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Anxious Puppy on walks! - Please help!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Emma Black, Oct 17, 2018.


  1. Emma Black

    Emma Black PetForums Newbie

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    Hi!
    I'm new to the forums, I have a 5 month old Cockapoo Puppy called Pippi.
    We got her at 11 weeks old from a great breeder, she has adjusted very well to living with us, potty training went great and walks were perfectly normal, I expected her to be more nervous but she wasn't scared of cars or anything! She loved going up to people and dogs and was just fantastic!
    She was always slightly cautious of new things though, she doesn't like loud noises like the hoover or hair dryer, but seems to cope well whilst out and about.
    Recently she has just been awful at walks, all her confidence seems to have gone down the drain and I can't think why?! SHe went from a really outgoing and friendly dog to cowering away with her tail between her legs whenever someone approaches her! She's started walking terribly on the lead due to this anxiousness as well. I really have no idea what could have caused this or how to help her. There was no significant event that I know of that could even slightly indicate this behaviour! She is still fine with dogs and always seems more happy and confident in an open setting like the park, off the lead. If anyone knows of any reason why she has changed so dramatically or anything you think could help her, please tell me! Thanks in advance!
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    It's likely to be her second fear period - you may not have noticed a significant event but to her, that leaf blowing the wrong way might have been scary!

    Keep encouraging her and rewarding bravery (don't force anything on her though, a person scared of snakes isn't cured by being thrown in a snake pit), get her focus on little training exercises and be upbeat and positive. Make sure nothing scary happens to set her back.
     
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  3. Emma Black

    Emma Black PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for your reply, I will definitely make sure to do so! I've caught myself recently trying to push her to do things she's nervous to do almost out of embarrassment, for example if a kid really wants to stroke her and she's nervous I'll pick her up to let them, but I'll stop doing that and let her come to it in her own time and put my personal feelings aside ❤️
     
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  4. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Oh, yes please stop doing that. Imagine yourself meeting something you were scared of (spiders, wasps, zombies or anything) and the person you rely on to keep you safe holds you in a position that stops you getting away. Try to think more like her, put yourself in her position. You get rid of the scary things, show her you have her back, and she will see you as the person to trust when she is unsure.
     
  5. Emma Black

    Emma Black PetForums Newbie

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    Yes! Will do! I've done my research in to the second gear period and it definitely sounds like what's going on! I will no longer push her to do anything and just try and be as supportive as possible to her
     
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  6. Bugsys grandma

    Bugsys grandma PetForums VIP

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    I absolutely agree with everything JoanneF has said. I do get how it can be a bit embarrassing when your dog shows fear or just total disinterest when someone wants to say hello or stroke them, but our dogs are not there for other people's entertainment. Ideally, in my opinion , dogs should be trained to be happy enough for someone to say hello, if you decide that the timing, your dogs mood and the situation are appropriate , but not so people focused that they spend their entire time looking for, and pulling towards people wanting to be fussed and stroked. The same with other dogs, my dog always looks at me when off lead for permission to go and play with or say hi to other dogs, I don't always let him go, certainly not to dogs on leads or dogs we don't know, and not always to his doggy friends, he needs to know that he shares the world with these dogs but they are not there for his entertainment. Don't be embarrassed to tell people no,when they want to stroke Pippi, or to move on when you think she's had enough, she's your dog, your responsibility, and you get to decide who does what with her. She will start to look to you for reassurance when she's unsure, for protection when she's afraid and that is where a fab relationship built on mutual trust and respect starts. Good luck.
     
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  7. Emma Black

    Emma Black PetForums Newbie

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    Yes, thank you so much for your reply. I will take everything on board to try and help my little pup And put my own feelings aside
     
    JoanneF likes this.
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