Toledo Talk

Dog Pulls Too Hard On Leash!

Folks, I need help. I weigh a little over 200lbs. My dog weighs just over 30. Yet, he can pull me right down the sidewalk, and has almost caused me to fall, several times. Is there anything I can do about this problem, short of taking him back where I got him, from the Lucas Co. Dog Warden? Many thanks!

created by Wulf on Jan 13, 2014 at 08:15:15 pm     Pets     Comments: 20

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Are you using a harness? Or leashed at the collar?

posted by dino on Jan 13, 2014 at 08:26:43 pm     #

posted by nana on Jan 13, 2014 at 08:29:04 pm     #

posted by slowsol on Jan 13, 2014 at 08:30:50 pm     #   5 people liked this

posted by justareviewer on Jan 13, 2014 at 09:17:02 pm     #  

yours has been revoked:

posted by justareviewer on Jan 13, 2014 at 09:18:56 pm     #   2 people liked this

I'm using a traditional leash and collar.

posted by Wulf on Jan 13, 2014 at 09:52:54 pm     #  


There is a lead called a "Gentle Leader". It fits over the head and muzzle. I have seen it used with great success on very large breed dogs. It may or may not work but it may be worth a try. Google it. There are videos on Youtube. We had English Mastiffs for many years. Our last pair Zeus and Aphrodite were 255 and 197 pounds. They were trained to walk on and off lead and to respond to hand signals. But we also showed them.

posted by Wydowmaker on Jan 13, 2014 at 10:03:11 pm     #  

I had major surgery last year and couldn't lift more than 5-10 lbs for months. But I was able to take my 50+ lbs dogs for walks (one at a time though) with a collar/harness called the Gentle Leader - it is a collar/harness that goes around the dog's neck and snout. Anytime the dog pulls, his nose is pulled down and back toward you. It is great for keeping larger dogs - I guess any dog - under control on walks. I think it was $20 or so. Highly recommend to avoid exactly what you are experiencing.

posted by MrsArcher on Jan 13, 2014 at 10:07:36 pm     #  

we used a collar similar to the gentle leader called the canny collar....that combined with barkbusters training worked wonders!

posted by MattL on Jan 13, 2014 at 10:45:59 pm     #  

Wulf, try out a may be a whole new ballgame for you and your dog...kind of ask yourself, what would you want to be walked with? We have had great walks and jogs with our dogs on harnesses since we started rescuing dogs 12 yrs ago... started out with leashes on collars but figured out right away that harnesses were the way to go. Good luck.

posted by dino on Jan 13, 2014 at 11:08:18 pm     #  

Yeah, I some major surgery as well, and the Doc told me I couldn't lift anything over 40 pounds.

Get the Gentle Leader. Here's a link:

You will have to adjust it to fit your dog, otherwise he'll just slip out of it. The only thing you'll want to add to the Gentle Leader is a length of surgical tubing between the leader and the leash, so that when the dog lunges at something he doesn't hit the end of the leash too hard and do himself a mischief.

The dog, by the way, will not like the Gentle Leader. Too bad.

Main Lady has arthritis in her hands and the Gentle Leader was the only way she could take Excellent Rachmaninoff for a walk without any discomfort.

posted by madjack on Jan 13, 2014 at 11:09:08 pm     #  

I won't say what I weigh, but I wear ladies' medium clothes & my dog weighs 110 pounds. I had some trouble with him when I first got him from the Wood County pound. He was 10 months old and weighed 70 pounds then. Strongest dog I've ever had. I went to training classes with him & he improved a lot. However, the fastest way to stop pulling was using a prong collar. He never pulls when wearing that. I don't use it on him any more because he has learned not to pull.
It seems like a mean thing to use on a dog, but it is less mean than returning him to the pound.
Prong collars are sold at PetSmart, Tractor Supply, etc.

posted by Blondee on Jan 13, 2014 at 11:25:14 pm     #  

That brings me to the question---does the dog have to wear the harness continually, or does it learn, and not have to be re-trained from time to time? Many thanks are in are order here for all the quality answers I've received!

posted by Wulf on Jan 13, 2014 at 11:32:57 pm     #  

I suppose that if I said back in the day choke-chains and pincher (prong)-collars worked just fine for most dogs that weren't functionally retarded (and made more so by the lack of oxygen to their brains), PETA would descend upon this thread and me in particular, assuming they're not already pissed off at the mere fact that people have pet dogs.

posted by anonymouscoward on Jan 13, 2014 at 11:49:28 pm     #  

A harness is strapped on when walking the dog only. We started out 12 yrs ago rescuing greyhounds....tall dogs...our experience with our four over time has been between 60-70 lbs. Our neighbor lost her home 3 yrs ago and was desperate for help...we took in her two dogs and have loved them ever since...a sheepdog/collie mix and and a basset/beagle mix from her situation. The basset/beagle WAS a beast to walk initially. That was partially due because those dogs were never walked. We are not dog trainers by any means, but have found that harnesses allow the dogs a more comfortable walk and allows us a better center point of stability because the harness locks down between the dogs front and rear legs...not the collar. The dogs have learned well and seem to really enjoy the harness. My wife is an avid jogger and runs with two dogs just fine with the harnesses. Just my 2 has worked for us. The only thing I can add and this is very important, find a harness style that fits your dog's breed correctly. Good luck...the answer for your situation is out there, just try some different things and you both will be happy and comfy.

posted by dino on Jan 14, 2014 at 12:06:02 am     #  

In our household we consider the pulling to be an obedience problem. I had to take our mutt on very slow walks until he learned to consistently stay close to me. It's ridiculous to watch: I take one step, the dog takes one step, then I stop and he is not allowed to go forward until he heels. During this process, the leash is very short and I keep him right next to my body.

As we walk stupidly slowly, I'm repeating the command "Stay Close!" every few steps. [We don't use the word "Heel!" for this but other folks do]. I've only had to do this a handful of times. It's an annoyance because it turns an 8-minute stroll into a boring 30-minute walking session.

The minute he pulls, he has to drop back into the boring one-step-at-a-time routine.

When he begins to walk at the pace I consider acceptable (no pulling), I make sure to praise him and slip him a treat.

I do allow him some leeway, since I know that when he wants to go potty and has spotted the Perfect Bush in the distance, he'll pull a bit until he has relieved himself. But right afterwards, he needs to go back to trotting alongside me or walking at my pace.

Also I make a point of taking him towards certain things which I know he likes to smell, so I can demonstrate to him that if he follows my rules, he eventually gets to do the fun stuff. I hope this helps.

posted by viola on Jan 14, 2014 at 01:46:12 am     #   1 person liked this

I practice what Viola describes in my 3 acre yard with all of my dogs. That is similar to the method taught in PetSmart classes. It's important to teach a dog to walk okay without special equipment, so the dog can be handled by others in emergency. It takes a lot of patience. But the prong collar gives immediate results. I had to take my dog somewhere before I had him trained. He was a wild, insanely strong beast that had already been returned to the pound twice. The prong collar was the only way to control him at first. Not a choak collar. The prong collar causes pain when he pulls, but does not close enough to choak him.
I rarely use the prong collar on him anymore. The method Viola describes makes a better dog overall.

posted by Blondee on Jan 14, 2014 at 03:25:48 pm     #   2 people liked this

Agreed with Viola and Blondee: this is an obedience issue and can be corrected, but you have to invest the time. Praise the good behavior, reprimand the unwanted behavior, and eventually dogs learn.

We went to Carol at A Promised Friend and learned techniques somewhat similar to what viola described. When the dog is engaged in behavior we want to change, he gets a sharp, loud, guttural sound from us that is part growl and part bellow: "AKKK!" When the dog is engaged in the behavior you want, then praise is lavished on the dog: "Good BOY! What a good BOY! Good walk!" and so on.

As soon as the dog starts moving ahead, stop and "AKK!" Do not move until the dog returns to your side. Praise the dog when he or she is walking properly.

It takes some patience and persistence, but all of our lungers eventually learned to be good walkers.

posted by historymike on Jan 14, 2014 at 03:49:19 pm     #  

...gets a sharp, loud, guttural sound from us that is part growl and part bellow: "AKKK!"

I see. I think Main Lady may have had one such disciple assigned to her case load. The consumer of services was reported behaving oddly and pacing back and forth on the sidewalk.

Just sayin', you understand.

posted by madjack on Jan 15, 2014 at 09:55:04 am     #   1 person liked this

Just be careful out there. Pulling too hard can give you a heart attack AKKK! AKKK! AKKK! AKKK! AKKK!

But you oughta know by now.

posted by Johio83 on Jan 15, 2014 at 10:07:24 am     #   3 people liked this