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Murphy's Human, Kam
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 9mth old golden/lab cross who will refuse to move when on walks. He'll stand still, refuse to move or sit down and my recent favorite lay down as if he's playing dead. He's on the lean side so not a weight or physical issue of any kind. He was neutered in November and prior to that he never did that. We had worked up to walking about 1 km - 1.5km per walk even though it might take us 30-40 min to cover that distance as he had to sniff and greet people/dogs along the way. We would walk a different/path or area each walk so he would not get bored.

This behavior started at the end of November about two weeks after his surgery recovery period (14 days) and has escalated since then. He's not tired as he'll go off leash and play/walk around the dog park for an hour or more. If he sees a dog to play with or a person he'll get moving pretty fast. It's gotten so bad I can barely even go around the block these days without this behavior. He's also this way about leaving the front stoop, leaving the back yard, going to the car, leaving wherever we are if I happen to get him in the car in the first place so its not just confined to walks. Not food motivated so treats only get him moving about 2-20 feet at most. Any thoughts??
 

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AKA: Joyce
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Does he have a favorite ball or toy? You need to find something that will get his attention enough to get him out there walking. I once had a dog that hated walks and I allowed it, he ended up obese and we never were able to get the weight off of him. Good luck & don't give up. I'm sure someone will come along with advice for you.
 

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Ugh yes! We have dealt with this and continue to deal with it to a significantly lesser extent. When I did my research I realized it's a typical golden move. I've heard different opinions on how to deal with this, but I'll tell you what we do. When Champ sits, I will kneel down at the end of the leash furthest away from him and that has made him get up and come to me. When he does this I give him a lot of praise and say, "lets go" and we start walking. Sometimes it works once, sometimes he will do it a few times and each time I praise when he gets up and say lets go! It has worked pretty well for us so far and his sitting has gotten better and he is doing it a lot less...like to the point where I can't even remember the last time he did it. Now when he lays down, what I find that works is that I walk toward him, and sort of step right next to him, almost sliding my foot underneath him. When I do this though I make sure he wont further lay down, like roll onto his back, so I do it on the side that will enable him to get up (hope that makes sense). When I do this he does pop up, and right away I say lets go and get really excited and increase my pace and praise him. Again, this sometimes works to get him going and then sometimes he will lay right back down, but then I do it again. I will say that Champ was at the point of sitting or laying down 10+ times on a walk and what would normally take us 30-45 minutes, was taking us an hour and 15 minutes because he would stop. It was so embarrassing and he would lay down in the middle of the street sometimes in the cross walk when people were trying to drive by! Since I've been doing these things, I would say 75% of the time he doesn't stop at all now on walks, and when he does, it's only once or twice.

I think praise when they are walking is really helpful and just getting excited and changing your pace a bit. Champ has notoriously done it too right before we are about to enter back into the house after the walk, or if we are going into the car. Those things were harder to break, but now what I've been doing is started to say lets go home and once we are in the door, I praise him heavily with food and affection. The stopping before going into the house has decreased significantly and he now expects the praise once we get in the door.

So that's whats worked for us, but I'm sure other people have ideas. Initially when I was at my whits end I contacted our trainer who suggested a prong collar and basically shuttling Champ around to different places, 5 minutes at a time, and keep moving so he cant sit and then praise. I didn't like this idea, so I listened to my instincts and did what I described above, and it worked for us!
 

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Murphy's Human, Kam
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the quick notes. I wish he had a favorite toy. I've tried a squeak toy which sometimes gets his notice and may move a step or two. I hear you on the comments from people. It is embarrassing as it can take 10 minutes to move 50 yards. I've tried the sit/down/stay thing and that just makes him want to stay there more. I'm constantly praising him when he's walking well so he does not get ignored on walks. I keep hoping it's a phase and he'll grow out of it. Perhaps I'm delusional. I agree with you on the prong collars as that's what 'helpful people' tell me to do. He walks well otherwise so I'll stick with the flat collar we have.
 

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Fly free, my sweetheart
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Isn't that the most embarrassing thing ever? Here you are thinking your well-trained dog is a good example for all the other neighborhood dogs, and he suddenly roots his butt firmly into the pavement (or worse, collapses into an unmovable blob) while everyone in the neighborhood just happens to be watching. At times all I could do was stand there and laugh with them ...the memory of those days brings tears of both laughter and sadness to my eyes. Cherish this crazy memory as the years pass, and sigh with relief that it is not just you, it's those crazy Goldens.

My solution was to turn and walk in the opposite direction and he would spin around and HAVE to get up and walk again. And he just resumed walking as if nothing had
happened (that old smarty pants).
 

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Murphy's Human, Kam
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks. I will try that also and see if that helps. Good thing they are so cute and loveable the rest of the time.
 

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I've never owned a dog who did that, but I used to dog-sit a basset hound who did it a lot. It turns out she was uncomfortable. She was young but had arthritis-like issues and walks were not pleasant for her. She, too would happily walk around off-leash at her own pace, but tugging with the leash was painful. Health issues probably aren't the case with your GR, but it might be worth checking (sore paws, neck, etc.)

Sounds like a positive approach and keeping your sense of humor will likely work the best.
 
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