It would be great to stop this bad habit but you're worried about jerking on the leash and hurting his back. Mind you, pulling so hard on the leash such that his front paws leave the ground isn't good for his back either.
Part of the problem is that he's so keen to get to the park, he becomes deaf to calls of "heel" and now it's you that's nearly at the end of your tether.
Unfortunately, what sounds like a simple task is deceptively difficult given that Dachshunds love to get ahead, which then involves them pulling badly. Not only is this bad manners, but it's bad for the Dachshund's long low back, as it puts it under strain.
Start training in a quiet place with few distractions, and as he gets the hang of the task, move outdoors. Practice plenty and in different locations, so that he understands he's expected to walk nicely on the leash no matter where he is.
Because of the Dachshund's delicate back, it's better to train him using a harness rather than a collar. The harness spreads the force over his chest, rather than concentrating it on his neck, should he pull.
Mikasa is a dachshund x, she’s a sweet little girl, but is a nightmare on walks. She gets overly excited when outside and barks at every person we see. She’s very social with other dogs, but lets out this high pitched bark if she can’t get to a dog she can see to say hello.
She pulls so much on her harness you can hear her choking herself, we have to stop multiple times and holding her back so she can catch her breath. She gets so distracted, treats do nothing, telling her no does nothing, she is impossible.
We’ve only had her for 3 weeks, as she was rehomed because the previous family couldn’t keep her due to work commitments.
Hello Samantha, I would start by working on the Turns method in a calm, dog free area, like your yard or a calm cul-de-sac. Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel I recommend working on calmness, the barking specifically, and more socialization once pup has the basics of a Heel. For the calmness, 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 her mind on scanning the area in search of other dogs. The walk should start with her having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if she isn't calm. She 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 she should be in the heel position - with her head behind your leg. That position decreases her arousal, reduces stress because she isn't the one in charge and the one encountering things first. It prevents her from scanning for other dogs, staring dogs down or being stared down, and ignoring you behind her. It also requires him to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how aroused, stressed, and reactive she is. Additionally, when you do pass other dogs, as soon as she starts staring them down, interrupt her. Remind her with a gentle correction that you are leading the walk and she is not allowed to break her 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. Staying in a calmer mindset also makes the walk more pleasant for her in the long-run. Once pup can walk past other dogs more calmly, you can carry small, soft treats hidden in a treat pouch or plastic bag in your pocket. When pup's body language stays calm, they remain focused on you, or are very obedient when other dogs are within sight, reward pup with a treat and very calm - almost monotone praise (too much excitement can make the situation harder for pup). Pup will probably need more structure and the gently corrections at a far distance from other dogs first, before they are calm enough to be interested in treats. That's normal for a highly aroused dog not to want treats at first. They may want them further into the training once calmer. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel You also need a way to communicate with her so I suggest teaching the Quiet command from the Quiet method in the article I have linked below - don't expect this alone to work but it will be part of the puzzle for what I will suggest next. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Next, once pup understands what Quiet means you will choose an interrupter - neither too harsh nor ineffective. A Pet Convincer is one example of an interrupter. A pet convincer is a small canister of pressurized, unscented air that you can spray a quick puff of at the dog's side to surprise them enough to help them calm back down. (Don't use citronella and avoid spraying in the face!). In situations where you know pup will bark or is already barking (catch them before they bark if you can), command "Quiet". If they obey, reward with a treat and very calm praise. If they bark anyway or continue to bark, say "Ah Ah" firmly but calmly and give a brief correction. Repeat the correction each time they bark until you get a brief pause in the barking. When they pause, praise and reward then. The combination of communication, correction, and rewarding - with the "Ah Ah" and praise to mark their good and bad behavior with the right timing, is very important. Once pup is calmer in general after the initial training, practice exposing her a lot to the things that trigger the barking normally (make a list - even if it's long). Whenever she DOESN'T bark around something that she normally would have, calmly praise and reward her to continue the desensitization process. Finally, work on calm socialization, and don't skip rewarding pup for calmness around other dogs once she is doing better on walk and is calm enough to reward it! That can help ultimately. If pup continues to be disinterested in treats later too, you can reward with affection, praise, a toy, or something else she enjoys - the goal is just for her to see it as something she likes, so pay attention to what she likes. Do things like joining obedience classes, trainings clubs, group dog hikes and walks, canine sports, ect...Your goal right now should be interactions with other dogs that have structure and encourage focus on you, calmness around the other dogs, and a pleasant activity with other dogs around - opposed to roughhousing or tense environments with tons of unpredictable dogs loose which increases adrenaline. If pup does really well playing with other dogs, have one-on-one play dates with a friend and their well socialized dog and intermittently practice obedience with them together so they learn how to also be calm and responsive to you around another dog. You could also recruit some friends with well mannered dogs to go on walks with you and your dog, following the Passing Approach method and Walking Together method to help the dogs learn how to be calm around each other, while also continuing socialization. Passing Approach and Walking Together methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Was this experience helpful?
Scotch tugs on the leash, and doesn't like walks. We will go from the mailbox to the driveway, then he won't go any farther and starts hopping backward. What should I do?
Hello Abby, 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. This time of year also pay attention to the weather. If it's very cold where you are pup may be cold and need a doggie coat that was designed for active dogs, like www.ruffwear.com type coats. 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 block - your first goal is just to get past that block. 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 block 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 weather 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
Was this experience helpful?
Calla is a dachshund mix and does not understand how to go slow. She's nervous and on high alert the whole time we are walking. I have not found a treat that interests her while she is like this. She also gets so excited when she sees another dog that she is almost uncontrollable and yipes at a very high pitch. She's very good with other dogs and has endless energy. She's starting to become more comfortable outside but she's still very difficult to control on a leash, my hands hurt from holding the leash after every walk! What suggestions do you have to leash train her? BTW, we adopted her from the humane society at 4 months old and have an older terrier mix who is a good leash walker.
Hello Laura, Check out the "Turns" method from the article that I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel It is very important that she actually walks a bit behind you, with her head not past your leg. This should also impact her reactivity toward other dogs. The heel position puts her into following mode, which can help her relax and be more respectful toward you. When you practice the "Turns" method work the most on turning directly in front of her at a ninety-degree angle whenever her head starts to move past your leg. This can be tricky at first but should get easier as she starts to understand. You have to turn in front of her as soon as her head starts to move past and not when her shoulders or more of her body are past that part, or it will probably be hard to get in front of her without tramping her. Cutting in front of her helps her learn to pay attention, follow and to prefer being a bit behind you - in case you turn suddenly, but it also helps teach respect because of your body language during the turns - which is an important first step with the rudeness toward other dogs. Also, make sure you use a normal six foot leash and not a retractable leash. I suggest a front clip harness or martingale collar - avoid using back-clip harnesses because they can actually encourage pulling. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Was this experience helpful?