Resistant to walking - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Resistant to walking

Hi! My husband and I rescued a German shepherd cross puppy and she’s an amazing dog that’s very cautious about everything. She is 5 months old now. She’s overcome a lot of fears already. She does really well on walks when it’s both me and my husband, but she resists like crazy if it’s just me. I’ve been trying to bring lots of treats and throw them in the direction I want her to walk but she just doesn’t care about treats in that moment. I love taking her for walks so it’s becoming quite frustrating and I don’t know what to do next. Would love some thoughts and advice you may have! Thanks!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 08:32 PM
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How long have you had her? If not long, she may just need more time to build trust. How does she do on walks with just your husband? If she does ok solo with him then try looking at what may different in how you approach a walk vs him. Are you stressed at all while walking or relaxed, calm, and confident? Dogs are experts at reading body language, there can be little things we may overlook in ourselves, even our posture can affect their perception and confidence in our handling. We tend to look at trying to solve the problem with the dog, but often enough there are things we can change in ourselves to make a difference.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 12:07 AM
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I put together a long and detailed response...but did it in spurts as time allowed during the day. When I hit post, it was all lost due to a time out...#$__=÷^%$

Anyhow, in the meantime Nigel brought up many of the things I was thinking. How long have you had the dog, does she follow you at home? Have you taught her what you're after at home without distractions? And several others that I am not going to type in again now....

But I will add that whenever you want a dog or puppy to go from a (where "a" represents where you're at now), to w (where "w" represents walking with you nicely on a leash), and you're having trouble with that, try breaking the "goal" into smaller, more manageable segments that your puppy can do and be successful at - a to d to k to s to w, for example...and if that still doesn't work break it down further!

Walking nicely on a leash is not something that comes naturally, there's always a learning curve. And more often than not, folks just see it as a given and just go. Spend some time at home eliciting the behavior you want to see on a walk, reward and praise and repeat often. Then go out, and you'll likely see a difference.

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

Tim
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 05:28 AM
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Maybe you could implement obedience training under certain commands such as "sit" and "come", which helps to leash train your pup and establish a deep bond between you. She is just 5 months old, it is a perfect phase to train but she is still an energetic puppy, so you may need much time and lots of tricks to induct her. There are lots of relevant guides, videos or courses on google and video.
And here are some examples:
A list of obedience training
15 Essential Commands to teach Your Dog
Tips on How a Dog Should Behave on a Leash

Good luck and Happy New year!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 01:03 PM
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My dog Shasta is pretty good on leash except for when he sees orange road work signs. Weird, I know, but he ALWAYS resists walking past them. What I've done that helps loads and loads is to just square my shoulders and advance as if I own that sign, and I own everything around that sign. Shasta, like other dogs, as Nigel mentioned, is great at reading body language. If you're the fearless leader, then your dog won't feel any need to fill the role of leader and be scared. So if I focus on where I'm going, NOT on my dog who's trying to shy away, he will follow right at my heels until we pass that orange sign. Maybe that helps! Good luck!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 12:13 AM
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Does she have “one-handler attachment”? It seems to be not uncommon in shepherds?

My dog used to refuse to walk with my husband. He used to turn around and try to come home before they even reached the corner. To this day, I still have to be the one to walk him to the door or car, and tell him to go with my husband.

So for us, bribery worked (a treat for just going out the door!) as well as a consistent command ( I tell him to “go with dad!” and give him a pat on the rump....it is the signal that he HAS to go out with my husband. ) I have to be the one to clip the leash on, and I then let him see me hand the leash to my husband. As long as he sees/knows clearly that it is “my will”, he is willing to go...

sigh, dogs!!

Rumo ~ rescue shepherd/husky mix
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BritTheGrit View Post
My dog Shasta is pretty good on leash except for when he sees orange road work signs. Weird, I know, but he ALWAYS resists walking past them. What I've done that helps loads and loads is to just square my shoulders and advance as if I own that sign, and I own everything around that sign. Shasta, like other dogs, as Nigel mentioned, is great at reading body language. If you're the fearless leader, then your dog won't feel any need to fill the role of leader and be scared. So if I focus on where I'm going, NOT on my dog who's trying to shy away, he will follow right at my heels until we pass that orange sign. Maybe that helps! Good luck!

wow, and I thought my dog was an odd one shying away from blue ground marking paint (I have my suspicions about what triggered it). I've tried treats, but when a dog is frightened treats mean nothing. The "
lizard brain" says "must get away" and no goodies will override that. I've done the "we are just going to soldier on" routine and she'll walk by but as soon as we passed it she wanted to run. I've done the long line where she had more choice and empowerment about how she wanted to pass it, so long as she didn't go out into the street. That helped some but wasn't always practical, especially if I was walking two dogs at the same time. I've seen her handle blue better when we are doing Man-trailing because she has a different mindset. She still avoids it but doesn't appear to fear it, just dislike it. Now I am doing a structured walk-by. She heels and when she looks up at me we take a step forward past the blue mark. If she looks down we stop. When she looks up again we take a step forward. Within three or four reps we are past the mark and when I release her, she walks calmly away. On top of this I am planning on doing a "play stop" in the middle of a walk. If I bring a toy she has that happy anticipation of playing that can slowly override her mindset of "there is blue paint here somewhere I just know it".

The point of all this is if something doesn't work after a few weeks, try something else. There are so many little tricks that we can do that might change an attitude. The hardest part is dealing with your own frustration.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-05-2019, 04:27 PM
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My dads dog refused to walk past the block with him. She would only walk to the corner and refuse to move. When I walked she hesitated for half a second and continued walking. My daughter the same no issues. For me it was not personal or emotional so it was easy just to continue on. My dad expected her to do this due to some kind of prior experience as she fed off his energy and frustration. Just beware of your thoughts, posture and body language when walking - breathe.


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