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Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Heather and Dotty Dog, Sep 26, 2018.

  1. Heather and Dotty Dog

    Heather and Dotty Dog New Member Registered

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    Hi everyone! :)

    Nearly 3 weeks ago I rescued a 6 month old lurcher puppy from Spain. She has a wonderful temperament, very friendly and happy and we have been working hard on her house training and obedience training, which is going well.

    The thing I am really stuck with is walkies. I kept her in for the first few days, as the rescue place told me she would be frightened of city sounds for a while (I live on quite a busy road), then I started to do very short walks. She was at first very jumpy, but she is very slowly getting better. We have got to about 6 minute walks now, early morning so the least traffic possible.

    She is generally fine for the first few minutes. However, when she sees another person, or gets frightened by a car, she jumps into the air and bucks (I call it a Buckaroo) and seems to be trying to get free. She did it whilst crossing a road today and it was awful, as she knocked herself onto her side. As soon as she has done a 'buckaroo' she then pulls like her life depended on it until we are home, and her breathing sounds like has been winded.

    I use a Halti lead attached at her collar, chest and back. I've tried 'being a tree' when she pulls but she just keeps pulling - and she is 19kg so she is strong. I've tried encouraging her back with her favourite food, chicken, but once she is in that buckaroo zone there she won't take any food.

    I would love some advice about best to cope with this, please. Or is it a case of simply returning to shorter walks for a longer time. I understand 3 weeks isn't long at all.

    Thanks so much for your help.
     
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Do you have the option of driving somewhere quieter for walks? Anything you can do to make walks less stressful for her will help - you have the issue that she probably needs walks to help her relax and burn off energy, but while she finds them stressful, it's not going to help her relax!

    Is she generally calm round the house, or is she a little wired all the time?

    There are natural stress-relieving products that could help, such as Adaptil spray, which might be worth trying. Otherwise, if she's OK with 6-minute walks for now, then stick with those, doing a few a day. Whenever she goes into buckaroo mode, you've gone too far (or you've been unlucky with the traffic). If you're able to get her to a place far enough away from the traffic that she can see it but not react, you can quietly sit and give her treats while watching the traffic & people go by.
     
    Heather and Dotty Dog likes this.
  3. Heather and Dotty Dog

    Heather and Dotty Dog New Member Registered

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    I'm afraid I can't drive, but I do have friends with cars, who would be happy to take her to a quiet park, so I think we will try that out. She also seems calmer walking in the eves and at weekends (when of course, the traffic is quieter), and when friends join us to walk. Perhaps I'll do a few more of those each day instead of just the morning one.

    She is actually pretty chilled at home and sleeps most of the time (I think it's the greyhound in her!), but has a couple of "mad hours" in the morning and in the evening when she is very playful. She is incredibly friendly with visitors and everybody loves her.

    We have a back garden and she walks on the lead with no issues out there. She has got used to planes flying overhead, the wind in the trees and lots of other things that scared her at first, so she is definitely slowly improving.

    Thanks very much for your help!
     
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  4. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    She is beautiful - is she trying on your undies in the avatar?:D

    Every time you have a 'good' walk, with traffic/people at a 'safe' distance, it reinforces 'Actually, walks are OK,' which will give her the confidence to go further. And every time she has a meltdown, it reinforces that walks are scary, and over time just leaving the house might be scary. Don't be afraid of letting her choose how far to walk and in which direction, too - this will help give her the confidence that if there is something scary, she can choose to avoid it, which will again increase her confidence in the face of things she's not happy about.
     
  5. Heather and Dotty Dog

    Heather and Dotty Dog New Member Registered

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    Haha, yes...she found an old bra of mine and it has become her favourite toy above all the expensive ones!! I just decided I would let her have it this once. :)

    Great stuff thank you so much for your advice. I will bear it in all in mind and try again a bit later today.
     
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  6. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    When Oscar my old BC arrived he was scared of his own shadow, wheelie bins, the flags outside the flower shop, someone opening their door, a bicycle going past everything had him in a panic. BUt we also noticed he was better with other dogs so I tried walking as often as I could in a group with some other friendly dogs and that did help but only while we were with them..

    However we eventually solved his problem by getting another dog! 1008978_178017159044252_1319774800_o.jpg
     
  7. Heather and Dotty Dog

    Heather and Dotty Dog New Member Registered

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    Aww, he is so lovely! She does love other dogs but I only have permission for one at my rented house. I am buying my own next year so hopefully I will have room for another! :)
     
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  8. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Maybe finding a nice dog to walk with would help her though. When my little dog Remy arrived (found in a field) he was said to be a howling barking mess of SA, my son has said he couldnt even go to the toilet without Remy going into meltdown, so I filmed the boys while I went out..
    As I left Remy jumped up and showed panic reaction whining and running backwards and fowards looking at Benny and Oscar for conformation that this was time to panic but when they simply sighed and stretched out on the sofa a bit more he calmed down, climbed up between them and went to sleep.
    We never had any problems with SA after that. It really is amazing the influence a calm dog can have on a stressed or panicked one.

    Good luck
     
    Heather and Dotty Dog likes this.
  9. arealhuman

    arealhuman Well-Known Member Registered

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    My dog was exactly like this. Time and positive reinforcement - with lots of patience - seemed to help. Like others have said, a less stressful environment to build her confidence will also be beneficial. Let us know how you get on!
     
  10. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    I agree- this is just anxiety. She's overwhelmed by new stuff (I remember the first time I got lost in Paris, I really felt like doing a buckeroo!) and she's trying to cope. I agree try taking her somewhere quiet and build up slowly. Give her time. A really lovely bomb-proof dog to walk with would help.
     

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