Hi all...I've had my 2-year-old grey Otto for three weeks now. I realize he's very much still adjusting, getting used to his new home and me so I'm trying to approach this situation with all of my patience and an open mind. During the first week or so with me, he was doing great on walks. Really loved them, trotting happily alongside me, sniffing at things, etc. He had some moments of getting distracted/statueing if he was overwhelmed, but with patience and lots of encouragement/treats, he would usually be ready to move along after a few minutes or so. Sometime over the last week, it's like a switch has flipped. We manage maybe 5 minutes outside before he statues, usually with him walking behind me instead of alongside, and any encouragement I give or distraction I offer no longer helps. After a few minutes of statueing, he will often lay down. Sometimes he'll jump up after a minute or so, but more often than not we're stranded until he decides to move on. Sometimes I can coax him up with a high value treat, or toss it a few feet ahead which makes him want to follow it, but this doesn't always work and I am very hesitant to pull him up. Sometimes, when all other options have failed, gently nudging his rear with my leg gets him moving, but I don't love this method either. The only thing that has worked consistently every time is if a person walks by and wants to pet him (he LOVES people), or if another dog wants to meet him, he will happily jump up and go to them, but obviously there's no guarantee this will actually happen on any of our walks.
A lot of times, when all other methods have failed, I end up just sitting in the grass with him until he feels ready to move on, but this is getting increasingly frustrating and I won't always have the ability to spend upwards of an hour and a half on what is our "shorter" morning walk. (Especially once the school year starts and I go back to work.) He has a shoulder injury from the track which contributes to this slightly; long distances are a no-go for him right now and his adoption group told me running off leash is really something he can't do ever without risking further injury, so he really needs our leash walks to get his exercise.
We are enrolled in a positive reinforcement obedience class and practice every day, and I'm hopeful this will help build our bond and give me some more skills in working with him. He loves playing in my apartment and snuggling up with me on the couch, and rides in the car, so in most respects it seems like he's adjusting pretty well. Any advice anyone has would be welcome, I'd love for our walks to get back to being pleasant, fun exercise and not the exercises in frustration (for both of us) they are becoming!