My thoughts released; a mind set free
|I want to start woking walking my dog; good exercise for both of us. But, before I can take Max for walks, I need to train him to walk on a leash. I know leash training is difficult, I've trained a few dogs in my life, but Max is different. I employed the same techniques that have worked well with other dogs but up until today, Max would have nothing to do with the leash; he pulls back and drops with a look that conveys the message, "Leash me alone!"
Let's see, we brought him home kind of late on a Saturday when he was eight weeks old. I let him adjust to the new home and family for a couple of days, we did no training except some simple name association (his, not mine). From there we increased using his name and of course, introduced "NO!" and began using TPA techniques for his good behavior; Treats, Praise, and Affection are the best means to train anyone canine or otherwise.
I did put the leash on him at nine weeks and let him get the feel of it, but we didn't really walk at that point. He got hold of the leash and shook it like it was his mortal enemy then dropped to the floor and glared at me, leash still clamped firmly in his mouth. I tried every few days to put it on and let him get accustomed to the feel of it, but he would do the same each time. Over and over I tried to get him to adjust to the feel of being on the leash, and over and over he would try to rip it to shreds, drop as flat as he could, and glare at me, "Leash me alone!"
This Saturday, Max turns three months old and should be accustomed to being on a leash in a manner other than tearing at it and lying flat on the floor, so I needed to up my game. He had not been leashed this week until yesterday. I thinly sliced up a nice beef roast and put it in the oven to dry out (homemade beef jerky without any additives). I cut them into small treat-sized pieces and restarted the training again yesterday. We made a few steps by holding the yummy beef in my free hand and letting him follow his nose. Every few steps he was praised, and we worked for about ten minutes. Five of them he did good, five of them he tried to rip up the leash, but he did not drop like a rock.
Today, we again did some leash training. I had cooked up a steak for lunch, and I also cooked up a smaller one for Max. I ate mine, his was chopped up into small pieces and used to reward his walking on the leash. We did ten minutes again today. The first few he wanted to tear the leash up, but enticed with the steak, he walked pretty well. We will work a bit more before his supper after everyone is home so there will be no distractions. If he does well again, perhaps we will do another round a bit before bed.
I'm hoping that by this weekend he will no longer want to kill his leash and start walking well enough that I can take him on a real walk so he learns that it's fun to see the leash come down. No more, "Leash me alone!" But instead, "My leash, l getta go for a walk!"