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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. We are having some issues when taking Stella outside to do her business. We currently live in an apartment, so we don't have a yard. There is grass out front, which is where we take her. Unfortunately, we live on one of the busier streets of our neighborhood. The "L" station is right down the street so we get a lot of foot traffic. Anyway, since the moment we got her, we knew we would have a lot of people stopping to pet "the cute little puppy!" It has been a little over a month now since we've had her. Not everyone stops now (thank goodness) but NOW Stella expects everyone to stop and chit chat. She will spot someone coming from a block away and sit pretty until the get closer, then she will start whining and barking at the people walking by. She will be in the middle of taking a poop, and then she'll stop to get attention.

I do get frustrated with the people who acknowledge how annoying it is to have people stop when you're trying to get your puppy to go, but then they stand around and talk. I don't want to be rude and say "Please keep walking", but I feel like I need to wear a sign that says "Don't look at my puppy and keep walking, she is trying to go potty!" Ugh!

Anyway, the point of all that information is to get to this question. How do I distract Stella from the people walking by? I try crouching down and petting her and holding her, but then she starts to whine, which makes it sound like I'm killing her or something.

Any opinions or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
-Ashley and Stella

P.S. Stella is about 14 weeks old, and we THINK she might be a terrier mix, or a spaniel/lab mix (which is what the rescue center said). :)
 

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I don't want to be rude and say "Please keep walking",
I would make a little sign to take out with you.

Puppy in Training
Please Don't Stop to Pet
Thank you!

You're not being rude. They can read it as they approach and it's not the same as you telling them what to do. You're politely asking for their cooperation. Then you can smile at them and silently thank them as they walk by.
 

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This is a hard one. On the one hand we all want our dogs to be well socialized and friendly but, we also have other things to do and would like a little more urgency/focus for the task at hand from our pups and we have to weigh which one is more important.

It's not always convenient or easy to change the potty schedule to the times when there isn't so much foot traffic but, that may be part of the solution. Try feeding at a different time so that at least the poop schedule is earlier or later.

As for the attention, you don't want to give it. This isn't play time with you or strangers. Block her view of approaching people....that means you're turning your back on people which may or may not be safe.....it's up to you. Point is, Stella is forced to focus on you and declares that the strangers are off limits. You don't have to say a word....your body language says it all.

Start working on the Go Potty command. That reminds her of why she is out there....not to play or interact with people.
 

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Teach her a command for GO POTTY--I use Hurry Up--When I tell them to "hurry up" they know they have to do their business before they can play--
I know the problem is more everyone else but--its a start--at least she will be focused.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I do use the command "Go Potty" but I don't think she's understanding. I am now trying to use my body as a shield, which kind of worked. Should I keep using the command while she is actually "going"? Would that help her make the connection that "Go Potty" means to pee and poop?
 

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Should I keep using the command while she is actually "going"? Would that help her make the connection that "Go Potty" means to pee and poop?
Yes, if your timing is right on the mark...as she is actually going. Don't forget the praise...lots of praise when she's done.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the advice. I am going to put this into effect immediately, as well as pass the information on to her daddy. Hopefully I will see an improvement within a few days, or at least in a week.
 
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