Reluctant to go for walks

Hi!
I have recently been trying to take my four month old Jessie for walks in the mornings (now that she's had all her puppy shots).

For the first several days, I used just a lead hooked onto her collar. It's been a bit difficult to get her going though. Sometimes she walked beside me, then she'd lunge ahead, then she'd just stop and sit and I'd have problems coaxing her to come. I was encouraging her to not pull on the leash by stopping and getting her to sit before continuing. Good days and bad days. I noticed that her neck was getting a bit chafed from the collar when she pulled, so I went and bought a Halti thinking that it would speed up the process of her learning not to pull, and it would mean her neck wasn't getting chafed.

But she hates it. The first couple of days I got a few metres out of the yard before turning back, then we got the half hour walk around the block a couple of times, stopping and starting, so that was a step forward. But then the last couple of days, she's gone back to refusing the walk. Yesterday I tried to go with lots of energy, really encouraging her to come along hoping that if we go a bit faster she wouldn't stop so much. But walking faster just seemed to make her want to stop more, and we didn't get far. Today, she looked so miserable when I got the Halti out. I almost didn't put her on it but then I thought that if my children did somethng similar I would probably make them, so I held her and put it on her, and we went out of the yard and then she just refused to go. My neighbour suggested just clipping the lead to the collar rather than the halti so she still had it on but it wasn't pulling around her mouth. But still no go.

What do I do? I'm not an exercisy sort of person but I've actually been looking forward to taking her for walks. Should I try a new place, hoping that the scenery might get her going? It's important for me that she doesn't pull so that eventually I can take my kids too, with my daughter in the pram, and I can then take her to more places.

Any suggestions?

Sheree

I have issues with mine and walking also. I have a halti but I think of it as a management tool (doesn't change the impulse to pull) and I still put up an effort to get him to walk on a slack leash. I have found that kibble in my pocket is helpful, it helps keep his attention on me and not on whatever he's pulling toward. I treat him for so and so number of steps that he's next to me or the leash is loose. And I try to add on so he has to take more and more steps for the kibble.
I also stop walking when the leash goes taught and will stand there for however long it takes for him to get it (that time anyway). Most of the time when he walks next to me I am showing him a kibble in my fingers. I would love for him to transition to knowing that I have it and walking well without my having to show it to him.

Maybe your goal is too big for her right now. Try a few circuits around your yard - someplace that is familiar to her. You could also try walking her through the house with the leash on - it might be the leash she objects to and not the walks.

When I first began walking Dallas I had issues with getting him to go anywhere. He would start to walk, then pull, then just suddenly sit & decide he wasn't budging. There were a few times where I actually had to carry him back home because otherwise I would have been dragging him, obviously not good.

Thing to remember is, this is a young pup. She doesn't really know how to walk on a leash yet & is probably overly excited by all the new surroundings. I began taking Dallas out on very short walks every morning, afternoon & evening. When I say short I am talking like to the end of our apartment building & back. He started becoming more familiar with the area & so every few days I would take him a little further. Slowly but surely he became more comfortable in his surroundings & stopped pulling my arm out its socket. Also, as he grew up, his walks became longer because he didn't tire out so quickly. Just take it one step at a time & slowly but surely you should have that girl walking fine 🙂

Oh & I agree Nicki/Liz that it is still sometimes a challenge for him to walk with a loose lead. If he starts to pull I simply wrap the leash to where he doesn't have as much slack so really, his only choice is to walk beside me. I will reward him with tiny bits of cheese as he starts walking besides me on his own, without me straining my forearm. Haha. Good luck!

Thank you very much for your comments. I probably have been expecting too much of her. I had a think about what had changed for her to be so obstinate, and I realised that I had been going without my kids. Good for me as it's less work, but my four year old, I realised, was excellent at getting her going again when she stopped, simply by walking ahead, and, if needed, calling her name. Taking my four year old son also means taking my 20 month old daughter in the sling, but at least we can do our 20-30 minute walk around the block. Now I just have to think of a way of convincing my once enthusiastic son who now complains of being tired and who doesn't want to go, of coming on the walk every day!

LOL at carrying Dallas, I have to do that with Jessie nearly every time at the end too!

@SNA:

Thank you very much for your comments. I probably have been expecting too much of her. I had a think about what had changed for her to be so obstinate, and I realised that I had been going without my kids. Good for me as it's less work, but my four year old, I realised, was excellent at getting her going again when she stopped, simply by walking ahead, and, if needed, calling her name. Taking my four year old son also means taking my 20 month old daughter in the sling, but at least we can do our 20-30 minute walk around the block. Now I just have to think of a way of convincing my once enthusiastic son who now complains of being tired and who doesn't want to go, of coming on the walk every day!

LOL at carrying Dallas, I have to do that with Jessie nearly every time at the end too!

Does your puppy have a favorite toy? If so put it in your back pocket and then put the leash on your pet and see how that works. Just make sure your pet cannot get it by jumping. In fact you can make a game of it by playing in your home with the toy and the dog for a about 5 mins before you walk. If your dog likes squeekie toys then you can also buy a replacement squeekie and keep it in your pocket. When you are walking and want the dogs attention you can squeek it inside your pocket.

We use Martingale Collar's. Our Basenji seems to tolerate this style well. I also have noticed that leash control is very important when walking my Basenji. For that purpose I use a regular type 6 foot lead that I can wrap around my hand when I wish to take more control of my dog. I also have a very short lead ( about 2 feet or maybe less) that I use when I want the dog to concentrate on walking next to me. After my dog gets his business done, we are all about a constant pace walking. My perception is that if we are out for a walk to exercise him that we should concentrate on that aspect. I also have a 20 foot lead that I do use when we go on a leisure type walk. On that type of walk, I usually allow him to sniff and explore but I keep moving. He might run ahead slightly but then he will stop and wait and then do it again. The only time I use a flexie type or retractable leash is when I am going to let him have the room to run in a circle. Of course like any dog, the more rope or leash you give them the more they will take advantage of. My puppy does not walk perfectly, but what he does is pretty tolerable. After he does his business and we get our first 1 1/2 miles in, he settles down and gets the next 1 1/2 mile in quite nicely. Of course we did not start at that distance but we did start with at least a 1 to 1 1/2 miles when he was a little over 8 weeks old. After the walk, we worked on sit, stay, come, and lay down for about 10 to 15 mins. I always treated him with a couple of cheerio's or something similar directly after the walk. Actually he refused to drink any water until he got his cheerios.

Hope this helps,

Jason

Looks like your connection to Basenji Forums was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.