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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 18805
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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I have a 10 month old female desexed kelpie who naturally is

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Good morning,
I have a 10 month old female desexed kelpie who naturally is very energetic. We walk or run her every day but we cant stop her pulling on the lead to the extent that she almost pulls us over.
Can you help?

Hi Merrill,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

Has she had any obedience training?

What kind of collar/leash set up are you using?

Is she pulling to just pull or to see another dog?


was hoping to get a response back but don't want you going without an answer for too long.

If your dog is pulling while walking then a little retraining is in order. It's a matter of getting your dog to want to come with you regardless of the leash being attached. You will get multiple answers depending on whom you talk to as opinions differ on the best method to solve this problem. Some experts will suggest a Halti (head collar) which you can try. I personally believe in establishing control over the dog with training. I use a chain collar for training purposes. For strong stubborn dogs, some trainers recommend a prong collar. They are fine in a capable trainers hand but inexperienced owners might use it improperly. Now they make a new harness where the leash clip is on the chest which is a good option. If the dog pulls, it pulls them back around to face you which defeats their purpose.

Number one, put your dog on a leash before leaving the house. Make your dog sit or lie down before leaving. You walk out first and the dog should follow you out. With a proper walk, the dog should be right at your side or slightly behind. You dog should be paying attention to you, frequently glancing at you to be sure you haven't changed your mind about where you are going. I will be using the word correction. A correction will indicate a short quick tug and release of the leash. It is meant to remind the dog that she is supposed to be paying attention to you. Initially, keep training sessions short and where there will be minimal distractions even if it is just in your yard. A walk should be fast paced and not a stop and start exercise. The dog should not be investigating, sniffing or socializing on the walk. Walk to a destination and allow the dog some time at the destination to do those things.

I use a food and praise reward system. I use almost paper think pieces of hot dog as the oil from them coats your hand and keeps the smell on your hand. Let the dog smell the treat in your closed hand. This gives your dog motivation to be by your side. She should be happy to follow your hand around the yard. Keep your leash short, but without pressure on it. If the dog starts moving away, a correction toward you should be made. Give her a treat every once in a while initially so she understands walking by your side get her treats. Try to time it so it is before she gets distracted. If she starts to glance elsewhere, give a correction and tempt her with sight of the treat. When she is back to paying attention, reward her with the treat in a low calm "good boy". No excitement to your voice as you want her calm. Repeat when you think her attention is shifting. As she gets better at paying attention to you and your "smelly hand", make corrections giving more praise and less treats. Before you know it, your dog will be walking right next to you all the time, with or without treats. When you stop, praise your dog with your voice or a few pats to let your dog know how good she has done. You can train her to sit or lay down when you stop if you want as well. This helps prevent her trying to run off if you stop to talk to someone.

Once your dog is pretty much always walking at your side, you will want to make a correction any time she stops paying attention to you. For instance, they are looking at a cat in a yard, give a correction so they look at you. if she is busy looking ahead and hasn't glanced at you for awhile, give a correction and reverse your direction. Do not stop and wait for the dog, just a quick correction and reverse and walk. They learn to keep an eye on you as well as on what else is going on. Try an be confident during these training sessions. Try not to look down at your dog but more out of the corner of your eye. Act like you are paying attention to the scenery. It sounds strange, but it does work.

Once your dog is doing well in the yard, try adding a few distractions such as family in the yard, then progress to another dog around continuing to correct if she even looks like he is going to glance at the other dog. If you wait till she is already distracted, it is too late. You have to catch her before she focuses on the other animal or person. It is a lot of work and takes lots of practice but it does work.

This method should take care of your problem. This has worked exceptionally well for every dog I've trained for 15 years. Now some owners will say their dog is not food oriented, but I've found that if they skip the dogs feeding before the training session, the dog becomes more interested in the tiny hot dog slivers. Chic***** *****vers work well for this purpose too but not as well hot dogs.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

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I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Jane Lefler

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