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Starting yesterday after work and then again this morning...my dog has developed a habit of suddenly STOPping while we are walking or jogging. She'll just stop and sit there, won't come in the direction we are going. I try changing directions, then turning around and going back after a little in the opposite direction. then I'll praise her when she resumes. We'll go a few feet and she'll stop again!

I have 2 theories as to why she is doing this.

1.) She hates her crate, I know she does, we are working on that but most mornings I have to pick her up to get her in there. As we start heading back towards the house, she thinks, "i'm not going back in there, he's gonna put me back in the crate!"

2.) She's still thinks she is in-charge. The alpha dog stuff.....as a newbie, I didn't know any better....she used to sleep on the bed, on the couch with us, always led while walking. We've nipped that stuff in the butt, she's on the floor now and taking it in stride. I make her walk beside me or behind me now, so she is no longer tugging on the leash. I'm thinking she is maybe trying to regain control?

Either way, it needs to stop because its VERY frustrating, especially when its our walk before work and I need to get going.

For reference, she is a 1 year old female, rhodesian ridgeback mix with some pitt bull, rescued from the streets 5 months ago by an organization. We've had her for 2-3 months.

How do we kick this habit and why is she doing it?
 

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She may be associating the route back home with beig crated again however Id believe that theory more if she started her stopping like on the way up the driveway or stairs when it actually prolly dawns on her.

And the alpha thing-even when a hard headed dog trys to be alpha-and I have some hard headed dogs-making up its mind to display his sudden "Im mr badd ass and want to show who is boss this very instant" out of no where just doesnt seem feasable.

Therefore, Im thinking that maybe he is still new to being walked on a leash on an actual walk. There are strange sounds and noises and smells-even more so the farther you get from his safe place-your home-and when a sound, incling or small hits him he pauses until the "shock" so to speak passes or until he has distinguished it is ok to move on again.

Maybe the leash and collar make him nervous still I have a puppy who will walk 10 feet and stop and look at me, then w encouragment will walk another 10 feet, then come again and so on- he hates the leash and collar-still has to get used to it.

Bring some treats. When he stops, dont make a big deal, say "C'mon pooches", smile hand a treat and start walking again. Im more of a fan of praise then treats and such. A dog should obey or learn to obey from love and praise however treats are the best way to "jump start" training when you are in a rutt-then return slowly to praise and love alone.

It will be fine:) Good luck.
 

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Don't worry so much about the "why". You can't go back and reconstruct every experience she has had, even if you had raised her from a puppy - so don't try to overanalyze. Work on the behavior and let the "why" take care of itself.

Here is a suggested approach.

Always aim to keep a loose leash. React every time the leash goes tight. Don't take a lot of time determining whether she is pulling in another direction or just slowing down. Instead, make it black and white by your reacting with a leash pop whenever you notice there is any tension on the leash. This will prevent a lot of those stops.

If she has actually stopped: turn and take a few assertive steps directly toward her [leadership assertion] - the leash will go slack - and then quickly take up the slack, turn in the direction you want to go, and immediately release the tension on the leash. This is a timing move that is going to take some practice on your part.

She will feel a leash pop if she doesn't move, but she will also immediately recognize that you made a turn and she missed it. This isn't unfair nor is it as upsetting as yanking or pulling on her with the leash to get her moving again, because you have given her an easy way to prevent it from happening - paying more attention to your movements. This is something you want her to start doing all the time.

Moving in this way gives her something to think about, and you have employed body language to clearly communicate what you want. At first, you may have to go almost up to where she is before you turn. Later on, just a few steps toward her will do it.

When she does turn her attention to you and moves next to you, praise and reward! Try to keep moving while you praise and reward. Again, this is going to take some practice on your part so at first you can stop, praise and reward. But the goal is to do it while moving.

Also, try to work on this in a controlled setting in the house or the yard rather than just on the walk. In the controlled setting, you can use a verbal cue and a clicker to mark the proper behavior. It will then be easier to use the verbal mark when on a walk.

The loose leash needs to be rule #1, for all situations. Never walk along with a tight leash.

This is a LARGE dog with a lot of neck strength, so a buckle collar might not make enough of an impression during the leash pop. Consider using a prong collar, but only during the training sessions and the walks until she gets the idea. Remove the prong collar at other times. Please have someone show you the correct way to use this collar - almost everyone uses it wrong unless they are shown how.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Instead, make it black and white by your reacting with a leash pop whenever you notice there is any tension on the leash. This will prevent a lot of those stops.
I'm guessing a leash pop is just a quick jerk or tug of the leash on my part?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
it's only started the past 2 days?
Yes, just last night and again this morning. I am interested to see what happens when I get home today and we go for our post-work walk.
 

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I'm guessing a leash pop is just a quick jerk or tug of the leash on my part?
With a flat buckle collar, a leash pop could be described as a "quick tug and release".

With a prong collar, a leash pop would be better described as a "tighten and release".

Hope this helps.
 

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For those of you who said you have only had this problem for a few days, don’t forget to consider a medical issue (especially if it is otherwise out of character for your dog). If you see a general lack of energy, malaise, favoring of one leg, or something else in addition to the stopping on walks, an injury or illness might be indicated.
 

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Leash walking can be a challenge but it takes practice and consistancy like anything else. Ignore the stopping and keep walking. Don't turn around and pull, this becomes a game and not a fun one by any means. Once your dog starts to realize that stopping gets no reaction out of you and creates a correction to them, the behavior should subside. Dogs will do what works best for them. We spend too much time trying to figure out why our dog is doing something and use the terms "alpha" "dominant" "beta" way to casually and lose sight of what technique we should be using to correct the situation. Just stay consistent with ignoring the negative behavior and praise the positive. If that technique doesn't work as well as you had hoped, then it may be time for a prong collar and some heel techniques.
 

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For those of you who said you have only had this problem for a few days, don’t forget to consider a medical issue (especially if it is otherwise out of character for your dog). If you see a general lack of energy, malaise, favoring of one leg, or something else in addition to the stopping on walks, an injury or illness might be indicated.
No medical issues...checked at the vet last week.
 

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If you are going the route of using any type of leash corrections for the first time (Poly gave a great suggestion as to how to put it into practice) I would recommend going with a martingale style collar.

It allows a clear sound correction with slight pressure, and clear pressure release. It is a much easier collar for newbies to use than say a prong or pinch collar, because it's much harder to cause any physical or psychological harm to the dog, plus it gives a great sound correction that the dog learns to anticipate.

The idea with a collar like this is that there is ALWAYS slack in your leash unless you are giving a correction. As soon as the correction has been given, slacken the leash again. If you dog repeats the mistake, correct again, but never maintain pressure on the leash. This allows your dog to understand how to give to pressure, and how pressure is released. You should be using about 12-16" of leash when using leash corrections with your dog. With a large dog that comes up past the knee, usually 8-12" works well too. You always want to see that nice soft loop in the leash running from your hand to the dogs collar to know that you do NOT have tension on the leash when you don't need it. It also allows you to control the level of correction you're giving your dog with the leash.
 

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i like the prong collar with proper introduction the best for walking. It gives you the ability to give quick short corrections rather than constant tension or the dreaded gentle leaders that have a number of issues.
 

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From scratch, my puppy didn't want to walk any where, and I found it was my issue, not his. As others have said, keeping the leash loose is the #1 rule. If there is ANY tension in that leash, my puppy stopped, put his bum down and and wanted to fight it. Without any tension, my puppy walked great with only a few very soft corrections.
 
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