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    1. #1
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      Leash training a pup unmotiveate by food

      So Archie (not a Lab) is only 8 weeks old. I never tried to train an 8 wk old puppy to walk on a leash. He's not really food motivated which has thrown me for a loop. He responds to some food only sometimes. He's no longer scared of the leash and doesn't freak out when he's on it outside so that's good. But he refuses to follow. He freezes and cries and wants to run in the opposite direction. I've tried putting a treat in front of his nose and then moving it a foot or two away but he takes ONE STEP, licks the treat and doesn't want to move. He just wants to run around like a maniac. He's more interested in fighting with grass and bushes than following me. I'm wondering, is 8 wks too young to teach to walk on a leash? He does not respond to forced behavior like pulling him (I really didn't want to do that but I had to try). Man, this dog is completely opposite from Jules!

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      Just let him drag the leash around for a while in the backyard...let him get used to its existence without you on the other end.
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    4. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by SunDance View Post
      Just let him drag the leash around for a while in the backyard...let him get used to its existence without you on the other end.
      We did that already. He runs around the house with it for a bit and ends up chewing it so I take it off. I can't really not hold on to him outside though. He's so little that he tries to squeeze himself into every hole. We have to patch those up. And he's a fast little bugger!

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      Quote Originally Posted by annkie View Post
      We did that already. He runs around the house with it for a bit and ends up chewing it so I take it off. I can't really not hold on to him outside though. He's so little that he tries to squeeze himself into every hole. We have to patch those up. And he's a fast little bugger!
      What kind of leash are you using?

    6. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by barry581 View Post
      What kind of leash are you using?
      He has a harness on like a really basic one because he's so small. And then a 6' lead.


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      Harnesses will generally cause pulling. It won't be popular with some people here, but get a small prong collar and fit it properly (high on the neck) and get a light weight leash and go from there. A small pop on the leash should make him go forward. Right now you are letting this puppy manage you, and you need to set the tone. Don't worry about hurting his feelings because you won't. You are just setting the standard for what you want/expect, and don't reduce your standards.

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    9. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by barry581 View Post
      Harnesses will generally cause pulling. It won't be popular with some people here, but get a small prong collar and fit it properly (high on the neck) and get a light weight leash and go from there. A small pop on the leash should make him go forward. Right now you are letting this puppy manage you, and you need to set the tone. Don't worry about hurting his feelings because you won't. You are just setting the standard for what you want/expect, and don't reduce your standards.
      Ugh I hate those things. I'm hesitant to try it on him honestly. He's only 9 lbs maybe 10. The Welshies are more sensitive than Labs. I also read that the 8 week age is the fear stage. So I don't want to freak him out right now.


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    10. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by annkie View Post
      Ugh I hate those things. I'm hesitant to try it on him honestly. He's only 9 lbs maybe 10. The Welshies are more sensitive than Labs. I also read that the 8 week age is the fear stage. So I don't want to freak him out right now.
      You're correct in not putting a prong on an 8 week old puppy and taking the puppy's temperament into consideration before using that "tool".

      My suggestion would be to not leash train the puppy at all at this age. Give him some time, then go back and try again, just letting him drag it for a couple minutes, but never unsupervised. If he is afraid, you just don't want to push it. He's little enough that you can hold him. I carried my Lab puppies around until I just couldn't anymore (and they came to me at 15+ lbs). I'd just put a very light leash on them, just in case. Typically one that is a loop so no hardware that makes noise or adds weight. I'd also nix the harness unless you find he needs one in the future. You can still teach him to loose leash walk without a leash by rewarding him for position with whatever is rewarding to him (toy, praise, food, etc.). Just do this for a couple seconds though. Keep sessions very short initially. You have plenty of time!

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    12. #9
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      I put on the harness because the ring to the leash is on the back so it doesn't get caught under him causing him to trip constantly. I guess I'll take a step back and let him walk with the leash around the house. How long do I keep that up for?


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    13. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by annkie View Post
      I put on the harness because the ring to the leash is on the back so it doesn't get caught under him causing him to trip constantly. I guess I'll take a step back and let him walk with the leash around the house. How long do I keep that up for?


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      You can get really light leashes, like a thin piece of canvas. No hardware. I keep one for my puppies; had it for years. Does the tripping bother him? You only keep it on for 30 seconds, a couple minutes, several minutes, building up over time. And totally supervised so he's not chewing on it or hurting himself or getting hung up on something and scared further.

      I never walked my dogs until they were like 6 months old. I just trained them. I never once gave them the opportunity to pull by taking them out too soon or allowing them to learn that pulling = moving. If I needed to get from point a to point b, it was usually luring with food, unless I could carry them. So, by the time they are 6 months, I can walk them on leash and a flat buckle collar, still training of course, but much less work and much safer for me as I walk two of them.

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