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Refusing to walk

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by Roxanne, May 9, 2018.

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  1. Roxanne

    Roxanne New Member Registered

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    Me and Ralph again!
    We’ve had this issue for several weeks and would appreciate any advice on how to change it!

    My puppy refuses to walk away from the house on a walk, we’re pretty much at the stage now where it’s just a drag. He’ll sit or lie down.
    If we drive somewhere, he’ll walk lovely, if we leave the house and walk away from it he refuses to use his legs! He’s fine once we get on the field and pretty much runs home. We’ve tried tempting him with treats to walk (which he will do straight away) but we were using a stupid amount. When we get somewhere finally, he loves it!
    Any ideas on how to change this?
    Thank you
     
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  2. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

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    I had this with a puppy I was due to walk today - He just point blank refused to walk! I put it down to a few factors: His owner was home and he wanted to get back to him, he had already been walked, he doesn't know me very well.

    I've got to try again tomorrow but taking him somewhere else for a puppy play date.

    It would be interesting to know why they did this!
     
  3. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    My reccomendation to you is continue with the treats, your house to your dog is a ´safe´ place and going away from there frightens them alot. Please do not drag him or pull, tempt him with ham or some chicken then you shouldnt need a silly amount of treats (try meat sticks such as Aldi´s brands own they are great as you can break them up easly). Im sure someone will be along shortly to help some more with this topic. For now i hope this helps :) - Violet
     
  4. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I'd approach this from two directions:

    1) Forget about getting him to walk to the park. Instead, put his lead on, sit on the doorstep with him with the front door open, give him a treat and go back in. Next day, encourage him to go just outside the door and when he has, go back in again. The next day, a step or two further... What you want is for him to be happily going a few feet from the door to get a treat (you could try throwing them). Then just aim to get a bit further each time, working within his comfort zone. If there's grass and whatever along the way, let him sniff to his heart's content - you want this to be really positive for him.

    2) Drive to the park or wherever you want him eventually to walk to, but stop just a bit further away than usual so he has to walk the last little bit (even if it's just a matter of feet). Next time, park a few feet further away so he has to walk a little further... each time, park a little closer to home than the previous time.

    Eventually, (1) and (2) will join up in the middle and hopefully then he'll happily walk the whole way!
     
  5. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    Oooo they are great tips do you mind if i send this link to my friend with a troublesome dog? Thanks
     
  6. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Not at all :) I'm not an expert though, so don't blame me if it doesn't work ;)
     
  7. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Another technique is to turn yourself and walk backwards, encouraging him towards you with treats. I don't like ham for pups though, too much salt for baby kidneys. You can progress this to walking sideways then forwards while encouraging forward steps.
     
  8. Roxanne

    Roxanne New Member Registered

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    When I say treats, I mean chicken, we don’t really feed him actual “dog treats” but coaxing doesn’t work. It takes 8 pieces of chicken to get to the bottom of the drive, so you can imagine how much it may take to get to the park
    He shows no behaviour of being frightened and it differs day to day, I spoke to a dog trainer who suggests it could be a dominant, trying to show he’s in charge thing and to persevere with treats but also not to let him decide where we go, how far we go (within reason) and when we do it. In some way, I agree with him as I don’t want to reward him for stopping all the time. He suggested to only reward him when he walks well.
     
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  9. Roxanne

    Roxanne New Member Registered

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    Thank you for the advice! I might try the car one, although the park is literally a stone throw from my house so might have to pick another slightly further away one.
    The only issue I might have is number 1, he has 0 fear going out the front door and is extremely comfortable and happy on the lead and off it on out front garden. It’s quite a tricky situation I think, partly because he goes to the front door and uses it to go outside for the toilet so he’s very happy on a lead out there, and if in the mood will walk 3/4 of the way without stopping. From 8 weeks old I’ve had him in the house with the lead on, walking him with it attached and going up and down the drive (quite long!) until after he had his jabs and he can go further. A dog trainer told me to keep going as it might be stubborness/dominance and eventually he would learn but I’d like to make more quick progress.
     
  10. Roxanne

    Roxanne New Member Registered

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    He did use to follow us with this, but he’ll only do it off the lead now. I think he would happily walk to the park with no lead, but never shows any signs of discomfort or fear from it. He’s a puzzle!
     
  11. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    That dog trainer is well out of date - you can ignore anyone who blames behaviour on dominance. Stubborness doesn't make sense either - your pup has a good reason for not wanting to walk outside the garden, it's just we don't know what it is. And every time he feels coerced/bribed, it doesn't deal with his worries about the walk so can even reinforce his fears.

    If he's happy to go into the garden then do what I suggested but start at the gate rather than the front door. And I'd still try the car for the nearby park too. It may seem daft to drive a few yards to it but it'll mean you'll get quicker results.
     
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  12. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    .

    well, guess what? :D I disagree with that [male] trainer on all counts. :p

    "passive resistance" is very often due to fear - the dog who won't emerge from the crate, the cat that won't come out from under the bed, the horse that balks, the prey species that freezes in place, are ALL displaying fear, for different reasons, but in very similar ways.

    As for the "dumbinance" theory, i certainly hope he didn't charge U for that mess of blather? ROFL - he's flat-out wrong.
    DOMINANCE is always & forever about one thing: access to limited resources. What, precisely, is the "limited resource" the pup is fighting for, in this scenario?!?!... It's not food; it's not space, he isn't crowded; it's not a F in estrus, & all the other Ms are arguing over her. It's certainly not attn - he's the only dog; he HAS all yer attn.

    Bossy dogs are confident; they go where they want to, do what they want to, & drag U along behind. // He's doing none of the above. He's worried about something; whether it's wide-open sky overhead, traffic noise, kids playing loudly nearby, strange dogs, free-roaming cats who lurk under cars & bushes, who knows? - whatever it is, it's intimidating, & he's anxious.

    As for "only reward him when he's walking well..." - in order to SHAPE better behavior, U need to reward early steps in the right direction: approximations of the goal behavior, which will start out only distantly related to that goal, & the approximations get better & better, over time.
    Learners don't go from 0 to 100% in a sudden leap, ya know - U can't wait for the dog to DO the goal behavior perfectly B4 U reward them, as they can't get there in one stell foop! :D U'd be waiting one helluva-long time for "perfection" to arise from nothing.

    I'd ditch that trainer, & i'd also avoid anyone else who so much as mentions 'dominance', pack drive, "make the dog submit", pack leaders, & any other related drivel from the Dawg Wrassler school-text of non-training. :rolleyes:

    I would instead do just what has been suggested above - build Pup's confidence by SITTING in the doorway with him on leash, & read a book - let him get up the nerve to go out on his own; periodically, toss a toy a very short distance, maybe only to the doorsill & still on the inside of the door, just to get him close for a peek outside.
    Play tug while sitting in the doorway, U on a chair, him on leash; put his brekkie down with the door ajar, & U sit outside with the leash as an umbilical on him, while he eats just inside, on the threshold. // It's all about making it a happy, safe experience, being close to the door, & stepping out when he feels curious, braver, more familiar.

    Meanwhile, i'd carry him to a nice nearby destination - by car, or in my arms - set him down, play a bit, sniff around, & let him walk me home. :) He'll get there; just give him some time.

    ========================

    BTW - how old is the pup?
    If U're in the UK, i'll go out on a limb & guess he's been "kept safe at home" and is now past the fortnight from his 12-WO jabs, IOW he was about 14-WO when U began trying to get him outdoors? // o_O Well, keeping him "safe" obv worked out well, eh? :(

    As a trainer in the USA, where yes, we have Parvo, k9 distemper, Lepto, k9 flu, coronavirus, etc, just like the UK does, plus rabies as an endemic virus, i still walk my pups outside as soon as i get them -which may be their 57th day. I also advise my clients to get their pups out, as soon as they get them.

    "Walks" are not life-threatening if U follow simple commonsense precautions; other DOGS without visible symptoms of illness are not threats - other dogs' WASTE is the worry. It's very straightforward - stick to paved surfaces, sidewalks, common paths, etc, or go to places where urine & stool are unlikely or promptly removed - pet-supply stores, the local hardware, anyplace a pup is allowed. Especially in very hot or very cold weather, indoor locations with other ppl, & maybe other dogs, are perfect for socializing & habituating young pups.
    The beach below high-tide mark is safe - carry a tenderfooted puppy over the hot dry sand of the upper beach, but the cool damp firm sand revealed by retreating water is delightful underfoot. :)

    The earlier a pup gets out of the house, the better - short, happy experiences from Day 1 of Week 1 beat marathons of frustration & anxiety at 3-MO-plus, when the pup's been with U for over a month, but not "been allowed" outside.

    Maybe this will allay some needless paranoia -
    "A Letter on Puppy Socialization from Dr. R.K. Anderson, DVM,
    Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine;
    Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists"
    http://www.trainyourdogmonth.com/members/handouts/apdt_tydmrkletter.pdf

    Every year in the USA, more dogs *die* as a result of behavioral issues than are killed by contagious diseases & trauma, together - literally, training, socialization, & habituation are life-saving.

    happy training,
    - terry

    .
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  13. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    A note of caution; some of the meat treats from Aldi and Lidl include meat sourced from China and this has been linked to health problems in dogs ..


    I also think this whole dominance thing is a load of BS.

    The idea of taking you pup down the road in the car and starting from there is a great way to get him used to the outdoors. Maybe if you know someone or meet a friendly dog owner who lives nearby who could call round you could see if Ralph would walk away from the house if he is walking with another dog. I used to have a dog who was nervous when alone but fine in the company of others,
     
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  14. poptart

    poptart Member Registered

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    I would tend to think this is fear related. Has anything occurred early on in his walking experience that might have given him a scare? Young pups are very impressionable at certain stages and it can be hard to overcome.
     
  15. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    Anyone who speaks about dominance you need to steer clear of, @JoanneF can explain why.
     

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