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Family walks and anxiety/ over excitement

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Duggee, Jun 22, 2020.


  1. Duggee

    Duggee PetForums Member

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    Our labrador is 8 months old. She is taken for walks daily by either my husband or myself plus sometimes with one of our kids. She walks really well now, hardly pulls, greets other dogs calmly and can be off lead in the local park without running off - she is generally a pleasure to walk. Our problem now is that if we go for a 2CD83B58-CB77-4B2F-AA59-8C4B171BA368.jpeg walk as a family, she seems to get anxious that she can’t see everyone at the same time. If my husband has her lead, she will constantly stop and look for me, but if I have her she does the same for my husband. If anyone of us (kids included) walk off eg to pop to the shop, or as today to put something in the bin, she starts barking and pulls to get to the person who’s walked off, even though she has full view of them. When she’s off the lead, she’s absolutely fine - I guess because she can go back and forth between everyone by herself. My question is, how can we teach her to be calm when walking with more than one or two of the family? Now that lockdown measures have relaxed we’ve taken the opportunity to drive to some local woods and parks to let her and the kids have a run around, but even as we’re getting out of the car, she starts barking and pulling because she can’t see everyone at the same time! Help!
     
  2. Woah

    Woah PetForums Member

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    Exactly same problem with my lab at about the same age! Was fine just walking with me but with family was anxious about us all sticking together and hated anyone of us going out of sight for even a minute. Tbh I just couldn’t seem to think or find a way to improve this but am pleased to say that he’s a bit better with this now that he that bit older (nearly two now). I’d be interested if anyone else has any tips for you on this having undergone the same with their dog, or else I hope as your dog matures it will also improve for you. As it wasn’t very often we all walked him together as a family (normally just me or me or sometimes with husband), I Think even with some instructions I wouldn’t have had all that much opportunity to try it out with family anyway. My Kids are very unwilling walkers!!!!
     
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  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Have you tried asking for a different behaviour and rewarding that?

    Labs rarely resist food so using a treat in front of her nose to get her attention, ask for a sit fir example, and treat/reward that.

    The distraction might be enough to break the habit or at least stop her practicing it.
     
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  4. Duggee

    Duggee PetForums Member

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    That’s very interesting, particularly as you have a lab too, and gives me hope! I wondered if we’d done something and broken her! My friend said perhaps she was trying to herd us? It’s good to know that it’s not just us and your dog outgrew it.
     
  5. Duggee

    Duggee PetForums Member

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    Oh yes, she’s very food driven, but it only provides temporary relief until she realises that she can’t see everyone at the same time. I think there’s an element of overexcitedness too as she’s always worse at the start of the walk, but once she’s had a run around and worn herself out a bit, she’s more relaxed. I will continue to take lots of food with us though as hopefully, as you say, we may be able to break the habit. Thank you!
     
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