So I realize Winston is a little old to be having these issues. And I admit I probably should have addressed this behavior when he was younger. But the past is the past and I can't change it now.
Winston has always been a pull-on-the-leash maniac. Before I moved to Seattle, while it was frustrating, it didn't really pose much of an issue. We would go on walks (mostly where he was fully extending himself at the very limits of the leash) and I would scuffle along behind him. While this was obviously not behavior I liked or wanted, the practically suburban setting made it manageable because we rarely ever encountered other people and if/when we did, it was easy enough to see them ahead of time and not actually interact.
However, now that I've moved to Seattle, I live in the middle of an extremely busy area. Like... every day, all day, regardless of the hour, there are LOTS of people on the sidewalk.
First, I want to fix this pulling/tugging/lunging behavior. I can't enjoy walking Winston because there are people everywhere and two things happen: one, I worry people will step on him because he moves erratically and he doesn't stay by my side and two, people often want to say hello. This wouldn't normally be a problem (if he would act calm) except that saying hello is one of Winston's most favorite thing! He loves people! So much! He jumps, he pulls, he licks the air, he goes into hyper overdrive mode!
Secondly, because this behavior seems to get more and more reinforced, I am more and more resistant to going out and about with Winston. It's becoming stressful to take him anywhere. The constant pulling and wanting to greet people makes the pair of us look crazy! It's getting to the point where I dread walk-time and that isn't fair to Winston. But with the way he is, I really dislike going outside with him. I know this is my fault, but I don't know how to fix it.
I tried the over-the-nose head collar thing. It did work, sort of. But I had two issues with it: Winston absolutely hated it. He really really hated it. It made him not want to go outside. And it didn't really work very well. He would still want to tug and pull and lead. And then when I would take the collar off back at home, he would have a deep mark indention across his nose. I was really worried he would hurt himself so I returned it. He now has one of those wonder walk halters but it doesn't give much improvement.
I don't really know how to address this anymore. Attention from people reward his behavior and there isn't anywhere I can go that is calm/quiet/relatively empty. No matter what I do, there is a constant stream of people wanting to pet him, or cooing at him. I just want to be able to walk my dog like a normal person. I know it will make things 1000% better, especially since then I would be comfortable taking him to all the places he is allowed to go.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Changing this especially requires you to be persistent! When you head out for a walk as soon as he pulls, turn quickly and head in the opposite direction, and repeat over and over and over..... It will be very difficult for you but if you take a day and do this the pulling habit can be broken. You won't get very far but eventually he will pay more attention to you than where he wants to go. Try to do this with as much enthusiasm as possible!
This sounds like I will be spinning around in a circle instead of going anywhere at all! I don't even think I'd get outside my apartment building like this, haha. But I'll see what I can do. Thanks!
Have you considered obedience classes? They would help you to deal with Winston's leash issues as well as any other issues. It is also a great way to spend time with him while reinforcing that you are the boss.
I haven't really thought about that. I can look around and see what's available locally. Thanks :D
Will he pay more attention if you have food? I'd buy a small treat pouch and start treating him every time he pays attention to you or walks by your side. Make the treats tiny and reward frequently.
The turning around every time he pulls method does work for some people, although I have had very limited success with it. I would highly recommend obedience classes.
Is a wonder walk harness the same thing as an easy walk?
Yes, the wonder walk harness is the same design as the easy walk. I think part of its inability to be successful is the corgi's shape and size. I haven't really tried food. I know Winston is intensely food motivated though. Maybe I can give that a shot.
Yes you will just go in circles at first but you would surprised at how he notices that you are not going forward. Since he has been successful pulling it will take patience on your part to correct this. Classes are always a great idea !
I was watching an old episode of Dog Whisperer and he gave some great advice to an owner that was having problems with their dog (can't remember what kind of problems) and she said that people always wants to pet the dog when they see it. Cesar Milan said to tell people that want to touch/pet your dog just say "Please don't touch/pet my dog. He/She is still in training/is training right now." He swears it works every time.
I have yet to try it but, next time this is definitely what I'm going to say to overeager kids that want to pet my dog.
we took linus to obedience class at petsmart and they have done a lot of work with leash walking. linus used to be a mess, he'd pull, he'd go wherever he wanted and stop whenever he wanted. in class we learned to keep him to one side, give treats when he's walking nicely (linus won't take treats on a walk, so i bring the clicker and i click him for nice walking), and now he's learning to heel so that we can get through areas that have traffic. he's also learned "leave it" while walking on a leash, so he doesn't stop to sniff at every little thing if i tell him to leave it. we started classes when linus was 14 months old, so he already had learned some bad behaviors. he's already so much better after just the beginner class and we are now doing intermediate with him.
A good obedience class and daily practice with you over an 8 wk period should show great improvement and wet your appetite to do more with him. He sounds like a smart, enthusiastic, personable dog, make the most of those qualities by training him now. Dogs respond to good training at any age.