trouble walking on lead

Posted by carmeltassie
May 28, 2008
our nine month old gentle bullmastiff dog Alan goes mad when we try and take him for a walk. As soon as we get into the street he starts jumping up and mouthing whoever walks him getting quite pushy and grabbing our arms in his mouth tail wagging and acting like a maniac for the first five minutes or so. The rest of the walk is ok then he starts again when we get back into our street its getting very embarrassing as it looks like a wrestling match hes nine stone so you can imagine its quite traumatic. He used to walk fine this problem has been happening for the last 6 weeks or so and as you can imagine noone wants to walk him anymore. He has always had a mouthing problem that we have failed to stop trying the sqealing turning away etc nothing seems to work. He isnt aggressive with his food or toys and is very obedient with sit stay fetch. He seems to be doing it in a playful way but because of his size its becoming quite a problem. Its almost as if he gets himself into a frenzy. He has been neautered.
any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
May 29, 2008
Hi there!

It looks like Alan is showing his excitement with his mouth and his entire body! It sounds like he is too happy to just walk calmly and nicely. Also I got an impression that he is even enjoying the wrestling match with you.

Maybe you can turn around and walk back home by totally ignoring him as soon as he starts behaving poorly by jumping up or mouthing. You can even go inside the house once and start it all over until he calms down.

Another idea is to have him carry a tennis ball or something so that he will be partly preoccupied and not be able to mouth your arm.

Another idea, and this might be the most important thing to do, is to work on an obedience training with him using a lot of praises and rewards such as treats. It will be easier to implement good behaviors than stopping unfavorable behaviors. By teaching him good behaviors Alan will learn that it is worth listening to you and behaving as you tell him to. Once he learns to "Sit", you can make him sit before he gets to the street. Praise him and give him some treats. You will do this every few yards until he gets settle down. He will be soon focusing you, that is the first step. Whatever your command is you will need his full attention to get him obey you.

I hope the above method will work with Alan.

Good luck.
Posted by carmeltassie
May 29, 2008
thanks for that the trouble is he has been to training classes and will sit fetch stay etc but when he gets excited all the training goes out of the window he is the same in the car or going to the vet. At home he is quiet and easy to manage. Im wondering if a halti lead might work but i am worried it might send him into a frenzy. I keep wondering if it is just puppy madness and he might calm down but he is so big i dont want to risk leaving the problem
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
May 30, 2008
Hi there!

Halti might be a good idea. I am sure Alan will hate it and try to take it off at first. You might want to start putting it on him inside the house for just a few minutes every day so that he will get used to it. You would want to give him some treat every time he wears it so that he will connect the Halti with treat (something good).

It is not hard to train dogs basic commands like sit, down, stay, etc. inside the house or at training classes. It is important that your dog will obey your commands even when there is distraction - there are a bunch of distraction for Alan out on the street; all kinds of smells, other people and dogs, cars, bicycles, etc. Therefore, I think it is important to implement those commands outside the house as well.

Yes, it can be partly a puppy thing. But if you don't correct those behaviors now that Alan is still controllable size, it will be more difficult and dangerous when he gets full grown. By not correcting, those behaviors are being reinforced despite your desire to correct them.

Because of the way he behaves you wrote " you can imagine noone wants to walk him anymore". And if in fact he gets less chances to go out, he would get more excited when he can actually go out, because he would have a lot of more energy to burn and also he would be more bored by staying home. It can be a catch twenty two. I hope this won't happen to him...

Good luck