View Full Version : Puppy walking on leash and other stuff

11th May 2007, 06:50 AM
Well today was the day I decided that Waffles was ready for the leash.........apparently not. Apparently the leash is a really fun chew toy for her. When I just tried to walk her in the backyard and frontyard she was pulling this way and that and once she realized she could che won the leash she immediately rolled onto her back and tried to chew on the leash. So any info on beginning the whole leash walking thing would be greatly appreciated. She is only 10 weeks old so maybe its too soon for her to understand the whole walking on a leash thing. But how old did you guys start pups walking on leash.

Also another new activity she has discovered is chewing on twigs and leaves. She totally understands she is not suppose to do this cause when she sees me going to her to take the leaf or twig she immediately runs away from me so that she can keep chewing on whatever she has in her mouth which then prompts me to chase her around (shes a fast little bugger!) for a bit until I get it out of her mouth. So my question is what is the best way to get her to come to me in general. A lot of times I call her name and she just kinda stares at me and sits there when we are in the house.

Any info is greatly appreciated thanks!

Jon Chang

11th May 2007, 07:06 AM
Hello Jon

I think Beau was about 10 weeks old when I first put a harness & leash on him. I honestly don't know what the right age is, so hopefully some of the other board members can answer this one.

Beau is now 19 weeks old & has been going to puppy school for 4 weeks. Our teacher is constantly heard yelling "never let your puppy chew on his leash or you are sunk" :lol: Honestly that's what she keeps yelling. It does sound a bit extreme to me and I have absolutely no idea if there is any truth in that, because I thought all puppies chewed their leash when they started.

However, here is how I approached Beau's first time on leash & is also the way we have been taught at puppy school.

You have some really scrummy treats in your hands. You put your puppy on your left side (he probably wont stay there at this stage, that is ok) and then show him the treat, but don't left him have it yet. Hold it about a foot in front of his nose and with your left foot start slowly walking while you say "heel". Once puppy start off towards the treat, even if it is only 1', that is success and you give him the treat. You just keep up this routine, gradually expanding the distance that he must walk to get the treat. For his first few efforts, keep the lesson really short and don't expect him to walk far. Even 1 minute of positive training is better than 15 minutes of a struggle. Heeding the dire warnings of my teacher, maybe you could end the lesson before puppy gets bored & starts chewing on his lead. ;)

So my question is what is the best way to get her to come to me in general. A lot of times I call her name and she just kinda stares at me and sits there when we are in the house.

Treats! Practice this while she doesn't have anything in her mouth. Have your treat in hand and call "Waffles, come!" Show her the treat & when she comes, give her the treat & praise her mightily. Do this over & over until she associates your calling "Waffles, come!" with a wonderful treat. Once she is coming with almost 100% reliability you can start occasionally not giving a food reward, but simply praising her for obeying. Eventually you won't need the treat at all, but I do like to still occasionally have treats on hand to keep them keen. BTW never call her to you for a scoulding. No matter how naughty she has been or how much of a fright she gave you, you must always praise her for comming.

Scouty girl
11th May 2007, 04:26 PM
As far as grabbing the leash. it seems like a lot of puppies and older dogs like to do this. With Scout and Breeze I would just take it out of their mouths saying no. No is your friend. They learn this word very quickly, because you say it so much. You will have to keep repeating yourself many, many times, but eventually they will stop. It will come a time when she goes to grab it you just say no and she will stop. Then she will stop all together.

As far as teaching her how to walk on a leash this is a little more time consuming AND frustrating sometimes. I just clipped the leash to her collar making sure there is always slack and let her lead me around until she was used to it. This might take a week or so. Then after she is used to the leash then you can start to direct her. If she's not used to it or ready she will just plop down and roll over and a whole bunch of other things just so she won't have to walk . Just be patient and work with her. She'll get and learn to love her leash and get very excited when she sees it because she'll know she going for a walk. Which is one of a dogs favorite things.

Picking up leaves, sticks and everything else she sees in the yard as well as eating grass, well I just think this is not only a Cavalier thing, but other dogs as well. Scout still does it and she's 13 months old. It's almost a waste to chase her , she's very fast. But she is doing much, much better with the drop it command. It seems like when you say..."What do you have"...in their minds it means run, run very fast away, away. Be patient.

Charlie's Mommy
11th May 2007, 05:59 PM
Once Waffles gets the hang of not chewing on the leash, you should really try getting a Puppia or another type of harness. Charlie was not leashed trained when he was 5 months and it took a while to get him acclimated to walking on a leash. In the beginning, he had no clue what the leash was supposed to do. As soon as I clipped it on him, he would put on "the brakes" and refuse to walk. Then I would end up pulling him by his little neck and that just broke my heart. So the harness is so much better for him, he doesn't feel like he's getting pulled by his neck and it's much easier for him to walk. I highly recommend a harness!

11th May 2007, 07:56 PM
When Ruby was about 10 wks old, I would put the leash on her and just let her walk around the house with it dragging behind her (supervised, of course). After a few days of trying this, I took her out with it. She would twirl around and try to bite the leash, but I would just pull if from her mouth and tell her no. She now will only bite it if I'm taking her inside and she doesn't want to yet. Our trainer suggested spraying the leash with bitter apple in the area that she chewed. This really didn't help her much, but she seems immune to the taste of it (as evidenced by my blinds). I have, however, heard this works. The other day at training, a puppy kept biting the leash. The trainer attached a chain collar to the puppy's collar and to the leash so that it was an extension of the leash, and the puppy quickly stopped biting because it didn't like chewing the metal. That would be another option. One thing I've found that works for Ruby is to distract her from chewing by giving her another command. If I can get her to sit or go down, then she'll usually drop the leash. But, of course she would have to learn those commands first. Ruby has known "sit" since she was about 9 weeks old. Or, sometimes I offer her a toy. She knows the command "drop it", but she doesn't comply very often.
As far as getting Waffles to come to you, we would go to opposite sides of the room and tell Ruby to come and reward her with a treat after she sat like a good girl in front of one of us. We usually had to actually let her see the treat to get her to come. Now if I don't give her a treat, she looks at me like I'm crazy and goes on about her business. I agree with Caraline also. NEVER call Waffles to come when you need to reprimand her. Oh, and using her name when you're scolding isn't a good idea either. It's hard not to yell "RUBY!!" when she's doing something bad, but we're working on it. I wouldn't want her to think that her name is something necessarily bad and that she's in trouble when I yell it.

12th May 2007, 12:40 AM
Kodee had hers on and used at 8wks in a crash course - distrubing hawks lead to no other way. In some ways, I think she just accepted this as she was new to us so one more new thing of leash and collar sort of slipped by her. I literally put it on and took it off at each potty break for a good mth - the nylon snap style is good for that. But I got a better collar once I started going out on the street (those skinny early puppy ones dont take much force to pop open.

15th May 2007, 06:45 AM
My puppy did the same pulling and chewing, so I tried to motivate him to follow me with a treat and it worked!:D

24th May 2007, 12:36 PM
Mika is not too bad on a lead, but pulls sometimes, which I am training him not to do. He is 4 months old. I have been careful not to walk him too far, as I have been told this is bad for joints later in life.
Would anyone be able to tell me what would be an ideal distance to walk and how many times a day, for a puppy of Mika's age?

24th May 2007, 02:02 PM
Bauer did the same thing! He freaked out the first time we put the leash on him, did not like it so much. Well we figured out that attaching the leash to his collar was the problem. Once we got a harness, he didn't mind at all! He is great with it now! It took a couple of weeks but it will work out. He knows that when we put the leash on him...its time to go outside!

He also picks up anything and everything on the ground. His favorite is big pieces of mulch! That little bugger will run and run from me. I know what you mean when you say they are fast!

24th May 2007, 04:49 PM
We are definitely all in this together! Libby and I have been working with the leash. All the suggestions above are great. Libby also likes to jump for the treats, so my back is breaking walking and keeping the treat in front of her.

One of the other board members suggested a spoon with peanut butter and I am going to try that.

Coming when called is a must. We turned this into a game, first inside the house. We only use her name when she is to come. I never use it as part of a correct. Have great treats and only repeat it once. Otherwise, you teach them to come on the 4th, 5th try. We started this a short distance apart. I usually say, Libby (get her attention) and really excited, come! Reward with cheese, training treats, turkey hotdogs etc. Once, she got that we moved further away. Now, it has progressed to the kids playing hide N seek and calling her to different parts of the house. A good game on a rainy day!

Good luck!