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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys!
I'm hoping to get a few ideas on how to help my puppy finish up his walks. He's just over 5 months old, Frankie, an Irish Wolfhound x Bull Mastiff. I take him for a walk down to the dog park most nights (it's about 7 houses down the road, so not too far) and he plays with the other dogs for a while, then we come home. Just over the last week, I've been having troubles with him laying down and refusing to get up, but only on the way home.
I thought he was just tired, so I kept the play time shorter, but he still does it. I almost think he's sulking because we leave the other dogs. I've tried gentle tugs, treats, toys, 'come', standing him up and then just continuing to walk, but it doesn't seem to be consistently working. He tries to lay down again as soon as I slow down.
When we get to the last few houses before we're home, he's fine. One of the guys from the dog park walked us home with his dog the other day (it was that clear that my puppy wouldn't get up and I was having trouble getting anything to work) and Frankie played and bounded along all the way home with the other dog.
We've been going down to the park since he was old enough to socialise with other dogs (had all his shots, etc) and this is the first time we've had any trouble with this.

If anyone has any suggestions or ideas on what might help, I'd really appreciate them! I just really want to get this under control before he's fully grown.

Thanks,
Ronne
 

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It seems he has learned the art of peaceful protest.

This might be a good time to teach him 'Let's Go', before he gets any bigger! I use the command as a sort of 'heel, but you don't have to heel heel'. As in 'pick it up, dog, we're going on our way now'. It will help if you put this command into effect before you come into these tempting situations, rather than during.

I also find that tone of voice works nicely in this situation, as dogs bond with their buddies while roaming briskly. Don't drag, definitely don't jerk, but don't be shy to talk to your dog in a brisk, pert, authoritative manner. Remind him that he has a job to do. Sometimes you almost have to cheer them through these lulls by patting your leg and encouraging him verbally.

Just, when you do this, be sure that he's not dawdling because he has to go potty! Then you'll feel like a jerk when you're supposed to be enjoying a walk with man's best friend.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I really like the idea of that extra command. Thank you! We might get it started when we leave tonight for our walk.
That's what I thought the first couple of times, that he needed to stop for the toilet. But toilet stops are usually a stop, sniff and half circle, whereas this is just plonking down and laying with his head on the ground between his paws, looking up at me. Super cute, but not the ideal when he's going to be a decent sized dog.
Thank you, I appreciate your reply :) We can add "Let's go" into our routine no worries.
 

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I've had this problem on occasion. Sam doesn't like to go inside sometimes-he knows the way back to my place and will lay down like "mamaaaa I don't wanna go in, I wanna play and zoom more".

Make going inside a chase game-that's what I have to do. I use a flexi leash a lot and act like I'm leaving Sam alone and yell "bye!!!" and run away towards my apt. Then eventually he doesn't want to get left behind and comes to me. Give lots of treats.
 

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It's even simpler than that. He's learned that walking home ends the fun, which makes it function as negative punishment (removal of a fun thing which decreases a behavior). Which means there's also a simple fix, no new cue required.

Begin to leave the park early one day, leaving yourself enough time to do some training on the way home. At the point when he is still walking appropriately, turn around and race back to the park, making it extra-exciting. Do this at different intervals on the return walk, always at times when he is walking appropriately (neither hauling on the leash nor laying down or lagging -- anything not-problematic is fine, it doesn't have to be a pretty heel, just as long as he isn't MISbehaving.)

This accomplishes several things.
1. It removes the "going home = no more fun" association, or at least significantly weakens it, which means a smaller chance of sit-strikes.
2. It makes leaving the park more exciting, because who knows, you might race back to play more. If you play your cards right, you can even condition walking home to be more fun than walking to the park.
3. It uses returning to the park as a potent reward for walking appropriately on the leash, since your dog obviously finds the park very motivating.

It sounds silly and superstitous, but it works really well. And it doesn't require too much effort on the handler's part.
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It's even simpler than that. He's learned that walking home ends the fun, which makes it function as negative punishment (removal of a fun thing which decreases a behavior). Which means there's also a simple fix, no new cue required.

Begin to leave the park early one day, leaving yourself enough time to do some training on the way home. At the point when he is still walking appropriately, turn around and race back to the park, making it extra-exciting. Do this at different intervals on the return walk, always at times when he is walking appropriately (neither hauling on the leash nor laying down or lagging -- anything not-problematic is fine, it doesn't have to be a pretty heel, just as long as he isn't MISbehaving.)

This accomplishes several things.
1. It removes the "going home = no more fun" association, or at least significantly weakens it, which means a smaller chance of sit-strikes.
2. It makes leaving the park more exciting, because who knows, you might race back to play more. If you play your cards right, you can even condition walking home to be more fun than walking to the park.
3. It uses returning to the park as a potent reward for walking appropriately on the leash, since your dog obviously finds the park very motivating.

It sounds silly and superstitous, but it works really well. And it doesn't require too much effort on the handler's part.
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I do this with Lexy; we call it park-hopping. :D

I also cue her for all walks of all sorts the same way ('Wanna go for a walk?' and 'Let's get the Halti') to build up a super positive cue that always has her interested in coming over and letting me put her Halti & Leash on.
 

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It's even simpler than that. He's learned that walking home ends the fun, which makes it function as negative punishment (removal of a fun thing which decreases a behavior). Which means there's also a simple fix, no new cue required.

Begin to leave the park early one day, leaving yourself enough time to do some training on the way home. At the point when he is still walking appropriately, turn around and race back to the park, making it extra-exciting. Do this at different intervals on the return walk, always at times when he is walking appropriately (neither hauling on the leash nor laying down or lagging -- anything not-problematic is fine, it doesn't have to be a pretty heel, just as long as he isn't MISbehaving.)

This accomplishes several things.
1. It removes the "going home = no more fun" association, or at least significantly weakens it, which means a smaller chance of sit-strikes.
2. It makes leaving the park more exciting, because who knows, you might race back to play more. If you play your cards right, you can even condition walking home to be more fun than walking to the park.
3. It uses returning to the park as a potent reward for walking appropriately on the leash, since your dog obviously finds the park very motivating.

It sounds silly and superstitous, but it works really well. And it doesn't require too much effort on the handler's part.
Posted via Mobile Device
This is a brilliant method. I suppose you could always stop for fun and let him back off the lead somewhere else near your home. You can also do the same sort of with with putting his lead on.. and then taking it off and releasing him again. By using the same cue, getting him to come to you, as if its time to go home, and then letting him off again. He then stops thinking that every time you put the lead on, that its time to go home.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the suggestions guys! Now I have a few things to try out and we'll see what works for him :)

He might even get over once he gets a bit older too. I'm imagining a sulky teenage boy, to be honest. But I'm glad I could get some great ideas, because I was really stuck!
 
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