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When to allow kids to hold leash on walks?
  • I hope I am putting this question under the right category. I used the advanced search and couldnt find the exact answer to my question. I need some info on walking our puppy and when its ok to let him walk on the sidewalk. Also, when and if its ok for my kids to ever hold the leash on walks.
  • KitsuKitsu
    Posts: 765
    Well first off, how old are these kids?
  • We've walked Zim on the sidewalk since we started walking him at 14 weeks. If he's going to run, though, we have him on grass. Also, I would say letting your kids hold the leash really depends on your kids more than anything---whether they know not to just let go of the leash, they'll contribute to leash training by not letting the pup walk when they pull, etc. I don't think letting a kid hold a puppy's leash, though, would be a problem in terms of pulling. Unless you're talking about a toddler or other really little, that little teeny puppy (ours was 4 pounds when we got him) isn't going to have enough strength to do much against even a kid. I believe you said you had a ten-year-old little girl? I'd imagine she's certainly fine to hold the leash herself. Not sure how old your others are though.
  • The girls are 10, 7, and 5. I am sure my 10 year old is big enough, she is taller than me I just wondered if it was a bad idea to allow the two little one to walk him. Its hard to say no when one child gets the priviledge. And just so Im clear, you wouldnt walk a puppy on the ground outside even in an area like a greenway and not a dog park until they have had all their vaccinations right? Basically they play indoors?
  • We did but we asked our vet first. They're really in the best position to know what kind of risk there is of disease in your area. Even so, we avoided setting him down in areas with a lot of dog traffic because those are the most likely areas to have diseases laying dormant.
    Post edited by notoriousscrat at 2012-04-13 00:36:24
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    My little brother (10) is able to walk Conker. With me present. I don't trust anyone else in my family to know how to walk him alone (due to his bad reactions to certain things) since they don't even walk the other two dogs.
    Anywho, little brother was taught how to walk dogs properly and I have him clip the leash to his pants (carabiner in the hand loop) or something just in case he drops it when he walks with me. Any younger than that, I would not let them walk the dog unless I had a second leash as a "safety" attached to the dog that I held.
  • Those are great ideas! I never really thought of clipping the leash to me during the walk. And because the two lil ones just want to be able to hold onto the leash themselves, using a second safety leash would prob work fine...thank you!
  • tobysmomtobysmom
    Posts: 99
    My 8 and 7 year olds I let walk Toby, he walks really well on leash and doesn't chase things if told to leave it. Now if I have one of the smaller ones (5,3,2 year olds) walk him I have them walk him with a leash hooked to his martingale collar and I hook one to his harness that then is carabined to my pants or double stroller. With Nikita I have let the 8 year old walk her once but she was not leash trained (her recall is amazing and especially for a Shiba) so it only lasted a few min then he was tired of being pulled. But I will use the same rule when they are able to walk her if you can catch the dog or not be pulled over if they jerk you can walk them by yourself otherwise 2 leashes.

    My 8 year old is also looking in to doing training with Nikita through 4H so he will have to be doing most of the leash training since she already know all the basics (sit, down, stay, long sit/stay recall) she only needs the heel sequence.
    Posts: 1507
    You might want to take a look at the ruffwear roamer leash. The handle adjusts into a belt that you can attach around your waist.
    Post edited by INU RYUU at 2012-04-13 09:57:05
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    As the others have mentioned, second leash please!

    I had a bad experience once. I let cousin#1, about 14 years old, walk cousin #2's dog. The dog was a chihuahua, good dog, not a puller. I let her know before handing over the leash to hold on tight, in case anything might happen, the dog might suddenly start to pull. I walked beside her the whole time.

    Out of nowhere, the leash fell out of her hands. I think she loosen her grip on the leash because the dog wasn't pulling and it was a retractable leash (mistake number 1) so she didn't have to do much. The dog was startled by the sound the retractable leash made as it hit the floor. He bolted. I ran after the dog. By the time I caught up, the retractable leash was stuck underneath a tire, and the dog was still trying to run. He was scratching the pavement nonstop, so bad that he scratched it all the way down to his quick and was bleeding.

    Since then I have yet to trust another kid with a dog's leash. :(
  • I will definitely be investing in a second leash just for this purpose. Thanks for the tips guys! Everyone here has been most helpful with all of my silly newbie questions and concerns. I greatly appreciate it :-)
  • Seriously, 14 years old and you don't know to hold onto a leash tight? I was walking big pully dogs from the humane society at 10 (yeah, my local humane society wasn't really responsible, they never should have let 60 lbs of kid walk 60 lbs of pulling dog), and I never dropped a leash. Teenagers continually amaze me sometimes (although less so now that I'm not one myself).
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @Notoriousscrat, I know right? What even disturbs me more is while i caught up to the dog. My little cousin was slowly following me, walking at her own pace. Then i told her to get the owner while I calm the dog down. The owner later informed me that while the 14 year old came in the house, she was skipping and humming a happy melody....CREEPED ME OUT. She had no sense of urgency, and was unaffected by what happened.
  • At least most people grow out of it. I was an unpleasant 12 year old, but I now have the sense to look back and know I was unpleasant. All those hormones and whatnot break teenage brains.
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    --Not everyone has gross motor coordination and particularly when they are not familiar with a particular animal. Some examples are young kids (coordination, pat head rub belly and stand on one foot) and the Seniors (arthritic hands, slow reflexes). For those with disabilities (Cerebral Palsy), who of course want to have contact with pets and walk their dogs as independent beings, there needs to be some additional training and equipment as part of safety for both human and dog.

    --Tying to the belt and use of a soft leash or doubling up is a great idea, but there needs to be a quick release to allow for emergencies particularly if any contact point is tied to stroller or wheelchair etc.

    --In all honesty you really have to determine when any child, or anyone else for that matter, is mentally and physically ready to work or walk a particular dog. Some dogs and small humans are not well matched. As in the case of horses, child must be matched according to their current abilities, maturity, and skill set with that animal. If the child has not earned those points (regardless of age) then no walks. It comes down to how much does the child/non adult respect your input, value the activity with the dog, and understand the concepts of being safe. I know it seems like being troll is part of the monitoring the program, however, keeping it all together and having a back up plan based on the individual(s) is going to save someone's skin.

    --Make no assumptions, it can be all to easy to drop a leash (even for the most experienced) particularly if the dog is behaving at the time. Often a dog will act wonderfully then makes a mad dash into the blue if it sees something in its peripheral vision. Dogs also become very keenly aware of the distance on a leash up to the last inch (even on some retractables), leaving many befuddled in the wake of a run off. Avoid the pitfall and trauma of retractable leash sets. Use a regular leash whenever possible, it will give much more control reducing mistakes, if nothing else avoiding injuries.

    --Booze describes the experience best when it goes wrong. Very often it completely scares the dog and that experience can stick with the pooch for a lifetime. When it goes horribly horribly wrong a dog will escape and have the hissing plastic drag behind later to become tangled and lodged in shrubbery, fencing, or around dog itself as they become stuck off in outer Mongolia. Finding a dog before it strangles, loses a limb, or is attacked by other dogs can get complicated. It has not been unheard of to search for an escapee for three days or more if they run off out of fear.


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