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Hi!

My boyfriend and I got our puppy (a springer spaniel mix) right before Christmas and she is now about 15 weeks old. We have both been taking her on walks, to classes, on hikes, etc. both individually and together. She understands that we are both her "people" but lately she is really reluctant to go on walks with me unless my boyfriend is with us. She was really good on a leash and we haven't been taking her off the leash except a couple times on hikes in the woods, but she yesterday I tried to take her on one of the hikes we go on together and she just kept pulling and pulling to go back to the car. So I took her home and we played in that backyard for a while and she was acting perfectly normal and last night my boyfriend and I took her on a walk together and she was fine. Then today I tried to take her on a walk from our house and it was the same thing! I really don't know what's up because she's acting normally other than that. She is losing some teeth right now and going through a growth spurt so she is seeming more tired during the day, but she still eats and does her business normally.

Any advice? Is she just going through a weird adolescent phase?
Thanks!
 

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Almost 4 months is a bit early for teenaged shenanigans.

You know, it's possible either something happened to scare her on the last hike, or maybe she even smelled something out in the woods. I used to live in an area where you regularly see bears. One week after moving there, I tried to take Muggsy for a walk and he freaked out as soon as we got outside and ran back to the door. The next day, my neighbor was all about the bear in the parking lot the night before.
 

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Pups go through different fear issues that can pop up anytime just weather it out.
 

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Pups go through different fear issues that can pop up anytime just weather it out.
I went to the vet today to pick up a sample of heartworm medicine. Went in for two minutes, tops. It's not hot out (it's cold), and I didn't want to expose him to sick dogs for no reason. When I got out, he was, unusually, out of his passenger seat and in the driver's seat? Why? Because a police car with a huge German Shepherd had pulled up on Oliver's side of the car. As we drove away, he was barking his head off. He doesn't bark in the car usually. He was very nervous.

Driving home, he then proceeded to bark at every car that I passed or pulled next to me on my right (his side of the car). He never does that. "Oh no," I thought. Has he developed a phobia to other cars?

But I stopped at a Wawa (don't ask) and left him in the car for five minutes and watched. Two different cars pulled in next to him (without German Shepherds). He stayed in the passenger seat. And as we drove home, he just lay down. The barking had stopped.

Hopefully, that situation is over. You never do know what might freak them out.

Though I have to admit. That was a HUGE German Shepherd. You know what big, magnificent dogs policemen have. I can't blame him for being scared.
 

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Still new to dogs, but it may have very little to do with age. Maybe she's particularly attached to him? I know that my 2 yr old Spirit is particularly attached to the point that if I give someone else the leash and stand back she'll look back and pull in my direction.
Also, to add to the scary smells/experiences, a few dogs actually have a gender preference. I'm not trying to be sexist, but some dogs show a slight preference when they sense things. My biggest example was when me and Spirit slept over in my folks living room. My cousin came in really late so Spirit woke me up with a soft bark. I didn't want to get up, so I ignored her. Next thing I knew she walked over to my dad and woke him up even though she's way more friendly with my mom who's also in the same room.
 

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I really don't know if this makes any difference to your problem or not, but it might help weather through it a little if it is a fear phase or something like that. Our dog Caeda has gone through phases where she is better behaved for me than for my husband and vice versa. Not sure if it has to do with who is spending more time with her, or how each of us plays with her while she is in a particular mindset, but she does act differently with each of us from time to time (trusts one of us more, or finds one more fun, I'm not sure). It might be something similar with your case, not sure but I just thought I would mention that.
 
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