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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-09-2014, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Question about behavior

I am perplexed...Bentley (2.5 yrs old) seems to only want to go for walks if both my husband and I go. When I try to take him by myself he does a terrible job (stopping every couple of feet and not wanting to continue). It used to be manageable but now he has gotten even more stubborn about it, to the point that I'm not even wanting to try and take him by myself. The last several nights we have both gone on a 30 minute walk with him and he did great! But I just tried to do it by myself because my husband isn't home and he wouldn't move so I brought him back home. My husband has taken him alone in the past but it's been awhile so he was more difficult but it wasn't impossible for him. We have always noticed he does better when we are together. Any ideas why this is? He has never gotten very excited about taking walks either. Also, our walks have always been for exercise not sniffing and marking. But like I said, he does fine when we are both there with him??? Any ideas why and what I can do? He needs his exercise!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-09-2014, 06:57 PM
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Sorry no advice for you but Tim is the EXACT same way and I just looked at my siggy and see that he's 2 1/2 too, weird. My husband isn't really around to walk with us most of the time but when he does Tim walks like a champ. I know how frustrating it is when they stop, even more frustrating when you have a little sister pup who is full of energy and wants to go, go, go! Sometimes I end up carrying him for a little bit and it seems to reset things. It must look funny to see the 15 pound big boy being carried and the little 8 pound pistol walking along side. I had him tested for Lyme just to make sure that wasn't the culprit. He is so conscious of who is there and who isn't even when it's time to go upstairs for the evening. He won't go up without both DH and myself going up. My little one isn't like that at all but they have very different personalities. It will be interesting to see who else chimes in.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-09-2014, 07:24 PM
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Couple ideas- either find a bit of food he REALLY likes and drop little hits out ahead of him as he goes along. Or carry him out a block or so and walk him back home.


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 07:43 AM
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In Molly's puppy class they had us hold a wooden spoon with peanut butter on it to entice the pups to walk next to us and keep moving forward. Every once in a while we let them have a lick to keep them interested in following along. It seemed to work.



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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 08:40 AM
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Scout gets very excited when my husband takes him to the park or for a walk. Sometimes the two of us will take him for a long walk together. When I take Scout for a walk in the neighborhood he will only go a short distance. He keeps turning around like he is looking for my husband. He will then sit and not budge. That's the end of the walk because he then turns around and runs home. He will be 2 years tomorrow.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the ideas! Unfortunately, I can't really do anything with food due to his digestive issues (long story). Any other ideas that don't involve food?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jabojenny View Post
Sorry no advice for you but Tim is the EXACT same way and I just looked at my siggy and see that he's 2 1/2 too, weird. My husband isn't really around to walk with us most of the time but when he does Tim walks like a champ. I know how frustrating it is when they stop, even more frustrating when you have a little sister pup who is full of energy and wants to go, go, go! Sometimes I end up carrying him for a little bit and it seems to reset things. It must look funny to see the 15 pound big boy being carried and the little 8 pound pistol walking along side. I had him tested for Lyme just to make sure that wasn't the culprit. He is so conscious of who is there and who isn't even when it's time to go upstairs for the evening. He won't go up without both DH and myself going up. My little one isn't like that at all but they have very different personalities. It will be interesting to see who else chimes in.
Interesting! Has Tim always acted that way regarding walking or did it just start recently or worsen? Could it have something to do with their age?
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 03:49 PM
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I started really noticing it last summer but I think some, if not most, of that behavior was because of the heat. He used to walk fine with me a while back but I remember as a puppy he would be apprehensive when we walked away from home, once "home" was out of site he was fine. He has some weird, quirky kind of fears unlike Mae, which I think makes him look even worse. I'm not hugely worried about his lack of interest in walking, I think some of it might be that we walk the same route a lot of the time. I also think his default behavior is sleeping on the couch he's very layed back in that respect. So I have two pups that are on opposite ends of the activity scale and I need to find a happy middle ground.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 09:26 AM
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Could use a little more information, I'm just wondering if there are some separation issues. How is he at home. Does he become anxious if one of you leave? Offhand he could have been conditioned early to this routine and it has become a learned behavior. He might be superstitious ,ie something has scared him when he was with only you present. I think doing a lot of basic training while the other owner is present but further away. After that i'd see if the dog could volunteer in a walk situation to take a couple of steps with the leash handler and away from the other person, with the reward being turning and returning to the other person. Then build on distance. Also I would strongly suggest as part of the reward process ,to let the dog stop and sniff. That is more important and more rewarding than simply walking non stop. Dogs are creatures that use smell to a huge extent, and they enjoy this much more. Mental excercise is vital .

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-17-2014, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by davetgabby View Post
Could use a little more information, I'm just wondering if there are some separation issues. How is he at home. Does he become anxious if one of you leave? Offhand he could have been conditioned early to this routine and it has become a learned behavior. He might be superstitious ,ie something has scared him when he was with only you present. I think doing a lot of basic training while the other owner is present but further away. After that i'd see if the dog could volunteer in a walk situation to take a couple of steps with the leash handler and away from the other person, with the reward being turning and returning to the other person. Then build on distance. Also I would strongly suggest as part of the reward process ,to let the dog stop and sniff. That is more important and more rewarding than simply walking non stop. Dogs are creatures that use smell to a huge extent, and they enjoy this much more. Mental excercise is vital .
So agree, Dave, that mental exercise is vital; we humans have this obsession with walking for the sake of walking, and enjoy it ourselves more with a dog at our side. Dogs, given the choice, will not walk for the sake of walking, they walk because they want to be with us. Games and stimulation, sniffing and discovery are so important. Giving a dog something to do, something to think about and exercise of any kind that involves working at something are actually so much more stimulating than just putting one paw in front of the other, often with humans who aren't necessarily taking any particular interest in their canine companions.
I've had problems lately with Tycho, my Coton, not wanting to budge sometimes on a walk. He has been trained to follow a target stick, and that is my best way of encouraging him to do pretty much anything. He is not a food-orientated dog but just the fun of following the target stick breaks a pattern and keeps his attention.
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