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So I have a 5 month old, male, very energetic lab who’s quite independent. Now my two bitches that I’ve had for years, you could walk on a lead with a pinky. 

 
He will heel like a charm in the garden off lead and he will even to fleeting spells off lead on walks,(he doesn’t come off lead much at all yet because you get ‘zoomies’). But generally on a walk he’s pulling continually and panting with excitement all the time.
 
Now I’ve done heaps of positional work. He pulls, I say “heel” and change direction and he’ll turn with me / do this great. But then it’s back to pulling after 1 minute again going forward.
 
Is this something that is just going to take persistence with and when he matures, everything outside will be less exciting and less likely to pull? I’ve tried turning the slip lead into a halti but he goes bananas. Throws himself about daft and then eventually won’t walk forward.
 
I feel like I’m doing substantially more heel and lead work than I have with my previous dogs and it slow slow going. It’s actually exhausting..  He’s still also quite mouthy/chewy despite regularly tellings not to nibble furniture.
 
On a side note, I bumped into an old school mate today whilst out for a walk who’s 12 month lab is so bad, she just has to let him loose for the whole walk. My one is not in any way this bad, I’m just tired of constantly correcting him every 20 seconds and having an arm go back and forth like a yo-yo. He’s also one of these dogs who no matter how much telling of he would get, still wags his tail..
 
Hoping for too much too soon or anything I should be adding in?
 
 
Cheers!

I should add, I’m not telling him off regularly. I do praise when he’s in the heel position etc. I think just everything else on a walk is more exciting than praise!

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With chewing, he is teething, if there isn't a chew or bone in every room he is in, he will go for the furniture.

 

Pulling is normally an excitement issue, Tire him out first, then put him on lead, once excitement is gone he will be more biddable and less desperate to forge ahead.

Persistence and repetition is the answer, but having him in the right frame of mind to learn is also important.

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30 minutes ago, holloway said:

Sorry can't help but I am sharing your experience,taking it slow and trying to not get stressed by it,some great blokes (and ladies ) with lots of experience on the forum so I will watch with interest.Good luck with it.

Cheers! It’s hard going and I’m sure he’ll get there, same with yourself. Just sometimes nice to know you’re doing the right thing!

14 minutes ago, Stonepark said:

With chewing, he is teething, if there isn't a chew or bone in every room he is in, he will go for the furniture.

 

Pulling is normally an excitement issue, Tire him out first, then put him on lead, once excitement is gone he will be more biddable and less desperate to forge ahead.

Persistence and repetition is the answer, but having him in the right frame of mind to learn is also important.


Fully agree with the chewing! Certainly tiring him might be part of it. Difficult when he’s walk is partly to get him out and get some exercise. Difficult on a 8.30-6.30 day. He gets out morning, lunch and evening but even on a weekend he’s energetic after a long walk

13 minutes ago, Walker570 said:

Failure to instil obedience from day one I'm afraid.

Isn’t as straightforward as that. And he’s had more work put in than the previous two labs which a toddler could walk on a lead.

 

With the pup you can out the food bowl down, leave the room and he won’t touch it. Will sit and wait as you go in and out of doors/open kennels. Recall on whistle is good. Toilet trained from day 1. Just very excited when out on the walks and keen to go/pull

Edited by wildfowler.250
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So I'm a relatively new dog trainer but heel is one thing I've been successful with.

You need to stop walking him on the lead ASAP. No one rule. Never let him pull against the lead, ever. Work on it in the garden and no where else for the next few weeks. When that is going perfectly start going a few yards outside. Second rule, you are not going anywhere. Its just training 1 stride sit.  Increase the steps before sit as it goes well. You must make an effective correction if he ever pulls. If you are correcting a lot then you correction is not being effective. 1 proper correction is much better then them choking on the lead all their life or constantly getting ineffective corrections.

I hope that helps, you must be patient and never ever let him pull against the lead.

Edited by bigroomboy
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31 minutes ago, Smokersmith said:

Another one I’ve seen is to have a bendy thin piece of willow and swish it in front of him if he start to pull .. 

that’s how I do it piece of plastic pipe pendulum style gives no option to move forward from your leg saves stopping and turning back as well best tip i picked up 

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Where do we start. You have a good driven dog that is a baby. In my experience you may be 12 months away from a really good heel keeping dog. The start is having a pup that just wants to be with you. Just having a treat in your hand whilst walking will keep him there for a while. At this stage you can expect pulling and frankly I wouldn’t worry too much but you can start to control it using the following techniques

old fashioned choke chain with large links and a quick tug

when he gets in front just stop, keep your hand in your pocket so it is rock steady and no give and encourage him back in

use a belly lead as well as a slip lead. That is a lead that slips under the belly and holds the dog back rather than just pulling on the neck

swing a rope lead in front of you so that he gets caught on the nose if he pokes it in front of your leg.

whatever you do take your time and don’t expect too much too soon. It doesn’t matter what other dogs did and when; you can only work with what you have now. I have a very hot young dog at present and at 18 months we are just getting there. He won’t be out working this season as I don’t usually have them in the field before two years old. 
 

if you need anything more message me and in the meantime good luck, be patient and keep smiling.

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My take on this is similar to @bigroomboy The dog has to know that any tension on the lead around his neck results in not going forwards at all, and 100% of the time.  As soon as the lead goes taught, you need to stop dead and initially correct the dog into the heel position before starting moving again.  When he goes ahead and the lead goes taught, repeat and continue.  Eventually the dog should start to correct himself and you will see progress.  It can take an age to move any distance initially but in relatively short period you should be able to walk him on a loose lead.  I used this method with my springer dog and it worked an absolute treat.  Be sparing with the heel command/prompt until the dog is in the correct position so he associates the word with where you want him to be rather than making him immune to it via over use when he's not where you want him.

You do have to be 100% consistent on the no movement when the lead is tight on his neck so the workaround for quick walks etc when you dont have time to train is to use a harness, he can pull all he wants on the harness for a month or so but once hes walking to heel well on the lead you can ditch it.

i know there are many schools of thought out there, but from my own experience, this method worked really well for me and produced great results quite quickly.

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Not for everyone but I use a rolled up newspaper, as he pulls make a Ssssh noise (or any noise you want to denote the command) then smack his backside so he feels it. This should be hard enough to make him take notice and the noise is loud to shock but the impact of a newspaper will do little harm. Once he gets used to the Ssssh meaning he is about to get a shock you will be able to control him just with the noise.

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10 hours ago, Stonepark said:

Not in a fast growing pup where that excess is required to avoid malnutrition or stunting.....

Duh..??? 

I did not say starvation or malnutrition. What is the upside of excess energy /protein/ mineral imbalance on skeletal and mental development? Please tell me more.

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On 26/09/2021 at 19:02, bigroomboy said:

So I'm a relatively new dog trainer but heel is one thing I've been successful with.

You need to stop walking him on the lead ASAP. No one rule. Never let him pull against the lead, ever. Work on it in the garden and no where else for the next few weeks. When that is going perfectly start going a few yards outside. Second rule, you are not going anywhere. Its just training 1 stride sit.  Increase the steps before sit as it goes well. You must make an effective correction if he ever pulls. If you are correcting a lot then you correction is not being effective. 1 proper correction is much better then them choking on the lead all their life or constantly getting ineffective corrections.

I hope that helps, you must be patient and never ever let him pull against the lead.

Most of this is very good advice, especially about consistency and not allowing him to get anywhere at all by pulling. It'll take alot of repetition but you will get there, I've experienced dogs like this many times and the time you let them get away with it and it'll continue. My dogs get one pull incase they need a pee and that's it, don't give them an inch with it if you want a perfect healing dog. 

On 27/09/2021 at 10:10, harkom said:

Reduce calorie   & protein intake for a start.

What because the dog won't heel? Unless the op is feeding it red bull and speed, I wouldn't worry, an energetic dog is a good working dog, it's just harnessing it and pointing them in the right direction. 

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3 hours ago, 12gauge82 said:

What because the dog won't heel? Unless the op is feeding it red bull and speed, I wouldn't worry, an energetic dog is a good working dog, it's just harnessing it and pointing them in the right direction. 

It is very easy to overfeed and actually quite difficult to underfeed a dog - unless being dumb. Carry on.

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The owner is having problems controlling an overactive/excitable dog. Who said it was overweight?

Diet?? Reducing calorie intake might or might not be a "diet". That depends on the energy and protein content of the dogs current intake - which may not be appropriate to that particular dog or its exercise levels.

 

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changing direction is good keeps them guessing     this may take some time    if change direction and ok the second they start to pull     sit and wait until they calm down  one min or ten  and go home        every time  they dont get their own way    (its your way)        its a battle of wills  scold and over the top praise    distraction etc  rustle a crisp packet in your pocket     be unpredictable  stop and search your pockets mumble to your self counting change     tie a shoe lace  be unpredictable  at all times inc walk out of the house and come straight back   keep them guessing then their eyes are on you  then you are half way there    

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15 hours ago, Saltings said:

changing direction is good keeps them guessing     this may take some time    if change direction and ok the second they start to pull     sit and wait until they calm down  one min or ten  and go home        every time  they dont get their own way    (its your way)        its a battle of wills  scold and over the top praise    distraction etc  rustle a crisp packet in your pocket     be unpredictable  stop and search your pockets mumble to your self counting change     tie a shoe lace  be unpredictable  at all times inc walk out of the house and come straight back   keep them guessing then their eyes are on you  then you are half way there    

The change in direction is good advice and thats how I done it. If anyone had seen my pacing double time around a field randomly turning 180 degrees or nearly walking over the top of my dog they would have been bringing the straight jacket boys out.

I think remedial training is best done away from prying eyes and other animals. I was refused membership of a dog training club because they were of the opinion that gundog training was too rough and barbaric.

They favoured clicker training 🙄

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You have a young dog thats only been on this earth a very short time - give him some slack - literally. He’s just a baby trying to understand the world. Try to avoid smacking and choke chains - kindness and patience is better. 

In a hallway/corridor hold a treat out behind you - as the pup takes it say heel - take a couple steps and repeat no more than a couple of times - space this out over a few days then take the excercise outside. Pick your time - don’t do it when you first go out - the pup,is excited and needs a pee. On a return from a walk with the pup on the lead say heel - let the pup see the treat and hold it behind you and as he takes it say heel again - and repeat. Don’t expect instant and miraculous results - it takes time. My 6 month old feisty lab has responded well to this method and is now walking to heel on and off the lead better than my 8 year old who thinks he knows it all. 

Any way good luck 

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Whilst walking the dogs it occurred to me that I should make it clear that I’m no dog training saint and with regard to kindness and patience if the little sod chews the end of the rug again for the umpteenth time he’s going to get a wallop

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On 26/09/2021 at 19:25, Smokersmith said:

Have you tried having the slip lead behind your legs and carry it in your right hand. That means if he pulls forward he’s pulling against your legs and when you stop abruptly he’ll get a jolt.

 

When I read this I thought I had heard it all, tried it on my pup, my goodness worked a treat! I take it all back, thanks for the tip👍

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