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Old August 19th, 2013, 12:03 PM
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Problem with walking new puppy

Hi everyone,

This is Dave one of the owners of pets.ca

After three years and the loss of Bailey, my family and I have recently adopted a new puppy.

Holly is a Bernedoodle (a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Standard Poodle).

She is a lovely puppy which we have had for 2 weeks now.

However, we are having a significant issue walking her. Rather, I might describe it as "dragging" her. While we are able to get her outside to "do her stuff" she refuses to walk. Once she takes care of her business she will pull to return to the house. She will refuse to walk in any other direction, even if she is dragged (please note that we use a choke collar with her as advised by out trainer). We have tried carrying her to the corner, and she will (with some but not too much difficulty) return to the house but she will not walk past it or walk in the opposite direction from the corner. We do this multiple times in order to ensure that she gets some exercise. We have tried driving her to a new location away from the house but then she will also refuse to walk, pulling to return to the car. We have also placed her on a treadmill (her front paws in the front of it and she walks with her back paws) so that she will get some exercise. She is displaying some aggression which we feel is likely attributable to not getting enough exercise and because of her lack of exercise we are not yet able to see her true personality.

Of note, she is able to remain in her crate the entire night without waking. In the evening, she will walk into her crate (which we keep by our bed) on her own so we feel as though she knows that this is a "safe" place for her. We have a second crate on our main floor when she wants to nap during the day. Someone is almost always home and as such, she alternates between sleeping in her main floor crate or on the carpet in the kitchen near our back door. She has had very few accidents overall.

Any advice on getting her to walk would be helpful.

Thanks

Dave
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Old August 19th, 2013, 01:31 PM
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How old is she?

Why did the trainer recommend a choke collar?

One of the very best websites on dealing with puppies is Dr. Ian Dunbar's Dog Star Daily. Tons of videos and free downloads with a wealth of info, like this one on leash walking: http://www.dogstardaily.com/files/WalkingOnLeash_1.pdf

Not sure if you have to create an account to access all the videos, but it's free and totally worth doing.
http://www.dogstardaily.com/
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Old August 19th, 2013, 02:46 PM
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Thank you for your reply. The link you provided discusses issues more around pulling than the issue we are having which is that she refuses to walk in the first place.

The reason a choke collar was suggested is simply to have her start walking. A quick tug to her feet and she should start walking. But she refuses... She will put her back feet down and resist. Nothing gets her to walk (she only walks a little to pee and poo and then she is done). We are at out whits end and we have tried everything we could think of. Of note, toys and treats do not work.

We are able to get her onto a treadmill, for about 15 minutes, back paws walking while front paws are on the front of the treadmill.

Holly is 9 weeks old. We have had her for 2 weeks. We got her from a breeder who lives on a farm.


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Old August 19th, 2013, 02:56 PM
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I hate choke collars and I had standard poodle was told never to use a choke collar on my dog.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 03:12 PM
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I understand the pros and cons of choke collars. We attempted a regular collar and was advised to try a choke collar in order to see if anything would change. This did not work so we are now going to try to use a harness.

The issue is not the collar and I do not want to get into a discussion about the pros and cons of a choke collar as that is not the issue. The issue is that we have attempted multiple strategies and are still unable to get her to walk.

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Old August 19th, 2013, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave View Post
Thank you for your reply. The link you provided discusses issues more around pulling than the issue we are having which is that she refuses to walk in the first place.
You might have missed these parts though:

Quote:
Teach Your Dog to Follow Offff-Leasshh

Your dog's desire to follow and remain close is the necessary foundation for walking politely on leash. You must become the center of your dog's universe. You need to stimulate and strengthen your dog's gravitational attraction towards you by moving away enticingly and heartily praising
your dog all the time he follows. Click your fingers, slap your thigh, or waggle a food treat or a toy in your hand to lure the dog to follow. Proceed with a happy heart and a sunny disposition: talk to your dog, tell him stories, whistle, walk with a jaunty step, or even skip and sing.
.................

Practice indoors and in your yard, where there are fewer distractions, before practicing in the dog park and off-leash walking areas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave View Post
Of note, toys and treats do not work.
Do take a look around the Dog Star Daily site. She can (and should) be conditioned to see toys and treats as a reward. It will help immensely with future training: http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/food-critics

Quote:
"My dog doesn't like food."

Since food lure/reward training is so amazingly easy, efficient, and effective, I would teach every dog to like food, before commencing training. Puppies may easily be taught to appreciate food, simply by hand-feeding individual pieces of kibble throughout the day, rather than all at once from a bowl at mealtimes. For adult dogs, instruct them to sit and take a piece of kibble before every enjoyable activity, such as being invited on the couch, or chasing a ball. Soon your dog will enjoy the kibble as much as he enjoys the thrill of couch-time and tennis balls combined.
http://www.dogstardaily.com/training...eward-training

Quote:
Weigh out your puppy’s daily ration of kibble each morning and place it in a jar to use for training throughout the day. Do not waste valuable training lures and rewards by feeding your dog from a bowl. Handfeed your dog. Once your dog is well behaved and mannerly and perfect for you, you may feed your dog when and however you like. For the meantime though, use each piece of kibble as a food lure and handfeed it as a food reward
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Old August 19th, 2013, 04:09 PM
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It might just be that she's too young to be interested. 9 weeks is a pretty little puppy. Even if you can get her to walk, she shouldn't be doing much on-leash walking at this point, anyway. Repetitive exercise like enforced walks on pavement can be very hard on young joints. It's actually better to have some unstructured, run-around-the-grass play at this age.

Does she play in the yard off leash? Does she like toys? If she goes gaga over balls or frisbees, you might be able to get her to move by tossing a ball in front of her (softly, so she doesn't go tearing off, dragging you behind her! )--teach her to 'give' and work her into picking up the ball then bringing it to you. If you have patience, you might eventually get her to follow the ball down the sidewalk, she comes back to you and you roll it again for her to follow...ad infinitum.

Is she active otherwise? Is it possible she's having joint problems that might make her uncomfortable walking?
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Old August 19th, 2013, 04:29 PM
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could it be she just doesnt like the leash??
i know with both Nyx and Karma at that age they hated the leash. so i would take them where they could walk safely off leash.

Karma would throw fits on the leash. she got better once she saw all the other dos walking nicely on a leash but she didn't like to be leashed by herself, until like 12weeks.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 04:32 PM
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You might try one of these, our Jessie Joy hates does not do well at all on a regular leash and does quite well on this one.

http://www.thundershirt.com/Product/...d-26c277e64b56

good luck.
Diane
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Old August 19th, 2013, 09:14 PM
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Our Setter, Mollie did not like walking on leash for quite sometime. We did the same thing and picked her up about 75 feet into the walk and carried her around the neighbourhood. She LOVED the attention received by all the neighbors which was fabulous for socializing but did not want to walk the walk.

I'm with Hazel and a lot of playtime chasing objects in the yard became the alternative for about a good month and a bit before gradually introducing the leash again with a simple nylon collar. We eventually moved into a prong collar and now we cannot even say the "W" consonant as she spazzes out as soon as I say W.

As noted earlier, this is not a discussion about which collar to use or pro versus con but is a simple matter of choice and what works best for you.

In any event, I'm sure Holly will eventually work into the walks but she seems to be still very young. Give her a little more time and throw more tennis balls to fetch off leash for now.

Good luck Dave.

Oh and BTW...are there any pictures of Holly here to view?
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Old August 20th, 2013, 07:21 AM
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First of all I am not a fan of collars anymore, except to hold their ID tags. Try the easy walk, it takes all the pressure off the neck. Your puppy is too young to walk on a leash. Just let the puppy follow you around in a safe leash free zone. Try again in a month or two. If you buy the easy walk, let him walk with the collar on around the house to get used to it. Then attach the leash.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 09:51 AM
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Hi Dave! Glad to hear you have decided to add another dooger to the family!!

I just wanted to say that Hazel hit it right on! I know when I got my last boy he was only 8 weeks old and he wouldnt walk either! I do beleive now he was simply just too young and also the vet advised what Hazel said about not walking them too much anyway as they are way too young. The vet said it is hard on their joints and bodies as they are growing.

Following the ball in the yard is a great idea as well.

Have you thought about clicker training? you may find she is more in tuned to moving forward for you with a treat/clicker in hand because of the intriguing noise.

There is a really great expisode by Cesar Millan on a dog that had a fear of walking, basically patience was what worked. Cesar gave the dog a tiny pull on the leash and if the dog moved forward even the slightest bit he treated and kept repeating and rewarding.

It has only been a couple of weeks as well and I think you will find that as Holly matures, she will bond with you and in a few weeks you will see a change I am sure!

I second the vote on pics!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelrunpack View Post
It might just be that she's too young to be interested. 9 weeks is a pretty little puppy. Even if you can get her to walk, she shouldn't be doing much on-leash walking at this point, anyway. Repetitive exercise like enforced walks on pavement can be very hard on young joints. It's actually better to have some unstructured, run-around-the-grass play at this age.

Does she play in the yard off leash? Does she like toys? If she goes gaga over balls or frisbees, you might be able to get her to move by tossing a ball in front of her (softly, so she doesn't go tearing off, dragging you behind her! )--teach her to 'give' and work her into picking up the ball then bringing it to you. If you have patience, you might eventually get her to follow the ball down the sidewalk, she comes back to you and you roll it again for her to follow...ad infinitum.

Is she active otherwise? Is it possible she's having joint problems that might make her uncomfortable walking?
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Old August 20th, 2013, 10:33 AM
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Well I think the last few posts, like Hazel's are right. Holly is still very young and it's a scary world out there. Just give her time.

When I brought our two 9 week old Malamutes home one was okay with walks the other wanted nothing to do with it. Not a problem now! If you have a yard and can just get her to play and follow you around in the yard for a bit in time the walks will come. Treats worked great with us also.

With the larger dogs it was recommended to me 5 minutes of walking for every month old they are. At 8 months now we just go where ever we want.

Patience will be key with Holly. Continue with the carry to the corner and walk her back if you must, but she will get the hang of it eventually.
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 12:45 AM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Congratulations! I went looking for a pic of the young thing, but found one when I googled - definitely a dog with a personality.

There are two things to consider here - is there a medical reason, or is this an emotional/training reason?

Medical.... BMD's are particularly susceptible to lyme, so you have to wonder if the parent ever had lyme and might have passed it on when your pup was born. Being a farm dog, was there exposure to anything else that might be causing an issue? Joint issues can cause reluctance to walk. Digestive issues can too. There may be other reasons, but those are the ones that popped into my head.

The training aspect. I know you don't want to hear this, but I have to say it. There is no way that a 9 week old pup should be showing aggression, or should be on a choke collar. If there is something that looks like real aggression, I would be looking for a medical reason (like thyroid). Most of the time, this behaviour is mistaken and is really something else. We see this all the time on the GSD forum, where dogs are labeled aggressive, when they are not (they are land sharks when young, often misunderstood).

It was said earlier, but walking, and enjoying being near you, and coming to you, and following at your side, starts inside the home, and can be taught through play or lots of positive encouragement. That can be transferred to a confined outdoor space (still without a leash), and then transitioned to a leash. It sounds like maybe the relationship isn't there yet, and she's shut down.

Last year I got my first pup in over 13 years. Boy, all the things I forgot.....

My goal when I got my pup was to teach as much as I could through play and prey drive, which has been a lot fun for both of us.

So, I guess my questions are, how does she behave inside? How does she play? What does she play with? Who does she interact with and how? The answers to these questions I think also help determine if she is reacting normal, or if there might be something wrong.

Another thought....also talked about earlier. This can be quite a shock for a young dog, moving to a new home. When a dog is rescued, many rescues encourage a period of two weeks for "shut down", where the dog gets two weeks to just sit back and figured out what just happened to it. I did a modified version of this when I adopted jazz, and I think it helps a lot.

This is for rescue dogs, but I think it applies to new pups also, to a large degree:

Rescue handout sheet:
http://www.bigdogsbighearts.com/2_week_shutdown0001.pdf
more from Jean: http://germanshepherdhome.net/forum/...day#Post283942


Ahhh, another thought - puppy stages. Looks like she may be in a fear period:
http://www.humanesociety.org/animals...or_basics.html

She needs lots of encouragement and positive reinforcement.
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 04:50 PM
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Thanks for all the wonderful comments. I will post a longer reply tomorrow but just wanted to say how grateful I am for the suggestions.

There has been some improvement over the last few days. She seems to be interacting more with the family. She walks a little more, especially when I have my daughter running in front of her. She likes following other dogs.

We tried "bribing" her with yummy smelly cookies but she lost interest after the first day. We are still unable to get her to walk more than half a block... but I feel less hopeless than I did just a few days ago.

I will upload more recent pics tomorrow as she is already much bigger (14 pounds).

dave
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 07:22 PM
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OMG what a cutie pie she is . I loves her white paws , .
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 11:17 PM
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Oh, she's a doll, dave!! Congratulations!!
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Old August 24th, 2013, 09:09 PM
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She's quite lovely. Again, be patient with the walks. If she only wants to go 1/2 a block so be it. In time you will find yourself doing hour long walks and she'll still want more! But like I said before, don't do that for a while, 5 minutes per month old. 1/2 a block may be a long walk for her.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 04:00 PM
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What a cutie!!!

Yes, remembering that she may be in a fear period, and also a bit traumatized, take your cue from her - you have a lifetime of walks to look forward to!
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Old October 8th, 2013, 10:33 AM
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Update on Holly

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to provide an update.

Holly is now 4 months old and weighs 32 lbs. She has turned into a lovely dog. We can walk her quite well now, going for about 45 minute walks twice per day. While she still needs encouragement, she is a pleasure to be with.

I want to thank everyone for their wonderful advice.... is was much appreciated and very helpful.

I have attached an updated pic.

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Old October 8th, 2013, 08:43 PM
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Happy to hear everything has worked out well with Holly and the walking. I'm sure she will bring you many years of unconditional love.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 09:18 PM
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Holly is way too cute! She is going to be a big beautiful girl . I love her curly hair.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 04:25 AM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Oh my, she just gets cuter!

I'm glad that things are better.

A front clip harness might allow you to walk her without a correction collar.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 09:02 AM
Mikeincalgary Mikeincalgary is offline
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Lots of good advice here! I second the easy walk style harness. We also used boiled chicken wieners as a high value treat to start the leash training. We also hand fed for about two weeks to add to the bonding time.

Enjoy!
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Old October 15th, 2013, 02:31 PM
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Wow, how cute!! I have one dog who sometimes still refuses to move (he is four but I've only had him six months). He will just plant his feet & want to go the opposite direction I want him to. Sometimes that's home, and sometimes if I want to go home, he wants to keep walking!
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Old October 15th, 2013, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeincalgary View Post
Lots of good advice here! I second the easy walk style harness. We also used boiled chicken wieners as a high value treat to start the leash training. We also hand fed for about two weeks to add to the bonding time.

Enjoy!
I would be careful going for walks with strong smelling food . I use to bring my last dog treats made from salmon and I end up having all kind of dogs following me and putting their noses into my pockets . One dog got his nose right in my pocket and I thought he was going to pull my shorts off!
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