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We recently adopted a new puppy who is 1 year old. He is an 20-ish lb mini-pin dachshund mix. At first, we thought he was just a snuggly dog, but as time went on I started to notice something wasn't quite right with him. We don't know his back story, no one does he just showed up on the rescue's doorstep.
At first, I noticed that when I am sitting at my desk doing my homework he wants nothing more than to sit in my lap. I wouldn't mind but he won't sit still and walks all over my keyboard. But it's every time I'm doing my homework, and he will cry if I don't pick him up or anything. (I just ignore him the best I can)
He constantly has to be in contact with us, or on the same couch. Most people will say he is just snuggly, but it is WAY to excessive to just be a snuggly dog.
But the thing that has me really worried is when we are on walks. I walk them on the same route every day (around the park) and he does fine on the way to the park and around the park. But when we start walking home he freezes up. He literally lays down and will not move... I don't yank the leash or anything, I just try to gently encourage him but he FREEZES! It really freaks me out a lot. He will lay down with his ears pinned back and tail down. My older dog has even tried to help him by nudging him.
I don't know what to do, I'm really worried about him. Does anyone know what could be going on?
 

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Has this happened since you adopted him?
And does it happen on the walk back in general, or at a specific place on the walk back?
Also, do you take the same route to and from the park?

Either way, maybe you can try going home on a totally different route and see if that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Has this happened since you adopted him?
And does it happen on the walk back in general, or at a specific place on the walk back?
Also, do you take the same route to and from the park?

Either way, maybe you can try going home on a totally different route and see if that helps.
I didn't take him for walks when we first got him because of an injury. We walk the same route every day, it's the flattest route (my older dog has trouble with hills) but it's a good distance. He always freezes at the exact same spot (or pretty close to it). I tried walking one dog at a time, it did nothing. I'll try a different route tomorrow and see if that helps.
 

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Vary the route so he doesn't know when you are going back towards home.

It could be that he simply knows that turning back means the walk is going to be over soon and has decided he doesn't like that.

My genius dog was always getting "tired" and laying down at a certain point in our walks once it got really hot out. Then I realized that if I walked at the park (a big loop with no turn-back point) that he didn't get tired after the same amount of time. The big doofus just knew that we were going back towards the house and was making his walks longer by chilling out along the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Vary the route so he doesn't know when you are going back towards home.

It could be that he simply knows that turning back means the walk is going to be over soon and has decided he doesn't like that.

My genius dog was always getting "tired" and laying down at a certain point in our walks once it got really hot out. Then I realized that if I walked at the park (a big loop with no turn-back point) that he didn't get tired after the same amount of time. The big doofus just knew that we were going back towards the house and was making his walks longer by chilling out along the way.
I tried varying the route today, it didn't work :(
 

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What about the constant contact? Does anyone have any ideas about that? For the walks I'm going to start carrying treats again and see if that helps.
 

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I tried varying the route today, it didn't work :(
Did he still freeze up when you headed towards your house? Directionally I mean, not on the same street. OR after if you turned back and started to retrace your steps?
Or did you pass the same spot as before and he froze then?
If he froze in a different spot AND not after the turn-around point, is there something similar between the spots? Dogs in a house, busy street near by, etc?
 

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What about the constant contact? Does anyone have any ideas about that? For the walks I'm going to start carrying treats again and see if that helps.
Does he just whine when left alone or does he absolutely freak out? Like panic attack level?

Some dogs really are just velcro. As long as they aren't panicking when I leave, I just let them be near me but train for the level of contact that is reasonable based on what i am doing. Say, typing on computer- laying near me with paw on my leg is okay. Cooking- edge of kitchen or several feet away laying down for safety. Just relaxing and watching TV- laying in my lap is fine (and these are 40-60 lbs dogs!)

Start small. Don't ignore him completely but rather for a few minutes, then as soon as there is a break in the whining, pet him and tiny reward. Then go back to your task, and repeat. You can train a "go to mat/ go to bed" command and reward for him laying on a dog bed near you. That way he can feel like a part of things without being in your way.
if he seems more bored than anxious, try more mentally tiring training and then give a puzzle dog, lasting chew (like a nylabone or antler).


Edit to add:
Also, how long have you had him? The first 2-3 months are MAJOR transition periods for new dogs coming from shelters and rescues. My foster has been here about 6 weeks and in the past 2 weeks she's gained a lot of independence from having to plaster herself to my side. The more the dog trusts that you are a secure home, the more likely he is to relax and start to do his own thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
he froze up as soon as we headed back towards the house. He doesn't like it when we leave, but he isn't panicy per-say, but he does whine. I was going to put up a camera to see what the two dogs do when we are gone.
Whenever we are sitting down he whines and paws at us (mainly me) and if I don't pick him up he will shake and whimper. I am working on teaching him to lay on my bed while I'm doing homework, a pillow while we are eating etc. He's still young, but he's catching on. Having the bigger dog (75 lb) around has helped him a lot. He will lay down next to her.
He has multiple chew toys, nyla-bones, and a treat-ball thingy. And he has Patch. We let the two of them play outside as often as possible, and we take them for 2 walks a day. We just finished basic training (sit, come, lay down etc.) and I'm working on things like "heel" and a few tricks. It's been difficult, he is like an ADHA dog, if that's possible. He can't focus at all, we'll be working on something he'll see a fly or something and he's gone.
We've had him for about 2 months. His foster parents didn't say anything about him being "nervous", but they did say he was snuggly. He started being snuggly about a month after we got him, and he hasn't stopped.
 

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It sounds like you are on the right track as far as the velcro-ness goes. It doesn't sound like he is really all that nervous, it does sound like he's just a close, snuggly dog.

As for the walking- if he froze up as soon as you headed back towards the house, then I would say it sounds more like a "NO, I don't wanna go back!" issue than an "OMG, I'm scared" issue. Try making the first block after you turn towards home into a training session. Before he can freeze (while you are still facing away from the house) ask for Sit, reward, you back up to the end of the leash in the direction of home and say "Come" and give a treat if he trots forward to you. Tug him along a bit if he doesn't and praise but no reward. Then sit, step back to the end of the leash, Come and reward. Repeat for a block or so and then ask for him to walk with you.

1 year old dogs are nearly all "ADD" it is kind of the nature of the beast so to speak.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It sounds like you are on the right track as far as the velcro-ness goes. It doesn't sound like he is really all that nervous, it does sound like he's just a close, snuggly dog.

As for the walking- if he froze up as soon as you headed back towards the house, then I would say it sounds more like a "NO, I don't wanna go back!" issue than an "OMG, I'm scared" issue. Try making the first block after you turn towards home into a training session. Before he can freeze (while you are still facing away from the house) ask for Sit, reward, you back up to the end of the leash in the direction of home and say "Come" and give a treat if he trots forward to you. Tug him along a bit if he doesn't and praise but no reward. Then sit, step back to the end of the leash, Come and reward. Repeat for a block or so and then ask for him to walk with you.

1 year old dogs are nearly all "ADD" it is kind of the nature of the beast so to speak.
I'll give that a shot. Thanks so much!
 
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