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Hello!
I'm Mike from MN. I have done a seach on Skiddish and Fireworks, but I've come up with very little info.

I have a 3 year old English Pointer mix puppy. She is pretty spoiled, so I'll start there. I walk her 3 times a day and she has never been afraid of anything. That is up until 3 weeks ago.

1-She runs and hides from every load noise and ANY type of fireworks she hears. She has never done this and there is no instance I can remember of that would make her this way.

2-Now, when I "try" to take her for walks, we get about 100ft and she immediately tries to go back to the car or the house. Tries being the key word as I force her to go on the walk. Not sure this is the right thing to do? To show her I'm in charge?

Is there anything at all I can do about the above two issues mentioned?? I would greatly appreciate all suggestions as I am a "Rookie" dog owner at 41.

Thanks for your time, Mike

I will upload a photo later tonight.
 

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I am pretty new at dog ownership too, but our puppy is a little unsure of new things; our trainer said not to force her on walks, or to force her into situation she seems scared of. Instead, I bring "high value treats" like liver or cheese or something really yummy, and I give her a treat when she behaves in the way I want. So, at first I would put the leash on her and show her the treat and give her a treat as she walked nicely. If she stopped or seemed scared, I would encourage her and reward her with the treat when she came forward on her own. Now, i don't usually take treats anymore around the neighborhood because she likes her walks now (the treats create a positive association...so do not need to use forever). But, it is best to carry them just in case something new pops up and I want to reward her for being brave and approaching the new thing.

Good luck with your dog.
 

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This is a confidence issue not a 'who's in charge' problem. That fear of loud noises and getting too far from home are socialization issues that are usually addressed during puppyhood when the puppy is still highly adaptable and learns how to cope with strange sights and sounds.

Not all is lost at this age. You may never be able to completely overcome the sound phobia but, you can teach her how to cope better. How you handle her fear reaction(s) is crucial. No babying, no comforting or soothing talk.

If the sound is normal (thunder, lawnmowers, garbage trucks, etc.) show her they are nothing to be concerned about by yawning and walking away. Yawning is a calming signal and dogs understand that body language for what it is...boring...nothing to be concerned about. This takes time and practice and certainly isn't bomb proof but, she should start to relax.

For the walks, go out to that 100 foot mark (the limit of her comfort level) and start tossing treats in the grass, play fetch, play games...make it fun. Ideally, there would be a Dairy Queen 100 feet away and you could share a cone...then another DQ 200' away or a swimming creek...you get the idea....teaching her that really good things happen away from home.
 

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It's possible that you haven't gotten a lot of results when you've searched for "skiddish" dogs because you've got the spelling wrong. The word is "skittish." When I Google that, I get some pretty decent pages!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, that makes sense!

Spelling? LOL

See, told you I was a rookie dog owner!

Thanks all!

Mike
 
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