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Leash Training A Spook


Guest RobinAZ
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Guest RobinAZ

Layla has never been trained to walk on a leash. Even though she's getting much better at home, she is still afraid to walk on a leash. I have a harness for her because I thought maybe she'd be more comfortable that way. I put it on her today and when the other dogs were going for their walk with DH I thought I'd try to at least get her out to the front yard. Nope. She just stands there. Perfect statue. Then she starts shaking. So I gave up. I don't want to make her more afraid, but eventually she's going to have to learn to walk on a leash. Any suggestions?

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I am sure others will have good suggestions. Try with the other dogs with her and look away from her and just start walking and when you get to the point where it stops u gently tug and firm command? When she finally does it lots of praise and reward treat? when you put the leash on give lots of praise

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I usually start indoors, and usually use a collar. Indoors = less scary for most dogs; collar = more familiar, again for most dogs; there are exceptions. Nice pocketful of treats. As rshultz describes, "heel," look AWAY from the dog, and start walking. Praise and treat when she follows you.

 

I'll also "catch" the dog accidentally walking alongside me in the house, "heel" and "good dog" and treat.

 

Once she's starting to get the idea indoors, try the safest outside place you know - fenced backyard, maybe? Then out front with a dogbuddy alongside her.

 

I always offer a treat, even if the dog is too frightened/shy/whatever to take it. One day they change their minds and start taking the treats. I like to be ready.

 

Oh, and until she starts to get the idea of being handled / doing things along with you, one step constitutes a successful "heel." :)

 

Patience and best luck.

 

P.S. If she's really spooky you will want the harness for outdoor activities. I would introduce it later, and use it in conjunction with the collar. You can make/buy a little strap to connect collar to harness in case she freaks and slips the collar. That allows you to keep your leash attached to the collar, which works better for most dogs who want to hang back.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I would always use the harness with her - just safer all the way around. I put Cash's on several weeks before we were traveling and just let her wear it around the house. Started with just a few minutes and worked up to full time as she got comfortable with it.

 

If one of your other dogs is very calm, and/or Layla's best buddy, you might try using a coupler leash to get her the idea. Having the other dog to help keep her moving forward might help.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Guest wmlcml6

Hope did that when I started leash training her. If I was walking another dog (Rosemary), she would walk better. At least with a harness, I knew I could pull on her a little to try to get her going without hurting her neck, but also she couldn't bolt out of her collar in fear. Eventually it kicked in that walking on leash was a fun thing, and now she gets very excited to go for walks. Granted, Hope was never a spook, just a puppy who was used to roaming free in the yard. Good luck!

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Our super-shy boy would also freeze if we put a harness on him, so if you really want to use a harness (which really is safer) I'd put it on her in the house and just let her get comfortable with that on for periods of time, with no attempts to go outside.

 

it is such a gradual process with the shy/spooky ones... but an awesome reward of all their love

Amy and Tim in Beverly, MA, with Chase and Always missing Kingsley (Drama King) and Ruby (KB's Bee Bopper).

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