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training on leash
by Dorothy
training on leash I have not been very successful in training my Sophie to walk with a leash. When I put the collar and leash on her she goes crazy and I'm afraid she's going to hurt herself. Any suggestions???


Hi Dorothy, we had no luck either until we took them to obedience class. The trainer showed us how, and after a few days of perseverance, they got it. I don't think that I will be very good at explaining it but here goes.... We used a 6 ft nylon lead and a flat nylon collar, walked slowly and just sort of dragged them along behind us while turning our heads to look at them, all the time saying "Come on Moose" (or Squirrel) in a soft encouraging voice. The trick is to do this for no more than 5-10 minutes twice a day, and eventually they realise that it is them pulling on the lead and not you, and figure out that it is easier to just go along with you.
Deanna (Moose & Squirrel)

Dorothy, begin by putting the leash on Sophie and letting her drag it around. Do this several times, till she doesn't balk, then pick up the leash and gently try to get her to walk with you. Reward her if she complies. Do this several times. It won't take long.Good luck.
Dorothy, I had some "fun" getting Phoebe used to the lead also, She would simply "lock down" and not budge! I let her just drag it around for a couple of days, hoping to get her used to it, then tried again & still she locked up. Next step was to get down on my knees at her eye level and get the end of the leash, holding it gently I would call her to me, she did hesitate a bit, and I very gently tugged and called her to me again - I had already trained her to come when called. Well after a couple of tries like this and giving her high praise she did just fine! She trots around pretty well on the end of the lead now. GOOD LUCK!
Leslie R
It takes some time for them to get used to a leash and collar. First, try just putting the collar on her without the leash. Make sure its the right size (not too tight), and don't use a metal or choke collar, or one that will get her fur caught up in it. Soft leather or nylon is good to start. Once she will walk around with a collar on, try attaching the leash (may take a few days). Don't try to walk her.. just let her drag it around (watch she doesn't get it caught on anything). Little by little pick it up and call her to you.. give lots of praise when she does it. Just be patient and don't try to do too much in one day. Some dogs seem to have very sensitive necks.. I've heard that a harness can work better with them.
Dorothy - You might try just putting her collar on around the house so she can get used to that first. But watch her so she doesn't get caught on anything. Then add the lead but at first foll it up tight and rubber band it so it just hangs about 1 inch from the collar. Then when you take her for a walk, go where she wants until she gets used to the lead. You might also try foregoing the collar and get a lead with a loop and swivel. It's lighter and easier to get on and off. Also try to distract her attention from the lead with treats or a toy. Good luck.
Shelby didn't like being on a leash either when we first brought her home and she was 2 1/2 years old! I don't think she'd been on a leash much in her past life. Anyway, when I'd put the leash on her she'd start flip flopping around and it scared me too! She didn't hurt herself although I did give her slack on the leash if she got too crazy or I'd pick her up. Fortunately, she did get used to it in a short while, as I'm sure your Sophie will too. She now associates the leash with going bye bye, which is one of her favorite things! She even brings the leash to me to get me going if I don't move fast enough!
Sandy & Shelby
Dorothy, I often run into this problem with our two year old maltese, Rocky. He runs to me like a maniac if he hears his dog tags jingle when I accidentally touch his leash. When he sees me go for his little lumber jacket, he really shows his joy by jumping around and dancing. His craziness is caused by excitement.. since he loves to go outside. Would you say that happiness causes your little one's behavior too? Try putting her on top of a table or counter before you put her collar on (or leash). She should calm down and you're right...they get so wild, that they probably can cause some harm to themselves. Good luck!
Liz C.
This is going to sound crazy, but it's true. I couldn't get Otto to take a walk with me with his leash. He wouldn't budge. He didn't mind wearing the leash, just walking with me holding the other end. In desperation, I tried just walking with him - no leash at all. He walked right next to me and a little behind. For maybe a mile. He would stop to sniff and when I said "Otto, come" he would comes straightaway. We walked this way for weeks. Of course there is not much traffic. So, last week I had to go to a busy place and wanted to take him, so I put on his collar and leash. He was perfect. Strange, no?
We started Baxter out with just putting on his harness and attaching his leash to drag around the house just to get him used to it, like a few of you have suggested. What a hoot, though, when, Edith, the cat decided the end of the leash was something "live" and pounced on it. Baxter would stop dead in his tracks and just stand there. Soon he would move again, Edith would pounce again, Baxter would stop again. This went on and on. Then Baxter's big black eyes rolled up at me as if to say, "Moooooooom, make her stop!" Happy to say, Baxter is great on a leash and I have Edith to thank for it!!

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