Training your big dog to walk on a leash with you instead of pulling you will be imperative if you ever plan to take your large breed out for walks. You need to make sure you have complete control over your dog so he does not pull you along, become distracted chasing a rabbit or squirrel, or drag you down the sidewalk, and so that he knows who is master. Your big dog may overpower you way more than you can overpower him, and he may be bigger than you are. Having control over him has nothing to do with how much power you can exert over him. It has more to do with how much respect you can teach him to give you. Training a big guy to walk on a leash beside you will be imperative for most of your additional training to come with large breeds.
Because this training, for large breed dogs especially, is more about your dog knowing his place with you instead of pulling you along a walk, you will need to find ways to encourage him to walk with you without pulling. This may require a special harness, a thicker leash and lots of treats to keep him in your control and wanting to stay with you to continue to earn delicious foods. For your early training sessions, you will need to find places without distractions so you can focus on your dog and your dog could focus on earning treats. As he gets more comfortable on the leash and you are more comfortable controlling him, take him places with minimal distractions so you can see how he reacts when something else draws his attention away from you. You may find for large breed dogs, a harness that clips on the chest rather than on the back gives you more control.
Of course, for this training, you are going to need some incredibly high-value treats. Cheese sticks, hot dog pieces and dried liver treats are all great items for large breed dogs to learn how to walk with you on-leash. Keep in mind just because your dog is a large breed he doesn't need a larger treat. Even the largest of dogs will work hard for the tiniest morsel of food. Check your harness and leash to ensure your dog has proper equipment before you head out for a walk.
How can I get him to stop trying to escape the leash? He pulls/jumps and wiggles to try to get free.
Hello Crystalene, First, make sure that you are walking pup on something they can't get out of so you aren't having to worry about that while dealing with the actual behavior issue itself. Look into martingale type collars or harnesses like Ruffwear's webmaster harness - there are cheaper versions but notice the third strap around the belly that makes it more escape-proof, and an additional D ring to clip to in the front of the harness can help more with pulling, which the webmaster doesn't have but some other's may. Second, if pup is new to walking on a leash, check out the Pressure method from the article linked below to help pup learn to come toward you when they feel pressure, instead of pulling away or panicking. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-your-puppy-to-accept-leash Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Was this experience helpful?
I have tried just about every trick in the book to train my dog. Unfortunately they were all a fail. Jaco is very smart and knows commands very well, he chooses not to listen. My main troubles with him is his aggression towards his mother and always wanting to be the alpha. When on walks he pulls almost the entire walk. Thing is he can walk calmly,but chooses not to. Finally Jaco has this fetish of breaking thru barriers. He is a very strong and powerful tough dog. But is now starting to become very overwhelming. Please help!
Hello Vonney, I suggest hiring a trainer who uses both positive reinforcement and fair corrections, as well as a pot of structure in their training. You need someone to show you how to create a new household routine, where pup has more boundaries and structure, to help with the aggression between the dogs and not listening to you. Check out Sean O'Shea from the Good Dog Training on Youtube. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Was this experience helpful?