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.
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
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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
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