Sally won't walk!

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Sally_Dog77
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Sally won't walk!

Postby Sally_Dog77 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:40 am

I have Sally in a beginner class and we are learning to heel and sit when stopped. She wears a prong collar and does well with it at home when we practice in the yard or the house. She does great, actually.

Now, when we are in class or walking in the street, she will abruptly stop, lay down and refuse to budge. No amount of poking, prodding, or coaxing will get her to move. It's worse when we are in class an we have like 10 dogs moving in a ring. She holds up the ENTIRE line. I feel like an donkey.

It's not like I don't work with her, she knows the stuff inside the house and out in the yard well enough, but as soon as we're in "traffic" (class or on the sidewalk) and have to keep moving she stops. Her sits and downs are pretty decent and she is learning to come pretty well too... so it's not like we don't practice and aren't learning things....

And yes, when she stops, I bribe the crap out of her with hotdogs, toys, and stinky treats. Not happening.

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Amie
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Postby Amie » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:15 am

Are the classes in a contained setting? If so, I'd take off running and whooping like a fool. It is WAY more fun to be with you than it is to sit on the ground and sulk like she's doing. THEN she gets a reward.

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Postby Stormi » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:20 am

It's worse when we are in class an we have like 10 dogs moving in a ring. She holds up the ENTIRE line. I feel like an donkey.


Along with Amie's suggestion, you should never ever feel guilty for training your dog. That's what you are there for! If our dogs popped out already trained and perfect, we'd have no need for classes. If the instructor makes you feel like you are "holding up the line", I would look elsewhere.

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Postby KadillacGrrl » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:33 am

I'd put a front clip harness on her too... see if that works a little better for encouraging her to move. I don't like the idea of a prong digging in to her neck to try and get her to move, that's all bad.

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Postby Red » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:46 am

It's not like I don't work with her, she knows the stuff inside the house and out in the yard well enough, but as soon as we're in "traffic" (class or on the sidewalk) and have to keep moving she stops.


Have you ever thought that your dog is uncomfortable in environments outside of your house and she is coping with it by not moving? It is rather common to see the same behavior. I see in way too often in classes I use to work under distraction with my dogs. While owners drag their dogs on prongs the dog's body language tells a story and it has nothing to do with wanting to be there. What are you seeing in her body language before she lays or sits down? Anything specific that you have noticed in the environment? Louder sounds, more people, more dogs, etc?

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Postby Sally_Dog77 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:19 pm

Well, I just posted in general about her becoming a foster again instead of a keeper.

We are still going to continue her training, though.

First, when we walk with the prong and she stops, I DO NOT continue pulling. I immediately walk back to her to relieve the tension on the leash. I don't want to put pressure on her.

We are using the prong because she doesn't quite get a choke, but we're hoping to to a flat collar eventually. I don't want to rely on a prong collar every time we walk out.

When she does stop, her expression is more like "I give up". She really doesn't have a reaction to the other dogs around her, it's more like "Oh God, don't make me move!"

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Postby Sally_Dog77 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:20 pm

Oh, and her sits are most excellent. Prompt, eyes on me, and very enthusiastic. But when we start moving... different story.

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Postby tiva » Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:16 pm

When dogs refuse to walk on a leash, it's often because of hip pain, or else stress overload, or else plain old boredom, so they shut down.

First, have a vet check her hips and her pads.

Second, please get rid of the prong--it's now associated in her mind with lying down instead of walking, so whatever you think of its goodness or badness, using a different tool will be much more effective with your dog.I'd really second the earlier poster's recommendation of a front-attachment no-pull harness, rather than a prong. (Sensible is a good brand).

Third, stop trying to walk her on sidewalks and pavement and in classes. Instead, make walking a new, fun, low-pressure activity. Use different tools, bring different treats, and go to a different place. Try this: Drive to a new place filled with good smells--ie, the woods. Tie a very long leash (or a drag line, 15 ft long) to your belt and attach it to her collar. Also attach a short walking lead to her collar. Start out with her on the shorter lead, and walk in a gentle, ambling fashion, letting her sniff at all the great smells. Don't look at her, don't talk to her, don't nag her, don't pull her and make her hell. If she stops and lies down, quietly drop the short lead (keep the long lead attached to your belt) and keep strolling slowly. Ignore her and take an interest in something on the ground if you reach the end of the long line. If possible, step behind a tree. Hang out and wait for her, and when she shows up, have a huge party--treats! praise! Then walk off again (with her still attached to your belt by the long line). Again, make a huge fuss when she reaches you. Give her plenty of time to sniff, wander, pee, smell, take an interest in the world. Sit down and have a snack, and share it with her when she comes over to you. REduce the stress and pressure on her, and let her (and you) rediscover how much fun it is to go for a walk.

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Postby Sally_Dog77 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:07 pm

tiva wrote:When dogs refuse to walk on a leash, it's often because of hip pain, or else stress overload, or else plain old boredom, so they shut down.

First, have a vet check her hips and her pads.

Second, please get rid of the prong--it's now associated in her mind with lying down instead of walking, so whatever you think of its goodness or badness, using a different tool will be much more effective with your dog.I'd really second the earlier poster's recommendation of a front-attachment no-pull harness, rather than a prong. (Sensible is a good brand).

Third, stop trying to walk her on sidewalks and pavement and in classes. Instead, make walking a new, fun, low-pressure activity. Use different tools, bring different treats, and go to a different place. Try this: Drive to a new place filled with good smells--ie, the woods. Tie a very long leash (or a drag line, 15 ft long) to your belt and attach it to her collar. Also attach a short walking lead to her collar. Start out with her on the shorter lead, and walk in a gentle, ambling fashion, letting her sniff at all the great smells. Don't look at her, don't talk to her, don't nag her, don't pull her and make her hell. If she stops and lies down, quietly drop the short lead (keep the long lead attached to your belt) and keep strolling slowly. Ignore her and take an interest in something on the ground if you reach the end of the long line. If possible, step behind a tree. Hang out and wait for her, and when she shows up, have a huge party--treats! praise! Then walk off again (with her still attached to your belt by the long line). Again, make a huge fuss when she reaches you. Give her plenty of time to sniff, wander, pee, smell, take an interest in the world. Sit down and have a snack, and share it with her when she comes over to you. REduce the stress and pressure on her, and let her (and you) rediscover how much fun it is to go for a walk.


Yes, we were discussing the use of a prong with her. At the time she could be highly overstimulated around other dogs. Now that she's calmed down, I think it's a bit overkill. I have a 10ft lead so I think I'll have to try this. She loves the field behind my house.

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Postby Sally_Dog77 » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:18 pm

Got her out in the front yard today and the street with a flat collar. I let her sniff and sort of drag me around and get used to the smells and noises. I moved her over to my side and took over from there once she was comfortable. I started off at a walk, and then I picked up the pace a bit, and she didn't seem to lag behind much. Just a little, but Rome wasn't built in a day. We kept it short since it's blistering hot outside. Starting off with her investigating the area really helped her attitude!

I think I will wake up an hour early to practice with her then when it's cooler and we might move somewhere different.

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Postby tiva » Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:15 pm

Great job! How wonderful that you're willing and able to work with her and reduce her stress a bit. I hope you both enjoy the walks. This heat can be tough on everyone.


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