Puppy Afraid of Drainage Grate - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-04-2019, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Puppy Afraid of Drainage Grate

When Blitz was about 9 weeks old we took a walk at night along the street. I did not notice as my kids were distracting me and leaves were covering it but he walked toward a drainage grate and his paw fell through. I beleive this traumatized him. Fast forward to today, he is 5 months old and he can go on walks in the woods no problem. Anytime we take a walk on the street if he sees a drainage grate he plants himself and refuses to go forward. I can sometimes cross the street and walk around the grate or sometimes I carry him past it but he is getting heavy so I can't continue doing this for very long. Any advice on getting him over his fear? I would like to be able to walk him down the street as well as in the woods.

Last edited by tleroy; 02-04-2019 at 06:36 PM.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-04-2019, 06:59 PM
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My grown rescue dog was afraid of those! You would be proud of him now, he stands right at the edge and sniffs down inside them.

What I did? Nothing. The art to doing “nothing”...you act casual, kind of bored. Leash is loose and you let him make a wide circuit or cross the street if he wants. If he happened to walk up close, I would say,”wow! brave!” in a pleased tone. He kind of cured himself, at his own pace...it was gradual, but more and more I noticed that he would go right up to the edge and stick his nose down and have a sniff when we went by.

If I wanted to hurry the process along, I might try this: he is planted near grate refusing to walk. I take a tasty treat out of my pocket, show him and call to him, give gentle tug on leash, and wait. After a few minutes I bet he would gather his courage and walk by the grate to get to his owner and his treat! After several repeats ( maybe few days or a week?) I bet he will be willing to pass grates...although they may never be his favorite thing...
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-04-2019, 07:40 PM
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My male hates them. Anything metal in the streets. So weird. No idea why or what they feel when they go over them but it seems fairly common.

Will your puppy play tug? Play tug all the way across them. Lure him with food over them. Reward for even the smallest movement towards it. Make a game of them and work him over different surfaces.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-04-2019, 07:51 PM
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Our chihuahua does not like the drains in the street they are real smart. He used to plant his butt and not want to move. I just walk and we keep our distance from the drains he knows i won’t make him walk so close to them and he keeps moving. Then I slowly was able to walk him closer to where he is comfortable .


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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-04-2019, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everone for the advice. It's good to know that Blitz is not the only dog with this fear. I will try bringing some treats on our next walk and see if I can get him to walk past while praising him.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-04-2019, 09:16 PM
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this can be tricky. You'll have to play around to find the best balance of encouraging exploration and making rules, like no, you cannot run into the street to avoid it. I found obedience works well. If the dog is paying attention to you or a toy or a treat they can't think about being afraid. Praise any acts of bravery, especially if you walk sorta-kinda calmly by. Sometimes some autonomy will work..loose leash and just stand around near it...but if you dog is acting frightened, try that another day. It can take a good 30 minutes for a dog to relax from something that spooks them (or so I have read).

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-04-2019, 09:28 PM
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Whistle-past-the-graveyard........




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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-04-2019, 09:46 PM
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I had one quite bold dog who would not walk over these street grates of any kind. Near them, fine - cross them? nope.



Thinking on it a bit, I wonder if part of the concern for the dogs is the "noise"? Maybe nothing we can hear but they can.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 07:30 AM
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To me it is an indicator of an environmental stressor and a dog's nerve strength. Nerves are not black and white. A dog can be confident in many areas and then you find a chink in their armor.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Blasiole View Post
To me it is an indicator of an environmental stressor and a dog's nerve strength. Nerves are not black and white. A dog can be confident in many areas and then you find a chink in their armor.
So Chip I see what you are saying. Even thogh he may be brave in other situations like loud noises and aggresion from other dogs, the drainage grate may be his "achilles heel". Would a dog with stronger nerves more easily overcome a bad memory as a puppy?
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