Tag: Dog Training

Dog Will Not Walk on a Leash

By Deborah Taylor-French Mutt Monday: Best DIY Dog Training Video for Barking

Reader’s Question

Do you have any tips on how to encourage a dog to walk on a harness + lead? We have adopted two strays . . . they are never on leads, but for the long-term they need to learn this skill. One of them, when I put a harness and lead on him, he just sits down and will not move. He is very small.

Any suggestions – I have tried treats, cuddling, praise etc., but he just sits there.

Many thanks for your help.

Reply from Deborah

Oh, I had a dog like that. She would do everything I ask, except walk on a leash.

The instant I snapped on a leash, she sat down!

First Be Certain Your Dog is Healthy

  •  Rule out inherited knee or hip problems
  • Rule out heat sensitivity or hot sidewalks
  • Rule out illness, a sick dog does not want to walk
I think it's nap time.
I don’t feel like walking.

Dog Leader Tip

I suggest you try clicker training.

Be sure he loves those treats and then cut them or break them into bean-sized pieces.

Watch this Kikopup Youtube video on how to load a clicker.

  • Once you have your dog going ape to please you, try simple commands and behaviors he already knows like sit, down, stay.
  • Then leave his harness on the floor in another room.
  • Start a short clicker training session and have your dog walk with you into the room and around the leash.
  • Keep repeating short sessions, ignoring the harness but getting closer.
  • Gradually, add clicks and treats while he sniffs or touches the harness, then do the same with the leash.
  • Play short games, such as harness and leash dragging.
  • Only after he loves all this attention, hold the leash and let him lead you around the house, the yard, then out and down the street. If he does not want to walk anywhere, toss a treat and follow holding the lead.
  • Only when your dog has mastered all these steps, pat your knee and have your dog take a few steps with you on the lead. Do this inside, in a hallway or some quiet, non distracting place.

Please write again when he loves his walking gear.

Thanks for asking a GREAT question.


PS. For a good explanation on how to get a puppy or dog comfortable with a leash watch this video.

Be patient, consistent and persistent.

I suggest reading Training Answers: Why does my puppy lay down on walks. Click on the link below.

Cat in harness with leash
Cat in harness with leash (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cat Walks Dog: Photo Friday

By Deborah Taylor-French www.dogleadermysteries.com

I watched this video twice.

The old saying goes, “They get along about as good as dogs and cats.” Usually meaning the compared people do NOT get along at all. But here we see a mystery. A cat and dog that more than get along. They do something together that very few pets do.

Cat Walks Dog

Got any dogs I can walk?
Free Roaming City Cat

Really? Yes, the dog is on a leash.

This patient cat, in the video below, and the happy dog on a leash charmed and enthralled me.

How did the cat get the dog to do this?

Was it training or more like a game these pets like to play?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Unless we can get the cat to tell us.

ASPCA sign_545X300Plenty of dogs and cats for adoption.

Try Petfinder today.

Smiling at You + LIPSTICK AND THE LEASH: Photo Friday

By Deborah Taylor-French www.dogleadermysteries.com

Women Continue to Lead the World in Dog Training

In a few days, Women’s History Month for 2013 comes to an end. From reading Susan’s Orleans’ book Rin Tin Tin: The Life And The Legend, I learned that dog obedience in America began by women taking three poodles all over the nation.

“Camilla Gray-Nelson received the evening’s top honor when LIPSTICK AND THE LEASH: Dog Training a Woman’s Way, was named Best Book of 2012 by the Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA). In addition to receiving the organization’s top writing award, the book was also awarded the Maxwell Medallion for Best Training Book. The awards ceremony which many see as the “Oscars” of the dog world, coincided with activities leading up to the Westminster Dog Show held on February 10th, 2013.” the PRWeb 

Read Literary Dogs.com for details on this award.

The Task of Training Dogs Falls to Women

I agree with the Dog Talk Diva. The women I know feed, care for and must train their family dogs.

Training a Fearful Dog to Be Calm Visiting Veterinarians

When we adopted Sydney, I took him for walks to our Vet’s office. I just walked him around and in, so he could smell the other dogs and cats. Then the office manager gave him a treat. Sydney would not take it the first or second time. But after many visits of simply walking in, getting a treat and being petted by the office staff and Vet, Sydney stopped shaking and shivering from fear. He no longer felt afraid of the clinic, the office staff or the veterinarian.

See Sydney’s doggy smile at the Vet clinic door?

Open the door
Dog smiling at Vet Clinic

Hey, did you know women began and lead the field of dog training?

Have you read LIPSTICK AND THE LEASH: Dog Training a Woman’s Way?

Why Dogs Love People Who Click

Loving people comes naturally to dogs. Dogs love us.

People who know dogs, give their dogs more than love.

A few simple daily activities will help your dog love and live long.

After reading dozens and dozens of books on dogs, a simple truth needs saying.

Dogs need walks. On that, most dog lovers agree.

My own dogs have all lived long and healthy lives. I feel grateful for each dog’s alert, playful and affectionate nature. Pizza, Buttons, Dawn, Nabisco and Sydney have all lavished me with love. And I know I have taken more walks and tried more games, than if I had not raised all these dogs.

  1. Dogs need sensory games and play, different kinds depending on fitness level, age and personality. Scent work, dog agility, dancing with dogs or long walks in new places, all give dogs welcome challenges and mental activity.
  2. Even small dogs, that are often treated like stuffed animals made for hugging and petting, need physical and mental activity. Some love toys, some love socializing with other dogs, and others love to go for rides in a car.
  3. Dogs need structure. Give your dog simple rules to follow. Make most of your dog’s days predictable. Give meals, walks, and naps on a dependable schedule.

For those of you who want to know about clicker training with your dog, this post is for you. Clickers work because they provide a clear marker. You only click when your dog does something you want him to do. Check out my other post on Common Sense in Dog Training.

You click (at first giving treats for each click) and your dog learns something wonderful has just happened. Now he will look to you for rewards. He will pay attention when you catch him doing something right and tell him by clicking. After a few days,  your dog will instantly know when he or she is doing something you like.

Totally win/win.

Use a clicker like a building block. Load your dog’s success from simple “feel good” experiences to more challenging activities. Teach simple tasks first.

Once your dog knows basic commands, start teaching your dog complex behaviors. If you want to work toward more than sit, stay, and come, clicker training can help.

This positive reinforcement method works well for families that share a dog. All agree on behaviors to encourage. Then as each family member uses a clicker and the same cue words, soon that dog will know how to please his whole family.

No Junk Food for This Little Guy

More than teaching tricks and obedience, clicker training can help you keep your dog healthy. Clicker training helps you encourage behaviors when you want your pet to do something cross a room or at the opposite end of a backyard. Your click reinforces instantly all positive behaviors your dog does at a distance.

Two life saving commands you can teach with clicker training.

  • Teach your dog to “wait.”
  • Teach your dog to “leave it”

Practice “wait” everyday at doorways, gates and before your dog gets in or out of your car. This simple command requires your dog to stop walking or running and wait for you. No more running out the door, jumping out of the car, or running into a street.

“Leave it” warns your dog off of eating anything he is about to chomp on. Use it in your kitchen and at public places where fast foods land on sidewalks. Practice “leave it” with a small unopened bag of cookies or snacks. Always, instantly reward with a click and treat when your dog stops sniffing or mouthing the item. Never use your dog’s toys or treats as bait, only things you want him to drop or avoid.

Have you ever tried clicker training?

What games does your dog love to play?

Check out this link to clicker training. http://youtu.be/JYyZeTNJfm4

Common Sense In Dog Training?

Confused by so many dog training methods?

I am sure you are not alone. A wide-divide exists between schools of thought on how to treat our best friends. Not going into unpractical arguments, I offer you my take on a common sense look at training.

And guess what? It all comes down to you.

  • What do you want your dog to do?
  • And what do you want your dog NOT to do?

Simple, eh?

But simple ideas are not always easy to carry out. And whether this is your first dog or your tenth dog, dogs, like people, behave as unique individuals. Ethical breeders work to produce dogs of sound health and good personalities. Just read Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog by John Grogan and you will not only laugh at a purebred gone wrong, but feel a bit sorry for Marley’s people.

We want to be happy. We want our dogs to be happy. And most of us, want our dogs fit for company. We want our dogs to get along well with others. We want dogs to make our lives better, not a Marley nightmare. A dog that loves us to pieces, yet does not stop eating plastic toys and knocking over all who enter our homes, adds stress to our days.

A well-socialized dog adds to your happiness whether he’s a mutt, a purebred or a lovable rescue. Most of us want our dogs to live long and healthy lives. A very simple way to save your dog’s life is to teach him or her to “Wait.”

I learned this command and behavioral strategy from Charlie Reinhart at Unleashed in Petaluma. “Wait” can stop your dog from running out the door. A dog that knows how to “Wait” can be stopped in mid-dash from eating something that might make him ill. And a dog that knows, “Wait” will stop when you call, before he runs out of your car into traffic.

Doing what comes naturally for dogs can be highly dangerous. Chasing moving animals is a natural behavior. But you might not want your dog to chase your cat, or your neighbors’.

Some dog trainers like to teach a dog to drop into an instant “Sit.” They use “Sit” like I use “Wait.”

  • Never mind what word you choose, teach your dog to be safe.
  • Choose the behaviors you want your dog to do.

Doing what comes naturally for dogs can be highly dangerous.

Common sense saves dogs. Dogs benefit from learning what you want them to do. They gain confidence when you socialize them into your family.

Making friends comes naturally to some dogs. But not all dogs possess a calm, gentle greeting style. Not all dogs have the talent to make a new friend without being pushy. This came as a surprise to me when my dog, Sydney, had to learn to play fair with other little dogs.

So find out what you want your dog to do, and encourage him.

And of course, figure out ways to discourage behaviors you don’t want. I think the following video gives a clear introduction how to help a dog become a happy member of your family.