I have a 8-year-old, beagle/basset rescue, Penny. I've had her for 6 months. I love her to bits, but she's an absolute nightmare to walk. As expected of a hound dog, she loves to sniff sniff sniff. I understand that it's her natural instinct, and judging by her wagging tail, it is her greatest joy.
However, with the weather getting nicer, I'd like to get her moving outside a little more on more robust walks to exercise her more. But, it's clear she doesn't have a lot of leash training. As soon as I try to move forward (or in any way she doesn't want to go), she plants her feet and tugs backwards. With her strength, you'd expect her to weigh much more than 35 pounds! I end up having to drag her along, which is clearly not the most effective way to go about things. I have her in a harness that attaches to the leash from the top, so I don't think it hurts her; still, I don't even want to run the risk.
I've tried treats - normal treats, her beloved kibble, even beef and roasted chicken - with no luck. Clapping, whistling, yelling, dancing. Nada. Nothing can pull her away when she's on the trail. To try to ease into things, I've been training her to come on command in less stimulating places, like inside the house or in an empty parking lot. She's much more responsive in those situations. But, once we're outside, Penny totally calls the shots in terms of when we walk and how fast. I usually end up picking her up and carrying her back to the house by the end.
In terms of leash technique, I've also tried just doing one quick tug when she goes a way I don't want her to, and then loosening the leash when she's facing forward, in the hopes she'll follow me. My thinking is that she'll associate tug=stop, loose=go. Sometimes it works, and she will walk forward, but most of the time, she will just turn back to try to keep sniffing, and I think she's going to end up with whiplash!
As far as I know, up until she came to me, she spent her time outside unleashed in yards, sniffing around at her own pace. I understand she deserves sniff time - I started recently putting her on a long leash in the yard for 20-30 minutes a day - but I would like to be able to set the pace of our walks. Any suggestions that don't involve treats? (Leash technique, new harnesses, etc.)