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Outside?! No Way, Says Arrow.


Guest hillary
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We adopted Arrow exactly nearly a month ago. He is a 2 1/2 year old retired racer, weighing in at about 100lbs. In the short amount of time that we have had him, his nervous tendencies that we observed at his foster home and were also warned about have completely faded. He no longer paces and excessively pants, or chews, or guards his food or toys and has proven himself responsible to leave home alone, crate-less for the four hours a day that our work schedules overlap--something that his previous caretakers had never been able to do. All in all, he's blossoming into a wonderful member of our small family.

 

Unfortunately, the last week and a half he has developed a fear of going out for a walk. When we first brought him home, he would walk endlessly. (We live on the outskirts of a large city, and usually stick to quiet routes.) He began to show increasing hesitation toward our usual stroll around the lake, and as soon as there was a moderate amount of joggers in sight, he would begin to pull relentlessly and fearfully toward home. He now has no tolerance for loud voices or any sudden noises, for that matter, which keeps him inside on Friday and Saturday evenings when the neighbors are having a cook-out or gathering. But now Arrow simply will not leave the safety of the porch unless he knows we are just out into the yard so he can relieve himself. We have tried waiting and encouraging words (yesterday we maxed out at 25 minutes, standing and speaking to him to no avail) walking him with another dog, manually moving his feet--one by one--and today I brought out the big guns: his beloved kong toy with peanut butter. But he simply stared, his head still and his eyes saying so clearly, "nope." There is no amount of pleasantries and good experience of being outside that will persuade him. And we do not have a fenced in yard, so our walks are imperative. Though he does go to the dog park often (after hesitation of leaving the car) and is beginning to learn to play.

 

He's a healthy boy. He is full of play when we go inside. It's just the idea of going for a walk that now glues him to the porch.

I suppose I am inquiring whether or not this is something anyone else has experienced, and if there are any known remedies for said issue. I understand the adjustment period can take quite some time, but I am most perplexed at this sudden change in attitude, as he once enjoyed our long walks. Any advice would be very much appreciated.

Edited by hillary
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I cannot give any real advice, but can commiserate, if that helps! This summer, we experienced something similar with our 9 year female. She lives for walks and all of a sudden, she was refusing to go. She is half Arrow's size, so I could physically manipulate her if necessary. Anyway, from what I have observed, she was bitten by a horse fly, which are common in our area. If you have never had the experience, you are lucky. Those suckers hurt! She has been slowly doing better, then last night, a regular old fly went by and Zoe freaked out. While unfortunate, it at least confirmed my suspicions. I have just been slowly working with her and giving her time.

 

Hopefully, someone with more experience can provide helpful advice. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone!

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Cindy with Miss Fancypants, Paris Bueller, Zeke, and Angus 
Dante (Dg's Boyd), Zoe (In a While), Brady (Devilish Effect), Goose (BG Shotgun), Maverick (BG ShoMe), Maggie (All Trades Jax), Sherman (LNB Herman Bad) and Indy (BYB whippet) forever in my heart
The flame that burns the brightest, burns the fastest and leaves the biggest shadow

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Guest Energy11

Just a thought ... is is HOT where you are? Hottt here still, and mine don't want any part of outdoors in the afternoons .. .neither do I, for that matter. :angry:

 

If it IS hot where you are, that might be it. Good Luck!

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Just a thought ... is is HOT where you are? Hottt here still, and mine don't want any part of outdoors in the afternoons .. .neither do I, for that matter. :angry:

 

If it IS hot where you are, that might be it. Good Luck!

 

Nope! It's slightly cool and perfect weather--we live in Minnesota, so we're hoping to get him enjoying the outside while he still can..

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Guest buttonwillow

He's happy with you, he trusts you, maybe his anxieties have just switched from being inside to being outside. It's still early days really ... just one month. I hope patience and time will help him. You can always try medication if you think it will help him transition back to being comfortable outside.

Edited by buttonwillow
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Is he food/treat motivated? If so, take advantage of that. Every time he goes out (and as soon as he steps outside), give him a treat. Every time you walk another block, give him a treat. Also, don't hesitate to take it slow. If he only wants to walk for a couple minutes, do that. Then the next time extend it a few minutes. In the big picture, you're essentially trying to slowly desensitize him and also get him to learn that the things that are scary actually result in good things happening (treats :D). One thing to keep in mind, it won't be uncommon for him to perhaps get overwhelmed or have some incident which will set him back and seemingly lose all his progress. That's ok, it just means you have to build back up to the point you were before.

 

Keep in mind too, it's only a month and these guys' personalities take a really long time to blossom. And if he's pretty spooky, it could take awhile, but if you're patient, he will improve a lot.

Lima Bean (formerly Cold B Hi Fi) and her enabler, Rally. ☜We're moving West!

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When I first adopted my boy (6 years ago) we went through what you describe. We live in a really quite neighborhood and at first he liked his walks, but then, no way - he would freeze and turn to go home. To be honest, I just went home with him. For a while we did really short walks, just so he could relieve himself, and sometimes just in the yard. Eventually, he actually began to get bored with this routine and wanted to venture further. He loved rides in the car, so we would get in the car and go to a place to hike. Now, he and my female grey will walk for miles. Sometimes (not often) he decides that a short walk is enough, so that is what we do. I never force him to do what he doesn't want to, as far as walking.

 

Maybe Arrow just needs time to adjust. I am sure he will change once he feels more secure. Good luck!

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Guest Scouts_mom

Have you tried leaving the house through a different door? Sometimes something as simple as that will do the trick--it doesn't allow him to start his internal voice telling him that going out that front door leads to scaring things.

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Guest manders4

When our Daisy did that, we would sometimes just pick her up and carry her down the porch stairs. But, she's 55 pounds, not 100! I agree with the food motivating to get off the steps. Also, sometimes if you just walk out the door and down the steps without hesitating at all, the dog just follows. If he thinks he has an opportunity to stop, he will!

 

I also second the different door idea. For a while, Daisy would be fine going down the back porch steps, but not the front porch!

 

Good luck! I'm sure he'll come around soon.

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We have a boy who goes thru phases of not wanting to leave the property. When we first had him we found that when he would not walk out of the yard, if we put him the car and drove down the street, then he would get out and walk... so we did that for a while.

 

Hopefully in another month's time he will change again... but it sounds like you are trying good things and some others have added their ideas too.

Amy and Tim in Beverly, MA, with Chase and Always missing Kingsley (Drama King) and Ruby (KB's Bee Bopper).

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Thank you for all of the support and suggestions. Arrow is still finding the outside to be quite intimidating, but we have been taking him to the dog park on a regular basis, where he feels comfortable walking around on his own. And today, for the first time since attending the park, he actually wagged his tail and pounced in play at his fellow canines--I wanted to applaud. Baby steps! Thanks again.

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I am glad you are making some progress!

 

I have no suggestions because I am going through something similar with my girl. I know what scared her - fireworks - but since then she doesn't want to go for a walk. I don't know if I should just take her for walks (she will go but is clearly unhappy and keeps turning for home) or let her stay home. :blink: It has been 3 weeks and she is still hyper sensitive to noises that did not bother her before.

 

Hoping both of them can get over it.

Lila Football
Jerilyn, missing Lila (Good Looking), new Mistress to Wiki (PJ Wicked).
 
 

 

 

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I am glad you are making some progress!

 

I have no suggestions because I am going through something similar with my girl. I know what scared her - fireworks - but since then she doesn't want to go for a walk. I don't know if I should just take her for walks (she will go but is clearly unhappy and keeps turning for home) or let her stay home. :blink: It has been 3 weeks and she is still hyper sensitive to noises that did not bother her before.

 

Hoping both of them can get over it.

 

Arrow woke me up this morning at 6:00 (he doesn't have mercy on weekends) and I stumbled out the door with him. It was dark and quiet outside, and to my surprise he pulled me down the driveway, around the block, did his business, and we headed back to bed. I think he may have been so sleepy and disoriented that he forgot what he was afraid of. Maybe this is the key-- early early morning walks, before anything scary wakes up. Unless I dreamt the entire experience, as he refused our second morning walk attempt!

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I am glad you are making some progress!

 

I have no suggestions because I am going through something similar with my girl. I know what scared her - fireworks - but since then she doesn't want to go for a walk. I don't know if I should just take her for walks (she will go but is clearly unhappy and keeps turning for home) or let her stay home. :blink: It has been 3 weeks and she is still hyper sensitive to noises that did not bother her before.

 

Hoping both of them can get over it.

 

Arrow woke me up this morning at 6:00 (he doesn't have mercy on weekends) and I stumbled out the door with him. It was dark and quiet outside, and to my surprise he pulled me down the driveway, around the block, did his business, and we headed back to bed. I think he may have been so sleepy and disoriented that he forgot what he was afraid of. Maybe this is the key-- early early morning walks, before anything scary wakes up. Unless I dreamt the entire experience, as he refused our second morning walk attempt!

 

I wish Lila slept until 6:00! She had me up at 4:00 this morning. :o

 

I am glad you found something that worked (at least once). I think I may have also. I took Lila for a walk on a state trail today and yesterday. Train tracks were converted to a walking/biking trail. It is in the woods, so its quiet, has lots of good stuff to sniff, and leashed dogs are welcome. She loved it! And as a bonus she gets to practice her car riding skills (which could also use some work) and got to meet a very well behaved dog. If you have something like that near you, I would suggest it. I think because it is so different they don't associate it with the scary walks in the neighborhood, but I am hoping that eventually she will come to realize all walks are fun.

Lila Football
Jerilyn, missing Lila (Good Looking), new Mistress to Wiki (PJ Wicked).
 
 

 

 

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Guest pichick712

I walk Indy everyday (have had him 2 weeks now) and on the 1st half of the walk, he walks very nicely beside me although he can't decide if he wants to be on the left or right, but then at the halfway point, he insists on being in the lead. It's like night and day. I am working with him to have him walk beside me the whole way but he seems to want to get home. He gets very excited when I take the leash out for a walk but then can't seem to get home fast enough. lol He knows exactly where his house is and could take me there blindfolded.

 

Weird, eh?

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it almost sounds like your dog will do well w/ some training while he walks. training so he will focus on YOU, not the world around him. this way he will bond with you even faster, become more secure w/ your clue and interact w/ you!

 

have a treat bag on your body...or tons of "special" treats in your pocket. get him out early when he is the happiest and start by saying his name and looking at you...then treat. after he knows his name and is rewarded go on to having him touch your hand and treat. i use the word target or touch. these are easy games, his focus will NOT be on the overwhelming world around him but on getting that food(at 100lbs i am sure he LOVES to eat!). eventually you can step back a couple of steps, while walking, to the end of the leash and call him and TREAT...the start of recall.

 

going out will be TREAT and learning/training time. no time for fear or insecurity...just fun and games. also, you can have him target when you are getting his leash and TREAT so he will associate the leash w/ yummie reward time.

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Are you the family that I did a home visit for and you got your pup from Iowa?

 

Hope Arrow settles in and starts to enjoy walking again

 

Kari

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Kari and the pups.
Run free sweet Hana 9/21/08-9/12/10. Missing Sparks with every breath.
Passion 10/16/02-5/25/17

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I walk Indy everyday (have had him 2 weeks now) and on the 1st half of the walk, he walks very nicely beside me although he can't decide if he wants to be on the left or right, but then at the halfway point, he insists on being in the lead. It's like night and day. I am working with him to have him walk beside me the whole way but he seems to want to get home. He gets very excited when I take the leash out for a walk but then can't seem to get home fast enough. lol He knows exactly where his house is and could take me there blindfolded.

 

Weird, eh?

 

 

When my Joseph first came home, he had no interest in being outside except to use the bathroom. Once that was done, he just wanted to come back in. Couple months and he got over that. I suspect your Indy will get over it in time, too.

 

 

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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This is really fantastic advice, thank you. He is gradually going for short, slow walks--and now refuses to go back inside. Needless to say, he has a mind of his own. But creating a context of interacting together in a focused manner and encouraging and rewarding his progression with something he gets crazy eyes for (a little peanut butter or treats) is smart. The positive training will gradually turn into an enjoyable and relaxing time spent together. We will see! Thanks again.

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Are you the family that I did a home visit for and you got your pup from Iowa?

 

Hope Arrow settles in and starts to enjoy walking again

 

Kari

 

Yes! Thanks for taking the time, by the way. (He's conquered the stairs, too!)

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