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What has happened to my dog?(12 Posts)
My dog is a couple of weeks off a year old. Until recently, he has been great off lead. He always came back when I called and onto the lead when I bent down.
A couple of weeks ago, I took him for one of our walks in the woods, and it took a minute or two to get him back on the lead. I gave him lots of praise when I got him back on.
Last week, my husband and I took him to the park. When we got near to the exit, he would not go on the lead. He would come close to us, but then run off as if it was a game. Half an hour later, we managed to get him on the lead because he ran into the park’s cafe, and I could grab him in there.
This afternoon, my husband took him to the park. He had been gone a while so I messaged to ask if all ok (he took him for an hour’s walk first anyway). He would not go on the lead, so I also had to go to the park. I took some cheese with me to reward him going back on the lead.
He ran towards me excitedly and then managed to get just out of reach. Any attempt to get him on the lead just led to him running off at the last second..only a couple of feet away.
We walked back to the car (busy Road so didn’t really want to) but thought he might come with us once out of the park - he followed us, but would not go in this car. We had no choice but to return to the park.
He still refused to go on the lead. Fortunately, my sister lives across the road on the other side of the park, we walked down towards her house. All the while, my dog was walking more or less at heel, but if I bent down towards his collar, he skipped off.
We got to my sisters house (had to cross a road). She was expecting us, so her door was open. The dog ran straight into her house and let me put his lead on as soon as we got there.
My poor husband had been out for a couple of hours! Any idea on how I can get him back on the lead? We won’t be letting him off the lead until we know he will stop it.
I think you’ll have to attach a long line until he reliably comes back again?
You can get 10m long ones and with a previous dog I’ve had to step on the long line to get him back when his recall wasn’t great.
Is he fearful of the car? Or any other reason he doesn’t like his lead on?
He’s always been a bit timid about the car. We have to pick him up and put him in as he never goes in voluntarily. We also have a camper van and recently drove to France in it. He was a bit nervy at first, but then got used to it. We have never had any issues with thproblems lead though, I think it has started to signal the end of the walk.
The only other thing we have changed is that he has been going to a doggy day care play centre for dogs - he absolutely loves it and literally drags us to the door. He plays non-stop all day, so doesn’t want a walk in the evening if he’s been. (Other owners report the same). He went three times last week, so didn’t have as many evening walks, we took him out all of the other times though. I took him out for a walk this morning as well.
I will try the long line for a while. I think I need to get a professional dog trainer to give advice.
He’s hit the teenage years. They all do it. Go back to basics with the training and he should come right eventually.
He's a teenager! You don't need a professional - it's completely normal for them to start ignoring you at this age. Just continue with the training as always, lots of praise and treats and it'll pay off in a few months time.
* He plays non-stop all day, so doesn’t want a walk in the evening if he’s been.*
If he's been playing all day I'm not surprised he doesn't want a walk in the evening - he must be exhausted! Ours goes to daycare three days a week and we don't walk him those days - he just doesn't need it. Daily exercise doesn't have to come in the form of two walks a day - it can be playdates, running around at the beach, mental stimulation or training in the garden.
Ours is the same age as yours and doesn't always get two walks - it depends on the weather, his mood, our mood, our routine and our plans.
Same age, same problems, (I have a couple of threads on it) We seemed to start teenage years at about 7/8 months, I thought we'd come out the other end until yesterday. I really feel your frustration.
I have kept her on the lead a lot more since she started doing this, a couple of things we have tried:
We avoid woods when she's like this, yesterday she got herself barred from the woods for at least a month, its just way too exciting, squirrels, deer etc.
I have a training lead which can go at 3 lengths, the longest about 1.5m during our on lead walks I use the clicker and just call her every now and then rewarding when she actually looks at me (no mean feat sometimes) we also do little recalls on it.
A friend has a secure dog field so I upped the recall training there.
She can go off lead on a non secure dog field near us, but I play ball with her so she's coming back for the ball, petting her around the collar in between throwing it.
When you're doing this as well as rewarding with treats, pet her around the collar area when not trying to put the lead on I was shocked at the difference this made.
emergency stops with treats are also a good way of working at it too.
Its just same old, same old and I'm sure you're doing all this anyway, but its always worth going back to basics and I really do feel your pain. it's so frustrating.
Thanks for all of your replies!
Funnily enough, I’ve just got in from work and went to get him a little treat (some mince from the fridge). I always make him do a task for a treat eg sit, or flat. He came towards me and skipped off again several times like he did with the lead yesterday. Looked like he was having great fun!
Will try him with the long training lead. Thank you for your suggestions.
Teenage dog, AKA The Arsehole months. Pushing the boundaries just like a teenage human. You’ll look back on this time with fondness one day
Agree with other posters. Teenage rebellion. Keep doing what you're doing. Worth trying recall and lead during walks too as like you mention it could be that it signals the end of the walk.
Oh the joys of the teenage stubborn deafness stage. I recommend lots of and for you
He has hit doggy adolescence and is being a teenager.
I remember my labrador acting like that at around the same age and being a right git. Back to basics with everything. It is a phase that they go through.
Lead=end of walk=no fun
You need to call him over, toss him a treat, continue walking, call him again, another treat, continue with walk. Until he will let you touch him (even just a stroke) then start touching his collar, then start clipping and unclipping the lead etc