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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Community > Message Boards > Dogs > Behavior And Training > Need Help With Our One Year Old Shih Tzu
Joined: 12/31/1969
User offline. Last seen 42 years 37 weeks ago.

We adopted Ollie when he was 6 months old and he is now a year and refuses to walk if you hold the leash. We are moving into our new home in a few weeks but it does not have a fence yet. He will walk around just fine if the leash drags on the ground but lays flat to the ground as soon as you pick it up=! I've tried treats and nothing is working. Any tips? I would love to take him for walks and get this under control before we move.

Joined: 12/31/1969
User offline. Last seen 42 years 37 weeks ago.

Well you've done the first step that we would suggest, which is to get him comfortable with the leash dragging around behind him. Now on to the next step! :) There are a few things you could try. Some would take longer than others, so I'd just experiment...
You could pick up the other end, making sure there is NO tension on the leash, and ignore him until he starts moving around. He can't sit there forever and then you could treat as he took steps.
You could try using a REALLY long leash (or maybe a light cord/line) so your end is a LONG way from his end. Just follow him around making sure there's no tension on the leash (I'm imagining there would be a section dragging on the ground just like he's used to). You could then gradually shorten the leash until it was a reasonable length.
You could bring over a dog friend or really exciting person and hopefully, in all his excitement, he wouldn't realize you were holding the end of the leash. Again, you could treat for the right behavior.
Being a small dog, if he's wearing a harness then he might find it weird to have the leash dangling above him rather than dragging behind. Or, if he's in a collar, maybe the clip is too heavy? You'd think that shouldn't be the case since he can drag it just fine, but it's a thought. Good luck and I hope one of those works for you.
Debbie McKnight, CPDT
Accredited PetSmart Trainer