Nicole_11 Posted March 13, 2014 Report Share Posted March 13, 2014 Hi Everyone, I just joined these forums to see if I can get some advice. I have a 10 month old border collie. Sadly, I’m his third owner. I got him when he was about 4 months. He’s been mostly great. However, he has a mortal fear of being walked on the streets, particularly of the sound and presence of cars. His fear is far worse when he is on leash (he pulls back, twists himself, tries to escape down people’s driveways and crawl under parked cars). If there are no cars nearby, he will just continue to try and turn around and pull back towards home. If a car comes along, he engages in the above behaviours. If he is off leash (not on the streets, but in parks or walking trails, which are usually surrounded by roads) he is confident and happy even if he can hear cars. If he’s on lead in these areas, he’s very tense. When I first started taking him to my local park, he cowered in a corner. Now, he runs around like he owns the place. It didn’t take long for him to gain confidence there. Walking on leash has never improved, though. I don’t know if his past owners did anything to traumatize him or just inadvertently encouraged his fear. While I’ve owned him, he did improve after a while in that he wasn’t twisting and trying to run away on lead. However, he was pulling forward very badly and ripping my arm out of its socket. I was trying to fix this with positive reinforcement, but my boyfriend’s parents took him for a walk one day and apparently they got stuck into him and hit him on the nose and growled etc. when he pulled (which I am quite angry about). Ever since then, he’s walked on more of a loose lead but he has resorted back to fearful behaviours. However, I don’t think he ever got over his fear; I think pulling was just a new technique to get away from the roads/cars really fast. I have tried offering treats as we walk, but he’s too anxious to eat. I have tried ignoring him when he flips out and continuing to walk, and as soon as he walks forward again, praising him with a ‘good boy!’. By the end of the walk, this seems to help a little, but he’s always tense. I have tried walking him consecutive days in a row but he never improves (if anything, he starts to not want to leave the house at all – I have to coax him out the door). I’ve tried sitting at the top of my driveway with him but he doesn’t calm down no matter how long we’re there, no matter how few cars go past. I don’t want him to be anxious. I’d love to be able to take him for walks that he enjoys. He goes out every day (by car) to the park, beach, or dog obedience club, but I’d love to be able to just go for a short walk in the mornings, too. Even my front yard is a scary place – the trip up my driveway to my car makes him anxious. I’d love any advice. Can’t afford a behaviourist at this stage, so willing to try whatever I can myself. Sorry for the long post! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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