My fiancee and I adopted a 12 week old yellow lab/spaniel mix (We can't really see the Spaniel features in him though) from a local shelter last week. Things are going very well except for one major issue-- we have not been able to take him on a walk! During the walk he "puts on the brakes" and tries to pull backwards. He will walk again if we gently pull him forward on the leash but then the process repeats itself and he brakes behind us and refuses to walk in front. I've gone as far as physically carrying him down the street and starting the walk from another spot but he also does the same thing. We thought maybe it was the collar that was bugging him so we bought him a harness but that didn't make a difference either. We have a large fenced in yard so I've let him off the leash and he really doesn't even seem interested in exploring around even when not on a leash. He cries and goes right back to the door after doing his business.
It is EXTREMELY frustrating because since he is refusing to walk he isn't getting much exercise and therefore he has a ton of energy in the house. I've had people tell me to just "force" him to walk-- even dragging him the whole time if we need to. But we obviously don't think that is a good solution. We're hoping that someone maybe has had the same issue with their lab and can provide some expert input on how to solve the issue!575088_10100360191650177_1286238910_n.jpg
Maybe he has been traumatized by something previous at the shelter? There is a reason why he'd be doing that. He's afraid of something, possibly to new surroundings?
“The more people I meet, the more I love my dog.”
All dogs need to learn to walk on a leash. Are you rewarding him when he does walk well for a bit? The key to teaching a dog just about anything is positively reinforcing the behavior you want. I'd have a a baggie of little hot dog pieces in my pocket and dole them out while on the walk while saying "GOOD walkies"!!! I bet he is improved on a leash quickly.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Yep - Sharon is right ! Just to add that the tempting morsel may differ from dog to dog so try lots of things if the HD doesn't work ! Cheese is a good bet too or liver.
and lots and lots of patience
did I mention lots of patience ? and praise praise praise !
Make it fun and NEVER get cross even once as it will set you back days !
Thank you all for the advice. I actually just heard a similar thing from someone at work. I will start trying that tonight and hopefully I'll start to see positive results. Slowly but surely of course.
walk are not exercise at that age. the walks should be very short and given his dislike, i would keep the walks at 5-10 minutes TOPS and keep them happy and up breat. Lots of treats. lots of rewards. lots of praise. even if you don't get more than halfway down the road. He may be frightened or uncomfortable so pushing him may make things worse.
The rule of thumb for "forced" exercise (this is anything on leash, even if the dog is pulling) is 5 minutes per month of age. So at 12 weeks (3 months) that is about 15-20 minutes. but again, given the puppys' dislike I would go shorter until he is enjoying them.
Exercise is done off leash and is play. Fetching, chasing, playing with other dogs. Walks will never be "exercise" to a young lab. They are warm ups at best.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
We found the same at a similar age - as everyone else has said it is patience and rewards.
Another trick that worked with Poppy was to sort of skip along as she found it lots of fun to chase and took her mind of the "big scary world"
Now at 10 Months she walks beautifully on the lead. Another thing is to take the puppy somewhere that a short walk on the lead leads to somewhere they can be let off for a quick run - then they will learn that going for walks on the lead is a fun thing.
Again, short walks at that age but keep both mind and body exercised
Agree with all the above. I would never,ever "drag" him on the leash. How terrible and scary for him. POSSITIVE reinforcement. Make it something he wants to do. And did Samson mention patience () and praise. He wants to please you.....help him learn what's acceptable. That's not done by force. It's done with love. Good luck.