Leash training

by Kaye Brewster
(Fontana, Ca. USA )

I rescued an 11 month old Great Pyrenees. I know the previous owner did nothing good for this dog. No shots, neutering, or microchip either. Never had a leash or collar. I’ve had him 5 weeks and he does well with my 2 little dogs and cats. He will not allow me to put a leash on him’!! After the first try he flipped out and hid. He just sees the leash and runs outside and hides in my backyard. I can’t take him to the vet if he isn’t leash trained or for daily walks. I can handle all the small stuff like digging and climbing on my dining room table . I really need help with the leash. I’m thinking maybe he was beat with a belt or something similar. Can you please help me? He’s my first Great Pyrenees and he’s so sweet and I know he loves me!

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Oct 22, 2020
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Leash training
by: Donna

It's hard to say.

I don't know how long you've had him but take your time. Go slow. Hold the leash in your hand, maybe across your lap. When he comes near you, treat him with high value treats. Then throw a treat away from you and say search. He'll come back to you on his own. Treat him for coming near you. Search.

When he seems comfortable with that, just lay your hand on the leash on your lap. When he comes near you, treat him. Then throw a treat away from you and say search. He'll come back to you on his own. Treat him for coming near you. Search. Keeping this routine up until his body language says he is fine with this.

Then hold the leash in your hand. Go through the same process until he is comfortable with that.

Then hold the leash in your hand but in the air a bit and do the same process.

You get the idea. Break the process down into small bits and high value rewards each time. Never force it. Go back a step if he gets scared, again.

Eventually you'll get to having him come near the clip. Don't you try to go near him with the clip. He needs to want it. Once you can get the clip on, treat and take it off. Search. Keep that process up until he is fine with it.

When you finally get to walk him, here is a piece on pulling on the leash.

Here is a link to a Free Dog Training Workshop.

I hope this helps.

Oct 22, 2020
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Leash training
by: Kaye Brewster

Thank you so much for your insight into leash training and being so prompt. I’ve read to be patient with this breed as they can be stubborn. I’m starting your suggestions tomorrow and can’t wait until he finally trusts me enough to go on our first walk together. I’ve had Rotts for 26 years so I’m used to big dogs. He is very sweet and loving and it breaks my heart that someone was mean to him. Since he’s still a puppy he keeps me on my toes! And I’ve had to adjust to him being nocturnal too. I’ll let you know how Augustus and I do! Thanks again!

Oct 28, 2020
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Confidence
by: Donna

I should have said only work on the leash process for a minute or so at a time. Whatever you think he can handle. If it's only 20 seconds, so be it. Don't do it all in one session. Praise and treat well when he comes near the leash. Maybe do it a couple of times and end the session with a 'good job, buddy' or anything like that and big pets. Try, again, later in the day. As he starts to feel comfortable, move forward. Build his confidence.

They aren't stubborn : )) They were bred by man to be independent thinkers since their job is to watch over livestock without human intervention. Work with them, high value treats and make it fun. Build your dog's confidence.

They are nocturnal, as I'm sure you've read, because that is when predators come around the livestock. They can rest during the day. That will change over time as they get used to living as companion dogs although they'll always have that guardian instinct.

They do bark to warn off what they deem to be predators whether a dog, cat or butterfly. That's just what it is and it's instinct. It's their job.

And, bonus is a wonderfully informative podcast by Susan Garrett.

Oct 28, 2020
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Leash training
by: Kaye BrewsterAnonymous

I have only been working with my Augustus for a minute or two. He does always come back after I say search and he finds the treat. I’ve been keeping the leash out in the open where he gets his treats, He likes the little dog next door even though I have 2 little dogs myself. He’s been digging by my neighbors fence as I have a brick wall and the dog next door digs too so he ends up in my backyard too. He even comes inside my house with my crew and I do put the leash on him to walk him back next door. Augustus seems to be interested and watches me put the leash on the other dog and he follows us to the door. So this has seemed to help lesson his anxiety. I’ll let you know how we do. I also put the leash on my little dogs and he watches me walk with them. I know he’s been bred to be independent and is nocturnal. He’s the sweetest boy and he follows me everywhere. I think his previous owner must have hit him with a belt or something like a leash.😞

Oct 29, 2020
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Confidence
by: Donna

Move forward. He may have had a bad past, but you can help him just by playing games with him and showing him how good life can be.

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