Tess Refuses to Leave Her Comfort Zone - My Yard - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 11-03-2012, 04:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tess Refuses to Leave Her Comfort Zone - My Yard

I have been trying to teach Tess (10 weeks old yesterday) to walk on a loose leash and lately I have been trying to get her to walk to the corner of my street but she is having no part of this. I will walk and she will pull back on her leash or attempt to lie down to keep me from going any further. If I turn around to head back toward my house, she runs all the way back and into the yard ahead of me. She is so different than my last two dogs, both of them loved to go on walks, even as puppies, and they were so outgoing, but not Tess. Anyone else have this issue? Is it the breed? Maybe the age? She's so relaxed and comfortable in our yard and our home.

I have been trying to socialize her and have been taking her everywhere, one day it's Petco and the next day it's PetSmart. Our first few days at these establishments didn't go well, Tess would pull back not wanting to enter the store and constantly trying to get me to go back outside. She would become afraid of every dog she came across. After a week of bringing her to Petco, today she hit a milestone and actually warmed up a bit to a male dog who was 7 years old. The dog's owner helped out tremendously by warming up to her and then she saw me playing and petting the owners dog, so that may have helped with her confidence. Then we met a man who had recently adopted a GSD mix who was a year old and very sweet and Tess actually took to her after we talked for a while. The two of them kissed and I was in my glory. I will continue taking her back to these places as often as I can. She also starts beginner classes on Wednesday, I can't wait. Does anyone else have any issues similar to these? If so, I'd love to hear about them. It really helps to know that there are other's having similar problems with their puppies.

I know I have my hands full and I do blame some of her issues on leaving her mother earlier than she should have at 7 weeks, but she's here now and we love her dearly, even though she is a little devil dog in disguise.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Come on, you mean to tell me that nobody has an issue with walking their dog on a loose leash or their dog going for short walks outside of their yard? How about a puppy who is afraid of other dogs? I know she is only 10 weeks but still, I've had other dogs who loved to venture outside on walks even before 10 weeks, my Lab for one, was walking around the block with me at 8 weeks of age.

I really could use some guidance from someone who has experience with the GSD breed. Any suggestions, advice or similar experiences are truly welcomed.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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yup,I was having the same problem. I had someone else walk with me and take my other dog, worked like a charm. My pup will follow my other dog everywhere while walking. I still have some issues when taking him by himself but every so often he surprises me and can't wait to go up the street lol. you could also try bribing with treats lol
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Mine didn't like leaving the house either at first (around 8-9 weeks). He would whine the whole way. But I just gave him a few weeks to get used to his surroundings and see everything isn't going to hurt you, then at about 13 weeks I started trying to walk him again and he's fine with it now. Generally between 8-12 weeks is the fearful stage I believe


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Old 11-04-2012, 11:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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there's suppose to be a fearful stage but i don't have
much faith in the stages. i think how a dog reacts at
a certain time depends on the individual dog.

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Originally Posted by RyleesDad View Post
Mine didn't like leaving the house either at first (around 8-9 weeks). He would whine the whole way. But I just gave him a few weeks to get used to his surroundings and see everything isn't going to hurt you, then at about 13 weeks I started trying to walk him again and he's fine with it now.

>>>> Generally between 8-12 weeks is the fearful stage I believe<<<<


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Old 11-04-2012, 11:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i didn't go to Pet stores with my pup untill a week
after he had his 3rd round a shots. i think i started
taking him to Pet stores around 6 months old.

drive your dog somewhere to play and potty.
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I didn't let Seven walk anywhere until after 4th round of shots (vet rec) around 16 weeks. I had already carried her to the pet store a few times so she was eager to explore more in her feet.

10 weeks is a little young...there's quite a bit they aren't protected from at that age.


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Old 11-04-2012, 12:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Start by rewarding each step she takes towards leaving the house. Make sure you are inviting her to come to you, take toys (squeaky) and treats. Remain calm and upbeat and try to view the world through her eyes.
What also works is to skip leaving the house on leash and take the car so she learns that there is more fun than just inside your home.
Take her to a class where she can meet and safely interact with social adult dogs. That took care of WD's early anxiety towards any dog that didn't look like a GSD.
If she races home on leash, try to let her come back to you and play with her.
I had a client with a GSD pup like you are describing yours and that dog grew up and is fine. Sometime we worry too much about little puppy quirks and this causes anxiety that the dog feels. I am also guilty of this myself. Don't forget to enjoy her in the meantime; they are big before you know it.
I wish breeders would not release their pups before they are 9 weeks old and more confident. It means that breeders have to work on early socialization, which I am happy to pay a good price for.
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Ranger was just like that! He gradually worked his way up to a decent walking distance, but he still isn't thrilled with walks! The fearfullness ( I think) is just a socialization thing and will take time and working with him.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Oh I am thrilled to hear that this happens to others around this age. Yes, 10 weeks is a little young to take out to pet stores, however, it is perfectly fine with her vet and the trainer who's class I'll be taking her to beginning Wednesday, advised me to start taking her out to as many places as I could as long as I supervised everything she did. Hopefully this will be okay, now I'm sure I'll start worrying about this too!

Wolfy dog - I am going to start bringing treats with me when I attempt to walk her and reward her as she progresses down the street. That's an excellent idea, thank you. I also agree with you regarding breeders releasing their dogs too soon. I constantly worry about Tess being let go at 7 weeks, but the breeder really had to do it this way. She's a good breeder, very cautious, but there were extenuating circumstances as to why she had to let the puppies go this soon. Her husband was in the hospital and just had both of his legs amputated due to diabetes and there was nobody to look after the puppies or her other dogs at the time. I do not know much more, only that all the puppies from the litter Tess came from where sent to their owners a week early due to these circumstances. So now with lots of love and a lot of work, hopefully Tess will grow up to be as gentle and loving as her mother.

I can't wait until she starts classes on Wednesday!
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