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Leia's one lazy dog. Or is she?

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
Leia

The Cowardly- Lion - I'll find my- courage
 
 
Barked: Tue Oct 16, '12 1:44pm PST 
Leia is pretty new to our house - we've only had her a couple of weeks, but she's truly become part and parcel of our home. But, she definitely has some quirks, one of which I wanted to ask about.

When we first got her, Leia was up for a walk any time, any where - 6 AM, middle of the day, 10 at night, it didn't matter to her. Now, though... Let's just say, she's mellowed laugh out loud I've been trying (without much success) to take her on a morning and evening walk beyond just going out to potty, but she's having none of it. She'll walk with me to a certain point, then plant her feet and look at me pitifully as she turns her head back towards home! Treats only sway her for a few steps, then its back to the 'woe-is-me,' hang-dog, 'I'm so tired' expression and sighs. BOL!

I mostly find it amusing, but I do worry that she's not getting enough exercise. She usually has a looong play session mid-afternoon, either at the park or at my BIL's place (fenced back yard), where she zips around for an hour or so and then lays down for pets. She doesn't act under-exercised or anything; she will spend all day glued to either the couch, the Monster Sac (giant bean bag), or her dog bed if allowed. Any ideas? Should I try harder to get her out and moving, or is is it ok for her to be a lazy little pupper? She is suspected to be part greyhound or whippet, if that helps.

Thanks for your input!
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Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
 
 
Barked: Tue Oct 16, '12 2:20pm PST 
Well this could go several way!

1. When she first came home she had lots of pent up engery to burn up and now you're seeing the real dog. And the real dog is a lazy one.

2. Walks just aren't exciting to her. Try driving somewhere and walking her, if that perks her up you know she's just faking at home! Also try making the walks more exciting by bringing one of her toys and acting like a nut. Trust me, I foster and there are some dogs I have had to do crazy things with and my neighbors across the street love it. I bounce around, talk in an excited voice, point out every tree like there's not 20 on the street, praise them for anything..etc.

3. She's finding walks painful. Has she been checked by a vet? I know she plays but that would be on grass not hard pavement.
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Leia

The Cowardly- Lion - I'll find my- courage
 
 
Barked: Tue Oct 16, '12 6:20pm PST 
Thanks Jewel! I hadn't even considered the idea that walking on pavement might be hurting her. She's seeing the vet tomorrow morning to get her vaccines renewed, so I'll ask about it then. Her nails are due for a trim (doing that tomorrow as well) - they're super long, with long quicks, so maybe that's uncomfortable for her. I had thought that walks were maybe boring, but I haven't managed to get her amped up for it yet. I guess more silliness is in order, hahaha! Tough at 5:30 AM, but I'll see what I can do.

She hasn't even gone out for more than a few minutes at a time today, because it's stormy and she's a weenie about the weather. Yet, she's spent all day switching laps between me and my husband, depending on who's home! I really do love how calm she is in the house. I just hope it's not because she's hurting.
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Niki

1229379
 
 
Barked: Tue Oct 16, '12 8:21pm PST 
She's definitely part Whippet. I clicked on her profile and let out a big "AW!" ... she has similar features my Whippet mix did, who was also a major wimp in bad weather. Rain was miserable, and Canadian winter was her worst nightmare! On top of a regular, thick jacket her had to wear insulated neoprene boats when it started getting cold out. Without them, she'd just start lifting each paw a little higher off the sidewalk ... she looks pathetic standing on two paws - boots and a coat were definitely a must!

Could Leia be cold now that its fall? I always recommend taking treats on walks ... its great practice for basic commands (sit, come, stay, heel) and helps her focus on something other than being nervous about the walk. Whatever you do, be patient and gentle. If you over-correct or punish her, it could turn into a much more unpleasant experiene for Leia.
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Ellie

1184927
 
 
Barked: Tue Oct 16, '12 8:27pm PST 
Ellie won't walk far from our house because she has fear issues. She'll stop and turn around at the same spot every time. I finally figured out she doesn't like walking pass houses with dogs barking behind a privacy fence.

Leia is so cute!
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Leia

The Cowardly- Lion - I'll find my- courage
 
 
Barked: Tue Oct 16, '12 9:48pm PST 
Well, now I know what gets her going on walks! As we went out tonight to go potty and try for a longer walk, we had a very funny surprise.

After she did her business and just as I was about to get truly silly in my attempts to get her excited, Leia got very alert and focused on something off to my left in the parking lot. I couldn't see anything, so I let her lead me over to one of the parked cars, where she started sniffing intently and crouching down to look underneath. I got down to look as well, and sure enough, there was a very surly-looking orange tabby cat hiding there! Now, Leia is usually great with cats - she lived with one in her previous home with no problems, and has met our free-roaming neighbor cats with a simple sniff and then looked away. But this one was different for some reason. She didn't growl or bark, but was just very, very interested. Finally, the cat had enough and took off for the other side of the street. Leia bounded up to the end of the leash and popped into a perfect point laugh out loud After that, she was definitely eager to walk - so eager I even started running to keep up with her. If you knew me personally, you'd know how crazy that is for me, ahahaha.

Anyways, cats aside, thanks for your ideas, Niki and Ellie. Niki, your girl sounds adorable, and just like Leia in the weather! We had noticed her shivering last week when we were out, so hubbie and I got her a sweater at Petsmart to tide her over until we can find something better online. She doesn't seem to like it much, but hey, at least she isn't cold anymore. Hopefully a nicer coat will be more comfortable. As far as treats go, we always carry them when we're outside, but as I said, she'll only go so far for them. She's definitely got a mind of her own - very happy to obey and perform when she's in the mood, but deaf as a brick when she chooses to be, haha. I think we need better treats silenced So, we're working on training while we walk, but it's definitely an ongoing process.

Ellie, you make a good point. Leia is a bit fearful and timid - not the least bit reactive, but definitely wary and startles easily. It's possible we've run across something on our regular route that frightened her, so now she wants to avoid it. I'll take a completely new route tomorrow to test that out.
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Tyler

Whippy- The- Whipador
 
 
Barked: Wed Oct 17, '12 6:56am PST 
Whippets & Greyhounds are major couch potatoes anyway, so that could explain why she's seemingly so lazy. My Tyler is the same and he has Whippet in him too. But he does enjoy his walks and is always up for going out.

Long nails can hurt when walking so you might notice a change after you trim them down. Like Jewel said, get her checked out by your vet too just to make sure she's not in any physical pain.

Is there anywhere you can go to let her run free? Sighthounds really love short sprints and then they're pretty much done for laugh out loud
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Niki

1229379
 
 
Barked: Wed Oct 17, '12 7:46am PST 
Aw, she sounds little a sweetheart! Its weird, but I miss having a dog that needs a coat and wants to constantly cuddle! My current dogs are very rough-and-tumble. I loved looking at whippet coats online and sewing my own ... there are so many great handmade ones that I've either ordered from or have heard great things about:
-http://www.cottagehounddesigns.com/
-http://www.k9apparel.com/
-http://www.needlenoseapparel.com/Need le_Nose_Apparel/Coats_By_Tara.html

There are a few books on confidence building in shy dogs that might be great for Leia too. Even trick training can be a lot of fun for the dog and you.
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Willie

Furever Baby
 
 
Barked: Wed Oct 17, '12 10:55pm PST 
Willie is the laziest among lazy dogs. We would go for walk along the beach and he would just stop and lay down in the sand. Nothing was wrong with him health wise, but just a plain lazy dog. Willie even has his very own lazy boy downstairs which he just loves. Willie is actually the most lovable and carefree dog I have ever had. He just prefers to be comfy and warm. Yes, it is an effort to get him outside when it is raining as he does not like getting wet. His sister, Seela, is just the opposite, very energetic. It is actually a blessing to have such a carefree and easy going dog.
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Leia

The Cowardly- Lion - I'll find my- courage
 
 
Barked: Thu Oct 18, '12 7:46pm PST 
Well, the vet took a look at her yesterday, and apparently she's in perfect health. A prime doggy specimen, for sure wink So it's not because of any obvious health reasons.

Tyler, your guy is the same mix we think Leia is! He's adorable, looks much more lab-like than our girl. She looks all sighthound except for her head and ears, and the fact that her paws are webbed... Not quite your standard whippet trait, there! We do take her out to a fenced park to run, and boy does she take off. For about 15 minutes, anyway - then she's down in your lap for pets until she's rested, at which point she takes off again. It's the best thing to watch her run as fast as she can. After we come back from that, she's conked out for a few hours at least, hahaha.

Niki, I really do love how cuddly she is. Maybe it's just because I'm warm, but I don't care! She's a total velcro, touchy-feely, wants to live in your skin kind of dog, which is just perfect for me. She'll sit there with her head in your lap and butt at your hand until you start petting her, just like a cat. Silly girl. Thanks for those sites, they look awesome, by the way. I especially like Voyager's stuff, with the tummy-warmer and all. I think I know what her Christmas presents will be (maybe a little earlier than Christmas). As for books, I know that The Cautious Canine is supposed to be a good start, so I have that ordered on Amazon. Let me know if you have any more suggestions, for sure.

Willie, you sound like you're the best to hang out with by the fire on a cold day! A lazy dog is a special kind of awesome all his own, I must say. I bet you make the best fluffy, warm pillow of all time smile
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