It's not only puppies that have problems learning to walk nicely on a lead. Here's a quick recap of a problem we were asked to provide some guidance on.
Molly the Moodle who used to be so good walking on lead - suddenly will walk a little way and then won’t budge!
So, your Moodle Molly has become something of a mystery, eh?
Maybe acting like a sulky teenager, maybe?
Bing-bong! No, although it’s tempting to think Molly’s simply being naughty I seriously doubt that’s the case.
When a dog suddenly makes a dramatic change in their behaviour there is invariably a good reason – well in their eyes anyway – for doing so.
And that could be the key. You see our view of the world is from a very different perspective than our dog.
What seems like a perfectly safe, interesting route to us from our eye-level might be totally different to the dog checking things out from knee-high. That’s our knee height, not theirs.
Perhaps the local Council has put some new landscaping alongside the path, or maybe there’s a new postal drop-off point.
Another reason may have to do with something your dog is remembering from a previous walk during which something frightened them. Is that possible? Maybe when Molly was being walked by someone else?
Perhaps there might be a new canine in the neighbourhood and Molly doesn’t want to go past that particular house or fence.
Without knowing more specifics about the routes available and why she’s apparently wanting to go a different way it’s a little tricky to diagnose the precise ‘why’ she’s doing this but we can do something about helping her feel more confident on walks.
Forget about going anywhere, at least for a little while. The best way to practice good walking on a lead is to do so in your own yard, even inside your own house.
Take her for short interesting backyard walks – and remember – the whole idea of a walk is to get fresh air for the human and to enable the dog to get fresh scents of other interesting critters.
That means don’t insist Molly only gets to march alongside you.
Ideally have a longer lead which you can attach for security and then let Molly have a little free time, sniffing and wandering to her heart’s content.
Then, when it’s time to walk nicely she will be happy to walk alongside you on a loose leash.
Let us know how you go via the comments below.... or if you're still having problems - talk to your Vet - there are lots of medical and behavioural options to ensure you and your dog are happy.