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Hi,

I really need some help with my six month old puppy, Sherlock. He is a small dog (Coton de Tulear, about 11lbs or so) and has a shy disposition.

Whenever we put on our jackets, or when the tags on his harness jingle, or when we put on our shoes, he goes and hides under a dresser or somewhere. Once we've caught him (or tricked him into letting us near him), he doesn't fight us and we can put the harness. However, we have to hold on to him because if we let go he will run and hide.

Point is, he really does not want to be taken for walks. I don't think he wants to use the housebreaking pads anymore either (we still have one out just in case, but he hasn't been using it for quite a while now).

I think that the real stress for him is going through our lobby, because the doormen start calling his name (really loudly), or trying to pet him. We don't really let them pet him anymore, we just go by very quickly. Sherlock is just terrified of the whole thing. I'm not too eager to tell the doormen to put a lid on it; I feel like Sherlock should get used to all sorts of people that he will meet in his lifetime.

Funny thing is, he will even "hold it" to avoid being taken outside. And he won't use his housebreaking pads either, although they are there. He can go out once in the morning around 8:00, and then wait until 5:00 in the afternoon, until we have drag him out to go to the bathroom.

What should I do? This has been going on for months now, and he just seems very stressed. He is fairly obedient at home, always listening to commands sit, down, play dead, up, turn around. When he's outside and through the lobby, walking, he seems okay and goes along just fine, but is very overwhelmed by everything (he will NOT listen to commands when outside). He does not listen/focus on me when outside. I know that is a lot to expect of a six month old puppy, but how can I work towards it?



Any help would be really appreciated. Thank you!
 

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Will Sherlock take treats in the lobby or is he to stressed?

I'd start by making y'alls preparing to leave a great experience. Jingle the tags of his harness and toss him some treats, put on your coat and/or shoes and toss him treats. Don't leave the apartment though, the idea is to have him associate preparing to leave with good things so the walk starts out happy instead of stressed. Do that throughout the day till he's happy when those tags jangle or you put on your coat or shoes.

Next step is putting on the harness, you can do the same thing as preparing to leave. Put the harness on, feed him treats, let him wear it while you play with him or give him treats then take it off. Again do that throughout the day so that he pairs wearing the harness with good things happening to him. Yay, my harness is on I get treats and to play!

After that start working to pair the walk with good things. You can teach him search, sprinkle treats out in the hall and have him search for them. Play with him out in the hall, take him to the Lobby and sit off to the side with him and people watch while having him do some tricks for some treats. If you know your neighbors you can have them stop and drop some treats for him, also since your doorman seems to like him ask him to do the same. Again the idea is to have him pair the walk with great things happening to him, and show him walking is a good thing, which is why you'll need the treats.

If he loves his food you can use that in place of treats, or you can mix some food in with the treats. Make sure that you subtract some of his daily food to make up for the treats so that your pup doesn't end up fat.
 

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I like to focus on the positive . Sherlock sounds so smart any SO many ways. Congratulations on those many parts.
Sherlock is having anxiety so this is the part that is hard.
I'm thinking Sherlock needs company while you are gone. For my young ones I would always leave on QVC because of all the silly conversation on the channel. We LOVE you calling....Ohhhh Ahhhh.
Just maybe after quiet the stimulation of outside is too much now. Just maybe nice noise except when Sherlock and the pack are sleeping just might help him . Wish we could ask him .
I have known some dogs to hate walking but the ones I have known ended up enjoying walks except when raining or very cold and windy. We hate it too though.
I hope this helps Sherlock. We want him to be happy too.
 
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