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Trouble Walking My Dog with two People Present

Posted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:19 pm
by jen0923
Hello. I am a newbie and I hope I am posting correctly and to the right area...I did do a search and read a lot but did not find this mentioned. I am looking for advise on a behavior I am having with Diva. She cannot walk correctly on leash with more than one person present. She wears a padded harness for walks. When it is just me and her she is a perfect walker and follows all commads given to her. When there is another person present I cannot control her. She acts like a completly different dog. If both people are walking at the same pace she is great. If one person gets ahead or goes a different trail..she freaks out and becomes a pulling, howling mess. I have tried correcting this with stopping the walk and not continuing until she is sitting at my side. Which when I stop she comes back to my side, sits but is still focused on getting to the other person. She sits at my side and whines and intently stares at where the other person went. I cannot distract her. Once we have rejoined the other person and are walking side by side she is a well behaved dog again. Has this happened to anyone else? And do you have any ideas on how to help us get through this with the least amount of stress for her? I know I can just walk by myself to avoid the problem but I would really like to be able to have an enjoyable walk with my dog and my husband at the same time. Thank you.

Re: Trouble Walking My Dog with two People Present

Posted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:58 pm
by BrokenAquarian
How many different people have you tried this with?
Does she do this if its your husband walking her and you are the one ahead?

Re: Trouble Walking My Dog with two People Present

Posted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:15 pm
by Curly_07
You've posted in the correct sub forum :)

I too need some advice on this and have been meaning to post about it. My Curly does the same thing. It is with anyone walking with us (friends, roommies). She is great when we are all together, but if someone walks ahead or veers off the trail, she acts like she is missing out on something and starts pulling and making her horrid racket (she can't/doesn't bark, she makes horrific sounds instead). I'm just not interesting enough to her when others are present. I've tried treats and toys, and her tennis ball is the only thing I can bring to make me more "fun", but then she expects to play fetch when it is present and gets frustrated when I don't chunk it.

I'm interested to see what others suggest... I know it isn't her fault I'm not that interesting, I just don't know how to make me REALLY interesting to her without the stupid tennis ball. Lady is easy though, 1 piece of a Zukes treat will keep her focused on me and nothing else for an hour lol

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Re: Trouble Walking My Dog with two People Present

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:27 pm
by jen0923
Thanks to all who responded to my post. In answer to the question...I mostly only walk her with my sister or my husband. She does it with anyone we are walking with no matter who gets ahead. It does seem to be much worse if my husband is the one who walks off. Curly 07 described it much better than is really not barking it is just horrific whining and yipping like she is being hurt. I usually don't walk her with my other dogs because they are seniors and can only go about a block. My next idea to try is to walk her with my golden and my husband and see if she acts the same when another dog is with her. If I can figure out my camera and how to video and then how to post it on here I should take a video of it so it would be easier to see what happens. I will work on that.

Re: Trouble Walking My Dog with two People Present

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:33 pm
by Mooresmajestic
What you are describing is much more common than you would think. The only true way to "break" this behavior is with patience, training, consistency, and time. There is no one way to fix this issue, and your best bet is to find someone to work with you in person. A good trainer should be able to help you with this since it sounds more like an impulse control/ training issue, not a behaviorial one.

What general area are you in? We may be able to recommend a trainer that could help you out.

Re: Trouble Walking My Dog with two People Present

Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:17 pm
by randomroads
Sounds like the dog lacks self control. You can practice little games that will help her learn self control and then you can start incorporating those into your walks. In my opinion long exercise walks should be done without another person, and the training walks should be kept really short. 10 feet or less to start out with.

Self control/impulse games - Have her sit (on a leash) and put a treat she really likes on the floor a few feet in front of her. Walk her past that treat but as she pulls towards it tell her to leave it, keep even pressure on the leash (no pulling or popping) and encourage her with your voice and the steady leash pressure to ignore the treat. As soon as she gives in reward with the same kind of treat but from your hand. She should learn to like this game a lot, since it's super easy for her to win.
You can up the ante on the game by putting treats on the floor in front of her, walk by them, and drop the same treats in front of her. Start with one at a time and repeat not letting her get to it. Reward from your hand.
Once she's really good at 'leave it' she can be put into a down and treats can be put around her and eventually tossed toward her and every time she looks from the treat to you you can give her a treat from your hand.
You can start doing this outside. You can do this around people. You can have other people do this with her. Once you're at the point of taking a walk with someone you can ask them to walk forward a foot or two, show her the treat in your hand, toss it to the ground, tell her to leave it, and then reward for the right behavior.

It's a process but I've seen it work (friend of mine's dog did it and that's what she did and had me do with the dog). It's also a LOT of fun for the dog and you since the only work is going on inside of the dog's brain and she'll love to earn the reward.