I would like pack-walking advice!

My 7 month old australian shepherd acts as though his leash is a tug of war toy, and just will not let go. It is almost impossible to take control of the leash and walk him with it. When he was a younger puppy I had alot of trouble being the pack leader on the leash, he was very stubborn and pulled ahead no matter which technique I used, walks were very frustrating but I tried hard to stay calm and assertive no matter what. I bring him to work with me everyday which is an 800 acre wilderness program for girls, so he gets plenty of exercise running around the woods and trails with me and playing with the other dogs all day. I let him walk without a leash at the camp because he is good about coming when called and usually sticks with me anyway. I acknowledge that I am the reason he regressed on the leash because he runs free at camp and the rules/boundaries for him are alot looser there, so he is probably confused once we get home but I would really like to tighten up keep him on a leash most of the time, and really re-enforce boundaries and make sure I am the leader no matter what. Any advice or help would really be appreciated!

Best Answers

  • Cindi LeonardCindi Leonard Plantation, Fla.Posts: 1,670Member
    Accepted Answer
    A gentle leader and loose leash walking at home could be the answer. There are also new low-tension leashes with a rubberized cord that absorb the shock from a dog's pull. Speak to a professional trainer also, because your dog is becoming a teenager and testing boundaries, so the time for you to regain control is now! You can do it ^_^
  • Bree NygrenBree Nygren sacramentoPosts: 37Member
    Accepted Answer
    DO NOT use the Gentle Leader! It doesn't work. I tried it on my dog and he ended up scratching his eye and getting an infection (which costed $80 in vet bills). It can also damage you dogs neck. A lot of people say to use the Gentle Leader. Don't listen to them!
  • S-W- HoustonS-W- Houston HoustonPosts: 272Member
    Accepted Answer
    You should probably get your Dog in a Harness, using a Collar for attachment isn't recommended for any of them. Then, you don't have a Pack. It's just you and him. You probably should go do an Obedience Class with him, and you'll learn how to do this properly.
  • Sherry HalseySherry Halsey Between mountains & reality!Posts: 8Member
    Accepted Answer
    I like & use a gentle leader with a lot of dogs. It is easy & most dogs "go with the flow" and accept it. Some dogs will thrash & no matter what you do won't accept it, that is usually not the case though. If not used properly just as any other item used to walk/tie dogs, there could be injures, like a choke chain - a dog could easily break teeth, a pinch collar -can encourage aggressiveness, a nylon buckle collar could rub fur into tight matts around the dogs neck & cause irritation, a leather collar could snap apart at the wrong moment. If your dog won't accept a gentle leader you can use a gentle leader EASY WALK harness, where the leash clips to the chest area and allows for more control a traditional harness will promote pulling. Read up on NILF .... I love this concept.
  • Carlyn JeffersonCarlyn Jefferson Posts: 254Member
    Accepted Answer
    I've heard many various ways to help this problem: my boy used to chew on the leash, so I got him a chain leash and switched back to nylon ONLY when he quit chewing. As for pulling - the instant he gives tension, turn around and walk in the opposite direction. Keep doing this...it can take a while, but it works! My basic suggestion is to stay calm, be very patient, and you've gotta be even more stubborn than him! I have a VERY stubborn Aussie/Heeler myself...once he realizes he can't get around the command, he will give up and do it. Just remember to keep the calm energy before you get assertive, but don't be afraid to "boss him around". I had to get pretty gnarly with Loki (not with a louder tone, but a very very commanding one...think military drill instructor), as he was a shelter dog...so no known structure as a puppy. Best wishes, if you want any extra help, send me a friend request and message me, I would love to give you my experiences and tips!


  • keep the leash short,very short. keep him right next to you. he will hate it at first but eventually he will submiss. If he tries to play tug of war, stop walking, do not let him continue because he will think it's a game. Again, eventually he will get bored..
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