How can I walk my dog if every time I put a leash on him he freezes?

I think my dog was abused before we found him, and that might be why, but now I want to walk him and he won’t walk!

You need to break the association that leash = bad. Start by getting to leash = normal.

You’re going to need to watch him while he has it on to make sure he doesn’t get stuck on anything and then get stressed out as a result, but just let him run around with a short one on for a while until this doesn’t bother him anymore. He’ll probably freak out at first, but there’s only so long a dog will let being put on a leash get in the way of something else interesting if opportunities arise.

Another possiblity is that he’s never seen a leash before, too. Young puppies happly take anything new like that as normal and ho-hum, but older puppies and adults often DO NOT. I got an adult dog once who’d not been mistreated, but just had never been leashed by the previous owner as that wasn’t important in those circumstances. . . she’d either stop dead in her tracks and dig in or try to throw herself around like a horse to see if that’d get it off. (This was after she’d finally gotten used to the idea of a collar; she threw fits over that, too.) A few weeks of letting her drag one around at least would get her to walk out the door with it on — then it was another few weeks to actually get her to go for a walk.

10 comments

  1. Well thats really funny but you need to keep doing it untill he gets used to it.In time you can put a leash on him without freezing:)
    Hope my information helped.
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  2. yeah he might have been abused. just get him used to the leash show him that it wont hurt him.
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  3. This isn’t necessarily a sign of abuse, but rather of neglect. He’s not leash trained.

    You can start by having him wear the leash around the house, so that he can get used to feeling it attached to the collar.

    When you hold him on the leash, coax him to move by offering treats and praise when he walks. Never drag him. Make being on leash a pleasant thing so that he looks forward to his walks.

    These are sites to help you with the basics of getting your dog comfortable when on leash.

    http://dogleashtraining.net/

    http://www.scamperingpaws.com/puppy/leashtraining.shtml
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  4. get him a harness so it won’t pull on his neck and choke him and the harness will be more comfy and u will have better controll over him to get him to walk with a pull up on the shoulders and a little tug.my poochi is the same with a leash and collar and just freezes so the harness works well as soon as i pull him from under the bed when he sees it lol. once it is on he enjoys his walk. good luck
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  5. Hi! Well, I don’t know if this will work, but maybe get a treat and lay it the ground and see if he goes over to it and eats it then continue walking. Although he might think there will be more treats to come, so it would sorta be tricking him.
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  6. Maybe just try to hold a treat in front of him and if he takes a step closer, then kind of move the treat farther. If he does it again, then say "GOOD WALK" because they don’t know what it means when you say good boy, or good puppy or something like that. Walk can be a command for him, and if he completes that command successfully then give him a treat. He will want to walk more if he knows what he will get. And if you do it more often he will want to go walking. Hope this helps :)
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  7. Keep it on him for a while and let him get used to it. He probably did get abused. My dog was abused and she’s scared of lots of things and noises!
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  8. Take him and start walking. Dogs don’t like being dragged, so they’ll eventually give up and start walking.
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  9. You need to break the association that leash = bad. Start by getting to leash = normal.

    You’re going to need to watch him while he has it on to make sure he doesn’t get stuck on anything and then get stressed out as a result, but just let him run around with a short one on for a while until this doesn’t bother him anymore. He’ll probably freak out at first, but there’s only so long a dog will let being put on a leash get in the way of something else interesting if opportunities arise.

    Another possiblity is that he’s never seen a leash before, too. Young puppies happly take anything new like that as normal and ho-hum, but older puppies and adults often DO NOT. I got an adult dog once who’d not been mistreated, but just had never been leashed by the previous owner as that wasn’t important in those circumstances. . . she’d either stop dead in her tracks and dig in or try to throw herself around like a horse to see if that’d get it off. (This was after she’d finally gotten used to the idea of a collar; she threw fits over that, too.) A few weeks of letting her drag one around at least would get her to walk out the door with it on — then it was another few weeks to actually get her to go for a walk.
    References :

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