Help! He's pulling me like crazy to get to other dogs but he's not dog aggressive.

Hi all, my 2 year old lab mix Tank, is a highly socialable dog, always wants to play with other dogs, but when we're walking on leash and he sees another dog he begins to stalk them and pull like crazy. If they are on the other side of the street I can give the leave it command it it normally works but if they are on the same side if takes my entire strength to hold him back. We've been training him with a prong collar from the start but he ignores the corrections and lunges at the other dogs as they pass by. The thing that gets me is it isn't an aggressive behaviour, he does all that pulling and jumping just to smell and play. I'm at my wits end cause most people who see him do it think he's vicious since he's a 70 lb dog and the advice my trainer gave me didn't help. He still lunges out and because of his weight and strength he pulls me over. Any advice?
Yes he is fixed, and the treats with the heel command was what the trainer suggested but he's more interested in the dog.

Asked by Tank on Feb 14th 2008 Tagged lunging, jumping, pulling in Leash Walking
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Best Answer

Marlowe, CGC

Sounds like Tank needs to learn some self-control.

With any new skill (and for a 2 year old dog, self-control is a *serious* skill) you need to start in a place that is boring and that makes it easy for him to succeed, and he needs to learn the skill in a number of different situations: waiting for a meal, to be leashed to go out, to go potty, to meet another dog, etc. And when he is able to control himself, you need to mark and acknowledge that. If he can control himself in the presence of something he wants, then let him have what he wants (if at all possible, and set up situations at first where it is possible--get your friends and family involved, especially if they have calm tolerant dogs that you can use to train self-control in the presence of other dogs ). If he can not control himself, remove him from the situation immediately so he receives no reward.

With a big dog, us puny humans can't physically control them when the chips are down. They must learn SELF-control.

Marlowe, CGC answered on Feb 15th.

Other Answers


Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011)

Is he neutered?
Cookie used to be that way. She had to meet every single dog she saw. I worked with her by bringing her to the park, where there is usually at least a few dogs around. I'd suggest brings treats (or something else he REALLY likes) with you when you go places with him. Distract him with the treat and praise him for ignoring the other dogs. I would highly discourage the prong collar. It will not make him understand what he is doing wrong, it will hurt his neck.

Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011) answered on 2/14/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I agree with Cookie. Although, I did have to get a prong collar for Abby - otherwise her 95lbs would drag me right down the street. I felt bad and first and my husband really had to fight me to get me to let him put it on her. I do have to say that it's been almost a godsend. I talked to the vet about them and he told me that they are actually safer for the dog than a chain choke collar as it spreads the same amount of pressure all the way around, not just on their throat. And just a very light 'pop' does the trick. Another thing you might want to try, if your not comfortable with the prong collar, is something called an EZLeader - didn't work for Abby but might for your Tank. Hope this helps.

Abby NPC ~ CGC, TDI answered on 2/14/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I have a small dog but he likes to pull a lot, we have him on an anti pull harness, it helps a lot, but I don't know how it would work for a larger dog.

Good luck

Dudley answered on 2/14/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Clay R.I.P. my handsome boy!!

The best thing to do is to make sure your dog is reliable a home. If he is not then he should not be out for a walk just yet. It will take you a few weeks of consistant work a few times a day but it is well worth the rest of the years of good behavior. A prong collar is not a cruel as people think.They are actually much safer then a regular choke collar,they distribute even amounts of pressure all around the neck not just on the throat.If the collars are used properly theyare ok.You should have some training on how to use them before applying them.For instance they should be up high on the neck,almost at the base of the head. Once your dog has become reliable at home then start one block at a time.Or take your dog where there is no other dogs to work him.

Clay R.I.P. my handsome boy!! answered on 2/14/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Maxwell-our Guardian angle

OK, be more dominet, get him an all chest harnes, & give him dog play as a reward.

Maxwell-our Guardian angle answered on 2/14/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Sasha's instructor's direction with the squirrels we met while walking was to put her in a "sit", then reward her. Worked to a point. The dog was totally squirrel obsessed - even went though the family room window twice.
Collars - prong did nothing for her. Apparently being pinched was no big deal. In class, she used a very narrow, very high training collar. Similar to a choke chain, but didn't do any damage. It worked well. The chain tore her skin up. For walking, we used a Gentle Leader. I love that thing. Doesn't really contribute anything to training the dog, but sure makes them controllable with no pain. The info with it said not to use it with a Flexilead, but we had no problems with Mia, Kylee or Sasha. They all knew "No pull" and how far 16 or 26 feet was. Mia and Kylee graduated to a martingale type. Very loose, but becomes tight if they pull. That's what Lily uses, though she needs no correction, just so she can a loose collar that won't slip over her head if she does pull.

Lily answered on 2/14/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


My Tiffy does the exact same thing and she is the biggest scaredy cat I know and she also isn't very social with other dogs! LOL! I think it just gets her excited to see another dog and she wants to go sniff and be nosey. It's just them being curious. When Tank starts pulling and yanking the leash, give him a very firm tug back and tell him no. Dogs respond to touch first before a command. Once you pull him back, make him sit until he calms down and is being submissive. Then he can continue his walk. It will register to him that "When I see another dog, I can't get excited or my walk is off". Be consistent with it each and every time he does it and he will eventually get the picture.

♥Tiffy♥ answered on 2/15/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Basic obedience commands
These guidelines will make training easier for you and your dog:

Dagwood answered on 2/15/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I totally agree with Marlowe that self control is the key phrase for tackling this.

As a pushy little terrier, this is an ongoing issue with Jack. We have him about 97% there, though, because we finally found a combination of things that work for him. You may have to experiment a bit, but we have Jack do a "down" and "wait." Wait, in his mind, seems to mean a shorter period of time than "stay" and so he finally got the connection between calmness and getting to play.

Down is an invaluable command which works in almost any situation, so I highly recommend learning this if you haven't already.

"Wait" is also great for reinforcing pack leader status. Use it when leaving/entering the house. It also is great for safety; Jack knows not to exit the car until his leash is on thanks to the "wait" command.

Practice at home and on walks with no dogs around until he's at 90% obedience.

As with all training, if no results in two weeks, try a new approach.

Jack answered on 2/15/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


My dog is the same way. She is not aggressive, just really, really excited. I think once you can handle Tank, you can start using any of several training techniques but it is much more difficult to train a dog when you can't get their attention so be patient.

I use a head collar but with Tank's size, you may want to use a Gentle Leader Easy Walk harness, which constricts the legs as he pulls. Choke collars just create an oppositional response in the dog.

Also, hold the leash with the loop over your thumb and the rest of your fingers closed in a fist. When he pulls, you should put the inside of your arm against your stomach with your forearm across your belly button. I was completely skeptical but it totally helps.

One thing I do is to verbally let approaching dog owners know that my dog is friendly, just excited. Although Tank is not agressive, it may freak out some dogs so don't take it personally if they move away. They are just trying to avoid a potential confrontation.

India answered on 2/15/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer