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Old 01-30-2010, 05:12 PM
 
Location: NC
1,454 posts, read 1,947,107 times
Reputation: 987
Default how to get a puppy to walk on a leash..HELP!

I talked to a trainer who said to put my puppy on a leash and hook it to my belt and make her my shadow inside & outside. She wouldn't budge sometimes and the trainer said to just make her a mop and drag her around and eventually she will figure out if she wants to be dragged around or walk behind me. I would like feedback. After a few days of this I am not keen on dragging her even if I do have slick hardwood floors. She seems to resist even more. Whe outside she said not to let the puppy be the lead but I do because she wants to sniff around and she will sit and not move if I try to go in a differnt direction and I don't drag her but end up picking her up. She is just a toy breed and 4 mos old. She also wears a harness due to the fact her neck is tiny and collars would slip off. Should I just drag her??
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Last edited by goodgal; 01-30-2010 at 05:21 PM..
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Old 01-30-2010, 05:17 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
556 posts, read 1,032,399 times
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I wouldn't drag her - to me, that teaches her that anytime the leash comes on, something unpleasant is about to happen.

I'd get some super tasty treats that she likes - and start SLOW and with you walking backwards, facing her, call her name in a happy voice, and say something like "Sally, Let's GO" and hold out a treat. If she makes one step - reward and repeat.....and let her drag around a light weight (super light weight) leash for a short period of time in the house too, several times a day - so she learns the leash is nothing to fear.....just a string....that in time will mean HAPPY WALKS outside! (Supervise the leash dragging at all times so she doesn't get caught in anything and scare herself).

Do this in short sessions - then take the leash off and let her be.....in time - you'll be walking a bit further and a bit further. The other thing that might help, is if you know someone with an equally small dog, who could join you in your front yard, and try walking the dogs together.....but again - go SLOW.....it sounds like you have some ground to make up - she's just a baby - and at this point, it sounds like that leash isn't pleasant to her.....these types of leash training tips are how we work with puppies who are 8-12 weeks old.....so they quickly associate leash walking with FUN, FOOD, and OUTSIDE.
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Old 01-30-2010, 05:47 PM
 
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I think that Victoria Stillwell and the Monks of New Skete both recommend that you go to a large, open area and leash your puppy and start walking...when the puppy gets ahead of you or starts veering off in a different direction, YOU turn directions and start walking in a completely different direction. The puppy will fall in for a few seconds, then start to get ahead...change directions again. Do this again and again and again. I'm sure you could incorporate treats into this technique as well. Try to incorporate a bunch of obstacles in your walking path, because that will necessitate more changes in direction, which will mean your dog will have to focus on you even more.

From what I understand, the philosophy is that eventually the dog will STOP walking ahead or veering off because they become uncertain of your next move, and so they'll fall in beside and let YOU lead. Which, of course, is what you want.

Another approach I've read is to let the dog pull the leash taut, but the moment he does, stop dead in your tracks. When he stops pulling and the leash gets some slack and the dog turns his attention to you, start walking, but in a different direction.

Also, try to keep everything low-key when you're preparing for your walk. Don't talk in a really excited voice: "Walkies! Who's ready for walkies? Let's go!" That's just going to amp up the dog's excitement and energy level, which won't lend itself to walking nicely on the leash. Try to be very matter of fact.

My philosophy about "not letting the dog take the lead" is that there are no hard-and-fast rules. Once you've established your pack positions, with you as alpha, it's not as big of a deal if the dog takes the lead sometimes. But at the same time, you also don't want to give the dog the impression that INSIDE the house, he can behave one way (and you're the boss), but OUTSIDE of the house, he can behave a different way (and HE'S the boss).
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Old 01-30-2010, 06:27 PM
 
7,081 posts, read 23,915,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rottnboys View Post
I wouldn't drag her - to me, that teaches her that anytime the leash comes on, something unpleasant is about to happen.

I'd get some super tasty treats that she likes - and start SLOW and with you walking backwards, facing her, call her name in a happy voice, and say something like "Sally, Let's GO" and hold out a treat. If she makes one step - reward and repeat.....and let her drag around a light weight (super light weight) leash for a short period of time in the house too, several times a day - so she learns the leash is nothing to fear.....just a string....that in time will mean HAPPY WALKS outside! (Supervise the leash dragging at all times so she doesn't get caught in anything and scare herself).

Do this in short sessions - then take the leash off and let her be.....in time - you'll be walking a bit further and a bit further. The other thing that might help, is if you know someone with an equally small dog, who could join you in your front yard, and try walking the dogs together.....but again - go SLOW.....it sounds like you have some ground to make up - she's just a baby - and at this point, it sounds like that leash isn't pleasant to her.....these types of leash training tips are how we work with puppies who are 8-12 weeks old.....so they quickly associate leash walking with FUN, FOOD, and OUTSIDE.

First, let her walk around the house with the leash on (under your supervision ONLY, of course, so she doesn't get hurt). Then do the above. NO DRAGGING. Whatever 'trainer' (and I use that term loosely) told you to 'drag' her should be banned from training dogs. DO NOT use that trainer for ANYTHING.
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Old 01-30-2010, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 5,258,055 times
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No, you should not drag your dog. That's only going to make your dog afraid of the leash. There is nothing wrong with your dog sniffing ahead of you, either. The only problem is when they are so far ahead of you they are yanking your arm off!) The whole "if your dog walks in front of you, it thinks it's dominant" theory is bogus, and has been proven so.

I agree with others who have said you need to condition her to the leash. Clip the leash on her in the house and let her run around with it. Feed her treats as she does this, to reinforce the leash being the source of awesome things. You may want to try a harness too. I can't tell from the picture, but if she's a small dog, collars can be dangerous to walk them on, as their tracheas collapse easily.

There are numerous ways to make your dog walk nicely on a leash. My favorite is to put my dog's kibble (her breakfast or dinner allotment) in my pocket when we go out. Every time she is next to me, I say "good girl!" and feed her a piece. Every time she runs to the end of the leash and yanks my arm, I stop. Eventually, she turns around and comes back to me, and we continue on.
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:15 PM
Status: "Lady-Bug got Spayed today! Now she is a sh-it LOL" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: West Virginia
8,077 posts, read 16,235,750 times
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Sounds like the TRAINER is confusing teaching her to walk with HEALING!! Like ViralMD says Let Her drag the leash a few days...of course you need to be there to protect her from tangling around chairs & things. IF she hooks a chair could fall on her IF it dont hurt her will scare the poo out of her [poor pup] BTW at 4 months she a bit young to be doing this so might take a while. You can use the leash for her Safty! Even when you carry her the leash when you put her down to potty will keep her from running into bikes & people & heaven for bid Cars!!!
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:31 AM
 
3,706 posts, read 7,764,374 times
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Gotta agree w/ everyone else about letting the pup drag around a lightweight leash in the house just so she gets the feel of it (keep a close eye on her so she doesnt get tangled, of course). Outside, we would sort of follow our pup when she was on the leash, would walk her basically in our back yard or front and would sort of 'steer' her away from the neighbors' yards, once she was used to that she was fine - the main thing is to make it fun and happy for her (you could even take a few *small* treats outside for her if you want her to go in a certain direction - I just don't see what the point is of dragging her anywhere other to instill fear in her which makes no sense (esp.in a small, sensitive pup). WOuldnt' take her outside in public areas til she's completely finished her vacc's though, you want her to be protected.
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:59 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
556 posts, read 1,032,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niftybergin View Post
I think that Victoria Stillwell and the Monks of New Skete both recommend that you go to a large, open area and leash your puppy and start walking...when the puppy gets ahead of you or starts veering off in a different direction, YOU turn directions and start walking in a completely different direction. The puppy will fall in for a few seconds, then start to get ahead...change directions again. Do this again and again and again. I'm sure you could incorporate treats into this technique as well. Try to incorporate a bunch of obstacles in your walking path, because that will necessitate more changes in direction, which will mean your dog will have to focus on you even more.

From what I understand, the philosophy is that eventually the dog will STOP walking ahead or veering off because they become uncertain of your next move, and so they'll fall in beside and let YOU lead. Which, of course, is what you want.

Another approach I've read is to let the dog pull the leash taut, but the moment he does, stop dead in your tracks. When he stops pulling and the leash gets some slack and the dog turns his attention to you, start walking, but in a different direction.

Also, try to keep everything low-key when you're preparing for your walk. Don't talk in a really excited voice: "Walkies! Who's ready for walkies? Let's go!" That's just going to amp up the dog's excitement and energy level, which won't lend itself to walking nicely on the leash. Try to be very matter of fact.

My philosophy about "not letting the dog take the lead" is that there are no hard-and-fast rules. Once you've established your pack positions, with you as alpha, it's not as big of a deal if the dog takes the lead sometimes. But at the same time, you also don't want to give the dog the impression that INSIDE the house, he can behave one way (and you're the boss), but OUTSIDE of the house, he can behave a different way (and HE'S the boss).
Nifty - these suggestions of yours are all good when working with an older dog, who understands walking on lead, yet continues to pull forward and/or forge left and right when walking.

The OP has a PUPPY who sounds like hasn't grasped basic leash walking and 'moving'. I just wanted to make sure the OP knows that your suggestions will be good when her pup is a bit older and maybe having some 'manners' issues on lead....rather than just starting to learn to accept/walk while the lead is on her collar.
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:03 PM
 
12,542 posts, read 11,578,872 times
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Put the leash on the pup pull to just taught wait for the pup to give to the leash even if it is just a bit, then reward. It is baby steps but what you are teaching is if they give to pressure it is more pleasant that pressure of the taught rope. By teaching this they learn there is no fear of the rope and "they" are who controls the taughtness of the rope. They learn it is much more pleasant to have a slack in the rope.
Good Luck
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:14 PM
 
386 posts, read 646,349 times
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A few years ago I had adopted a pomeranian puppy who had several issues. She was so afraid of the leash she would sit down and not move. I used to walk with her on my knees inside the house so I was not so tall to her. The only way I could get her to move forward was to have treats in front of her and then give her a calm 'good girl' praise when she walked in any direction. We stopped and sat for a while and then tried it again. After a while there was more walking with treats in front of her rather than sitting and then I was standing while walking. Going outside was another issue b/c there were noises out there. Again, I carried her outside with her leash and sat with her on the grass until she became accustomed to the noise of cars, birds, peope, etc... It took a while, but she eventually got it and now loves to go on walks. So, take very baby steps, give lots of love when she is doing anything close to what you are trying to achieve, and have patience. And, NO DRAGGING. That is stupid advice from an idiot trainer.
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