What to do if your dog puts the brakes on

You do not have to worry about your dog becoming lazy. This is not a sign of a personality trait that leads to a lazy older dog.

It is not uncommon for dogs to refuse to walk sometimes when they are outside. They might just "put the brakes on", or they might sit or lie down.

If your dog is a really young puppy, you might want to just take a break and let them take the world in. You do not have to worry about your dog becoming lazy. This is not a sign of a personality trait that leads to a lazy older dog. Often it revolves around a puppy being ever overstimulated or tired. A puppy's energy level moves up and down very quickly. He might just need to take a break. Use this time to socialize your dog to the world passing by. If time is a factor, just pick up your puppy and go home.

It is nice, however, to know how to get your dog moving when you need to. I have had many clients call over the years because their dog lies down in the middle of the street. This can be a harrowing experience, that is for sure.

Here are some tips to help motivate your dog to keep moving. It is important to practice these techniques periodically on every walk. Not just when the undesired behavior is happening.

    1. Say, "Let's go", gently pull him to your side, or motivate him to come to your side by tapping your leg or gently walking away.
    2. Click (if you are using a clicker) or say,"Yes" and throw a toy in front of you when he appears by your side. This associates, "Let's Go" with movement and motivates your dog to start running after hearing the cue.
    3. Practice quick, gentle "Let's Go" behaviors periodically throughout the walk and get really excited after saying the cue.
    4. Ask your dog to sit or lie down and practice this cue. This will make it clear that this cue is associated with movement.

Work on sit or down stays and then ask for a "Let's Go" and run a few steps forward with great enthusiasm. Treat your dog after more steps each time to increase the distance traveled. This is a great way to increase the anticipation and excitement upon hearing the cue and "springing" into action.

 
 
 

Latest Blog Posts

How to safely take your dog to a dog park

With summer weather finally here in Chicago, it is time to start thinking about more frequent trips to the dog park. You might feel uneasy when your dog plays with other dogs. Hopefully this...

  • Jeff Millman
  • 2011-05-20 15:42:00
  • Hits 16591

How long should dog training sessions last?

Did you know it is better to practice short training sessions and stop when your dog still wants more? This strategy will keep training interesting and you will avoid over training.
  • Jeff Millman
  • 2011-05-06 19:36:00
  • Hits 28685

Positive reinforcement dog training strategies

Did you know that there are different styles of training within the positive reinforcement "camp"? There are trainers that only use one style and others (like myself) use many different strategies...

  • Jeff Millman
  • 2011-05-09 12:48:00
  • Hits 26599

Your dog is acting weird? It might be a physical problem

I received two calls this week that that reminded me about the importance of making sure a dog is physically healthy before I recommend training strategies. One call was in regards to a 3-year old...

  • Jeff Millman
  • 2011-05-15 04:06:15
  • Hits 27447

The PETA Founder - I Am An Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA

I just finished watching the documentary about Ingrid Newkirk, the co-founder of PETA. I really did not know much about her or her organization before this except for the various news stories that...

  • Jeff Millman
  • 2011-05-17 14:21:00
  • Hits 56904

Your dog is stubborn? Here are some tips.

Stubborn is used frequently to describe dogs that don't perform a task that is asked of them. Maybe the dog is pulling on his leash, maybe he doesn't lie down when cued, or maybe he lies down when...

  • Jeff Millman
  • 2011-05-28 12:57:00
  • Hits 27759

How old should a dog be before he can be out of the crate?

Wouldn't it be great if you could just sit a dog down and say, "Welcome to the house. Let's have an arrangement. I will walk you, play with you, feed you good food and give you medical care. The...

  • Jeff Millman
  • 2011-05-30 15:04:00
  • Hits 29118

Should you use alpha rolls? No.

When I am working with my clients, I focus on determining what strategies are most effective with each individual dog. I have found certain techniques to be extremely effective and I also see...

  • Jeff Millman
  • 2011-05-27 03:34:01
  • Hits 23548

Do you say, "No!" to your dog alot?

"No" (which means don't jump on the guests)."No" (which means don't chew on the couch)."No" (which means stop barking)Sound familiar?
  • Jeff Millman
  • 2011-05-03 19:10:49
  • Hits 17949

Common dog training questions

I frequently hear very similar questions from multiple clients. I also have random dog training thoughts that come to mind that might not lend themselves to a complete blog post. So, I thought I...

  • Jeff Millman
  • 2011-05-25 14:15:00
  • Hits 39836