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Help- my German Shepherd/husky mix gets really anxious/scared on walks

March 13th, 2009, 03:36 PM
My family has a 5 year old German Shepherd/husky female. As a younger dog she was a great running buddy and walked fairly well. She was never fearful or anxious. My mother and I have shared keeping her for over a year. She is getting worse on walks that we have taken for some time. The other day, she was doing great on a walk when she saw a very old, clunky, brown car with two mattresses on top. She freaked out and started bolting in the opposite direction (she does this frequently). We take the same few routes (I've tried different routes which she used to act worse on), but for any reason (she wants to go in another direction, something scares her, I won't let her stop to sniff constantly) she will sit down, turn around and run in the opposite direction, jump out to the side (rare but it happens), shake nervously, pant heavily, claw at the ground or pavement insisting on obsessively sniffing something (she has already relieved herself). She is also obsessed with a side entrance of the park where I take her. I have to drag her past it, every single time we go to the park, and each time we go around (even if it's 5 times in one day). If we go out that entrance- then she switches into dragging ME back home. Last week and this week we go a shorter and shorter distance before she starts to freak out. I tried the gentle leader- it only made it worse. When I finally got her to move it just didn't feel like it would prevent our problems of SUDDEN bolting. If she is not bolting or insisting on smelling something, she doesn't pull on the leash and I can get her to walk next to me. I try to keep walking but if she is trying to get away (i.e. from the old car/mattress monster) she will only get scared of something else and will bolt in different directions (into the street- which she usually knows to avoid). What's the deal?