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We have a 4 month old Golden Doodle that we got from the litter at 2 months. We have 2 children and have worked very hard to socialize him with kids (ours and others) and with other dogs.

Like all doodles he is full of energy and needs lots of family time and exercise. He will jump into the car when we go to the dog park and will walk happily on leash and/or play happily with other dogs off leash. If the entire family goes for a walk in the neighborhood, he will walk happily on leash. Just the other night 5 kids on the street took him around the block all taking turns holding the leash with no problems.

However if only 1 person tries to take him out he will simply refuse to go. There are 3 adults in the house and the behavior is the same with all of them and with each of the kids (but not with everyone as a group). At first we assumed it was just normal puppy behavior - being unaccustomed to the leash etc. But it still persists. He will dig his heels in, sit down and refuse all treats, praise etc. We don't want to drag him as we want the leash to be a positive experience for him. If you drop his leash and walk away without him (hoping he will follow), he will simply turn and bolt for home.

The first few times he refused to come with me, the kids were playing in the house and I thought maybe he did not like leaving the "party". But even if there is no-one at home he acts the same. Last night, I physically carried him 300 meters from the house (as he would not walk) and then put him down and turned to walk home. Once we were headed home, he walked like a well trained dog thoroughly used to the leash. I praised him every step of the way and provided lots of treats as we walked. However he is getting big. I will not be able to carry him for much longer.

So we know he can and does walk on the leash when it suits him - on the way home, out walking with everybody, or at the dog park reached by car. He also has bundles of energy when it comes to playing off leash. However its almost like he does not like leaving home on leash. I worry that maybe we introduced him to the dog park (off leash) too soon and now he does not see a leashed walk as a treat.

I want to be able to take him out for a walk at night after the kids are asleep. But he will not come.

Any thoughts/advice appreciated.

John
 

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You know, a lot of dogs see being on a leash as very restrictive, in that they are not able to protect themselves. If they are on a leash and they come upon another dog, or a person they're unsure of, it can make them fearful, because on a leash, they feel vulnerable and unable to protect you or themselves, if needed.
Maybe, when the whole family unit goes on the walk with him, he feels "safety in numbers" and therefore isn't fearful, and doesn't want to just rush home.

What would happen if the whole family started on the walk together, but after a bit, crossed the street, and walked on the other side of the street, so he could SEE them, but they weren't right there by him? Maybe you could gradually condition him to the idea that he can be safe with just one person...
 

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Good plan.

This morning myself and my 10 year old son (who really has most interaction with the dog) took him out for a short walk.

I held the leash and the dog walked perfectly - not pulling in either direction but taking his time to sniff etc. We waited patiently and praised and clicked/treated at short intervals throughout.

I will keep that up and will have the group separate further and for longer periods. I know that now having the group simply turn back mid-walk does not work. But I guess I need to take baby steps. Today my son did cross the street and the dog changed from relaxed loosh lease mode to pulling in my son's direct.

Thanks
 

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Yes, baby steps is key. So now that you know crossing the street doesn't work, maybe you can decrease the distance to a point where he doesn't pull. I don't know how safe it is to walk in the street for you guys, so maybe practicing at a park would be better. Even if he's only ok with the other person walking a few feet away, that's ok to start with at first. Then very very gradually build it up. If he stops walking normally at any point, then you know you went too far - go back a step. Good luck!
 

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i am having this same problem with my new puppy, age 3.5 months, sharpei/puggle cross. he absolutely refuses to walk on leash away from my building, but if i carry him somewhere and then walk back with him he is totally fine (apart from pulling to smell everything grassy we come across!). i thought it was because he is unfamiliar with the area (i've only had him a week) but i've been trying on the same route for several days now and still no success. he just sits/lies down and refuses. he will pretty much refuse to walk out the front entrance of my building, but will follow me out the back entrance (thats where he goes to do his business).

i'm a single person so i dont have the luxury of other people to walk with, any suggestions? i have tried treats which he refuses, positive encouragement gets me nowhere. i have tried going step by step by step, but he wont even come one step towards me no matter how much encouragement or what kind of treat i try to tempt him with.
 
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