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When my puppy sees her lead she sits down or runs away in the house and sometimes she will even go under the table. If she sees people coming to the house she cowers by my seat. Please help
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How old is she, and how long have you had her? Is the anxiety about the lead dislike of the lead itself, or because she is fearful of going outside, do you think?

The solution to both problems is to associate the lead and people coming to the house with things she loves. If the lead has become a source of constriction and discomfort that may take a while. I would play lots of off leash games of follow-the-leader in the house and garden (or another safe enclosed space), rewarding her generously for staying close and making it fun rather than a chore. Run, stop, change direction, go faster, slower, pretend to run away - and every time she catches up and manages to stay close praise her and give her several tiny treats. Once she really knows and loves the game add a cue - I use "With me!" Meanwhile leave the lead lying around, and occasionally drop a treat near it. Pick it up, put it down, toss her a treat, walk away. Work on making the lead a predictor of good stuff before you even attempt to put it back on her. Then use the follow me game and cue to keep her with you, and perhaps a harness to avoid collar yanks.

If she is worried about going out you need to address why, and build her confidence. Have there been any incidents that might have scared her? Have you been in lockdown, making socialisation and learning about the world more difficult? Often just sitting and watching the world go by is the best way to grow confidence - no pressure, keeping a good distance from anything potentially scary and happy chat and treats to reassure her and make outings pleasurable. Same with visitors - ask them to ignore her, and let her decide when she is ready to greet them. Asking them to sit on the floor and avoid even looking at her while talking to you and gently tossing treats across the room may help.
 

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How old is she, and how long have you had her? Is the anxiety about the lead dislike of the lead itself, or because she is fearful of going outside, do you think?

The solution to both problems is to associate the lead and people coming to the house with things she loves. If the lead has become a source of constriction and discomfort that may take a while. I would play lots of off leash games of follow-the-leader in the house and garden (or another safe enclosed space), rewarding her generously for staying close and making it fun rather than a chore. Run, stop, change direction, go faster, slower, pretend to run away - and every time she catches up and manages to stay close praise her and give her several tiny treats. Once she really knows and loves the game add a cue - I use "With me!" Meanwhile leave the lead lying around, and occasionally drop a treat near it. Pick it up, put it down, toss her a treat, walk away. Work on making the lead a predictor of good stuff before you even attempt to put it back on her. Then use the follow me game and cue to keep her with you, and perhaps a harness to avoid collar yanks.

If she is worried about going out you need to address why, and build her confidence. Have there been any incidents that might have scared her? Have you been in lockdown, making socialisation and learning about the world more difficult? Often just sitting and watching the world go by is the best way to grow confidence - no pressure, keeping a good distance from anything potentially scary and happy chat and treats to reassure her and make outings pleasurable. Same with visitors - ask them to ignore her, and let her decide when she is ready to greet them. Asking them to sit on the floor and avoid even looking at her while talking to you and gently tossing treats across the room may help.
She is 5 months old we got at 2 months old she was very nervous when we got her from the Breader. She is still very nervous the slightest of sudden movements and she will jump
 

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I would get on socialization right away if that is the case about the anxiety. Start simple, even you can play different with different hats, odd things laying around. Then I would start working with people from a distance. I second fjm about working with lots of treats and the follow game. I would also start working on clipping her face, feet, and brushing her. That way she becomes accustomed to grooming while she is still young.
Also if she is not already on a schedule I would get her on one.

I hope this helps.
 

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Invite friends over, and when they come in ask them to sit on the floor. Weird I know, but sometimes having people in her area and at her level makes them seem less intimidating. When she slowly approaches just have them stay sitting without reaching out to her. Have them talk at a soft normal tone. Often times people get excited and high pitched approaching dogs and for her the higher pitch might be scary too. My mom used to do this with scared fosters, it took a lot of friends visiting but it did help. Then she’d move to walking around the outside of parks for a few weeks so they’d get used to the loudness of kids/people. After a few weeks she’d slowly move inward, each day getting closer and closer to the busy areas of the park.
 

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it sounds as if she is what is known as a "soft" dog - she will probably do much, much better with positive reward based training than with anything involving aversives. I would work on making life feel safe and predictable for her, with as fixed a routine as you can manage. Training - short, happy sessions making a game of it - can help enormously as long as you are consistent. Try to avoid any situations that require force (most definitely never force her to "face her fears"), and make sure she has a safe quiet place to retreat to. Praise and reward confidence and bravery, and always be prepared to step in and protect her. Simply standing between her and the thing she is worried about sends a very powerful message to a dog.

It would be a good idea to start playing lots of swapping games by giving her something low value, asking her to swap it for something high value, and then giving back the low value thing too. I would also teach On/Off, Up/Down etc, with praise and treats, making a happy game of them. Those, together with Come and Wait, cover most every day needs, and mean that you tell her what is needed rather than having to grab her.

Poppy was nervous as a puppy, and still dislikes too much change all at once (she is very happy with lock down, which means we stay at home with no visitors!). I found she was particularly anxious about people bending and looming over her, while she would happily approach anyone crouched down. She was happier walking in the company of more confident dogs, who could show her what was and was not safe (I did try to take her out on her own sometimes, so she did not become competely dependent on Sophy, my other dog). It took a while - I would tell myself that by the time she was two she would be fine - and sometimes it felt as if we took two steps backwards for every one forwards, but one day I realised that she was nearly two and yes, she had been fine for months. Not the world's most confident dog, but happy to greet dogs and people politely, enjoying walks and rarely bothered by anything we saw or heard, and generally relaxed and cheerful. So it is worth the patience and perseverance!
 

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Do you know any of what her life was at the breeders? I know she was only a short time there but maybe someone accidentally hurt her trying to leash her? It can happen rather easily with a puppy.
Do you have her wear a collar with leash to walk or do you use a walking harness?

You may want to look at some of Susan Garrets or Ian Dunbars free videos. I find them very helpful.
I'm going to throw in a lot of links to training information here below. Two of the trainers mentioned above and more resources are included.

Following fjm's suggestions as well, helping her learn some few useful things is likely to help her gain confidence, a little at a time. Another fairly non-threatening way to give her new experiences, once she gets more comfortable on a lead, is to go to a park and just sit with her, letting the world go by her. She can observe without having to interact just yet.

Another less immersive way to try the above, if you have a car and she doesn't mind being in the car, is to go to a parking area near a store or stores where she can safely watch activity from inside the vehicle. When my boys get startled by things I quietly tell them what it is, that's nothing to worry about and I'll look after them, whatever it may be. That seems to help calm them.

Please stay in touch and let us know how you and she are getting along in this. Do you mind telling us her name and what size/variety she is?


Ian Dunbar
A lot of free info

Susan Garrett
A lot of free info
Periodically offers free online video course
"It's Yer Choice" impulse control
Crate games
Look At That

Kikopup YouTube Training videos
Or search YouTube for Kikopup + training topic

Zak George YouTube Training videos

Karen Pryor Clicker Training

AKC training - get certified (USA) or just good things to know and train
AKC Canine Good Citizen - mix or pure breed

AKC Trick Dog - mix or pure breed - get certified (USA) or just fun things to learn

Research on Dog Cognition - Dr Brian Hare
Formal testing not free but search online for examples

Dog Vision
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Do you know any of what her life was at the breeders? I know she was only a short time there but maybe someone accidentally hurt her trying to leash her? It can happen rather easily with a puppy.
Do you have her wear a collar with leash to walk or do you use a walking harness?



I'm going to throw in a lot of links to training information here below. Two of the trainers mentioned above and more resources are included.

Following fjm's suggestions as well, helping her learn some few useful things is likely to help her gain confidence, a little at a time. Another fairly non-threatening way to give her new experiences, once she gets more comfortable on a lead, is to go to a park and just sit with her, letting the world go by her. She can observe without having to interact just yet.

Another less immersive way to try the above, if you have a car and she doesn't mind being in the car, is to go to a parking area near a store or stores where she can safely watch activity from inside the vehicle. When my boys get startled by things I quietly tell them what it is, that's nothing to worry about and I'll look after them, whatever it may be. That seems to help calm them.

Please stay in touch and let us know how you and she are getting along in this. Do you mind telling us her name and what size/variety she is?


Ian Dunbar
A lot of free info

Susan Garrett
A lot of free info
Periodically offers free online video course
"It's Yer Choice" impulse control
Crate games
Look At That

Kikopup YouTube Training videos
Or search YouTube for Kikopup + training topic

Zak George YouTube Training videos

Karen Pryor Clicker Training

AKC training - get certified (USA) or just good things to know and train
AKC Canine Good Citizen - mix or pure breed

AKC Trick Dog - mix or pure breed - get certified (USA) or just fun things to learn

Research on Dog Cognition - Dr Brian Hare
Formal testing not free but search online for examples

Dog Vision
Do you know any of what her life was at the breeders? I know she was only a short time there but maybe someone accidentally hurt her trying to leash her? It can happen rather easily with a puppy.
Do you have her wear a collar with leash to walk or do you use a walking harness?



I'm going to throw in a lot of links to training information here below. Two of the trainers mentioned above and more resources are included.

Following fjm's suggestions as well, helping her learn some few useful things is likely to help her gain confidence, a little at a time. Another fairly non-threatening way to give her new experiences, once she gets more comfortable on a lead, is to go to a park and just sit with her, letting the world go by her. She can observe without having to interact just yet.

Another less immersive way to try the above, if you have a car and she doesn't mind being in the car, is to go to a parking area near a store or stores where she can safely watch activity from inside the vehicle. When my boys get startled by things I quietly tell them what it is, that's nothing to worry about and I'll look after them, whatever it may be. That seems to help calm them.

Please stay in touch and let us know how you and she are getting along in this. Do you mind telling us her name and what size/variety she is?


Ian Dunbar
A lot of free info

Susan Garrett
A lot of free info
Periodically offers free online video course
"It's Yer Choice" impulse control
Crate games
Look At That

Kikopup YouTube Training videos
Or search YouTube for Kikopup + training topic

Zak George YouTube Training videos

Karen Pryor Clicker Training

AKC training - get certified (USA) or just good things to know and train
AKC Canine Good Citizen - mix or pure breed

AKC Trick Dog - mix or pure breed - get certified (USA) or just fun things to learn

Research on Dog Cognition - Dr Brian Hare
Formal testing not free but search online for examples

Dog Vision
we got Millie at 2 months old Millie is now 5 months old now and as for her life at the breaders she was kept in a dog kennel in the front garden of a farm yard It didn’t look the best (muck everywhere and dirty water in a bucket) She was very nervous when we arrived and wouldn’t come out of the kennel. we don’t know if she was badly cared for.
 

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Sounds as if she wasn't really cared for at all in her first weeks, poor thing. That does mean that you may always be playing catch up, but you can certainly help her become more confident and more relaxed if you are patient.
 
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