The reason being that your dog pulls so hard on the leash that you don't want to be shown up in front of the friend that lives in that house.
Not walking well on a leash is more than just an embarrassment, it can have real and serious consequences. For example, there's the family dog that pulls a child into the road or the large dog that pulls you over on an icy sidewalk.
The other side of the argument for teaching a dog to walk on leash is that it makes for pleasant walks. Strolling along, dog by your side, without constantly having your shoulder wrenched from the socket is a far more pleasant experience.
Teaching a dog to walk on a leash means having slack in the lead at all times, with the dog walking close to your heel. Simple really... now all you have to do is explain what's required to the dog.
In addition, you need basic equipment such as:
WE ACQUIRED HIM AT 7 MONTHS AND WAS NEVER LEASHED TRAINED. I HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH HIM EVERYDAY TO WALK ON A LEASH AND HE ABSOLUTELY REFUSES. HAVE TRIED TREATS, TOYS, DIFFERENT COLLARS/HARNESSES. HE FLAT OUT REFUSES.
Hello Carol, If all the tools and methods that you have tried have failed while trying to train him on your own, then I would recommend that you seek the help of an experienced trainer in your area. Even one lesson with the right trainer can help you determine what approach your dog needs. I would recommend looking for a trainer that utilizes multiple tools and techniques, rather than a Positive Reinforcement only trainer or a solely Punishment/Escapism or Dominant based trainer. Also look for someone who has experience successfully treating reactive and aggressive dogs, because these types of trainers will have more experience in general, and will be more likely to think out of the box and try things that you have not tried yet. When you work with a trainer, sign up for a private training session if you are able to. A private session will be tailored to you and your dog, and will not just teach standard training methods, that work for other dogs, but not for yours. Also look up videos of how to fit certain training devices properly. Many of the devices on the market are only effective for more stubborn dogs if they are worn in the right location, fitted right, and used with the right timing. A good trainer should be able to help with these things as well. If the trainer cannot show you how to properly fit a recommended tool, then do not use that trainer. He or she is likely inexperienced. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Our dog is a rescue and we've had her for about two weeks. When I'm taking her for a walk in the morning (while my partner is in the house getting ready for work), once our dog has done her initial wee she'll immediately plant herself and refuse to walk in any direction except for towards home, making it very frustrating for me in the morning! We currently walk her on a fixed-length lead & collar with strong-smelling treats.
Any advice on how to correct this?
Hello Alistair, First, do a little detective work. Does she seem at all nervous or frightened of anything - it could be something in the area you would never notice - like a barking dog, cars passing, holiday decorations, ect... Is the ground really hot or cold? Burns from really hot or icy ground can create fear of walking. Is there anything else that seems to indicate fear, pain or discomfort about continuing to walk - like cold weather and no thick fur. If you determine that there is a fear or discomfort, start by addressing that issue. For example, if it's cold and pup doesn't have tons of fur, try letting her wear a good quality dog jacket that insulates from the cold but allows her to go potty unobstructed still - look up ruffwear.com for examples of this. For cold or hot ground, get her used to wearing dog boots. For fears, work on spending time in that area doing fun things, such as practicing tricks with treats, playing fetch on a long leash (where it's safe to do so), and simply hanging out with belly rubs. Act confident and upbeat not sorry for her if she is afraid. If she simply seems to want to return home just because that's her preference and there isn't a fear or discomfort that needs to be addressed (if there is you have to address those first), then she simply needs to learn that you are leading the walk and stopping isn't an option. Check out the video linked below. When she stops, give quick short tugs on the leash over and over, giving slack between tugs - not pulling continuously, until she gets up and follows. Reward with a treat when she starts following again. The idea is to make stopping uncomfortable - it gets comfortable for her when she starts walking again because the tugs stop and she is given a treat. Once you have done this for a bit, then only give treats for continuing to walk, not for starting again - so she won't learn to stop and start to get a treat. Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Once you know the issue is just a matter of her not wanting to walk and not fear or discomfort, you attitude should be that walking is non-negotiable. You should be calm but a bit stubborn about it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We’ve had our dog for 2 months and live in an apartment, and since the dog parks are closed the only exercise we can get is walks. Recently, Olive has not been listening on walks, highly distracted by smells, and at points becomes anxious and only wants to come back the way we came, and will not budge until we turn around, making the walks short and not effective for getting energy out. Any tips?
Hello Beth, I suggest turning the walk into a faster paced, structured obedience exercise - where you keep pup guessing. Check out the Turns method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Periodically, add in lots of Down-Stays, Watch Me, Sit-Stay, or tricks throughout the walk. You can even walk pup on a 20' leash coiled up so that most of the time it's only six feet - but then you can uncoil it in calm locations to practice recalls and Stays. Bring a Ziploc bag (in your pocket) or treat pouch of pup's kibble or small treats - such as freeze dried liver, with you on each walk to use as rewards for obedience practice. The mental stimulation, higher energy, and rewards should help decrease pup's mental and physical energy, increase trust and respect in you, and take their mind off of their environment and put it back onto you. You will likely be surprised by how tired and calm pup is after this type of walk, opposed to just a normal walk. When pup does put on the brakes, give continuous moderate tugs on the leash until pup takes a step forward. Don't continuously pull on the leash, let the leash become slack again between each quick tug - the goal is for stopping to be a bit uncomfortable (but not hurtful) so that pup chooses to move forward on his own. As soon as you get a couple of steps forward from him, reward with treats and praise, then turn around and head home - so that pup is being rewarded with what he wants (to go home) because he stayed with you and not because he stopped. As you practice all of this and pup learns to continue forward, he should begin stopping less and less. If you notice that pup seems nervous about something - like construction work, a dog in a fence, cars, signs, ect...Spend extra time in that area playing fun games with pup and giving treats for confidence, curiosity, and calmness around what they are afraid of. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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