Allow the Little Ones to Drag the Leash at Home
I have a 4 month old cavachon puppy, adorable, playful, and lovable. Her name is Joy. On leash walks she emits the cry of a banshee, bucking wild bronco, putting on the brakes, and rolling. No amount of patient standing or treat offered helped, cuddled and held her to no avail and finally lying dead weight I carried her inside. I’ve never had a dog react this way.
A cavachon is a cross between a Cavalier King Charles spaniel and a bichon frise. This isn’t the only popular affront to canine eugenics. A collie – Lhasa Apso mix would be a Collapso, a dog who folds up for easy transport. A Pekingese – Lhasa Apso cross, a Peekasso, is an abstract dog. For a more complete list of dog breed whimsy I invite you to visit facebook.com/drjeffnichol.
Joy is freaked-out and flummoxed by the leash. Actually, being controlled by the neck is unnatural for all dogs. None of them really “get it” but most learn to adapt. Joy will do fine but you’ll need to take it slow.
Clip a lightweight 6 foot leash to Joy’s collar and allow her to drag it around the house. When she appears relaxed you can pick it up and walk along next to her. If she runs against the end of the leash you should drop it and allow her go about her business. Repeat several times a day, picking up the leash and walking with Joy inside until she can relax and simply continue even when she feels the leash. The objective will be for her accept a little tug from time to time without getting her little knickers in a twist.
Like all well-adjusted dogs Joy needs the security of knowing what her leader expects of her. A puppy obedience class that includes off-leash play/social time would set your girl up for success. Avoid training that employs punishment. I recommend the Sandia Dog Obedience Club (888.4221) in Albuquerque. There’s nothing like the right education for a head start on a successful life. Who knows? There could someday be a cavachon’s in the White House.
Each week Dr. Jeff Nichol makes a short video, blog, or a Facebook Live to help bring out the best in pets. Sign up at no charge at drjeffnichol.com. Dr. Nichol treats behavior disorders at the Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Centers in Albuquerque and Santa Fe (505-792-5131). You can post pet behavioral or physical questions at facebook.com/drjeffnichol or by US Post to 4000 Montgomery Blvd. NE, Albuq, NM 87109.