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How to make on-leash walks fun for a new dog?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by dustofneptune, Mar 20, 2019.


  1. dustofneptune

    dustofneptune PetForums Newbie

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm going to be walking a neighbour's dog a couple of mornings each week. He's a little Chihuahua and is quite reactive on leash, barking like a little nutball at other dogs and people who try to greet him. He doesn't snarl or growl - he just seems overstimulated and undersocialised/under-trained. He also pulls on the leash and isn't responsive to his owner (which isn't surprising since he seems so overstimulated in public).

    I've only met him once, and he barked when I first went to greet him, but he quickly became calm and just went about his business. He accepted fuss from me later, when his owner was holding him. Otherwise, he was too cautious to come to me, so I will need to build trust with him.

    I'm wondering how best to approach this situation. I want to be able to bond with him and make his walks fun and engaging. I'm thinking that the more he sees me as something interesting, the less he'll be bothered by what's going on around him. I've had a reactive dog myself in the past, but because I lived with him, bonding and training was easy. I won't be able to spend time with my neighbour's dog outside of walks. His owner has also asked me not to give him treats, as he's overweight. I also won't be able to use a long line for games either, as we live in a city and the park I'll be taking him to is very small.

    If any of you have any ideas or suggestions, I'd really appreciate your help!
     
  2. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    You'll need to use treats or toys to get some sort of bond or response from him. The owner can give smaller meals to take account of the treats he'd be getting from you (sounds like his meals need to be smaller anyway), or if his food is the dry sort, you can take some of his daily ration to use as rewards on the walk. The first few times, I'd play with him at home or in his back yard/garden until he gets used to you.
     
    Linda Weasel likes this.
  3. Woah

    Woah PetForums Member

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    Why don’t you ask owner if you can take out a small handful of his normal food (if he eats kibble say), and then you can you as treats and the owner can deduct a handful from his normal dinner ration. Then you can invent all sorts of games, and work on some training to keep him engaged, happy and develop a good rapport with him.
     
  4. dustofneptune

    dustofneptune PetForums Newbie

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    Just wanted to say thanks so much to both of you for responding! Sorry I'm a couple of weeks late in replying. I took your advice and the owner was great about me using a portion of his kibble. He's doing really well! Tested me on the first walk, trusted me by the second, haha. He's now a total dream on the leash, and with the tiniest amount of "look at that!" work, he now doesn't even bark at other dogs or people. He's so damn cute it kills me. Thank you again! x
     
    Bugsys grandma likes this.
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