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Today I took Trent out for a long walk, and was very impressed with him! Before, he would occasionally whine during our walks, or try to pull me one way or the other. He always tried to run between my legs and walk there (which made me look like quite the idiot), and would get easily distracted, like all puppies. I’ve been doing a lot of positive reinforcement and encouraging good behavior. I taught him “leave it” and when he decided to snack on a pine cone or a pile of dead grass, I would ask him to “leave it”. Also, whenever he walked alongside me and gave me eye contact, I would praise and/or reward him (someone please let me know quick if I’m doing something wrong).

So today we took our usual route to the nearby elementary school for exercise and socialization. He was willing enough to leave the house (usually he’ll sit and refuse to budge), and didn’t look back once. For almost the entire walk, he kept right next to me, repeatedly looked up at me, turned right when I turned, stopped when I stopped, walked when I walked, and ran when I ran. He evenly immediately slowed down when I slowed down from a run to a walk. When we walked past the cluster of pinecones, he sniffed once, and walked on. When we first took him by, he would lay down and happily gnaw on the pinecones. I would also allow him to sniff around during our walk, but when he got into something gross, like bird poop, I would ask him to “leave it”, and he’d look up and walk on.

We also passed by a miniature Schnauzer who was literally walking on his hind legs trying to get at Trent while the Schnauzer’s owner was trying to pull him away. I asked Trent to look at me and sit, and he did!

When we got to the elementary school, we met quite a few kids. One of them smiled at Trent, and then asked (very politely) if he could pet him. He gave him a few pats on the side, and thanked me before walking away. It makes me really happy to meet kids who actually know how to behave (as opposed to running towards Trent screaming “PUPPY! PUPPY!!!”). He also met two toddlers who he just loved. I held him while they pet him, and he wagged his tail and licked them the entire time, not trying to jump or wiggle away once. Looks like we’re actually getting somewhere when it comes to kids!

After the kids cleared out, we went over to the soccer field and met an Australian shepherd. I ended up talking to his owner while Trent and the Aussie, Tango, played for over an hour.

The Australian and the German:



 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! Trent really hated going on walks and would pull away from me, trying to get back home. I'm glad he's starting to learn it's a no-no.

The aussie is 1 1/2 years old, but quite big already. They had a lot of fun!
 

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I'm definitely happy we're getting somewhere with all the training. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, and hoping he'll end up liking walks. Luring him with treats only works half the time. The other half, I have to jump and whistle in front of him like an idiot, trying to initiate a game of chase >.<

My neighbor thinks I've gone off the deep end. I give him pep talks, too! "Trent, dogs live for walks. What's your deal buddy?" "Trent, keep that up and you'll get fat and lazy. Then that Border Collie across the street will never like you." "Trent you're an awesome wawesome pawesome cutie puppsie wuppsie. Let's gosie walksie poosie pwetty pwease?" :rolleyes:

He's really growing fast. I had to adjust the divider in his crate three times in the past two weeks! And his nylon collar again. People are telling me either "he's so big now!" or "he looks just like a miniature German shepherd already!". My baby </3
 

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I think that one walk will go a long way to curing him of fear of leaving the house: good play with another dog, kids doting on him, etc. All good experiences that he'll want to have again. Congrats!
 

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Thanks everyone! Trent appreciates the compliments
 

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I can't believe how big he has gotten. I had a dog who gained an average of 2.5# a week. Looks like Trent is going to beat that :eek:

Give Trent a big "ATTABOY" from my kids and me. Wanna come train a couple of wild children (ages 6 & 4)??!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'll pass the message along.

As for going over... Trent says that as long as there's peanut butter and vanilla yogurt involved, he is sold. >.< What a traitor.
 

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What a cutie! Sounds like a good day full of socialization, haha.

I'm sure he'll come to like walks in no time with the work you're putting in. :) As long as he keeps having positive experiences like the ones he had on that walk, how can he resist?! ;)
 
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