How to leash train a puppy who refuses to move?

asked 2016-03-15 21:53:51 -0500

I got my puppy last week, he's a havanese and almost three months old. I decided to start leash training him so I can start walking him outside soon. I have never owned a dog before so I don't really know how to start but I did watch and read many many videos/articles on how to leash train a puppy. I followed their examples but it just isn't working. My dog tends to just lay there (And won't budge at all) until I walk about ten meters away and then it charges at me. It also goes crazy when it doesn't get to go where it wants to, which often means to my neighbor's yard. I don't know how to move on from here, please help.

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Clip a leash onto his collar or harness and then have a high value treat such as a hotdog, cheese, chicken, etc and lure him. When you have him clipped to a leash I would suggest You start with a harness just to get him used to having something attached to him and then take the treat (rip them into smaller pieces) and while walking put the treat in front of him and repeatedly do that until he is comfortable walking on the leash. I would suggest you first start indoors where there are less distractions and then go outside. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask me. Hope this helps.

Febby C.'s profile image Febby C.  ( 2016-03-20 21:32:46 -0500 ) edit

4 Answers

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answered 2016-03-16 11:00:29 -0500

Will he follow along with you (around the house) otherwise (when he's not on a leash)? If not, I'd start with that. Practice that, giving praise and treats when he keeps his attention on you and stays near you as you move around. He doesn't have to be at a perfect heel position, of course. Remember to use an upbeat, happy voice to encourage and praise.

He might be afraid of the leash, if he wasn't exposed to one by his previous owner. Try attaching the leash to his collar, but not holding onto it. Let him get used to walking around the room dragging the leash with him. If that's too much for him, you can start with a length of string or similar. The goal is to start off with something that he doesn't mind, giving praise and treats when he's acting fine and moving around (not afraid or annoyed).

Once he's okay with dragging the leash around, wandering around the room, pick up the handle and encourage him to stay near you, praising and treating while he is calm and not trying to get away. When he's okay with just standing there on leash (hopefully close to you), you can walk around, praising and treating when he sticks with you.

Overall, start small and move on in increments.

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He's fine with the leash, but he just doesn't always follow. Even off the leash, he only follows when he wants to. If there is anything distracting him (like a leaf), he runs to that instead. I have tried praising and giving treats when he does come to me, but I don't think he gets why he is praised

Jennifer L.'s profile image Jennifer L.  ( 2016-03-17 18:31:20 -0500 ) edit

Some dogs are slower on the uptake than others, but if you're consistent, he'll figure it out. I recommend practicing having him walk with you on leash indoors where there aren't many distractions. You can use clicker training as well, to make sure he knows what behavior he is being rewarded for.

Shannon L.'s profile image Shannon L.  ( 2016-03-19 12:41:41 -0500 ) edit

There are a lot of websites dedicated to clicker training. One is www.clickertraining.com. You can also check YouTube for videos that demonstrate dog training.

Shannon L.'s profile image Shannon L.  ( 2016-03-19 12:48:16 -0500 ) edit
answered 2016-03-16 15:11:15 -0500

I would add to Shannon's great suggestions that if he will chase you, you can make leash walking into a game. Put the leash on him holding onto your end, and without pulling on it (always work to keep the leash loose), back away from him playfully with lots of enthusiasm. When he comes romping to you, praise and treat.

Once he's got the idea, instead of backing away, turn and trot away from him, like you're inviting him to chase you. When he comes romping along and catches up to you, praise and treat. Slowly increase the distance you run away from him, at the same time you slow your pace to a walk.

As my first trainer told me (this is a bit oversimplified, but it works): dogs think things are either fun or not fun. Your job when teaching him something is to make the behavior you're teaching loads of fun so he can't resist!

Best wishes!

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answered 2016-03-16 16:26:38 -0500

You stated that the dog can be 10 meters away. You need to keep him on a short leash, very close to you, sort of like a heel position, and have a high-value treat that he can smell near your body.

Try reading this:


There might even be some video, showing how Brendon does this, but I did remember it from one of his Lucky Dog programs.

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answered 2016-03-17 18:05:46 -0500

Shannon's right about the leash in the house... that's what I did when I got my Chiweenie as a puppy.. I'd never had a puppy before either, always got them a bit older. I asked my friends on facebook and the best advice was to have the leash on inside. another thing is the collar... I used a harness when he was young and it worked a lot better than a neck collar. I would put his kibble in my pocket and take him outside on leash and throw the food ahead a few feet and then have him walk with me to get it. all of these things worked for me, and I hope they work for you! good luck!! -S

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