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My wife and I just adopted a 3 year old Aussie from a family. She was originally born a puppy mill dog, but was adopted at 8 months. The family lived in the suburbs with a small yard and in a peaceful neighborhood. They didn't ever take her on walks, so I don't think she was actually ever exposed to noise or traffic or anything.

My wife and I live in an apartment on the edge of a downtown area, with quite a lot of grassy area for our pup to go potty. The first night she was okay going potty right next to the apartment, but then she became scared of the area. We then took her half a block away to another grassy area, and she went there for a couple of weeks but then she became terrified of that area for no reason. We then started taking her across the street, but same thing, she became terrified of that area. When I say terrified I mean absolutely terrified. She hunches down and tears in the direction of the house, choking herself and if we try to train her to sit and stay and try all of the calming things, she just lunges towards home.

A couple of things:

there are a couple of trains that pass by our apartment every once in a while. She didn't seem terrified of them at first, but now she is--but only at home. We go to a park for walks next to train tracks and when they pass by there she could be either going potty and mostly she does not mind them one bit.

We have tried training by going outside for a couple of minutes with no intention of potty and coming back in, over and over, as conditioning. No luck.

She does NOT go to the bathroom inside. We have had her six weeks and she hasn't peed or pooped once inside or acted out in any way. No chewed furniture, no ruined shoes, nothing.

She is inherently nervous and we know that, but we can calm her down. We got her a ThunderShirt and that helped with anxiety at first, and it still helps while on walks in the park, but not near our home. She also refuses to go on walks near our home--gets terrified the moment we leave unless we are going to the car to take her to a park.

The one thing we can do to get her to go potty is to drive her down the road to a grassy area. When we take her there she hops out of the car and IMMEDIATELY goes. but it doesn't make sense because traffic is going by still and there is noise all around that area as well.

Does anyone have any advice?? This is becoming harder every day. Our next step is professional therapy, but if we can train her ourselves with our love and attention we would prefer that.
 
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