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I have a 4 month male dachshund and I'm trying get him to stop bad behaviours while we are on a walk.

He's great most of the time but sometimes he might be pulling on the leash, trying to chase people/cats/other dogs and so on.

A pull on the leash doesn't seem to do it, I can be pulling on the leash all day long; he will stop, sit next to me and as soon I start walking again he will do the same thing. Forever.

Also tried with treats, and that seems to help on occasion, far from reliably though.

How do I snap him out it / make him stop bad behaviours?

  • Check : dogcare.dailypuppy.com/scold-puppy-bad-leash-behavior-1564.html – user34 Oct 13 '13 at 19:06
  • Is the leash attached to a collar or a harness? As a dachshund owner myself, I know they are prone to bad backs and can choke themselves when pulling against a collar; a harness is physically better for dachshunds. – JoshDM Oct 13 '13 at 19:38
  • @JoshDM I tried both and I've found that he pulls more while in the harness, no idea if that's still better than a collar. – Nick Oct 14 '13 at 6:00
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    For a dachshund, a harness is preferred due to their backs. With my dachshund, he chokes himself on a collar and ends up with coughing fits. – JoshDM Oct 14 '13 at 6:02
  • Pedigree appears to back up my harness for dachshund recommendation: pedigree.com/All-Things-Dog/Article-Library/… – JoshDM Oct 14 '13 at 6:04
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Your dog is pulling on the leash because he is in a hurry to get somewhere.

The easiest way to stop a dog from pulling on the leash is to just stop. When he stops pulling, then you can start walking again. Be patient and consistent. Eventually, your dog will get it: pulling on the leash stops them from getting what they want.

Keep in mind that chasing prey (cats, rabbits, etc.) is something you may never be able to curb.

  • I really like this advice, it is simple, but quite effective and you're right, it takes time and patience, especially puppies, they are excited and inquisitive :) +1 – Nobody Nov 25 '13 at 2:48
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+50

The most important aspect about controlling your dog on the leash is for your dog to understand that you are the one who leads and not the other way around. When your dog pulls you in a direction that you do not wish to go, or even in a direction that you wish to go but not at that pace then you are submitting to the dog's will and degrading your image of being the pack leader in the dog's eyes.

Dog's being pack animals feel reassured when they clearly know who the pack leader is. It may seem strange that your dog would be less stressed being lorded over but this is dog psychology.

The Walk starts with putting the leash on

Setting the precedent off right from the beginning can help set the tone for the rest of the walk. When you pick up the leash I imagine your daschund gets extremely excited and can't wait to exit the door. When you reward the dog in this excited state of mind then you set the tone for the rest of the walk to be excited.

This may take a while, but be patient. Wait for the dog to be calm while you hold the leash. Only once calm can you attempt to put the leash on the dog. The first several times you try the dog will probably become excited again meaning you will pull back and wait for the dog to become calm again. Once you are able to leash the dog in a calm state of mind then you can move to the next step!

Exiting the Front Door

This little tip I learned from reading Cesar Milan's books on dog training. Before you leave the front door make sure the dog is completely calm. When opening the door if the dog becomes excited again then close and wait for calm.

Do not let the dog leave the door first. This sets the tone that the dog is alpha for the walk and will lead. Alpha dogs are the first to enter and the first to leave always. Make sure that you exit the door first then your dog can follow you.

Tension on the Leash

Your body language and natural tension is picked up by your dog. If you are nervous, anxious, frustrated or angry then your dog will pick up your tension. This tension will make your dog more excitable and actually encourage more bad behaviour.

Keep your shoulders relaxed and keep tension on the leash to a minimum. Only the gentlest confident nudges should communicate to your dog where you want them to go.

Following on the side or behind

Try not to allow your dog to walk in front of you. If they try to walk in front then hold them back with the leash until they are at your side and stop moving forward completely. The dog will learn that in no way do they ever get closer to where they want to be by pulling and leading. This can be frustrating but patience will pay off.

Meeting People and other Pets

When we walk we occasionally run into other people or pets that would like to meet our precious little pooch. The challenge here is to let others know that you are training your dog to be calm when approaching people. If the dog gets super excited to meet somebody and pulls towards them, then hold them back until they calm down. Only then allow them to approach. You should be able to identify calm energy from your dog as opposed to excited energy.

Too Much Energy?

When all else fails sometimes dogs do not get nearly enough exercise and they can be physically and mentally frustrated because of it. Puppies and high energy breeds have this problem especially. Try taking your dog for a run or a swim in the pool if you have access to one. This will help them expel excess energy and allow them to be more receptive to your cues and get into that calm state a bit easier.

  • Thank you for your answer. I have one question though: You said "When you pick up the leash I imagine your daschund gets extremely excited and can't wait to exit the door."; Is that an assumption based on my question, or are dachshunds "known" for this kind of behavior? I would love to read more on the subject. – Nick Nov 26 '13 at 9:33
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    Cesar Milan is probably the least reputable person to be taking advice from. The whole dominance/pack leader thing he teaches is utter nonsense. whole-dog-journal.com/issues/14_12/features/… – cimmanon Nov 26 '13 at 13:27
  • @cimmanon Everything in that article talks specifically about bullying and physically abusing dogs. If you think these are the kinds of things that Cesar Milan advocates then it is clear you have never read any of his books or watched any of his shows. Taking the role of pack leader and calm assertive leadership is a very different thing than excited aggressive leadership. Cesar only uses methods such as dominance rolls with highly troubled dogs that are a danger to others and themselves. It is a last resort for dogs that are in danger of being euthanized. Stop spreading misinformation. – maple_shaft Nov 26 '13 at 14:18
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    @maple_shaft And that's why many of the dogs on Cesar's show end up worse and/or euthanized? The fact that you're bringing up things like "pack leader" and "dominance" in an instance where neither are relevant just shows your ignorance. You are the one spreading misinformation. Cesar's show speaks for itself: www.globalanimal.org/2012/04/13/cesar-millan-the-dog-kicker-er-video/71926/ or maybe youtube.com/watch?v=Qh9YOyM2TAk vs. youtube.com/watch?v=EUCl6ndLN7Q – cimmanon Nov 26 '13 at 15:10
  • @cimmanon I have nothing to say to you. You are going to believe misinformation from weird activist websites regardless of what I say. I have owned several dogs and helped train numbers more and have had nothing but positive results and happy dogs from such advice. People see a harmless correction like a quick corrective touch on the face with the hand or a small touch with the foot and think it is a painful strike because of the startled reaction from the dog. If you disagree with the advice that I give regarding dog behaviour and training then downvote. Let the community decide on it. – maple_shaft Nov 26 '13 at 15:27

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