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Dog Training/My blue nose pit refuses to walk

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Question
My uncle just gave me a pit and she's 5 months old. She has little training because when my uncle bought her she was basically abandoned. We're still teaching her how to sit. She walks with her tail in between her legs and sometime seems confused when were excited to see her and tell her "come ivy". I give her praise for all of her achievements. My problem is when I try to walk her she refuses. I have to even carry her outside just to get started. When I put the leash on her she just lays down afraid and when I tug she drops all her weight and pulls away. But when I walk her in the back yard with no leash she's comfortable and likes to play outside for hrs. But it won't go any further than the back yard. I don't know what to do. How do I get my dog to even walk down the block? Should I think about buying a harness?

Answer
Hi Ayisha,
It sounds like she is probably a bit nervous and also doesn't feel comfortable with the collar and leash. It is good that she seems comfortable outside in general, but you need to slowly acclimate her to the surroundings.

Start practicing with the leash inside or the backyard (anywhere where she is more comfortable) and put a lot of yummy treats in your pocket or treat back. Walk away from her (no jerking) and wait until the leash is barely taut. AS SOON as she takes one step towards you, say, "Yes!" and give her a treat. Then, walk away from her again and do the same thing. As she gets more advanced, give more verbal praise and treats after a few steps.

"Good girl, keep walking, great!"  --  treat

The goal is to teach her to follow you when she feels a tight leash. That will eventually solve the problem of pulling or going too slowly.

On a separate note, make sure you bring yummy treats and give them to her whenever she sees or hears anything new. If she doesn't take the treat (assuming she normally loves it) that is an indication that she is nervous and you need to go more slowly around those events. That is socialization and the most important puppy topic.

Take socialization very seriously and make sure you spend a lot of time socializing her. Fear can turn to aggression later.

Start by watching some of my videos (Free) and reading the posts below and let me know if you have more questions.

Leash Walking Videos

Socialize your puppy now

Is it bad if your puppy stops walking

Five biggest mistakes new puppy guardians make

Good luck,
Jeff  

Dog Training

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Jeff Millman

Expertise

I studied with Jean Donaldson in San Francisco in 2002. She is one of the foremost dog trainers anywhere and I sought her out and traveled from Chicago to work with her. I am expert in all phases of dog development in regards to training. I can offer advice from young puppies through adult including aggression, separation anxiety and barking. While aggression is often handled best in person by a skilled positive reinforcement trainer, a lot of advice can be spread in this forum. I have written EBooks on separation anxiety and barking and am currently writing a book about dog aggression.

Experience

I have been working as a full-time professional dog trainer since 2002. I only use positive reinforcement techniques and am well-versed in using the clicker. My clients do not have to use a clicker to have success using my techniques. I started teaching 14 classes a week for the first two years while I was building up my private practice, Chicago Paws. Since 2004 I have worked exclusively as a private trainer in the Chicago area. On January 1, 2007 I launched an online version of my business that can be viewed at Watch and Train. At WatchandTrain.com you will find streaming videos for purchase that play directly on your computer and cover a variety of specific topics including house training, jumping, come when called, counter surfing and leash walking.

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Association of Pet Dog Trainers

Education/Credentials
Dog training: I graduated with honors from Jean Donaldson's Academy for Dog Trainers in San Francisco, CA. I attended Karen Pryor;s Clicker Expo in Chicago, IL. I attended week-long APDT conferences in Portland Oregon, Orlando, Florida and Oakland, California. I attended a Pat Miller seminar in Chicago, IL. Previous education: Journalism and Fine Arts degree from Indiana University.

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