One mistake many Chihuahua owners make is not teaching their little buddy how to walk nicely on a leash. A general thought might be that Chihuahuas are small, therefore, can be carried everywhere or put in a cute little bag or stroller for transportation. Another common idea is that Chihuahuas are so small they don't need to understand how to walk on a leash because there is no danger to the owner of being pulled along. However, when you have a Chihuahua who understands how to walk on a leash, your walks will be faster, more productive, and more pleasurable for you and your dog. Once your Chihuahua understands how the leashes used and what his role is when using a leash for walks, you will able to take him for walks to go potty, walks for leisure or exercise, or keep him on a leash when he needs to be confined or kept safe such as when you are at a veterinarian's office or walking through a pet store.
Training your Chihuahua to walk on a leash is less about keeping him from pulling you and more about keeping him moving as you walk along. Unless a Chihuahua is taught to walk on a leash, he may fear the leash and not move. A frozen Chihuahua cannot be pulled along on a walk, and because of their stubborn personalities, he is more likely to dig in and not move at all. When you train your pooch to walk on a leash with positive reinforcement, you are encouraging him to move forward to earn the next treat. This not only teaches him that the leash is necessary but also not harmful. Positive reward-based leash training will teach your Chihuahua leash manners that will include not pulling when he's distracted, not stopping, and not wrapping himself around your legs when he's frightened but rather walking beside you, eager to be next to you and go at your pace until you both reach your destination.
You will need to decide if your Chihuahua is going to wear a harness or a collar. Small dogs are often injured with collars and leashes because they will pull or their owner will tug on the leash, causing neck or trachea injuries. If your Chihuahua is stubborn, consider putting him in a harness. This way if he pulls on the leash his neck will be protected. You will also need lots of high-value treats while you are leash training. High-value treats should be a treat that he only gets while he's doing basic obedience training or treats he only gets during this particular leash training. These high-value treats can be small bits of hot dogs or cheese, beef jerky, or dried meat. Be patient and let your Chihuahua get to know the leash before you even attach it to him.
When I walk him and he loves walks, but he is very agressive when he sees other dogs, people on bikes, running and I have to restrain him cuz he wants to go after them and barks at other dogs. He will not curb his when I pull on his leash and I have to shorten it also. I have had him for 2 yrs + and don't know what to do. Please help
Hello Karen, I suggest working on the structure of your walk first. You want pup to be working during the walk - having to stay behind you, focus on you, perform commands periodically, and not have his mind on scanning the area in search of other dogs. The walk should start with him having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if he isn't calm. He should wait for permission ("Okay" or "Free" or "Let's Go") before going through the door instead of bolting through if that's an issue. When you walk he should be in the heel position - with his head behind your leg. That position decreases his arousal, reduces stress because he isn't the one in charge and the one encountering things first. It prevents him from scanning for other dogs, staring dogs down or being stared down, and ignoring you behind him. It also requires him to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how aroused, stressed, and aggressive he is - it makes him feel like the responsibility is on your shoulders not his around other dogs. Additionally, when you do pass other dogs, as soon as he starts staring them down, interrupt him. Don't tolerate challenging stares at other dogs. Remind him with a fair correction that you are leading the walk and he is not allowed to break his heel or stare another dog down. It is far easier to deal with reactivity when you interrupt a dog early in the process - before they are highly aroused and full of adrenaline and cortisol, and to keep the dog in a less aroused/calmer state to begin with. This also makes the walk more pleasant for him in the long-run. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Reactive dog - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY8s_MlqDNE Leading the walk this way can actually boost a dog's confidence in the long run around other dogs because the dog feels like you will handle the situation so they can relax. Be picky about which dogs he greets if he ever greets other dogs. Avoid nose-to-nose greetings with dogs who lack manners. A simple "He's in training" tends to work well. Be picky about who and how he meets other dogs. Avoid dogs that don't respect his space, pull their owners over to him, and generally are not listening well - those dogs are often friendly but they are rude and difficult for some less tolerant dogs to meet on leash. Also, avoid greeting dogs who look very tense around your dog, who stare him down, who give warning signs like a low growl or lip lift, who look very puffed up and proud - that type greeting with a dog is likely to end in a fight since your dog doesn't know how to diffuse that situation. A stiff wag is also a bad sign. A friendly wag looks relaxed and loose with relaxed body language overall. A tense dog with a very stiff wag, especially with a tail held high is a sign of arousal and not always a good thing. Outside of the walk you can work on building pup's trust and respect for you in other ways too. The following commands and exercises are also good for that: If nervousness is ever an issue - Agility/obstacles for building confidence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elvtxiDW6g0 Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M A long down stay around distractions is a good thing to practice during walks periodically. A good way to socialize with other dogs is to recruit friends with calm dogs and use the Passing Approach and the Walking together methods from the article linked below. After a few practice session of this, when the dogs can calmly walk side by side finally, take pups on walks together with both in a structured, focused heel. This gives both dogs something other than each other to focus on, keeps their energy calm, and helps them associate each other with the pleasant experience of a walk. Repeat this with lots of different dogs, one or two dogs at a time - you want other dogs to be associated with calmness, pleasant experiences, and boring things - not roughhousing, wrestling, nose-to-nose interactions always, or being rushed by them. (Due to covid-19, you can keep walks with another person more spaced apart, instead of side by side) https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Once pup is doing better, then begin to reward pup for staying calm and focusing on you as you pass other dogs. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hi. My chihuahua will not walk on his leash. I have tried luring him with treats and nothing works. He refuses to walk I don’t know what else to do, he has never been on a walk yet , only running around in the garden
Hello Ashleigh, Pay attention to pup's body language and the environment. Some pups don't want to walk because they are afraid of a neighborhood dog in a fence barking, construction workers, funny objects (like Christmas decorations), and things we would never think twice about. If pup isn't familiar with something (no matter how normal it may seem to us) it can feel scary to pup and be a reason why they don't want to leave the safety of the yard. If pup seems nervous or something might be bothering them in the environment, work on helping pup overcome that fear first by using play and treats to distract pup and then reward pup for any confidence, calmness, or tolerance they shows around the fearful thing. Practice this further away from the scary thing first and very gradually work up to pup being able to pass that thing as his confidence grows with your help. Simply spending time sitting outside with pup daily in the environment pup is uncertain of - without expecting walking yet - can help the area become less scary or distracting. Next, spend time getting pup used to leash pressure in general if pup's not familiar with coming forward toward you when there is a leash tug. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-your-puppy-to-accept-leash Next, if pup still won't walk, take some small treats or pup's dog food pieces in a small ziplock bag in your pocket or a favorite toy. Every time pup takes a couple of steps, give a treat or toss the toy a step forward or let pup give the toy a tug. Keep your energy excited and confident. When pup stops, tell pup "Let's Go" in a calm and business-like tone of voice (it's not a question, it's a confident, calm command), then tug and release the leash several times in a row until pup takes a couple more steps - at which point give another treat or play. The leash tugs should stop as soon as pup starts moving. Keep your walking goals short at first. If pup won't leave your yard - your first goal is just to leave the yard. When pup reaches that goal - go home as an additional reward for pup following you - even if a lot of leash tugs were involved. When pup will go to the end of the yard easily then walk to the next house. Gradually increase your walk distance overtime. If you make your goal something huge like the whole neighborhood at first you are less likely to succeed - work up to distance overtime. Also, do not continuously pull pup on the leash. Doing so can harm pup's neck, but also dog's have a natural tendency to pull away from something - so if you pull pup in one direction, he will just pull back in the other direction, budging even less. This is why you do the quick tug and releases so that not following is uncomfortable with the tugs but not a continuous pull. You want pup to choose to walk to get away from the annoying tugs and to receive treats. I suspect pup is nervous or distracted about the environment or not sure how to respond to leash pressure - so don't skip over desensitizing pup to the environment and leash if pup seems at all nervous about those things - freezing and looking like a deer in headlights is one sign of nervousness. Finally, make sure pup isn't in pain or sick, causing him not to want to exercise in any form due to feeling bad. If you have reason to suspect pup is ill or injured, definitely see your vet. (I am not a vet) Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Every time I take him outside on his leash and harness he just Sit on the grass with his ears back scared
Hello, is this a new behavior for Taco? Or is he new to you and not yet comfortable with things? Continue taking him outside - don't pressure him to walk yet. Take a look here for suggestions:https://wagwalking.com/training/not-be-scared. If he is okay inside the home, adapt the steps to the outside. The Picnic Method here may help: https://wagwalking.com/training/be-independent. Get Taco used to being outside and then work on the walks. There is a chance that Taco is afraid of the leash. In that case, this guide has great tips on getting a puppy used to a leash, including practicing a lot inside so Taco can feel at ease.https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-beagle-puppy-to-walk-on-a-leash. Good luck!
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