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Puppy Wigs-Out on Leash

Allow the Little Ones to Drag the Leash at Home

Question:
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 had dogs all my life, none ever reacted this way.

Dr. Nichol:
The recently minted cavachon is a cross between a Cavalier King Charles spaniel and a bichon frise. This isn’t the only popular affront to canine eugenics. Consider that a collie – Lhasa Apso mix would be a Collapso, a dog who folds up for easy transport. A Pekingese – Lhasa Apso cross, called a Peekasso, is an abstract dog. For a more complete list of dog breed combo whimsy I invite you to visit my facebook page, facebook.com/drjeffnichol.

Joy, the cavachon, sounds like an excellent little dog who is completely 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 on the floor and allow her go about her business. Repeat a couple of 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 to learn that a little tug from time to time is no cause for alarm.

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 may be a Nobel Prize in your cavachon’s future.