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Old March 31st, 2006, 06:29 PM
duzasp duzasp is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Posts: 10
Question Fear of walking at night

Hello everyone,

I have been lurking in the background for a while, but have became completely dependant on checking the forum boards at least twice a day for help with my new pup.

We have an almost 12 week border collie pup, Kailyn. We absolutely adore her, even when she is shredding my houseplants and digging up disgusting things in the backyard that she thinks are good to chew!

We are begining puppy class in one week and we can hardly wait. She has already learned a few basic commands and we are socializing her as much as possible. We walk her in the busy downtown areas to meet people, other dogs, and get used to louder vehicles etc., and she is adjusting quite well.

Our problem: when we try to walk her at night, she is absolutely terrified at any small noises and goes crazy to try to get home. We end up having to carry her halfway home when she's so scared. This happens even when we just take her outside for a quick pee in the evening. While we understand that she is still very new to the world, we would like to be able to walk her in the dark as well as the daylight and we aren't sure how to reassure her. We understand that it won't help to give her treats and console her because she will think that she is doing the right thing being afraid. We don't even have a chance to give her treats during a few minutes that she's calm because it rarely happens as she is so freaked out.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old March 31st, 2006, 07:13 PM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 10,287
Hi and welcome!

With fear issues and a tiny puppy, you need to take little tiny baby steps!

Just before it gets dark, take her out on your front steps and just sit with her for a minute. If she acts fine, give her a little treat, act all happy and take her inside.

Go out a little later on following evenings and if she's okay, go a few feet further, but always stop BEFORE she starts acting afraid, treat/praise and back inside.

She must learn to have confidence in you, and if you take her places where she is afraid to the point that she's "going crazy", she may not trust you to protect her.

You're right - never soothe or comfort her. Just act normal and upbeat. Continue going out a little further each time, and if she shows fear back up a step or two. With patience and consistancy, she should be fine.
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