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Ok So let me start by saying im a 26 yr old calm assertive guy i did alot of research before adopting her ... i trust and believe in cesar millan but for some reason no matter what i read , or watch him or some other trainer, i cant seem to understand whats happening

I adopted Lucy a 1/2 boxer 1/2 english bulldog last saturday she picked up everything i was teaching her right away she goes to her bed she doesnt whine when she's in the crate its been nearly a week and i havnt heard her bark ONCE, everything is perfectly fine until we go outside.

Lucy was orphaned at the age of around 1 month her owners husband died and the woman was 79 years old and couldnt care for a puppy. So she gave her to her friend who was a foster owner of dogs. I in turn adopted her from that same woman when she was 11 months. That woman lived in arkansas on a big piece of property in the middle of no where so i attribute alot of the problems im having based on the fact that where she was , was very quiet not much going on except other dogs playing tree's whistling and birds chirping.

I on the other hand live in Rhode island... around 5 min's outside of providence i dont live in a full blown city, but it certainly is extremely different from a big piece of property in the middle of nowhere. The problem im having is she is getting progressively More and more skittish during walks. every little sound 100% sends her into an alert mode. Ive been correcting her with a quick tug of the leash to snap her out of it and most of the time it does the trick. she walks by my side while were walking but i can never seem to get her 100% full attention because say a car goes by... with its music loud or a person is on there porch having a conversation or any other combination of things, her ears perk up she stares in the direction of the sound and i just find that keeping my posture right and my pace nice and quick is one of the few ways i can get her to focus like 60% the other 40% of the time is split between me correcting her for sniffing everything and being alert and also never really has her head up unless she's alerted to a sound almost always kinda just flat from her back to her nose not sure if thats anything odd. I feel im doing a great job. everyone is astonished at how far she has come in 5 days but these last 2 things the sniffing and getting frightened by every sound imaginable is really beginning to concern me because it seems like its getting worse.... below i'll add all the info i can with the hope it'll help


Lucy is an 11 month old Low-medium energy dog
She is 55 Lbs good posture but doesnt seem to want to Run around very much lol
She is very intelligent she learns things very quickly and retains them
she goes in her crate and sleeps i only close the door when its bed time for both of us
all in all i couldnt be happier with her... im just concerned because its really ruining her primal activity of the walk

Problems i'd Love advise on :::
1) Constantly becoming alert during walks to an assortment of sounds
2) always trying to sniff everything while we walk
3) has zero interest in playing with toys
4) she just plain seems unhappy at times by her posture


Please everyone ... i love this dog already ... even after just 5 days I want to help her and even tho im relatively educated on the training of her... im just not quite sure how to help her with these issues Thanks for reading... and I really hope to hear from you all soon THANK YOU!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
And also her tail was clipped before i got her so i cannot tell what her tail is doing ...wheter it be back, tucked up, stiff, anything so one of the best possible ways to read the dog is not possible
 

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Start reading all you can in the dog training forum and first time dog owner sections. Stop yanking on her leash, as she will begin to just ignore this, and it's not good for her throat/neck.

Also, be patient. You have accomplished tons so fast that you're probably expecting too much right now. As you said, she is probably afraid of sounds because of where she came from. However, it doesn't seem much like she's too afraid. To me, she sounds very intrigued.

You will find people around here aren't too fond of Ceaser Milan, which may be hard to understand if you don't know a whole lot about dogs and their training. Give it time, and you as well will understand.

Anyway, back on topic. A good way to start getting her over the fear of noise is to slowly introduce it. Start super small. For example: drop a coin on the flow, then give her a treat. Do this for at least a week, a couple of times a day, then move up if she seems used to it. Set a cup down on the counter with a bit of force, then give her a treat. (If she barks at it, don't treat, but don't scold either) Then just keep slowly moving up. take treats on walks and when she hears a noise and acts pretty calm about it, give her a treat.

You sound like you definitely have the potential to be an excellent dog owner, you just need a bit more time, and a bit more research, which is perfectly okay.

Welcome to the forum and I wish you the best of luck!
 

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@ nuclear_glitter Thanks for the response ... and yea i know people's opinions on CM are very mixed But he is the reason i really decided to do this, what i want to eventually do is to get Lucy to a point where she is such a well balanced and well behaved dog that i can start to foster other dogs and have her help me with them, to get them to the point of adoption so i can help save even just 1 dog would mean the world to me. A real example today as i was walking her a house down the street from me about 4 months ago caught on fire the third floor was completely destroyed, They just started to work on it and there are ALOT of sounds that come from that house, I.E. Nail guns, Hammers pounding, air compressor tanks running , people talking basically the perfect storm of sounds ..... so what i was trying to do today was to walk by it over and over to try to condition her to the sounds while staying 100% calm not being angry, or concerned just being her leader But it seemed like the fear just built up to a point where she had enough and she completely lost it she started to run away and really pull away from the house so i tried to calm her down by walking away from it in the other direction and about 5 mins later walk back by it and she walked by it NO PROBLEM .. then when we went out about 3 hours later i was going to walk by it again with my fiance and she totally reverted back to the way she was acting earlier... im confused honestly like inside i get her to wait for her food... she waits about 10 ft away from me while im putting her food down... she wont move an inch til i pat my thigh and say Cmon Girl! she comes over and eats then once she's done she sits by my side while i wash out the dish and then i reward her with a nice long belly rub :D she's so damn cute i mean it just kills me to see her flipping out like this.... and yes the more and more i try to do things the way i learned them the more im realizing a different approach is needed CM's methods have definitely helped me inside... but outside... i definitely need some help to help her because no dog or any animal for that matter should be that afraid of something ... and it just kills me because i dont know how to help her
 

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IMAG0337.jpg But yes you are right i mean she's not a complete terrified mess .... she walks well never pulling by my side if no sounds are alerting her she listens 100% to sit, lay , come... i mean i've already walked half a block to my house with her just dragging her leash behind her because i was that confident she would still follow .... i love this walking smelly ball of fur really do just need some advise is all :D
 

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She's really cute! I like the markings near her mouth.

Anyway, as I said, start small. You don't want to overwhelm her and make her even more scared of noises. This is why starting small is such a good thing, because then it gives the dog time to adjust and not get more stressed and fearful.

Every dog is vastly different, as most people know. An example of this is my dog Killian can walk by super loud lawn mowers and be okay, but Perkins can't walk by anything loud with panicking like crazy.

You have an amazing dog and I think things will start to get better for you over time.

Of course, more people will chime in soon and offer other methods that will work wonders, as well. =]
 

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Im definitely looking forward too it :D and u should see her belly she's got a bunch of spots ALLLLLL over the place its like the top she looks like a bulldog but underneath a dalmation hahaha its so weird ..but adoreable :D ty for the kind words and the advise maybe one day down the line i can help u with an issue
 

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In my opinion, CM is an egotistical idiot and using his methods will most likely reverse progress in your dog. There's nothing wrong with being strong minded and calm, that's good, but many of his techniques can be brutish and often involve getting physical with a dog, or doing silly things like going through the door first, eating first.

Didn't you make a post about this just a few days ago? Very same topic with suggestions?

Seriously, the dog is in a new place. She has had a dramatic change in her life and she does need time to get used to everything. A dog is probably not going to be completely settled within a week.
If it bothers you that much that the dog's not completely desensitized to a brand new world within a week of coming to it, you could try some focus work, some positive association. Teach her to focus on you, then apply that to the outside. When she ignores a sound for you, reward her. But forcing her into situations that frighten her may not make it any better. Take her away when you notice she's getting stressed.
 

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When I first adopted my dog, she was fearful on walks, especially when a car drove by. Not an extreme reaction, but shying away, trying to run off. For her, it worked for me to just keep walking, showing her there was nothing to react over, perhaps saying something calmly like "its okay" or "come on", and praising her when she became calmer. You might even try treating her when her attention comes back to you.

We had severe problems with fireworks scaring her so much I had to carry her into the backyard after dusk (they were popping sporadically for a month around here). I'd sit next to the grass and wait for her to calm enough to urinate, then would praise her, but it never got better. Finally, I brought a slice of cheese out with me, and sat out there for 20 minutes and fed her pieces. A couple of nights like that, and she was going out on her own.

I don't think jerking on the leash is going to help a fearful dog. I've watched several seasons of CM - in many cases I think he has the right ideas (love the neurotic dogs with neurotic owners), but in my experience jerking on the leash does not really do much other than teaching the dog to ignore pressure on his neck - and many dogs don't ever really seem to notice.

I've had my dog for 5 weeks and I still feel like I'm not seeing her entire true self. Be patient and consistent, it'll work out.
 

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First, dogs take time to settle in at a new home, even if the home is very similar to their previous home. The less similar the home, the longer the time to adapt. A good rule of thumb is about 3 months for the average dog to feel completely at home and comfortable. A fearful dog can take 6+ months, a very confident dog maybe 1 month. So since you've only had your dog a week or so, she needs time. Don't flood her with stress and new experiences from the get-go. Find a quiet neighborhood or quiet park and do most of your walks there while she gets used to you.

You have to build your dog's trust in you. When she is fearful, don't tug the leash. When she is fearful, take her farther away from what is scary- don't let it build up until she freaks out. Play lots of games like "Look at me" and have treats at the ready all the time. For basic training, use her kibble; for dealing with scary things and such, use a higher value treat like bits of hot dog or cheese or chicken. The more time you spend with her, even just lounging around the house, the more she will trust you. Petting her and brushing her is good, it is relaxing to the dog (and owner!).

Part of trust is that she has to see you as protector, I'm not taking about the dominant/alpha crap, but more like she knows that you won't let any of those noises get to her. Which might mean turning around and getting some distance and then doing a little training session with treats as you slowly move closer to the noise. Try walking her with another calm dog if she likes other dogs; sometimes seeing a calm dog walk past whatever is scary is helpful. Try sitting down on the sidewalk near the noises but not so close that she is showing signs of fear and just feeding a few treats.

Sniffing is normal, dogs use walks to experience the world and stimulate their minds through their senses of which smell is the major one for dogs. You have to decide what the purpose of a given walk is-- physical exercise, mental exercise, relaxation, to get to a destination etc. Teach a command like "Let's go" for when she is sniffing and dawdling but also plan for walks where you let her sniff freely. Even just putting her on a long leash and sitting down in a big field or park and letting her sniff to her hearts content can be a nice way to spend some time (for both of you)

Try a harness instead of a collar, that way if you do tug her along a little bit (a gentle pull, NOT a leash pop, is okay if she's just distracted vs fearful) you won't be tugging on her neck.

Dogs don't generalize well so a house, truck, business or whatever can seem like a completely different thing if you approach from a different direction or at night vs daylight. Commands (sit, stay etc) have to be taught in different circumstances and then "proofed" over and over under different conditions. As in, you teach the command SIT in your living room and then ask for a SIT in the kitchen- that's a new situation and you have to refresh the command. Then outside in the yard, then with people around, then outside in public etc. So if she is fearful walking by something in one direction, try it from a different direction and along the same lines, just because she becomes comfortable sitting and looking at the scary thing from one location doesn't mean that she'll be comfortable walking by it from a different street.
 

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So, when she is frightened, you jerk on her neck. That would certainly reassure me! (not). The tail is like the punctuation of a sentence. Every part of your dog's body is "readable" You might see if you can get ahold of Brenda Aloff's "Canine Body Language" at your library and see how to really read dogs (not just a tail). I'd get some really reliable behaviors and distract her by asking for something she knows, and I would also use treats and a clicker. I know that's not Cesar Millan style, but by the time you've gotten through with his techniques, there's often not much confidence left in the dog.
 
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