In this article, we will answer the following question: Why will my Chihuahua not walk on a leash? We comprised a short guide to help you train your puppy or adult Chihuahua to walk on a leash.
My Chihuahua will not walk on a leash
There are different reasons why a Chihuahua will not walk on a leash. In some cases, we may be dealing with a puppy that has never walked on a leash before, or with an adult dog that is afraid or shows aggressiveness, perhaps due to a bad experience in the past.
The walk is an essential routine for the dog since it depends on it that it can socialize, sniff, relieve itself and, ultimately, enjoy the well-being that corresponds to it. However, on occasions, it can happen that our dog does not let herself be put on the leash or that she stops in the middle of the road and does not want to advance.
Except in severe cases of aggression, in which case a visit to the canine educator is mandatory, we can follow a very simple procedure that will ensure that our dog associates the leash in a positive way. Before starting work, you will need to get the work material:
- Choose a booster to reward your dog: generally specific snacks or treats for dogs are used, however, some prefer toys and even strokes. Pick a reward that you think will work for you.
- Acquire a different strap to work at home: it is important that the strap that we use to work at home is different from the one used for walks since the second will probably be wrongly associated.
How to make a Chihuahua accept the leash?
Once you have everything ready, it will be time to start working by following this step by step:
- Stand in front of the dog and hide the prizes and the leash on your back, both in different hands.
- Show the dog the leash, hide it, and reward him.
- Repeat this procedure until the dog shows interest in it, sniffing or similar.
- Once your dog does not react negatively to the leash, start with the approaches.
- Extend the leash slightly towards your dog, without buckling it, then reward her.
- Repeat this process gradually until the dog allows you to bring it up to the ring.
- Once your dog allows you to bring the leash up to her neck or to the ring, you will go on to fasten.
- Show the strap, fasten it gently and unbuckle it again. Then reward him.
- Follow this procedure gradually increasing the time the strap is fastened.
- Once your dog is on the leash, gradually reduce the prize giving.
- Throughout this process we must be attentive to the canine language, to know if the dog is interested in chorea or if, on the contrary, it shows signs of fear or stress when working with it. Likewise, we must carry out several short sessions a day (between 3 and 5 minutes), taking into account that the process can take several days or up to two weeks, depending on the cause that causes the dog not to want to put on the leash.
What if my Chihuahua does not want to put on the harness or collar?
In the event that the dog does not allow itself to be put on the harness or collar, the procedure to follow will be the same as we have detailed previously. We simply have to change the strap for the chosen walking tool, working in the same way with the reinforcements so that it associates it in a positive way.
Walking a puppy on a leash for the first time
The first walk of the puppy is always exciting, however, if our little one remains seated or does not know how to walk in the street, it can become somewhat tedious. For this reason, it is always advisable to teach him to walk inside the house beforehand, so that he knows what to do outside the home.
If we have already managed to get the puppy to associate the leash in a positive way, we just have to start practicing. We should not expect that in the first contact he will walk correctly or that he will walk calmly by our side, on the contrary, it is most likely that he will sit or pull hard.
We will start by simulating small walks at home, for example in a hallway, in which we recommend applying these guidelines and tips:
- Encourage him to move forward with his voice, pronouncing his name in a cheerful and dynamic way.
- Constantly reinforce your puppy with your voice as he moves forward, so he understands what you are looking for.
- Stop when the puppy pulls hard on the leash, give him a call, and he changes direction.
- Do not tug on the strap to guide him, better pronounce his name and then pull gently.
- Make sure all family members follow the same guidelines.
- Avoid using the choke, semi-choke, or electric collars.
- Do not forget that in the street the puppy will discover a lot of stimuli, so it is likely that he will be more agitated and curious. Act calmly and serenity, always following the same guidelines.
What to do if my Chihuahua stops when we walk?
It may happen that, during the walk, the dog refuses to move forward, sitting down and even lying down. How should we act in these cases? The answer is not simple, since depending on the cause that causes this behavior we will have to adapt the work in one way or another.
In some cases, the problems that arise during the walk are due to a secondary problem, such as fear or anxiety, while in other situations we speak of adult dogs that do not know how to walk on a leash. If this is your case, discover in AnimalWised how to teach an adult dog to walk on a leash.
Below we will show you 3 infallible tricks to get your dog to move forward on the street:
Practice at home: as you would with a puppy, it can be very beneficial for the dog to work at home, as it is a low stimulus area that will allow him to concentrate easily. That will help him understand what you expect from him. Be very patient and practice regularly.
Practice obedience: obedience is essential for the safety of the dog and to have good communication with him, but it is also a valuable tool to work on this problem. We can teach the dog to come to the call, in this way we can encourage him to move forward.
Motivate your dog: Many dogs decide that they do not want to walk, as that does not bring them any benefit. We can motivate them to go to a specific place (such as the park), with toys or with prizes.
To promote a good response from the dog and concentration, it will be essential to take walks in quiet areas or choose the hours with less influx of people. In the beginning, we will take short walks, but we must make them longer and longer, as the dog becomes more willing to walk.
During the walk, we will allow them to freely smell the environment since it is a positive behavior that relaxes them, but we must also let them interact with people and dogs if they wish. The goal is for you to enjoy an enriching and positive walk so that you want to walk on a daily basis. During the whole process, we must not forget the importance of reinforcing with the voice and with caresses, since this will favor the repetition of the desired behaviors.
The bottom line
Now is the time to go out for a walk. If your puppy is a puppy whose personality is being somewhat insecure, suspicious, or fearful, he may respond by standing up. This is what you should and should not do if the puppy does not walk:
- Never pull on the strap or try to drag it.
- Don’t pay attention to it, don’t despair. Ignore it because otherwise, you will be reinforcing that behavior.
- Walk away a few feet, get on your knees, and wait for him to move.
- At the slightest gesture of movement, even one centimeter, praise him, praise him and wait for him to keep moving little by little until he reaches you.
- Patience and effort: You only need these two ingredients to help your puppy walk in confidence and security.
If the puppy does not walk during the walk, work these techniques at home, and little by little she will gain confidence. Never forget to reward small achievements. Your puppy will thank you.
What are your tips for getting your Chihuahua to walk on a leash?
FAQ on Chihuahua will not walk on a leash
How do I get my Chihuahua to walk on a leash?
To get your Chihuahua to walk on a leash you have to have a lot of patience. Let it get used with the collar first, use positive reinforcement, and never, never pull on the leash and drag your dog after you.
Is it cruel not to take a dog for a walk?
It is cruel not to take a dog for a walk. Dogs need walks to exercise, to relieve themselves, and to socialize with other animals and people, besides their household.
Why does my dog sit down and refuse to walk?
If your dog sits down and refuses to walk is because he is tired, bored, or just doesn’t feel like going for a walk. When this happens, you need to correct the behavior right away.
Should you force your dog to walk?
You should never force your dog to walk, but you need to find the reasons why he refuses to go for a walk, and fix them instead. Perhaps your dog is anxious, has medical issues or there is another reason why he doesn’t enjoy his walks.
Do Chihuahuas like to walk?
Chihuahuas like to walk and need to have at least 30-40 minutes of exercise every day. They are not just bag dogs or toys and need to move around to burn calories.