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Thread: Puppy a Freaks Out on Walks (advice needed & a long read)

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    #1

    Puppy a Freaks Out on Walks (advice needed & a long read)

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    My puppy, Gretel, is a horrible leash walker. It doesn't help that she is terrified of strangers too. We have been working with a certified trainer for this as well as other puppy issues. The trainer is unavailable this week or next for questions because she is out of the country. Gretel was a bad walker when we brought her home but it's gotten worse instead of better since working with the trainer.

    The other day I was walking Gretel and a man jogged by. Gretel normally will pull to go in the opposite direction but this time managed to pull off of her harness and run from me. I started to run after her but I am in no shape to be running because of my spine issues. Luckily, a clue of Marines who were PTing, saw what happened and ran after her and brought her back to me. She did still have her collar with identification tags and she is microchipped and registered with HomeAgain.

    Now I'm terrified of walking her because she did try again to get out of the harness. The harness is not new, it fits snuggly (I can slip two fingers under the straps), there are not rips anywhere. She refuses to walk if I put the leash on her collar.

    Any tips? Any other harness suggestions? We tried the gentle leader and she just whimpers and tugs at the straps on her snout. She needs to be walked several times a day to burn off all that crazy puppy energy. Any suggestions? Is there something I'm doing wrong?


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    #2
    What type of harness is it?

    My monster-masquarding-as-a-puppy does the same thing. I'll try to find what brand harness we use for him.

  3. In vino veritas
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    #3
    I cant type, my carpal tunnel is acting up but:

    How to Teach a Dog to Walk With a Gentle Leader | Dog Care - The Daily Puppy

    Putting the gentle leader on at home and rewarding them (piece of kibble), then removing it, and doing this 20 times a day will make them associate the leader with good things. This will get her used to it. G.L. are AMAZING for walking with hard-to-walk dogs.

    Also, all puppies are bad walkers on leashes at first (scared is another thing, so I am glad you have a trainer for the fear, as that is bad), but for the leash-walking alone, its just something you have to sort of push through, reward good behavior, and keep going with.
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by HazeGray View Post
    What type of harness is it?

    My monster-masquarding-as-a-puppy does the same thing. I'll try to find what brand harness we use for him.
    This is the harness Aspen Pet by Petmate Deluxe Signature Fire Single Ply Nylon Harness at PETCO

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.VinoVet View Post
    I cant type, my carpal tunnel is acting up but:

    How to Teach a Dog to Walk With a Gentle Leader | Dog Care - The Daily Puppy

    Putting the gentle leader on at home and rewarding them (piece of kibble), then removing it, and doing this 20 times a day will make them associate the leader with good things. This will get her used to it. G.L. are AMAZING for walking with hard-to-walk dogs.

    Also, all puppies are bad walkers on leashes at first (scared is another thing, so I am glad you have a trainer for the fear, as that is bad), but for the leash-walking alone, its just something you have to sort of push through, reward good behavior, and keep going with.

    I will definitely keep trying with the Gentle Leader.. Thanks for the link! Her fear of people is coming along. She is not as bad as she once was. The trainer says it will take time and patience. I often wonder why is she terrified of strangers. It will probably be one of those things I'll never know.


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    #5
    We have the Lupine Roman harness, which looks similar to yours. Here is a trick our trainer uses, instead of hooking the leash to the metal ring on the top of the harness, hook it to the ring on their chest. Harnesses do not prevent pulling, in fact they make it easier for the dog to pull - think mushing huskies. If you put attach the leash at the chest area, when they pull the will end up getting turned to the side, similar to how the Gentle Leader turns their head. Sometimes a Gentle Leader doesn't work well with a particular dog because the dog doesn't really care if its head is turned to the side and it will continue to pull.
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    #6
    When we first tried to walk Lexi, she was confused about what a leash and collar were so we just put them on her and played with her in the backyard until she realized they weren't going to harm her.
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    #7
    Have you tried a front-clipping harness? Softouch Concepts, Inc - SENSE-ation® Harness

    I have a 7 month old Bullmastiff puppy who is approaching 100 lbs. He isn't the best leash walker, but this harness makes a HUGE difference. I am in my third trimester of pregnancy and feel completely confident walking him with this thing on. If he tries to run away from me, he gets flipped over and does a barrel roll. He learned fast after trying that once or twice

    You have extra control if you clip the leash to BOTH their collar and harness at the same time.
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by dolphindm04 View Post
    When we first tried to walk Lexi, she was confused about what a leash and collar were so we just put them on her and played with her in the backyard until she realized they weren't going to harm her.
    I was going to suggest something like this and what vino said. Playtime, treats, snuggles, and good things with the GL on as well as when it's time for walks.

    Another thing you can do in addition to working on leash manners etc. is to work on training a good recall. I know how much it sucks to have to chase an off-leash dog, and a recall command is an amazing resource to have.
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    #9
    The gentle leader is wonderful, you should give it a try. My Golden was terrible on the leash too, and after some time with the gentle leader he got SO much better.
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    #10
    My dog has terrible fear issues especially with strangers and new places. I got her a special harness that has an extra strap past her belly so she can not slip out of it. I got it made locally but maybe you can try searching for something, or try adding an extra strap section to one you can buy. it sort of looks like this Google-Ergebnis für http://jeckadesign.weebly.com/uploads/1/0/7/3/10735796/_3338671.jpg

    you can see that it would be quite hard to slip out. Also, if I'm going somewhere new, I use a leash with 2 hooks. It has a hook on each end so I can hook it to both her collar and her harness so I have more control, and less chance of her slipping out of anything. This kind of leash is more common in Germany.
    ...its one long leash with hooks on either end like the link shows (kind of confusing in the picture). I could ship one if you need and you can pay me back on paypal.

    http://www.fressnapf.de/shop/anione-nylonleine-schwarz

    Anyway those two things help with the whole slipping out and getting loose thing. As far as the behavior, I'm not much help. Bring small rewarding treats, work on heel, and walking nice. Positive reinforcement will help the most. My dog now thinks its cute when she's excited to just push and lean against me while trying to walk. Now I stop when she does it and say heel and we don't continue until she's ready to walk nice again. If she does it again, I'll stop until she's calm again and say heel again...etc.
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