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My rescue dog won't walk with my husband!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Millie's mum, May 21, 2010.


  1. Millie's mum

    Millie's mum PetForums Junior

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    I feel so frustrated at the moment! We have had our rescue lurcher, Millie since February and because she was so nervous it took us two months to actually get her out for a proper walk. I am at home during the day and have done most of her training so she walks with me really nicely now although she does still get spooked sometimes and won't move! She has always been a bit more stubborn with my husband but recently she has been out for a walk with him. She was taking a while to get going but did go on her walk eventually. Last weekend he tried to take her for a walk but she just would not budge and he didn't even get out of our close! He has tried giving her treats but even that is not working now.

    He is really disappointed because he wanted a dog as much as me and was really looking forward to walking her but it all seems to have gone wrong now. I have watched her and she keeps looking back at the house to look for me. I think the problem could be that she has really bonded with me because I have been with her more. She cries when I go out and follows me around all day. Millie really likes my husband and always gives him a lovely greeting when he comes in and comes up to him sometimes for a cuddle, so I know that the problem isn't that she doesn't like him! Millie is due to start training classes in June and I am going to be using a clicker and I thought that might help if my husband uses it when he takes her for a walk.

    I was just wondering whether any of you guys have any idea on how I can solve this problem, we have come so far with Millie (she was an absolute wreck when we first got her) but we really need to get over this hurdle. I need her to walk with my husband as well as me just in case I am away or ill one day and wouldn't be able to walk her myself. I feel really stressed about this and he has said that she is just my dog now. Any advice would be most appreciated! Many thanks in advance, Millie's stressed mum!:confused:
     
  2. Matrix/Logan

    Matrix/Logan PetForums VIP

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    Do you share the responsibilities for her around the house such as feeding and grooming?? If not i would advice that your husband becomes more involved in those activities.

    Also what about general bonding and upping the fun of your husband to her (not to say he isn't fun!! LOL), say him having a special toy that she only gets to play with when he is playing too, all other times it is out of her reach? Maybe then he could start to take that toy on their walks?

    Could he accompany you and her on your walks then gradually take over the lead holding and rewarding??
     
  3. Fleur

    Fleur Vassal to Lilly and Ludo

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    How about walking together for a while, but getting your husband to hold the lead and you gradually walking a little distance away.
    Also your husband taking the role of 'main trainer' for a while to build his bond.
    And you gradually building up the time you spend away from her - even if it's just leaving her in another room for 1 minute and gradually building that time up so she doesn't follow you around so much.
    Best of luck - she sounds a lovely girl and she has found a lving and very patient home.
     
  4. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Hi. When i got my first two rescues, we had loads of problems with their nervousness.

    Even now, 2 1/2 years later one of my dogs will not go out with my husband without me or another dog. However, he has done nothing to help her build up her trust of him. Although she loves him, she obviously does not trust him to look after her. I put this down to the fact that it is mainly me who looks after them, but also i am the one to do the training and am more strict.

    Trust will be gained by training, feeding and by not over pampering her.

    X
     
  5. Bearpaw

    Bearpaw PetForums VIP

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    I would do as already has been said,ie the walking together,OH taking on more at home things with her; foods,grooming,play,cuddles etc. It will really help if you try a detach a little,maybe giving her some time out in another room,but where she can see you maybe over a stairgate or similar,just for short periods.Where she would normally follow you to do chores,maybe give her a raw marrow bone/treat/kong to chew,while you do the chores by yourself etc.Its really hard when a dog comes attached to you that way,but it really is kinder in the long run to try and make sure she is happy in her own company too.She will then become happier about recieving affection and care from others,once she feels confident.
    Good luck,it will take time,you are doing a great job so far :)
     
  6. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    Unfortunately husbands tend not to be at the beck and call of the dog so dont build up the same bond. They also tend not to see ahead and notice worrying things on walks so could well be the dog just doesnt feel safe with him. Try going out with him and watching to see if he reassures when you would have done and generally notices when something is likely to be upsetting the dog or if he marches on regardless like my husband would :lol:
     
  7. Millie's mum

    Millie's mum PetForums Junior

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    Thanks so much guys for all your help and advice, I will definitely try to get my husband to build up more trust with Millie such as him feeding her to see if that helps. When we all go out for a walk together Millie is absolutely fine with him holding her lead, it is just that she doesn't seem to want to go out for a walk with him without me. We will keeping working on it and hopefully in time she will build up her confidence walking with him. Thanks again for your help, I will keep you posted on how she is doing, fingers crossed that some of the ideas you gave me will help!
     
  8. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Also to add, build up the walks with him. Maybe he should focus on getting her out the door with him, by using treats, if that is what is needed. Maybe walk to the end of the road and turn back again. When she comes back, it is important that you dont overly fuss her. Otherwise she will think it is a big deal to be reunited/parted with you.

    It all needs to be slowly, slowly. Once she see's that she will be ok with him, then she will be fine.

    x
     
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