HELP! My Bernese is so hard to walk!

My Bernese Mountain Dog is three and we've always had trouble walking her. She stays ahead of me and when she sees another dog pulls me towards them. She is so gentle and always just greets the other dog with a kiss, but you should see the look on the owners faces when she's coming at them. Horror! And so embarrassing. I've tried harnesses, and even purchased the Illusion collar from Cesar Millan, but she only ignores the fact that it hurts and she ends up choking herself. I can't use it! I need help with a sit stay command, or a good collar or tips others have used. I'm willing to hire a trainer, but she only has that one problem. Other than pulling she's perfect. Thank you!

Best Answers

  • Karen OelschlaegerKaren Oelschlaeger Posts: 24Member
    Accepted Answer
    Training a dog to walk without pulling requires consistency, time and LOTS of patience. Have you tried a prong training collar? Some folks feel they're inhumane (and it might not work if your dog just pulls through the discomfort), but in my opinion it's better to walk a dog using a prong collar than not walk the dog at all because it's too difficult to control him on a leash. What kind of leash do you use? Never use a retractable leash. You need to teach your dog that if there is tension in the leash, you're not going anywhere. Whenever she pulls in front of you, stop. Dead in your tracks. Plant yourself. Or turn around and walk the other way. Tension means no walking. Loose leash means she gets to walk. It might be easier to try jogging with her at first, so it's more difficult for her to get in front of you. Then, reward her with little treats or kibble when she's walking by your side, loose leash, or slightly behind you. You must be consistent: every time she pulls, you stop
  • Erin DeVeberErin DeVeber London / UWO areaPosts: 373Member
    Accepted Answer
    I know many people have had great results with head halters. The problem with these is that once you take it off, they pull again. This is not good if you want to do any advanced obedience training, but if all you want is to be able to take your dog for a nice walk then it can be a great quick fix.
  • kathy loftkathy loft BellevillePosts: 2,200Member
    Accepted Answer
    Prong collars and choke collars can be useful, but unfortunately, most people do not know how to use the collar correctly and don't have a positive training method put in place to help. A prong collar I don't think would work for you anyway considering the amount of hair your dog has around her neck. That being said this is what I did with Deogie, as you can see he is a big boy and walks like a dream. First you should consider taking her for a walk to a place or a time when there will be fewer distractions for her. Put lots of yummy treats in your pocket. When you’re ready to take her out, stay calm and simply put the leash on her (I used a 6ft. lead), don’t say anything to her. You remaining calm will keep her calm. Walk out the door and is she pulls to the end of the lead, STOP and stand there. Look around, and ignore her. When she comes back to you, give her a treat and praise her. Continue, if she pulls STOP and keep repeating the steps. It’s not going to happen overnight and you may not get very far but she will eventually learn that staying close to you means treats. You can start making the lead shorter as she gets used to the idea. Every dog should at least know the basics…sit, stay, heel, come, lay down, leave it…your dog will no doubt be a much better dog to live with. If your dog does not know any of these commands it is probably best for you to enroll her in some obedience training. Space is limited here. Good luck to you.
  • daniel simondaniel simon HollbrookPosts: 59Member
    Accepted Answer
    Get a "Gentle Lead" Easy walk. Its a harness the hooks in the front of your dogs chest, It really helps with the pulling
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