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West side Utah Lake
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This week we adopted a rescue dog. She's a 2 year old Chesapeake Bay Retriever. She's as sweet and loving as can be but when I put the leash on her and take her for a walk she is about to pull my arm out of it's socket. Now that's not all the time. Sometimes she walks right next to me but sometimes she just wants to pull hard enough to move a bulldozer.

Any ideas on how to get her to stop pulling so hard and walk beside me or just slightly in front when we go for our walks?
 

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There's a ton of videos on youtube to check out...here's one I just picked at random, but it shows the basic technique. Repetition and consistency is the key. Some dogs pick it up really quick and some are stubborn, who take longer. Check out Wonder Lead.

 

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I raise and hunt hounds and breaking a dog from leash pulling is part of the training curriculum.

A couple things, first of all, a dog has to understand that they can't win in a fight against a chain or leash. Dogs that are kenneled (like mine) or run free don't often understand this, so I'll stake them out for a couple hours a day for about a week until they understand the limits. After they hit the end of the chain a few times they learn quickly the chain is boss.

Next, leash them up and go for a walk and every time the dog starts pulling pull them back and slap them across the back with the slack in the leash and command them "back." Even the worst knot heads catch on after a few corrections and will lead like a dream.
 

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You can try using a pinch collar. It looks mean, it it's really not. My lab is a soft as can be, yet responds really well to a pinch collar because it's easy to vary the correction. Pulling against it provides self correction, it's great.

Two words of advice though, buy a good one because the cheap ones break. Also, make sure it fits properly. A loose fitting pinch collar is worthless.
 

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We use a " Haulty" on my female. maybe I spelled it wrong but it simply slips over the muzzle and when they pull it puts pressure on the side neck muscles instead and they pull ALOT less.
 

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The Halti (from above) or Gentle Leader (another brand name) are good options to try. They operate on the same principle as a horse bridle, changing the point of attachment from around the neck/shoulders (where dogs are strong) to below the muzzle (where they are much weaker). If they try and pull when on the Gentle Leader, it will simply turn their head back towards you.

Pincher collars are also a viable option, especially for something strong and with a thicker coat like a Chessie (where a typical choke chain can go mostly unnoticed by a big dog). But, even with a pincher, your dog can still pull - hard - against them, especially if determined, and they are a little easier to "ignore" than a Gentle Leader.

Finally, use treats and reward your dog when she's walking in the correct position next to you. Most of the Chessies I've come across over my years of teaching dog obedience have been very responsive to treats - they're a pretty food-motivated breed (especially when you take them out for a session when they're hungry), which makes them easy to bait into where you want them (as opposed to my pointy-eared shepherd dogs, which only seem to want to work for tugging and chasing a ball).
 

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West side Utah Lake
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sometimes she heel's very good and other times it's all I can do to hang on for dear life. Yesterday another dog came by and he growled at her and went towards her, my dog nearly took me off my feet going back at him and I weigh 250 pounds. I hate this because she is such a sweetheart and will lick you to death if you give her half a chance. I can tell she wants to please but just doesn't understand sometimes.
 

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There's a ton of videos on youtube to check out...here's one I just picked at random, but it shows the basic technique. Repetition and consistency is the key. Some dogs pick it up really quick and some are stubborn, who take longer.
I also use the wonder lead, you can immediately see the difference with a hard-pulling dog with this. For less money you can buy Cesar Milan's lead on ebay. Then just patience and iterations... It's obedience 101.
 

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All the fancy leads are not teaching the dog. There only preventing the problem. Choke chain or pinch collar, a heeling stick and teach the dog Heel. Condition the dog that heeling when asked is the only choice they have. Or collar condition them to a E collar and use it for correction. Once trained they will heel with distractions.

Spry
 

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It all has to do with teaching the dog how to turn pressure off once a command is understood the only way to turn the pressure off is to obey. Commands are not optional
 

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Choke chain has always worked with my dogs, and it's better for them because a dog that pulls will pull on a regular collar until they hurt their throats. Choke chains look cruel to those who don't know but they're actually safer for the dog. You don't keep the choke chain on all the time, you keep it attached to your leash when not in use, then pull it through itself at the end of the chain and slip over the dog's head like a lead. Walks with a choke chain paired with "heel" commands learned from separate training has allowed me to walk with my dog heeled even off the leash which is useful when I take her fishing.
 

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Sometimes she heel's very good and other times it's all I can do to hang on for dear life. Yesterday another dog came by and he growled at her and went towards her, my dog nearly took me off my feet going back at him and I weigh 250 pounds. I hate this because she is such a sweetheart and will lick you to death if you give her half a chance. I can tell she wants to please but just doesn't understand sometimes.
This is what Spry was meaning by obeying commands with distraction. I've been around a few Chessies and you'll want to get this under control ASAP
 
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