Dog Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

My husband and I have a 6-7 month old pitbull/boxer? mix? who we rescued about two and a half weeks ago. He's overall doing pretty well at most things. The biggest thing we're working on right now is leash training/walking. He's been doing pretty well with that (I'm using the "be a tree" method when he pulls and trying to be as consistent as I can!), but he's been acting oddly the past few mornings. On his morning walk (15-20 minutes after he gets up, before he eats breakfast), he's been fine for the first block or so, then he'll just sit and stop moving. I'll walk to the end of the leash in front of him and call him and show him a treat and call him again. After 30-60 seconds he usually comes up to me, but after he gets the treat he'll just sit and stop again. Occasionally he'll pull a little toward home, but mostly he just sits and looks at me like, "I don't want to go that way." Any tips/tricks? This morning I picked him up twice and carried him about three steps before putting him back down and continuing. Obviously since I had to do it twice, it didn't work that well...but maybe it helped?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,680 Posts
Hi,


This is overstimulation leading to whats called "shutdown". Its common in newly rescued dogs.



Think of it like this. Your dogs brain is a Personal Computer. Its running a program. Then you open a word processor, then solitare, then the web. You open so many programs and files that the computer freezes.

Your dogs walk consists of many layers of stimulus. These layers work the same way the programs on the pc work. The sounds are a layer, the feeling of the ground and the collar are a layer, the weather is a layer, the pace of the walk cars, people, dogs, birds chirping etc etc etc

All on top of the "I'm in a new home with a new person learning new things" layer

So the dogs brain just gets overwhelmed and has to pause or freeze to catch back up.

You can prevent this by walking up and down the same stretch of street rather than around the block etc. Going past the same spots is just revisiting familiar stimuli rather than piling on more and more new stimuli. This will desensitize the dog and once hes habituated his surroundings that "program" will close and he's less likely to be overwhelmed because his brain is focused on fewer things

This should fade as the dog gets used to you and his route.



Dog | Forum | Rocks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That makes some sense. However, he doesn't have issues with walks later in the day. Should I just establish a simple morning walk route, so he knows what's coming first thing in the morning? Other than morning, he's done fine. No sitting and stopping. Unless he's at the end of the leash in front of me! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
I did this with my rescue. My street is now a place where I can teach him to walk with a loose leash without the sights and sounds overstimulating him. It took me a while but now I have an "outside world" space to teach him stuff.

I've gotten to know the neighbors better too since they see me pacing up and down past their house with a border collie in toe.

baby steps
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've definitely gotten to know the neighbors better! And realize how many houses in our neighborhood have dogs! I'm going to take him on the same route in the morning at least. Like I said, he tends to do a lot better later in the day, but maybe he just gets overwhelmed in the morning. This morning it's thunderstorming, so no walk yet. Hopefully it stops soon so we can get outside!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
447 Posts
It could also be that your dog is getting too hot or too tired. The heat really drains my older dog so we go early in the morning to avoid it. But if I go too late or it's really hot, by the end of the walk she stops to lie down. I wet her harness and chest and give her a drink and we go home. That's why we go early or late in the day.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top