Puppy walking trouble
We are having an extremely hard time getting our 8-month old puppy to walk on a leash in our neighborhood or in the park...
The problem: Whenever Pippa gets a block or two away from the house, she freezes, plants her butt down and refuses to move. We've tried everything, including her favorite toys, treats, bully sticks, etc.
Pippa is very social and not scared of people, loves to greet just about EVERYONE and other dogs, but for some reason it appears that she is scared to walk on her own. If I pick her up and walk to end of the street, she will do a good job walking home. It's really just that she's scared to walk too far away from the house?
One other thing, she actually does a pretty good job when there are TWO people walking with her... my girlfriend holds the leash and I walk ahead a few feet ahead. It almost seems like if Pippa has something or someone to "follow" she does a good job, but refuses to walk when she's with a single person.
Any ideas? Suggestions?
First I would say definitely stop picking her up and carrying her when she does that - it sends the message that if she plants her tushy on the ground she gets to be held. Maybe try walks with two people, then slowly phase that out until she can walk on her own. I would also say treats and a LOT of positive reinforcement when she is walking will help...my pup has the opposite problem. She PULLS and pulls to walk away from the apartment, then doesn't want to go back because she loves walking so much. Silly pups.
Yes, I know the walking puppy trouble, it took Fletcher a bit to learn this way..... oh and stop biting at my shoe laces or pant legs (cavalier ADHD full on).
I would agree with ladybug11 stop picking her up!!! Cavalier's are so smart they can be the ones doing to training sometimes..... Haha Have you tried ending the walk there and started for home when she does this? Maybe she's just done walking or wants you to carry her now... Fletcher does better walking with 2 people too, however in my case that "other person" is my 4 year old son who runs ahead, jumps over ditches, stops and twirls around....things that are fun but not the idea I had in mind. My son is non-stop telling Fletcher this way...this way....this way.... So for now Fletcher gets 3 walks a day, morning just a quick one, in the afternoon with my other little monster and in the evening, that is the long walk.....a tired puppy is a happy one plus, the quite walk is nice after a long day for me too.
Try more shorter walks, alone and maybe one good one everyday with that other person.... Its important she gets exercise with that cavalier heart.
Oh yeah you might want to consider finding a good obedience class...I hear its fun.
Just a suggestion... maybe try doing the 2 people walk little and often and each time going somewhere really exciting like a friends house or the park... or even a shopping centre where there are lots of people... just so as the pup knows that going away from the house results in going somewhere awesome! If you can find a regular place to start with, so as the pup can remember the way... Tails knows the exact route to the park and even knows where to cross the street in order to make the journey as short as possible so even when we go out to potty, he's like... "what about a trip to the park?" and starts trying to trot in that direction!
Just an idea...
Thanks for all of the responses. She's doing slightly better. We are trying very short walks now and slowly extending them. :)
Sonny had a little trouble with walks when he was little too. We were so excited about finally being able to take him on walks after all of his vaccinations that I think we over did it. We were taking him for three walks a day and he was not amused. He would start out the walk fine but then he would start jumping up like a little jack in the box or he would sit down and refuse to move. We finally reduced his walks and slowly built up like you are doing. :) He now LOVES walks and easily enjoys three walks a day without any protesting to go home.
Lady had the exact same problem when she was 8-10 weeks. When we walked with my parent's Cairn in the suburbs she had no problems at all because she kind of knew she was supposed to follow him, but when we got to my apartment downtown, she got very nervous and would plant her little butt and go no further than the block. I also think it had a lot to do with all the noise and commotion of downtown, but she got the hang of it eventually. I tried treats to lure but that didnt work so well. Just be patient and like the others said, dont pick her up! When we walk in the rain, Lady jumps up on me to try to get me to carry her, but I will never give in! haha. Eventually your pup will go further each time and get used to it, and eventually even get excited when you get take leash out!