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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Background: 8 week old female, just adopted. Still going through potty training.

My pup is having anxiety while going on walks. It doesn't help that her frequent urination is causing us to walk her probably a dozen times a day. Sometimes she can be cool, but most times she wants to just dart back to our place.

I am thinking of going to a long leash based on some of the stuff I've read here and based on the safety issues of my community (coyotes have been known to snatch small dogs). Get her more into the pattern of feeling like she's following and playing with me rather then pulling constantly on her current 5 foot leash.

Should I go a step further and get a body harness? With how quick she will grow out of it, I wouldn't mind saving the cost. At least the long leash I will be able to use again on hikes and teaching her to be off the leash when she gets older.

But what is most important is reducing her anxiety on walks. So I'll spend whatever I have to. Thanks for any recommendations or advice.
 

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Background: 8 week old female, just adopted. Still going through potty training.

My pup is having anxiety while going on walks. It doesn't help that her frequent urination is causing us to walk her probably a dozen times a day. Sometimes she can be cool, but most times she wants to just dart back to our place.

I am thinking of going to a long leash based on some of the stuff I've read here and based on the safety issues of my community (coyotes have been known to snatch small dogs). Get her more into the pattern of feeling like she's following and playing with me rather then pulling constantly on her current 5 foot leash.

Should I go a step further and get a body harness? With how quick she will grow out of it, I wouldn't mind saving the cost. At least the long leash I will be able to use again on hikes and teaching her to be off the leash when she gets older.

But what is most important is reducing her anxiety on walks. So I'll spend whatever I have to. Thanks for any recommendations or advice.
Put her on a long line. Potty breaks should not be walks as you want her to relieve herself and not be hiking along. On a long line you can take her to the correct spot and just stand and let her do her thing. Long lines are great for hikes when she gets older. Loads of room to run and explore without you interfering. I have a dog that cannot be off leash and we love her long line. I made it with two $2 clips and $3 worth of marine rope. It clips around my waist and I prevent slipping with two well placed knots that the clip sits between. For added security I wrapped the knots on each end with electrical tape. It has the added bonus of doubling as a running line if I stop for lunch or overnight. I slip the handle of her leash on it and fasten each end to a tree. It's great if you need to be thrifty.
 

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Harnesses are made for pulling, so yeah, save your money. I don't know your situation, but if you're feeling like you have to take her for frequent "walks" on leash, I'm guessing you have no yard or outside area for her to be safely off leash. Most puppies at that age will willingly follow you...but if the area is not fenced or secure, it's probably not a good idea to try that. Is there a tennis court, or a school nearby that you could take her to? (Of course anywhere outside is potentially lethal to your puppy until she's had all her vaccines, so be super careful and don't ever take her anywhere other dogs frequent!)

I'd start teaching the puppy a proper heel, using lots of treats and luring to show her what that means, and this is best done indoors without any distractions. Did you notice how easily puppies get distracted LOL! YouTube has some great videos you can watch for help with this!

Anyway, I have not personally ever used a long line to teach a dog anything, or to walk them. For me, Initially training mostly occurs indoors because it's less distracting. Outdoors it's difficult for puppies to stay focused on anything for too long at that age. So just play with her, engage her, and become her true friend! If you see your puppy getting overwhelmed, respond to that by taking her away from whatever it is that's causing her distress! Let her know you're to be trusted! At 9 wks old, that's WAY more important than any training you have in mind! She's a baby, but these babies have long memories, despite what others say about them living in the moment! Good Luck, and show us pictures!
 
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Not sure if the anxiety is something to worry about when they are that young. My puppy was exactly like that at around 8-12wks. Didn't like going out and about and wanted to dart home as soon as possible. I just eased him into things and tried not to push him too hard. I was really worried at the time that he might have bad nerves or be fearful, but he's 14 months now and has nerves of steel and a great personality. I really can't be sure how much of him growing up well was nature and how much was nurture. I tried to be cautious and deliberate and do everything right with him, but his line had great temperaments so it just might just be nature.

I also got my puppy in July and he really didn't do well in the summer heat with the puppy fur. That might have been part of the issue.

As for the leash training, my community is very tolerant of off leash dogs so I had him off leash from the very beginning at 8 wks. He was very cautious, obedient, and stuck close to me though. I did do leash training with him from the beginning, but he's been off leash for 95% of his life and does fine with it. He does perfect on a leash as well.

I live in a dense city and I wanted him to be really friendly towards people and other dogs. I eased him into interactions with people and dogs from a very young age, within his comfort zone. Particularly i tried to control other dogs access to him, such that he felt protected and in control. For example, if i was sitting on the ground with him in my lap the other dog could come within an arms length but I would prevent them from coming any closer and let my dog approach.

When my dog was that young and couldn't hold his bladder I also took him out that often. Most of the outings were just potty though in the front yard. With a few walks/adventures.

As for dealing with coyotes and general safety, I keep a close eye on my dog at all times. I also carry a firearm whenever possible, but i guess that's to taste.
 

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Anyway, I have not personally ever used a long line to teach a dog anything, or to walk them. For me, Initially training mostly occurs indoors because it's less distracting. Outdoors it's difficult for puppies to stay focused on anything for too long at that age. So just play with her, engage her, and become her true friend! If you see your puppy getting overwhelmed, respond to that by taking her away from whatever it is that's causing her distress! Let her know you're to be trusted! At 9 wks old, that's WAY more important than any training you have in mind! She's a baby, but these babies have long memories, despite what others say about them living in the moment! Good Luck, and show us pictures!
I was reading that puppy was not going potty because she was being restrained by the leash and in an area were coyotes are snatching dogs I would not want a puppy off leash. If that's the case a long line should solve the problem. If the problem is actually walking a long line will not solve the issue at her age.

Tim! You have to try working on a long line. They are an awesome tool. I was used to working horses on one so I guess it was a no brainer for me. I use them to teach recalls if I don't have access to a secure area.
 

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I was reading that puppy was not going potty because she was being restrained by the leash and in an area were coyotes are snatching dogs I would not want a puppy off leash. If that's the case a long line should solve the problem. If the problem is actually walking a long line will not solve the issue at her age.

Tim! You have to try working on a long line. They are an awesome tool. I was used to working horses on one so I guess it was a no brainer for me. I use them to teach recalls if I don't have access to a secure area.
My preference has always been to teach all obedience for dogs and puppies off leash. I've been fortunate to have the space to do that, and I get that many people don't. I'm certainly adaptable though, so if/when it ever becomes necessary I would use a long line without hesitation for dog/puppy training!

PS: horses I have used long lines for, and yes it's indespensible there, and I certainly get the crossover, just haven't had the need >:)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Not sure if the anxiety is something to worry about when they are that young. My puppy was exactly like that at around 8-12wks. Didn't like going out and about and wanted to dart home as soon as possible. I just eased him into things and tried not to push him too hard. I was really worried at the time that he might have bad nerves or be fearful, but he's 14 months now and has nerves of steel and a great personality. I really can't be sure how much of him growing up well was nature and how much was nurture. I tried to be cautious and deliberate and do everything right with him, but his line had great temperaments so it just might just be nature.

I also got my puppy in July and he really didn't do well in the summer heat with the puppy fur. That might have been part of the issue.

As for the leash training, my community is very tolerant of off leash dogs so I had him off leash from the very beginning at 8 wks. He was very cautious, obedient, and stuck close to me though. I did do leash training with him from the beginning, but he's been off leash for 95% of his life and does fine with it. He does perfect on a leash as well.

I live in a dense city and I wanted him to be really friendly towards people and other dogs. I eased him into interactions with people and dogs from a very young age, within his comfort zone. Particularly i tried to control other dogs access to him, such that he felt protected and in control. For example, if i was sitting on the ground with him in my lap the other dog could come within an arms length but I would prevent them from coming any closer and let my dog approach.

When my dog was that young and couldn't hold his bladder I also took him out that often. Most of the outings were just potty though in the front yard. With a few walks/adventures.

As for dealing with coyotes and general safety, I keep a close eye on my dog at all times. I also carry a firearm whenever possible, but i guess that's to taste.
Thank you very much for your reply! Was very relatable to my situation. She has an awesome personality and I've already seen her show confidence to other people, bigger dogs, and cats, and she was the alpha female in her litter of 8. So perhaps this will be the same. It will simply be a stage that she will work through.

The heat thing may be on point as well, as her anxiety and wanting to dart home attitude is mostly during the day and it's been hot and humid here.

I mightve missed my opportunity to keep her off the leash. She definitely would've followed me off the leash when we first went home but she is now smart enough to know the way home so if she starts to dart, I'll probably have to catch her. I absolutely can't have her off leash at night due to my proximity to canyons. A stalking coyote would have her before I could draw a gun.

I'll just keep at it. I'll try to shorten her walks, maybe take her to some unfamiliar areas so she loses her sense of being able to dart to the front door, and see if a longer leash will help.

I appreciate all the feedback so far. This forum is great. Thank you.
 

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New surroundings, new person, new everything. I wouldn't worry too much about the darting just yet, especially since she seems okay with other people and animals. It sounds like she's just a bit overwhelmed with the change. I'm unsure of your living situation, but do you have a back yard space? If not, I'd agree with the long line and maybe a nearby patch of grass that you could just stand by while she sniffs around. I'm not sure if you have any chain stores around, but I know Petco usually has collars and harnesses on clearance for like $3-5. I wouldn't spend too much on one, but it might prevent her from getting whiplash or at least make it a little less uncomfortable.
 
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Isn't around 8 weeks the first puppy fear stage?
 
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stop taking an 8 week old on forced marches .

the dog doesn't have its bearings in your home , new environment,

the dog doesn't have the physical capacity , endurance .
This is true but i didn't read into what you are doing as this. I don't really have enough information to be sure. I took from my dog on "walks" for many miles from 8 weeks BUT he got carried almost the entire time.

I remember the take home points from that thread being: genetics are everything, read and respond to your individual dog. A lot of people on this forum seem to think over-socializing a dog will lead to a dog that won't focus on you and will want to ignore you to play with other dogs. My dog loves to get attention from people and play with other dogs but it hasn't reduced his focus on me at all. He is also not allowed to approach any dog or person unless I affirm it.

He had exposure to a wide range of dogs from the beginning that ranged from extremely well- trained and adjusted to extremely poorly trained and adjusted. He's held to his own standards that have nothing to do with the dogs around him. I did pick out a few good solid adult dogs to expose him to as much as possible.
 

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I absolutely can't have her off leash at night due to my proximity to canyons. A stalking coyote would have her before I could draw a gun. .
Yikes, a puppy among canyons and stalking coyotes. Maybe you should add a Kangal or Great Pyrenees to your pack to protect the both of you :grin2:
 

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My 12 week old HATES the heat. She cries in the car until we turn on the AC and she sleeps on an AC vent in the house. We also keep a fan on the side of her crate with the sheet lifted on one side to make sure she doesn't get too hot. When touching her she feels like she just runs warm (maybe it is a normal temp) so we just want to make sure she doesn't over heat. She also makes it clear she doesn't like the heat. We have a kiddie pool in the yard she runs and jumps in and then runs around the yard.
 

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Don't forget the humidity. There have been days when it didn't feel terribly hot out but the humidity level was high. It makes it tough for the dog to cool down by panting.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
New surroundings, new person, new everything. I wouldn't worry too much about the darting just yet, especially since she seems okay with other people and animals. It sounds like she's just a bit overwhelmed with the change. I'm unsure of your living situation, but do you have a back yard space? If not, I'd agree with the long line and maybe a nearby patch of grass that you could just stand by while she sniffs around. I'm not sure if you have any chain stores around, but I know Petco usually has collars and harnesses on clearance for like $3-5. I wouldn't spend too much on one, but it might prevent her from getting whiplash or at least make it a little less uncomfortable.
Thank you for your post and the reassurance! I'm probably overthinking it. I don't have a fenced in area unfortunately. I'm on the edge of a community though that borders a state park, so we have tons of open space and hiking trails. My hopes is for her to be leash free in a year or two. I'm not walking her far right now, contrary to the "forced march" assumption of another member, we have yet to go farther than the park across the street. She's literally darting from what is essentially my front yard back into the house.

This is true but i didn't read into what you are doing as this. I don't really have enough information to be sure. I took from my dog on "walks" for many miles from 8 weeks BUT he got carried almost the entire time.

I remember the take home points from that thread being: genetics are everything, read and respond to your individual dog. A lot of people on this forum seem to think over-socializing a dog will lead to a dog that won't focus on you and will want to ignore you to play with other dogs. My dog loves to get attention from people and play with other dogs but it hasn't reduced his focus on me at all. He is also not allowed to approach any dog or person unless I affirm it.

He had exposure to a wide range of dogs from the beginning that ranged from extremely well- trained and adjusted to extremely poorly trained and adjusted. He's held to his own standards that have nothing to do with the dogs around him. I did pick out a few good solid adult dogs to expose him to as much as possible.
Thanks for the reply. Socialization is a huge part in my training. Unfortunately the GSDs I grew up with were more from working lines and developed protectiveness of the house likely in part to some poor training on our part. Trying to do things right and keep her as socialized as possible.

Yikes, a puppy among canyons and stalking coyotes. Maybe you should add a Kangal or Great Pyrenees to your pack to protect the both of you :grin2:
Yea, they're pretty bold out here. They basically come into the communities at night to pick at garbage. They've been filmed grabbing a small dog from a fenced yard and every now and then you hear of a friend or a neighbor not seeing an outdoor cat anymore. Once she becomes full sized, it shouldn't be a problem, she'll be bigger than them. Rattlesnakes will be the bigger threat at that point. But I still absolutely would not underestimate them.
 
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