Doesn't want to walk w/others - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Doesn't want to walk w/others

Lincoln is 17 weeks old, and is comfortable with my husband and 2 sons (ages 7 and 9). But when it comes to going for a walk, he only wants to go with me. When my husband or my mom go to take him for a walk, it's like trying to drag dead weight. Sometimes even if they have treats (especially if Lincoln can see me around).

Any tips or thoughts? I know he's attached to me, but I want him to be able to walk with others, especially as this is necessary for the AKC puppy test at the end of puppy class.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 09:41 AM
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Lincoln is 17 weeks old, and is comfortable with my husband and 2 sons (ages 7 and 9). But when it comes to going for a walk, he only wants to go with me. When my husband or my mom go to take him for a walk, it's like trying to drag dead weight. Sometimes even if they have treats (especially if Lincoln can see me around).

Any tips or thoughts? I know he's attached to me, but I want him to be able to walk with others, especially as this is necessary for the AKC puppy test at the end of puppy class.

Thanks!
Walking on leash is a learned behavior, and it doesn't immediately transfer from one person to another. Lincoln is still VERY young, and it is perfectly appropriate for him to be more attached to one person. Puppies also learn at their own rate. You can't rush it. Just keep working on it, slowly and gently, with NO dragging!!! To start, you can have the other person walk beside you, with Lincoln between. Then when he is used to that, hand the leash to the other person and keep walking right beside him. Then start to vary YOUR distance from him as he walks, always coming back to him and rewarding him HEAVILY for walking with the other person. He'll get it eventually. But it might not be on your schedule, at the end of a 6-8 week class.

Incidentally, if the AKC puppy test requires that the puppy walk with a stranger, I wouldn't do it. I do NOT let people outside my family (or at least not very well known to the dog) handle my dog.

Added: I just checked on the AKC web site, and there is NOTHING about anyone other than the owner handling the puppy on-leash for the "Star puppy" award, and for the CGC (canine good citizen) the dog only needs to STAY with a trusted second person on-leash, not walk on leash with them. And Lincoln is FAR too young to be worrying about CGC.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Walking on leash is a learned behavior, and it doesn't immediately transfer from one person to another. Lincoln is still VERY young, and it is perfectly appropriate for him to be more attached to one person. Puppies also learn at their own rate. You can't rush it. Just keep working on it, slowly and gently, with NO dragging!!! To start, you can have the other person walk beside you, with Lincoln between. Then when he is used to that, hand the leash to the other person and keep walking right beside him. Then start to vary YOUR distance from him as he walks, always coming back to him and rewarding him HEAVILY for walking with the other person. He'll get it eventually. But it might not be on your schedule, at the end of a 6-8 week class.

Incidentally, if the AKC puppy test requires that the puppy walk with a stranger, I wouldn't do it. I do NOT let people outside my family (or at least not very well known to the dog) handle my dog.

Added: I just checked on the AKC web site, and there is NOTHING about anyone other than the owner handling the puppy on-leash for the "Star puppy" award, and for the CGC (canine good citizen) the dog only needs to STAY with a trusted second person on-leash, not walk on leash with them. And Lincoln is FAR too young to be worrying about CGC.
Thank you, thank you for the info!!! Being our first dog/puppy, I don't know what is typical behavior at different ages, etc. So that insight was helpful, as was the info about the AKC test at the end of puppy class. I wonder why the trainer/teacher says that is part of the test then? I will ask.

Funny you should mention the exercises about slowing transferring the "reigns." I went walking with them yesterday and armed my hubby with treats. Then when we got to the cul-de-sac at the end of the walk, I stayed at the end corner of it, and he tried to get him to walk around the cul-de-sac and meet me at the end. It was a big struggle in the beginning, so I think you just made me realize that that was too big of a jump for him.

I was imaging that he'd never walk with anyone else but me....ever! But it's good to know that that isn't necessarily going to be the case. He is pretty good with my hubby/boys when I am not around and they are in charge. Definitely prefers me and if he sees me, wants to be with me more than them. But good reminder to just keep working towards these transfers slowly. On the weekends and evenings, I've started to be around a little less so he gets used to being without me sometimes, too and just them.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 11:26 AM
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It may be that he ALWAYS prefers walking with you if everyone is together... Is there anything wrong with that? When my husband and I took the dogs out together when Pixel was younger, typically, he walked Kodi, who was trained, while I wrangled the puppy. Kodi wanted me to walk either beside them, (if there was room) or in front of them if we had to walk single file. If I walked behind, he would lag further and further behind my husband, trying to keep his eye on me.

Now that we have three, and Pixel knows how to walk on leash well too, I take Kodi and Panda, and he takes Pixel, and everyone is happy.

You can find the different criteria for Star Puppy and the the various "flavors" of CGC on the AKC web site. you don't need to depend on anyone else to tell you what's on it. Your trainer may have a preference for dogs learning certain things. If a title is important to me I want to know EXACTLY what the titling organization criteria are. (there are more organizations than AKC, BTW) The best way to know these is to go to the source and read them yourself. On the AKC web site, they actually have videos of what each exercise should look like.


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