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StepOnTheGas

'Exhausting the prey drive'

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(If there's a similar thread, I haven't seen it -please delete mine if  there is!)

 

Shock, horror, my dog pulls. And it is like nothing I have ever experienced before.

Who'd have thought a husky pulling?

Anyway, at the moment we have a flat collar and standard leash. We do the 'stop/wait till he comes back into right position/ set off again' method of training. I also use a clicker when I can as he pays more attention to that. I'' try and explain the scenario as best I can (I'm not a wordsmith) - the first walk of the day really sets the tone for the rest of the day. There is absolutely no point in trying to do any training with him until he has had a really, really good walk. So the first walk, he drags me, and I'm just there for the ride. On our way home, I try and do the training I mentioned above. 

Throughout the day, I take him on little jaunts around the green, purely to reinforce the above training. The green is thoroughly boring, hardly any distractions and he's a very very goodboy!

Someone suggested 'exhausting his prey drive' before walks. Could someone explain this to me? Do you do it? Works/doesn't? Is it game based - chasing something like those things you can buy on a stick? (can't remember the name right now)

He did have a Dogmatic halti, and despite scarring his nose trying to get it off, he still pulled.

He'd just walk on his hind legs/go sideways to do so. I'll let you picture that!

 

Any help would be appreciated!

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Not many of us have been successful training the pull out of Huskies, it is a long and thankless task of going exactly nowhere. They reach the end of the lead, you stop and turn, they'll run ahead, reach the end of the lead. You stop and turn repeat forever.

Eventually they will start watching you for the turn and so you get to go a little further .

A trainer has mentioed to me that making them wait at the door before you leave, make them wait until they are calm and not amped up then start out, watch for the signs that they are about to get excited and distract them so bringing the state of excitement down. makes them easier to control. again there is no quick fix it is a very long, months even years of this to get them "walking nicely"

If this doesn't work then you may have to go the route of E-Collars and /or  prong collars both used in a proper and humane way to slow them down 

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I found a non pull harness worked with my boy however he was an adult,  I dont think non pull tools should be used on pups whilst they're still growing and developing as their bones are still soft , find an absolute favourite treat something stinky and use that for non pull training also training a watch me command to get his focus will help immensely 

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12 hours ago, StepOnTheGas said:

(If there's a similar thread, I haven't seen it -please delete mine if  there is!)

 

Shock, horror, my dog pulls. And it is like nothing I have ever experienced before.

Who'd have thought a husky pulling?

Anyway, at the moment we have a flat collar and standard leash. We do the 'stop/wait till he comes back into right position/ set off again' method of training. I also use a clicker when I can as he pays more attention to that. I'' try and explain the scenario as best I can (I'm not a wordsmith) - the first walk of the day really sets the tone for the rest of the day. There is absolutely no point in trying to do any training with him until he has had a really, really good walk. So the first walk, he drags me, and I'm just there for the ride. On our way home, I try and do the training I mentioned above. 

Throughout the day, I take him on little jaunts around the green, purely to reinforce the above training. The green is thoroughly boring, hardly any distractions and he's a very very goodboy!

Someone suggested 'exhausting his prey drive' before walks. Could someone explain this to me? Do you do it? Works/doesn't? Is it game based - chasing something like those things you can buy on a stick? (can't remember the name right now)

He did have a Dogmatic halti, and despite scarring his nose trying to get it off, he still pulled.

He'd just walk on his hind legs/go sideways to do so. I'll let you picture that!

 

Any help would be appreciated!

That’s the technique I use.

It is basically playing fetch (at least the chase part LOL) and tug-a-war.

 I use a long line 20 feet and a toy that he only gets to play with while on walks.

We play for 5 or 10 minutes and then off we go. Even while walking he will come back to grab his toy and will even carry it for awhile. Totally ignoring everything else going on around us.

It has worked wonders!!!

687C99FD-12A9-4289-A1C6-5C20751D481C.thumb.jpeg.28601db2b6e84dd62c731aa8271476e8.jpeg

Mine gator rolls on a no pull front harness.

 I have a prong collar on him. 

 

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"Things on a stick" = flirtpole? My guy loves chasing stuffies on a string (they are like giant cat toys!).
So maybe your friend meant that you could try wearing your dog out a bit BEFORE the walk (chasing the flirtpole, zoomies, play chase in the yard) and he may be willing to walk a little calmer.
Or you could become one of the running/bikejoring/rollerblading/skatejoring people (moving at husky pace)...

For us, the "Stop when Pulling" method worked - but mine is a middle-aged mellow dog and mixed with GSD.
If using this method, need to be very consistent (not like, Pull for one walk but expect them to not Pull on the next week). 

Huskies were bred to pull and run...yep it's a tough one!


 

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I've had a similiar problem  ........................  for the last 4 years.     Marley went through the first two Good Citizen certificates with flying colours  -  totally obedient  (whilst in the classroom)  then when class finished he reverted to normal.   Almost 4 years down the line he still has a dog trainer once a week   -  I go with them each week  - and after about half an hour with the trainer working with him  -  I take over and can get him acting like a normal dog.    However he is super excited (frustrated greeter)  - and if he isn't calmed down before he leaves the house he is a nightmare to try and walk.    My trainer also uses the "calm down and relax before you get out of the door" routine  and it does help.

Unfortunately  hubby cannot  (or is not willing) to do what the trainer says  - and Marley is a nightmare to walk for him.   So the dog is getting mixed messages    -  with myself and the trainer if he pulls he goes nowhere   - but with hubby the more he pulls the faster he goes.     I am basically on a hiding to nothing  - and paying £30 a week for nothing basically.   However I persevere as on the occasions when I take Marley out on my own I MUST be able to control him  -  I have arthritis of the spine as well as a heart condition.     Marley is better behaved with me   -  because he knows he cnnot get away with what he does with hubby.

The take away from the above?    Be consistent!   Make sure everyone who walks your dog does exactly the same.

Good luck.

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@wolfpup I am so happy to hear that someone else is having the same issue. LOL

I pay $100 for each home visit to train hubby. Hubby listens and does what the trainer for a few days (if that) then goes back to letting them do whatever they want. So every time hubby starts acting up, I call the trainer out 😁 I think hubby is just starting to catch on that he is the one getting trained. 🤣

And as long as we stick to the pre out the door routine we are good.

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Thank you all for getting back to me.  

I am amazed you mentioned pronged/e-collars @Andy as there is so much controversy around them. Dh used a check chain on one of his boxers (this was in the '90s) and it was the only thing that stopped the pulling. My niece is a vet, and after she saw (and heard) ours on a walk, she actually advised us to get a check chain as it would do less damage in the long term than the collar he has right now. I just don't know if I can get my head around it because of the stigma!

Yeah, leaving the house. Our porch is now known as the launch pad. Can you guess why? Dh can get him to 'Sit/wait' AND get through the door first. I have tried and tried, and still try, and I think I've achieved it twice. It's something I definitely, definitely want and need to improve.

@BingBlaze n Skyla - Ours refuses treats on walks. His background is vague at best, but reading between the lines he spent the first 10 months locked in a kitchen seeing the outside world probably as many times. So I honestly think the walk IS the treat - nothing will beat it! To add a bit of context; last week he discovered rain for the first time. He's one year old! Are there any smelly treats you'd recommend, because I'm happy to try other things. He doesn't focus on me at all in general. If we're on our 'training run' (very boring area), he will check back on me. He's also very responsive to a clicker. However, on proper walks, we could be waving a roast chicken under his nose and he would be oblivious.

@2Huskyfun - I've not actually tried taking a toy out, so this may work. He loves tug, and he only gets that toy on special occasions (he's very mouthy at times, so we use the rope as a distraction when he's having a mouthy moment). I could try this and it's easy for him to carry along?

@Shepsky5 yeah that's the one! I should've googled it when writing the original post lol. I want to get us into canicross when he's older, not that that will help the pulling, but put it to good use, and expend some energy?

@wolfpup oh no! Does the pulling not effect your husband as much?! Mine is a big burly guy that isn't effected by the pulling/wrapping lead around hands for better grip etc. Mine are cut to shreds, so he doesn't take it as seriously as me. But yeah, consistency is key! (make your dh pay for the training? take it out of beer/coffee fund?!)

 

Thanks everyone... Feels pathetic moaning because y born-to-pull dog is pulling.  At least I know I'm not alone!

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If you also do not like prong collars  or choke chains  (I am the same)  -  get a half choke  -  mine have made-to-measure leather round collars  (one of my dogs is a woolly with very long fur/hair around his neck - a round collar does not cut up the fur like a flat collar)  with a half choke chain attached  -  i.e.  when they are walking nicely the collar hangs loose about 4" down their necks - however when they pull the chain tightens until the two ends of the leather part of the collar meet  -  this should be the same diameter as their neck - so it never actually 'chokes' them but they feel tension where they would not normally.

Both my dogs use the "walk your dog with love" front leading harnesses   -  it has helped tremendously  - as when they do pull it turns them sort of sideways and takes the power of the 'pull' away by about 70%.   

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3 hours ago, StepOnTheGas said:

 

I am amazed you mentioned pronged/e-collars

They are tools and any tool used badly will cause damage. However tools used by trainers properly versed in the correct use can get amazing results.

There is a lot of bad press that highlights how when used by people with certain types of dogs, shows the harm that can be done.

Something we say to everyone thinking of getting a Husky for the first time and that is Do your Research first.

The same applies to Prongs and E-Collars, they are not torture devices, they are training aids when used correctly can very quickly without pain or discomfort take a dog with appalling behaviour and dampen down the bad behaviour

When the behaviour is under control you then discontinue them, and continue training your dog with more traditional methods. Unfortunately people get second hand information and only hear one side of the story

Google a trainer in American named Larry Krohn and watch some of his videos. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCortXxJdZYbHCrOa3nddr6g

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I saw a huge difference once I started Place training and  impulse control training. 

Impulse control- yes, make them set and wait at the door. Open door, they try to go through- shut it quickly. (Yes your probably going to get him a couple of times but it is less painful then getting hit by a car and he will learn after once or twice) I do this training for ALL doors I.e crate, car, stores, any door every time. They are not to go through until I give the release command.

 Collars- I am not a fan of the choke collar. Used it for awhile and it just wasn’t doing it. I love my prong. (It is too loose on him in the picture) proper use would be snug behind the ear. And flat collars will cause more damage then choke and prong. For prongs make sure it is a Springer brand out of Germany.

There are also videos on how to fit and use prongs/choke

*Cannot stress enough* pressure training is key for choker or prong use! 

There are a tone of YouTube videos on training Huskies. I watched a bunch and put together a program that worked for mine. Both are completely different so I do training separately and two different ways.

In the videos you see a lot of GS and stuff so keep in mind it will take longer and there will be protest. LOL

Here they are in the place command. Start with short periods of time and work up.

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This last one is him protesting me putting him in place using his dog bed. 🤣 He is still on it. 

Here they are not to leave their crate until I give the release command.

8F81FE44-3C7F-464A-A779-B9E903CDBF35.thumb.jpeg.e144adfcdb37521658c66cc6fbd2f8cc.jpegA4FEA9D7-9D9C-4FBC-9381-5934CC9CD69F.thumb.jpeg.43824a5e034b7efc361543194bda1152.jpeg

 

This is them learning pull commands.

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Short periods of training multiple times a day. Always end while he still wants to do more.

 

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@Andy Please don't think I was condemning you! It was a slur on my part (I'm not a wordsmith), I meant I was amazed you'd recommend them as most people are either very, very reluctant to admit to using one (cba with having to defend themselves for example), or have only seen them used as a torture device like you said. 

All tools can be either good or bad depending on who is wielding them. To be pedantic, I think treats could be a negative; diabetes, obesity, skin disorders, eating disorders etc! (I'm using an ott example of course). 

Thanks for the link. Dh has been watching lot's of videos by Solid k9 in terms of prong collars etc. 

@2Huskyfun - firstly, what gorgeous dogs! I'm going to read through what you said (was too busy looking at the photos tbh lol), and will find the videos. Thanks for the help. Dh is will be firm with ours and will not feel guilty, be bothered by it at all. I feel guilty. And get walked over as a result. So I know it's on my part.

 

My dog isn't 100% Husky. He is lab x husky. At first glance, it's very easy to think he's a Labrador. I had a lot of experience with them, and being honest, knew NOTHING about huskies up until about a week before we got him. In some ways he's lab, in other Husky, so it's hard to determine the best method to use. For me anyway. But I'm an amateur handler. 

I don't want you guys to think I'm having a crisis over this and be eye-rolling and 'this is why idiots shouldn't own dogs'. I'm just looking for some pointers!

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On the prongs...
Pulling hard and consistently with even a flat collar can cause trachea damage...
So, sometimes I think, maybe better to wear a Prong, and save their trachea! 
(And I am the kind of soft owner who avoids any pain if possible).
But for the sake of my dog's neck (or my own spine/shoulder), I would be willing to use it...

It takes training to use properly...it has to be high up on the neck (not at the base), fitted properly, everybody recommends Herm Sprenger, etc. 
Also, the timing...
the thing not to do is just pop a prong on and take off for a walk.
There can be strange results  (for instance, if they feel pain in their neck every time they pass another dog, they can associate other dogs with pain and start snarling/lunging at them).

I only know this "in theory" not in practice, but it's just what I've heard from our obedience teacher.
A LOT of people in the class were having trouble with pulling, including me, and treats didn't really work for me at all.
Only the "we ain't going nowhere until you settle down" worked for me...but like I said, he's older and seems to have a bit of logic in his head.  😉 

PS And it's pretty amazing - mine knows the exact end of the leash and will slack off just before he hits it. When he's in a hurry, he'll walk with light tension on the leash but not too much - he knows the exact point of pressure where I'll complain at him. 

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3 hours ago, StepOnTheGas said:

@Andy Please don't think I was condemning you! It was a slur on my part (I'm not a wordsmith), I meant I was amazed you'd recommend them as most people are either very, very reluctant to admit to using one (cba with having to defend themselves for example), or have only seen them used as a torture device like you said. 

All tools can be either good or bad depending on who is wielding them. To be pedantic, I think treats could be a negative; diabetes, obesity, skin disorders, eating disorders etc! (I'm using an ott example of course). 

Thanks for the link. Dh has been watching lot's of videos by Solid k9 in terms of prong collars etc. 

@2Huskyfun - firstly, what gorgeous dogs! I'm going to read through what you said (was too busy looking at the photos tbh lol), and will find the videos. Thanks for the help. Dh is will be firm with ours and will not feel guilty, be bothered by it at all. I feel guilty. And get walked over as a result. So I know it's on my part.

 

My dog isn't 100% Husky. He is lab x husky. At first glance, it's very easy to think he's a Labrador. I had a lot of experience with them, and being honest, knew NOTHING about huskies up until about a week before we got him. In some ways he's lab, in other Husky, so it's hard to determine the best method to use. For me anyway. But I'm an amateur handler. 

I don't want you guys to think I'm having a crisis over this and be eye-rolling and 'this is why idiots shouldn't own dogs'. I'm just looking for some pointers!

Thank you. They are the loves of my life❣️

Everyone has to start somewhere and there really are no stupid questions. I was a hot mess when I came to this site. Not only being new to Huskies but having two of them 🤦🏽‍♀️

I did a lot of trial and error to figure out what worked for them.

My favorite YouTube is SolidK9. He comes off gruff but it was my go to. 

I am a total push over too. I just have to keep reminding myself that they are happier and healthier (safer) with less anxiety and stress.

Plus, I was getting tired of being pulled in all directions over a leaf blowing by. One pup went one way and the other going the other direction. I must have looked like a crazy person. 🥴

But now they walk great 80% of the time.

 

 

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@2Huskyfun"This last one is him protesting me putting him in place using his dog bed.  He is still on it. "
That photo is so hilarious! It is the Husky attitude totally! 😄
 

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