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Hello all!

This is my first thread on Dog Forum and I am looking for a bit of help.

My boyfriend and I just adopted a beautiful Boxer/Lab mix, Isla (pronounced Eye-lah), on Sunday. The shelter approximated her age to be about four months. She was found as a stray in Kentucky and they transported her here (Massachusetts) where she was at the shelter for about two days and then we picked her up. She is a wonderful dog-so loving and very sweet. She started off quite submissive but has quickly gained confidence and lots of trust in both of us.

At first, she hated even having her leash put on. She would slink in a corner and not move. After a lot of practice and a lot of praise, she has already made amazing improvements. She has gone from not even being able to leave our apartment, to easily walking right out the door. We are very proud of her and happy that she has been doing better.

However, we live in a complex that is on a main road. Isla gets very skittish about cars that go by and this affects our walks and time outside. She will be happy to put on her leash, walk outside, go to her "bathroom spot", do her business, then want to go RIGHT back inside. Although this might be good for those late night/early morning bathroom trips, we want her to get better at walking around and trusting that it will be ok to do so. When we try to walk her around the complex, she stops dead in her tracks and will not budge. I understand that helping her through this requires lots and lots of patience and positive reinforcement, but it seems like we just can't get through to her.

This morning, I walked her up and down the complex multiple times-praising her when she would walk alongside me. But each time we turned around to repeat the walk, she became timid and would not budge. It is difficult because I know that she can walk on the leash but she is choosing not to. I feel badly because I know it's not stubborness, it is her uneasiness and fear from being a stray.

Does anyone have any tips? I sometimes become very frustrated with her and I don't want to do that. Anything will help! I am aware it won't magically change overnight, but I'd like to help her for her own sake so that she can feel better when we take a walk. Thank you so much!
 

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Hi! I already deal with this problem before, being a dog trainer.

You are already doing well, you are on the right path. But here's some tips.

First off, you will have to choose between clicker or voice. It's what you want. For the rest, I will use voice, but it's the same thing as a clicker.

Clicker : When the dog makes a good behavior, you click, and then give a treat. If you need info about clicker training, ask :p

Voice : Find a word that you will always keep. Can be ' Yes ' or something like this. Short and always in the same voice ton.

Oh and put a harness on her. Somehow, it sometime help with that situation, though I don't know why.

Okay ! So now, take her favorite treats with you. Bring her outside and start walking. Praise her if she comes forward by saying ' Yes ' or click, then give a treat. Continue walking. As she walks with you, keep saying ' Yes ' or click, and don't forget, keep giving treats. Then, give treats less often. Maybe every 1 minutes for 5 time. Then every 2 minutes for 5 time. And so on. Eventually you will only need to do that at the begginng of the walk, and at the end. And maybe one day, never. :p

If she stops, or doesn't want to go forward. DON'T PULL. Take a treat, and put it in front of her, back up. She will follow. THen praise by saying ' Yes ' or click. And treats.

It will eventually works.

You might want to give her some mental stimulation to overcome her fears. Teach her how to sit or lay down. When she is near the road, ask her these tricks, it will calm her. Don't forget to praise and give treats :p

Good luck!
 
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