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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 6-month-old Lab puppy, Roscoe, and he's great! Plays well with kids, adults, and other dogs. House trained, listens well (mostly), etc.

I live in a big city and I knew raising a puppy would have it's challenges. At 3 months of age, while I took him out the front of my building to do his business, Roscoe got his first glimpse of a garbage truck. Initially, no big deal but as soon as they started to load the dumpster into the truck - he ran frantically, peeing everywhere and clearly spooked. As a result, he is deathly afraid to go out my buildings only front door. As you can imagine, taking him for a walk is challenging when we cannot even leave our place (unless we drive, then he's ok). Now, it's to the point where he won't leave our apartment unless he REALLY has to go, to greet someone, or when it's bedtime. I've tried his favorite snacks. I've tried sitting out front with him for extended periods of time to show it's not scary. I am lost now. PLEASE HELP!
 

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You're going to need to find the place where he first starts to get anxious and start there with medium/high value treats, think low sodium deli meat, chicken, hamburger, bringing a tug toy he likes to play with may help to.

Once you figure out where he first starts to get anxious stop there and start feeding him some of the treats, play with him with the toy, give him plenty of love and attention. Do that a couple times a day, every day, till he likes being at that start point, them move forward a couple steps, a step, or maybe a half step and repeat. When you move forward you want to go just far enough that he's starting to look anxious but is not panicking. Keep doing that till you get him out the door, remembering never to move forward enough that he panics.

If he starts panicking he beyond the point that you can help him, he's no longer thinking and is only reacting, that's why it's so important to work with him below that point aka below his threshold.

I'm guessing when you take him out to sit in front of your building he's in panic mode and that's why he's not getting over his fear.
 

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Thanks for the response. What you said does make sense and I'll certainly try. It's difficult to tell where it exactly starts, however. Most times getting him to leave our apartment on our terms is difficult (he'll just roll over), so to me he's telling us he won't go out until he absolutely needs to and I know I need to take over control. But, I'll pick him up and give him a heads start towards our front door (not the building's) and then he's fine. But once the elevator opens on the main floor, he waits for my lead. If we go to garage door, he quickly follows staying close to me. If my body language says we're going to stairwell door (literally, right next to the front door he's afraid of), he'll follow me. But as soon as he realizes I'm walking to the front door, he cowers in the corner. So, maybe it's right outside the elevator where we get off? If so, do you think that would help the situation in getting him to leave our apartment when we yell, "come?" And a side note, he responds to "come" extremely well any where else (in house, public places, off leash, etc.). Thanks again for your help.
 

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It sounds like he has a couple of different places that he's having trouble with. One is leaving your apartment, that may be because he's not sure where your taking him, and he figures he'll stay where he feels safe.

You can work with that by practicing leaving, and making leaving fun. Put the leash on him, get one of his favorite toys, open the door, go out, and wait. Play with the toy if you need to. He should eventually decide to come to you, when he does play with him, then bring him back in. You can also wait to work on the behavior, it may fade once he's over his fear of going out the front door of the building.

Since he'll follow you everywhere else, I think your right that his problem starts at the elevator, so start there.

One thing that I did forget to mention in my last post is that it can take weeks to months to get a dog over fear. So don't expect fast results, think in terms of baby steps.
 
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