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Walking Issue

702 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Kathyy
I'll try to be succinct but include relevant information.

Rosie is a Smooth Hair Fox Terrier, small for the breed, about 11 pounds. 3.5 years old. We got her 3 years ago. My girlfriend and I lived together with another SFT, Springsteen. The two got along well, with a few skirmishes over food aggression.

About this time last year, my GF took a job and had to move, I stayed behind to finish school. We each took one dog.

Rosie and I walked frequently but we also had a big fenced in backyard that I would let her out to roam and explore. She loved to patrol the fence.

Coincidentally, 4 days after my GF and her dog moved out, me and Rosie got flooded out of the house. I think it was a bit traumatic.

For the past year we've been living in a big apartment complex. I walk her frequently, probably 1.5 hours a day, all put together. All kinds of grass patches and trails, trees, squirrels, etc.

She was always such a great walker. Rarely pulled and would immediately let up. Leash stayed slack, walked right beside me. For at least 8 months.

A couple months back, she started just stopping, bracing herself, and yanking backwards on the leash. Over that time, it has gotten progressively worse and worse, to the point I'm now having to pretty much drag her anywhere, even just to potty. She probably cooperates and walks well maybe 20% of the time, but it happens every time, she just yanks back on the leash. It will yank the phone out of my hand, makes my wrist and ankle sore.

I try to allow her to see what she wants. She's not tired, she can do it after being in the house all day. She doesn't appear to be hurting at all. She doesn't seem to be interested in anything. She just stops and sits down and stares at me, or just pulls backward against me.

Sometimes I will turn around and she will walk and cooperate, but only if we're going back to the apartment. It's like she's fine to just sit on the couch, half the time she doesn't get excited when I pull out the leash, and I have to pick her up. She loves going on car rides and she'll walk directly to the car

I just don't understand it. It had been 8 months since we had a major change, and she seemed perfectly adjusted. It's pretty much ruined our walks, which were always just as much for me as they were for her.

Maybe she's bored with the area? She cooperates better when we go to a different area like a park, but it doesn't change the fact that she's uncooperative where I have to walk her daily.

Idk. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks


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Bossy little thing!

Could it be she's fearful and going too far really scares her? What happens if you go back to the front door then venture back out again? What happens if you act like this is a potty trip and go back and forth in front of your place?

Watch her body language. Fearful Max, apparently a lab/spaniel mix, would have whale eye, ears far back on head, head very upright and tail so tucked you couldn't figure out what was rear feathering and what was tail. Fearful Bucky, sort of a cockapoo, charges in a panic, revolves around me, very tense face, stares and tail is also tucked quite a bit. It's possible some dog or critter or noise or who knows what really really bothers her and if present she isn't about to go for a nice walk.

I'd get a complete physical though. Low thyroid causes all sorts of weird issues for one thing. She could have a wonky joint that goes in and out or be losing function in some organ or another. Max was much less fearful once he lost hearing, possibly it's going the other way with her.
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Hey thanks for the advice. Yeah, it may be that she's fearful. There are a lot of people in my apt. complex who have dogs that they don't put on leashes who will run up on her, but that's never seemed to be too big of a problem for her.

I don't think it's that she is afraid of going too far because she knows the entire area, we've walked all over it. I have noticed that she's more likely to cooperate if we're on a sidewalk with apartments next to us, as opposed to an open parking lot. But that's not a consistent occurrence. Where my apt is, right next to a big fence, so we have to walk a little ways to get to a patch of grass to potty, and she is often even difficult then.

So strange, but you make a good point. Possibly it is a medical issue, because she doesn't seem as excited about walking in general. She is happy to just chill on the couch. But she has tons of energy if I break out her ball and toss it around the apartment, she's bouncing all over the place.

There's always a reason, I know, and I find dog psychology very interesting. But, sometimes it seems like she's doing it just to be bossy or difficult, which just isn't her personality at all
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I would recommend a vet check...it could be that she's in pain and does not want to walk any farther.

Something may have happened that caused her to fear going in that direction. Dogs are just weird sometimes, and you will probably never know what caused it, and can only hope it fades with time. My own dog was afraid to go in the back yard through a certain gate at one point in time...never figured out why.

Instead of dragging her (which could make this problem worse) try to lure her with treats, even if its just to her potty area.
Off leash dogs and she's tiny? Dogs hide fear.

Max started refusing to go a certain way after a couple of dogs intimidated him. They looked exactly like school yard bullies all puffed up and pretending to act friendly, sniffing noses with stiffly wagging tails. Max seemed to deal but every once in a while he wouldn't go that way. I did insist on going that way once and sure enough they were out. Never again, trusted him after that.
Interesting. Thanks for the advice. You're right, dragging her is a bad idea, feel kinda bad about it now. I've examined and haven't seen any signs of pain, but of course I'm no vet. My thinking was that if I allowed her to control the walk, it would exacerbate the issue. A few months back we got a harness for her, thinking that may help.

I'm trying to think of any experiences she may have perceived as traumatic. Kind of annoying how so many people just let their dogs out the door in this huge apartment complex. Used to happen almost once a week that a dog would come bounding after us. Never to the point of attack, but definitely bullying, now that I think about it, and I would usually lift her to protect her, very calmly. Then the people would just yell at their dogs to come back, they never would, and I'd have to turn around and walk back so that they could pick up their dog (we also have potty stations all over the complex, that so few people use).

She always seemed so fine afterwards that I just didn't see it as a memorable experience for her. I just thought she was being hard headed, because the breed is so independent minded.

Poor little pup. Great idea about coaxing her with treats. I'm going to try that
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That does sound like what happened with Max. Max was 35 pounds and the other dogs were about 30 and 60 pounds. Imagine the size difference was much more with your little one and the intimidating dog. The other dog doesn't even have to mean to be intimidating. My Bucky humps, hugs and gooses any dog unlucky enough to get within his grasp but he doesn't mean to bully, he just has appalling social skills and is incredibly happy to meet another dog.

Max didn't get dog reactive because of fear of other dogs but Ginger and Sassy did. This can go either way.
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