Dog hates people and going outside walking

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by ETMorales, May 16, 2010.

  1. ETMorales

    ETMorales New Member

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    A week ago I adopted a 7-month-old lab from a rescue organization. She was doing OK on walks for the first week but very nervous of the cars and very distracted by almost every person (she'd stop and stare, sometimes refusing to walk further). (She seems much better with other dogs.) Now one week later she refuses to walk outside at all, she just stars at the door to my apartment and wants to come back in. I had to carry her a block away to pee early this morning. She is very loving and playful in my apartment but is scared and very shy of other person and very submissive. She also seems to forget I exist when we're on our walks she's so fixated in the situation. I know there is no history of abuse.

    One more thing, on her walk this past Friday morning, some idiot let his Doberman out on his front lawn off leash while we happened to be walking by, and it scared the hell out of both of us -- it ran up barking, I thought for sure we were going to get attacked. Luckily we didn't, as the Doberman stopped at the edge of the lawn. I am considering throwing a brick through this guy's picture window at some point. :) So I'm wondering if this has her spooked to go outside now...though she went outside later that evening with not much problem. Yesterday she refused to go more than a few steps outside.
     
  2. Maura

    Maura New Member

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    Put her in your car and take her to a park. Use a long line (20 feet) to let her sniff around and do her thing. Don't talk to her, just let her be. Follow her around. If she starts to move fast enough to drag you, dig your heels in and move in the opposite direction so that she is following you. Do this everytime she pulls. After twenty minutes of this, change directions even if she isn't pulling you. This lets her know that she has to pay attention to where you are going.

    In the park she can keep enough distance from people and other dogs that she should feel safe. You should also work her on sit and down after a couple of days so that you can park her safely. If you can get a couple of friends to help you, have them meet you in the park, keeping enough distance that your dog doesn't feel threatened. Get closer and closer to them. You might have to do this on more than one occasion if your dog is really scared. Don't baby her, just let her shrink her fear zone. She doesn't hate people, she's afraid of new things. In the park she can examine picnic tables, trash cans, and your friends. Your friends that have friendly dogs should also come to the park. The new dogs need to be secure and friendly, but not overly exhuberant.

    Once you have her doing well in the park, take her around the block on a ten foot leash. You may have to only go a hundred feet before turning back. You want to turn back and go home BEFORE she starts acting up. But, you should be able to gradually go a little farther each day. Because you are taking her to the park, she is getting exercised, so a short walk for the sake of confidence will be alright.

    Other ways of boosting her confidence and getting her used to other dogs and people would be an obedience class (positive training only) and visiting your family.
     
  3. ETMorales

    ETMorales New Member

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    Thank you, Maura! I will try that.

    I have been taking her to a church yard that's enclosed by bushes to pee and poop; she seems to feel more comfortable there. A park is a great idea.

    Is it common for dogs to "regress" with things like willingness to walk? It's just so disheartening that she was walking with me when I first got her but now is unwilling to walk outside at all. It makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong. :(

    I'm going to the store today to buy a 20 foot leash and a 10 foot leash, the one I have now is like 6 feet long.
     
  4. Barb04

    Barb04 Love my pets Staff Member

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    Yes, your dog can be effected by what happened with that other dog. I would say just take things slowly and have patience. I agree that taking your dog elsewhere to go for walks and become comfortable with the surroundings and people is a good idea.
     

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