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Dakota
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an issue with teaching our 12 week old puppy to go on short walks. When we went on our first walk I had no problem with him not wanting to walk. I would give him the Heel command and he would walk parallel to me on my left side no more than six inches between me with his eyes focused up at me the entire time. When I would stop, he would stop and sit right along side of my leg without me giving him the Sit command. He would do this every time I stopped. I would praise,him, offer him a treat and we would continue walking. I couldn’t have asked for a better behaved puppy. Here’s my problem. The last few times I took him out, he is very reluctant to walk only when we leave the house. He plants his feet down and totally resists my command. He just does not seemed focused. He's more interested in things around him. Being a puppy I understand that. However, walking back home from the same way we came, he walks perfectly just as he did the very first time. A simple question. Why does he resist walking when leaving the house but not going back? My only thought was, maybe he is afraid to leave what he knows is his safe place and in walking back the same way we came, he recognizes where he is going and is eager to get there. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

Bill
 

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The heeling you're describing is reserved for competition or crossing the road, etc.A satisfying walk for both dog and human (especially a puppy) involves lots of sniffing and exploring with a minute or so of FUN training thrown in here and there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The heeling you're describing is reserved for competition or crossing the road, etc.A satisfying walk for both dog and human (especially a puppy) involves lots of sniffing and exploring with a minute or so of FUN training thrown in here and there.
You know I never took it that way but it makes sense since that pretty much describes what Dakota does. He is curious just about everything he sees and likes to explore which is normal for a puppy. Just today he couldn't understand what a fire hydrant was and kept looking back and barking at it. It was to funny.
Thanks for the input.
 

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I have an issue with teaching our 12 week old puppy to go on short walks. When we went on our first walk I had no problem with him not wanting to walk. I would give him the Heel command and he would walk parallel to me on my left side no more than six inches between me with his eyes focused up at me the entire time. When I would stop, he would stop and sit right along side of my leg without me giving him the Sit command. He would do this every time I stopped. I would praise,him, offer him a treat and we would continue walking. I couldn’t have asked for a better behaved puppy. Here’s my problem. The last few times I took him out, he is very reluctant to walk only when we leave the house. He plants his feet down and totally resists my command. He just does not seemed focused. He's more interested in things around him. Being a puppy I understand that. However, walking back home from the same way we came, he walks perfectly just as he did the very first time. A simple question. Why does he resist walking when leaving the house but not going back? My only thought was, maybe he is afraid to leave what he knows is his safe place and in walking back the same way we came, he recognizes where he is going and is eager to get there. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

Bill
Hi Bill, congratulations on the new puppy!

The problem you're having is very common! It's not that you're having problems teaching heel, it's that you haven't actually taught your puppy anything yet!

That he offered the correct behavior you want once and then didn't the next time, is also very common. It happens all the time and people get frustrated by it. But trust me, you just got lucky and your puppy just accidentally happened to behave the way he did...now he's moved on and you're confused LOL!

So, teaching a puppy or dog what "heel" actually means is IMHO best done at home, not out on a walk. Even leash pressure and walking on a loose leash, is so much easier to do at home first! In your living room and then in your yard.

At 12 weeks I would caution you about taking your puppy out for neighborhood walks, since he hasn't had all his vaccinations yet! Parvo and distemper both are very serious and prevalent in many areas.

Luring is certainly not the only way of teaching heel or air or down, but it's by far the easiest. There are tons of examples of that on YouTube, so I won't repeat the mechanics here.

With my puppy I initially taught the position, then practiced miles up against a barrier to keep her straight, then made a game of moving in unpredictable ways, sidestep, backing up, quick pivot turns etc, making it a game for the puppy to try maintain that position! We both laughed and enjoyed the game, and in the process she learned that heel (to me) meant to be in that exact proximal position next to my left side.

I have her heel from time to time on walks, but my command for walking on a loose leash is "with me". When she's doing that she can sniff and mark and such, but not get ahead and lead, she's at my side or behind.

Again, that's just how I like it. You can train your dog however you like! Just need to teach any/all command(s) before you use and expect them to have meaning to your puppy!

Good luck, hope that helps a bit...
 
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Dakota
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks so much for the info. I will certainly take your advice. Sounds like good stuff. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.
 

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At 12 weeks anything can change, and it will many times over the next year and a half. There will be fear periods, fearless periods, knuckle-head periods, focused periods, unfocused periods. Confidence and attentiveness will both wain and grow.

That's just what happens along the road with a puppy. I would suggest trying to stay stable and consistent as an owner/handler/trainer. If you do that, the rest will almost almost always work out.
 

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At 12 weeks anything can change, and it will many times over the next year and a half. There will be fear periods, fearless periods, knuckle-head periods, focused periods, unfocused periods. Confidence and attentiveness will both wain and grow.

That's just what happens along the road with a puppy. I would suggest trying to stay stable and consistent as an owner/handler/trainer. If you do that, the rest will almost almost always work out.
Love this response!! It's also reassuring when your adolescent pup is stubborn and seems to forget everything they have learned. it's all part of the journey....
 
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