Help! My dog hates walking, and I do too...

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Help! My dog hates walking, and I do too...

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Old 07-22-2010, 05:29 PM
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Help! My dog hates walking, and I do too...

So I have a ten-week-old shepherd mix puppy who is adorable, charming, and very smart--he loves meeting new people and chasing his stuffed toys, and he's already learning lots of commands! The only problem is that he HATES our daily walks and makes them miserable for me. I don't want this to become a major problem, but I'm getting so frustrated and I don't know what to do!

Twice a day, without fail, at roughly the same time, I clip on his leash and take him out for a walk. Usually we barely get to the end of the driveway before he sits his little butt down and refuses to go any further. I usually coax him along by waving a treat in front of his nose, which works for a further ten yards or so. Then he starts chewing on some garbage he finds, and when I try to coax him along he totally ignores me. Eventually I tug on his leash, and he'll walk another couple of feet, and then sit down again. This continues, with us making our slow, tortuous process, for about twenty minutes. At this point we've gone maybe two hundred yards, and I'm frustrated by his REFUSAL to walk, and also embarrassed because my neighbors are laughing at me from their porches while I try to coax a ten-pound furball to follow me. So we turn around to go home, and he immediately starts tugging on his leash, like he cannot get home fast enough.

I am not happy with this. I know walking my dog is really important, and I would love to have really positive walks that are fun for both of us. But this is SO FRUSTRATING. I feel like I've tried everything--moving faster or slower, using a flexi-leash and letting him sit there while I move as far away as I can (he just sits down and whines). Also, I know that I shouldn't let him walk with tension on the leash, so he doesn't get accustomed to that, but the distance between a nice, well-behaved puppy walking calmly at my side and the current situation just seems insurmountable. Help!
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Old 07-22-2010, 07:02 PM
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How did you introduce him to the collar/leash/walking?
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Old 07-22-2010, 07:52 PM
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he is still young, and very likely will start to enjoy walking if his experiences are kept positive... i would practice with the collar and leash in places where he feels safe, and make it a good experience for him...

also, at 10weeks, he isn't fully vaccinated yet, so you need to be extremely careful about where you walk him. avoid areas where it is possible that ANY unknown dogs have been....

this thread talks about teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash... start practicing this now, and when he grows older, and more adventurous (and is vaccinated ) he'll be much easier to walk...



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Old 07-23-2010, 10:43 AM
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My dog wouldn't walk on a leash until about 4-5 months.

I wouldn't really walk him anywhere though except your backyard since he's not fully vaxed.
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by pawzaddict View Post
How did you introduce him to the collar/leash/walking?
You know, now that I think of it--I really didn't! When I got him from the shelter at nine weeks, the woman there said he'd never worn a collar or been on a leash before as far as she knew (they found him and his brother on the side of the road and brought them in a week before I adopted him). When I brought him home, I just sort of popped the leash on him and went! Not, probably, the best way to go about things.

So I think for now, I will just try to erase the last two weeks and start from scratch, starting with very basic training with the collar and leash in the backyard. After reading the LLW thread (thanks!) I'll first try to get him to respond to a command ("let's go") to walk by my side, then add a leash, then take him out of the backyard and try it in the driveway, etc.

A couple questions, though, in the meantime:

1) What do you recommend as far as socialization while he's still young and hasn't finished his vaccines? I've brought him over to friend's houses for play dates with their dogs (who I know are vaccinated), and I've brought him to the farmer's market once, which I think was a really good experience for him. I'd like him to get lots of experience with different people/places/animals/things while he's little, though--what do you think?

2) What are some good ways to make sure he gets plenty of exercise? One of the things that's been frustrating about his refusal to walk is that I KNOW he has lots of energy, but he would just whine and sit down and refuse to walk with me...and then run around the house attacking my feet when we got back. He loves to fetch things, so we can do that in the backyard--what else?

Thanks so much!
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:56 AM
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Socialization is super important and it sounds like you are doing a pretty good job. Deffinately avoid places with lots of strange dogs (dog parks, pet stores, etc.) for now. Someone else may be able to give you more specific advice about this than I!
Once he has had his vaccinations, you may want to consider signing him up for a puppy soccialization or basic obedience class. I have always found them to be really helpful for socialization!

As far as exercise goes...
-Flirt Pole. You can make your own for about $15 and they are a ton of fun!
-Food dispensing toys (Tug-a-Jug, Buster Cubes, etc.)
-Hide and Seek. You hide while someone stays with him in a different room. Then call him and he will race around loking for you. Give tons of praise and maybe even a cookie for finding you.
-Teach him to find/track hidden objects. Start out by having someone hold him back while you place a favorite toy out in the open. Let him see where you put it. Give tons of praise for finding it and returning it to you. You may need to lead him and encurage him to pick it up at first. Once he is really good at it, then make it a bit harder by partially hiding the toy, but still allw him to watch you. And then finally you can hide it without him watching and send him off to find it.
-Tug. You can use the game to teach him a "Leave It" and "Drop It", which will be useful in your everyday life.
-Clicker Training Especially "101 Things to do with a Box" http://www.clickersolutions.com/articles/2001b/101.htm You can also view lots of fun video demonstrations on Youtube!
-Cup/Clamshell Game. Start out by placing a treat under a cup. let him sniff and tip it over to get the treat. When he understands that you can add a second and eventually a third cup. You can even eventually place a treat under a cup and then move the cups around as he watches, before letting him find the treat.

A lot of these activity are more mental than physical, but often dogs are worn out more quickly with a shorter session of a mental game, than they are with just physical exercise.

Last edited by kmes; 07-24-2010 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:00 PM
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You definitely want to keep away from areas where dogs can frequent (parks, public places where dogs are allowed, etc) as Parvo is nasty, you can find some info about Parvo and how to keep your pet from being exposed to it under the health section (its a sticky). Until then I think your friends house is possibly a safe spot, as long as other dogs are not over.

All the exercises above are great! Just playing with the dog with something as simple as a ball can help there and training helps with mind stimulation.
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