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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All :)

I'm having some troubles with Roman on his walks. He was going so well and he was loving them but now it's just painful for all of us (me, Bear & Roman). He is now 12 weeks.

We start out & he lags behind like he doesn't want to come. I'll make my kissing noise & he'll catch up to his 'heel' spot for a minute or so & then lag again. I've slowed the pace right down & I am allowing him to absorb what's around him as well as walk next to me. I know everything is still so new & exciting to him plus he has the attention span of a blow fly! The other thing he does is nip at Bear (Maltese x Shih-Tzu) or my legs rather then focus on walking. Which I think is because he's bored?

During the middle of our walks, he is perfect. He walks right next to me with no tension on the leash at all. I always reward with 'good heel' & a small liver treat. Then as we enter the home stretch he starts pulling out in front.

I feel really bad because I got a bit cranky at him this morning and pulled his lead a little bit too hard. It didn't phase him, but I still felt guilty because that's not how I want to be with him. I want to remain calm & build the trust between us.

I have tried walking backwards, I have tried stopping until he is in the heel position & nothing much seems to be sinking in for him.

Am I expecting too much? I know he's a puppy and they have short attention spans & have lots of energy etc.. I just don't want to be over taxing him if he's not in the right 'stage' yet IYKWIM. He is fantastic with other commands like sit & down & stay and he has alot of manners & is very polite (when he's not in land shark mode). I want to make sure he has enough exercise but these walks aren't fun & relaxing like they should be. I don't want it to turn into a negative thing for any of us.

Like alot of people, I think even reassurance from other GSD owners that this is normal would be fab! :p But, any other approaches or tips or experiences would be great. I'm open to suggestions!!

TIA :)
 

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Yep, you are expecting too much. He is just a baby! When he heels for a bit, praise him and release him from the exercise. Then do a bit of play and let him sniff the ground a bit while you walk. Then ask him to heel again for another short session. YOu can use food as a lure, it won't hurt a bit(eventually you'll fade it out) If you want to bring him back to you, run backwards luring with a treat and then turn around and walk forward as he gets into position. Make your walks more engaging with YOU if you want his complete focus on you. I'd walk w/ him alone if you are actually training. Bring a squeaky toy or a high value toy/ball for walks only.
Even for my adult dogs, I don't expect them to be in heel position on our leisure type walks. They enjoy sniffing and watching, if they are ahead I may correct a strong puller, but I don't mind them out in front of me.
During training sessions you ask for the proper behaviors and positions, (you're right short sessions at his age) but when you are walking around the block at this age, don't expect him to be so structured in his walking. JMO...
 

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i think you're expecting to much for a 12 week
old pup. i also think you should walk the dogs seperately
untill the pup has learned more. is the pup in a class??
yanking on the leash is a no no.
 

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What type collar are you using for him?
 

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Am I expecting too much?
Yes! At 12 weeks old he has a very short attention span, as you've already noticed. :D And for a puppy that young you're not going to be doing really long walks or super intensive training anyway. If you truly want to work on leash skills I'd be walking him by himself, so you can focus solely on him and, just keep rewarding what you like. Keep it fun, use food and toys to engage him, and be PATIENT! I spent months on leash skills with Halo, and didn't really start in earnest until she was around 6 months old. But within a few months she was nearly perfect, and it's now a joy to take her for a nice long (3-6 miles) walk.
 

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He sounds like a perfectly normal puppy out on a walk. He goes slow because he's busy looking around and taking things in and when they are that age, they can only do one thing at a time. The biting isn't boredom, it's being a puppy. They should be biting your legs and anything else they can reach.

At this age, you should be letting him walk at his pace, however slow or fast that is. If he starts biting your legs, just pick up the pace.
 

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Yup, yup, and yup to everything others have said. And take heart - I was despairing at 12 weeks that Neko would ever like going for walks, but now at 16 weeks she's great (well, as great as a puppy can be...short attention span theater ;). Hang in there, Roman will be a wonderful walking companion, I'm sure!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone.

I have read so much and been told so much that I didn't know which way was up. I had a feeling I was expecting too much but then I've been told to get straight into everything & never allow 'naughty' behaviour if that makes sense.

I am never going against my gut again. I wanted to do all those things & allow him to enjoy the scenery & everything that was going on but again, was told this was bad.

I have started to walk the dogs seperately, but also together as well.

I think my problem was I was so focussed on bringing up the 'perfect' dog I was stressing myself out. I need to chill out & allow him to be himself & experience everything with guidance.

Doggie Dad, I'm fairly certain I will not be doing a puppy class with him. I have always done all of my dogs training myself & he is going to a doggie day care once a week starting next week for his pack social skills.

Onyx'girl, I just have a regular leather collar for him but I use the soft choker chain type leads... I don't know the name of them.

Thanks for the reassurance Cassidy's Mom & Zan! That's always good to hear

Thanks everyone!
 

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Well we had a beautiful walk this morning. It was just me & Roman. I didn't ask him to heel, I allowed him to explore & sniff at the end of the lead but he chose to walk fairly close to the heel position alot of the time anyway (which got lots of liver treats as a reward!). I have decided the new rule for a while is he's allowed to explore & walk ahead etc as long as there's no tension on the lead & he's not pulling. And he seems to get that. Every time he got to the end of the lead & felt tenson he slowed down a bit to ease the tension. He was very calm & well behaved the whole time.

I was so proud of him. He focused on me when I asked, sat when I stopped at roads without being asked, he was so good!

Granted, now that I've said that he will probably be crazy tomorrow but we'll see. But, today made me feel good. It made me realise that I need to work to our needs & what works for us not to someone else's "must do's"

So thankyou to everyone who responded & gave me a new perspective on this. I really appreciate it (and I needed it!)
 
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