Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow Dog lovers,
I am in need of some advice. My wife and I just adopted our second dog, she is a beautiful Catahoula/Weimaraner mix and I love her to pieces. She is the most affectionate dog I have met. She is 4 months old and was born at a shelter here in town. She has lived with us now for about a week and a half, in that time she has learned sit, wait at the door and fetch.

Here's where I need help with. Tallie does great in the house, she runs and plays in the backyard and has a blast, but if we try and go to the front yard she turns in to this freaked out tail tucked ball of fear. I really want to be able to walk her because I know she would love it, but she just tugs on the leash the entire time trying to get back to the house.

I realize my question or post may seem dumb, Ive looked at tons of websites in the last week, but any and all advice would be really appreciated!!! Thanks!!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
91 Posts
In order to help you try and figure it out, could you offer some more information?

Whats different about the front yard as opposed to the back? Is it near a street? Does your other dog spend much time there? Is the back yard fenced in? I've been with dogs all my life and the people around here can probably help you, but we'll need a little more info. Give as much as possible, even if it seems unimportant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,927 Posts
Welcome! You're in a good place to get some advice, there's lots of knowledgeable people on this forum.
I agree with Brody, more info would be good, but from what you've said I would try putting her on leash, open the front door, and just stand there (of course be sure your other dog is in a safe place and isn't going to either dash out, or interfere). Give lots of treats, stand in the doorway, give lots of treats for calmness etc. Get her engaged with you and she might not even notice she's stepped out the door! Take it slow though, it might take a couple of short sessions over a couple of days, or it might take weeks or even months depending on what is causing the fear.
Of course this might not be the best advice, but based on what you've said so far its a start (and I don't think it would hurt so long as something horrible doesn't happen). Others more experienced than me may have more for you, especially with more info. One thing I think everybody will agree on is be patient (not saying you aren't, but I know I've made that mistake)!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice so far, here is some more info about our yard.

Our backyard is fenced in, we have several trees and we go out there for our potty breaks in the mornings. We have neighbors on one side who have 2 pugs who are quite noisy, so far the noise doesnt seem to bother Tallie, and the back is fenced in. I have noticed that any sound like cars, birds, lawnmowers she is on alert, but she doesnt seem scared. In the front yard the yard is a little smaller but not by much. I have noticed it is considerably louder in the front yard. There are multiple dogs who bark constantly in their back yards, cars drive by and kids play up and down the street. When we go in the front Tallie is not only on alert but she seems terrified, tail tucked ears up, when she walks its like a military crawl, her belly on the ground the whole time. We have made some progress, but not much. If I walk towards the gate to go outside she runs to the backdoor. If I go to the front door she runs to the couch. I have carried her to the front a few times and we just sit and after a few minutes she seems a bit more relaxed. The weird thing is when neighbors walk by she seems totally fine, she even walked up to a person and let them pet her, in the front yard. Cars freak her out pretty hard core, but that has lessened a bit. Thats all I can think of. Hope that is some better info.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,391 Posts
Part of the development stages is a set of fear cycles, when pups may be a little more sensitive. I imagine the noise and strange new things (cars) need some getting used to. You might try taking her out in early morning or later evening when things are quieter and see what happens.

Another thing to try, if she has all of her shots, is to take her for a ride to various places, to get her used to all the variety that is going to be her life. She will grow out of it in a few weeks, and a little gentle acclimation will give her confidence and calm her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
Is it the front yard that scares her or the leash? Lots of dogs are scared of the leash at first, but either way I agree with the above advice about taking it slow and encouraging her with lots of treats. She needs to walk, so you need to work on this.

Do you know what treats are "high value" for her yet? You'll want to use the high value ones at first to really jump start things. For most dogs, it'll be something like cooked chicken, baked liver, hot dogs or peanut butter. Use as much as you need to get her outside and walking. She's growing right now, so you don't have to worry too much about the extra calories.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I tried taking her out front yesterday off the leash and the reaction was the same.

I have not tried peanut butter yet, she seemed to really like that the last time I gave it to her. My only concern is that she wont take treats at all when we go out front, she wont play with her favorite toy either. But I am definitely going to try the peanut butter this weekend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I agree too, she really needs to walk, and I have seen her run in the backyard and she would be an AMAZING running partner (im a runner). But its not about me, I just want her to have a full life and walking is part of that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,074 Posts
I have never had a fearful pup like this, how does one approach this kind of developmental fear? How do you handle it without scaring the dog for life?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
463 Posts
I would love to see pictures of the puppy!!!

My catahoula x was very similar when she was younger. She was terrified of fire hydrants for the first 6 months we had her, and she still won't walk over manhole covers.

Can she be bribed? When I moved in with my SO we went from middle of no where to a slightly more busy area with people and cars and other dogs in sight of the house and she was terrified. For about a week I just put a lawn chair in the front yard or sat on the ground with the leash in my hand and just waited out her panic. I brought bits of boiled chicken and soon she was too interested in treats to be scared! From our little chair we moved to short little walks in the front yard, then down the street, and so on! Now at a year and a half I can walk her by barking dogs, crazy people, whatever, and she just keeps going. Except those evil manhole covers, haven't mastered that yet. :)

Don't give up hope and please please put up pictures!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I think we may have stumbled on to a big winner in the High value treat department. I have tried before to get her to approach the gate and she wont have any of it. So today I took a spoonful of peanut butter, took a small step toward the gate, she followed I gave her some, step and repeat. I did have her on her leash so she couldnt run in fear, but I never tugged, just held tight enough so she knew she couldnt run. We made it to the gate and even licked the spoon while it touched the gate, it was a huge victory.

on a side note, is there anything I need to do for exercise other than running and playing in the backyard. Until she can walk out front I want to make sure she gets to burn off her energy, right now we play with toys and chase "little big brother" (Roman our 5 year old min pin terrier mix) around the yard.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
91 Posts
I may be able to help.

I adopted my when he was just a few months old. He was taken by an animal shelter form a very abusive environment. When I got him, he was the most nervous, frightened thing I'd ever seen. On the way home he urinated in my car, hid under the seat and cried the whole time. He was very thin, I could see his ribs. It was obvious he had been through a lot.

He was afraid of our yard too because he had never been on grass before and was even afraid to walk on it for a while. So, I tried a few things to calm his fears a bit, but didn't have much luck, after racking my brain and coming up with nothing it was an add on television for some kind of baby wash that finaly gave an answer to my problems.

Keep in mind this may sound far fetched, but I'm an odd person sometimes.

I decided he need something familiar and comforting. At this point he was used to me because he had been with me almost a week. I found a little speaker that would connect to my iPod and made a playlist (I choose five songs by The Weepies because they had a soothing sound) and would leave it playing as I put him to sleep. I'd rub his fur and pat his head until he passed out, all the while keeping the music playing. I did this for about three or four days, and in that time I didn't try to take him onto the grass anymore. After the third or fourth day I put the iPod in my pocket, carried him in my arms and walked onto the lawn. We sat there, me on the ground and him in my arms, I plucked grass up, let it blow in the wind and let him sniff a bit of the ground from my palm, all the while, they songs played.

After about ten minutes, he climbed from my lap and began walking on the grass, I didn't move, I let him sniff and walk in circles around me. I just sat there for about a half an hour as he got further and further away. I stood to my fett and walked back to the house as he looked on, when I reached the door I yelled his name and he came bouncing up to me. From that day his fears fell away one-by-one.

Now, it's four years later and he's awesome. He's loving, affectionate and playful. He loves kids and is the best guard dog ever. I dare say, now I can't imagine he being scared of anything.


**edit**

Looks like you found your solution while I was writing my reply.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
463 Posts
Nope not yet! It might be too big, sig pics have to be pretty small. Keep trying I'm excited to see her!

Edit: you got it!! And she is amazingly adorable!!! Does she have short hair like the min pin or kinda ruffly?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
sorry I think I miscomunicated. Tallie is a Catahoula/Weimaranar mix who is 4 months, we also have a min pin terrier mix who is 5 years and we have had him since he was 2 months.

Tallie's coat is ultra smooth!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
463 Posts
No you said right its just the last time I asked someone if their dog had a smooth or rough coat they looked at me like i was crazy lol. I was just using an example! Welcome to the forum your dog is super cute!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
oh haha, that makes sense. And thanks she is a super cutie. does anybody know how to load a pic, I have one of both our dogs but the loader wont upload it (yes I did check to make sure its not too large a file).
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top