Tag: teaching your dog

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.

Deborah

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)

Stop Your Dog From Biting

“Stop messing with my paws!”

Stop your dog from biting. We had to learn the hard way from experience with our adopted Cockapoo dog, Sydney.

One day as I trimmed Sydney’s nails, he started a low growl. Then he opened his jaws wide, showing all his teeth. He looked me right in the eye then, he bit me!

If you have read Sydney’s Spot on this blog, you know we found our cockapoo from an animal shelter. At one-year-old, he had lost two homes and was owner surrended to a shelter. Sold as a puppy, Sydney’s owners had fail to house train him. By the time he ended up in the shelter, Sydney bit everyone who tried to put their hands on him.

His biting, a natural self-defense for dogs, showed willingness to self-defend. Sydney had learned to outrun his people. He fled conflict at every chance. So he never attacked people. He responded by fear biting, due to not being taught to inhibit the impulse to bite. Plus he never had learned to trust people.

Being part poodle, Sydney came ‘bloody” smart as the British might say. He also came with a nickname, Sid Vicious. Due to being only 14 pounds, shelter staff and volunteers learned to manage his anxiety biting, and his habit of chewing on fingers. He really meant no harm.

Playful as a puppy, Sydney brightened people’s days with his brash BIG personality. His main problem seemed to stem from his breeder selling him  too early. Dogs need to feel emotionally secure.

Puppies need to learn when not to bite from their mothers.

Years later dogs can still revert to bad puppy habits.

So I was ready with a quick, “NO,” and a growl.

Then I put on a muzzle and finished the job. He got the message. Biting means unpleasant experiences for him. I still do not let strangers pet my dog. Too scary for him, he’s so tiny that his legs look like chicken legs when wet.

Muzzles make me pant. When you going to take it off?
Muzzles make me pant. When you going to take it off?

“What’s in my mouth stays in my mouth!”

Most dogs would say that (if they could talk).

If you have a new dog, a dog that refuses to share his toys or a dog that guards his food dish try these suggestions and follow the seven steps.

If you have more than one dog, be sure to take your dog away from other dogs so that his lessons in trading are not interrupted. Make sure there are no small children around for their safety.

Happy dogs understand fair trade.

Photo credit: dogs of WOOFSTOCK by Ryan from Toronto, Canada

7 Steps to Teach Your Dog to Trade

  1. Cut up small bites of your dog’s favorite treat. Chicken, hot dogs (in little odd pieces not round slices that can block his breathing) or dried meat dog treats work well.
  2. Keep the treats in your left hand.
  3. Give hand signal cues with your right hand.
  4. If your dog doesn’t like sharing his toys bring them and set them up high where he can’t get them. If your dog guards his food, do this lesson at mealtime and use his food bowl, but don’t fill it. Put just a few bites in his dish because you want to trade five to ten times in his first lesson.
  5. Say your dog’s name and ask him to “Sit.”
  6. Then tell him to “Stay.” Give him one of his tiny, yummy treats and say “Good dog.”
  7. Give him his toy or food dish then quickly say, “Drop it” or “Trade.”

If your dog stops eating or drops his toy, reward instantly and praise.

  • Repeat and use the same cue word each time.
  • Keep practicing trading
  • Stop after 5 to 10 trades.

Repeat everyday or several times a week until your dog loves trading. He should quickly drop a favorite toy or leave his food dish on your cue word. Soon, he will not need a treat every time; your praise will remind him of the fun of trading.

Dogs understand fairness and trading. But most dogs need to be taught that trading their favorite thing is a good thing.

Soften Your Dog’s Bite

What methods have you used to teach a dog not to bite? Please share, I love true stories.

Are You Parenting Your Dog?

“Adolescents need stimulation as well as structure, and lots of it. If our teenagers are involved in after-school activities…they’re far less likely to explore the seedier side of life. The same is true with dogs. Any kind of constructive activity, whether it be physical or mental, will have numerous positive effects on your adolescent dog.”

Trish King writes in Parenting Your Dog.  

This is great. Can we go now?
Dogs Love To Go To New Places

This applies to mature dogs as well. Keep them active with interesting mental and physical activities so you can have a happier home life with your canine friend.

Your dog will have a healthier and longer life.

Fetch Parenting Your Dog from Dog Wise at http://www.dogwise.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=DTB795

Avoid Dog Bites: Teach Your Dog To Trade

“What’s in my mouth stays in my mouth!”

Most dogs would say this, if they could talk. If you have a new dog or a dog that refuses to share his toys or guards his food dish, here are some tips to get your dog to trade.

If you have more than one dog, be sure to take your dog away from other dogs so that his lessons in trading are not interrupted. Make sure there are no small children around for their safety.

Happy dogs understand fair trade.

Photo credit: dogs of WOOFSTOCK by Ryan from Toronto, Canada

Cut up small bites of your dog’s favorite treat. Chicken, hot dogs (in little odd pieces not round slices that can block his breathing) or dried meat dog treats work well.

Keep the treats in your left hand.

Give hand signal cues with your right hand.

If your dog doesn’t like sharing his toys bring them and set them up high where he can’t get them. If your dog guards his food, do this lesson at mealtime and use his food bowl, but don’t fill it. Put just a few bites in his dish because you want to trade five to ten times in his first lesson.

Say your dog’s name and ask him to “Sit.”

Then tell him to “Stay.” Give him one of his tiny, yummy treats and say “Good dog.”

Give him his toy or food dish then quickly say, “Drop it” or “Trade.”

If your dog stops eating or drops his toy, reward instantly and praise.

Repeat and use the same cue word each time.

Keep practicing trading as long as your dog is interested.

Stop after 5 to 10 trades.

Repeat everyday or several times a week until your dog loves trading. He should quickly drop a favorite toy or leave his food dish on your cue word. Soon, he will not need a treat every time; your praise will remind him of the fun of trading.

Dogs understand fairness and trading. But most dogs need to be taught that trading their favorite thing is a good thing.