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walking my German Shepard

janeellenjjaneellen Posts: 37
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Exercise and Rehab
I find when I train or walk my 70 lb dog it pulls on my spine.Now that I am writing this my mind is saying"duh".Have had cervical and lumbar fusion.Does anybody have ideas for walking large dogs? I quess i should just stay in yard and play with the dog off leash.The dog is well trained{as well as a 16 month Shepard can be} but I would love some input.I quess I don't have to give up everything I used to love to do just modify it.No help in the medical community when it comes to common sense-I quess everyone is afraid of getting sued.Glad I found this site.


  • My MIL has 2 little 20lbs dogs. There are times when they are away that I will take them for a walk. As funny as it is to say, I have told the dogs not to pull me. I don't know, but they have never pulled my back once, in the 3 years they have been around. I guess they sense the issues and don't play around. I also know that the dogs were 6 years old when they came here. Retired breeders.

    Also - the cat never gets on me either, she'l flop down beside me, but never on me.

    My throught is that they sensed the injury and do not try to agrivate it.
  • You ask a very good question, one for which I do not have an answer. I got my second bouvier des Flandres, promising my husband that I would be responsible for training and walking the dog, right before I developed lumbar spine issues. You can guess how that promise turned out!!

    Both "boys" are slightly over 100 pounds and I dare not walk them since my first surgery. My husband does all the walking and I play with them in the fenced yard. The one time I walked the one dog after my second surgery, it did not end well! He was heeling beautifully and we were moving right along when suddenly we somehow got tangled up and I did a face plant on the asphalt. I just lay on the road awhile, determining if anything was broken. It was not, but I had a bruised cheekbone and floor burns on my face and scratched the lens of my glasses. The dog was fine -- just remorseful.

    It is a difficult problem because no matter how well a dog is trained, there is always a chance that something will catch your dog's eye, and he may pull, forgetting that he is on lead.

    Maybe there would be some sort of collar or harness you could get that would minimize the pulling. You could call a dog training center and talk to one of the "pros" to see if they have any tips for you!
  • I have a 9 month old Basenji (barkless dog from Africa). She is only 20 pounds but is solid muscle and when she is pulling my back hurts bad. We put up a fence so she has the run of a large backyard, this way I only have to walk her once a day. Its hard on our walks because everywhere you look there are the darn bunnies and she wants to chase them. I have read on some dog websites that people have good success with a certain type of harness, not sure what kind it is, (Halti Harness, i think). The harness I have hasn't helped one bit, but it could just be my crazy dog!
  • I have two Border Collies 30lbs, and 35lbs, and a 125lb Lab. I'm two months out of surgery and I still don't dare walk even the smaller of the Border Collies(although she'll be the one that I start with). They're trained, but it's been awhile since I've been able to work with them, and I know that, initially, they will be excited if taken out on a leash. If your dog is trained well enough that you think he/she will hold a "heel" command, you might be safe. Personally, I don't trust mine! LOL

  • I believe the collar that you're talking about is called an "Easy Walk". I had one for both of my Border Collies and the leash attaches at their front shoulder, rather than around their neck. Personally, I don't like them, but you can always give it a try. It might work very well for you. I just couldn't get used to it. There's also the "Gentle Lead". It fits around the dog's muzzle, but it's not enclosed like a muzzle. Send me a private message if there's anything I can do to help.

  • I found after my fusion that I am just not as light on my feet as I once was and my balance has also been effected. My dog was heeling when we somehow got tangled up and I fell...and I was just telling him how nicely he was walking, too....I guess I had him too close to my side.

    Anyway, I guess it is not necessarily the size of the dog that matters. Even little guys can pull and lurch. I guess walking a dog is just hazardous to our spine health! @)
  • gwennie,

    The first MRI that I had to have was after walking my Lab. My foot got half on the sidewalk and half on the grass and I lost my balance. He kept walking and I fell. In the end the fall and resulting MRI were a blessing because I found out about the condition of my back, and also that I have a tumor on an adrenal gland. This type of accident could just have easily been caused by a small dog. I plan to wait until I go for my 3 month checkup to see how well I've fused before I attempt to walk any of my dogs.

  • I have two 100 pound dogs and we use "halti" leashes, when they pull it causes their head to move to the side and they lose their forward pull. The solution is for someone else to walk them and I hobble along. There is no way I could even take one of them myself, it is hard enough for me to walk to the community mailbox.
  • my 70# BOXER/PIT is well trained and can be walked off leash.. =D> this is not always practical and so at other times i use a "cinch"collar. when Sirius was going through obedience training the trainer recommended using one instead of a regular collar on such a big necked dog.. it looks spooky but does not hurt the dog at all. :? it gives me so much control i can take her myself out on the street.. her "pull" is gone and we have a nice walk together!!! :D Jenny :)
  • I believe the halti that Jay is talking about is the collar that I mentioed earlier as the "Gentle Lead". If you're going to use a "cinch" collar aka German Choke make sure that you put the rubber tips on the prongs. Since I've been using the "Clicker Training" method, the "cinch" collars are not allowed. But, the same thing applies to a regular choke chain.

  • i know what you mean,i have a 90lbs GSD,and if i decide when to have this fusion done. i don't know what i'll do with him,we walk just about everday i'll miss him alot :(
  • but can't remember what section. I'm the one with the 20 pound Basenji that is way too strong for her size and wants to chase every bunny, bird and car, its just her instinct. However, I found that the "Easy Walk Harness" (this one made by Premier and found at Petsmart) has tremendously cut down on her pulling. Costed about 28.00 but worth every penny. However, after my fusion in Jan 2010 I won't take the chance and walk her until I get Dr. clearance. Hope it helps someone.
  • Try a Pinch or Prong training collar. You can get them at Pet Smart for about $15. Use it specifically to train the dog then take it off. It does look like it hurts. The dog yelps when it pinches. It doesn't puncture the dog or cause bleeding.

    I inherited a 65lb Blue Heeler (Aussie cattle dog). He was poorly trained and goes after other dogs. He thought going for walks was yanking me around the streets. He wouldn't listen. That breed is supposed to be smart but they are not a good choice for a pet. So I got that training collar. Well after getting bit by it a few times. He was walking by my side in lock step. When he acted up a quick snap of the leash and a yelp and he is back in line. We did this game for a month. Now I take him out with a plain collar and a retractable leash. He is pretty well behaved a fine to walk. Even when we see deer and rabbits he rarely bolts at them.

    That said I wouldn't walk with him after surgery. I think I was 6-8 weeks out before I would even take him. I had a micro at L5-S1. If I had cervical work done. I'm not so sure I would take that chance.
  • BionicWomanBBionicWoman Posts: 619
    edited 06/16/2016 - 12:20 PM
    janeellen, I read this thread when you originally posted it, but didn't comment. I thought of you today, though, when someone emailed me a question about this particular leash. 

    The key, though, is not to lose sight of actually training the dog to walk properly on any leash. :)
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