How do I stop my bull mastiff from pulling on the leash?

I can’t stop my bull mastiff from pulling on the leash. He never pulls the leash when my dad walks him. I have tried so many way’s like pulling back, punishing him for it. He is also very strong so I can’t really use brute force to stop him. someone help please.

There is no need to use a choke chain, prong collar or head halter. Choke chains *hurt,* I don’t think anyone will dispute that. Prong collars are intended to create an uncomfortable, unpleasant pinching sensation. Not the worst thing in the world, but if you don’t have to cause your dog any form of pain, then why do it? And finally, my opinion of head halters:

http://www.positivedogs.com/articles/head_halters.html

"I have tried so many way’s"
- Consistency is KEY. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of being patient, calm, firm and consistent. Being unpredictable makes you like a slot machine. The dog will keep "playing" you, waiting for that occasional different reaction, just like people sit all day at slot machines waiting for that rare different reaction.

"like pulling back"
- You mean like standing there and forcefully pulling on the leash, like he is? That’s never going to work. See, dogs (and not just dogs!) have something called an opposition reflex. Basically, they pull against what’s pulling them. It makes perfect sense because, I mean, if they didn’t pull against an opposing force, they’d fall over or something, right? If someone was forcibly pulling you back, you’d totally lose your balance if you didn’t put force forward.

"punishing him for it."
- Don’t. There is no need to punish your dog for being a dog. He’s pulling because he wants to go forward and pulling works, and you haven’t properly taught him otherwise.

From this point on, you need to be 110% consistent. Don’t sometimes punish, sometimes pull back, whatever.

From now on, if he’s pulling, he does NOT get to go forward. Period. If he gets to go forward while pulling, that behavior (pulling) is being reinforced. He’s being rewarded for pulling by getting what he wants (to go forward). So, you need to teach him that unless he’s behaving, he’ll never get what he wants.

What do you want him to do? If you want him right by your side, never go forward unless he’s in the right spot. If you just don’t want him to pull, then just never go forward if he’ll pulling.

If he’s pulling, stand there and wait until he stops pulling. If the tension on the leash eases for even a moment, go forward. (And if he starts pulling again, stop again.) Or, you can immediately turn in a different direction and just walk away with him every time he pulls. (Either way, be silent, patient and firm in doing whatever you do. If/when he does the right thing, you can praise enthusiastically or whatever.)

Always reward him very well for doing what you want! If isn’t pulling, reward him with DELICIOUS treats — chicken, hot dog, cheese, whatever he really loves. And go forward! And praise him! And pat him! Always make it completely clear what you want from him.

Make sure you use the method right from the start. I mean, before you even clip the leash on, he should be behaving. Have him sit and wait patiently for you to put the leash on. If he pulls to the door, use the method to get to the door. Have him sit and wait at the door. If he starts pulling immediately, start using the method immediately.

If I haven’t made it clear, patience is NECESSARY. At first, it might take *forever* just to leave the driveway! You need to know that before it gets better, it’s going to get worse.. That’s called the extinction burst. You can find a good explanation of extinction bursts if you scroll down on this page:

http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm

Are you able to stand there if he’s pulling? As in, are you physically able? For one thing, make sure you’re planting your feet and holding your body properly. It’s like riding a horse. The rider has to learn to always carry himself or herself properly to maintain balance and in case of anything unexpected. Likewise, you’ll just have to learn to always figuratively be on your toes. Your body has to be ready to stay balanced if he pulls. Secondly, I recommend using an Easy Walk Harness if you aren’t the strongest thing around and/or if you’re concerned about him damaging his poor neck by pulling. I walk my Mastiff on an Easy Walk because I’m a teenage girl with absolutely no muscles, and while he’s almost always very, very good on walks (after a great deal of effort put into training, that is!), it’d just be dumb for me be unprepared because if he *did* lunge, I’d be pulled right off my feet. With the Easy Walk, I am able to keep my balance.. It’s a very popular harness among Mastiff owners.
About the Easy Walk:

http://www.petexpertise.com/dog-collars-dog-harnesses/no-pull-dog-harnesses/easy-walk-no-pull-harness.html?sef_rewrite=1

http://www.puplife.com/products/premier-easy-walk-harness

And some opinions from Mastiff owners:

http://www.mastiffonlinecommunity.net/viewtopic.php?t=11831&highlight=

This entry was posted in Mastiff Dogs and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to How do I stop my bull mastiff from pulling on the leash?

  1. Pirateguineapigs says:

    A harness or a face collar works great. Don’t get a choke collar though,those are painful for the dog.
    References :

  2. Terri says:

    Buy a harness for him! A harness gives you a lot more control and it is far less likely to cause any harm or injury to your dog than a collar.
    References :

  3. Bluemoose says:

    My dog (Husky/German Shepherd mix) is a strong puller too. I wouldn’t recommend a choke collar because in my experience they don’t work well. I tried a gentle leader on him and while it worked for a couple days, he soon learned how to pull with it on. The only thing that has worked for me is a prong or pinch collar. It’s the only thing that has dramatically reduced his pulling and is still working.
    http://www.8pawsup.com/articles/training/prongcollars.html
    http://www.cobankopegi.com/prong.html

    Don’t buy a harness. The purpose of a harness is to make it easier for a dog to pull because it distributes the weight across his chest so he’s not just pulling with his neck. A harness is for a working dog, it is not a dog walking tool. It will give you less control and allow your dog to pull harder.
    References :

  4. og says:

    Talk to a professional dog trainer .
    References :

  5. Lola says:

    what ever you do dont get a harness
    they were made for dogs that pull things so it wouldnt hurt them its built for the strongest part of the body it was not made to help control dogs
    if you use a choke chain dont put it on the base of the neck as it can cause choking
    put the collar right under the jaws like they do on show dogs
    i hope this helps
    References :

  6. Change Sucks #2 says:

    A "Herm Sprenger" prong collar. The reason I recommend that brand is because the prongs are rounded and it’s a VERY durable collar. You can find them at the more specialty pet supply stores. Also, the ones at Petco are flimsy and tend to not stay together.
    Prong collars are either loved or, for ignorant reasons, hated. They LOOK mean and painful but they aren’t. They are effective ways of controlling your dog without "choking" them. They also stop undesirable pulling very quickly (normally)…
    For a larger dog it will probably cost between $30-$40 for the prong.
    And NO, harnesses will NOT help with the pulling!!!

    btw, ALWAYS use either a "choke" or other type of collar with a prong because on rare occasion the collars prongs may come apart (not break) and you’ll need something else there to restrain your dog.
    References :

  7. Annette L says:

    Your dad is the Alpha and that is why he doesnt pull. You should take him to classes and use a prong collar, just make sure you learn the correct way to use it.
    References :

  8. moof says:

    There is no need to use a choke chain, prong collar or head halter. Choke chains *hurt,* I don’t think anyone will dispute that. Prong collars are intended to create an uncomfortable, unpleasant pinching sensation. Not the worst thing in the world, but if you don’t have to cause your dog any form of pain, then why do it? And finally, my opinion of head halters:
    http://www.positivedogs.com/articles/head_halters.html

    "I have tried so many way’s"
    - Consistency is KEY. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of being patient, calm, firm and consistent. Being unpredictable makes you like a slot machine. The dog will keep "playing" you, waiting for that occasional different reaction, just like people sit all day at slot machines waiting for that rare different reaction.

    "like pulling back"
    - You mean like standing there and forcefully pulling on the leash, like he is? That’s never going to work. See, dogs (and not just dogs!) have something called an opposition reflex. Basically, they pull against what’s pulling them. It makes perfect sense because, I mean, if they didn’t pull against an opposing force, they’d fall over or something, right? If someone was forcibly pulling you back, you’d totally lose your balance if you didn’t put force forward.

    "punishing him for it."
    - Don’t. There is no need to punish your dog for being a dog. He’s pulling because he wants to go forward and pulling works, and you haven’t properly taught him otherwise.

    From this point on, you need to be 110% consistent. Don’t sometimes punish, sometimes pull back, whatever.

    From now on, if he’s pulling, he does NOT get to go forward. Period. If he gets to go forward while pulling, that behavior (pulling) is being reinforced. He’s being rewarded for pulling by getting what he wants (to go forward). So, you need to teach him that unless he’s behaving, he’ll never get what he wants.

    What do you want him to do? If you want him right by your side, never go forward unless he’s in the right spot. If you just don’t want him to pull, then just never go forward if he’ll pulling.

    If he’s pulling, stand there and wait until he stops pulling. If the tension on the leash eases for even a moment, go forward. (And if he starts pulling again, stop again.) Or, you can immediately turn in a different direction and just walk away with him every time he pulls. (Either way, be silent, patient and firm in doing whatever you do. If/when he does the right thing, you can praise enthusiastically or whatever.)

    Always reward him very well for doing what you want! If isn’t pulling, reward him with DELICIOUS treats — chicken, hot dog, cheese, whatever he really loves. And go forward! And praise him! And pat him! Always make it completely clear what you want from him.

    Make sure you use the method right from the start. I mean, before you even clip the leash on, he should be behaving. Have him sit and wait patiently for you to put the leash on. If he pulls to the door, use the method to get to the door. Have him sit and wait at the door. If he starts pulling immediately, start using the method immediately.

    If I haven’t made it clear, patience is NECESSARY. At first, it might take *forever* just to leave the driveway! You need to know that before it gets better, it’s going to get worse.. That’s called the extinction burst. You can find a good explanation of extinction bursts if you scroll down on this page:
    http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm

    Are you able to stand there if he’s pulling? As in, are you physically able? For one thing, make sure you’re planting your feet and holding your body properly. It’s like riding a horse. The rider has to learn to always carry himself or herself properly to maintain balance and in case of anything unexpected. Likewise, you’ll just have to learn to always figuratively be on your toes. Your body has to be ready to stay balanced if he pulls. Secondly, I recommend using an Easy Walk Harness if you aren’t the strongest thing around and/or if you’re concerned about him damaging his poor neck by pulling. I walk my Mastiff on an Easy Walk because I’m a teenage girl with absolutely no muscles, and while he’s almost always very, very good on walks (after a great deal of effort put into training, that is!), it’d just be dumb for me be unprepared because if he *did* lunge, I’d be pulled right off my feet. With the Easy Walk, I am able to keep my balance.. It’s a very popular harness among Mastiff owners.
    About the Easy Walk:
    http://www.petexpertise.com/dog-collars-dog-harnesses/no-pull-dog-harnesses/easy-walk-no-pull-harness.html?sef_rewrite=1
    http://www.puplife.com/products/premier-easy-walk-harness
    And some opinions from Mastiff owners:
    http://www.mastiffonlinecommunity.net/viewtopic.php?t=11831&highlight=
    References :