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Old 11-30-2012, 07:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Leash issues

Shelby is 3 months old today. I started walking her on a leash about 3 weeks ago. I take her on one walk in the morning at 6:00am and then again around 6:00pm. She doesn't seem to really enjoy the walks, but I know they are good for her energy levels.
My biggest issue is the first 5 min and the final few minutes of each walk. She bites the leash, pulls against it, and jumps up and nips my pants. I'm not sure how to react to this behavior to discourage it. We've taught her "drop it", but when she's in this mode she completely ignores the command. I've tried waiting and repeating "drop it", but it just gets worse. Most of the time I try to ignore and pull her into walking while keeping the leash short-ish, until she finally gets in the walking mode. I don't think this is going to change the behavior though. Any advice?

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Old 11-30-2012, 08:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you have a fenced yard, or are willing to do it in the house, play a game of fetch or 2 ball, do some quick obedience commands with a clicker, with fun and jackpots, play tug, or do some hiding of treats and let her find them before you go for the walk. Get that edge off, tire her out a bit before the walk (but not too much since she is just a baby) so that she is able to focus a little more (she's a puppy so she can't focus all that much) on what you are trying to ask. If she's not really loving the walks, with the additional play, you can probably shorten them - about how far do you go now?

Also with the drop it, while she is still learning it, have something to offer her - a ball, toy, treat - in exchange, and fade that away over time.

I use a four foot leash - which is closer to me for biting ME if that is a thing for the puppy - but easier for walking, in my mind. There is also a nice video if you google Silky Leash for a technique I want to use next time I am teaching leash stuff to a dog!
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh how I remember Stella doing this! And she also added rock eating while walking too! I used to bring another toy, treat, or stick or whatever with us and tried to redirect her to that object. It took time but eventually she stopped all the leash/leg biting. But even now at 17 months, if she gets real excited, she will start playing tug with the leash. Then I just tell her "no leash" and she stops.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you guys so much for the feed back. Each walk is about a mile. She's so smart, so I think the mental stimulation with games will help a lot before walks. Our yard is fenced, so we have a pretty big area to try those things out.


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Old 11-30-2012, 09:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Good! I would shorten the walk after the playing too, just because she's a baby. She's adorable.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you!! Here is an updated picture

Leash issues-imageuploadedbypg-free1354285641.622646.jpg
Leash issues-imageuploadedbypg-free1354285665.715341.jpg


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Old 11-30-2012, 09:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Oh my gosh.

I got my GSD from rescue at 8 months so I never saw her as a puppy - your girl is kind of how I imagine she would have looked (but her ears are not as proportionate as your puppy's). So sweet.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I can't wait to see Shelby all grown up. Do you have a picture of yours? I love the dark face on shepherds. I hope she doesn't grow out of it.


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Old 11-30-2012, 09:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I do! This is around her 10th birthday in April. Shes still pretty dark for her age - I love dark/black dogs, too.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Gorgeous!


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