View Full Version : How can I get my puppy to walk with me?

miss t
15th June 2010, 03:54 PM
I have a 10 week old puppy and for the first week I could kind of get him to walk. I used treats and excitement and praise. He would just stop every few steps and scratch his collar, try and eat something on the ground or just lay there. But I was getting a bit of progress. I usually do the walking and one day my boyfriend took him for a walk and was able to do so. I know I was asking too much of my puppy to heel the whole time for his first few walks in the beginning and my boyfriend just walked with him and he followed. So I was able to try it the same day and it worked. But all of a sudden he does not want to walk now at all. I don't want to drag him but he keeps just laying down. I call him all excitingly but he doesn't care. Can anyone give me advice or any idea of what happened and how I can get him to walk. Thank you

15th June 2010, 08:32 PM
Hi and welcome! I gave you some great links to use for training info on your intro post -- if you use Dr Ian Dunbar's free book that you can download, he'll explain exactly how to start walking a puppy.

One important question though as your puppy is still so young -- he actually should not be out on walks unless he is two weeks past his final puppy injection. For most puppies, this means walks can start when they are about 16 weeks old, 10 weeks is almost certainly too young still? On the street, he may be fully unprotected against puppy-killing diseases like distemper and parvovirus, which are widely carried around by other dogs, on people's shoes etc. That is why he needs not only to have completed his full puppy set of vaccines,but his immune system needs about two weeks further to build up some protection against these killer diseases. :thmbsup: If you phone your vet's office, your vet can explain when the right time is for him to go outside on walks if he is still in the midst of puppy shots. :)

Also, don;t worry; there's nothing wrong with him -- at this age you really cannot teach a puppy to fully walk on a lead (just as you couldn't get a 1 year old human baby to correctly use a potty :lol:). He is the equivalent of a small baby and it will take time and patience for him to learn to walk. A harness is also generally a far better option that a collar -- for small breeds, pulling on collars can easily damage the dog's trachea permanently and affect neckbones as well. A harness safely distributes the energy of a dog pulling, keeps the neck from being jerked around, and also makes it far easier to grab a small puppy if there's any kind of danger. Cavaliers are also sadly prone to a disease called syringomyelia and some neurologists feel it is better to not put any pressure on their neck area, to be on the safe side, as this is where they can be first affected. In general, it is just better for most dogs not to be pulled on a collar.

At his age, he is best given little tiny fun practice walks in the house to get used to a harness and leash, or else only in the back garden. Say for 5 minutes max -- he just does not have the attention span for longer nor should a young puppy ever be walked for more than small distances anyway -- 10 minutes for the first couple of months, working up to maybe 20 minutes a walk by 6 months. Their bone development can be damaged by too long walks at too young an age (which is why agility instructors do not allow dogs under 1 to do agility either :) ). I know it can seem hard to wait, but remember you will probably have a decade of daily long walks to enjoy ahead of you once he is older!!

PS heeling is something trainers do not even tend to start with dogs til they are at least 6 months old -- this is far too hard a concept. But these days most people do not bother to train to heel unless they plan to compete in a ring with their dog -- heeling is a pretty boring, restricted and unfriendly way to walk a dog (like forcing small children to walk in strict single file!) and is better suited to the competitive obedience ring. :) Most modern trainers teach owners to walk their dog on a loose lead. The Ian Dunbar book will explain all this and great techniques for teaching it as your puppy gets old enough.

miss t
15th June 2010, 10:18 PM
Thank you so much for your help. I didn't realize how much was involved when it came to trying to walk him or not walk him yet. I just thought is was so important to do every thing you can at the young age. What you told me makes a lot of sense. Thanks again!