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Discussion Starter #1
I kind of stopped taking Bailey out for regular walks, instead I take her on bike rides and she runs next to me, she's fine untill she see's a squirrel, cat, dog, etc. ...and she tries to take off. Which i've always stopped her, but sooner or later she's gonna pull me off the bike and mess me up :eek:

Walking regularly she's pretty good, but still tries to pull when she see's something (although I can correct her fast and we're good to go), which has prevented my Fiance from walking her alone. (She's a 90lb 10 month old Italian Masitff)

I'm looking for some insight on a no-pull harness or collar. I've read some things about the Gentle leader head collar, but don't know too much about it.

I know most harness' actually encourage pulling, but I've read some things about a few that prevent it by redirecting the pressure under their front legs.

If anyone can share some input on a good harness or collar and some experiences with them it would be great. Bailey loves going for runs, and I want to enjoy it as much as her :smile:
 

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I've used the easy walk harness by the same makers of the gentle leader, not big on putting a strap around the dogs nose, it works great. Leash attaches to the front of the chest, so if he pulls, you redirect him back to the side. My dogs are now able to walk with regular collars, on regular walks, unless there is lots of activities around.
 

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I have used the Gentle Leader head harness with great success. I have never found A dog I couldn't control with 1 finger on a Gentle Leader head harness and I work with a lot of Great Danes.

You certainly, under no circumstances, want to use one while riding a bike.

Gentle Leader also makes a no pull body harness which the leash fastens to the harness at the dogs chest just under his neck and in front of his legs. I haven't used one but have had some good reports on it. I also don't know about using it while riding a bike.

There are other head harnesses such as the Halti that I don't like as well as the Gentle Leader. There are also other no pull harnesses that I have never used or talked to people who have used them.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info, see that's where i'm stuck.... I want something that will be safe while i'm riding, because she's either jogging or running.

I may pick up the Gentle leader head harness just for walks though.
 

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Thanks for the info, see that's where i'm stuck.... I want something that will be safe while i'm riding, because she's either jogging or running.
I don't think either of those will be safe on the bike. The head harness could easily injure her neck and the no pull body harness could possibly pull her in front of your bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't think either of those will be safe on the bike. The head harness could easily injure her neck and the no pull body harness could possibly pull her in front of your bike.

True, although I always keep her on my left side, I never let her get infront of me or the bike....but you never know.

I deffinately won't get the head harness for bike purposes, so I guess i'm looking for a body harness, just need to find one safe for running
 

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I did a lot of work with Rocky on not trying to chase squirrels and cats when we are walking. He is at the point now that he will freeze when he sees a little animal and all I have to say is "no squirrel" and he turns and looks at me . Then we continue on our walk with him not even glancing back at the squrrel, kitty, bird, etc. It has worked well enough that when he was off leash and saw our neighbors cat, he just froze and stared at it. I called him back to me and he trotted back home and ignored the poor terrified cat.

It took a clicker and treat bag and a bunch of walks to accomplish but I don't have to worry anymore about him tugging on his leash or chasing cats when he is off leash. He also knows the difference because he chases squirrels all over the fenced backyard. That is the only place he is allowed to chase them.

It might be an idea to combine the no-tug harness with some clicker training so your fiance can walk her anytime without worry.
 

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I agree with chowder. I think that in the long run it will be better for you and the dog if the behavior is modified through training. If you take the time to train your dog to not be stimulated by squirrels, cats, dog, etc and to redirect their attention on you. Then you don't have to rely on a harness or head collar. It might take a while, but guaranteed your dog will learn if you stick to it and then you are good for life!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This is true, maybe I will go that route. Gentle leader head harness / clicker / treats.

I think that may be the route to go, after a few weeks of walking and using that method I could transfer it to the bike rides (minus the head harness)

hmmm...Handlebars, clicker, lead, treats ...and only 2 hands:rolleyes:
 

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This is true, maybe I will go that route. Gentle leader head harness / clicker / treats.

I think that may be the route to go, after a few weeks of walking and using that method I could transfer it to the bike rides (minus the head harness)

hmmm...Handlebars, clicker, lead, treats ...and only 2 hands:rolleyes:

I would start out with walking and training first...as soon as your dog learns not to flip out when a distraction comes along, then move up to the bike!
 

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I would start out with walking and training first...as soon as your dog learns not to flip out when a distraction comes along, then move up to the bike!
I have to agree with this, the ground work has to be complete before you can 'get on the horse' so to speak. That is the way it is done with horses and, if you think about it, a mastiff is pretty close in size!! :) I have a Neo/pitt mix and that is big enough, but still not as big as the pure standard neo! Thank goodness for that. :wink:
Everything with Titus is starting with the walks (ground work) and then we will see how he goes from there, and determine what he can do next. That is the only time that you work on the dogs schedule. When he is good and ready to move on to the next step, then you can move forward. But if he is not ready and you move on, you might have to take 2 steps backwards... Thats just more work! Work smarter, not harder! That was one of the biggest lessons in my life when it comes to stuff like that. When you can do things with the dog/horse, and he will listen with distractions around, you are ready to move to the next step. Other wise, you will end up doing everything all over again! :cool:
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah that's what i'm going to do. Do you think it's necessary to use a clicker with the head collar? Every time she tries to pull her head would be turned, I give her a command "no pull" or whatever it would be, and give her a treat correct? Do you think the clicker would help that much more? I don't have a problem with getting one and using it, i'm just curious.


I found the Gentle leader head collar for about $16.00 shipped. This is the cheapest I've found so far...anyone recommend any other sites to purchase it from?

Buy Premier Gentle Leader Head Collar Large Black - Dog Harnesses Gentle Leader Online at Arcata Pet Supplies
 

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I clicker trained two of my Chows and it really made a difference. Chows are rather stubborn but very smart and it really made a difference with them to hear the audible click at the exact time that they did the correct behavior. You click with the correct behavior and then give a treat to back it up. The clicker is fast and gives them instant feedback. When they have the behavior down pat, then you can stop doing the click for that behavior.

It was especially important when learning things like coming when called when he is loose outside. I have one clicker that is louder then the rest and it is my "outdoor' clicker! It's one of those "click it or ticket" DMV clickers they hand out at boothes. I also have one that I take on walks with me that is attached to a wristband. That way I have it with me but don't drop it all the time.
 

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That seems to be about the right price for the gentle leader. I used one on one of the pits that I worked with, she was always so scared that someone would sneak up hehind her and attack her, but with that leader and one small tug/touch, she would straighten up and watch where she was walking. I love those thing.... for WALKS! I don't ride bikes, so I can't help with that part.
I never used a clicker because when I did, it only made my dogs hyper and that defeated the perpose of the training. I only used voice comands with my dogs and hand signals. I do know that a lot of people on here would recomend a clicker though. I think that it is up to you and your dog. When I want them to 'down' I say the word and point to the floor in front of me, when they followed through, I quickly give a treat and say 'wait'. That way, the 'wait' becomes the 'good' and it also works as the 'stay'. They don't know human/english anyway, so it doesn't matter. All they know is that you have certain tones that you use and when they learn the tones, they will figure out pretty quickly what it is that you want, especially if you add a hand command to it, it makes it easier to figure it out. The first step for you might be to (in your house and with your fiance) teach the command 'watch' or 'look' or 'attention'. When I tought my dogs this word (And you can find some other tips on other posts) I would say the word and point at my nose/face area. When they looked at me, they were rewarded. No other words at first, just a reward for looking when I said 'watch'. Now I will walk up to Owen (My EBT) and simply say 'watch', He turns around from whatever he is doing and looks at my face. I will give him a second and then give him a command. I usually am getting ready to tell him to find his ball, and I will say 'where's your ball? Find it!' He will get up, take off running to where he last had his ball and he WILL find it! :) Even if he has to sit in front of his crate because it is sitting on top, he will come and get me and sit in front of the crate and show me that the ball is there! He then gets his ball as a reward! :) Now if he found it on the floor and brings it to me, then he can have a treat (if he even wants it) and then we play ball.
With Titus (who is still learning this better) he will look at me and then try to find the treat with out another command, but that is also about how long his attention span is. With him I will tell him to 'watch' and he will look at my face just long enought to get the 'sit' word out! :) Then he will sit and look around for more treats, while sitting! :) The last walk we went on, I was half way around the block when I remembered that I didn't pick up the treat pouch. We got almost all of the way back to the house when we were 'attacked' by a rat terrier that didn't have a collar or leash on and wanted to try to take on my 55# Owen and 90# Titus!! That was tricky for me to get that dog to stay away and to keep Titus and Owen walking. Titus wanted to be sure that the other dog wasn't following us, so he ended up getting me tangled in the leash and Owen wanted to see if he could chase the other dog! Wow, I was really wishing that I had some treats to re-direct their attention from the dog, I think that we would have made it out of there faster if they weren't worried about that dog and they were more interested in the treat. But, Thats what I get for forgetting! :) They did do really well in comparison to when I first started taking them for walks though! I was very happy with how they handeled distractions and 'out of the ordinary' situations that were going on around us.
We have all been so cooped up in the house for the last week or more because of the rain here in Atl Ga, so when we went out, all I could think was, 'I am going to get hurt today cause they are going to want to run and chase everything!' But they didn't! They stayed on their favorite sides of me and they listened well. Until the rat terrier! :(
Funny story, we walked around the backside of the block and someone was bringing a large branch from the back of their house to put it by the curb for the yard services to pick up and Titus didn't see any of this that was happening practically in front of him. Suddenly the guy tossed the large branch on top of the pile that way there and Titus nearly wet himself! :) I simply said 'leave it, he's ok.' and kept walking (while trying my best to now crack up laughing out loud) and as we passed Titus watched the guy till he couldn't see him anymore! I think he was more upset that he got scared then he was that the guy was even there! :)
 

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I agree that the 'watch' command works wonders. Rocky knows the words "watch Momma" and he instantly stops and looks at me. We used it when we were learning to move to the side of the road whenever cars came by.

I also have a treat bag that clips on my belt or pocket. That way your hands are free. It always comes on the walk with us. The only problem is that Rocky will do something good and immediately run up and nose the treat bag! I try to tell him that not all dogs get snacks on their walks! Now that he is trained, he doesn't always get a treat every time he does something he is suppose to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everyone for the tips and info, I ordered the collar today as well as a clicker. Hopefully by the end of this week it will be here so I can start the training. I'm sure i'll be posting back up some questions:rolleyes:
 

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good luck with the training! both gentle leader products, the head harness and body harness, are wonderful. they are the only ones that have worked perfectly so I am sure you will love them. Let us know how it goes. =)
 

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Thanks everyone for the tips and info, I ordered the collar today as well as a clicker. Hopefully by the end of this week it will be here so I can start the training. I'm sure i'll be posting back up some questions:rolleyes:
When you get your clicker, you have to make the click worth something...to let them know that the click is telling them they did something right. They will not automatically know that they click means "Good!!!" The term for this is "loading the clicker." Basically what you do is sit down with them, get their attention with treats, and repeatedly click then immediately treat, repeat, repeat, repeat.

Then after awhile, call their name, as soon as they turn their head, click and treat. Repeat that for awhile. Then definitely use a "watch me" command or my word is "focus" so that they know when you say that their attention must be on you. So, you say "watch me" or "focus" or whatever you want, and as soon as they look at you, click and treat.

When you feel confident that they know the clicker means "Good!!!" then start using it for basic training, such as sit, down, stay, etc. The hardest part with clicker training is getting your timing down correctly. Clicking at exactly the right time is essential. If you are using it for sit for example, you tell the dog "sit" and as soon as his butt hits the floor click then treat. Or if you say "focus" as soon as he looks at you click then treat. Clicking at the wrong time can make the dog confused, so make sure that you click immediately following the desired command, followed with a treat and lots of PRAISE!!!!

So, when you are walking use the "focus" or "watch me" whenever there is a distraction like a squirrel or another dog. That way you have control over the situation, and your dogs attention is on you, not the distraction. If you find that the "focus" or "watch me" is not enough to get his attention when there are distractions, you need to work with him more without distractions. Baby steps are the key to training a dog, skipping one can be very damaging and can cause you to take a few steps back.

Make sure that you are using high quality treats, this doesn't necessarily mean nutritious either (of course nutritious is preferred) but you want a treat that will WORK at getting your dogs attention. What you have MUST be better than any distraction that you might encounter on the street. That is another VERY important thing.

Dogs get bored easy too, so make sure that you have a variety of treats. In our "blend" there are at least 8 different kinds, and we usually add something to the blend like cut up hotdog or cheese whenever we work with them in a session. Most dogs like the soft, chewy treats better than hard biscuits, which are also better for cutting up. We have 4 big dogs and we cut the treats up into TINY pieces, and I mean TINY. A treat that is the size of an almond can be cut up into like 6 pieces. They really don't care that the treat is small, its the fact that you are giving them a treat, and that will keep them coming back for more.

Definitely post up if you have any questions!!! Good luck :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hey thanks for all that! That helped a lot, i'm going to deffinately use the 'focus' command and make sure I get the timing right.

As far as treats, I just ran out...but she loves chicken, duck, cheese, salmon, peanut butter, and goes nuts over yogurt. I'll make sure I use a combination of everything so she doesn't get bored :biggrin:
 
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