Dog won't walk
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Thread: Dog won't walk

  1. #1
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    Dog won't walk

    I just got a yellow lab. Its my first dog, so I'm trying to make sure I train him correctly from the begining. He is 5 months old. I got him 2 weeks ago.

    I try to take him for walks he starts out ok, but then stops for no reason. He doesn't appear to be tired, he just stops. How can I get him to walk with me without stoping. I end up having to drag him behind me on the leash. as soon as we turn around, he is fine for a while, then stops again.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member TooneyDogs's Avatar
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    Re: Dog won't walk

    He's afraid. Home is safe, secure and the sights, sounds and smells of home are cozy and comfortable. Get too far from home and the puppy gets overwhelmed with scary sights, strange sounds and smells. All dogs when afraid will either fight, take flight, freeze (which your pup did) or Appease (an example is turning belly up).
    Don't go so far. For some dogs that may mean just to the corner and back until the dog develops some confidence and learns to trust you.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Aussiefan's Avatar
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    Re: Dog won't walk

    Quote Originally Posted by TooneyDogs View Post
    He's afraid. Home is safe, secure and the sights, sounds and smells of home are cozy and comfortable. Get too far from home and the puppy gets overwhelmed with scary sights, strange sounds and smells. All dogs when afraid will either fight, take flight, freeze (which your pup did) or Appease (an example is turning belly up).
    Don't go so far. For some dogs that may mean just to the corner and back until the dog develops some confidence and learns to trust you.
    He might be afraid like TooneyDogs said, though i have worked with many labs in the few years i have been helping my friend with her obedience classes, and they can be quite stubborn when they want to be. In fact i was working with a yellow lab just a month ago that would also put on the brakes after walking a little ways, i would encourage him like crazy but keep walking or even start jogging and just make it a ton of fun, i try not to turn around and go the other way because all of a sudden the dog got his way and is making the choice that you should be making. So then he will know that he can just lay down or put on the brakes when ever he wants to go another way. My Sheltie did this when he was 3months old, i did the same thing, lots of encouragment, but i would just continue walking, he didn't have a choice and almost instantly he learned that i wasn't walking him into harms way, that i was the confident leader walking with him and he had nothing to worry about...hope that made sense. Just never let the dog lead you, you are in charge, you make ALL the decisions! Hope this helped, good luck and keep us updated!

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  6. #4
    Senior Member LeRoymydog's Avatar
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    Re: Dog won't walk

    I wouldn't pull him on his leash because he'll associate his leash with unpleasantness.

    He'll go... it'll just take some time.
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    Senior Member Lonewolfblue's Avatar
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    Re: Dog won't walk

    Don't pull on the leash. Try treats, he may follow if you have something good for him to eat. Also, if he stops and sits, tell him Good Sit. You can get an early start on his commands with Sit. Then praise him and then see if he'll heel when you start walking forward. Id treats don't work, then try a ball or a toy. Something should get him to follow you.


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  8. #6
    Senior Member TooneyDogs's Avatar
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    Re: Dog won't walk

    Aussiefan is absolutely right that continued walking with enthusiasm/play can work and some dogs respond very well and overcome their fears right away. Others balk even more and start thrashing at the end of the leash or digging in even more....basically screaming in fear and wanting to take flight. This is not a contest of wills or just being stubborn though.
    I'm not a big fan of using flooding techniques to overcome fears preferring to develop confidence and trust more slowly and carefully.
    You can certainly try the continued walking with enthusiasm/fun but if thrashing starts I strongly encourage you to stop and take a slower approach to the daily walk.
    As Aussie pointed out keeping your dog engaged with steady encouragement can be a huge help in overcoming the fear.

  9. #7
    Senior Member MegaMuttMom's Avatar
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    Re: Dog won't walk

    We had huge issues with this when we first brought Cherokee home. He was too scared to even take treats. We built up very slowly, going to the end of our driveway (which is exactly 2 car-lengths long) took several days to accomplish. Eventually, when he froze, we would throw treats ahead on the sidewalk. He would slink ahead and snatch them. Usually after we baited him this way for a few blocks, he would start trotting along. My theory is that after he got a certain distance from home, he went forward because he was then trying to find his way home. Who knows, it worked and now we have a dog who loves to walk.

  10. #8
    Senior Member briteday's Avatar
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    Re: Dog won't walk

    In the meanwhile, until you condition him to get farther from home, this is a good time to work on short recalls (let the leash out 6 feet or so and "come, Spot!"), "forward" as you move out, "heel" since he is being a reluctant walker...this is an advantage to getting him to stay at your side, "sit", "wait" at the end of the driveway/intersections/other dogs going by...

    There are a million things you could be training for still until he becomes more confident. And learning commands, what you want him to do, always makes a dog more confident.

    Another good thing is to take your dog everywhere with you, as much as possible. If the dog socializes to many different places, sights, sounds, smells...he will be less afraid. Also, you have only had him for two weeks. This is not enough time for the dog to have built total confidence in you. Give it time. We've had our newest dog since October and she is still a bit unsure about doing certain things we ask of her that require confidence in us.
    Last edited by briteday; 01-12-2008 at 12:34 PM.
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  11. #9
    Senior Member Annamarie's Avatar
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    Re: Dog won't walk

    be careful with treating, as giving your dog treats to encourage him to go forward is really just rewarding him for stopping. treat him only when he's moving forward with you.

    my min pin did this for a few months. he would stop at every single driveway along the way thinking it was home and refuse to go anywhere. after trying the treat method (and only when he was moving along with me) I ended up just walking very quickly and not stopping. if he stopped he got pulled for one or two steps but he eventually got the idea that he was going where i wanted to go. i only had to take him on a short walk twice where he stopped and got pulled before he stopped the behavior, and he hasn't done it since.

  12. #10
    Senior Member MegaMuttMom's Avatar
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    Re: Dog won't walk

    It's a little different trying to pull a terrified 50 pound rescue dog. He would splay himself on the sidewalk and I swear his fingernails would dig into the concrete. I figure bribing him by throwing treats ahead was, in the end, rewarding him for getting up and moving. Sometimes you have to get creative.

  13. #11
    Member Maggie&Noah's Avatar
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    Re: Dog won't walk

    My first question is how far is he walking before stopping? Mine used to do that and I thought she was being stubborn, but it wasn't that simple. I'm in good shape, so took her for LONG walks way too soon. She would get to one point and see where we were going and just sit down and look at me with a "not again" look. I cut the distance way down, made it fun, and she enjoys the walks now and looks forward to them.

  14. #12
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    Re: Dog won't walk

    sometimes I only get to the end of my street. so... 3 houses distance. If I keep pulling he will start going again eventually but it takes a lot of pulling, then he walks further, and eventually we go all the way around the block (which is also very short)

  15. #13
    Senior Member MegaMuttMom's Avatar
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    Re: Dog won't walk

    I discovered that the problem getting past the end of my driveway was that there is a sewer grate. It was months before he stopped balking every time we walked past one. Then, the house on the corner has a "scarey" dog who barks, it took lots of treats to get past scarey dog's house. Where was your dog before you got him? Mine had never walked on a leash in a neighborhood until we got him at 7 months. He had a lot of learning to do about the big world. Taking it slow and easy is OK.

  16. #14
    Senior Member Love's_Sophie's Avatar
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    Re: Dog won't walk

    If you turn and face him when he is stopping, you are acknowledging the stop, in his mind; just keep facing forward, walk to the end of your lead, while holding out a treat...when you feel him close to you once more, shorten up your lead again, and keep going.

    If he is afraid of something, pay attention to where he is actually looking, then work on getting him to go nearer to it, or atleast walk by it quite a few times so you can besure that he is relaxed, before continuing on.

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