how do I get my dog to walk with a stroller when backpacks are not an option?

Ellie - posted on 09/09/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I recently rescued a 1 year old pi/mastiff mix. She was never trained to walk on a leash befor. She constantly pulls and lungs. We are both working parents so there is never a single moment when I am without my daughter. She is too heavy to carry in a backpack so I must use a stroller. this dog pulls so suddenly that it yanks the stroller to the side. for 2 months I have been trying to get her to walk right with the stroller. I dont have a chance to walk her on my own, ever, its not an option. How do I get my dog to walk right? how can I train her when I never have one on one time with her? its gotten to the point when I am about to get rid of the dog. She has become a hazard. Pulling so hard so suddenly last week that my stroller almost went into traffic. there are no parks near me where I can let her off leash and run around other then the dog park and she picked up bad habbits from the other dogs in a single visit so thats out. I am so frustrated with this dog that I am no longer walking her. HELP! what do I do when the stroller has to go on the walks with me and the dog? how do I train her to walk with the stroller? pulls and tuggs and gentle nugs with a foot dont work! they make it worse!

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Crystal - posted on 09/09/2010

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Oh and dont forget to praise praise praise when she does well. They LOVE to be told they are doing a job well done. Feel free to PM me

Crystal - posted on 09/09/2010

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I have grown up with pit bulls and have two of them that walk well with my stroller. However I had them long before the baby and they learned to walk early on.
Ideally you could try and train her without the stroller but that sounds like a impossibility with your schedule.
First off force will not work with this breed, if your using a choke collar or worse....a harness get rid of it.
Second look into a easy walk harness
http://www.premier.com/View.aspx?page=do...
or a gentle leader
http://www.gentleleader.com/
Do you have a yard?
can you throw a ball to run out excessive energy before you start your walk?
If not I would bite the bullet and find a park where you can start to train her safely, ideally with someone else walking the stroller.
Also how do you start your walks? Do you leave the house with her all crazy excited? The walk has to start nice and calm for her to remain that way. You could work on having her sit/stay while you prepare the stroller an grab her leash. Each time she gets up you have to be patient and start over.
They are stubborn but so well worth it.
Lastly, google the term "NILIF" nothing in life for free. Its is key things to live by so that your dog understands her place in your pack and involves everything from feeding time and other rules.
Also here is a video with me and my two crazies, note how they sit and wait for me to say "ok". Your dog has to respect you in all aspects, they do the same thing when its time to leash them up.

Julie - posted on 09/09/2010

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Obviously, you have not time to train such a big dog now (something you probably would've thought about with hindsight being 20/20). Anyhow, my dogs are not that big, but I am lazy with training and they pull like idiots. A few things worked well for me.

1-a product called a Halti or Gentle Leader. It looks like a muzzle with only 1 strap that goes over the nose and attaches to the collar. When/if the dog pulls too hard, the head is turned to the side and most dogs will stop pulling. Some will not. For that, go on to 2.

2-"be a tree" Ever see a dog tied out to a tree try to pull constantly against it? No. They realize they are going nowhere. To train like this, YOU need to be the "tree". You may need to go for a few short walks without the stroller since you have a very large dog. You attach a normal leash (NO retractables!) and start walking. The instance your beast pulls too hard (for me this was when my arm was pulled almost parallel to the ground), you freeze. No talking, no tugging, nothing. When the dog returns enough so there's slack on the lead, start walking. Repeat dozens, hundreds, of times as needed. The first walk or two you will really feel like you look like an idiot, but the dog will learn faster if you are consistent. Both of my dogs picked up on that they had to walk nicely (or not at all) after 2 walks.

I made the mistake of trying to walk 2 60 pound dogs who were still unpredictable on the leash and they nearly overturned the stroller:( I think I would put a wrap around my waist or at the very least hold the leash in my hand/arm. My problem was that I tied 1 dog to the stroller--NOT a mistake that needs repeating!

Finally, do you have anyone who could walk with you? One can take stroller, one dog. It is really not fair to the dog to neglect giving her the physical exercise she clearly needs. Is she good with other dogs? Perhaps you can find a dog park to take her to so she can burn off some excess energy.

Remember, a tired dog is a good dog!

Good luck and I'm glad to hear you are making an effort to walk ALL your kids:)

[deleted account]

you could look for obedience classes near where you live. most even have an option for drop off obedience in case you dont have the time to take the dog yourself. the dog just needs some basic leash training, which can be difficult when you have a baby and therefore dont have the one on one time with the dog, but maybe if you looked into a dog kennel or something that offered some sort of obedience training? or finding a personal dog trainer maybe?

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