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Darcy and I have a noisy 20 minute each way walk to work. I live right downtown. He spent our walk this morning shivering and whining. I stopped twice on the way in to sit on a bench or stoop to feed him some treats to try and make the whole thing a positive experience, and he ate it, so he wasn't so stressed he wouldn't eat.

When I put him down to have a pee before we headed into the office his tail was up and he was fine. So I'm confident he will get used to all the noise. I just wondered if anyone had any tips on how I can make him more comfortable with this big bad city he has suddenly been thrown into the middle of!
 

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Ideally you would ease him into it. Spend some time just sitting/standing outside your house and watching the world go by. Practicing leash walking along the sidewalk when there is little traffic.

It sounds though like you don't have that luxury. I would leave earlier and spend more time treating and stopping along the way. 20 minutes of walking is a lot for a little puppy.

Don't give in to carrying him. This is the kiss of death for little dogs!
 

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I've had good success making the noisy streets a PARTY. Lots of treats, investigating not so scary things and calmly not reacting to the scary things. If you can play some games and get Darcy focused on you, he'll start to realize the noises aren't so scary and just a normal part of life. It takes some time but if he's seeing this stuff everyday, it will eventually become normal. I'm also a big proponent of clicker training. My dog has responded well to "scary noise or person" equals click and treat....so now--as we walk down the street and we pass said scary thing--she looks to me for a treat instead of focusing on the fear.

Hope this helps!
 

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Ideally you would ease him into it. Spend some time just sitting/standing outside your house and watching the world go by. Practicing leash walking along the sidewalk when there is little traffic.

It sounds though like you don't have that luxury. I would leave earlier and spend more time treating and stopping along the way. 20 minutes of walking is a lot for a little puppy.

Don't give in to carrying him. This is the kiss of death for little dogs!
Cbrand has good advice. I would also try to walk on a less busy street. You may want to drive to an area that has less traffic for training.
 

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i had the same thing with my spoo. jessie came from a farm like home to brooklyn! the sound of a fire engine would send her running into someone else's backyard if it passed us as we were walking. all the advise you got is great - the treating is great. i also used a lot of gently urging saying things like "it's ok, jessie" "c'mon, jessie, it's ok" and i always urged her quietly, speaking close to her ear. my jessie is still a cautious dog - not sure if this a poodle trait or not, so even now @ 16 months old i sometimes have to reassure her when we are venturing down new streets or are in new surroundings with a LOT of stimuli
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great suggestions, thanks! I have been carrying him up until now because he wouldn't really walk on leash. He would stop dead and pull against it. However I think I have figured out that the clasp on the leash I had was too heavy for him, so I just went out and bought him a lighter one and did some practice walking in a parking lot and he was so much better! I will carry him on the very busy road next to my condo until we get to the lighter road and then he can walk. We took 40 minutes coming in this morning, tomorrow morning we might take an hour.

He's such a great little guy and has a fantastic temperament overall, so I think as long as I handle this properly, we will be fine.
 

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great news - glad you are making progress. one suggesstion, resist as much as possible to not pick him up. when he stops and pulls back on the leash, trying crouching and cheerfully calling him to you while treating. of course, when he comes to you, he deserves lots of praise. then continue your walk. first, you will establish that you are the alpha dog, not him - lol - & just because he's so darn cute, he can't get over on you. plus, you by using his name and calling him to you, you will begin to teach him "recall" which is, probably, the most important command we could teach our dogs. it could, one day, save their lives. ESPECIALLY these city dogs....
 

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Vegas was a little weary of sounds in the backyard when I first got him, he would freeze and completely ignore treats when he heard a sound and try to bolt to the door. It was awful when my neighbors were putting new shingles on their roof. I was actually getting worried he may be gunshy, though I didn't give up. We didn't go inside until he was calm outside, sometimes on walks he'll put his tail down when he hears a strange sound and look in the direction - I keep walking, completely ignore it, and give him a praise party when his tail is up and wagging again.

I'm not sure if I'm doing everything right :x I'm not really going on based what anyone's told me because I've never really asked about it, but it's working for me and him!
 

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I live downtown Toronto as well, and while both Matrix and Mitch were accustomed to the busy roads and high traffic, Mitch used to get a bit over stimulated if we walked along yonge or university for too long. What I've done is walk down yonge for a block and then take the next left or right onto a side road and then walk down that road and then get back onto yonge, walk a block and repeat. It worked really well for him and now he is quite calm even when firetrucks go by with sirens on.
 
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