Terrified Walker

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WildChild
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Terrified Walker

Post by WildChild » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:10 am

I recently (two months ago) adopted a 1-year-old Jack Russell Terrier mix for the Humane Society. Other than being my hanging out buddy I wanted a dog to motivate me to walk. Zoe is a very energetic dog and is adjusting to life really well (Other than being cautious of other people) but when it comes to walks she is terrified. The weird thing is that she recognizes me getting ready for walks and gets excited but as soon as we get to the end of the driveway she freezes. I would understand if she froze because she saw a dog because she is terrified of other dogs but normally there is nothing there. It normally takes a lot of coaxing and some pulling to get her going, not to mention this happens multiple times each walk.

How can I get her comfortable walking? At this point I am ready to give up even trying!

Btw, treats and toys don’t work to motivate her, once she's scared she doesn’t even notice them.

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Noobs
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Re: Terrified Walker

Post by Noobs » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:35 am

If the end of the driveway is when she freezes, how about BEFORE you get to the end, just walk around your driveway, up and down, in circles, etc., as long as she's comfortable. Do this, teach loose leash walking ( viewtopic.php?f=20&t=858 ) and make it fun. Then turn around and go home. Do this a few times a day. Then take ONE STEP beyond the driveway, if she's still fine, go home and celebrate. This may take some time. If you force things she'll get worse.

WildChild
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Re: Terrified Walker

Post by WildChild » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:52 pm

I am definately going to try just walking her around the driveway for a while, thanks!

I forgot to metion something though and I dont know if it will clarify or confuse. My family owns the bussines I work at and I sometimes bring Zoe to work with me. When I have some free time I'll take her for a walk around the building. The weird thing is that she has absolutely no problem with this in fact she doesn't want to go back inside once we're out. It isn't like my building has any less people or cars around, in fact there are normally more than there are in my neighborhood. She just doesnt react as strongly to them at my work as she does at home.

Wicket
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Re: Terrified Walker

Post by Wicket » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:04 am

WildChild, dogs don't generalize well. She may have associated walking with your parents' business. *shrugs* Maybe some others can help explain this for you. :)

WildChild
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Re: Terrified Walker

Post by WildChild » Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:11 pm

Ok, I’m starting to get really frustrated with this, I have been trying to go slow to get Zoe off the driveway and we even got out of my cul-de-sac . . . But that’s it. Its been more than two weeks and we’re only at the end of the cul-de-sac. But, a few days ago my dad came to walk with me and Zoe went around the block in our neighborhood plus walking all the way around the city block. Is there something wrong with me that she doesn’t want to walk with just me? I cant always have someone walking with me since I walk in the morning before my family normally gets up. I’ve even tried luring her with treats but as soon as she thinks she sees something she doesn’t even see the treat. I’m at the end of my rope, 100 foot walks that take a half hour are ridiculous. I’m about to stop even trying these walks, its not giving her any exercise anyway.

Please Help Me!

emmabeth
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Re: Terrified Walker

Post by emmabeth » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:01 am

You need to stick it out and keep working at HER pace, not yours.

Try to find ways of making it less frustrating for you, stick to a time limit rather than focussing on a set destination. Just say 'ok we are going out to practice walking for half an hour, or twenty minutes... (try to pick a length of time slightly UNDER what the dog actually wants so you leave her wanting MORE not coming home with her desperate to get inside having wanted the walk over ten minutes earlier).

Walks are not just about physical exercise, they are about interacting with you out there, seeing and experienceing the outside environment, all manner of stuff.

If you are getting frustrated and mad at her this may be why shes less comfortable walking with you, try to relax and chill out and be someone she can put her trust and confidence in.
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Dakine'smama
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Re: Terrified Walker

Post by Dakine'smama » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:44 pm

Is your dog maybe afraid of cars? This is actually what I'm struggling with when I take my puppy out for walks. He's fine with our apartment walkway and the sidewalk up to the main road but then we get to the main road and he freaks out. He won't even eat treats because he's so scared!

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Horace's Mum
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Re: Terrified Walker

Post by Horace's Mum » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:17 pm

My dog will dig his heels in a short way into our walk when he realises we are actually going on a walk but there is still someone left in his house. I live on my own, so this isn't a big problem because it only happens when my parents come to visit, or I go to them. Maybe she doesn't like leaving the others at home, but at work it is different so not a problem. Just keep working away, make walks really exciting and fun, take lots of yummy treats or a really good toy with you and stop frequently for a play or trickle feed treats when she gets to a point of wanting to stop. And most of all, chill!! 2 weeks seems a long time to you, but it isn't long for a dog to get used to something. Just keep working on it, you will get there!! :D

MPbandmom
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Re: Terrified Walker

Post by MPbandmom » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:57 pm

Could you maybe try taking her to other locations to walk. I often drive my dogs to a local park that has a nice shadey trail through the woods. One of my dogs is afraid of barkey yard dogs and the other one doesn't like vehicles, people, or dogs outside of yards (oddly enough, she is fine with barkey yard dogs.) The park is usually quiet enough that we only occasionally see other dogs being walked there, and it is away from traffic and houses with barkey yard dogs.

We have much more pleasant walks when we go to the park. You may just need to change locations to an area where she is comfortable for the walking exercise that you want to do, while working very briefly each day on the problem area at home.
Grammy to Sky and Sirius, who came to live with me, stole my heart, and changed my life forever as I took over their care and learned how to be a dog owner.

jacksdad
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Re: Terrified Walker

Post by jacksdad » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:19 pm

oh no, don't give up. two weeks is no time at all. It took me about 4 months working with my reactive dog before he had a break through and didn't flip out when another dog was close. Another 2 - 3 months before being able to pass/be near dogs to be more than an occasional thing. so, believe me, I get how frustrating it can be when the training doesn't seem to be working.

So, while I am in NO way saying your issue will take this long to resolve, do take hart. Stay patient, move at your dogs pace like Emma says and you will reach your goal sooner than you think. won't be as soon as you wish, but it will be quicker than you think it will be.

You have only had your dog a couple months, worked on this issue a couple weeks. keep it up, you will reach your goal and you will have the walks you want.

might sound a little silly, but when you do feel frustrated, just come here, posts your frustrations, vent, take a break we get it.

WildChild
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Re: Terrified Walker

Post by WildChild » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:32 am

I am really grateful for all the advice, and I probably am getting ahead of myself with the two weeks thing but I still don’t understand why she is so terrified of walking but when my dad came with us, who she doesn’t really like, she walked around the neighborhood and along city streets with no problem, no coaxing, no nothing.
Oh yeah and just as added information when I put my tennis shoes on and grab her leash and even as we head out the door she gets super excited and tries to pull but once we get to the end of the driveway she slows down and then at the end of the cul-de-sac- she stops. I think its so strange because the routine for getting ready for a walk is different from every other routine (I almost never wear tennis shoes other wise) so she cant think we’re doing something else every time.
And, she is not scared of cars unless they are unusually loud the only things that bother her are people and especially dogs.

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