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We have a 22-month-old female rotty/lab mix - Shade - that we got from the local Humane Society about 3 months ago. She is very loving and friendly with us and also enjoys meeting other people - so much so that she pulls very hard on her leash to run up to people in full tail wag mode. Our vet recommended a "gentle lead" and lots of exposure to other people and dogs. Shade does not like the lead. But the interesting thing is when we go to a lake trail where there are lots of people and dogs, she doesn't seem to mind the lead. But when we walk her in the area around our rural property she will refuse to move or if out on the walk suddenly stop and not continue walking. Not sure why she does this and its pretty frustrating

Another issue we are having is her protectionism - this is new, and we think because she is now comfortable with her new home - when we open the door to let her out she will bolt out with fur up and growling as she runs around the perimeter of our property - even though there is nothing or no one there. So we have been leashing her at the door and holding her back then slowly and calmly walking her out so she can look around - this usually works and she calms and we let her off the leash - question: is this behavior something she will grow out of as she is still young?

Thoughts and ideas appreciated. tx
 

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Welcome to the forums!! I would suggest that you don't allow your girl to be meeting, and greeting people, and other dogs while on leash. This leads to her pulling towards people and dogs....and I suspect it has become a habit. A dog does not need to be meeting strange people, and strange dogs to be socialized. She needs to be out and about, and seeing and exploring....but does not need to be meeting people or dogs. She needs to learn to ignore people and other dogs...as I always teach my dogs "mind your business"....and move along. Don't give her the chance to stop and start eyeing people or dogs....just keep on moving with praise.

First thing I would do is get her enrolled into an obedience class. Something that is positive...better yet, with a trainer that knows about working breeds (German Shepherds, Dobs, etc.). I have never been a fan of Gentle Leaders....most often than not...dogs either shut down wearing them, or all they want to do is roll and get them off. I like a pinch/prong collar for pulling...but it must be fitted right (snuggly just below the ears).

You have half of a dog that is in the breed DNA to be guarding. This she will not outgrow. Once she is settled in your home and with your property...she may not be as interested in dashing out the door. I would also worry that there really may be something out there (skunk, raccoon, cat,etc.??)....just that you cannot see it.

Get into a class with her. The more training she has, the better life will be with her.
 

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I agree with BBD. One thing I will say about the gentle leader is it applies force to their neck, torsion of what have you. When I first had Luc (a GSD - my first dog) I tried one and man! It did not go well. Some dogs don't tolerate them at all in my experience.

Vets aren't experts in dog training. We discuss Agis's training with ours but do our own due diligence. We use a prong on Agis, but do not always have him wear it to the vet (we transport him using a harness is any event).
 

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I've been doing a lot of reading on prongs and do not think I will go that route. To each his own I guess

tx
You should really try one out on your arm...it does not hurt...just kind of pinches. I used to foster Rottweilers and sometimes Labradors. Most come in with little training and pull while walking like trains. Trying to walk a 120 lb Rottweiler, or a 80 lb Lab on a flat collar is almost impossible that has been doing this for years...or never had any training. I would try Gentle Leaders on them...but either got the swipe and roll going....or they just shut down. If I had months to try to train them to walk properly it would have been nice. The sooner a dog got adopted...it meant that another dog could be saved and pulled from a shelter. The rescue groups asked me to try using prong collars on the fosters to see if they could be taught to walk half decent so that prospective adopters could see a dog that had some manners. Prong collars worked!! It's like power steering on a car. They should not be left on, and only used for training...and once the dog is trained...they don't need to be used.

With Gentle Leaders I had 10 year old dogs still needing to wear them when they were dropped off for boarding here. Dogs did not learn anything...same with the "No Pull Harnesses". They are all training tools...and should be used for training.

I do hope you get enrolled into a class with a good instructor to help you with your dog.
 
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