Leash Training

Posted by Griffin121
Jul 21, 2009
I have a 1.5 year old AM Bull dog. Recently started leash training, I use to let him walk me. We have some dominance issues and we are working on them. I can put the leash on while he sits nicely, but as soon as we get outside he pulls, I stop and try to wait till he's calm but when I stop he grabs the leash with his teeth and pulls/plays rolls all around with it like a game. I will wait 5 mins. and he continues to play while I ignore him until finally I get mad and we go in. Any suggestions what to do to get him to stop playing with the leash while it's on him.
Posted by KOPsarah
Jul 26, 2009
Hi griffin and thanks for your post,
In your situation I would recommend getting a head collar such as a halti or gentle leader for your dog. This will immediately stop pulling as the dog is attached to the leash by its weak nose and head muscles rather than its string neck and shoulder muscles. It will also allow you to control your dog around other people and animals which is very useful when you are working a dog with dominance issues. You can also use the head collar in your dominance training. Secondly I would recommend training your dog not to bite or play with its leash by putting it on its leash just attached to its normal collar while its inside the house for 5 minute periods several times a day. Encourage the dog to ignore the lead by distracting it with games, treats or feeding its evening meal etc. All the time the lead is on and the dog is ignoring it give it lots of praise. If it trys to chew on its lead use the alarm-no-command to redirect its attention. After several days of this your dog should come to realize that the lead is not a fun toy but something to be ignored and that listening to you is actually more fun because you have all the treats and attention.

I hope this helps, and if you have any further questions don't hesitate to ask
Posted by Griffin121
Aug 3, 2009
Thanks for the advice... I have tried and use to like the Gentle Lead. When I put it on he hates it and scratches and rubbs on the ground-obviously impossible to walk like this. When I put it on in the house he acts like he's being punished. Is it ok to put it on and leave it on in the house for a while even thought he acts like this, maybe let him wear the lead and his leash. He's like a diffrent dog (timid) with it on, but I don't want him to see it as punishment.
Posted by KOPsarah
Aug 4, 2009
Hi again,
Almost all dogs respond this way to the head collar initially. There are two tricks to sorting this out. First of all make sure your dog never gets the opportunity to get the head collar off. Once your dog gets used to being able to slip it off he will put a lot more effort in to giving it off for a lot longer. The second important thing is to make being on the head collar the most exciting and amazing thing. Put your dog on it and the leash several times a day inside or out and give the dog heaps of praise and treats for ignoring the head collar. Distract the dog from its concern with the head collar with heaps of fun games and toys too. Try putting the head collar on at times when the dog is already distracted too such as at meal times.

Once your dog gets more used to having the head collar on start using it for walks again. Hold the lead up vertically as you walk. If the dog fusses ignore it and walk on. The dog will have to walk on with you and as soon as he does make sure to give him heaps of praise and even treats.

It usually takes only a few days for your dog to get used to the head collar using these tips. After this the dog only tends to be concerned about the head collar when its stopping him from doing something naughty such as pulling you across the road to a dog on the other side!

All the best,