicking off at was under control, not bothered at all in Baloo and about 50m away…
I’m looking into other trainers too. Maybe with a different method. More effective for Baloo.
The good news is, since i sprayed him with water when he was barking MENTAL at the buns before Christmas, he is almost perfect around them now. Hardly any barking and when he feels himself wanting to, he whines and takes himself off to his bed.
I’m not sure using a water bazooka outdoors will have the same effect…. but i am soooo tempted (and desperate) to try.
People may not like this but harnesses are absolutely TERRIBLE for dogs, especially big dogs, it gives them more power to pull you. Also, please read all the way through before making any presumptions xD I will explain every bit of why this makes sense
So take for example…
If you think of a husky pulling a sled, what are they wearing? They are wearing harnesses. A harness gives them more upper body strength to pull heavy items. Dogs who are already trained well on a leash probably could use a harness if you wanted to. But an untrained dog should not be in one. It makes them want to pull more.
Also with harnesses, I have experienced a lot of dogs easily slipping out of them even when they are as tight as they can go. There are SOME harnesses that tighten around the dog when they pull which helps the escape issue, but if they are still pulling, it’s still not a good fit.
The flat collars are easy to slip out of too, your dog just has to back up out of it basically. I know choke collars sound bad, they probably don’t have a great name for them either. But there are a number of different ones now, they even have nylon choke collars where the majority of it is the soft nylon, & a small part of it is chain that tightens. You can make the adjustment on these ones to where if it’s loose, it can easily slip off, but if the dog pulls, it only tightens enough to where the dog can’t slip out. It’s similar to chain choke collars in the way that it tightens but….a chain choke collar has no stopping point of that tightness. The nylon choke collar CAN have a stopping point.
There’s a common misconception of choke collars though if they aren’t used properly, I agree they can potentially hurt a dog. The idea is; dogs like to be comfortable. If they are uncomfortable, they are going to do whatever they can to be comfortable again. So if trained right & using the collar right, they will learn that a walk does not have to involve them coughing because they’re choking themselves, that it can be very calm & relaxing & still fun.
When training or correcting your dog on a leash, you want the collar at the highest point on their neck. The lower it is, the more pulling power they have because like the harness, it’s on their shoulders.
Before going on an actual full walk, you should practice in front of your house. Your dog is only allowed to go wherever YOU want it to go. It should follow you, not you following the dog.
1. It’s best to start training in the street as long as it’s not busy, this way your dog is less distracted by smells in the grass. If the ground is too hot, you may need to do the grass or find a shaded area. Also, have a treat pouch ready with small pieces of a very desirable treat.
2. Let’s say you picked the front of your house for initial training which is a very good start. Imagine maybe a 15-20 foot area, take for instance, the span of your driveway maybe. Walk with your dog in a straight line from 1 end of the driveway to the other. You should try to keep your head up looking forward, not continuously looking at your dog.
3. If your dog starts walking ahead of you, immediately turn around in the other direction. (If your dog is walking on your left side, you will want to start off turning to the right.) Your dog needs to learn that you are leading, not him. They often think they know where we’re walking & start to take the lead, when you make a sharp turn in the opposite direction every time they do this, they begin to realize if they want to continue in a forward motion, they cannot be getting ahead. It may take a while for them to get this but they’re smart, they’ll catch on. I have practiced this on 4 dogs now.
4. Once your dog starts to get a better understanding, you can slowly start to increase the walking area, maybe go as far as the end of the next house & repeat the process. The idea of this is the farther out you walk from your house, the more excited a dog gets to explore. You first are teaching him that we are in the front of the house, we are to remain calm & controlled. Now we repeat the process every time we go out farther so your dog learns that it doesn’t matter where you are, familiar area or not, you HAVE to remain calm & the same rules apply everywhere.
5. If you are out walking & occasionally want to stop for a second & talk to someone or check your phone, whatever, you can practice this too. Your dog should learn that when you stop, he stops. To do this, as you’re practicing this exercise, plan for a spot you think you’ll want to stop at. Let’s say for visuals, there’s a twig on the ground coming up & you think “that’s my stopping point.” As you approach the twig, begin to slow down & slowly start to pull up on the leash. Once you come to a complete stop, there should be more pressure pulling up on the leash. The dog will realize this is uncomfortable & because they’re smart, will start figuring out how to get comfortable again. Some dogs will sit automatically & once they do, release the pressure. Sometimes a little more pressure needs to be applied (but don’t choke or practically hang them please!) If they aren’t getting the hint, keep pulling up but take your other hand’s index finger & press down on the dog’s butt. (not too much pressure where you’re forcing it to sit, but enough to be an annoyance where he’ll try sitting to get away from your finger. Dog’s learn by repetitive training so this will take some time before it knows what to do. Eventually, you should be able to stop with just a small tug & it will sit or, simply you stopping is it’s cue to sit. Whenever they successfully sit, they get a yummy treat!