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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, my 1 yr old, rescue boxer is easily distracted on her walks. I've watched the recommended videos, such ad Kikopup we practice indoors before going outdoors etc. She does great for parts of her walk, the rest is downhill. She is easily distracted and when she does fixate on something it is HARD to get her to refocus. We start training in about 12 days, but until then consider this my SOS for my sanity.
 

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I notice you have only been posting for 2 days, so I'm guessing you haven't had her much longer than that, so you haven't been practising the things like loose leash walking for long.

Also, she may also be overwhelmed from the big changes in her life, again depending on when she came to you.

And - she is a 1 year old boxer - they are boisterous dogs who do distract easily.

So, breathe.

When she fixates, yes it will be harder to get her focus back until she has learned that you are the centre of her universe; and that is going to take a bit of time. Is there anything in particular she fixates on? Anything you can anticipate?

Another thing you could try is some impulse control work.


 

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I would bring some high value treats with you on your walks. Start out just by walking and calling her name and when she looks at you give her a treat. You have to make your walks interesting and combine it with training and she will likely get less distracted over time. If she knows basic commands such as sit tell her to sit and give it a treat. Leash training takes a lot of time. Instead of focusing on how bad the dog is try to reflect after the walk and think about what went right and what went wrong. Try to observe your dog while on walks and if you think she is about to get distract call her name and give her a treat only if she looks at you. I adopted a hound from the shelter back in October. He was always distracted and constantly pulling on the leash. Now there is slack on the leash about 80-90% of the time on our walks. I have learned all of my dog training from youtube. I find Zak George to be pretty helpful. Just like my hound a boxer was meant for hunting. So we are essential telling a dog to stop hunting and just walk slow which is completely opposite of what it was born to do. With this being said it will take a lot of patience on your part and try not to get frustrated. If he gets too distracted on walks I would just stop and wait till you can get the dogs attention on you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hello, you are correct. I have only had her for a week. She fixates on other animals and some people. There are a lot of dogs on our community. I steer her away, entice her with treats and nothing. Sometimes it feels like a test of the strong willed.
Thank you for the encouragement.
 

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Hello, you are correct. I have only had her for a week. She fixates on other animals and some people. There are a lot of dogs on our community. I steer her away, entice her with treats and nothing. Sometimes it feels like a test of the strong willed.
Thank you for the encouragement.

It will take time. For a high value treat I usually cook boneless skinless chicken breast. Sometimes the treats at the pet store is not enough when the dog is out for walks. There are so many distractions such as people, smells, dogs, cars, ect..She is still trying to acclimate herself to the new surroundings. One other trick you can teach your dog is "find it". Start indoors and throw a bunch of a treats on the ground and say find it till she finds and eats all the treats. Next time you go for a walk do the same thing. I also notice that a dog will respond based on your energy level. If you just say you want a treat in a normal voice they won't really care but if you sound really excited like Lets go!!! or you try to get on a knee so your at the same level as them and act exited and jump up and down and say lets go!!! come on!!!!. You might look ridiculous but it works with my dog. Also if you have a high energy dog try to burn its energy out by playing catch or tug of war on a toy and go for a walk after that. Hopefully the training will go well and good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you very much. I appreciate all of the comments and support coming. I will upgrade the treats. That's the thing, she doesnt quite know how to "play". She doesnt know what to do with a ball or rope. She must have been very neglected in her previous life.
 

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Thank you very much. I appreciate all of the comments and support coming. I will upgrade the treats. That's the thing, she doesnt quite know how to "play". She doesnt know what to do with a ball or rope. She must have been very neglected in her previous life.
I think you will find that after she has had some time to settle in, which can take weeks to months, adapt and feel comfortable in her new life and of course, get to know you, she will be more willing (and able) to play. A dog that is anxious/stressed is unlikely to let their guard down enough, to relax enough, to play, for the simple reason that they are focused on all those things that may be worrying them. If we are stressing/anxious about something, playing is not something we feel like doing, our dogs are no different - play happens when they are feeling safe, happy and relaxed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Something I should add, is that I live in apsrtment with lots of other dogs. Sometimes we cant make it out the front door without hearing the yelping or the scent of a other dog. How do I manage that until training begins?
 

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One of the things that might be useful is a ”watch me”. Then the trick would be to engage her attention before she fixates on the other dog, while ushering her smartly past.

Also maybe time your exit and entry to avoid busy times - just for a little while until you have her more settled.
 
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