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Hello Everyone,
My wife and I are first time dog owners! We have a beautiful and smart dog named Roux! He is a Catahoula Leopard Cur.

He is potty trained but recently we have been having some really potty related issues. We had an accident where I was switching the retractable leash in my hands and he pulled it and it fell to the ground during our walk. He then took off and (thankfully!) ran into our driveway and back yard. Since then we have switched to a lead, this did not improve much of anything. He is still pulling and if not a lot more than before. Everytime we get him outside he keeps trying to pull back to the house. During our walks he keeps looking for the house and just wants to go back and stay in the living room and dining room area. He even jumps on me to get my attention, which I ignore and keep walking. He is deathly afraid of garbage cans ( no idea why). We have been continuing to expose him to the outdoors (and specifically the garbage cans) by walking back and forth to show him there is nothing to be afraid of. This approach slowly but surely appears to be working.

More recently he has started peeing when we approach him and try to put the lead on him. Yesterday he peed in two different areas of the house when i was trying to call him over to put the lead on him. Just straight up looking at me and peeing.

Today he saw the lead in my hand as I was calling him over and he started peeing. Then he got up on the couch and started peeing which is when i picked him up and rushed him outside ( probably not a good idea, right?).

I thought as time would go on he would get more used to things and less scared, instead it seems he is getting more scared/anxious as the days go on.

He is scared of water bottles, vacuums, mops, new toys..... The vacuums and the mop and I can understand. But, from what we have been reading exposure is the answer. So we continue to go about our day without changes.

Before i forget to mention he used to love playing in the backyard. Now (since i cut the grass for the first time in our new house) he will not go in the back yard unless we have him on the lead so he cannot run right back in.

My wife and I are constantly watching Youtube videos as to how to train your dog and get them more comfortable, and how to get them to walk without pulling on the lead/leash. The biggest issue now is the urination when being approached with the lead/leash. We already did some reading on solutions, which we will try (not standing over him, giving him a treat, etc.) but would appreciate any guidance that can be offered!!

Sorry for the really long post! Any and all advice is greatly appreciated!

Thank you in advance!
E&C
 

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Hi E&C,

how old is your puppy and how how long has he been with you? I am definitely not an expert but I am first time puppy owner like you with fresh similar experience. We have a 4 months and a half staffy mix. She is a rescue and at the beginning she was scared of everything. She would not leave the house and we had to pick her up and put her on the nature strip to do her business. She would not come from the living room to the kitchen because she was scared of the shadow in between - and she was afraid of other dogs. She is still a shy puppy and sometimes sits and doesn’t want to walk but she did make lot of progresses, so there is hope. I think what helped us the most was/is building positive association with things that were scary. Although sometimes it could be a little frustrating (at least for me), we tried to take baby steps and be patient. We tried to take a little step at the time - and gave her a reward in that context. For example, you call your puppy to come just out of the house gently offering a treat and leave them their time to come to you without forcing them and then you reward them. Then you can try to go a little further. Or you show your puppy the leash without trying to put it on and you give them a reward until they are okay with the sight of it. Then you can put it on and leave the puppy to carry it around the house and reward them before trying to walk with them, maybe inside the house first. I think it takes time but it does work. They do start learning positive associations and then it is easier to make bigger steps but I think at the beginning you may have to go slow. And be confident yourself as much as you can, I found that it really makes a difference because dogs feed a lot from your emotions. When I am nervous she also becomes nervous and start pulling and stop listening.Our dog is very food driven so reward is mostly food, especially to get her to walk, but we also praise her and play. Sorry, not sure if this helps. Best of luck!
 

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Hello Ele,
Thank you for sharing your experience with us! I am glad to hear that you have made progress with your pup!

Roux is currently 7 Months Old. We also got him from a rescue. He was 6 months old when we adopted him. We have tried to reward him with food but when he gets nervous or anxious he will not entertain the treats at all. We are making some progress as he is seemingly leaning off of the submissive peeing when we approach him or talk to him and have 1-3 very small tinkles since i originally posted.

We ( mostly I) will try my best to do better about my confidence and patience with Roux and i have been since he had the big scare!

Thank you for your advice!

E&C!
 

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The peeing in front of you is submissive peeing and it is from fear. At 7 months old your puppy is showing his basic genetic temperament which, sad to say, appears to be fearful. As time goes on and with a LOT of work on your part it may improve. It also may get worse. If it gets bad enough he won't be a dog you can take for walks and go places with.

Be careful pushing the fear issue. The dog could become defensive and show what appears to be aggression towards dogs and people on walks. A lot of people call it reactivity but it is really fear. The dog may hackle up and bark and his thinking is "if I look tough and mean that will scare off <whatever>!" When you take him for a walk, be calm. Say not much. If he sees a person or another dog you get between him and the scary thing to let him know you have this, you have his back and you will take care of it. Do not let random people or dogs come up to your dog. Build his trust by not allowing that.

Remember, at 7 months old he is still a little kid. On top of that he is a scared little kid. In spite of his body growing, he will likely be a little kid mentally until he is well over 18 months old.
 

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Maybe I can help. Have you ever heard of a no pull harness???? Get one they are great for dogs and puppies that pull, and your rescue has anxiety issues, he is just like MONK....lol so the best for Rooux and you is to come down down to his level and don’t, I mean don’t confront him with a garbage can you will only make him more fearful you need to talk to him with a soft loving voice and move away from the cans, it’s ok to be afraid, we have fears, why not him???? And it’s ok to trust him let go of his leash sometimes trust trust, and peeing in the house, start from scratch he’s your baby let him know it’s ok he’s an anxious dog, some breeds are love him were he ‘s at. Maybe you can do what I do I talk to my Dodger just like a person, I treat him like I want to be treated, and he loves me, he’s my family, make sense???? Well that’s my advice, hope it helps GB
 

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Hello Ele,
Thank you for sharing your experience with us! I am glad to hear that you have made progress with your pup!

Roux is currently 7 Months Old. We also got him from a rescue. He was 6 months old when we adopted him. We have tried to reward him with food but when he gets nervous or anxious he will not entertain the treats at all. We are making some progress as he is seemingly leaning off of the submissive peeing when we approach him or talk to him and have 1-3 very small tinkles since i originally posted.

We ( mostly I) will try my best to do better about my confidence and patience with Roux and i have been since he had the big scare!

Thank you for your advice!

E&C!
Roux is only a puppy and when a dog goes to a new home, it needs a minimum of 1 month to adjust to its new life. You've only had Roux for 1 month and living in a rescue can cause psychological issues that need time to get over with the patience and good guidance of a new owner.
 

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I would forget walks for a while. I'd take him to the backyard where he seems to be comfortable. Just play with him out there. Teach him some basic obedience, sit, stay, down, come, etc. Start slow, keep it fun. If he has a favorite toy, use that as a reward, or use a high value (super yummy) treat (when my youngest dog gets scared/stressed and the only treat she'll eat is string cheese).
When he gets comfortable, then introduce the leash. Just have it laying on the ground until he stops peeing when he sees it. Then attach it to his collar, reward him and take it off. When he's comfortable with that, put the leash on and let him drag it around the yard for a while.
When he's comfortable with the leash in the yard, start introducing him to the front yard. GO SLOW! If he starts getting anxious going 10 ft, only go 7 ft at first. Reward, praise and make things FUN at each stage.

If you have a neighbor with a friendly dog, introduce the dogs and when he's comfortable, start going on SHORT walks with another dog.

My youngest dog is 5 years old I can't walk her around our neighborhood by herself. But if I take one of my other dogs, she is totally fine, and very brave.

You may want to look into a dog sport as well. My dog is scared of people, but LOVES agility. Trials are tough on her, but she has made HUGE progress and does really well. It has really helped her confidence.
Another thing that may help, is CBD oil, or treats. It can help with anxiety, but doesn't work on all dogs.
If you're interested in that, CannaPet is having a BOGO sale going on, today only. I like having their biscuits on hand for ease of use, if needed.

Timid/scared/shy dogs can take a lot of work, but once they get comfortable with something, it's very rewarding.
 

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I would recommend a puppy class. It will help you understand the language of dogs and help your dog become more confident. As a puppy learns obedience it gives them confidence because they understand what you are expecting of them if you are very consistent in your command and approach.
Basically, you have a young dog who lived in a rescue situation and have no idea what happened in his life before the rescue. Give him some time to adjust. He has now changed homes at least 3-4 times in 7 months. Each of these changes probably came with a change in food, beds, confinement, schedules, etc. The little guy is very confused right now.
I would forgo leash training at this point. Try to get some happiness and confidence built up for him. I would try to leave the back door open when you are in the back yard. Take a ball or toy he likes out with you but don't force him outside. Let him choose to come outside with you. Sit down on a chair or the step and say in a happy voice "Roux come!" (so he later does not start just running out open doors, you need to attach a command to the desired behavior). Reward him with the toy, ball, or treat when he joins you. Throw a party! Once he has confidence in the yard, then bring a leash outside with you, over time attach the leash to his collar and just let him walk around the yard dragging it, then call him over. We even let our puppies drag leashes around in the house as it makes it easier to grab a leash to redirect instead of a quick slippery pup. Outside, pick up the leash and have him investigate some fun places in the yard with you, giving treats for good behavior. Then you can try taking him outside the yard on the leash. Be careful if you must take him out of the house (to the vet, etc) to carry him vs using the leash so that he does not associate the leash with a negative experience...and you start the confidence building all over again.
The submissive urination is a behavior that will work itself out with time. Our current rescue dachsund is going on a year with us and still trickles a bit when frightened. We just try to make those encounters happen on the tile floor and not on the rug.
 

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Oh my.....

Do not treat when the dog is fearful. This only reinforces the behavior.

Yes, you need to be an advocate for your dog. Yes, start in the back yard. If the yard is fenced, you could let him off leash to sniff and explore, walk next to him as he explores. When he becomes more confident, place a trash can in the back yard. Let him sniff and explore.

Only offer treats when he begins to step forward. Any small step or advance is reward worthy.

My pup had problems with confidence when the floor tile would change color. Example: black border on white floor. I would reward for a sniff. Nothing when he stepped back. Soon, he attempted to cross, reward. Then finally a crossing, REWARD, REWARD, REWARD. During this time, I covered the black tile with a white towel. The next big hurdle was the gap between the floor and the elevator. I lived on the 17th floor, the building had 3 elevators. Many times I would hold a lift while working on the training. A simple white towel helped during this situation. There were no commands with this exposure. Just patience and rewards for the dog making an attempt.
 
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