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View Full Version : Advice on how to get Meenah to walk nicely for my daughter.



vshenoy
14th July 2008, 05:02 PM
I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on how to teach Meenah to walk nicely for people other than me.

Meenah is very attached to me since she is around me most of the time, and I do a majority of her training, care, and walks. She loves my husband and kids too. She plays with them, snuggles with them, listens pretty well to them (although not as well as she listens to me). But, if anyone other than me takes her for a walk without me, she cries. Not just whining but sort of like yelping too. She'll also do this if we are somewhere and my husband, for example, takes her away from me. If I am present, then forget it - she cries and tries to get back to me. If I am not present, she will cry for a time but will eventually settle and do just fine. My husband can now take her for a walk on his own without much crying at all.

My daughter, however, is very discouraged. She has tried to take Meenah for short walks and she yelps/cries the entire time. My daughter has announced that she never wants to walk her again, and I'm trying to figure out what to do! She has done leash walking practice with her in the backyard and on the road in front of our house, and Meenah has done just fine. But when she continues past our house down the road, the waterworks start. I'm thinking that my daughter needs to be persistent and keep walking as if nothing is wrong, no matter how embarassing it is to be with a crying puppy. She should not try to sooth Meenah while she's crying because that is sort of rewarding her bad behavior. Perhaps talking shorter walks and gradually going further and further each day would help her get used to someone else walking her. I suppose I'm looking more for guidance on how to encourage my daughter because I know if she does these things, Meenah will be fine for her.

By the way, Meenah is 7 months old and my daughter is 11 years old.

Thanks!!

Karlin
14th July 2008, 05:11 PM
To be honest, I think an 11 year old is still too young to be walking a cavalier, especially a puppy, on her own -- I'd stick to walking in the garden and house til she is older. It is so easy for a puppy or adult dog to suddenly pull and easy to drop the lead. Adults at least tend to be more aware of hanging on (I always say -- loop the lead around your wrist, don't hold the handle in your hand, as they can pull loose and run in a nanosecond).

Or try having her take the lead when you walk together and are safely in an open park well away from traffic.

The way the puppy will learn to walk with others is by having someone else walk her. This should be a shared family role but again, in the appropriate context. There's simply no way I'd let a child under 14 or so walk a dog on their own (though this might depend on the child, but most kids I see are very casual in holding the lead and don;t really understand the force with which even a small dog can yank a lead right out of their hands).

I'd recommend doing a class together where your daughter can share in the role of training as this will help the relationship too. If Meenah hasn't been enrolled in a class she is really at the age where you'd not want to wait too much longer -- she's the right age to shape for desired behaviour and dogs that don;t get that groundwork end up being much harder to train later on. Eseocially true for pulling on the lead, etc. :thmbsup:

PS A child should never ever be required or encouraged to do something with a dog they do not want to do or feel comfortable doing. Keep it a happy relationship, not a chore! :)

vshenoy
14th July 2008, 07:18 PM
Karlin, thanks for your advice!

Never having had a dog before, so many things are new to me so I thought letting my daughter take Meenah for a walk around the neighborhood is ok. She is a very responsible kid. She does put the loop of the leash around her right wrist and then hold the rest of the leash in her left hand with the slack wrapped around her hand. She walks Meenah well when I am with them. She came to puppy kg with us, at least for the first half of it (school got too busy so I didn't push her to go for the rest of the classes). But she knows all the commands we learned and even taught her to do "shake hands" and "spin" on her own. We're actually waiting for Obedience II to start. I certainly wouldn't push my daughter into doing anything with Meenah that she doesn't want to do, but I don't want her to give up so easily and miss out on something that is very fun and rewarding because of a couple discouraging experiences. I suppose for now I'll accompany them on walks and let Meenah get used to my daughter holding the leash.