Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

When Walking Australian Shepherd Outside On Leash He Goes Crazy

by Ang
(PA)

Korben when he's calm

Korben when he's calm

I have a year old Australian Shepherd red tri named Korben. Very energetic of course and extremely curious. When he was smaller I'd take him on a leash outside but he didn't like it very much. He just seemed to grow tired of it and stop walking all together. So I didn't walk him often.

I'm trying again and it seems to be an extreme challenge. He goes crazy on the leash. Hurdles himself into the street, howls yelps barks, does twists and spins, and jumps. The works. I got him the leash that goes around his muzzle and it seems to help with the pulling but nothing else.

He still goes crazy. I'm out of my mind with this dog and I'm really trying to bring something new to this guy's day.

Can anyone help?


Aussie Behavior Problems? Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Comments for When Walking Australian Shepherd Outside On Leash He Goes Crazy

Click here to add your own comments

I haven't had your problem but...
by: Marla

I also have a year old Aussie (she's 13 months). They certainly can be handfuls but oh my goodness, I love our girl so much.

Does Korben like to play fetch or any particular game that wears him out? If so, have you tried playing until he's worn out then immediately taking him on a short walk (really short - maybe just to the end of the block)? Have plenty of treats for the walk and as soon as he's being better, calmly give him a treat. Keep extending the distance over a period of time.

I'm not sure this will work because sometimes our girl can get overtired (like a toddler) and have a temper tantrum. Those overtired tantrums are less and less frequent now as she's gotten older.

They are such intelligent dogs, it's just a matter of communicating what you want Korben to do. But believe me, I know, that sometimes the communication barrier can seem insurmountable.

Good luck and let us know what works for you.

Dog park
by: Anonymous

if you have a dog park in your area take him there and use a "chuck it" to throw tennis balls. After an hour he will be well exercised. Or, if you know of an open field, run his legs off.

There is a harness that has a front buckle and when I use that leash my aussie walks beside me. Regular leashes make him nuts.

Good luck...

Have you tried distractions?
by: Anonymous

Hello, I have a 2 year old Aussie that used to do the same when we took her for a walk. Jump at other people walking, bikers, especially cars. Since they are herding dogs it's hard for them to not try to do the same with everything around them ( cars, joggers, bikers) tiring them out works, but for me, I took Roxy on a short walk and had plenty of treats. Whenever a distracting stimuli would grab her attention, use a clicker or riddle to distract her attention and look at you and immediately give them a treat. Do this over until they learn to look to you or, better ignore the distractions. Eventually, it teaches them you are more important than the other things going on in their walking time and will stop jumping, chasing, etc. Hope this was helpful for you!!

training classes
by: 2 Aussie Dad

Hi. I have a blue Merle girl and a red tri boy. The red tri (Oliver) is a handful. I would suggest training classes. Some cost involved, but the classes socialize the pup and you get really good suggestions. He has to learn to walk at your pace on your left side and learn to stop and go on your command. Aussies love to learn and are SMART. 10 minutes of training in the house with good (healthy) treats will tire him out some. Sit, stay, paw, down, circle - stuff like that. Don't give him negative attention - if he misbehaves then you should take him home. Good luck!

ours has a tough time too
by: Rochelle

Our girl sid is two in a few weeks and has a lot of anxiety on walks. Is there a lot going on outside when you walk him? We found that if there are too many people or unfamiliar sounds she gets overstimulated and loses it (lunging, panting, trying to escape, etc) so we time our walks when we think it will be more quiet. We use the front clip harness and it helps tremendously and we carry lots of treats to work on training so we give her a job to do while we walk. She gets really bored otherwise. Try working on the "watch me" cue while you are out. We use this quite a bit if there is too much going on and we need to keep her focus in sketchy situations. But overall what we have learned is that ours just isn't into going for long walks with us. She does really well in the park, even off leash with a chuck-it or frisbee or on a hike. Maybe walks just aren't his thing. He's beautiful, by the way. Good luck.

Another flipped out Aussie
by: Kathy

Glad you posted this question & I appreciate the input from other Aussie owners. Our 2 year old girl, Rafe, is a nightmare on a walk. It is so frustrating to me. It's one of the things that was so special for me & my previous Aussie, & I hate that I don't have it with Rafe.

I have tried almost every tactic known to man to improve this problem. I tried the head harness, which only made her increasingly stressed with each use. The Gentle Leader (body) harness works well, but does not prevent her from "flipping out" & then wanting to drag me home.

I think she has become fearful of neighborhood sounds for some reason. I feel like I have tried almost everything. I've taken treats along - which once she goes into flip out mode, she doesn't want. I've also tried stopping, with calming voice & petting to help soothe her to no avail. Last night I tried a VERY short walk, with treats & praise. She did do a little better. Hopefully I will be able to gradually extend the length. I like the suggestion of using a clicker. I didn't use one with her initial training, so it would be new & possibly a better attention getter for walks.

It also makes me feel a little better that I am not the only one with this issue. Thanks for the support!

stops walking
by: Maya

My 4 year old red merle enjoys our daily walks. I have her on a longer leash giving her some free space. Lately something spooks her and she stops dead in her tracks and will not move. Never had this problem before. Its a beautiful day out slight breeze, we live in a rural suburban setting. What can be triggering this fear. She would not listen to any of my commands. Any idea what could be wrong?

Training Videos
by: Taylor

I'm planning on getting an aussie pup so i've been doing some research. I came across Zack George (a friendly and respectable dog trainer) on youtube. Here's the link to his youtube channel. If you look around, he has videos on how to stop dogs from pulling, barking, and everything else. Hope the videos help.

Freaking out at sounds...
by: Marla

It's so weird that several people have commented on their Aussies freaking out at sounds. It's only been in the 4-6 weeks that our not-afraid-of-anything, 1.5 year old Aussie has gotten spooked by sounds on our walks (eg nail gun at a construction site and some people setting off fireworks in the distance). I do walk her off leash sometimes but luckily the times that she's gotten spooked she's been in a urban environment where she's been on a leash. I learned the hard way, with our previous dog that talking to her and petting her was the wrong thing, at least for us. I think it sent the message that there was something to be afraid of and that I was there to soothe and protect her. With our current girl, I pretty much ignored her being spooked (I mean as much as you can ignore it) and told her in a monotone voice, "It's no biggie" (I used to say "It's OK" but OK is what I tell her when I release her to eat so I wanted something different) and just kept walking. She had no choice but to come on b/c I simply wasn't going to stop. She was panicky and ready to get back home. I was afraid that the next walk was going to be a nightmare but it wasn't, it was right back to normal even when we got to the area where she got spooked. I can't say that it will work for everyone but it worked for her.

I believe that I read that they go through multiple phases where they can get scared of things. We think it could have been exacerbated by the fact that our girl had been swimming recently and could have had some water in her ear(s) making things sound differently.

Our previous dog was terrified of thunderstorms and it made all of our lives miserable. I'm desperately trying not to repeat mistakes I made with her but it's hard b/c they're all individuals and I'm apparently not Australian Shepherd smart. :-)

scared of the leash
by: Anonymous

i have a 7 month old austrailian shepherd (bailey.) She had issues walking too. I'm pretty sure that the idea of a leash scared her. so we put the leash in her bed to allow her to understand that the leash is hers. she now walks on the leash but she does lie to hold it in her mouth, (she doesn't chew it though.) this trick works really well for us. Good luck!

You're not alone
by: Kelsey

I'm so happy to see that I'm not alone with this issue. My girl, Mocha, is an Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, Golden Retriever mixed breed. She's 3 now. When she was a puppy I would take her for walks and she was pretty good but when she was about 1 we moved to a new home that didn't have a fenced yard so she had to get used to going to the bathroom in the backyard on a leash. Since then we've had a hard time with walks. She seems to be scared of leaving the front door of the home. She doesn't like being on a leash outside our yard - she gets all freaked out - pulls on her leash, tries to back out of her leash and run free, which, if she does get loose, she runs down the street and tries to go to someone else's house (I think she gets lost trying to find our house). Her attention span is very short during her freakouts and she doesn't seem to listen to our commands. She doesn't care for treats in this moment either - I could be holding a plate of meat and she wouldn't be interested. I think trying shorter walks is the key. She seems to be ok when she gets used to an area. She'll walk to the front of the house no problem but once we leave our driveway she gets scared. She does great in the backyard, though, and loves playing fetch! We hope to built a fence around our backyard so she can run free and play fetch with no restrictions of the leash. In the meantime I'll try short walks and try to go further each time. Thanks for all these great tips!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Australian Shepherd Q & A.

Australian-Shepherd-Lovers.com icon

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care