Dog refusing to walk on a lead

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Oscar chases ducks, Nov 28, 2011.


  1. Oscar chases ducks

    Oscar chases ducks PetForums Junior

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    Hi
    Our puppy has decided that he doesn't want to walk on the lead. We have tried the gentle cajoling and praise when he walks alongside us. We have tried carrying him and put him down along the track and just dragging him til he gives in. It's getting worse.
    He'll happily walk off the lead, which is fine along our track where there are no cars but we want him to be able to walk on the lead, especially because his recall is not so good yet either.
    We will be joining training classes but the next sessions are after xmas so don't want to let it get so bad that he won't go anywhere on the lead.
    Any useful/ helpful tips would be much appreciated. :(
     
  2. grandad

    grandad PetForums VIP

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    Does he wear a collar? If he does, just tie a piece of string (6ft) to it whilst he is around the house, Let him get used to it for a couple of days, then tie something heavier, like a piece of washing line, When he is used to that attach the lead and let him drag that around. when he is used to it, just pick it up. Keep and eye on him though when he is attached, just in case of accidents.
     
  3. PennyGC

    PennyGC PetForums VIP

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    I find chicken works wonders
     
  4. JonoBeagle

    JonoBeagle PetForums Member

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    Young pups won't to remove most things attached to them at certain ages. Ours doesn't like clothing... But puts up with it when it is very cold or wet outside.

    With the lead he freaked out completely the first time. Always useful to use it occasionally in the house so they get used to it. He would also play "catch me" when he saw it, but quickly realized that there was absolutely no, outside time if he didn't wear the lead.

    Perhaps, try to coax him with treats. Failing that, just go and sit down again if he refuses to accept the lead. No walks... Until he accepts it. Once he realized Boris would run to the door, sit down and wait for it to be attached... The lead is for outside and he knows he can't go out without it, but outside is fun!!

    Now he waits in front of our gate...
     
  5. Oscar chases ducks

    Oscar chases ducks PetForums Junior

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    Thanks. The thing is he lets us put the lead on him, he's worn a collar since we got him and he lets us take that on and off too. He will wear the lead in the garden and walks quite nicely with it. He has walked up the track with it on nicely too - this is a recent thing!
    When we set off up the drive and onto the track from our house which is a single track he won't walk, unless we let him off the lead. He really digs his paws in and whimpers or grunts. We don't want to yank him or hurt his neck. If we let him off the lead he will bound about either side into ditches and hedges and sometimes into fields to eat cow poo. The fields are surrounded with barbed wire fences and he's already scratched his belly squeezing through.
    It's not that we don't want him to only walk on the lead we let him off the lead on the return journey back down the track - sometimes, depends how much of a cheeky mood he's in. I just don't want him to become so stubborn that he becomes a nightmare to walk on the lead full stop or refuses to wear one ever.
    Maybe if we try a longer lead so he can still bound from side to side but we can bring him back?
     
  6. grandad

    grandad PetForums VIP

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    So he has started to get his own way then. I'd pick him up carry him the "part" way and then put him down. you are removing the reward which is him "playing" up the track. If you let this go.........what is going to be next?
     
  7. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Moderator
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    Does he walk ok on the way home or is it both ways? If he will walk on it on the way home, might be an idea while he is small to carry him perhaps 50 yards up the road, then put him down and walk him home on the lead. If that isn't the case, you could get someone with some nice treats to stand at the other end of the road and call him to them. He will have to know they have the treats of course, so let him sniff them in the hand.

    I have often seen people struggling to get a puppy to move on a lead. It is quite funny for the spectator but not such fun for you.

    I have a 12 stone newfie who refuses to move on a lead, and that can be embarrassing!
     
  8. ameliajane

    ameliajane PetForums VIP

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    I had a similar sort of problem with my dog refusing to walk at times. I was advised (on here:)) to just stop, stand still, facing the way i wanted to go and completely ignore her. Once the dog decides to move forward (it may take a while) speak brightly and encouragingly as you set off again.

    I had to repeat this many, many times as my dog would stop again after a few paces. I think the first few times it took us 20 minutes to walk just a few yards! But with patience and persistance it did eventually work.

    You could combine this with short sessions of teaching the dog to walk at heel, using treats in front of the nose to start with.

    Any attempt to pull at the lead or drag the dog (however tempting it may be when you get frustrated :rolleyes:) will only make things worse.

    A long lead (as you suggested) sounds like a good idea too.
     
  9. Oscar chases ducks

    Oscar chases ducks PetForums Junior

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    Thank you all for the advice. I will try the suggestions. I think we have a stubborn pup who wants to rule! My OH said that he was brilliant today off lead, coming back when he called (even leaving poo half chewed!). BUT that was off lead.
    I did try stopping and ignoring him and walking with lots of praise when he set off - it did work for a a short distance and took a very long time. I'll keep persevering though.

    Thanks again.:)
     
  10. mamalovesyou

    mamalovesyou PetForums Newbie

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    I have a similar problem. My 13-week old Westie hates walking on the lead. We drag him along slowly as lots of other owners said to do that as he is trying to get his own way.

    I have tried to stand there and wait for him to come along, but he lies down on the pavement and stays there for as long it takes to go bcd inside.

    I give him lots of praise when he walks on the lead and usually when we get to the park he is okay again and sniffs around and walks along with me - not always though but much better in the park.

    He likes the walk home from the park also and shows no sign of caring about buses and car horns in either direction. He also loves the garden.

    Today a lady shouted at me which knocked us back a little - we're trying our best with him but for 2 weeks he has refused to walk. It made me feel bad that this lady was shouting at me and saying "how would you like it if I dragged you around?" but I'm not sure what to do.

    How have others managed to get their dog moving and am I doing the right thing in ignoring bad behaviour and praising good? Should I stand on the pavement for longer than 10 minutes hoping he'll move?
     
  11. PennyGC

    PennyGC PetForums VIP

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    Have to say I'm not surprised that someone expressed concern about this - it's not very nice to do this and isn't going to teach the pup that the lead is a good thing! Please stop dragging your pup and start encouraging with praise, treats or toy, whatever works. I find chicken works very well! Get them used to a lead indoors and in your garden and then move on slowly. I found that much time is needed and also a lot of patience. They soon learn as long as the lead has good associations - it means treats, a walk, seeing their friends etc.
     
  12. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Moderator
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    How much outside socialising did you do with him before he could walk outside? You should have been carrying him out there from an early age, getting him used to all the sights and sounds. If you haven't, he is probably scared stiff.

    Dragging him along is not a good idea and puppies are never trying to get their own way, just have a natural fear of unfamiliar things.

    I would suggest you carry him to a quieter spot to start with, so that he gets used to all the noise and strange stuff while safe in your arms. Just think about it from his viewpoint; he is down there are there is all this big, scary stuff much bigger than him.

    A lot of dogs are afraid outside when they first start to go out, but you have an advantage in that he is small enough to carry part of the way.

    I am not surprised somebody shouted at you, to be honest. It is probably what others have been thinking.
     
  13. 8tansox

    8tansox PetForums VIP

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    Or you could even enroll in a puppy training school - now there's an idea!;)

    Find a good little class, even if you have to travel a little to get there, a good one is invaluable when it comes to teething problems with dogs, and they quite often prevent further problems down the line.

    Avoid classes that are too big though, there are plenty about that charge a minimal amount to boost their income, it's better to pay a little more for a smaller group IME. Check out the instructor/s experience and qualifications too, make sure they use reward based training. :D

    Good luck and I hope you'll think about it, it can save a lot of heartache.:wink:
     
  14. mamalovesyou

    mamalovesyou PetForums Newbie

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    Most people I meet in the park tell me "oh I had a westie and they always drag on the lead, just ignore him and he'll catch up". I get such mixed opinions and now I'm even more confused by your comments.

    He spent a lot of time outside with us before he could go for a walk. In his first week he went in the car twice and on the bus three times. He was around a lot of other dogs at Christmas and got on well, in fact I've never seen him concerned about other dogs. He goes to day-care occasionally and plays with other dogs.

    We walk around the garden on the lead and he enjoys it, he'll walk in the house and no issues there either. The lead doesn't seem to affect him. As soon as I walk outside the front door, he puts the brakes on.

    I'll try to take his toys with me and see if that helps, treats don't seem to interest him and he ignores praise. I hate dragging him.

    Yesterday I waited 30 minutes outside my house and crouching down calling him, showing him treats on the floor - it was exhausting. He laid there for 30 minutes. He wasn't tired because he played as soon as we made it to the park.

    We have a trainer coming this week so hopefully we'll crack it then. If we do I'll share with everyone how we did it because I see a lot of people asking for help but not getting advice that works for them.
     
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