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Hello all! This is my first time posting about our new boxador puppy, Jack. And I'm sure it won't be the last :) He's a 10 week old boxer/lab mix that my girlfriend and I have recently rescued from a shelter in Arkansas to live with us in Los Angeles. Here's a pic:



Among a few problems we're having is this one I'm here to address today. It's his behavior when we try to take him on walks. He is very used to being on the leash. Does very well when taking him out to pottie and around the apartment complex. Never pulls and rarely ever bites at the lead. Until we try to take him out for a walk...

Getting him out the doorway towards the outside of the complex is always a battle. He knows where we are going if we go to the right while leaving the front door. He pulls back and pulls back and usually after 30 seconds gives in and continues to follow outside. Once we get to the street, his butt hits the ground and does not want to move! We've tried luring with treats and giving his butt a push, but he takes maybe two steps and stops. He's also startled by the sounds of buses. Not cars, trucks, people, airplanes,...but just the sounds of the buses. This will also make him stop dead in his tracks and sit down. After trying and trying and treating and pushing and pulling we got him far enough away from the complex where he lets up a little bit and will walk about 10-20 feet and then stop and start again. (One weird thing is we found if we try to go on the opposite side of the street, right from the start, he goes a little easier too).

Once we think we've gone far enough, we turn to go towards home. And now his attitude does a complete 180! He is actually pulling the lead. Racing to go back. So, we stop until he stops pulling, treat and continue. Over, and over, and over, all the way home. The only way that makes this easier is if I run with him.

So, this is one of our hurdles. We've been working with him everyday trying to make it easier and easier. I'm just tired of pushing and pulling him around. Does anyone have any suggestions as to the right method of alleviating this behavior?

Thanks for listening!
 

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My Golden was the same way at his age. I suspect that at that age, many puppies are not feeling that safe leaving the safety of home. My girl did outgrow it eventually, and now she actually pulls to get walking (we're working on it).

To get her feeling more secure on walks, I brought treats, and for several days, walked only in front of our house. We slowly lengthened the walk to a couple of houses until she felt more secure. For the longest time though, she did pull to get back home once she saw our driveway. I suspect it's a security thing that puppies have.... he's only 10 weeks old, give him a little time and many treats :D
 

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You're trying to fight a hard wired survival instinct that tells puppies to stay close to the den.....stray too far and they could be dead. For puppies it's often best to stay close...go to the corner and back...go to the other corner and back. As the pup grows in the next few weeks expand his world....around the corner, then around the block. Take it slow. It's far more important to build the confidence than go for a mile walk.
Same with the buses...keep some distance and don't get too close.
Here's the most important part...this is all confidence training. You're the leader and the pup needs to trust you....pushing/pulling against his will is not the best way to do that. Accept his fears and work within his current limits... expanding them as he matures. Once you have the trust, the willingness to follow, even into scary situations, becomes much easier for him.
 

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My Golden was the same way at his age. I suspect that at that age, many puppies are not feeling that safe leaving the safety of home. My girl did outgrow it eventually, and now she actually pulls to get walking (we're working on it).

To get her feeling more secure on walks, I brought treats, and for several days, walked only in front of our house. We slowly lengthened the walk to a couple of houses until she felt more secure. For the longest time though, she did pull to get back home once she saw our driveway. I suspect it's a security thing that puppies have.... he's only 10 weeks old, give him a little time and many treats :D
You're trying to fight a hard wired survival instinct that tells puppies to stay close to the den.....stray too far and they could be dead. For puppies it's often best to stay close...go to the corner and back...go to the other corner and back. As the pup grows in the next few weeks expand his world....around the corner, then around the block. Take it slow. It's far more important to build the confidence than go for a mile walk.
Same with the buses...keep some distance and don't get too close.
Here's the most important part...this is all confidence training. You're the leader and the pup needs to trust you....pushing/pulling against his will is not the best way to do that. Accept his fears and work within his current limits... expanding them as he matures. Once you have the trust, the willingness to follow, even into scary situations, becomes much easier for him.
Thank you guys very very very much for your responses! Makes a lot of sense. We will be attempting short distances for a while and move forward slowly.

But, even getting him to leave the front door of the complex is a huge task. Any tips on how to do that? Lately, we've been having one of us a few steps ahead with a treat asking him to "come". It may take a couple minutes, but once the noise and distractions die down, he moves forward for the treat and sits back down. Then we start the process all over again. Is this correct?
 

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Thank you guys very very very much for your responses! Makes a lot of sense. We will be attempting short distances for a while and move forward slowly.

But, even getting him to leave the front door of the complex is a huge task. Any tips on how to do that? Lately, we've been having one of us a few steps ahead with a treat asking him to "come". It may take a couple minutes, but once the noise and distractions die down, he moves forward for the treat and sits back down. Then we start the process all over again. Is this correct?
I would try just sitting outside. Letting him take in the surroundings slowly. At first I would just sit there and let him feed off my energy(that being calm) otherwise I would bring a toy and try and play but mostly I would read a book, eat a sandwich do something that's completly normal ans just let him chill as close to the complex as you can be. If he's ever calm I would treat and praise. Hopefully he'll start looking at you and saying "hey your calm and confident out here, maybe it's not so scary." Basically try not doing anything maybe a walks too much right now. Or let him chill for a bit (sound like you are doing that a bit) then try and play near the complex and slowly drawing him out.

Does he get out and socialize much? I know it's allot for him to do new things but it's very important he gets introduced to allot of different situations positively.

I think you've got things under controll pretty well and I agree with everyones advice.

From what I've read that's how I would approach the situation, make being outside not a big deal. I hope this helps and good luck, he's ADORABLE!!
 

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The way I got my pup to open up with the walks and even to get her out the door is when I would start to walk and would feel the lead get tight I let it be tight and stopped in place (not REAL tight) after a bit she would move forward, and then repeat. I did that a few times a day only in front of the house now she wants to lead lol. She too has some lab in her.
 

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I would try just sitting outside. Letting him take in the surroundings slowly. At first I would just sit there and let him feed off my energy(that being calm) otherwise I would bring a toy and try and play but mostly I would read a book, eat a sandwich do something that's completly normal ans just let him chill as close to the complex as you can be. If he's ever calm I would treat and praise. Hopefully he'll start looking at you and saying "hey your calm and confident out here, maybe it's not so scary." Basically try not doing anything maybe a walks too much right now. Or let him chill for a bit (sound like you are doing that a bit) then try and play near the complex and slowly drawing him out.

Does he get out and socialize much? I know it's allot for him to do new things but it's very important he gets introduced to allot of different situations positively.

I think you've got things under controll pretty well and I agree with everyones advice.

From what I've read that's how I would approach the situation, make being outside not a big deal. I hope this helps and good luck, he's ADORABLE!!
We'll definitely being trying this out. Its just tough to find a good spot to do it :confused:

As for socialization, he's FINALLY due for his 3rd set of shots next Tuesday! We can't wait to get him into some puppy meetup groups and the dog park! Especially to help out with his bite inhibition (ouch!) :)
 

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hmmm is the complex really busy? Could you just sit on the step by the door or get a chair to sit on while your pup explores on leash? Can you drive somewhere that's quieter? A park, quiet sidewalk with a bench for you to sit on? Those are some ideas and I wouldn't be afraid of a place with other dogs, seeing the confidence in those dogs may bring out the confidence in your pup.
 

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hmmm is the complex really busy? Could you just sit on the step by the door or get a chair to sit on while your pup explores on leash? Can you drive somewhere that's quieter? A park, quiet sidewalk with a bench for you to sit on? Those are some ideas and I wouldn't be afraid of a place with other dogs, seeing the confidence in those dogs may bring out the confidence in your pup.
It is a EXTREMELY busy complex. So many people, cars, planes, buses, other dogs, you name it. We would really like to try to drive to other areas and other place with dogs, but we are being very careful until Jack is fully vaccinated.
 

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I have seen some dog handlers lift a dog off his front feet. This makes the dog flail his feet and when you gently set him down he's walking. I've seen other handlers not give the dog a treat, but hold a treat in front of the dog's nose like a carrot.

I'm not fond of treating a dog who's sitting there doing nothing to get him to move because to me you're rewarding the wrong behavior. Now, I would hold a treat in front of the dog's nose but out of his reach. The dog gets up and walks toward the treat which you keep out of his reach. When he goes x number of steps, give him the treat. That way you're rewarding the behavior you want (walking forward) and not the behavior you don't want (sitting on butt in doorway).
 

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I think I have your dogs littermate. We got her from Little Rock animal services in May. she was about 6 weeks old then. Im interested in how big your puppy has gotten. Cricket is about 40 pounds. i dont think she is getting much bigger. but they look alot alike, with similar markings! She is very cute and very sweet.
 
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