Recently I’ve come across some dogs who, for whatever reason, just refuse to budge when going on walks. It struck me as so odd since most pups LOVE to go for strolls, especially on beautiful summer days like we’ve been having in Chicago lately. Here’s the scenario: I’d get rover leashed up, he’d seem somewhat excited (but not TOO amped up), we’d get outside, he’d take a few steps, and then THUMP! He’d sit down and refuse to go any further. What in the world would cause a dog to act like this?
I think it’s always important to note that being on a leash isn’t exactly natural for dogs. Dogs have a hard time understanding that it’s for their own good, and that a leash is necessary so that they don’t run into traffic or get into too much trouble while out roaming the neighborhood with their human (I mean let’s face it, they’re not the best decision makers!), so getting them acclimated at an early age to proper leash walking is not only important, but necessary.
You might be thinking ‘That’s all well and good, but my dog is an adult now and still walks like a lazy puppy!’ but you can begin to teach your dog leash manners no matter their age. The key is consistency and great treats! Getting your dog excited and willing to follow you around on walks is as simple as building the association between walking and yummy times!
It’s a good idea to always bring treats with you on walks, so that you can keep your dog interested or use it as a distraction tool long after these basic manners have been taught. Leash walking is one of the more challenging things to teach a pup, because being consistent with it is hard sometimes, but with hard work comes rewards – for you AND the dog!
Hopefully these quick little steps will provide some help for your stubborn dog, but it’s worth noting that AnimalSense offers a class specifically for this challenge, called Recall & Leash Manners if you think that you need more in-depth practice with your dog.
Walks are a great time to bond with your dog, so keeping Spot moving not only gives you the opportunity to hang out and see the sights, but also to get that much needed exercise for your dog!