Training puppy to walk outside on a leash, need advice!

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Spoiled Little- Girl
Barked: Sun Mar 24, '13 10:12pm PST 
Hazel is 16 weeks now and is around 5lbs. I have been unsuccessful in getting her used to going outside, because it has been so flipping cold! Well it is finally getting to be in the 40's and I have begun to start her leash training, and have not been very successful.

First off Hazel HATES wearing anything on her body, she runs when she sees her sweater, harness, or leash. I have had a collar on her since I brought her home, but when I take it off of her, she runs when I try to put it back on.

Well when I finally get her geared up (sweater, harness, and leash) and take her outside she just stands there. She may sniff the ground or stare at everything, but she barely moves. When I attempt to walk and put any strain on the leash she pulls against me and refuses to move. Which would not be too big of a deal but we have been working on this for a couple weeks now, with hardly any progress.

Has anyone had a similar situation, or can offer any advice? I love to go for walks, and would be really sad that my dog does not enjoy them with me

Let's play tug!!
Barked: Mon Mar 25, '13 2:08am PST 
It sounds like you would benefit from backing up a few steps smile

First, slowly countercondition the getting-dressed process. A clicker would be super helpful for this. Bring out her sweater, click and treat her for sniffing it, nosing it, letting you put it over her head for a second, etc. After several days of short, twice daily sessions, you should have the sweater on. Repeat the process with the harness and attaching the leash- you may need to pay special attention to clicking noises from the buckle and leash hook. Err on the side of moving too slowly- she should feel like this is a game, where a magical item produces delicious things. To that end, if it isn't a financial burden, it does help to start over with a new sweater and harness that look different from the ones she has a negative association with. Tiny pieces of cheese, deli turkey, etc are great for this. I usually freeze slices of cheese to make them easier to cut into tiny squares. Once she's all dressed and happy and comfortable about it, play some Giving in to leash pressure games indoors for a few days before moving outside.

Im just a little- guy
Barked: Mon Mar 25, '13 9:02am PST 
Maybe she does not like wearing the sweater. Does she wear it inside? Does she behave the same way?

40 degrees may not be too cold for her. When dogs are walking they feel warmer. The sweater may be restricting her movement or pinching her arm pits. Does the sweater have sleeves?

Try taking her out with out the sweater on. If it has sleeves try cutting the sleeves off and making the holes bigger for her legs. Eventually she will like walks. She is uncomfortable and nervous. She should out grow this. Years ago I had a family dog who behaved like this as a puppy. Now she loves walks.

I kinda think the sweater has something to do with this. Some dogs don't like clothes. I know my dog does not mind, but some jackets have not been as comfortable as others. The ones that don't restrict the legs seem to be the best.

Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Mon Mar 25, '13 11:26am PST 
With all my little ones I start them off by allowing them to drag the leash around INSIDE, with no pressure. Just put it on, and leave it on and ignore them. Once they are racing thru the house dragging that leash you can start picking it up a bit and putting some resistance on it.
The next thing I do is take them into a safe, fenced area and again, allow them to drag the leash without handling it, until they are comfortable dragging it.
When you first start holding the leash, just follow the dog, don't try to lead her until she is comfortable with a bit of pressure on it.
I also do the put on and take off collar and leash while they are waiting to be released to eat their dinner. I do that every meal for a few days until the leash coming out gets them excited, and the meal is their reward.

Member Since
Barked: Tue Mar 26, '13 12:39am PST 
My dog used to be the same way. At first we successfully got her to wear a collar, but when we had to take it off her, she'd run away like she was fearing for her life. What we did was have her play around with her collar but we also made sure that she wasn't attacking the collar. It wouldn't be helpful if your dog would associate the collar to something terrible. We made sure that Peggy had her collar when she was eating or playing to help make the association that a collar means a good thing. big grin

Spoiled Little- Girl
Barked: Tue Mar 26, '13 8:13pm PST 
Thanks everyone! I will be trying all these techniques! smile