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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Yesterday I took my 11 week old very small puppy with my husband and waited in the car while he went to get groceries, the pup was kind of restless so I decided to take him out on his flexi-leash in the parking lot, he then got scared of a buggy and ran under a parked vehicle - I didn't have time to pick him up and I didn't want to use the leash to stop him as he was running quite fast.

Anyway I kind of panicked because I tend to do that and people were watching and ready to jump in to help which would have only made him less likely to come out so instead of waiting and coaxing him out I pulled him out by his leash and collar even though he was trying his best to stay put. Now I'm concerned and beating my self up that a) he will be even more afraid of buggies and b) what if i hurt his neck (he seems fine but heard him cough a few times since yesterday as though he was trying to get something out of his throat that was stuck?) Maybe a harness would be better in case of situations like this?

I'm prone to be anxious about everything and now beating myself up over this incident - having a puppy is stressful! :p
 

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Oh gosh, glad he is ok. Maybe I watch too much dog whisperer, but what he says is true. Your dogs feed off of your energy, when you panic, they will panic too. You definitely need to stay assertive with dogs. I think a good way to overcome this would be to maybe take him to a pet store where they allow dogs. So at that point you are walking though a parking lot with carts and you can show him how parking lots work and what they are used for. He is still a puppy so everything is still new to him. You can also show him a cart and show him how they are used. He might even like carts if you are picking up treats and putting them in the cart and giving them to him after you get home. I like harnesses for my dogs but the mesh ones are the best and they tend to not last forever.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, ya I think I'll carry him around a parking lot a few times with him in my arms so he's secure and he can see buggies aren't that scary - I think It was probably mostly the noise of it. Will probably buy a harness for him so if he ever runs hard to to end of the leash or something then I won't be concerned about his neck getting hurt.
 

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Thanks, ya I think I'll carry him around a parking lot a few times with him in my arms so he's secure and he can see buggies aren't that scary - I think It was probably mostly the noise of it. Will probably buy a harness for him so if he ever runs hard to to end of the leash or something then I won't be concerned about his neck getting hurt.
I would highly recommend switching to a 6' nylon or leather lease and a harness. Flexi-leashes, especially with puppies or small dogs, can be dangerous. Even with a harness on. You and the pup don't really have an idea of where the leash ends and him running full tilt to the end of it is super jarring and can cause injury.

Also you should do some research on socializing a puppy (there are many stickies here that will help you out) The idea is that you want to present new things too them slowly and at their pace. Holding the pup and walking around the parking lot isn't going to do much good. He has no ability to get away from things that scare him and you could end up flooding him. For the parking lot scenario I would start by sitting a few feet away from the parking lot and just watching what's happening with your pup. Give him treats when he's calm. Move closer at the pups pace. Work up to bringing him to a buggy that is stationary and let him sniff.. then move it a bit, and work up from there. Continue to give him treats when he's calm.

I would also recommend finding a positive reinforcement based puppy socialization class and enrolling your pup ASAP.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the tips, have bought a harness and regular 6' leash, started using it now which is a lot better. First obedience class is next week which includes socialization, hopefully it will help. The only problem I have with giving him treats out in public is that he is either too nervous or distracted I think to eat them. He eats them just fine at home when he's more comfortable.
 

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I agree, its not really the safest thing to use a flexi leash especially in a place like parking lot since there's a lot of cars moving around in a small(ish) space. I would deffinitly stick to 4-6 foot nylons when your at places like that, it also helps prevent the leash from tangling around any tires if he does get spooked. And as you saw, on a flexi lead its not always easy to stop them.
I personally like harnesses when I take my dogs out mostly because I have a bit more control and if I do need to remove them or they are pulling it wont bother their neck.

Just remember he is still very young and small ( do you mean small as in he's a puppy or small as in he's a small breed?) so you may need to go slow when introducing him to some new things. The important thing is to make sure that new experiences are fun and rewarding. Sometimes that also means taking a step back and exposing him to cars in a much quitter controlled setting to get him more comfertable with their noises and movements, then moving to some where a bit more "hectic".
 
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I agree, its not really the safest thing to use a flexi leash especially in a place like parking lot since there's a lot of cars moving around in a small(ish) space. I would deffinitly stick to 4-6 foot nylons when your at places like that, it also helps prevent the leash from tangling around any tires if he does get spooked. And as you saw, on a flexi lead its not always easy to stop them.
I personally like harnesses when I take my dogs out mostly because I have a bit more control and if I do need to remove them or they are pulling it wont bother their neck.

Just remember he is still very young and small ( do you mean small as in he's a puppy or small as in he's a small breed?) so you may need to go slow when introducing him to some new things. The important thing is to make sure that new experiences are fun and rewarding. Sometimes that also means taking a step back and exposing him to cars in a much quitter controlled setting to get him more comfertable with their noises and movements, then moving to some where a bit more "hectic".
He's a small breed puppy (mini schnoodle)! so about the size of a chihuahua right now, I imagine everything must seem huge to him. He was also the run of the littler and most reserved one. I read that it's really important to get them socialized to as much stuff as possible before 12 weeks but I feel that may have backfired on me a little because I've been going around trying to get him used to everything and probably moving too fast for him :ponder:. I'll try to just relax and let him go at his own pace. I'm learning that anxiety doesn't help.
 

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I read that it's really important to get them socialized to as much stuff as possible before 12 weeks but I feel that may have backfired on me a little because I've been going around trying to get him used to everything and probably moving too fast for him :ponder:. I'll try to just relax and let him go at his own pace. I'm learning that anxiety doesn't help.
You can do lots of socialization, but also take it slow! Just being around stuff isn't really socialization. It has to be a positive interaction for it to really be socialization. So if you introduce him to lots of stuff, but he's overwhelmed by it, it's not really socialization anyway. So keep on trying new stuff, but take it slow and make sure he's comfortable. :)

Take a look at this: Socialization - Ultimate Puppy

There are several pages, so if you can, take time to read all of it. It has really good advice on how to socialize properly, with page three doing things step-by-step.

Good luck! :)
 
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