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dog trainers - help

AngieW in Texas

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We have a 4yo dog we adopted 1.5 years ago.


She is super reactive to the leash. I don't mean that she is reactive to other dogs while on the leash. I mean that she is so very very very excited by the leash that she starts making 8 foot high vertical leaps as soon as she realizes that I'm heading for her leash. She has actually jumped high enough to hit her head on the ceiling a couple of times when there was a squirrel at the back door.


I have tried a lot of different ways of trying to get her to calm down so I can get her harness and leash on, but she is so super reactive, that it takes at least 10 minutes to get the leash on. She is much better about walking on leash than she was when we got her. But if she sees a squirrel or a cat, she is fully capable of dragging me to it (she's 65 pounds).


I'm trying to find a way to make it easier to get her into her harness and leash. When we are at the dog park, getting it on her is no problem at all. She stands still and waits for me to get it fastened. But getting it on her at home is highly difficult.


Any suggestions?


Our other German shepherd mix is no problem at all and never has been a problem, but we got her as a puppy. We got the dog I talk about above to be a companion for her after we saw how depressed she got when I began working full-time and my youngest started dual credit at the cc. 



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You could have her wear the harness around in the house so she gets used to having it on, so at least this piece of equipment isn't so exciting anymore. 


You can work on her sit in the house where it's not connected in anyway to a walk. Make sure this is solid.


You can work on getting her to sit before she gets the leash hooked on.

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Interesting. She used to be reactive to the harness too, but apparently, she doesn't see a connection between the harness and the leash anymore.


I was able to put the harness on her with no problems. I waited about 30 minutes and then put the leash on her. She still went nuts when I got out the leash, but since all I had to do with her leash was clip it on, I was able to get her to sit for the couple of seconds I needed.


I'll keep putting them on separately and see if that solves this problem.

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I'd have her wearing the harness with the leash attached. Let her drag the leash around the house for awhile. Take it off for a few minutes. Wash, rinse, repeat. Over and over until the thrill is gone and she becomes very "ho hum" about it. It could take awhile but sounds like it would be worth the effort.

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