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We gave Remus the 3-month goldendoodle his first haircut today, just a bit around his face to get the hair out of his eyes, and now his body is fluffy and his face is narrow! lol And we can see his eyes and face much better now, which is great. I'll post a picture soon once I take it.

My questions today though are about how he's meeting the world. First are his walks. He was fine at first but now is scared a lot. And sometimes doesn't even want to walk, he'll just sit down with his back to me, facing the way back to the house. But I've been reading on these boards that it's normal for puppies at this age, and it's because they get overwhelmed with the world? We've been giving him praise, and treats to help him out.

Also, we've been trying to teach him to walk on a loose leash, basically stopping when he pulls on the leash. It doesn't seem to click in his mind yet that if the leash is loose, we keep going. What happens instead is that he races ahead, I stop. He sits down, thus automatically loosening the leash. I start walking, he starts walking, races ahead, I stop, he sits, etc. And we do this...most of the walk, lol. Is there a command word that people usually use for loose leash walking? Should I use treats to keep him by my side?

Second question is about his playtime with other dogs. We kept him away from other dogs so far, but now he's had two vaccinations, and our vet said it's all about calculated risk etc, so we've decided to get him used to other dogs. Now, he's been meeting other dogs on walks, but of course he's shy, tries to bolt, then circles around and gradually gets ever closer. We praise him and lure him closer with treats. Today we had a playtime in a neighbour's closed-off yard, with their male 2 year old 10lbs Shitzu (Remus is 14lbs lol). The little Shitzu hasn't spend too much time with other dogs and neither has ours. It went pretty well, in that both of them ran around a lot playing chase. It was mostly Remus initiating the chase (and whenever he got bored and lay down, I would go pet the other dog, and Remus would come running LOL), the other dog barking and them running around each other. A couple times they almost came close enough to sniff each other, but then got spooked and bolted.

The only thing I'm worried about is that neither of them know how to play nicely with other dogs and may hurt each other eventually by biting too hard, or Remus might have a bad formative experience and be scared of playing with other dogs the rest of his life. Also the other dog may not be big enough to teach Remus some manners. Though we do have other, big, friendly dogs we can socialize Remus with :)

Sorry for the essay, any advice?
 

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My questions today though are about how he's meeting the world. First are his walks. He was fine at first but now is scared a lot. And sometimes doesn't even want to walk, he'll just sit down with his back to me, facing the way back to the house. But I've been reading on these boards that it's normal for puppies at this age, and it's because they get overwhelmed with the world? We've been giving him praise, and treats to help him out.
Yeah, he's just scared of the great outdoors right now. Whatever you do, don't drag him along, or pick him up and walk on with him... instead, try coaxing him by walking to the end of the leash and calling his name/offering a treat/squeaking a toy/clapping your hands/squatting down/all of the above. If that doesn't work, it's fine. Let him explore and play (on leash) in the area where he is comfortable. Give him lots of praise and treats when he's having fun. Practice "watch me" in a positive way. He's still very young and has yet to gain confidence.

Also, we've been trying to teach him to walk on a loose leash, basically stopping when he pulls on the leash. It doesn't seem to click in his mind yet that if the leash is loose, we keep going. What happens instead is that he races ahead, I stop. He sits down, thus automatically loosening the leash. I start walking, he starts walking, races ahead, I stop, he sits, etc. And we do this...most of the walk, lol. Is there a command word that people usually use for loose leash walking? Should I use treats to keep him by my side?
First, you need to define "loose leash". Instead of defining "loose" as "anything that's not taut," I define the leash as loose when the catch on the dog's collar is hanging perpendicular to the ground. That means even sitting at the end of the leash isn't a loose leash.

Instead of stopping when he pulls on the leash, turn and walk in the opposite direction. As he passes your leg (the spot where you want him to walk), click (if you're clicker training) and deliver a really yummy treat to show him where you want him to be. He may keep going and hit the end of the leash again -- just turn and repeat. You might be walking in figure eights for awhile, but be consistent and sooner or later he will catch on. If he is walking well at any point during the walk, give him lots of verbal praise and treats for the duration that the leash is loose.

Second question is about his playtime with other dogs. We kept him away from other dogs so far, but now he's had two vaccinations, and our vet said it's all about calculated risk etc, so we've decided to get him used to other dogs. Now, he's been meeting other dogs on walks, but of course he's shy, tries to bolt, then circles around and gradually gets ever closer. We praise him and lure him closer with treats. Today we had a playtime in a neighbour's closed-off yard, with their male 2 year old 10lbs Shitzu (Remus is 14lbs lol). The little Shitzu hasn't spend too much time with other dogs and neither has ours. It went pretty well, in that both of them ran around a lot playing chase. It was mostly Remus initiating the chase (and whenever he got bored and lay down, I would go pet the other dog, and Remus would come running LOL), the other dog barking and them running around each other. A couple times they almost came close enough to sniff each other, but then got spooked and bolted.
Considering the age of your pup, I would definitely keep the doggie playdates restricted to well-socialised, properly trained dogs who know how to play, or other puppies. Puppy kindergarten is a great way to meet owners of other puppies. Dog parks are generally too uncontrolled.
 

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First, you need to define "loose leash". Instead of defining "loose" as "anything that's not taut," I define the leash as loose when the catch on the dog's collar is hanging perpendicular to the ground. That means even sitting at the end of the leash isn't a loose leash.

Instead of stopping when he pulls on the leash, turn and walk in the opposite direction. As he passes your leg (the spot where you want him to walk), click (if you're clicker training) and deliver a really yummy treat to show him where you want him to be. He may keep going and hit the end of the leash again -- just turn and repeat. You might be walking in figure eights for awhile, but be consistent and sooner or later he will catch on. If he is walking well at any point during the walk, give him lots of verbal praise and treats for the duration that the leash is loose.

Considering the age of your pup, I would definitely keep the doggie playdates restricted to well-socialised, properly trained dogs who know how to play, or other puppies. Puppy kindergarten is a great way to meet owners of other puppies. Dog parks are generally too uncontrolled.
Ahh, thanks Melissa! That definition certainly seems like it has more potential than mine does haha. We'll try it out soon.

And I am so proud of him, today he sniffed the snouts of two dogs by himself, one completely new and one he'd met before. And he has a play-date tomorrow with an older big dog. So yay!
 
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