I have recently begun dog-sitting and walking two gorgeous dachshunds. I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to dog-sitting, and walking, but we all have to start somewhere. My girlfriend has a lot of experience with dogs, so she is usually with me. I'm generally very good with dogs, but this is my first time having responsibility for them, so I'm keen to learn as I would like to hopefully one day make it a career choice.
The Dachshunds are both 7 and 6. Male and Female. The female is yappy when she see's another dog, but generally friendly. The male is a little more subdued and seems a little timider.
I was taking them for a walk yesterday evening. The male tends to pull on the lead, but it's not really a huge problem. The female can pull but tends to stay behind me. Walking them alone can be a bit of a problem because I have one ahead of me, and one behind me. I don't have them a lot, so trying to create a consistent training method (for me
) might be difficult, but any tips would be fantastic?
The main reason I'm actually creating this thread is about a situation last night. It might not be too serious, but we previously walked through a park with them. No problems whatsoever. Happy pupping! Last night, however, the male seemed very apprehensive about going in. We got through the gate, and after we stopped for a group of other dogs to pass, I couldn't get him to move any further. He wanted to go in the direction from which we had came.
I stood with him for a while, no moving but with constant strain on the lead. I wasn't pulling, but just minor resistance. When I did pull a little bit, I found I was dragging him, and that was the last thing I wanted. So I stopped again, and I stood with him for a while, but his back was towards me, with pressure on the lead, trying to pull in the opposite direction.
If I slackened the lead, without walking, he'd continue trying to go on his merry way, in the direction he wanted. So in order to keep him in place, there was a bit of tension on the lead to prevent him from going.
Now, I wasn't sure if it was fear or stubbornness that was causing him to have this reaction. Nothing untoward had happened. There were a few dogs in the park, but none of them were near, and there had been no interactions. As we stood by the gate, I did notice that his body language did seem to be of an anxious nature.
I decided to walk back. He was pulling the whole way. I stopped halfway, down a quiet street, and sat on a wall. He just kept looking in the direction of home. I tried to get his attention, but outside of an occasional look back at me, he was firmly fixed on the way back. Any change of direction would be met with resistance.
Now I am pretty certain that he 'really-really' wanted to be back at home. But I am a little puzzled on why he seemed to fearful and stubborn. The female was fine the whole time. When I spoke to their owner about it, she said that he's like that when it's a little wet out.
The owner has a much better grasp on their dog no doubt than what a humble beginner like me could ever comprehend at the moment in time. I just thought it was curious behaviour, that seemed a little maladaptive to his happiness and well-being.
Obviously, I can only do so much, and the last thing I would want to do is stress the little pooch out. I was just looking for some advice. Maybe it is the weather, but we weren't out for very long, not long enough for him to be tired, and cold.