Runs away from leash

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Runs away from leash

This is a discussion on Runs away from leash within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Emmie is 7 months and been with us about a month and a half now. She was in a breeder situation and undersocialized. She's come ...

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Old 03-05-2013, 04:17 PM
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Runs away from leash

Emmie is 7 months and been with us about a month and a half now. She was in a breeder situation and undersocialized. She's come very very far, but has a ways to go.

Our main issue I'd like to focus on right now is her fear of leashes.

I keep Emmie in a kenneled off area in our main living space when she's can't have free time. I leash her in the kennel, take her out to a penned in area to potty. (She is 11 days out from spay, so we haven't been walking, will resume tomorrow) When it's time to come in, she plays "catch me if you can". It takes about 15 minutes just to get her leashed.

Leashing her while she's loose in the house is out of the question. I have to kennel her, then leash her.

I thought she'd get over this by just doing it over and over, but if anything, she's getting worse.

She knows "come" and does it well unless I'm holding a leash. Holding a leash, she won't even come for the yummiest of treats.

If I just leave the leash on her, she doesn't move. Ever. She just stands there and acts like a piece of furniture.

How would you approach this as she's not taking treats if the leash is in sight? WOuld you keep it on her and hope she eventually gets used to it and behaves normally, or is keeping it on her causing more problems?

edited to add: currently using a limited slip lead/collar combo so that it's as easy as possible to get it on/off

Last edited by tracyree; 03-05-2013 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:41 PM
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I'm interested in what responses you get. Usually dogs are excited to see the leash.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:45 PM
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Since you are going to start taking her outside for walks again, use a harness. A harness will give you better leverage than a collar and won't damage her throat if she pulls. Put a tag on the harness (a tag is a short cord with a clip on one end and a ring for the leash on the other) Call her to you, give chewy treat, put on harness. Let her be to wander or whatever for ten minutes. Call her to you, treat and take harness off. Do this a few times so that she looks forward to the harness but doesn't associate it with anything other than treat/praise.

When you are ready to take her outside for a walk put the harness on and go to the door. Have her sit beside you, clip on the leash to the tag. Go for your walk. Hopefully, she will associate the harness with going for a walk.

Apparently you have to walk the dog to a pen. Once you get there, she wants to stay outside and play. Could you stay outside and play with her? Frisbee? Flirt pole?
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:48 PM
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Leash = treat

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:10 PM
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i wish it were as simple as leash, treat....

she will not take a treat when leash in in view.
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:11 PM
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we started with harness and it was even worse
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:13 PM
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Oh, Emmie. She's such a quirky girl!

My Reilly was similar with leash time, except he'd cower and tinkle as soon as the leash came out. This started the day after I got him, and because he was terrified of the clicker at first, I counter conditioned him to the leash using just treats, but only when he was already calm. Like asleep in my lap lol. I always paired the leash with the treat, but would just calmly set it beside him while he was sleeping, eventually clipping it. When he woke up, I'd immediately put the treat in his face, before he realized the leash was on him. As he started to wake up and realize he had the horrifying leash creature attached to him, I'd feed him more and more tiny treats, in my lap. It took him awhile, but he eventually got used to the leash being on him, but of course, getting him used to me holding the leash, or walking on it, was a whole 'nother story!

Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps. Once Reilly was used to having the leash attched to his collar, I would practice picking it up, while sitting next to him with treats. Don't let there be any tension on the leash at first; if she pulls away, drop the leash, but still treat. This is of course after she's been counter conditioned enough to the leash being attached to her collar. And this is all of course my own personal experience, not a training regimen necessarily, but it's worth a shot. Here's some vids as well, in case you haven't seen them:




Even my Lab, because he was kenneled until I took him home at 6 months, alligator rolled on the leash the first few times I tried to walk him. It'll take time, but you'll see success, just like you have in other areas of training with Emmie.

Keep it up! Practicing with her in her x-penned area is a good start, just remember to go slow and have patience. I had to clean up pee every time I wanted to take Reilly for a walk, so I know how frustrating it can be.
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tracyree View Post
i wish it were as simple as leash, treat....

she will not take a treat when leash in in view.
Then i would buy a dozen leashes and put them randomly around the house on the floor. Take no notice of them. Let her see them as part of the scenery for a couple of weeks.

Can you avoid needing to put her on leash until you fix this?
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:19 PM
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It took me months to create a positive emotional response for our dog with the harness and leash.

You cannot rush this. If she is forced too fast all progress is destroyed.
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:33 PM
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I <3 the dozen leashes idea, and if you have a Big Lots near you, they will randomly have collars and leashes on sale. Walmart has some fairly cheap ones as well, and PetEdge is a cheap site to go to:

East Side Collection Seaside Ribbon Dog Leads | PetEdge.com

You could also try and borrow some from friends(?)
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