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Puppy training help.....


NateDog
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Hi,

Im new to this forum but need some advice.

I have just got a BC puppy, he is a few days shy of 9weeks, i got him at seven.

I work from 8-5 then have a training session from 5.30 till 7,

Nate (his name) also sleeps seperate from me (was a condition of me getting him, had to be an out doors dog)

in my workshop (at home) in a penned area. He is getting good at toilet training an barely soils his area.

I get up at 6, let him out to pee, call him in (Nate 'Come') then feed him, take him back out shortly after to do any more business he may have, then return to his pen while i go for a run/breakfast/shower for work.

I then take him to work with me, where i have a penned covered area outside that he placed in, after a quick walk.

I talk an pet him as often as i get a chance, he gets water topped up also.

At 12 he is takin to the reserve across the road from work for a run then takin back to work for lunch. then at 5 on my way to training i drop him at my inlaws for puppy sitting.

I pick him up after wards and take him home, take him for a bit of a walk then feed him, take him for another walk then put him n his pen for the night.

Does this sound fair for a puppy?

He has picked up 'sit' very quickly, comes when called most of the time, but being a puppy he wants to eat every thing, which obviously he cannot (not fully vaccinated to start with) and when he does i have to wrestle said item (dead bird :rolleyes: fruit carcass:( ) from his jaws, a few times he has growled and snapped at me, my first reaction is to smack him and say no, repeatedly. is this right?

I have noticed that sometimes (to often) he seems scared to come when called, like im telling him off, regardless of how cheery i try to sound........ he also does not walk well on his lead intermitantly, he jst lays down and stays, if i croutch down and call he comes, but as soon as i stand he lays down and will not follow.

With out the lead he is fine to follow as i walk ahead and run away if he seems distracted, but things that are edible are impossible to get him away from.

 

sorry for ranting :D

 

what should i be teaching him, and how....

cheers,

Joseph

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We have Aussies and have attended obedience classes. I'd take a puppy class when he has had all his shots. Also get some library books on puppy training. Should be some stock dog training books too. Most of these start from the beginning with manners, etc. so it should help. If it were me I'd try to train without the physical threats, etc. You need to bond with him. Biting is a big no, no so nip this in the bud. Good luck. I'm sure others more familiar with the breed will offer their advice. Narita in AZ

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First of all, enjoy your new pup. Remember, he's still a baby. You say Nate's not fully vaccinated soI'd be careful about taking him walking/running in public places until he is. (What does your vet say?) Don't give him the chance to not come when called...practice, practice, practice on a long line with good treats. Also use treats for leash walking, in a familiar environment. Sign up for a puppy class and have fun with Nate. The relationship you develop right now will last a lifetime.

Barb S

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Cheers all, how does a long line work?

also how is the best way to stop dominant behaviour, we also have a little kitten (13weeks) who loves to play with Nate, but he bites her (not hard) and trys to sit on her/ mount her.

i am very interested in puppy classes but he will not be fully vaccinated for another 3 weeks and dont want him to develop any bad habbits before then.

thank you again

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Nate,

 

I have a 9 week old puppy and everything you explained is the same. Jax is terrible on a leash but off he is great. Comes when I want (99% of the time) but when he has a leash on, lies down and will not move. I would like to know if anyone has any suggestions to stopping that!

 

Enjoy the little guy!

 

FERG

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We have an 8 week old puppy that hasn't been on a leash yet. We carried him into the vet for his check and his feet never touched anything but the disinfected exam table there, I carried him into the school where I used to teach so he could meet the staff and a few selected kids and he's been riding along on short trips in the car. Probably next week we'll start practicing leash walking with lots of treats (either in the living room or the back yard depending on the weather). Spirit stays pretty close to me in the small fenced area apart from our bigger back yard, but we're not working on a formal recall yet. If I was using a long line for a recall, I'd get his attention, call him and if he didn't come, walk down the line to him (not reel him in like a fish). I'd also start with pretty short recalls, increasing the chance he'd come. Right now, I'm mainly working on house training and social skills/relationship building...not worrying about sit, stay etc.

Barb S

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also how is the best way to stop dominant behaviour, we also have a little kitten (13weeks) who loves to play with Nate, but he bites her (not hard) and trys to sit on her/ mount her.

 

That sounds like play, not dominance!

You have it lucky. When my Joy was a puppy, she would chases down our cat and try to kill him. Now they're best friends. My stepmom has a cat (we just moved in together) that is a different story, though.

 

I would just keep Nate on that hand dandy long line when he's interacting with the kitten. If he starts showing undesirable behavior, gently lead him away from the kitten and give him something to do. If he's biting, say Ouch (like he's biting a human), lead him away, and give him a treat or a toy. If he's mounting, lead him away and play ball for a couple minutes. When he's totally reliable when you're holding the line, you can try letting go, then eventually doing it off the line.

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That sounds like play, not dominance!

You have it lucky. When my Joy was a puppy, she would chases down our cat and try to kill him. Now they're best friends. My stepmom has a cat (we just moved in together) that is a different story, though.

 

I would just keep Nate on that hand dandy long line when he's interacting with the kitten. If he starts showing undesirable behavior, gently lead him away from the kitten and give him something to do. If he's biting, say Ouch (like he's biting a human), lead him away, and give him a treat or a toy. If he's mounting, lead him away and play ball for a couple minutes. When he's totally reliable when you're holding the line, you can try letting go, then eventually doing it off the line.

 

When you say 'lead him away from the kitten' do you mean drag him away, he's havin a good time harassing the cat so he isnt goin to want to walk away nicely. also the kitten loves it, lil ankle bitter sits there daring him to chase her. if im walking him and she's hiding near by she will run out at him then run off :rolleyes: i will try it tho.

should he be on the lead all the time when he isnt in his pen then, for correctional purposes?

 

We carried him into the vet for his check and his feet never touched anything but the disinfected exam table there, I carried him into the school where I used to teach so he could meet the staff and a few selected kids and he's been riding along on short trips in the car.

 

I dont know if im being irresponsible (and i deffinatley dont mean any offence by it, he is your pup after all) but this sounds just a tad over the top?

 

 

 

Is there anything particularly different between a long line and a leash? Nate has a walking leash around 2 meters long?

 

If I was using a long line for a recall, I'd get his attention, call him and if he didn't come, walk down the line to him (not reel him in like a fish).

 

wouldnt this teach him that 'Come' means, "if you dont want to, ill come to you"

again thank you very much for your help, Nate and I appreciate it

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When you say 'lead him away from the kitten' do you mean drag him away, he's havin a good time harassing the cat so he isnt goin to want to walk away nicely. also the kitten loves it, lil ankle bitter sits there daring him to chase her. if im walking him and she's hiding near by she will run out at him then run off :rolleyes: i will try it tho.

Walk to the end of the line and pick him up; don't drag him. Or if it doesn't bother you let him continue to harass the ktten.

should he be on the lead all the time when he isnt in his pen then, for correctional purposes? Not for correction but to stop trouble before it starts.

I dont know if im being irresponsible (and i deffinatley dont mean any offence by it, he is your pup after all) but this sounds just a tad over the top?you were the one who mentioned Nate didn't have his complete vaccines yet; other than the animal shelter, I can't think of a place with more germs than the vet.

Is there anything particularly different between a long line and a leash? Nate has a walking leash around 2 meters long? a long line can be longer; I've used parachute cord about 15 feet long.

wouldnt this teach him that 'Come' means, "if you dont want to, ill come to you" [bTo my dogs, it means I won't chase you... but you don't have the option of not coming.][/b]

again thank you very much for your help, Nate and I appreciate it

barb s

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Cheers all, how does a long line work?

also how is the best way to stop dominant behaviour, we also have a little kitten (13weeks) who loves to play with Nate, but he bites her (not hard) and trys to sit on her/ mount her.

i am very interested in puppy classes but he will not be fully vaccinated for another 3 weeks and dont want him to develop any bad habbits before then.

thank you again

 

Any bad habbit a 9week old puppy learns can be corrected very easily. I wouldn't worry about that too much at this point. I think one of my trainers once told me that it only takes 21 days to correct an un-wanted behaviour. Keep an eye on puppy and kitten, make sure nothing ever gets out of control. If he starts getting too rowdy, I would re-direct his behaviour to something else. Same goes for mouthing, just give him something appropriate to chew on. Keep him on a leash when you can supervise, this way he'll get used to it being on. Good treats for him could be his kibble but more often than not something soft and easy to chew works best. I use natural balance food roll, cut into little pieces or baked chicken livers. (cut up to about the size of the nail on my pinky finger) Cheese is also popular.

Long lines can be home made or just a really long leash, ours is 50' I think. If you want to teach a really good recall, I would make sure that everytime the dog comes to me is a party. Happy, Happy, treats etc. NEVER call your dog to you and discipline him, this will make him not want to come. You want coming to you to be the best thing in the world.

I would spend most of the time (once he is vaccinated) taking him places and making sure he gets well socialized though, you don't need a dog who is afraid of strangers...trust me on that one!

Oh, and if you want to get that carcass out of his mouth, I would carry something worth a trade in my pocket. Super yummy treats. Dogs can be very easily bribed! And then work on him allowing you to take food away. If he's chewing on a bone, offer a treat and take the bone, give it right back. When feeding his kibble, take the dish away and give it back, stick your hand in the dish, take a few pieces out and put them back. Hand feeding a few meals here and there wouldn't hurt either. This way he learns that you aren't trying to steal what he has.

A really good book to check out would be "Parenting your dog" by Trish King or "The power of positive dog training" by Pat Miller.

Good Luck, have fun!

 

ETA: by "correct" an unwanted behaviour I mean, to learn a more appropriate one for that situation, no physical corrections.

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I have heard that a young puppy mounting is really just a play dominance, to say "I am the alpha puppy" and not an early developing humping. We redirected only when that play did not cease within a few seconds. I recommend NOT trimming the kittens nails, and let her show him what they are for. If you want to interupt the kitten play without being the bigbadguy, try water in a small spray bottle. One short stream spray on him will interupt them with a "HEY?! what was that?" Don't let them see you direct it at them or he will learn it's the bottle and not Kitty's amazing unfortold powers..... He will connect kitty play as a risk of getting that mystery zap. But supervise them, and tell him "That'll Do" when you end their play before it gets rough, and redirect immediately with a toy and your interection. Your relationship is the reward, and you are more fun than some ole cat anyway. Many a cat hater got beat up as a puppy by owners...teach him respect but not fear or loathing.

 

On the food bowl and taking food from his mouth, he is still sooo young. You must be the Alpha and in charge of this. A good "DROP IT" with a reward of a yummy like a hotdog cube will work on getting him eager to drop whatever to see what he gets instead. I found the NILIF section on eating and food bowl manners REALLY good advice. ... pick up his bowl, put a delicious yummy in it, and give it back. He'll love to let you take it away. Positive reinforcement of your desired behavior, not always negative punishment. Always include the GOOD lesson if you can.

 

Not training treats but healthy treats: apple chunks, stumps off my kids carrots, frozen chicken trimmings (throw the skin & fat into a small boiling water pot, then freeze em on a cookie sheet) Pirate loved these when he was teething. That and my old leather barn gloves. He is still working on them...

 

Reminder to all newbies, including myself: The Border Collie IS UNQUESTIONABLY PROVEN to be the SMARTEST dog on the planet. They are not like any dog you have ever had before. My dog already at 6 months is OUT-THINKING me.... I am the slow learner in this house.

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When you say 'lead him away from the kitten' do you mean drag him away, he's havin a good time harassing the cat so he isnt goin to want to walk away nicely. also the kitten loves it, lil ankle bitter sits there daring him to chase her. if im walking him and she's hiding near by she will run out at him then run off biggrin.gif i will try it tho.

should he be on the lead all the time when he isnt in his pen then, for correctional purposes?

 

I don't really like dragging Joy anywhere. If I'm giving her a 'correction' (using that term loosely here) I give her an option. If she's being to rough with the kitty Angel, I tell her to stop. If she doesn't let up in a few seconds by her choice, I use slight pressure. If she still doesn't listen, I grab her collar and she gets a time out from playing for a bit. It's like my 4 year old cousin with Joy. If she runs around Joy (major no-no!) I tell her to knock it off, or she'll get bit. If she still doesn't listen, TV stays off for a 1/2 hour. If she doesn't listen after that, she gets picked up and gets a time out in her room. Just upping the ante for punishments.

I also understand that your boy doesn't WANT to stop harassing the kitten. By giving him the option to correct the situation himself first, you're helping him become more of a 'critical thinker' as an adult. Some dogs have trouble figuring things out for themselves (if I do A, will it get me B?) and that can be a pain in the butt during training later in life. I prefer this to correcting the dog right off the bat. Correcting immediately by physical punishments may get the job done soon, but it isn't as effective in the long run, IMO.

For treats, I would boil a pound of chicken a week, dice it and freeze it. Low fat, low calories, low cost.

 

ETA:

Something I've learned with the whole dog vs. cat thing:

 

Most people seem to think that the dogs are the only issue. Cats need to be trained too. If your kitten is taunting the dog, don't be afraid to give time outs. In this case, you have two young animals. It's hard, and unfair, to train a dog to idly sit back while a cat is taunting them, pouncing on their tail..etc. The cat should be taught how to behave. I took my cat Genghis (our original cat Joy grew up with) and would give him a time out in the bathroom when I was training Joy and he would come sidling up to her and yanking on her tail.

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Cool, thank you all for being incredibly helpfull.

Nate got his second Vaccination today, 3wks and we can start exploring the world :rolleyes: yay can't wait.

Brought a little rabbit harness ($15 cheaper than a kitten harness ?) yesterday so we can fairly walk both of them at the same time :D kitten is a little unimpressed but im sure she will cope :D

Nate is doing well leashed full time, doesnt get a chance to pee inside and gets a big pat on the back when he goes out side.

 

With the treats, how do you store frozen meats? do you just take out a couple of bits at a time when you intend to give comands?

Ive been using his kibble as a treat as its small and easily kept in my pocket for quick recognition/praise, yesterday i brought some "Smacko's" which are treats, but they are quite large and obviously smell a lot so i cant have them any where near him while trying to train as he just goes into a food trance......

 

Also if i tell him to stop something and he doesnt, or just gets rougher etc and i put him in his pen will he get a negative association with the pen?

 

cheers again

Joseph

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With the treats, how do you store frozen meats? do you just take out a couple of bits at a time when you intend to give comands?

Ive been using his kibble as a treat as its small and easily kept in my pocket for quick recognition/praise, yesterday

Joseph

Just a funny story about treats in your pocket. When I was training my first dog (about 1990!!!) I cooked some beef heart and put it in a baggie in my jacket pocket and forgot to take it out at the end of the training session. A few days later, I kept smelling this disgusting smell in my closet at school and also at home. It took another few days before I realized it was the beef heart rotting away in my coat pocket!!!

Barb S

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I can so relate to that story, Barb. :rolleyes:

 

My preference for training treats is something non-greasy (for me), soft and tasty. I usually have small zip baggies with cubes of a selection of treats - low fat tasty cheese, and maybe chicken loaf, or cabana or some kind of sausage, or microwaved skinless hot dogs - all cut up into small cubes - size depends on size of dog. Some people bake or dry lamb liver.

 

The main thing about the treats IMHO is that they are soft and small enough for the dog to eat quickly and that they are highly valued by the dog. The more difficult the thing you are trying to teach or the situation in which you're teaching it, the higher value treats you'll use. You often want to be able to deliver rapid reinforcement (heard it called 'fast food' at a seminar the other week :D ) - e..g when teaching targetting.

 

For general training - I prefer a clicker to a whistle - quicker and easier - but I have to say, because I'm a bit of a lazy trainer, I tend to use a verbal marker ('Yes" said in a very excited tone.)

 

As far as using the pen as a time-out - as long as you just put him in there in a fairly neutral way (i.e. not angry), and then bring him out again when he's calmer, it shouldn't be a problem - and you'll balance that by most of the time putting him in there with good stuff - biscuit or bone or something like that.

 

I'd be getting Nate out and about in the world before that 3 week period - even if you carry him. This is the most important time for Nate to be experiencing as much of the world as he can - meeting different people, seeing different sights, hearing different souinds etc. Many veterinarians now are becoming less cautious about waiting till 2 weeks after the second shots - unless there is an active parvo outbreak in the area. Lack of socialisation (controlled exposure to the world) is now regarded as more dangerous in the long term. Double check with your vet, of course, but I wouldn't be waiting.

 

You might want to have a look at Ian Dunbar's site - there are free downloadable books there, including After you get your puppy - which would be useful reading if yuou haven't done it already.

 

Oh, and I do hope you're taking lots of photos - they grow way too quickly.

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Thanks for that website Tassie

Thank god for the digital camera and external hard drives i have pictures a plenty :rolleyes:

One thing i did note on socialisation on that site is that it says

You now have just a few weeks left to socialize your puppy. Unfortunately, your pup needs to be confined indoors until he is at least three months old, when he has acquired sufficient immunity through his puppy shots against the more serious dog diseases.

3months is a long time? lol what happened to 12 weeks?

When nate is doin something undesireable and I want him to stop (i.e eating naughty things, playing too ruff with kitty etc)

and I try to lead him away he pays no attention to me, i say stop or call to him but nothing, i end up pulling on his collar to stop him but this is bad isnt it....... I need to get him to choose to stop before i can praise him for stopping, am i right? should i wave a treat in front of his face to get his attention?

 

Also how do i go about teaching fetch? if i roll/throw the ball out he runs to it (eventually) touches it, or picks it up. then drops it and runs back while i look like a dork saying 'Fetch Nate, Fetch' as happily as i can......

 

Cheers everyone

Joseph & Nate

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I can so relate to that story, Barb. :rolleyes:

I'd be getting Nate out and about in the world before that 3 week period - even if you carry him. This is the most important time for Nate to be experiencing as much of the world as he can - meeting different people, seeing different sights, hearing different souinds etc. Many veterinarians now are becoming less cautious about waiting till 2 weeks after the second shots - unless there is an active parvo outbreak in the area. Lack of socialisation (controlled exposure to the world) is now regarded as more dangerous in the long term. Double check with your vet, of course, but I wouldn't be waiting.

I took our new pup Spirit to my old principal's house tonight for a meet and greet with a 90 year old blind grandma, the principal, his wife, and sister-in-law and his 8 year old BC. Spirit's feet never touched the ground but he was great being passed from lap to lap. I think maybe we should add therapy dog to his list of intended activities!

Barb S

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Joseph, I think that 3 months thing is probably something that just hasn't been revised (and I think they mean 12 weeks anyway :D ). As long as there's no active parvo or something really horrible in the area, I personally took my pup out and about - visiting friends with nice vaccinated healthy dogs and so on. Lots of rides in the car too.

 

As far as the 'not paying attention' thing goes, I give my boy a couple of chances to respond (usually to "Leave the kitty now" :D ) and if he doesn't, I just pick him up and remove him, and either sit with him for a while, or give him something else to do. (He doesn't have a collar on all the time). And yes, ideally the dog should be making a choice, but there are times when they simply don't have enough life under their belt, or the situation is such that they're incapable of making a 'good' choice - then they just need help IMHO.

 

I think if you do a search under teaching retrieve or fetch or something, you'll find some help there.

 

 

:rolleyes: Barb - yes, I think you definitely need to include 'therapy dog' in Spirit's list of "what I'm going to be when I grow up"! Sounds like he's a natural. :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well Nate is getting big fast and has been very good (yeh right) so far, got his final Vac last week and is in great shape (says vet)

I decided to get him a harness rather than walking with his collar as the anchor point, he was sceptical at first buy adjusted great, untill yesterday...... went to take him for a walk, got him out of his pen, very excited, put on his harness, still very excited, turn to start walking, he follows for a few steps then stops dead and sits down..... i call, he comes to me no worries but when i turn to walk he just sits there, or lays down..... wierd i thought.

He did the same at lunch today when i went for a walk, so i carried him for a bit (still had places to go and limited time to get there) got to a shop, tied him outside while i popped inside. came back out and untied him then he decided to walk sweet as.... walking walking walking fine then he just lay down and stopped.... confussed as to what was triggering this behaviour, but he stood back up and it turns out he had stopped (in a laying position?) to pee.........

 

any suggestions.....

cheers again

Joseph and Nate

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hmmm. Is there any chance something could have freaked him out? If he was in-fact lying down, it may have been submissive urination, some dogs will do this when scared. I don't know how old he is now, but he could be going through one of those fear periods.

Hopefully someone will have useful information for you on that topic...usually if you just carry on as if nothing is wrong, being nonchalant about whatever dog is nervous around, they seem to snap out of it pretty quickly.

Maybe you should bring some super tasty treats with you on walk and when he does this call him to you and reward him while you keep walking....

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No apparent fear, or anything to cause fear, (we were passing down a driveway away from anything really)

Always have bickies in my pocket but as soon as i put my hand in my pocket he comes, and then sits waiting for his treat..... the treat seems to be to much of a cue to 'sit'.....

cheers

 

(12.5weeks now)

Joseph & Nate

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NateDog, your last post really took me back to when Odin was little. We started walking him on a leash immediately, about 10 weeks, venturing into the neighborhood after 2nd shots, about 12 weeks I think?. It was a bit slow at first, but then he seemed to catch on for a while. Around 13-14 weeks, we started getting the behavior you describe. In Odin's case, it was submissive urination, as well as the fact that he just wasn't really leash-trained yet. The couple of better weeks between when we started and later was a reAlly short time in retrospect - not an indication he was actually ok with all the aspects of the leash, like the pressure it can put on a dog to walk with their owner towards or near something scary when they wouldn't choose to themselves, OR away from something that arouses their curiosity.

 

I think when Odin was younger, he was mainly following me, not wanting me to leave him behind. So it seemed like leash training had progressed further than it actually had, because the outcome is the same whether your dog follows you because it's on a leash or stays with you for some other reason. But after both getting a bit older *and* getting a bit more used to the outside world, he became sometimes too scared to follow and other times he would rather be going another direction or something - it's normal as a being grows up to start having less dependence on the parent and desire for more autonomy. Sometimes if they don't want to go where the leash says to go, even at what seems like very low pressure, the negative reinforcement is too much and they shut down (I was surprised at some of the similarities between a puppy on a leash and a cat on a leash, which I have also successfully trained).

 

Instead or also, your pup is probably scared of something(s) that you either 1) don't notice (remember you can't hear or smell everything he can, so this doesn't mean you are unobservant), or 2) you noticed but have no idea why it would be scary, like a trash can. In our case, one of the major things he was scared of turned out to be crows. Yes, birds. Crows are meat-eating scavengers, though, and occasionally opportunistic hunters. It actually made perfect sense for him to be afraid of them. One day they were really loud (I still didn't know they were bothering him yet) and he had laid down about every 15 ft, dribbling some urine frequently. I was getting a bit frustrated, and then looked up to see the crows. Several were lined up directly across the street from us, obviously staring at him. When we walked again, they moved with us. It *was* menacing - I know how intelligent crows are and you could just see them thinking of some way to get at him, maybe for sport but maybe for food. This whole time, there had been this thing going on with Odin and the crows that I had been completely unaware of because crows are so common in my neighborhood in the summer it was like they were only background to me. They all, including Odin, were keenly aware of it.

 

Then, later, I realized certain objects or even places made Odin nervous. Once a Pom tied out front in its yard rushed us barking up a storm. It reached the end of its tether - BOING!yapyapyapyap - and scared Odin to death. He ran into the street and hit the end of his lead, boing-ing himself in the process. I had to pick him up to get him to move again. Later, passing that same yard when the Pom wasn't out, he became really fearful, wanted to walk in the street, and when I wouldn't let him he laid down (peed some) until I carried him past.

 

Part of the way we got through this was just slow confidence building as he got bigger and had more experiences. I also started trying to purposefully arouse his curiosity while on walks, as curiosity inhibits fear. I got an extender leash for a short while so he felt more free to explore. I encouraged him to smell things and look at things. I talked to him about what we were seeing a lot, and walked crazy patterns sometimes to get him interested in what I was doing. I rewarded with speed a lot - run a few steps and see what it does to their demeanor! But I also respected when he was shutting down and encouraged him or carried him then.

 

Then, about 5 months, BANG! shot from a gun, no fear, and a sudden need for manners. So a whole new set of problems to conquer! We still do what I think of as leashwork excercises to this day (almost 1 yr.) I consider him about 85% leash trained the way I want, even now. But I want a tight on-command snappy heel through any distraction, so that's asking a lot. :rolleyes: Good luck, I know you guys will get there. Have lots of patience, he is very very small even if he is also getting big fast. It will get easier over time, you'll see!

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