So I live on a pretty quiet cul de sac, and I have been walking Moe with our other dog Skippy, in hopes that it will help them get along better as well as get rid of some of that puppy energy. I had probably walked them together maybe 6 7 times, and during those times moe would randomly stop and I would wait for him to move. He would also get tired sometimes so I'd pick him up and continue walking Skippy. Other than that he did great.
However, for some reason a few days ago when I tired to walk them Moe FREAKED out. He wouldn't go any farther than the circle at the end of the street, and once he got there he would start trying to go the other way, whimpering like crazy and REALLY fighting it. If I pick him up and try to continue walking he freaked out even more, whining biting to get down and run back to the house.
It's obvious he isn't doing this because he is tired, as we just started our walk. He is scared of something but I cannot figure out what or what to do about it. It isn't something obvious like a car going by or a loud noise, so I am at a loss right now.
Ellie used to do something similar about two weeks after I brought her home. All I did was keep her going. I wouldn't drag her along, but I also wouldn't move if she tried to pull me back toward the house. Once she calmed down, I would walk her forward as far as we could go without full-on dragging her and then start all over again. Sometimes this meant we only made it to the end of the street after twenty minutes, but it didn't take long for her to get used to the idea that she wasn't in control of our walk. We were able to gradually walk further and further during those twenty minutes until she eventually just walked without issue. Also, I didn't allow her to drag me back to the house when it was time to return. If she kept pulling then I would stop and not move until she stopped pulling and came closer to me.
Will this work if it's a fear thing? I mean he isn't just pulling to go explore in another direction or something he seems really scared once we get to a certain point.
So it seems like there's a specific location at the end of the street where this all starts?
I would suggest putting treats on the ground near the ground right before he begins to panic and see if that curbs the fear, whimpering. I mean who knows - maybe he's panicking because he smelled something strange or saw a snake. When Pazu was a puppy, he probably freaked out only once and that was when he got a little poop stuck on his bunny butt and he came squealing so loudly that I thought he was hurt. Pazu was pretty mellow so if he was really acting up and not being just being a little wary/curious, I was more inclined to listen to him because generally puppies don't have enough life experience to be super freaking out.
Yes, he is okay until we get to a certain point and then he starts up. The first time I thought maybe it was like you said, he saw a snake or something like that. But then today I tried again and same thing, same spot.
After I read this I kept thinking about how at the shelter I volunteered at dogs who had never been inside were freaked out by the presence of the ceiling, doorways, and when the floor texture or color changed. Is he stopping somewhere that colors or textures change where he is walking? Or somewhere that might smell strong like a sewer grate? Sometimes it is just a small thing.
Hmm that could be it. Now that I think about it there is a drainage pipe on the side, although its small, as well as some cracks in our road from trucks going down it.
If that's it how would I acclimate him to those things?
Did I understand correctly from your profile that your puppy is just 8 weeks old?
If so, 1) you need to really be careful yet of Parvo so unless there aren't many other dogs in your neighborhood at all, I wouldn't walk him til he at least has his 2nd set of shots; check with your vet based on how likely Parvo is in your area and his/her experience with vaccinations, and 2) if he is still that tiny, he really won't be up for actual walks yet. I'd socialize him with friendly people and vaccinated dogs in the comfort of his own little area, then start slowly carrying him to places where he can meet some new people. Maybe do a puppy kindergarten. And save the walks til he's a few weeks older and a little stronger and bolder.
If I misunderstood your profile, I apologize in advance. :)
He is almost 9 weeks old, and has had two sets of shots. There is only one other dog on our street, as I live in the country on a small road (10 houses total).
We are starting puppy kindergarten next week, so hopefully that will help with socializing, although is he fine around other dogs and people.
I was just under the impression I should try to introduce new things to him before he's a certain age, but I'll try waiting until he is older.
Thanks for your reply :)
Oh he is still so young! He'll get used to things in time but for now just focus on new experiences where he feels safe. There is no need to rush anything. Slow & steady wins the race and focus on having new experiences in small puppy-size steps.
Will do! Thanks for the replies. :)
When should I try walking him again?
You are right, he should have lots of experiences in these critical weeks. The socialization window closes sometime around 14 to 16 weeks, though, so you still have lots of time! Pups as young as yours still often have a strong denning instinct, and moving away from the den area is enough on its own to scare them.
What you CAN do is have friends and relatives stop in to see him. Leave shoes at the door! I'll post a link later about parvo, but he's so young that even though he's had 2 sets of shots, maternal antibodies may keep the vaccines from taking; they can be neutralized by mom's immunity. That's why they are done in series. Pups will undergo a period of one to two weeks where maternal antibodies are too weak to offer protection, but strong enough to neutralize the vaccine. All puppies have some danger window and we don't know which pups are in which windows, so you should still be careful. Remember, too, that a vaccine takes about 10 days or so to be effective.
Anyway, have friends come visit. Get him used to the car. Make sure he'll walk on tile, wood, carpet, grass, pavement, stones, dirt, sand. Give him stuff to crawl over/on/under (with supervision, of course). Get him used to wearing a collar and leash. Take him in the yard or the basement or a big open space with the leash and encourage him to follow you with the leash loose. Have him see you wearing various hats, a coat, a scarf. Get him used to the tv, vacuum cleaner, brooms, umbrellas, doorbell, telephone.
Take him on short car trips. Park on a nice day in a parking lot at a shopping area with kids and let people pet him. Take him to other people's houses or yards. Put him down, let him explore on his terms.
When he's around 10 to 12 weeks old or so he'll be more inclined to want to go exploring, and then (depending on dates of last vaccines) you can start taking him on short walks. Even then he won't go far; you can put him in the car, drive him a short way away, then put him down and walk him a little and put him back in the car and bring him home. He won't have stamina and his paw pads will be tender.
Sounds like you are doing lots of good things for your pup!
We cannot understand all dog reactions. I would play it down, not make it an issue. He is reacting to something you cannot detect, for all you know some animal may be in that drainage pipe! He is so young and puppies go through a fear imprinting stage, typically between 8 and 10 weeks, so it's very important that all their experiences be pleasant, or they will register negative associations big time.