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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20173
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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My 5yr old rescued poodle will not walk on a lead or a harness.

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My 5yr old rescued poodle will not walk on a lead or a harness. How do I get her to comply.
Hi Jacutomer,
My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
The first thing I would do is to leave the leash on the dog and let her trail it around the house. This helps her get used to the feel of the leash itself. It does not have to be the regular leash, and can be a short version.
Now to tackle the actual walking on the leash. Many dogs will stop and start when they do not want to walk. Number one, put your dog on a leash before leaving the house. Make your dog sit or lie down before leaving. You walk out first and the dog should follow you out. With a proper walk, the dog should be right at your side or slightly behind. You dog should be paying attention to you, frequently glancing at you to be sure you haven't changed your mind about where you are going. I will be using the word correction. A correction will indicate a short quick tug and release of the leash.
If they won't move or are hesitant, stopping, laying down, a stinky, tasty treat like a hot dog sliver or liver silver usually convinces them to follow. I use almost paper thin pieces of hot dog as the oil from them coats your hand and keeps the smell on your hand. Let the dog smell the treat in your closed hand. If they get up and come to your side, feed them the treat. Put another in your closed fist and let the dog smell it as you move forward. The dog should follow. If she normally doesn't move forward, reward her with a treat and verbal praise. Gradually increase the amount of steps she must take by your side, smelling your hand in order to get a treat. Before you know it, your dog will be walking right next to you all the time, with or without treats. When you stop, praise your dog with your voice or a few pats to let your dog know how good she has done.
Important note: If she starts to stop or lays down, do not give her a treat, as this will teach her that if she does that you will give the treat. Try to time it so that she is always moving forward when a treat is given.
Once she is walking on a leash, she may start moving in front or pulling away from you. Keep your leash short, but without pressure on it. If the dog starts moving away, a correction toward you should be made. This shouldn't be a dragging, but more of a tug to get their attention. Occasional treats help with this phase too. If they stay where they belong for a time, reward them. Once your dog is pretty much always walking at your side, you will want to make a correction any time they stop paying attention to you. For instance, they are looking at a cat in a yard, give a correction so they look at you. They are busy looking ahead and haven't glanced at you for awhile, give a correction and reverse your direction. Do not stop and wait for the dog, just a quick correction and reverse and walk. They learn to keep an eye on you as well as on what else is going on.
This method should take care of your problem. I've used this method for a long time and it has proven to work very well even on the most stubborn dog.
I would also start obedience training with her as well. Be sure that she has a clean bill of health before any long walks. I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .
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