Too small to control my lab

Discussion in 'Labrador Training' started by FernC, Feb 15, 2020.

  1. FernC

    FernC Registered Users

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    Dottie and I just got back from a disastrous walk where she pulled me to the ground 6 times. Came away with an expensive trip to the ER, two sprained wrists, and a lot of cuts and bruises. I have tried all the advice in terms of how to train her not to pull, and nothing works. I know I'm supposed to stop and not move when she pulls, but she's too big and strong now, so she drags me forward which just reinforces the pulling. Two of the times when I fell, she got the zoomies and dragged me along the ground, once into the road, before I could get my feet. She weighs 60 pounds now, and I'm small and only weigh about 105. I'm no match for her anymore.

    Using no-pull harnesses that clip in the front don't help, because as soon as it turns her back towards me, she grabs the leash and starts a game of tug that ends with me falling face-first on the ground. She's very responsive to the clicker inside, but outside she pays no attention. Not even the most high-value treats get her attention once she gets too hyped up on a leash. I've tried a gentle leader too, but she refuses to walk with it and spends the whole time trying to get it off. I try taking her out and playing fetch and letting her run around in our complex's dog run for anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour before we try leash training, but it doesn't matter. I'm at my wits end and I don't think it's even safe for me to try and train her. We've also been through 2 dog walkers who are unwilling to take her anymore because of the extreme pulling. At her trainer's, she walks PERFECTLY on the leash right beside me and heels like it's her job, so I know she CAN do it. She just WON'T.

    Any devices or techniques that I haven't tried that will help? What do you do when you're too small to control your lab?
     
  2. MontesMum

    MontesMum Registered Users

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    I’m sorry I can’t offer any proper advise, but wanted to comment because I am having a similar problem. I got pulled into the road the other day, ended up on my back with exploded poo bag all over me (I’m 6 months pregnant which makes things tricky too). Sorry you’ve been seriously hurt though.
    Like Dottie, Monte CAN do it, but it’s hit and miss as to whether I get pulled to the floor or not. He’s nearly 8 months so it’s adolescent craziness. One thing I will say is it is worse if I am not in the right frame of mind, if I get remotely annoyed or upset he knows and it gets worse. or if we go somewhere even a tiny bit busy. If we both have a good day and are walking somewhere quiet and I keep it short ( 20 mins max) then it can be ok. I also now know not to keep persevering with the walk if it’s not working. I turn round and go home. So could you go somewhere really quiet? And also make sure the leaving the house and putting the lead on is done in a super calm way so to keep Dotties excitement as low as poss. I also make sure I crate him before and after walks to get his energy as low as poss before we start and when we get home or it can get out of hand. It’s always a better outcome if I’ve managed all of that. Good luck, i hope others can be more helpful but I’m hopeful with management and time these pups become walkable.
     
  3. FernC

    FernC Registered Users

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    Ah yep. Dottie and Monte are about the same age. She just hit 8 months a few days ago and she is SUCH a teenager (the sigh she gave when I made her get off the counter last night was the EXACT sigh my mom got when I was 13-14 and she made me do things I didn't want to do. :facepalm: )

    I've found that kenneling her before a walk makes it WAY worse, because no matter how tired she already is, she gets a burst of excitement and energy when I let her out. She only really walks well when she's physically tired, but the best way to do that is a long walk. Hopefully there's light at the end of the tunnel at some point!
     
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  4. Edp

    Edp Registered Users

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    Hello, I feel for you. My Meg was just like this at about 7 months, she was a nightmare. However, I don’t think weight comparisons are helpful as it’s about behaviour not weight. I am only about 115 pounds and Meg is the same weight as Dottie. My previous dog, a Newfoundland was 70kg , over 150 pounds and I could walk him easily. It all comes down to training. The only thing that helped me with Meg was to train around distractions, so she learnt to focus on me. I went to obedience classes, weekly for about a year and she changed from the nightmare puller to the obedient delight she is today. It took patience and repetition training amongst other bouncy dogs but it was worth it ..
     
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  5. FernC

    FernC Registered Users

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    I'm glad to hear that there is hope that she'll eventually get better! I've been trying to train around distractions myself - mostly by getting her very excited about chasing toys or playing tug inside and then making her do a watch me or down before she gets the toy back. I also make her do various treats in the stairwell on our way out to try and get her in the training, focused mindset before we get out. It works to a degree, but when excitement hits, all bets are off. Today some jerk saw us out and let his dog off his leash to run over and say hi. Dottie got excited, I went down. Again.

    I wish there were group obedience classes near me, but unfortunately I live in a small town in rural North Dakota and the nearest group class is a 90 minute drive away, which just isn't doable. We did one-on-one sessions for 6 weeks and I just contacted our trainer for more. She's going to do intensive day sessions with Dottie - an hour a day with leash training while I'm at work, and then an hour every evening with me. Hopefully it helps, because I'm starting to feel very unsafe even taking her out for potty breaks.
     
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  6. MontesMum

    MontesMum Registered Users

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    That sounds like an amazing way forward for you both. I’m sure with that level of training and focus and given time to mature you will have a fabulous dog soon enough. It will all be worth it. That’s my mantra
     
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  7. leighxxxx

    leighxxxx Registered Users

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    we went to classes with Kyko, we drove an hour each way for them as they were available at the time we wanted them, around 7 months. When we were learning loose lead walking it was simply stream feeding with him in a heel position. Now he can walk very far between treats, to be fair we could manage without treats but hey I wouldn't work for free & don't expect him to either. When he gets near the end of the lead, we stand still till he comes back. I know they're strong but with time it can be done. My sister is very short & slight and can walk Kyko, although she leaves me to do the walks when he's on the long line as I'm taller & heavier and can dig my heels in of he runs off at speed. He's so good now that we just say far enough when he gets towards the end of the lead and he comes back to heel. We do still have moments of lunging like when he sees a cat or something.
     
  8. leighxxxx

    leighxxxx Registered Users

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    i feel you pain myself & sister have done at least one walk each with poo all down our fronts! Highly embarrassing walking home through the town :eek:
     
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  9. FernC

    FernC Registered Users

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    Well, we've had our first week of training. For one session with just the trainer, and for our joint session, Dottie's was so overexcited and out of control that she didn't even make it outside. She even almost pulled the trainer down once! She heels perfectly inside, but gets WAY too overexcited outside. I've tried taking her to the dog run to get some energy out, but now I'm supposed to stop and wait for her to stop pulling every time she does it. I had an hour to work with her, and it took 20 minutes to get to even get to the dog run (which is about half a block from us) and then when we got in sight she was so out of control that we didn't even make it inside. She just CAN'T control herself outside at all. Hopefully she calms down at some point.
     
  10. David Poole

    David Poole Registered Users

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    Sounds like you might need to take the dog somewhere isolated away from all the delicious distractions she’s used to to do your training.
     

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