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  #1  
Old 09-30-2010, 06:37 PM
taz101 taz101 is offline
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Smile basket case dog on a leash

Hi All,
I am new here and have an urgent question. I live in Costa Rica and we have rescued a dog that is about 8-9 years old. He is scared of everything. My problem is that when I put a leash on him he just lays down and will not budge. We do not drag him but can not get him up. I pick him up and try to make him walk while my wife holds the leash. If we take the leash off he runs to a corner of the yard and curls up even in the rain. I have him in a cage right now but we have to be able to walk him. We have tried treats everything.Please!!!!! any help out there.
Thanks in advance
Paul
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:03 PM
Maura Maura is offline
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You should use a harness or buckle collar, no slip collars. I would first buy or make a short leash, just a tag 12 to 24" long. Put it on in the morning before you feed him. He should have to walk a few feet to get to his food. Leave it on him and let him drag it around the house. He might chew on it, but it's just a temporary thing, so don't worry about it. This often helps a dog learn to forget about the leash.

I would also use clicker on him. Charge up the clicker. Once he is excited about clicker training you can use operant conditioning for a few tricks so that he knows what to associate the click and treats with. When he is comfortable with this (and you are comfortable with the clicker) you can use the clicker to get him to accept the leash.
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:19 AM
taz101 taz101 is offline
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Hi Maura,
Thanks for the advice but it did not work. I have tried a harness before and I left the leash on last night and no luck. I took him out early this morning (while our 14 dogs where locked up) and let him go with out a leash and the minute I put the leash on he lays down. This dog can not be bribed with food, treats or anything. He must have been really abused or miss treated. I will keep working with him. If you have more ideas please let me know. We will never find him a home if we don't fix this problem and we do not want 15 dogs.
Thanks
Paul
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:45 AM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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This dog is clearly not ready to walk on a leash at all imo. The poor thing is just miserable. He either was completely unsocialized...isolated from everything or abused. Is he afraid of you or other people? Or is it mostly his environment? I would just let him try to get so he trusts you and his surroundings on his own time, in his own way. If he comes close, feed him little treats but I'd make no overt advances toward him and that goes for other people, especially people he doesn't know.

With the way you describe him, I'd say he is unlikely to be able to learn very well, clicker training or otherwise.... being in such a high anxiety and fearful state. Has he seen a vet? Is there any kind of anti-anxiety drug that might help a little bit?

If he were in my care, I'd just let him hang around and let him chose what he wants to do in the yard or house. I am pesimistic about him changing significantly at this point in his life. If he is this extremely fearful and doesn't show any signs of improvement after a few months, euthanizing might be the kindest thing for him. It's just pathetic, but this fellow's quality of life sounds rotten.

So, getting him to walk on a leash, imo, should not be the goal at this point, but instead getting to the bottom of his issues would be foremost in my mind...letting him see if he can adapt and get more comfortable with his surroundings and a few people he lives with.

It is really good of you to take care of this dog and try to give him a nice life. But again, if he's this stressed out, this fearful and miserable, if there's no improvement in a few of months, I'd consider putting him out of his misery. But it is possible that it's the newness of his situation, that he's just come there and it's more traumatic than one might expect from most dogs. Maybe by some miracle, he'll come around better, given ample time.
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:45 AM
taz101 taz101 is offline
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Thanks, we are doing most of what you suggest. We can pet him and do almost anything it is just getting him to walk. We need to use a leash or when I let him out if he gets scared he goes to a corner and lays down. I have to carry him back to the house and he weighs about 70 lbs. Putting him down will never be an option because I know with time he will come around. He is such a gentle giant of a dog.
Paul
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:41 AM
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The only reason I entertained the idea of euthanasia is if he doesn't come around and is miserable. I always weigh and measure the quality of a dog's life and if a dog is in bad pain, physically or emotionally, with no significant healing, I think about what is best for the dog, even if it is sad for me. But hopefully, he'll improve. But if he's been like this all his life....and he's 8 years old, I worry about this.

I don't really know what else you can do about the leash situation and his lying in the corner of the yard...until he comes to trust you enough to follow you back in. Perhaps if he's prevented from going so far in the yard, you might be able to get him to make shorter trips back in. If he's good and hungry...right before meal times, he may value a treat more and with gentle coaxing, he may learn that it's not so bad to come along with you. Best of luck.
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"If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." -- Samuel Adams 1776





"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

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Old 10-02-2010, 09:51 AM
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If you put a really long leash on him (at least 20 feet) and just walk away from him (while holding the very end of the leash) does he do the same thing?
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:18 AM
Maura Maura is offline
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Have you used Tellington Touch (TTouch) on him? Give him a nice ear massage. The ears are full of acupressure points and working these points will help with his anxiety. Making large circular motions on his shoulders will also help to calm him down. There are books available for using massage techniques on dogs this way by Linda Tellington-Jones, and I think this would really help your guy.
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:10 PM
taz101 taz101 is offline
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Great news,
He is starting to trust me and will follow me back to within 10 - 15 of the kennel so I don't have to carry him so far. My other dogs scare him but I think there is hope. At least this is a positive sign over two days ago. I will keep you posted and thanks for all the help from everyone.
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:17 AM
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Fantastic. Maybe he just needs more time than most to settle in and get use to you and his new place. Hopefully, he'll keep on improving. I still wouldn't push it...give him lots of time and little pressure. Good luck. Can't wait to hear updates.
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"If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." -- Samuel Adams 1776





"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

Thomas Jefferson
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