Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Help! My puppy hates walkies.

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by che75, Jul 18, 2009.


  1. che75

    che75 PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello everyone. Sorry to just launch straight into this forum with a question but what can I say I'm desperate. Hope it hasn't been covered before but can'y find how to search previous threads. :blushing:

    Anyway. I have a 15 week old Border Collie X King Charles Cavalier who just won't go for walks. :eek:ut: He jumps up then will get my clothes in his jaw and cling on for dear life, whining all the time. If he does let go (or I remove him) he just keeps repeating the exercise. I don't think he's scared of the environment (he's fine around traffic, kids, other dogs etc) and once I turn around and walk towards home he will rush back towards the house quite happily so I don't think it's about being on the lead or anything. I don't understand it at all, I just assumed he would love walkies but he hates it!

    My plan was always to walk him 4 times a day but he won't go very far at all so I'm worried he's not getting enough exercise yet. He's quite happy to run around and play indoors and doesn't whine at home. I thought I could build up the time/distance slowly to get him used to going out but he seems to be getting worse not better. I wish I could understand the problem but honestly I'm at a loss.

    Does anyone know what is causing this or how I can get him walking? Any thoughts will be very much appreciated. Thanks for reading.
     
  2. KarenHSmith

    KarenHSmith PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Messages:
    4,279
    Likes Received:
    73
    Very strange for a dog, to behave like this - especially when a ''walk'' is involved.

    I really don't have a clue what to suggest though. Has he been provoked or scared, whenever out on a walk before?

    When he jumps up, could he be trying to play ''tug-of-war''?
     
  3. che75

    che75 PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for replying! I thought it was strange behaviour but as it's my first pup I'm never sure when he's just being a puppy and when I should be worried!

    Nothing has ever happened on a walk to justify him being scared. No bad experiences with other people or dogs or anything. I don't think he's trying to play tug because he doesn't really try to play this at home (he's all about fetch games!) so I can't imagine why he would feel differently outside. Also I have tried taking a toy out on the walk to distract him when he gets anxious and he doesn't show any interest in tugging or retrieving the toy when out. Also he is literally ripping holes in my clothes when I'm trying to walk him so he's using a lot more force than he does when playing.
     
  4. KarenHSmith

    KarenHSmith PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Messages:
    4,279
    Likes Received:
    73
    Does he run around when he's on walks, or is always leaded? :)
     
  5. che75

    che75 PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    He is kept on quite a short leash. I haven't let him off lead actually because he doesn't really have the 'come' command down yet, lol. He isn't reliable on the commands when there are so many distractions. I have tried jogging a bit with him but have the same problems. I don't have a fenced garden so he hasn't had much freedom outside yet unfortunately and didn't get to venture far until after all his jabs. As soon as I go back towards home he picks up the pace and pulls on the lead though, he'd run all the way home if he could.
     
  6. cassie01

    cassie01 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,385
    Likes Received:
    52
    we had a a bearded collie that hated walks, hed sometimes go so far then decide he didnt want to go any further and wouldnt even go back to the house, we had to carry him home. eventually we gave up, he had plenty of exercise playing in the largish garden and 4 kids to play with so we left him with out walks. we made sure he had at least 2 hours a day running around, chasing a ball, playing tug, and training to keep wear him out. he lived till he was 15 and half so we must of done siomething right.

    we also fed him on a lowish energy diet just to make sure he didnt end up with too much energy, although being a beardie he never slowed down anyway
     
  7. apache

    apache PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    2
    dont know if this helps but i had a doberman who done the same and have before and since seen other pups and young uns do the same..i never had the option to get online at the time but try a google search or similar..turned out to mine that he was slightly nervous and found walkies playtime instead of a training type process..i would say its pretty natural for a young one..he did eventually grow out of it..
     
  8. The same thing happened with me when we first started walking Holly.
    She just wouldnt walk away from the home so i was finding that if i carried her away from the house then put her down a few streets later she would walk a bit but grab my trousers and chew but then keep stopping. But as soon as i started walking back to the house she would be walking...almost pulling me like she couldnt wait to get back into the house. I was very confused and it was a bit frustrating. I too posted on a forum..a different one to this about how i could help Holly. The advise i was given worked. So here goes.

    Dont comfort puppy when he doesnt walk. Comforting reinforces the puppy that the behaviour hes doing is what you want.

    Bring a toy out on the walk like a rope toy and encourage puppy to walk by dangling it in front of him to go forward. when he moves forward reward puppy by letting him have the toy for a minute. Then repeat Then start walking further and further untill you reward the puppy again with the toy. The toy works well with distracting him from grabbing your jeans/trousers etc. everytime he goes to grab your trousers offer the toy. This is not rewarding the puppy BUT distracting the pup. Showing him that the toy is better than your leg. It may take a while (it did with us) but soon your pup will want to go for walks. Keep walks short and frequent. 5 mins is plently for a young pup at one time. Too much excercise at that age can cause damage to their growing joints. build up length of walks as he grows. As hes a working breed keep his mind stimulated and make walks fun with toys. Some breeds require more than just a lead walk.
     
  9. Jacinth

    Jacinth PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    May 9, 2009
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Che75

    My 16 week old Border Collie, doesn't like walks either. However, I do know it's because he's a bit nervous of traffic. I practically have to drag him to our local fields, but once he's there where it's quiet and can play fetch, he's fine. When walking back home he's fine too, so although you might say he's not scared of traffic etc, I do know a lot of Collies don't like noise and all the things going on around them

    . I'm a new dog owner too and I'm learning as I go along. If you can take him to puppy classes that would help. It has helped my puppy immensely, as what you don't want is for him to become unsociable around other dogs.
     
  10. sequeena

    sequeena PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2009
    Messages:
    21,583
    Likes Received:
    579
    When I first took my GSD for a walk it was bloody murder. I got out of the gate with her and she sat down and refused to move. Eventually she grew out of it (she was used to traffic/people/kids too). It might just be a pup thing but if you're really worried about it why not try training/behavioural classes?
     
  11. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    4,781
    Likes Received:
    163

    This is very good advice, especially the bit about comforting. The more you have comforted the dog or given affection at this time, the longer it will take to rectify. This is how fears and phobia's build. The dog displays a behaviour, the handler does not know how to deal with it and inadvertandly makes it worse.

    The puppy must walk on it's own with very little "pulling" from you. Even if you just build it up. 2 mins in one go and then turn back, then take him out half an hour later and try and build the time up. Little but very often should sort the problem out.

    Good luck x
     
  12. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    4,781
    Likes Received:
    163
    The optimum socialisation period for a pup is 6-12 weeks. This is the time when they need to experience everything. After this time, although you can still do it, it become difficult. Some experts will argue that if you miss this window then you dog may always be at a disadvantage.

    I would say to you, that you need to follow the advice also given and build up the frequency and reduce the time you go out for. Your dog needs a de-sensitzation programme to get over this fear. Dragging the dog is actually going to make it worse.

    I would go to roads where there is a little bit of traffic (the odd car) and build up to busier roads. Ignore any bad behaviour, and turn around if you have to. Reward good behaviour with a tasty treat and use his favourite toy to try to distract him.

    You could also start on a drive way, if he is that scared and have somebody reverse and pull forward.

    The funny thing is, pups do not come into this world with fears and phobias. They certainly do not have them with their mother. Weakness in it's natural habit can bring it to be attacked or killed. These fears are developed because the handler does not know how to deal with it and usually comforts the dog, reinforcing the behaviour and making it worse. It is also because people do not do enough research on their pup and miss out on the 6-12 week socialisation period.

    Hope you sort this problem out. :)
     
  13. ad_1980

    ad_1980 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    6,253
    Likes Received:
    78
    Mika took a while to actually figure out going out for a walk was a good thing. When my sister tried to get him out he wouldn't even get off the front step.

    Persevere, it will get easier. Did you get him used to the lead before taking him out? If not try that at home, leave the lead on him and supervise him as he walks around with it on. Then try taking him out. he might get a bit scared but if you show him a treat at first and then as he takes a few steps give him a treat. Worked well with Mika, well when i did it lol!
     
  14. che75

    che75 PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks to everyone for their comments. It actually does help a lot to know other puppies have done the same and grown out of it! I just need to know there's light at the end of the tunnel!

    To pick up on a couple of the comments, I still don't really think it's a fear thing because there is no common thread - he's the same at 5am with no traffic or in the park as on a Saturday with cars & people around. He doesn't flinch when people come to pet him and doesn't especially react to anything with anything more than mild curiosity. Ho hum.

    I don't comfort him because I don't want him to think his behaviour is acceptable. I did go with a fave toy but to be honest he won't even acknowledge the toy when out.

    I think I have been too eager to get him moving. There's a lot of talk about making sure your dog gets enough exercise so maybe I pushed him a tad too much.

    At the moment I am taking it very slow as most of you recommended. I'm taking him for much more frequent walks and am heavily armed with treats to tempt him along. We're probably only out for 5 or 10 mins but at least he's happier. When he gives up I tempt him along a little bit more once or twice then we come home. So there's less pressure on him and he isn't getting to freak out stage, which hopefully means he is learning to enjoy the time outside more. So far he is getting a little further every day which is all I can ask for.

    Thanks again all for reminding me that as much as I want a nice walk or want to take care of my errands my puppy might not be ready to come with me.
     
  15. che75

    che75 PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Slightly off topic but I did want to pick up on this question of the socialisation period. This is something that drove me crazy. I tried to fit as many things into this window as possible having read about its importance. But given puppy's lack of immunity until after the 2nd jabs take effect, and the fact that you're not supposed to take them out, it's difficult if not impossible to desensitize them to all the places, experiences, noises they are going to come accross once they are out and about more.

    It is really confusing to be told to familiarise your puppy with cyclists, cars, other dogs, joggers etc while at the same time keeping them away from puplic places and most importantly away from dogs and places dogs play!!!! As a new puppy owner I found this really bizarre!!!!
     
  16. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
    Messages:
    19,821
    Likes Received:
    388
    I had the same problem with Dixie when she was little. But she would keep running infront of me and trying to climb up my legs wanting carried.
    I had 3 other dogs and at first she showed no interest in them atall, was concerned with getting picked up, as it was a big scary world!

    I just kept steping past her, or over her, put on shorts so she could not hang onto my trousers, and she did grow out of it.

    We walked in a large field I would let her off, sometimes she would go a few steps away, then come back. I left a lightweight line on her at first incase she did decide to bolt it would have been easier than rugby tackling her but she never left me.

    Once she was a bit older she would happily run after the big dogs for a while before coming back to me.

    x
     
  17. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
    Messages:
    19,821
    Likes Received:
    388

    Hi, you are supposed to carry them around to get them used to things... not too sure most puppy training books actually specify this though, it can be quite confusing! :)

    x
     
  18. che75

    che75 PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    LOL at PoisonGirl wearing shorts! It's the hem of my top puppy goes for and there's no way I'm going out in a bra top to avoid it! He is literally on his tip toes clinging on for dear life, makes me wonder what passers by think!

    Oh good, I did carry him around outside before his 2nd jabs, a fair few times. He was just curious then, didn't cry, seemed pretty fearless until he got to 12/13 weeks.

    I do wish the puppy training books would state this, it might seem obvious but it wasn't to me because the ones I read just didn't mention the vaccines. Yet the resources about puppy health make it very clear not to let them out and don't mention socialisation. There's obviously a balance to be struck but I imagine it's much easier if you have a nice big safe garden and perhaps other dogs so they can socialise on home ground. Still, I tried my best!
     
  19. Jacinth

    Jacinth PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    May 9, 2009
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just to already butt in with the socialising bit, I did walk around with my puppy as much as I could, but he did get too big very quickly. He saw cars, other dogs and all sorts of things. He just decided that he didn't like cars from then! Also, how can you socialise them at 6 weeks if you don't get them until 8 weeks! You then have 4 weeks where you can't take them out unless they are in your arms! Very contradictory.
     
  20. Johnnybandit

    Johnnybandit PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi,
    I have the same trouble with our puppy, Archie, He is 15 weeks old.
    I only get about 500 yards up the road in about 30 mins and then when we head back it takes 5 mins!
    He is great off the lead and when he has been walking around the park he is ok when he gets back on the lead!
    I just think it is when he leaves the house on his lead, I call him him The Mule then!
    Hopefully things will get better:)
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice