I have a 6-year old Malinois who is, all in all, relatively well-behaved by now.

Taking her on a bus or a train however, is a nightmare. To be more precise, getting on or off the bus or train is the difficult part.

She will pull on the leash as if her life depends on it to get on the bus. The moment she sees the bus coming, she gets overexcited and needs to make sure that she gets on. She will pull, stumble over herself,...

Once she is actually on the bus, she calms down immediately. She lies down and everything's good.

When getting off, the same ritual happens: as soon as I am getting ready to get off, she will start moving towards the door and will even hit the door to try to open it.

Now, she's a very high-energy dog, so in some ways, this behaviour isn't that surprising, and I've had to train her to behave well in other situations as well. This situation, however, is particularly tricky since (a) nothing seems to help and (b) it's impossible to train in a controlled environment: the bus comes and you need to get on and that's it. You can't practise it 20 times until you get it right like you can with leash-pulling in general for example. It's doesn't just improve over time either.

Any tips on how to improve this?

  • Popping in to comment, if this isn't answered in a day or so, please reply to my comment and I'll write an answer.
    – user6796
    Commented Mar 8, 2020 at 11:59

1 Answer 1


Personally, there are three things I would do for this. 1, is impulse control 2, I'd take a lead training approach... at a bus stop and 3, look at a different collar.

One of the best methods of training dogs not to pull on leads/loose lead walking is to go out on a walk and quickly change direction (without telling the dog you are) so that the dog learns to keep back and watch you for guidance as to where they're going.

I'd personally use this as a foundation for it. I'd walk past a bus stop as the busses are pulling up/stopping and as soon as the dog starts to pull to wards it, change direction quickly to walk in the opposite direction. If they are still pulling you towards the bus, correct them and make them walk with you.

I would also sit at the bus stop as well and let the busses go past and stop the dog from going on it by giving it a correction and making them sit/down next to you. This is teaching it impulse control, to go against its own impulses and do what you say. Another way to hammer this impulse control is flirt pole training. I have 2 working line GSDs and the flirt pole has worked great.

I'd do both for as long as it takes for it to stop.

Collars make a huge difference too. Flat collars and harnesses do nothing for this issue so if you're using those, stop. The next step up would be a check chain, this (combined with the above training) is enough for most dogs to fall into line. However my own dogs have very high drive (which I imagine your Malinois does to) so if the check chain doesn't work look at getting a very thin but strong french collar this is like a check chain but in some ways even more highly effective because, unlike a check chain, it corrects the dog itself (rather than you doing it) so the dog learns it is doing it to itself and will fall into line, this collar has worked perfectly for one of my own dogs.

Malinois are high energy, high drive and highly strung dogs so this could take a while, it is no quick fix.

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