How Do I Train a New dog With An Established Dog?
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Question submitted by Erin
I have a nine-year-old, deaf, Parson Russell Terrier who is well-trained and walks nicely on a leash. About a year ago, we brought home a 7-month-old Jack Russell pup. The pup has been (and continues) through obedience training and agility classes. My main issue is that when we’re on our daily walks, the *new* dog sometimes pulls on leash, while the older dog does not. So, it gets confusing if I stop and wait for the newbie to turn and look (a procedure which I’ve used with other dogs with good results). The older dog then has to also wait, and he looks at me as if to say: ”what? I’m being good.”
I’ve thought of making time to walk the dogs separately, but somehow that seems to be counter-productive as I want them to walk together.
I’m carrying a clicker and part of her breakfast kibble when we walk in the mornings, so when she is walking next to me and giving me attention, I click. Giving her a treat at that moment is problematic because the other dog (he’s deaf, doesn’t hear the click but does not miss much) will want a treat also. So the click pretty much lets her know she’s doing what is expected and is a great dog, *click*… I do treat her when I can sneak it in. She knows what the click means-but still wants that piece of kibble!
When we’re in obedience class (it’s an ongoing class), the newbie walks well on leash mostly-she does like to stop and sniff the floor. Terrier, after all. Any ideas, other than walking them separately? Thanks!
While I think the real answer is to walk them separately until you get good walking manners from your 7 month old, there are a couple of things you can try other than that. This may sound a little crazy, but it worked with my two who I was having the same problem with. Walk them both on the same side and have the good walker on the outside and the not good walker between him and you. Your young one will pick up the rhythm from you both. Don’t give them the whole length of the leash, but have them both walk closer to you. Leave the treats at home. At this point they are almost more of a distraction than a help. You don’t say what kind of collar you are using with your youngster. You may want to try a gentle leader to keep his focus a little better. Good luck and let me know if this helps.
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