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Discussion Starter #1
Our dog is almost 1 year old and all of a sudden she will not leave the house with me (actually it would be more accurate to say without my wife). We walk her 4 times a day. I used to do the morning shift and the late night shift. If I am home the 3 of us go together. Since the weather has gotten better I think my wife and I have actually gone on all of the walks together.

The problem I see is that both my wife and I work at home, but I have to travel 2 days per week. So I am guessing Bella got more attached to my wife while I am away. Just last week my wife visited her parents and brought bella with her for 4 days. She has actually been apart from the dog for just two overnights, whereas I do that almost every week.

Noticing some of the older posts and answers I figure I will state a few more items...When I am home I take part in the feedings, the trips to the park, and all the obedience classes. Frankly I cannot imagine what else I could do while I am home to get a stronger bond with her. As I type she is sitting under my desk with her head rested on my foot. I saw some other posts stating that you can make the dog go with you. Wouldn't that just make it worse if I force the issue. This has only been going on for 1 week, but it is hurting my feelings (yeah poor me!), and it is not fair for my wife to have to be the only dog walker. I will go on the walks with them and she will have me hold the leash, but once my wife tries to sneak away Bella will just plop down on the sidewalk and refuse to go anywhere but back toward home. Treats do not seem to be working either. I cut up her favorite snack and stood at the door and was begging her for 15 minutes before giving up and writing this post.

Please help. Thanks, Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #3
She doesn't hide, but once I get her ready to go she lies down. If I get her to stand up she will just dig in and force me to pull on the leash and beg her to move. The second my wife joins in she will walk with us as if nothing is wrong.

After I wrote that first post, I decided to not let her win and try for 2 hours. It is pretty embarrassing to be begging a dog to move outside of my apartment. I ended up carrying a 50 lb dog a few blocks until she knew we were on the way to the park. A walk that normally would take 5 mins took me an hour today. Once we were done at the park I was able to get 1/10th the way home before I had to give up and either carry her or swallow my pride and call my wife to get her to move.

Like I said before this has only been going on for 1 week, and I am not sure what caused it.
 

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This is sort of an unconventional thought... But you could very well just drop the leash and walk away from her. Most dogs will freak and come running. However, this is not at all a safe approach, the dog could go running the opposite direction.

I would also suggest you take over feedings, treat giving ect and see if that doesn't boost the dad= great things aspect of your pups life...
 

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it sorta sounds like the dog is going through a bit of a fear period and she has bonded with your wife a bit since she is around her more often... ditto on the taking over of as many of the "good things" that the dog experiences as you can. also, you might want to stop taking her for walks yourself while you work out how to get the dog to want to go with you. maybe put the leash on her, give her a few treats, then take the leash off, treats go away, do this for a while, until when she sees you with the leash she is like "awesome!" treats! but don't take her out. from there you might want to try backing toward the door, while you give her treats, moving only if she seems excited about it... then open the door, same thing, one step out the door, same thing... go slow and be patient, she will eventually come around

i know that it hurts your feelings and it would mine too, but try not to take it personally... my dog is extremely selective with people, and it has more to do with who does what with him then anything personal...



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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the input so far.

One more side note...

Even though she is part Golden Retriever, she is not overly motivated by treats. Yesterday I used her favorite one, and could not even lure her to the door. I ended up carrying her outside and stood with a treat 2 feet from her nose without a budge.

Her favorite thing in the world is her other dog friends. I was able to get he to move whenever we saw another dog further down the road. Once we were on the path toward the park she was pulling me and I was treating her every 10 feet to reward her. None of this worked once we were on our way back home however.
 

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Thanks for the input so far.

One more side note...

Even though she is part Golden Retriever, she is not overly motivated by treats. Yesterday I used her favorite one, and could not even lure her to the door. I ended up carrying her outside and stood with a treat 2 feet from her nose without a budge.

Her favorite thing in the world is her other dog friends. I was able to get he to move whenever we saw another dog further down the road. Once we were on the path toward the park she was pulling me and I was treating her every 10 feet to reward her. None of this worked once we were on our way back home however.
this makes me think 2 things, first, to train her, you want the leash to predict the treats, not the treats to predict her going out for a walk she doesn't want to go on. once the leash predicts the treats far away from the door, her motivation to move closer will increase, but if it is the other way around she will avoid going any closer. basically you are counter conditioning her to going out the door for her walk. so the steps would be

1-produce the leash, 2-give a treat and you can toss it to her.

do this when she is hungry, she will be more food motivated then.

btw, what is her favorite treat?

the second thing is, do you have any friends or neighbors with dogs who might be interested in joining you for a walk? if you are the only human who takes her for walks with her canine friends, she will definitely associate that with you.

oh, another question, what sort of method/training have you used to leash train her?

and another little note, every time you try to force her to go when she doesn't she is associating that with you and it is increasing the likelihood that she will be more resistant the next time...



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Yes, she sounds terrified. Maybe you can try to figure out what is scaring her... or once scared her... Look around the environment... try to remember if anything happened that would have scared her, perhaps on the way to the park. Its odd to me that she does not want to go home either... its like there was an event between your house and the park, or something along the way that she fears.

What happens if you put her in the car and take her to a totally new location for a walk?
 

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Its odd to me that she does not want to go home either... its like there was an event between your house and the park, or something along the way that she fears.
'wi does this. Its just shutdown...computer running to many programs. I'd wager this dog is highly excited/anxious/arroused by being outside anyway, even if shes not showing it. The brain is likely already running a mile a minute and the lack of mom causes a system crash. :p



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lol.... system crash...
 

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Have you done anything that she could have possibly become scared from? At any point? Like did something happen while working where you got flustered, have you watched a sports game and gotten loud about it, etc? It seems like she is frightened when it comes to you. Personally i would not force her to go anywhere while she is this scared/shut down because it won't help.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
btw, what is her favorite treat?
Her favorite are those rolls of Natural balance you need to cut up. She also likes Happy Hips Duck Jerky. There is also a great place in Boston called PolkaDog Bakery, we get her things they make there (but they are very pricey! like $2/ounce)

the second thing is, do you have any friends or neighbors with dogs who might be interested in joining you for a walk? if you are the only human who takes her for walks with her canine friends, she will definitely associate that with you.

oh, another question, what sort of method/training have you used to leash train her?
I like the tandem dog walking idea. She has never been part of a dog pack in that sense. She will try to play with every dog in our neighborhood. It has gotten to the point where when she sees another dog coming she will lie down and wait for them to approach. Almost like a lion waiting to pounce on its prey. Some dogs will stop and play and others will simply walk right past. It would probably be good practice with one of her most playfull friends to walk together even if it weren't for our most recent issues.

As far as leash training goes, we took basic puppy classes. They use clicker training. For leash training we would walk with her and give her a treat every few feet to get her used to walking next to us. All of that became moot when we got a front harness that immediately stopped her from pulling.
 

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Yes, she sounds terrified. Maybe you can try to figure out what is scaring her... or once scared her... Look around the environment... try to remember if anything happened that would have scared her, perhaps on the way to the park. Its odd to me that she does not want to go home either... its like there was an event between your house and the park, or something along the way that she fears.

What happens if you put her in the car and take her to a totally new location for a walk?

hmmm. the only things that scare her are the vacuum, and hair dryer at the groomer. she seems to be potentially fearful of the car, but it seems like she is mildly car sick. the car however brings her to her favorite park and other wonderful places. We are almost always together when we go on a car ride, so she wouldnt associate any of those 3 fearful things with me over my wife.
 

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Have you done anything that she could have possibly become scared from? At any point? Like did something happen while working where you got flustered, have you watched a sports game and gotten loud about it, etc? It seems like she is frightened when it comes to you. Personally i would not force her to go anywhere while she is this scared/shut down because it won't help.
I really do not think she is afraid of me. Should I have a dog walker (or friend) try to walk her and see if they have better luck than me? When in the house she is fine toward me. The only time there is an issue is when she is asked to go somewhere without my wife. When we walk (more so the past week) I hold the leash. She walks perfectly fine, but if we get away from my wife for more than 10 feet she will stop or pull me toward her. Last night she got distracted by some dogs, and my wife ran ahead to deposit the poop bag. Once she realized she was without her she left the other dogs and pulled me toward her as if she hadn't seen her in a week.
 

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yeah, it doesn't sound like anything obvious happened... sometimes it is hard to say how/what the dogs are associating with what, i can tell you that with learned behaviors it is hard for dogs to generalize them to new/different contexts, but with aversives/scary things, they tend to be very superstitious and make really quick associations with a lot of things. so lets say the dog is walking past a certain shelf toward you, and the cat knocks a vase over on the dog, there is a good chance the dog will associate walking toward you with getting bonked on the head, even though it was really the cat that knocked it over, it will likely also associate that shelf with being scary or anything else in the immediate area when it happens... basically, you might never figure out what it is, and it doesn't sound like it's your approach to leash training or anything... anyway, i would keep working on the CCing with the leash and the other suggestions and see which ones/which combo of things works :) please keep us posted...



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