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Hi, first time Samoyed owner here. A beautiful 7 year old girl fell into my lap recently (my grandmother couldn't take care of her and surrendered her to me) with a world of problems. For starters, she's heaps and heaps overweight, but I've changed her food from Purina to Merrick and have noticed some weight loss. The biggest problem is a double-edged sword, I'm ecstatic that my girl is so smart and has such a vibrant stubborn personality but it's getting in the way of her health when I'm trying to exercise her. I'm totally open to the idea that this is a people problem more than a dog problem so if it sounds like I'm doing something wrong please let me know so I can remedy it.

First, walking. She is trained but when I found her, she hadn't been walked in over a year. Now she's excited to go for a walk but ONLY if my boyfriend is going to walk with us and only if we're going to the lake. If he can't come and she figures out we're not going to the lake she'll go to the gate and sit down, then yell like the world is ending when I try to tug her a little to go. Skipping walks is not an option due to her weight concerns. I don't give into her or give her treats for bad behavior so I have to (rather roughly) force her up and push her to get her moving, with her yelling like it's the apocalypse. Today was really bad, she laid down in the middle of our walk and would not get up, then yelled and yelled and would not budge. I recently switched her to a harness due to the fact that she was slipping her leash, I don't know if that has something to do with it, it's fitted fine. She just doesn't want to walk, she wants to sniff around and play with other dogs and throws a fit when I don't let her (people don't take care of their dogs here it's not a good idea to let her see them).

These problems have been mild for most of the time I've had her but have intensified this past week when I had to go in for surgery and left her with my grandma for the weekend, found out she gave her a whole box of milkbones and her behavior has been bad ever since. Like I said I'm open to this being a people problem and I'd like some advice for getting her to at least be walkable. I've been through a lot trying to get her on a track to being healthy (and getting her previous owner to let me), and I'm not going to give up on her.

Thanks.
 

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Giving her treats to reward her for walking is not rewarding bad behavior. It's training new behavior.

It really sounds like you need to learn clicker training. You'll be amazed at the results, and your dog will like it a lot better than being pushed and pulled.

Note: clicker training uses a lot of treats as rewards at first. Just subtract her treats from her food so she doesn't gain weight. If you want, stop feeding her from a bowl and use all of her food as training treats.


Watch that to get an idea how the training works. Emily is amazing with a clicker and she has videos up for virtually any training you might want to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This looks great! I'm definitely going to try it. I'll post up to update on how it works.
 
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