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  1. #1
    Young Dawg (Member)

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    Default my 9 week pyr drags behind on his leash

    Hi, my husband and i are new to the whole dog owning thing, after looking extensively into breeds and what works best for our life style, this pyr more or less fell into our lap. He's a big fluff ball who loves kids, running on grass, and it seems he wants to go swimming as well (in his food dish anyways lol) we are potty training him, he has his good days and his bad.

    but right now the biggest problem we are facing is that he likes to drag behind us while on leash. he seems to be super easy to train off leash, obedience isn't much of a problem. we can call him from over 40 feet most of the time. but once he is on leash he becomes stubborn, flops down (when he does we say "up", and about half the time he listens to the command) drags behind and just generally refuses to listen.

    i have tried to "pop" the leash, which works for a very short time, i have tried to just keep up a slightly faster pace to keep him following in a more focused way. i have been reading up on general leash training, but nothing seems to deal with a dog dragging or lagging behind, but always pulling ahead.

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    Default

    Welcome Alabar & pup...and congratulations on sharing life with a Pyr...
    now for the leash walking part, you have to remember this is all new to him & this "thing" trying to direct him away from all that he wants to sniff & explore just isn't fun!
    I suggest putting his leash on him while he's in the house & you can supervise so he doesn't get tangled up on anything. Let him drag it around for awhile, short bouts of time throughout the day. Then after doing that for maybe a week, trying picking it up & LET HIM TAKE YOU places...just follow him around. Then in awhile it will be your turn, if you can see progress with his accepting the leash. Our Rudy did the same thing when he was that age, not unusual, he will out grow it. I had the advantage of walking my senior Aussie with Rudy, whom he learned how to follow. The other thing I would do with Rudy when he flopped down...I just stood there, no command/request, just waited him out...curiosity usually got the best of him & he was up & off again. You're guy is just a baby, that means baby steps, everything is new. Just remain calm, keep your sense of humor, everything will come in time...patience in all things...along with lots of praise for when he does something fabulous!'
    Keep us informed on his & your progress
    Nancy Holly & Rudy
    (one more thing....no more leash "popping" you may inadvertenly make him a reactive dog to ever wanting to be on a leash)

  3. #3
    Young Dawg (Member)

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    ok thanks ^_^ i tried that for the first couple days of just following him, but i'll try it for longer this time. getting the leash on and off has never been a problem, he also is more confident with it on going up and down stairs (i slow him down so its only one stair at a time) even likes to jump down the one big step we have in the yard. however without the leash he seems to refuse to go up or down even little steps, which is fine i know for giant breeds stairs at this age can be dangerous, we won't force him.

    we wanted to get him to start keeping a steady pace to tire him out for bed time, not on pavement generally, because of his soft little pads, we enjoy walking in parks and on nature paths more anyways.

  4. #4
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    He is a baby. You are expectations are a teeny bit over-reaching at this point. It's akin to expecting that a human baby that's just learned to walk to automatically follow behind his or her parents without getting distracted and veer off in a different direction. Give him time and just be patient with the leash training as Nancy suggested. Because of his age, it's also a bit premature to put him on a "steady pace" walk. It's really not good for them to be doing the marching gait, even if it's not on pavement. The steady gait wears the same parts of the joints and his joints are very immature and growing at a phenomenal pace at this time. For a pup his age, it is best to give him free play where it is using different parts of its body without wearing on the same parts all the time.

    A note about obedience.... It is not uncommon for first time pyr owners to say that their pups are quite obedient and they don't understand what the fuss is about pyrs being hard to train. Pyr pups often will learn commands very quickly in the first few months. Then they enter the teenage period... and then seemingly out of the blue, the "sudden amnesia syndrome" hits...

  5. #5
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Antonia's Avatar

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    We've had two dogs that did the "let's see how far behind mom we can get" thing. Both of these were male pups, one a Pyr x Anatolian and the other my current Kangal pup. With both these pups I usually had a second female pup on another leash that was doing the "let's see how far in front of mom we can get"... I'm just glad I wasn't trying to walk down a sidewalk during those days! For both of my boys, I found that they did much better wearing a harness initially and not a collar and leash. I'm not sure why, it just seemed to make them not notice the leash so much and try to work against it. I used a harness with both of them for a month or so and worked up to the leash on the collar gradually. We worked hard to make leash time super fun by using special toys that I would hold and encourage them to follow or tiny bits of treat when they would voluntarily come to walk near me. All of it was very gentle with no pressure on the pup, just fun encouragement so he sees his leash and knows good things are coming. My current pups are 8 and 9 months old. They see me get their leashes out and starting bouncing around with excitement. That being said, my male Kangal pup still moves at a snail's pace a fair amount of the time, whether on the leash or off and still often walks behind me. He can move fast when he wants to, he just doesn't seem to think it is important very much of the time. I decided along the way that I am ok with him moving at a slow pace. I don't think he is being bad, he simply doesn't move fast most of the time unless he's tearing around the yard chasing his sister. I just know that if I need to get somewhere fast I am going to have to use my, "let's go see what's happening over there" voice to get him to increase his pace. Since I don't insist on the fast pace all the time, he responds and trots along next to me quite willingly. I count myself lucky that he doesn't lie his 100lb self down in the road and refuse to move like my first male Kangal did!

  6. #6
    Young Dawg (Member)

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    i understand that his super obedient nature will change, and probably sooner than i expect :P i'm enjoying it in the mean time.

    he seems to really enjoy running, a few times he wanted to run all on his own, no encouragement. he ran for 30min straight! just as a walk he will go for an hour, come home drink a ton, eat some then want to go again. when there are kids involved he'll go for a couple hours without wanting to stop. i've even tried to take him away from the kids to relax and he got out of the fenced area to go play with them. that's all while off leash mind you. we are not forcing him to go further than his little legs will take him, but just a steady pace to get him all tuckered out before bed.

    it just while on leash he just drags behind and becomes stubborn. i will give nick's spirit's suggestions a try and hope he grows out of it.
    as for the treats so far he doesn't seem motivated by food, but lots of praise. and when he's inside he sees the leash and comes running for it - usually.

  7. #7
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Espinay's Avatar

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    Free play is the best exercise for giant breed pups. It allows them to play in bursts and rest when they need to. Sustained walking on the other hand can put stress on growing bones and joints. In growing pups the bones have 'growth plates' which are rather large areas of soft cartilage. If extra stress is put on these by repetitive sustained walking they can cause stress fractures which may cause pain and affect growth. This is why it is not recommended to walk young large breed pups on lead for extended periods of time. Lots of free play is good, but when young being on lead should be about getting out and about to socialise, not for exercise. It is about working their brain (and tiring their brain out) not their body. Your pup may be reluctant on lead because it it hurting. So stick mostly to lots of free play for exercise and concentrate on providing lots of new interesting experiences while on lead. Certainly they should learn to walk nicely on a lead (try using a treat or toy in front of the pup to lure him forward and praise him for coming with you). But do this in short bursts as training, not as 'exercise'.
    Espinay Pyrenean Mountain Dogs (Australia) - putting the Breed before breeding

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  8. #8
    Young Dawg (Member)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Espinay View Post
    Free play is the best exercise for giant breed pups. It allows them to play in bursts and rest when they need to. Sustained walking on the other hand can put stress on growing bones and joints. In growing pups the bones have 'growth plates' which are rather large areas of soft cartilage. If extra stress is put on these by repetitive sustained walking they can cause stress fractures which may cause pain and affect growth. This is why it is not recommended to walk young large breed pups on lead for extended periods of time. Lots of free play is good, but when young being on lead should be about getting out and about to socialise, not for exercise. It is about working their brain (and tiring their brain out) not their body. Your pup may be reluctant on lead because it it hurting. So stick mostly to lots of free play for exercise and concentrate on providing lots of new interesting experiences while on lead. Certainly they should learn to walk nicely on a lead (try using a treat or toy in front of the pup to lure him forward and praise him for coming with you). But do this in short bursts as training, not as 'exercise'.
    Ok, thanks for explaining that for me. we will try to add more free play. we have been going to the dog park, even though the vet says to have no nose to nose contact, so rather than eliminating all socializing we just try to limit it. so until the 26th free play is unfortunately limited. Ender can go for hours (we've seen him play for around 4hrs with the kids next door) when he's on free play. during the week we don't have that kind of time or energy 9(we have been going for an hour each day). on weekends we give him as much as possible and nights are much easier. our dog sitter's amount of time with him varies sometimes he gets tons of extra time outside(with again, the neighborhood kids), sometimes its only 30 min while we are at work. are there any toys that we could get that could help?

    from everything that i've read i'm wondering if its normal for a pyr to have this much energy. so far his record is a 30 min walk with the sitter, 4 1/2hrs with the neighborhood kids, 20 min potty walk, then at night another 30 min walk and an hour long one at 5am. that's all in a 24hr period. he obviously slept tons that day and the next. that was the day i tried to pull him away and slow down but got out of the fenced area. lol.

  9. #9
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Espinay's Avatar

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    Yes, young pyrs can have a LOT of energy. This tends to reduce as they mature (2 being the average magic number), but they are often (and defintiely in my experience) quite active dogs when young. Remember that play should be 'controlled' play too. your pup should be taught that play is on your terms and not when it wants (teacing a pup that it doesnt have to meet and play with every dog or person it meets is important! otherwise you end up with a dog that goes crazy every time it sees another person or dog. You want to teach them to ignore and be relaxed around other dogs even more than teaching them to be in contact with them). When it comes to toys, interactive ones are best. Use treat balls and kong toys for example and give your pup part or all of its meals in these. That will keep both the brain and the body active and help tire the pup out. Mental exercise is just as important as physical. If you haven't done so already, be sure to enrol in puppy kindergarten and beginners obedience classes. As you are new dog owners, this IMO will be especially important. I also strongly suggest you continue going to classes during your dogs 'terrible teens' up until 2 years of age. This is a period when a lot of bad habits can be formed and having a trainer on hand will help you recognise them and nip them in the bud before they become problems.
    Espinay Pyrenean Mountain Dogs (Australia) - putting the Breed before breeding

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  10. #10
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Chi_gal's Avatar

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    I "second" the idea of mental stimulation through some interesting toys as well where he has to work to get a treat. That is just as important, actually more so at this age for your Pyr, than physical exercise. And I can tell you some dogs will keep the habit of "lag behind mom/dad" on walks. Our 4 year old Pyr always tries to be in front of us on walks (though he doesn't drag us) and without fail when we head home from our walks (even if we change the path) he slows down to a crawl. :P Stubborn in the name of the game.

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