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Rescue dog scared of his lead

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by LorraineW, Mar 31, 2011.


  1. LorraineW

    LorraineW PetForums Newbie

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    My daughter recently adopted a beautiful border collie from the Dogs Trust. He's such a loving little thing and is fine with most things....except his lead and walking :( He shakes at the sight of his lead and if we eventually get it on him he won't walk! Any suggestions? The vet says he's fine but not being able to walk him is worrying my daughter and her partner.
     
  2. Jackie99

    Jackie99 PetForums VIP

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    Poor thing, Sounds as if there is some history re leads there. Can they start with just practise runs in the garden, no pressure, plenty of play with toys, balls, treats etc, even if he has it on and moves a step forward reward and fuss him loads, no pulling or coaxing. Leaving it with him so he can have a good sniff of it, and taking it off and on so he becomes used to it. I am assuming they have bought all new collar and leads to what he had obviously so. Just some ideas which they may have already tried. I imagine it will take time if he is that scared by the sight of it.
     
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  3. LorraineW

    LorraineW PetForums Newbie

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    Yes, they've bought everything new....and are playing with him in the garden. At first he was wary of going outside but loves it now. We've said it may take some time but its horrible seeing him so frightened. He came from Ireland and unfortunately there isn't much information on him.
     
  4. lucysnewmum

    lucysnewmum PetForums Senior

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    first of all well done you for giving this rescue dog a second chance. many of the dogs i have fostered have had lead issues, for reasons unknown to us, and have involved hard work on our part to get them rehabilitated and happy to be on a lead.

    to overcome this issue you need to practise desensitising techniques so that the dog learns that being on the lead is a good thing.

    1. sit on the floor, lead at your side, ask the dog to come to you, treat the dog. repeat several tiimes.

    2. sit on the floor, lead at your side, ask the dog to come to you, touch the lead, treat the dog. repeat several times.

    3. sit on the floor with the lead in your hand, ask the dog to come to you, treat the dog. repeat several times.

    4. when you think the dog is ready, ask him to come to you , clip the lead to the collar, treat the dog, take the lead off. repeat several tiimes.

    5. the next stage is to attach the lead to the collar and let him move around with it still attached. a good idea is to have a family member with you and to play ball between you so that the dog is chasing the ball and forgetting his lead is in place.

    6. finally, once he is happy to run about with the lead in place, pick up the lead and encourage him to walk by your side, giving him lots of praise and treats all the way out of the door and into the garden. then bring him straight back in, remove the lead and praise and treat again.

    7. the final stage is to try a short walk to the garden gate and back again, praising and treating all the time.


    this may seem long winded but with dogs who have severe issues with the lead it is vital to take it very slowly and build up their trust in both yourself and the lead. hopefully it wont be too long before he realises that the lead means that nice things are about to happen.

    then you will be posting about how to stop him pulling! ;)
     
  5. Minette@dogtrainingsecret

    Minette@dogtrainingsecret PetForums Newbie

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    The thing to remember, since Lucysnewmum said it best with the advice, is that these things take time! Don't rush your dog! It may take a few hours or a month or more to get your dog comfortable with the leash and that is Okay! Forcing your dog to comply will only make the problem worse.

    I often have my dogs, once you have clicked and treated for putting on and taking off, just wander around with their leashes on and no pressure on the leash. Most negative stuff comes from snapping or correcting with the leash. So let your dog rest assured that the leash is a good thing and all those bad things won't happen anymore!

    Good luck! Border Collies are smart and he will catch on quickly!
     
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  6. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    I would say that this poor little dog has been beaten with his lead, or it has been used as a weapon. What sort of lead does he have? If I am right, it would probably have been a leather one or even, god forbid, a chain one. If you have either of these, I would go get him a nice webbing one in a bright colour that doesn't look or feel anything like leather. Failing that, an extension lead, which again doesn't look anything like a leather lead.

    I could be barking up the wrong tree, but back in the fifties when most people would punish their dogs for doing wrong, rather than rewarding them for doing right, it was common to hit a dog with a lead. Nobody ever beat our dogs, but I am ashamed to say that our dogs were sometimes hit with their lead, and they would shy away from the sight of it.

    If I am wrong, then take Lucysnewmum's advice on this.
     
  7. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    They make like to see a past experience with a Rescue Collie, so Kebars9 posts for instance like Very nervous rescue dog, Submissive behaviour?, We can't go outside the back door!, Mute dog? and Would liked advice re 20 mth old dog, toilet training to see the explanations, advice and progress made might be intersting. Like people have said, taking some time, being calm and patient and not rushing is important.

    If they are using a lead and flat collar, and desensitising to the leash doesn't totally resolve the issue, it might be worth trying a harness where the clip doesn't go to the neck, I used a Halti Double Clip anti-pull one on a foster rescue which she liked very much and was much safer when she reacted to passing traffic for example.

    I would also suggest when they do get out, trying to walk in a quiet open space is best, so you're not going to be overwhelming the dog with things like, stranger dogs rapidly approaching head on on a narrow path, cars, kids playing ball etc.

    Quite a few of the BC's in my area are rescues and they seem to be quite happy and settled after a while, though generally not as sociable as those reared from puppyhood in the area.
     
    #7 RobD-BCactive, Apr 1, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
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  8. Tracy0077

    Tracy0077 PetForums Newbie

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    My 4 year old choc lab is also from Ireland in the puppy mills, she was battered abused raped and repeatedly bred while living in horrific enviroment she to is petrified of her lead we managed to walk her 3 times at the beginning we have had her 4 months the runs round the garden frightened to death if we get any form of lead out, we can't stroke her pet her anything she is to scared they say it will take around 6 month for her to start trusting people but it is such hard work, everyday
     
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  9. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    Doesn't it make you mad when you hear a brutal person referred to as an "animal"? Animals don't do this to each other, do they?

    I am sure you already know, but the best thing is to let her come to you. Have you tried a canvas lead? It may help a little as it is different. Breaks my heart to read about things like this.
     
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  10. edidasa

    edidasa PetForums Member

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    just put a lightweight lead on him and a flat collar. let him drag it around the house for a while. then one day pick it up and go for a walk.

    or, if you can let him drag it around while outside during the walk.

    + food/toy = happy dog.

    source: i've done this before to lots of fearful dogs.
     
  11. leashedForLife

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    i think Lucy's-Mum did a wonderful job, but i would ADD some steps:

    STEP ONE:
    - lay the leash on the floor in a neutral area, where he'll pass by it many times - not where it might block
    his access to water, food, his bed, a favorite sunshine-spot, or any other special places, just a casual place.

    - if that's awkward [toddlers tripping, elderly folks, other dogs chew it], HANG it where he'll pass by it -
    in a hallway, doorway AWAY from the open side by the open jamb... again, just a place where he sees & smells it.

    STEP TWO:
    - 'add' the presence of his leash to all happy things:
    his meals, cuddles on the sofa, petting as he stands by one's chair... lay it on the floor at a distance
    BEFORE his brekkie or dinner is served [leash predicts a meal], lay it on the sofa-arm with U beside it
    BEFORE inviting him up beside U on the other side for petting or lying beside U...
    WEAR it over Ur shoulder bandolier-style or around Ur waist while doing house chores, with the wrist loop
    dangling after clipping it round Ur waist.

    CARRY it coiled when he's playing off-leash in the garden / yard / ? fields?... so long as he has good recall!

    just don't CALL him to U to clip it on, which poisons his recall by association,
    until he is well-past his fear of the leash. if he Must Be leashed, walk over to him to put it on. :(


    STEP 3, 4, 5...
    - move the leash closer... to his bowl as he eats, to him as he lies on the sofa being petted: put it on Ur lap
    as he lies near U, wear it on U while he lies on the sofa & U watch the tellie, etc.

    always keep it under his threshold: not so close that he stops eating! or jumps off the sofa,
    just gradually closer & closer, till it can be lying on the sofa stretched-out full-length, & he'll jump up
    and lie down on it without a moment's worry. :thumbup1:

    HOW DO WE KNOW WHEN HE'S COMFY?
    when he sees U pick up the leash & runs over wagging to be clipped onto it for a lovely walk!
    no calling, he'll see it & come all on his own - :thumbup: Hurrah!
     
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  12. sara77

    sara77 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,

    I have been searching the internet as we have found that our rescue dog is having this problem. What is more surprising is that I think this is our dog. We got him last week from the dogs trust and he is originally from Ireland and although he is described as a Terrier cross, he is definatly a collie cross and has had an owner before us.

    Terry (our new family member) loves playing in the garden and over the last week we have got him happy to be leashed to go out in the garden (which he wouldn't do originally) but as soon as you open the back gate of front door leashed he just lays down.

    I have been reading your advice and am going to give the desensitisation a go, wish us luck because we have fallen in love with this guy and will get him out whether it takes weeks or years. :smile5:
     
  13. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    There are many BC in rescue shipped over from Ireland.

    Good luck with the desensitisation but as others have said it can takes many months or even years - collies are known for their perculiar quirks.

    Just to add to the advice already given; if you do intend to put a lead on and have it trail around the house and garden, make sure you use a lead with the handle loop cut off. I've seen too many collies trip themselves up in the loop.
     
  14. sara77

    sara77 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks Twiggy, we have started out using a puppy ribbon so it is not as intimidating and so far so good, just going to take it really slowly with him and take it as it goes. x
     
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  15. odiesmummy

    odiesmummy PetForums Newbie

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    have just rescued a 8 month old collie, his pre owner got him from a farm he has never been walked , he doesn't know any basic commands and very shy and scared of everything i have collar trained him took me 4 days but my main issue is his lead we can get it on but when its on he is a different dog. he will look for any where to hide , we get him out of the front door and he just pulls like crazy on his back legs. looking for any where to hide , we use a slip over lead . he then will just lie down after a threw steps out of breath he has pulled that hard , i am thinking about a harness but just looking for advise as my other two dogs are looking at him very strange now on walks and i think they are getting fed up as my other two dogs go power walking/running with me
     
  16. leashedForLife

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    .
    .
    How did so many posts on this thread get a date in
    2011 ???...
    Are we time-traveling?
    .
    .
    The "new" PF-uk has more bugs than a temperate rain-forest.
    .
    .
     
  17. Dogloverlou

    Dogloverlou PetForums VIP

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    Because people bump up old threads now that are listed below in the 'similar threads' section.
     
  18. leashedForLife

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    Thanks, Lou, but that still makes no sense.
    If they bumped an old thread & replied to it, the reply would appear on the
    OTHER thread - not this one. --- Right?...
    .
    or are we blithely splicing topics & threads just because some algorithm
    SAYS they're 'related', however distantly? ~:--{
    .
    For instance, a dog who's "scared of his toy" [see below] may be frightened
    for valid reasons - it makes weird noises, moves jerkily, is suddenly loud, etc.
    The same dog may be scared by the microwave, vacuum cleaner, washer or
    dryer, etc, so there's a clear underlying theme: he's scared of sounds that are
    loud, odd, high-frequency or ____ .
    That's not "the same" as fear of a leash held coiled in my hand, which is not
    making noise, moving, etc.
    .
    Algorithms are wonderful things - but they have limits, & they can't think.
    .

    .
    .
     
  19. ouesi

    ouesi Guest

    Poor poster never did get a reply did they?

    You know, it’s also possible that they simply googled “dog scared of lead” and this thread came up. But sitting around bitching about the format isn’t doing this poster much good...


    @odiesmummy, if you’re still around, try starting a new thread on this topic, you’ll get a lot more replies.
    You might also benefit from hiring a professional trainer to come in to your home, observe the dog in this setting, and give you some good protocols to help him settle. Shy, fearful dogs can be very difficult to deal with.
     
  20. leashedForLife

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    Huh?... No, s/he didn't get "a" reply, s/he got
    7 or 8 helpful replies with sugges-
    tions
    out of the 1st 15 comments. That's better than "a" reply, :lol:. :--)

    After the 15th, comments became queries about their own problem dog, other observations, etc.
    .
    .
     
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