Does not want to walk on the leash

Posted by miyaboy
Jul 13, 2008
My 4 year old Golden Retriever (F) does not want to walk on the leash when I bring it out of the house. Whenever I put on the leash, she will always lie down on the floor and will respond only when i want to train her. I have tried using the methods in the book but she will still lie there and not move will only respond to play or treats. Could anyone give me advice on solving this problem? I want to bring her out for walks. Thanks.
Posted by KOPsRobyn
Jan 15, 2010
Hi there

It is possible that your dog is associating the leash with some negative experience, such as being scared on a previous walk when she was younger. As she is most probably scared of the walk itself rather that the leash, you will need to begin slowly and re-train her in small steps so that she relates it with a enjoyable event and isn't scared of it anymore. You can start off by telling her to sit before you bring out the leash, and if she remains sitting the whole time, then you may give her a treat and take off the leash. Do this as many times a day as possible, then she will realize that if she behaves herself when the leash is put on, this will result in a reward. Once she is completely comfortable about having the leash put on, you can proceed to taking her out. Avoid busy roads or parks with lots of other dogs or people initially, as she is more likely to become frightened and distracted with crowds. Instead, take her to a quiet open space for a short time each day and do some obedience training with her there. Make sure you reward and praise her when she behaves herself. You may want to play some of her favorite games as well, just so she can build up her confidence about being out and about slowly. The important thing to remember is to never reassure her or tell her 'it's ok' if she is acting scared as this will send the message to her that there is something around that she should be afraid of. Instead, you need to be confident and ignore her when she acts like this, and show her that you are the leader and will protect her if the need arises.

I hope this helps and all the best with the training!