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Lurcher won't walk without whole family, don't know how to encourage her

(18 Posts)
mamapants Fri 22-Apr-16 07:38:52

We have a beautiful rescue lurched for about a month now and she's settling really well in the house, playing on the garden and on family walks. But she just will not go for a walk with me or DP on our one if anyone else is home.
Our aim was to walk/ run with her in the morning before everyone else got up so that we didn't have to take her with the kids later on, we could if we wanted but didn't have the pressure of going out in the rain with little children.
She started off that she'd go with dp but not with me. I put in a lot of effort until she'd come with me- combo of lots of fuss, carrying her , alternating running and walking and she finally would come with me. She would be unsure for first kilometre but then enjoyed the rest of the walk. But now suddenly she won't go with me or DP. Just refuses point blank starts pulling to go home, any encouragement to keep going is met with her lying down I'm the road or shaking. She's happy and eager to go when everyone is there.
We are not sure what to do to get her walking with us.
Any tips on encouraging a nervous lurcher. She is a nervous dog but has gained lots of confidence while here but just not getting anywhere on this.

BadDoGooder Fri 22-Apr-16 07:45:45

Is there something on the walk that makes her nervous?
I have a lurcher, and I started doing different routes with her as it turned out she was frightened by a local play park that has a very noisy metal gate that slams in the wind, when she wasn't going that way all the time, she relaxed about going past the park occasionally.
Sh even faked limping twice just so I didn't take her that way!

They are funny things, well done for rescuing one!

AddictedtoGreys Fri 22-Apr-16 07:46:18

I haven't heard of a dog refusing to go out before, but as she's a rescue I assume you don't know much about her history? You could try talking to a behaviourist they would probably have the best suggestions.

BadDoGooder Fri 22-Apr-16 07:48:01

Plus how food orientated is she?
Mine would literally do anything for a scrap of food, it's a great way of training. She walks to heel off lead for miles now, because I used to do it with a tiny scrap of food in my hand.

Wait4nothing Fri 22-Apr-16 07:50:01

Is it the running? I know she would probably run when on a walk with the family but that would be on her terms.

mamapants Fri 22-Apr-16 08:01:05

I don't think there is anything particular making her nervous although she does prefer it once off the busier road (which still isn't very busy)
But I know her foster carer used to take her to a park a lot rather than walking on the roads. For me it was when we got off the bigger road she'd visibly relax but there is a stretch you have to go on to get anywhere.

I don't think its the running as she was better at going with DP than with me and DP would run, I was walking.

She's pretty food orientated but loves our food more than dog food which gives her a bad tummy. Haven't found a treat she loves yet, any recommendations.

When the rescue took her in from what I understand shed never been for a walk, she lived tied up in a garden. She had to carry her the first few times out but she had other dogs so think that helped her confidence.

CMOTDibbler Fri 22-Apr-16 08:05:54

How is she if no one else is at home? It could be that she's really fearful that if she goes out with one of you she could get home and find no one there. Maybe splitting up and rejoining on walks together, doing tiny walks on your own with a pocket of roast chicken (like literally to the end of the road and back) and building her confidence that everyone will be there for her.

georgedawes Fri 22-Apr-16 08:08:16

Could you take her in the car and then walk? Just to get over this. It's really early days and she'll probably settle in time.

mamapants Fri 22-Apr-16 08:16:07

I'm going to work now but will be back later on. Thanks for suggestions so far.

ABetaDad1 Fri 22-Apr-16 08:16:12

Basically she is seeing your family as 'her pack'. As a pack animal she doesn't want to leave half the pack behind.

I also wonder who she sees as 'pack leader'? Is it you, DP, one of the children?

I don't think she is frightened of anything on the route. Its the anxiety of being separated from the pack..

I wonder if try different combinations of pairs of people going with her just round the block so she gets used to going out of the door regularly with anyone who wants to take her. The other thing is make it a game. Throwing a ball/stick/rope chew. Let her take it with her when she goes out to divert her attention.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Fri 22-Apr-16 10:00:34

It still winds me up when I see people refer to the outdated bollocks of pack theory.

You need to speak to a behaviourist. If she's not used to regular walks it's obviously becoming a problem for her to cope with. I think you need some professional help.

Dogs don't need a walk every day, as such. They just need stimulation and exercise. Perhaps you could do training sessions with her in the garden. Does she have space to run around at home?

georgedawes Fri 22-Apr-16 13:28:56

Pack theory is bollocks op!!

Bubble2bubble Fri 22-Apr-16 13:42:05

If she spent her previous life tied up in a garden she may well be scared of traffic.

I would second the idea of taking her in the car to walk somewhere else for a while and see if she relaxes, even if this is not your ideal scenario at the moment.

Otherwise if you could find someone with a friendly dog who could walk with you from your house that might help? Nervous dogs can take their cues from a more confident one.

mamapants Fri 22-Apr-16 18:02:17

Thanks for the suggestions. We will definitely try driving somewhere. My turn tomorrow so fingers crossed. Will take her off road as well since I'll be driving anyway.
msadorable she does have space in the garden and she likes playing there, although she normally has been getting a walk just later in the day with the whole family. Just can be hard work with a 3yo, 1yo and dog!

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Fri 22-Apr-16 19:37:10

I sympathise, I had the same situation!

Choughed Fri 22-Apr-16 19:40:34

I would bring the tastiest treats possible. My dog would do anything for little cubes of cheese.

mamapants Sat 23-Apr-16 09:28:41

Well DP took her out this morning, five mins in the car and she went for a run with him without any trouble at all. And she left for a walk last night with DP and the eldest but leaving me and the youngest behind and didn't mind that at all either. She is a funny one, would love to know what she's thinking.

Ticktacktock Sat 23-Apr-16 12:28:09

My dog likes everyone to go out together if we're all in the same place as him. He's fine once we're a street or two away, but he ideally he would like to go back for whoever is left behind.

He is happy as Larry if we all go out together.

The pack mentality is not bollocks. Outdated bollocks??? It's instinct, and as far as I know hasn't been bred out of the species just yet. In fact the dog owner should be pack leader. A dog needs to know where it stands in the household. He is at his happiest when he knows where his place is.

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