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Old 08-10-2018, 07:39 AM   #1
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Default Leash dependency/anxiety

I need some serious help. Gidget was born 1/21/16. February of last year, we moved into an apartment building. Doorway opens into hallway. Everytime I opened the door, she ran out into the hallway and off she went. There was no way she could get outside the building but the hallway circled the inside of the building. I kept the leash on her at all times because it was easier for me or someone else to catch her by grabbing the leash. Does any of this make sense? Anyway, she now waits when I open the door for us to either leave or for someone to come in (leash attached both times). No problem. I'm always keeping in mind not to get caught up in her leash and fall. Not a good thing when you're 78. So yesterday, I decided to take the leash off and not have that worry any more. Well, Gidget went crazy. She paced the floor, ran around like she didn't know what to do and would not come to me at all. At bedtime last night I had to lure her into the bedroom and quickly close the door so I could pick her up. When it was time for us to go outside, it took a while for her to get close enough to me so I could fasten the leash to her harness. It's now 11:30 am the next day and I just attached the leash to her harness and she has calmed down. What should I do?
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Old 08-10-2018, 09:53 AM   #2
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Dogs are creatures of habit, once you start something you must do it every day, they demand that you do lol. I understand the reason for the leash being on, but now you see the hazard it can cause to yourself. Now you have to undo what you started. Consistency is the key word. Keep the leash off her, only use it for going out. If you see she is in panic mode play with her, tease her with a toy to play, you want to get her mind off of being leash free. You cannot give in to her and put that leash back on her. Leave the leash off no matter what and distract her with what interests her the most, a treat, playing, belly rubs. You have to be consistent with this. In time she will get use to not having that leash trailing behind her. Every dog is different in amount of time it takes to learn new things, so do not get worried if several days go by and she's still showing signs of being nervous, she'll get over it.
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Old 08-10-2018, 10:58 AM   #3
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Thanks, Matese. Looks like I've got some "tough love" times ahead of me. Unfortunately, Gidget does not play with her toys. Will need to find a new activity to keep her mind off the leash. Just got in from a walk on the leash, took the leash off and immediately sat down at the computer with her in my lap. It's a normal place for her to be when I'm on the computer so she doesn't realize at this point that the leash is off. Sometimes we just have to be one step ahead of them.
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Old 08-10-2018, 11:39 AM   #4
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Ya know, these babies are soooo darn cute it's really hard to be firm with them when you see they are unhappy about something, so yes, for your own safety tough love is a must. Good luck
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:29 PM   #5
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Any time you change their routine they can get like that.
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:49 PM   #6
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I just need to remember this and have patience. After all, I'm the one who created the situation.
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Old 08-10-2018, 03:17 PM   #7
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She sounds so sweet.

There are good comments above.

Do you have an old leash that is no longer in use (something you could latch to the harness when your sweetie is in the house)? If you cut that to lessen the hazard--then cut it shorter and shorter until it is just a nub.

If you have an out of use leash, you could test this by first just taping it up so that it is short, rather than cut it.

So hope you find a solution for you and your little one. --KatysMom
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:00 PM   #8
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I tried with a shorter leash but she it didn't feel the same to her as the longer leash. So today, I've gone back to no leash except for going outside. We'll see how bedtime goes tonight. Wish me luck!
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgidget View Post
I tried with a shorter leash but she it didn't feel the same to her as the longer leash. So today, I've gone back to no leash except for going outside. We'll see how bedtime goes tonight. Wish me luck!
Best of luck to all of you!
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgidget View Post
I tried with a shorter leash but she it didn't feel the same to her as the longer leash. So today, I've gone back to no leash except for going outside. We'll see how bedtime goes tonight. Wish me luck!
Good luck! Although they can be SO frustrating and stubborn at times, they more than make up for it with their loving affection, intelligence, and endless opportunities to amuse. I am sure that with patience your little one will learn to relish being leash-free!
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Old 08-11-2018, 10:15 AM   #11
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We're making some progress (just a little). She still doesn't listen when I want to put the leash on for a walk. Am taking her for some private training lessons beginning next Saturday. One of the things I want to work on is ease of attaching the leash for a walk. Even when Gidget approaches me and lets me know she wants to go for a walk, she still comes up to me, backs off, when I try to attach the leash to her harness, she starts shaking her head and won't let me touch her. Eventually, I get her attached but it should be easier than this. She's going to be visiting the nursing home several times a month so need to teach her some manners. The training class will be for 30 minutes every Saturday for 8 weeks. Like this better than group classes since we can work on her issues alone. Looking forward to these classes.
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Old 08-11-2018, 10:49 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by lilgidget View Post
We're making some progress (just a little). She still doesn't listen when I want to put the leash on for a walk. Am taking her for some private training lessons beginning next Saturday. One of the things I want to work on is ease of attaching the leash for a walk. Even when Gidget approaches me and lets me know she wants to go for a walk, she still comes up to me, backs off, when I try to attach the leash to her harness, she starts shaking her head and won't let me touch her. Eventually, I get her attached but it should be easier than this. She's going to be visiting the nursing home several times a month so need to teach her some manners. The training class will be for 30 minutes every Saturday for 8 weeks. Like this better than group classes since we can work on her issues alone. Looking forward to these classes.
Sounds great
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Old 08-11-2018, 11:51 AM   #13
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Good decision, You will enjoy the classes and will learn much but, you have to practice what you learned at home with Gidget.
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Old 08-11-2018, 12:43 PM   #14
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I have no problem practicing with Gidget at home. Right now, we're working on the "stay" command. She does fine as long as she can see me so we're working on me going out of the room for a few seconds. We're almost there. She so wants to please me. I just need the right ways to teach her what she needs to have good manners.
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:04 PM   #15
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Don't forget the yummy treats and happy excited praise when she gets it right. Cheerios is a great treat.
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