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Hi folks, I'm new here and desperate to find a solution to my problem. I have Sasha, a 2 yr old Papillon mix and Bucky a 6 month old Boston Terrier. It's Bucky who is currently the problem child. When we first got him at 10 weeks I always walked him on a leash when I took him outside because we were repairing our fence so the dogs couldn't get out. He was find with that. After the fence was fixed I let him off leash and they run and lay together all over the yard.

We have a Greenway (walking path) nearby and I used to enjoy walking every day with previous dogs. I'd like to do this again with both of these. Sasha walks just fine, but Bucky... heck no!

It was a couple of months after that that I first tried to put him on the leash again. Oh boy! He just hunkers down and will not move. I tried offering him treats to get him to move and that worked, somewhat, but not for long. From all I've read online, you should not drag the dog to get him to go. I did that at first, not knowing any better, and he did go just a bit and then lay down again, drag, go, lay down. I only went once around the yard. After that, he wouldn't go at all - period. Now about that dragging thing... I was watching The Dog Whisperer recently and was aghast to see him dragging a dog up a set of stairs to get him used to it and not afraid to go upstairs! So what's the truth on that subject, drag or not to drag?

After that first bad start, I was told he needed lots of positive reinforcement. So I was holding the leash while feeding him treats, then looping it and getting him to put his head through the loop to get the treat. Then I made the mistake of trying to drop the looped over his head when he took the treat - wrong! After that he wouldn't come to me for treats at all if I had the leash.

So, I just waited for a month, hoping that as he got older he might change. I tried again yesterday to put him on leash and guess what? Nothing's changed. He just lays down, puts his head between his paws, and looks like I've just whipped him! He refuses to move.

Can anyone help with this?
 

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My opinion is NOT to drag. That isn't a comfortable or positive experience, and will not help your cause. Also the Dog Whisperer isn't the best one to get advice from, despite the success of the show.

Try letting him drag the leash around the house. Does he know "sit"? Ask him to sit, put the leash on, and don't go anywhere. Just let him go on about his business in the house, dragging the leash so he becomes more accustomed to it.

Does he have a favorite toy? You could use the toy to urge him forward when you actually do try to walk him. Also, I have heard of someone using a plastic water bottle (which lots of dogs love because they crinkle and make noise - just take the cap off first). The person rolled the water bottle a bit in front of the dog to get the dog to follow after the bottle. Just an idea.
 

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Thanks for your speedy reply. I have tried attaching the leash with the intent of letting him wander around with it on until he got used to it. As soon as you attach the leash he lays down and will not move until you take it off again. I've even had the occasion when I finally did take it off and he still layed in the same spot for at least 30 minutes afterward! I will try the plastic water bottle trick. He does like those. Thanks for that suggestion.

*****

My opinion is NOT to drag. That isn't a comfortable or positive experience, and will not help your cause. Also the Dog Whisperer isn't the best one to get advice from, despite the success of the show.

Try letting him drag the leash around the house. Does he know "sit"? Ask him to sit, put the leash on, and don't go anywhere. Just let him go on about his business in the house, dragging the leash so he becomes more accustomed to it.

Does he have a favorite toy? You could use the toy to urge him forward when you actually do try to walk him. Also, I have heard of someone using a plastic water bottle (which lots of dogs love because they crinkle and make noise - just take the cap off first). The person rolled the water bottle a bit in front of the dog to get the dog to follow after the bottle. Just an idea.
 

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My puppy loved walking when he first was vaccinated enough to venture out of the yard, then decided one day that he hated it. One thing that really helps motivate him to keep walking is to have a second person with me. If my husband or my friend (his "auntie" who he adores) is walking with me, he'll do much better trotting along, and if he starts to get pokey, one person will go ahead and crouch down and call him and he'll run over and get some lovin' for a minute, then we stand up and keep going. When he IS walking he gets praise and praise and praise and I bring his clicker and click and give him super high value treats.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I haven't tried it with a second person. My husband could help me around the yard, but he isn't up to walking on the Greenway. As for the clicker, he's so skittish of sudden noises that I don't think that would help much. I guess it's just going to take LOTS of time and patience. Thanks for your reply.

****

My puppy loved walking when he first was vaccinated enough to venture out of the yard, then decided one day that he hated it. One thing that really helps motivate him to keep walking is to have a second person with me. If my husband or my friend (his "auntie" who he adores) is walking with me, he'll do much better trotting along, and if he starts to get pokey, one person will go ahead and crouch down and call him and he'll run over and get some lovin' for a minute, then we stand up and keep going. When he IS walking he gets praise and praise and praise and I bring his clicker and click and give him super high value treats.
 

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Yup, to a dog a clicker is just a sound until you associate it with treats :)

Alright, before trying the thing below(as it will be really time consuming), when you put the leash on and he shut down, did you leave the room? Or just stand there and stare at him? If you stayed in the room, try leaving. You could try doing this right before you feed him a meal, leash him and then leave to go make his meal. If he follows you to come eat, let him eat in peace and try doing this again the next day, and just keep it up until he gets used to be leash being on, and then you can move onto holding it, exc. If that doesn't work, I'd give the below method a try, unless someone else gives you a better suggustion :p

Okay, so he sounds pretty upset about the leash. Deffinetly don't drag him, that will just make him hate leashes more. So, since he won't come to you when you're holding the leash, try laying the leash on the floor and leading treats in a line up to it, and put VERY high value ones(like hot dog pieces) on the leash, and just walk away. You can stay within seeing difference, but you want him to decide to come to the leash, and don't stand close enough that you could reach it, because that might freak him out since he's scared when you're holding it. If he comes to it okay, then continue doing this excersize while moving closer to the leash every time, only by a step or so. Baby steps are good and important.

Once you have it down to the point where you can reach the leash, sit down near it, but don't move. Again, just let him come. Once he realizes its okay, do the same thing just hold the leash in the palm of your hand, with treats on top of it. Again, be a tree. Just sit completely still, and let him come to you. This could take awhile to get him used to it again, but patience is key, and don't push him too far because that could actually make him loose progress.

Once you have that last step down, have the leash in one hand and an open palm of some treats in the other, and slowly put the leash NEAR him, not on him yet. Once he realizes this is okay, try doing the same thing again, bu this time gently clip the leash on. Don't say anything, just let him eat from your hand while you clip it on. If you're lucky, he won't even notice :) Then you can do this excersize a few times and then, once he doesn't shut down on the leash, let him wear it around.

Good luck! :)

~IJMB
 
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