Teaching to stand still and pick up feet.
My 8 month old has been doing wonderfully with learning to pick up his feet. However, I've come across something I think needs attention before I continue. Now, it may or may not, you please be the judge. This is my very first baby of my own, so the first time I'm doing all of this with a baby.
I am teaching him to be tied. I have done it several times now, and what I do is take his leadline and just loop it around a bar of the fence, and I hold onto the other end. This way, I can hold onto it so he he can't pull any, but if he really freaks out I can give a little so he doesn't scare himself. I want it to be learned, but I don't want him to have to scare himself into anything. I see videos of training horses to tie and all they do is literally tie them for several minutes until they give in to being tied. Is this really the way to do it? I feel bad doing that to him.
So he has been doing great with obeying the line and not testing it now. But now we've come up with another issue. He prances in place, or gets skittish and will move back and forth ever so slightly, but its almost like he's nervous. I pat him and talk to him soothingly, and he'll stand then for maybe a few seconds. Then starts again.
He does this when I ask him to pick up his feet. He will skitter around a little, and move sideways away from me. So if I put him next to a wall or the gate, he will go back & forth again. When I ask for him hoof, he picks up his leg nicely. But he doesn't hold it long enough for me to actually hold his little hoof. He will stomp it back down to the ground then act nervous again.
I was trying to figure out why, and realized he doesn't like his legs touched. I know the only way to get him over that is to keep doing it and make it a pleasant experience. I have been trying to. I will stand there, with him "tied" and just place my hand on the top of his leg, and rub gently and talk to him. But he prances in place again.
How do I get him to relax? I have never been anything but soft and soothing with him. The lady I got him from was the same way. He leads excellent, never tests you and follows you everywhere. Never tries to run off. He backs up without even having to touch him, just jingling the lead a little and he knows. He stops when you say "Whoa", and he knows how to lunge. He is a an amazing little guy, and very smart. He is so willing to please and so level-headed. I don't understand why this leg thing is becoming an issue.