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    1. #1
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      brian3x's Avatar
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      5 yo English Lab

      So, it's been almost a decade since I've been to these forums. I appreciated and used it prior to getting my 9.5 yo Katie. I added to my pack a an English lab who is now 5. I'm looking for simple attention, walking advise.

      My girl is very smart and easy to train. Finn is neither, he's always been excitable to the point he doesn't hear, obey.

      No amount or type of food helps, he simply walks in front, no matter what I've tried.

      Gentle leader doesn't help, stop and wait until he's healed doesn't work. Quick turns once he gets in front doesn't help.

      I am 97% sure this can be fixed and I am the one needing to change so he can walk properly so hoping folks have some guidance.


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    2. #2
      Chief Pooper Scooper
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      Honestly, I think GL's are junk. All head-harnesses. Just get a pinch collar, let him self correct himself a few times, that usually does the trick.

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    4. #3
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      Most people on the board will opt to forego training and get a prong. Which can be an viable option for some people. Just make sure it's fitted and used correctly.

      When you work on leash manners you have to be 100% consistent, which is why it sometimes doesn't work for people, especially if they have to take their dog out on a leash to go potty and get the bulk of their exercise (apartments, no fenced in yard, etc.). Also, did you start in a non-exciting place, such as in your house? When I train my puppies, I have the dog on a leash in the house and he gets too far (I don't wait until the leash is taut or the collar is tight because then that becomes their cue), then ask for a "here" or whatever you use to get the dog where you want him, then give him food. Once he is perfect in the house, I introduce some distractions in the house, starting low value, working my way up to something more exciting, like a food bowl. Ask the dog to "here" then jackpot. I then take it to the yard. Then the driveway. Then the real world where compliance means the dog gets to go forward. Now when they are excited and get too far, they automatically come back to position and we keep going as soon as they are where they need to be. And then, the dog never, ever, ever gets what he wants by pulling. It's a process and I start mine young, before they are heavy, and can take they anywhere on a flat buckle collar without pulling which is worth the time and effort.

    5. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by JenC View Post
      Honestly, I think GL's are junk. All head-harnesses. Just get a pinch collar, let him self correct himself a few times, that usually does the trick.
      No, he mentally shuts down. When seeing another dog, he will be so excited (trained on vibrate) with a shock collar he will yelp and keep on barking without a beat. Not to attack, but to just go play with the other dog.


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    6. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by Labradorks View Post
      Most people on the board will opt to forego training and get a prong. Which can be an viable option for some people. Just make sure it's fitted and used correctly.

      When you work on leash manners you have to be 100% consistent, which is why it sometimes doesn't work for people, especially if they have to take their dog out on a leash to go potty and get the bulk of their exercise (apartments, no fenced in yard, etc.). Also, did you start in a non-exciting place, such as in your house? When I train my puppies, I have the dog on a leash in the house and he gets too far (I don't wait until the leash is taut or the collar is tight because then that becomes their cue), then ask for a "here" or whatever you use to get the dog where you want him, then give him food. Once he is perfect in the house, I introduce some distractions in the house, starting low value, working my way up to something more exciting, like a food bowl. Ask the dog to "here" then jackpot. I then take it to the yard. Then the driveway. Then the real world where compliance means the dog gets to go forward. Now when they are excited and get too far, they automatically come back to position and we keep going as soon as they are where they need to be. And then, the dog never, ever, ever gets what he wants by pulling. It's a process and I start mine young, before they are heavy, and can take they anywhere on a flat buckle collar without pulling which is worth the time and effort.
      So, in house, he perfectly heels while walking to the dinner bowl.

      Yes, always force calmness before proceeding, for walks, bathroom, NILF.

      I had brisket that I cooked and took 40 mins to get him calm when introducing him to a new dog. He isn't using his nose first. Even after he'd sit calm in front of the other dog, as soon as I move he's back at 100% excitement.

      So for walking, I can have him heal, calm, but as soon as I move he walks ahead. He will heal if I say, but won't stay at my knee.

      Using a shock (on vibrate) collar for walks did help, but is limited to his excitement level. Not sure how to stop that excitement before it happens.

      He has some nervousness about him sometimes, although I don't give in. A couple times a year he will almost trip coming up stairs and the. Becomes afraid of them, so I have to go walk him up multiple times before he does it alone again.


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    7. #6
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      A shock collar really isn't the best for training to work properly. If you want that PERFECT heal, you will need to do training. Find a class or set up a schedule for yourself and do the training. I had my Griff at rally training and she is OK on a leash, but forges ahead, which for the most part I don't care about in real life. But in training for a competitive event, I need her to heal properly. I took her to the side and just walked back and forth and back and forth, reminding her heal, giving her quick pops on her flat collar, praising and rewarding her being in the right spot and sitting correctly.

      Like I said, I have good results with a prong collar. My young lab boys, put a prong on them, walked them down the street, when they decided to forge ahead, I would stop, brace myself, let them hit the end of the leash, self correcting on the collar. I'd get a little yelp, and they'd learn after about 2 or 3 times that when mom stops or says something, it's best to slow down and get back to side.

      I think a class is your best bet.

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    9. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by JenC View Post
      A shock collar really isn't the best for training to work properly. If you want that PERFECT heal, you will need to do training. Find a class or set up a schedule for yourself and do the training. I had my Griff at rally training and she is OK on a leash, but forges ahead, which for the most part I don't care about in real life. But in training for a competitive event, I need her to heal properly. I took her to the side and just walked back and forth and back and forth, reminding her heal, giving her quick pops on her flat collar, praising and rewarding her being in the right spot and sitting correctly.

      Like I said, I have good results with a prong collar. My young lab boys, put a prong on them, walked them down the street, when they decided to forge ahead, I would stop, brace myself, let them hit the end of the leash, self correcting on the collar. I'd get a little yelp, and they'd learn after about 2 or 3 times that when mom stops or says something, it's best to slow down and get back to side.

      I think a class is your best bet.
      I can try with my boy.

      Again didn't shock, just vibrate and it helped for walks just until a certain excitement level.

      Using a prong with my girl didn't work at all. It made her pull more...the turning and treat method worked for her as she uses her nose even if excited.

      Boy has no nose once excited


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    10. #8
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      Most labs have no brain when excited. Even a shock collar on the highest setting can often have no effect on an excited dog.

      If your girl didn't respond to the prong, my guess is that it wasn't fitted properly. If it's not high and tight under the chin, it really has NO EFFECT.

    11. #9
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      Right..it worked for walking until she saw another dog, then she'd lose her mind and reacted as if she was being attacked. She is perfect (not show perfect) but have no issues with her.

      Admittedly for him, I haven't spent enough time, its def my shortcomings not either of the dogs.


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    12. #10
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      I highly recommend a class or a few sessions with a trainer regardless of the tool you chose. Sounds like there is a major issue with impulse control in your pup and there is a lot of work that can be done on that front (i'd have to go find some links) away from the walks.

      If the dog looses their mind upon distractions you are working much too close to the distraction. you need to find a level where the dog can still "think" in order to see improvements.

      regarding rewards, consider if the valu of the treat is high enough. yes labs are found hounds but sometimes you need something HIGH VALU (not regular kibble or regular treats). think...tripe, real meat, fish, cheese. experiement. Or maybe the higher value isn't food at all but a toy .

      ETA: ensure to work with a tired, but not OVERLY tired dog. so ensure he gets some of the excess energy out with a good play session before you walk.

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