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Old January 9th, 2010, 10:06 PM
kitten_kaboodle kitten_kaboodle is offline
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Unhappy Still dragging my dog down the street

i got a pupp about a month and a half ago. shes 5 and a half months now and she HATES going for walks. i have to literally drag her for four blocks before she will even move a paw. im worried about the psychological damage it may be having on her and also the damage to her paws. shes a bichon poodle. how can i make her walk better? ive tried enthusiasm. ive tried treats. i dont no what else to do. im hiring a trainer at the end of the month but im looking for something that might hold us over until then. can you help?
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Old January 9th, 2010, 10:14 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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Welcome to pets.ca kitten_kaboodle .

Is she comfortable outside in front of your home? Can you feed her her meals, play with her there? Or does she not want to go outside at all?
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Old January 9th, 2010, 10:16 PM
kitten_kaboodle kitten_kaboodle is offline
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no she will go outside out front to pee. but if i try to take her any farther than that she locks up. shes not worried about the collar or the leash they dont bother her. its when we try to go farther then her pee spot that she gets upset. we dont have a backyard to practice in either. she wont play out front. never tried feeding her. shes always distracted. if theres someone in our line of sight she will focus on it and wont let them out of her site. same with cars. or anything that moves
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Old January 9th, 2010, 10:31 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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Can I ask where did she come from? Perhaps she hasn't been exposed to the outdoors and she's experiencing fear. Some dogs tend to freeze or 'shut down' when they are overwhelmed and frightened.

Does she have any favorite treats? I mean the yummiest stuff she wouldn't turn down (cooked beef, chicken, dried liver)? You're going to have to observe her carefully and each time she looks at a person, car, etc., you can say "yes, good girl" and treat her. Your goal will be to teach her to associate everything new in her environment with positive outcomes.

Rather than forcing her to walk, I think you should start real slow and just hang out outside with her, in her comfort zone. If you notice her take a step, yes, even a single step, in any direction other than the front door, reward and praise her.

It'll take some time so be patient, talk in low, soft tones (not high-pitched), and let her show you when she's ready.

Would you have any pics of her to share ? And what's her name?
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Old January 9th, 2010, 10:37 PM
kitten_kaboodle kitten_kaboodle is offline
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we got her from a family in the city near our house. i dont think she had ever been outside before she was with us. shes not really a fan of treats...but some tripe would probably do the trick i think. so even when shes not focusing on the walk i treat her? cause she will stare at a person until they arent visible anymore. i think hanging outside with her is a good idea. but she looks at me all forlorn-ed like im torturing her or something. i just want a dog that will love to go for walks and be more excited about being out than being home. she goes nuts when we get back in running laps like its the indy 500 or something.

thats her in her xmas sweater (note: she is not dressed up all the time lol)
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Old January 9th, 2010, 10:42 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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She sure is a cutie!

Will she chase a ball or a bouncing toy in the house?
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Old January 9th, 2010, 10:43 PM
kitten_kaboodle kitten_kaboodle is offline
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ohhhh yea. she loves playing fetch inside. but not outside. theres other things to pay attention to outside
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Old January 9th, 2010, 10:45 PM
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MyBirdIsEvil MyBirdIsEvil is offline
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I honestly think the best bet for you is a good trainer that can show you how to work with her.

Of all the advice we can give on here, we can't assess your body language and posture and reaction with her, and show you how to correct it (which is probably a big part of the issue). A trainer can do that.

You already know about trying treats and stuff like that, but you have to remember also to keep your energy directed FOWARD. This is true of most animals when you try to lead them.
A big mistake people make is to face backward toward the animal and call to them. If you're facing the opposite direction of where you want them to go it will often confuse them or make them apprehensive as they feel like you aren't confident in what you want, so why should they trust to follow you. This is why with horses you can have one person struggling and pulling as hard as they can and getting frustrated while FACING the horse and the horse just stands there and holds their ground. Then someone very experienced and confident comes along, takes the lead while facing the other direction and the horse automatically follows them. It is often the same with dogs. That's what I mean by you want your energy going FOWARD. If you use treats don't turn around and call the dog to you, hold it down by your side while facing the direction you'd like to go. Be confident, happy and energetic. Keep a smile on your face and act relaxed and comfortable, never frustrated.
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Old January 9th, 2010, 10:49 PM
kitten_kaboodle kitten_kaboodle is offline
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thats awesome advice evil....makes alot of sense and is a fresh perspective. ill try that i think
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Old January 9th, 2010, 10:55 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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I wouldn't even be trying to walk her at this point. I think that it'll just confirm/strengthen her fears if she's forced to do something she's terrified of.

Are you able to break her concentration at all when she's focused on something? Even for a second? Does she have a favorite toy? If regular treats don't work, you can always try thinly slicing up hot dog wieners. If she likes them a lot, only use when you are outside and at no other time. I think feeding her her meals outdoors is also a great idea. Rather than bringing her bowl outside, feed her by hand so she has to face you. If she wants to look away, that's great, but as soon as she turns back to you, praise her.

We had a foster who was terrified like your pup. We started working with her indoors and our yard where she was comfortable. Stuff like "look" "sit" and "come." We practiced in all rooms and eventually moved it outside. Just in front of the main entrance, on the steps, at the bottom of the steps, three feet away, and gradually further and further away. If something frightened her, we could always count on the "look" or "come" cues to distract her. It's ok to have her look at things that frighten her but, you don't want her to focus on them while her anxiety builds.

In time your pup will adjust and become desensitized to what's frightening her now. I wish I could give you a time frame but each dog is different.
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Old January 9th, 2010, 10:59 PM
kitten_kaboodle kitten_kaboodle is offline
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i could take a squeaky toy and try that. cause if not im dragging her by the neck and shes hopping on her back paws facing the other direction. i need to take time to ger her to focus on me i guess instead of just dragging her
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Old January 10th, 2010, 09:10 AM
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LavenderRott LavenderRott is offline
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First off - you really need to stop trying to get her to walk out of her comfort zone, at least for now. And you might want to give some consideration that this particular dog may never love to go for walks.

Until you can get a trainer to help you out, spend some time just hanging out in the front yard - well within her comfort zone. Let her become comfortable with people walking by and such.
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