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Boxer Puppy - developing bad walking habit

May 28th, 2010, 01:16 PM
Hi all!

I'm just new to the forum and was wondering if I could get some opinions on how to better train my 9 week old boxer pup to go for walks.

We take him out daily and he was pretty good during the first week (we got him at 8 weeks), but during this second week he has started being very stubborn when out on walks.

He will often just stop dead and sit down, refusing to move. Sometimes we can coax him forward, but other times its a real pain to get him moving again. I read that he might just be scared, so I've gotten into the habit of comforting him when this first happens, but I'm not so sure he is scared (just by mannerisms)

The other (seemingly related problem) is that whenever we pass ANY pedestrian or cyclist he wants to follow them. He will pull against the lead (almost to the point of choking himself) and often doesn't give up until t hey are out of sight. If they are travelling in the same direction as us he really restricts his breathing and we often have to stop and hold him so he can catch his breath.

Any advice would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance!

May 28th, 2010, 01:41 PM
I don't know much about puppies but I think this could be too much exercise for a 9 weeks old. :dog:

May 28th, 2010, 01:59 PM
We didn't take our pup for walks until she was 13 or so weeks, with all her shots up-to-date, and a bit more muscle development on her bones. Until then, we played with her in our yard, and sniffed around the outside perimeter of the house. Puppies that young do not need the walks as exercise; they can make do with short bursts of play, a bit of a sniff around outside, and that's enough.

First establish a good bond between your pup and your human pack; let the pup really immerse himself in your family, in the smells, the sounds, the rhythm, the comings and goings. Introduce your pup to others inside your home. When he's got all his shots, take him to a puppy class, so that he can learn to socialize with other dogs. If there are family manners classes, take those too. It will help you get that connection between the home and the outside world, and what is expected of the pup in both.

Do we get to see photos of your cutie? Please? :cloud9:

May 28th, 2010, 02:23 PM
Sure! Here's a picture of Atlas, our little guy.

Thanks alot for your help. I'll stop the walks till he's a little older.

Thanks again!

May 28th, 2010, 02:39 PM
He's adorable!! And lookit the attention in his face! He's right there, all present for whatever is happening next, isn't he?

You can really make use of that quality in him. Teach him tricks already. Sit, down, sit-stay, down-stay, roll, shake paw, yumyum (licking his nose), stop, let's go, left, right, ... that will give him mental stimulation and exercise, and it will keep his energy levels in check too. Teach him early - don't wait for puppy classes. Short bursts, say 3x3 minutes per day, are more than enough, and with his level of attention he'll be happy and eager to please!

Other tricks to keep him busy - hide and seek, and hiding treats, putting some little treats in a kong or something, so that he can chew on it for a bit, while figuring out how to get them out.
Learn more about clickers or agree on a marker-word that doesn't change in intonation (a neutral 'yes' or 'good' that is said in the same way each time a good behaviour is performed). Smart pups like your Atlas will be much easier to teach with consistency, and starting him off early with a sound that he'll recognize as "pleased" will work wonders.

Also, however hard it is with such a cutie, try to keep your voice neutral and calm, even quiet, when his excitement ramps up. Your voice, or giggling and cooing can increase his excitement, and decrease his attention on you for cues. Whispering a command helps more than increasing your volume and repeating the command until he gets it done.

Smart pups with a high curiosity level are much easier to be with when they are physically and mentally exercised and when they know to take their cue from their human, rather than from the reaction the human has to their puppy-antics.

May 28th, 2010, 02:43 PM
omg he's sooo cute ! :lovestruck: