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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I have a male Doberman (nearly 6 months old) and am having serious issues with walking him.

The 1st week we got him I had a leash on him in our house, getting him used to the feel and weight of it, giving him treats when he walked with me etc. But since day 1 of taking him outside it has been an issue.

He stops so often, a 15 minute walk turns into an hour, and most of its spent standing beside him waiting. I've tried giving the leash a slight pull with no luck. At times I've had to pull harder so as we can get home, which I hate doing and he hates it too, making him stop dead in his tracks. I try use treats to motivate him to move forward with no luck 90% of the time.

He darts at any child or dog. Even though I have him well socialised (going to dog day creche since 14 weeks old etc.).

Every walk with him is a battle trying to stop him pulling my arm off. He just continuously pulls at the leash. I've tried stopping, waiting until he acknowledges we have stopped and when he turns to me. I've tried walking in the other direction but he just plants his feet so the only Solution is a strong pull, which I try avoid doing. I give him plenty of treats when he walks beside me but he just breaks that good behaviour a minute later.

I'm running out of options. I'm favouring just leaving both of us in the house because walks are too frustrating, upsetting, embarrassing and it just has me so annoyed with him and myself.

Has anyone any solutions? We cannot get a dog trainer due to lockdown in Ireland.

I've tried nearly everything.

Any advice is greatly appreciated
 

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First of all, STOP dog day care. That is not socializing. That is letting a puppy who should be bonding to you continue to form relationships with other dogs. You want the dog to want to be with YOU.

This leads to the next issue.. it sounds like you need to work on your relationship with the dog. NOBODY likes to heat this news. This starts at HOME. When this dog has a toy at home does he take it and leave you or does he come to you and ask you to play with him? If it is the first thing (grabs a toy and leaves) then there is your answer. This is where you start. YOU need to be more interesting and more fun.

When you take your dog out and he lunges towards other people and dogs I must assume he is doing so in a friendly manner. While this is normal puppy behavior, it also indicates that you are not very interesting and not as good an option as "that over there" which is much more fun.

I think you need to take a step back and work on your relationship with the dog. A dog that stops is giving you information. That information may be that "out there" is a bit overwhelming and he does not have enough of a relationship with you to trust being with you as "safe."
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First of all, STOP dog day care. That is not socializing. That is letting a puppy who should be bonding to you continue to form relationships with other dogs. You want the dog to want to be with YOU.

This leads to the next issue.. it sounds like you need to work on your relationship with the dog. NOBODY likes to heat this news. This starts at HOME. When this dog has a toy at home does he take it and leave you or does he come to you and ask you to play with him? If it is the first thing (grabs a toy and leaves) then there is your answer. This is where you start. YOU need to be more interesting and more fun.

When you take your dog out and he lunges towards other people and dogs I must assume he is doing so in a friendly manner. While this is normal puppy behavior, it also indicates that you are not very interesting and not as good an option as "that over there" which is much more fun.

I think you need to take a step back and work on your relationship with the dog. A dog that stops is giving you information. That information may be that "out there" is a bit overwhelming and he does not have enough of a relationship with you to trust being with you as "safe."
Thank you for your quick reply.

In terms of our home relationship, it really is great (and I`m not lying here), we play a huge amount, do lot of training and brain stimulation games. He is always looking for me, or my girlfriend to play with him and his toys. There is no issues within our 4 walls of our house.

It is when he steps outside, then I am not the most interesting person/thing out there, which is understandable for a puppy and I am aware of that and have tolerated it. He is always very friendly and lunges in a friendly manner. But to get back his attention is nearly impossible at times. Treats, excited voice, stern voice, running ahead of him work maybe 25% of the time.

I`ve spoken with so many people and followed advice from trainers I spoke with over the phone how to train him on the leash, but he just continues to pull and not pay attention. This isn`t me giving up, I have been consistent, 3 walks a day and practice at home, and still no joy..

In terms of day care, he only goes once a week, just to get socialised with other dogs (big & small) because with Covid this is harder to do in public.
 

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He does not need the day care. Socializing is getting out in the environment NOT playing with other dogs. I detest the word "socialization" as it sounds like hugs from people and play with other dogs. It is NOT that.

Socializing is learning that the environment is a thing and you are the focus.
Take a step back. Don't go on a walk. Instead, just go outside and work on focus on you. When you say his name he should turn immediately to you. He should look at you. Get that going and then take the next step.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He does not need the day care. Socializing is getting out in the environment NOT playing with other dogs. I detest the word "socialization" as it sounds like hugs from people and play with other dogs. It is NOT that.

Socializing is learning that the environment is a thing and you are the focus.
Take a step back. Don't go on a walk. Instead, just go outside and work on focus on you. When you say his name he should turn immediately to you. He should look at you. Get that going and then take the next step.
Ok, thank you. I will try this over the next few weeks and progress from there.
 

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