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Discussion Starter #1
My 15 week old puppy Tori has just started going for daily walks. We have a fantastic lake/park which is 2 minutes away and for the first few days she loved her morning and evening walks.
3 days ago we had just finished a 20 minute walk and were near the parks gates when out of nowhere this big dog ran over growling at us. The dog wasn't on a lead and I couldn't see any sign of the owner/s. Tori started twisting her lead to get away from the dog and began what I can only describe as screeching, she got around the back of my legs still making the horrible noise. With the dogs owners nowhere in sight even with the racket my pup was making I made the quick decision to pick Tori up (risking being bitten as the dog was right in my face at that point) and carry her out of the park. I remembered not to give Tori too much reasurance and once we were a bit away from the gates I put her back down onto the pavement and carried on walking home.

The next days walk was great no problems though I had worried she would fear the walks. Yesterday and today though on the dirt path leading to the park Tori sat her butt down and wouldn't budge. I gave lots of verbal praise pats on the head when I did get her to move but it took maybe 20 minutes to get her to the park when usually it takes 5. Then when we get to the park she stops once again and it takes me 10 minutes to get her to move again, when she stops it's not like she's sniffing around or anything like that she simply won't move. If I can get her to move we continue our walks as normal and she'll be completely fine the way round the park until we get home.

I'm really struggling at the start of every walk though and I'm beginning to dread them. I've tried the excited voice calling her to me, holding a treat out for her and even (though I hate it) giving her lead a gentle tug. It makes me feel like on the first part of the walk I'm dragging her by the lead just so that eventually she'll get the exercise she desperately needs.
I'd really appreciate any suggestions as I just want her to enjoy her walks again.
 

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It is very understandable that a tiny pup was quite scared of a large growling dog; I'd be scared too!

I'd say not making a big deal about it is good, and if she's been fine once she continues walking then she can't be too upset about it. I'd walk briskly along the dirt path and as long as she's walking, slip her some tasty little treats every now and then. No big fanfare, just keeping her thinking more about walking and the treats and focused on moving forward.

If you have a friend with a well behaved adult dog, you might go on a walk there with them. Often, dogs will want to keep up with other dogs and not be left behind so they'll trot along after the other dog and forget that they were stressed/distracted/stubborn
 

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Surely not gonna blame Tori as she was mentally mugged.

Good stuff from Shell, only small change is maybe for 1st couple weeks walk her in a different area. If I were walking a pup that got scared I would even jump in car and do a cruise of area to scope out for loose dogs, if clear jump out, try shorter walks, concentrate on happy walks, not exercise type walks for now.

If I know there's a tavern where there are fistfights every other night I might go somewhere else, unless I am interested in fistfights.

My pup has no choice in where I would take her, I have to be the brains on this walk.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I really appreciate you both taking the time out to reply.
Unfortunately Wvasko it's a relatively new area to me too and I don't know anywhere else that is suitable for Tori to walk, I don't drive either so taking her to another park is out. Obviously if Shells suggestions don't work for Tori I'll definitely have to think of somewhere else within walking distance, I don't like the idea of walking her around the streets (particularly as I don't know where they lead) as Tor loves to walk on grass. I've already thought of different ways to get into the park but to do that I have to walk past the one we use which is obviously no good.

I'll try Shells suggestions if they don't work I'll have to figure out somewhere else to go. Thank you again :)
 

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Try walking her with two leashes. One normal size (4-6ft is best) and one longer (15-20ft). Always have both leashes on but wrap up the longer one into your hand (to make it the same size as the smaller one) when she is walking normal and fine. When she decides she doesn't want to walk anymore and just sits down, use the long leash and walk about 15 feet ahead of her (obviously still holding the long leash). Try calling her to you. You could even try playing a game of "come get me/come catch me" and running a bit ahead of her. Usually this will get them moving as puppies never want to be very far from their humans.

If you don't want to try the two leash thing, then if you are able, try starting off your walks JOGGING. If you are able to jog all the way to the park this would even be better. She may feel safer moving a bit faster. And of course, the running will be good for her anyways.
 

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Well you don't need 2 leads just one lead coiled and the walking out to end of it is cool but you could also get to end of lead and just lay down. You might look silly to others but who cares you're trying to fix a problem.

Now under normal circumstances jogging might help but please keep your head on a swivel as a strange dog seeing you and pup run could also be a problem. You do not want your pup scared again.
 

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Yeah I realized after I posted that you would only need one long lead lol. And Wvasko is right about the jogging. Just make sure the area is safe first.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for the suggestions. I took Tori out yesterday with my partner (in a wheelchair) and she was completely fine. The wheelchair I think worked as a focus for her and she walked easily past the areas where she usually refused to move.
Today I took her out again but this time by myself and Tori was completely fine, I'm hoping that she has got over her fears but I'm also realistic enough to know that tomorrow could be different. Her walks have increased slightly as she now loves the park and I've introduced some light training into the walks to make them more fun.

I really appreciate all the suggestions as they have eased my mind and helped Tori and I get past her fears so that we can enjoy our daily walks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Tori has shown no symptoms of being ill at all, no sickness, loose poo or lethargy. My partner and I moniter her very closely as we have had some experience with ill animals and how that makes their behaviour change. We had 2 very ill cats who were back and forth to the vets multiple times a week. We are both very confident that Tori is perfectly healthy and if we had any indication otherwise we would take her straight to the vets.
 
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