My Dog lies down when I am trying to walk her!

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My Dog lies down when I am trying to walk her!

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Old 06-24-2011, 03:30 PM
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Post My Dog lies down when I am trying to walk her!

My dog is only about six months old and drives me nuts! When she doesn't want to walk, or come to me, she lies down like a lead brick! Even when I pull on her, she just lays! I feel awful if I just drag her every where and this particular behavior has come at a terrible time. I have begun training her with our static fence. She must flee when she hears the beeping of the static collar warning her of a shock. Instead, when I tug on the leash, she just lies down
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Old 06-24-2011, 03:38 PM
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Your dog is shutting down. Have you tried making walks FUN for her? With treats? Puppies at this age can be scared of new things, and walks are much easier if you intro new places slowly and treat them for walking with you. Your puppy is a toddler right now. On the occasion that my puppy (also 6 mo. old) stops walking and lays down, I stop with her and give her a break because we are doing too much for her to handle, and she's a baby.

Here is our loose leash sticky:

Now the third (and my favorite) method...this one works especially well with puppies and dogs that have no history yet walking on a leash.

Start in a no distraction area...don't use a leash at first ...preferably inside. If your house is a tad small (like mine) we played this game outside.

get a pocketful of treats ready (make sure the treats are out of sight) and simply walk around...if your dog follows you closely say your marker word "good" "yes" or a click if your clicker training and then toss a treat on the floor preferable far away...

As the dog is looking for the treat walk away from him...if he’s keen he will rush to catch up with again when he gets to your side.

Once he gets that game when he returns to you wait a second and a half or so and see if he will walk with you for a step or two... if he does click/treat....keep gradually building up the time he has to stay by your side before you reward.

as he begins to stay near you more and more you may want to think about feeding him treats at your side from you hand or for toy breeds place the food on the ground by your heel...this helps cement in the idea that "this is the spot you should be"

Once he is staying at your side reliably you can introduce the leash and start the hierarchy all over...som' dogs will not notice the leash addition and you can continue the training...som' dogs may need to back up a few steps since you have added new criteria (the leash) and he may not understand that you want the same behavior as first.

Once you’re a pro inside...move outside...or move from the back yard to the front...or the front to the street...etc etc...every time you go to a more distracting location...lower your expectations...and build back up to where you were.

the goal with training it this way is the dog doesn't ever make the on leash/off leash he never had the opportunity to pull (since you taught him to stay with you before adding the leash) you will find that the dog will focus on you and not even notice if the leash is dropped.
If you follow that instead of shocking your dog for not wanting to be dragged around, you'll probably have better results.

Last edited by seebrown; 06-24-2011 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 06-24-2011, 03:55 PM
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I just realized what you meant by a static fence. Is there some reason she is crossing it? I won't get into my opinion on fences like this, but if she is getting shocked by it because she is left unattended, it's only adding to her shutdown. I personally wouldn't leave her outside alone with a fence like this or get near it at all while you are training her to the leash.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:18 PM
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Yes, the laying down behavior is because she is overwhelmed and scared and shutting down.

Can you tell us more about your dog? What is her routine like for a day? How do you train her? How is she with other dogs? What type of dog is she and how long have you had her?

Maybe we can help you with some advice on how to change the "whole picture" a bit, as the shutting down is sort of a symptom of a larger problem. Is this making any sense?
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:55 PM
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More info would be great just to better understand your situation.
My dog is nearly 8 & still absolutely hates walks, especially on the leash. He has never had a bad experience he just never got used to it. I think it has to do with the fact that he feels trapped & doesn't like the tension on the leash.
He doesn't just lie down though. He squeals & flips and tries to sit back. I know stopping & consoling him does nothing so i just keep walking. He fights & drags for a few feet and then starts walking again.

Your dog is probably shutting down for one reason or another. I understand that you probably feel bad about dragging her but sometimes that's what you need to do. Keep her moving forward and eventually she will start moving her own legs again.
Just make sure that when she does move forward on her own again that you release all pressure on the leash so that she knows she's doing the right thing. If you keep pulling then that could cause her to shut down again.
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:58 AM
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How long have you had the dog? I know when I just got my puppy he wouldn't go anywhere outside of his comfort zone. I forced him to take a walk at 10 weeks old(bad idea), tried to make it seem fun, but he was just scared of everything and he would not even take treats. Waited a few months and did a lot of basic obedience training(he was a major puller on his first walk) before trying to walk again. He loves his walks now @5 1/2 months, no pulling at all and he loves when we walk near the elementary school two blocks from home to see the children.

Can underground fences be shut off or can you take off that collar? If she's shutting down like that the shocks can't possibly be helping her. It might be a good idea to use a 30 or 50 foot long line(dependent on size of yard) and keep hold of it instead of the fence for a while. If I understand properly, you are using her fear of being shocked by the fence to try to teach her not to lie down. Now, I do use traditional training methods that use both light negative and positive reinforcement, but using fear to train a dog seems counterproductive. This dog is likely too soft for ANY type of negative reinforcement(Just like my Maggie). What I would maybe try to do is be exciting on her walk; treat, praise, run around, make fun noises. Also start out slow with walks around 5 minutes. Hopefully, with the shorter, more fun walk she will feel less overwhelmed and won't lie down. If she lays down like that it is time to go home. If she starts to associate that walks=fun time, she might learn to like them.

Seek out an obedience or puppy class(a little too old for that) that uses positive reinforcement. It will help her out tremendously . Even if the only class you can find is at a Petsmart.
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Old 06-25-2011, 04:08 AM
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I got harvey very young and hand reared him so he was and still is very attached to me which is not always a good thing when i have to leave him but it was great when i first started walking him. He was very small as a pup and on his first walk he got trodden on and stampeded by some kids, this terrified him and he refused to walk on a lead at all for about 4 months. In the end i took him to a local field (carried him there) I put him down with his lead on, he wouldnt walk. So i took his lead off him and walked away from him. He followed me around, walking just behind for a bit but eventually wallked at my side. When he got to my side i bent down and kept stroking him then just clipped the lead on and started walking him. I used lots of praise and treats and about 6 months after his first disaster walk he went out for his first walk with frey and has never looked back. All i have to do now is rustle the lead and he is ready to go. Obviously it sounds like your pup is very scared, and not every method works for every dog. I do hope you manage to get her over this.
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