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Old August 9th, 2009, 12:45 PM
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Bailey_ Bailey_ is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
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He wont walk on the leash. When I put the harness and leash on him he freezes up and tries to go back to the house. I have been trying to teach him to walk with a collar and then a leash, but it is hard. What I have been doing is I put a piece of meat on the ground(lunch meat) and then I call his name. When He gets to the treat I praise him. But it is not getting very far. :/ I just might be a little inpatient.
MyBirdIsEvil gave some great advice, I just have a few things to add. All puppies need to learn how to walk forward on a leash, regardless of breed. Some are harder to train than others, but it can be a big milestone for a few dogs. It's really scary to go out into the big world with so many sights/sounds/smells, so my first encouragement would be not to give up. It's REALLY important when you decide to take your dog for a walk that you do not let him run back to the house when he's scared. This is simply enabling his behavior for the next walk you attempt. Even though it's easy to feel sorry for the little guy when he's clearly scared, it'd be better for you to just kneel down quietly in front of him, holding the leash (no talking, no eye contact) while he freaks out and attempts to pull back to the house. Stay calm, and sitting there until he quiets down. (You'll notice he'll stop struggling and pulling back, he'll probably start to pant heavily and may even lie down. Wait until the panting - if any - has stopped, and he's looking around with ease.) Reward him with touch and praise, but unless he remains calm do not go back to the house.

First and foremost though, you should never take your puppy on a walk if he's exhibiting anxious or nervous behavior when you're putting on the leash and harness. Your puppy is doing this because he knows what comes next - you pick up the leash and he's forced to go outside of his comfort zone.

I agree with what MBIE said. Leave the harness on before taking your puppy out. Even attach the leash and let it drag around the house so he gets used to the tools you'll be using - however I really don't think that fear of the harness or leash is the problem in your situation, but it's always important to cover all the bases.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Bailey (Labradoodle)
Tippy (Collie/ShepX)
Vali (American Bulldog)
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