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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am concerned about my pup's behavior on our walks. She is just now 11 weeks old.

We have not attend puppy class yet as she needs her second round of shots first. But I do take get her out of the house and socializing in different areas as much as I can. I take her to the petstore just to get her used to being in the car and in different areas, we go to the lake and the park, she rides with me in the car when I go through the bank drive through or car wash, and I take her to friends/family homes so she gets used to going into other people's homes. I also take her to restaurants with outdoor seating about 1-2 times per week.

Lily does really well on yards in the yard around the house and pretty well around my small neighborhood. But she gets very panicky and frantic while walking anywhere else.

I was initially taking her to walks around a local lake, but she cried on the walks and would stop and refuse to move or start hopping and pulling against the leash. I thought that possibly the sidewalks around the lake were too abrasive on her paws or that possibly there was just too much stimulus (ducks, people, dogs, cars, etc.) at once so I started taking her to a local park with dirt trails with a lot less traffic. I take her about 5-7 days a week for about 20-30 minutes. She'll do ok for the first 5 minutes or so, usually walking right behind or next to me. But then something seems to set her off and she panicks. She'll strart crying, barking, whining, hopping, tugging at the leash, and trying to bolt in different directions.

I have attempted several things but don't know if what I am doing is helping or hurting. Usually I just stop moving and ignore her until she calms herself down. Then I'll call her to me and give her a treat and/or affection. Then start walking again. However, once she has panicked once, the walk is usually quite difficult after that as she tries to bolt back to where we just walked from or tried to get back to where we parked. When she does walk nicely I praise her a lot.

Additionally, whenever she sees another person or, especially, another dog, she tries so hard to get to them and will try her hardest to follow them. SHe cries and barks after they leave. I usually make her sit before we pass someone on the trails and make her sit so the person can pet her...it helps to keep her calmer, but when the person walks away she panics to try to follow them. If we continue walking, she literally strangles herself against her collar/leash.

I usually take her when she gets in that crazy energetic puppy modeto burn off that energy. I take treats with me that she sometimes will accept and other times ignores when there is something (person/dog) that she wants more. She also gets walked around the neighborhood once in the morning and once at night and plenty of play inside the house.

Any advice? Am I causing this behavior? or does she just sound too young/scared to be walking with me on the trails?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Originally Posted By: ZeusGSDKris,

A few questions...

1. How old was she when you got her? What is her background? Did she come from a breeder? If so what lines does the breeder work with? Shelter? Rescue?

2. How much "free" exercise does she get, meaning on a long line or in a big fenced in area running, chasing, retrieving, etc.?

There are some conflicting behaviors in your description, but if I am reading it right I don't see fearful or panicked behavior, I see excitement.
Lily was 8 weeks old (to the day) when I brought her home. She isn't from a breeder who was particuarly breeding for a specific line. She came from a home where mom and dad were on the premises together. Apparantly the woman bred her to GSD's so they could keep a pup and sold the rest...so I guess more house pet than anything.

As for free exercise, she gets romp around time in the house. I do occassionally allow her time off leash outside, but it mostly where she just follows me arond the yard or I throw a ball that she'll run and catch. Inside, whenever she is up and ready to play, we do. She usually is crated about 3-5 hours max per day and the rest of the time she is with me. Our playtime includes me throwing her toys and her 'fetching' them. I would say total, about 5 hours of playtime throughout the day usually in spurts.

I hope that answers your questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sounds like a plan! Thanks!

I usually do feed her before our walks - so I'll wait until we get home from now on. I am just starting to really get a good idea of her favorite treats so I'll bring those along. She loves turkey hot dogs and the sample of Innove Evo Small bites food that I got. I haven't really tried any commercial treats yet but will serach through the board for some 'favorites.'

Would it be ok to bring her favorite toy with us too? When we play fetch their is one particular toy that she just carries around her mouth even when I throw other toys. I was thinking of trying to play fetch with her with her favorite toy and then bringing it with us on the walk so she knows that it is still fun time. Or would that ruin my later plans of making sure she walks nicely on her leash. I don't care about a perfect heel, just having her walk beside me and no pulling.

Thanks again for the advice
 
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