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Old 09-16-2010, 11:02 PM
MJ84 MJ84 is offline
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Default 5 month old puppy refuses to walk

My labrador mix puppy gets distracted/stubborn on his walks and just lays down when he doesnt get to go where he wants. Treats have not worked as he just walks to the treat then sits down waiting for another one. We have tried every collar type and 'training' tip. The trainer we paid for was also unable to help as her last suggestion to 'wheel barrel' his legs does not work either. Has anyone encountered this? Suggestions? We have had him over a month and he is not scared. He is ok when we walk with a friends dog. Please help!
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Old 09-16-2010, 11:12 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Have you done any clicker training with him? You can click when he's walking with you and THEN treat.... Though the luring you're doing is a common suggestion that many [less experienced] trainers teach, with many dogs it's a bribe and teaches them to stop walking until they see the treat.
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:26 AM
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Have you tried patting your leg or clapping and giving a cue, such as "let's go"? If you start to run away from him, he will probably follow you. When he catches up give him a rub on his neck, but don't let him jump on you. Keep running in the opposite direction he is going (if he's moving), encouraging you to follow him. Intersperse petting with a ball for him to chase. You'll need a 15' or longer lead to really play this game. Once he is good with this, you can treat him for arriving at your left knee while you are both still moving, but don't force him into a heel. This isn't really a "walk" per se, but a training session. Never let him drag you, which I'm sure he will attempt if he hasn't already. If he pulls into the leash, go in a different direction so he has to follow you.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:12 PM
MJ84 MJ84 is offline
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Thank you for all of your suggestion, unfortunately however we have been doing all of these things for the past month. Nothing has worked. If anyone has anymore suggestions please help!
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:23 PM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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1st....some questions for ya:


How far is he able to walk before he gets "stubborn?"

How far are you wanting to walk with him?

(He's not stubborn really...just under motivated, it sounds like.)

What do you do when he doesn't want to walk, stops and sits? (besides bribing him with treats. lol) Is there any unpleasantness from his point of view?

How is he around the yard? Does he like to play? Have you played any chase games, fetch, hide and seek? What's his personality like in general?

How would you describe your personality when interacting with him? Are you quiet and on the serious side? Are you silly or goofy? Do you make squeeky noises and funny antics with your body? Or do you get frustrated and exasperated? What do you feel like, in other words when he won't walk? And what do you feel like and do....when he does walk along with you?
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:30 PM
MJ84 MJ84 is offline
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Additional information: He never walks with just one of us, he will only even attempt to walk when his whole family (2 adults) is with him.
1. The distance he is able to walk varies but in general he will walk from our house to the gate. I would say about 200 yards.
2. We would like to walk around the block with him which is about a mile. When he is 'motivated' usually in the evenings he gladly walks this. It just takes him about a 1/4 of the walk to get motivated. At that point he usually walks better with very few stops. Wagging his tail with his head up.
3. We no longer bribe him with treats on his walks. We first try to wait him out. We then say come. Try to get his attention with our voices or actions or the leash or a stick or a toy. When that fails we pick up his back legs a little of the ground and walk him, this sometimes works as he begins to walk. (Trainer Advice) After that we run ahead and wait for him to come.
5.Towards the end of the walk we get to a field where we attempt to run with him. Throwing the ball or running ourselves. At this point he is off leash. He usually just walks around sniffing then lays down. When we go to the dogpark he plays with other dogs for the whole time. He also always wants to play in the house. It is just on our walks he either wants to sit and observe all around him or put everything in his mouth or just lay down. He is also not afraid of any other dogs or people. He always wants them to come to him so he can say hello. Throughout the walk his tail is never between his legs.
6. When he walks with us we walk. He usually walks right next to us, sometimes a little ahead, never pulling. When he does this we dont stare at him but occassionaly say good boy.
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Old 09-17-2010, 05:46 PM
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I was trying to tempt him with some cheese, put it in a yard of the puppy
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
I was trying to tempt him with some cheese, put it in a yard of the puppy
The problem with that is that it becomes a lure or a bribe, which can make the pup only go ahead when there's food in front of him. When you use food, use it as a reward, which means it comes AFTER the wanted behavior. Reward frequently with something that really motivates your pup. Use tiny pea-sized tid bits of something super yummy (left over meat from dinner the night before or tiny pieces of mozerella cheese. (easier on the tummy)

But what I am sensing here is more of a relationship issue. (unless there's a medical issue) So, what I'd suggest is more emphasis on playing with him in your yard. Run fast, make happy, squeeky noises, squeek a toy if he likes squeeky toys. Take an otherwise boring toy, like a piece of rope and make it come alive for him and get him revved up. Don't use a leash if you have a fenced area to play with him. Race around, hide behind a bush, get him excited to follow you. And reinforce him with something really special every time he follows along. Don't run too far ahead. Keep the distances short between you. Make coming along with you the best, most fun thing ever. Be more interesting than what's in his environment. Try to find a place where there isn't a lot of commotion going on around him.

Then put on a leash and do the same thing. Then work your way out on the road, but keep the walks shorter than the distance where you think he'll begin to flag or lose interest. Always quit the walk while he's still having fun, even if it's a ridiculously short walk. And then, gradually increase the distance as he is ready for it. Be sure and reinforce him for small successes, every few steps and use your happy, cheery fun voice.

If he likes walking with other dogs, try to do that as much as possible. Then after a while, you can wean him off of that and try him by himself. But it's important to keep the walks really short and fun and quit while you're ahead. LOL. Don't push him to the point where he loses interest. Take him for a walk when he's hungry so the food treats are even more valuable. Take him after a rest so he's got more energy.

If you think his energy isn't up to par, you might consider getting him checked by a vet. What kind of food is he getting?

Don't worry about training him to walk "correctly" now. Now is only for getting him to enjoy coming along with you, whether he pulls a little or drags behind. If he wants to stop and sniff, let him. Let him kind of set the pace for now. You can teach him the refined things later. The main thing is to make him have fun and enjoy walking or coming along with you. There should be no force, no punishment, no harsh words when he is exasperating you because anything negative will cause him to associate walking or working with you with a not so good time. So, it's reward or nothing.

So, that's my .02. Let us know how things go.
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:26 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ84 View Post
6. When he walks with us we walk. He usually walks right next to us, sometimes a little ahead, never pulling. When he does this we dont stare at him but occassionaly say good boy.
I agree with Dober's advice. I'd also suggest using more rewards when he is doing what you want him to do.

This is the way it sounds to me: When puppy walks, he gets an occasional "good boy."

When puppy refuses to walk, he gets the whole family to look at him, talk to him, show him cookies, physically touch him, etc.

If he starts walking after all this, he goes back to getting an occasional "good boy."

Is that about right?

The problem is that he doesn't know what "good boy" means, and unless you're saying it in a way that makes him jump up and down with joy, it's probably not a whole lot of fun for him to hear "good boy." But it IS a lot of fun to get everyone to look at him and give him attention, beg him to come to them, etc.... basically he's "playing hard to get."

How does he get the attention and everything that he really wants? By doing what YOU don't want him to do. Which is kind of inverted.... he should be getting everything fun that he wants by doing what you DO want him to do. So I'd suggest that the whole time he's walking with you - even close to the house or in other places where he usually doesn't have a problem with it - talk to him, pet him, give him treats, take breaks often where you sit on the ground and let him cuddle with you, or let him sniff around on his own. If he puts on the breaks, stop walking with a tiny bit of steady pressure on the leash (do NOT pull him to you, do NOT put so much pressure that it's uncomfortable, and do NOT make the pressure harder the longer you have to stand there.... just enough for him to feel) and do not look at him, just ignore him completely. Eventually he'll move even just a small distance toward you, and as soon as you feel that leash slacken up, then go back to being fun and rewarding like before.
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:06 PM
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I agree with dober and lizzy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ84 View Post
2. We would like to walk around the block with him which is about a mile. When he is 'motivated' usually in the evenings he gladly walks this. It just takes him about a 1/4 of the walk to get motivated. At that point he usually walks better with very few stops. Wagging his tail with his head up.
Also, a mile is a long walk, and if all you're doing is walking, it's not very interesting. It also could be tiring or even cause some pain if he's overdoing it. Also, you say he's more willing to do the full walk in the evenings...maybe because it's cooler? I'd take shorter walks and try to quit before he decides to. Leave him wanting more.
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