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Leash Training

April 1st, 2007, 09:15 AM
(Tried to see if this particular issue was already addressed so I wouldn't have to bother everyone needlessly, but I couldn't find it. So if it has, my apologies):sorry:

Amii's come a long way in the week since she became a part of our family. She enjoys the short little treks in the car and her toys, she's eating well and she and Dazi seem to have a budding friendship.

We want to start housebreaking her. However we're having a little issue with the leash. She still doesn't come to any of us, even for a treat. And when anyone approaches her she runs away. But she has no issue coming over to anyone whose sitting on the couch and licking their hand or accepting pets and cuddles. Amii willingly lets me put the collar on her, but flat out refuses to walk on the leash.

The other day I put both on her, in the house. I followed her around as she walked; giving the leash enough slack that she didn't, at first, know it was even there. However, the moment she felt resistance, she laid down and wouldn't budge. I tried coaxing her with a treat but it was no use. So I simply sat down next to her, pet her, spoke my baby talk, and took the collar and leash off.

Am I expecting too much too soon? How on earth do I get Amii leash trained?

Btw, the only way to get her in and out of the house is to pick her up and carry her. This is going to become a problem soon giving the breeds she


April 1st, 2007, 10:31 AM
First off, if you put the leash on and she becomes a statue, taking it off is only going to teach her that when she refuses to move, the leash comes off. You did good on the inhome walks. Pulling creates resistance, so you need to find a way to get her to move forward on her own. Treats, a toy, stupid happy voices... anything. Once she moves forward, loosen the leash. Loose leash = forward.

For recall, if she'll come to people when they're sitting still, then once you see that she's ABOUT to come, give the command, then praise. The chase is a game. If you go towards her and she runs away, then you need to get her attention and get her to chase you (make it fun).

Also stop picking her up to leave the house. If you keep this up, she's soon going to learn to wait to be picked up. This is no different than sitting at a doorway, and waiting to be let out. "Wait until I carry you out", or "sit at the door until I invite you through" is the same thing. It's up to you which door manner you choose to enforce.

April 1st, 2007, 06:39 PM
It sounds like the leash is almost a secondary problem here. First, for training to be succesful, you need to figure out what motivates Amii - whether its tug toys, kibble, cooked meat, praise, retrieving, squeaker's etc... You must have something that your dog considers valuable so you can reward her for doing the right thing.
Second, you need to teach Amii her name. Since she's a new addition, its totally understandable that she doesn't have complete trust in you yet. I also know you need lots of time to train her and earn her trust... But its imperative that she learns its a WONDERFUL thing to come to you and be around you... Hence, finding a reward she is willing to work for!

To the specific problem of the leash, I'd play hardball and put the collar/leash on and let her drag it around. Don't hold it, I wouldn't even stay in the same room (which will probably encourage her to follow you regardless of the leash attachment!)... If she's a chewer, you will obviously have to to stay where you can see her (I wouldn't use a deterrant spray because she already has made a negative association with the leash).
The best time to do this is when she's hungry - if she wants to have her dinner, she must go to it with the leash on. Again, I wouldn't encourage her - don't make a big deal out of it. If you act like she's not wearing the leash, she will soon realize she can move with it on. When she is dragging the leash around without a problem, start holding the end but keep it loose so she doesn't notice! Then you can both walk to her food bowl together or wherever she is heading.

It sounds like she needs a lot of time as well as patient and gentle trainnig until she learns to trust and starts gaining confidence! You might want to seek the help of a reputable positive reinforcement trainer - so you can get her enrolled in classes after her shots etc... I think puppy classes will be too scary for her at this point - she needs a little more time gaining your trust BUT at the same time, she needs to be socialized sooner rather than later. So I'd call around and find a GOOD trainer who can help you out!

Good luck!

April 28th, 2007, 04:43 PM
My dog used to like walking outside with us, now, he just pulls towards the house... He's five months now and only started acting like this last week. At first he would just stop and then start again, but now it's almost impossible to walk him... I can't identify anything that could have caused him to be afraid or unhappy... Also, if I let go of the leach, he'll follow me, letting me go ahead and then running to me...
I tried treats... but he's just really stubborn...
Any suggestions? Thanks!