Molly is training up beautifully BUT is still very fearful on the sidewalk and doesn't want to walk on the leash. She pulls back and wants to run back home. We carry her around the block, put her down and try to gently urge her forward using praise and treats, but all she wants to do is turn around and head back - she can use her nose to track our/her scent to get back home.
It seems a shame to drag her forward. She will move forward if we drag her, then trot along for 10 feet or so and we let the leash go slack so she gets it, then she starts to want to head back again. This goes on time after time. She no sooner seems to be getting this when a car goes by and she gets skittish again. Or a squirrel starts chattering, or a bluejay squawks or a pick-up roars by or a plane goes overhead.....is it normal for a puppy to be this skittish? She seems a normal puppy in every way - playful, eats and sleeps well, loves us and comes when called, plays fetch etc.
Should we just persevere? I hate the thought of dragging her as I think it would reinforce that she is not enjoying this. We use a halter. Please HELP!!
She needs high value stimulation - perhaps a walk with another dog that she likes ? Try walking on a greenfield site instead of where there is traffic for the moment.
Take her to obedience classes ? All of mine were held in a church or village hall just walking in a circle in line with the other dogs in the class.
She does sound skittish but there may be a good reason - bad experience before you got her and she needs reassurance !
Kassa took time to get used to being on the lead. I started at home and around the yard with lots of treats, then took her to the park where it was new, but quiet. She preferred the grass to the pavement until she became used to it.
It is all so new for puppies and they take time to get used to all the sounds. A trainer told me to just let her walk on the lead and distract her if she seem unsure. Puppy class will socialise her and give her confidence.
How old is your puppy? I know a lot of puppies get tired out quickly when they are very young.. You might be asking too much of her just yet. But as the others have said, get some high value treats and try that.
Thanks so much for the advice. Yes, we are very new to the puppy thing. Have not had a puppy for 10 years and we do forget eh? We solved our problem by listening to Cesar Millan. He suggested an older dog as leader to show how to walk. We could not think of another dog around here who was properly trained - as many of you know most people's dogs are a mess. So DH and I used OURSELVES. Don't know why we didn't think of this before but i guess we were just too nervous to think of it.
We took Molly in the car to the parkway - along the Niagara River a block from our place - nice and quiet during the week. We drove a ways up, put her on the pathway with the leash on and he and I simply started walking forward, as if we were "the pack". It was wonderful! She followed us just fine dragging the leash, kept eye-checking all the time to make sure we were still there, never went more than a few feet ahead, pretty much stayed on the pathway and when she did get onto the grass she had some sniffs and then came running back to us.
So we are going to do that twice a day for as long as it takes to get her really comfortable with it. Then we will pick up the leash and get her to come along that way. Then when she is comfortable being led we will try to lead her back home instead of driving her. Then we will try walking her over there instead of driving her. And by that time maybe she will walk at home!!
I would encourage your to read some other author's regarding dog training and behavior. Ian Dunbar and Patricia McConell are some examples of masters in the field.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
How old is this puppy? Has she been fully vaccinated? You want to choose the locations you take her for walks very carefully until she is fully vax as she can pick up viruses from surfaces. You want to avoid areas where there is heavy dog traffic.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
thanks, we've got this in hand now. And yes we're up to date with the Vax
We're just not experienced enough to know how to teach her as she's so skittish. We checked out Cesar Millan and he put us on the right track. DH and I are the pack leaders and she's been following us - we're letting her follow us down the river pathway and she just drags the leash for now. She is going to do that for awhile then we will do the same with one of us holding the leash. Once she is over her fear of the cars going by we'll start the heel training. Thanks for all the good advice.
She's 4 months old?
As Tanya said - Cesar Milan (adored by his many TV fans) doles out old fashioned advice which is no longer considered by many animal behaviorists to be correct or current. You might want to expand your resources.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.