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anxiety dog walking

687 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  lynnron
I have a 7 year old beagle Shar Pei mix I adopted a few years ago. She came from a hoarding situation with like 20 other dogs, she was the smallest. She was scared of everyone and everything. I don't think she had ever really been outside much. I did take her to a behaviorist when I first got her and that helped a lot. She has made huge strides over the last couple of years, but she is still really nervous on walks when there are other people and dogs around. She freezes until she feels the "threat" has passed. I have tried to distract her with treats, praise, etc. but nothing works with her. She will not eat treats outside her home, no matter what they are, and believe me I have tried every kind of food you can imagine. She enjoys her walks when she doesn't encounter others, which is fine in the colder months because not as many people are out. It is summer however, and I really want her to still enjoy her walks. Any suggestions?
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Is there a certain distance that people have to be at when she freezes? For example, if she can barely see the threat will she freeze? Will she take treats if there are zero "threats" around?
Is she motivated by anything else besides treats? Toys? Sniffing things? Even just praise?

I would probably just try to move away from what she feels is threatening before they get close enough to make her freeze, praising her for moving along. If there is anything she is motivated by, you can use that, too. If it's impossible to move away, try body blocking her so she feels like you're in the way of the threat.

Is she motivated by treats inside your home? If she is, you might try slowly moving outside your house and feeding treats. For example, standing in the door and treating, then standing on the stoop. She might not understand that dogs can have treats outside! Will she eat things off the ground outside at all? I mean, it's not necessary that she learns to take treats outside, but it sure makes things easier when she's motivated by something!
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