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Dog Training Tips for Walking a Very Strong, Big Dog

We were in Miami repairing a Dog Guard Out of Sight Dog Fence last month when a neighbor came walking down the street.  I was out front trenching the wire in the front of the house.  As he approached, I saw that he was having difficulty controlling his dog.  He saw the “Dog Logo” on my car and came over.  He then asked me the obvious question…

“I have a very big, head strong German Sheppard who pulls and lunges like crazy when I walk him.  I have tried all the tricks of walking on a short leash, using a Holt and Gentle Leader, walking at different times; he still pulls and lunges.  What can I try next?


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It just so happened that I had the exact issue with one of my behavioral dog training clients earlier that week.  I had first asked him to just walk the dog the way he normally did and the entire exercise was a disaster.  There was pulling and jumping by dog and human in a constant state of “tug of war”.  It was a stalemate where nobody was winning and nothing was being taught.

After nine years of dog training, I always have a lot of tricks up my sleeve and I decided to try a new idea with his crazy Sheppard.  (Reader’s Note:  This method is extreme and is not intended for everybody.  Do not try this without the appropriate supervision and help.)  I asked for the leash and simply held the leash by the handle.  There was six feet of loose leash between me and this 90 lb., 2 year old, rambunctious Sheppard.

He looked at me and then began to run out to the end of the leash.  When he reached the end of the leash, he began his “tug of war”, pull as hard as he could antics. I immediately gave him a good tug on the leash and directed him back to me.  Even though he was trying to go nuts, I did not respond in kind.  I did not make a big deal of the redirection and continued to walk.  He gave me a quick look and slowly began to walk out to the end again.  I gave a tug on the leash, but this time I didn’t have to give such a tug to get him to look back and slow down.

I had to do this about ten times over a period of about five minutes, but very soon that (once crazy) Sheppard was walking right around me and never tried to run out to the end of the leash again.  We even had children and other dogs walk down the street and he wouldn’t try to run and pull.  Every once in a while, I still needed to correct him with a tug, but that was simply providing the repetitive reinforcement he needed and allowed him to learn.  I want to make it quite clear that I never chocked the dog or hurt him in any way.  I was simply giving him very clear signals that “you can’t go that way”.

Dogs sometimes need a little more room to “roam” when walking.  I quickly noticed this when I asked the owner to walk the dog.  All I did was to give the dog a little more “walking room” with the clear rule that he still needed to stay around me and provide me focus for direction.  I put the Sheppard in a situation where he could clearly understand my rule and that I had the ability to let him understand what he needed to do.

This technique isn’t for everybody.  The client was able to handle the dog, understood the technique I was displaying, and could successfully enforce it.  If you have further questions about this dog training technique or underground dog fences, please contact us at The Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers in Miami and South Florida.