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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20171
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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My dog is very nervous outside of his environment, he doesn't

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My dog is very nervous outside of his environment, he doesn't want to go for a walk, is very scared of cars, pulls to go home, I walked him along the canal today where there were no cars and he still panicked, he is very scared of other dogs and shows his teeth if they come near. I have tried to social him but he hides where ever he can - what can I do?
Hi JaCustomer,
My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.
How old is he?
Is he neutered?
What have you tried so far?
How much obedience training has he had?
How is he in a car?
Does he walk fine away from cars?
What breed is he?
How long have you had him?
Have you ever tried to reassure him?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Freddie is 4 years old

Yes he's been neutered

Tried so far:

Took him to puppy classes at the vets surgery to socialise him but he just hid under the chair and wouldn't take any treats or go near any other dog.

Driven him to remote places (i.e.woods) and tried to walk him - he just pulls and pants

When I trained my previous dog we were given an attachment like a clip to a lead, this was attached to his collar to get used to the weight of a lead and I walked him round the garden.

Played a video with noises - cars, sirens, motorbikes and fireworks - when he is in the house or garden he is not bothered about these noises. if I drop something in the kitchen he jumps a mile

Obedience Training: I have trained him with treats (mild cheese and also shop treats and ones I made myself, learnt from previous dog trainer)

He comes to me when I call him

He sits on command

He doesn't jump up - we say off if he does ever do this and gets down

He has been taught not to bark when the doorbell rings

He obeys the 'Away' command if we are eating and he sits looking at us.

Car: shakes and never relaxes

Doesn't walk well apart from the garden - I have a very big garden

Yorkshire Terrier

Had him since he was 12/13 weeks old - he was 1 of 5 puppies the owner has the mother and father and they were all together when I got him. He was very lively and was fine with the other puppies but when I bought him home he his under the bed or stayed in his dog bed.

reassure him - yes I try to do this if he doesn't pull etc I reward. I also sat on the doorstep with him on the lead as I live on a fairly busy road and slowly edged him near the pavement but he just runs rings round me and gets the lead tied round me or tries to pull back to the house. I have also tried to leave the house from different doors but we get to a point and he anchors down.

Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful. One thing is that you should never reassure a dog that is displaying undesired behavior. I know it is human nature to reassure a person that is scared, anxious etc, but with dogs, it tends to encourage the behavior rather than stop it. So we need to try hard not to give into our natural parental instincts. You need to always act like you expect him to do what you want and be confident and fearless as much as possible.
You state you had a lead that you let your previous dog use. If you have not yet had this dog trail it, do that. I don't really think the lead is the issue, but it might contribute
I suspect that he has a noise phobia more than a fear of walking. Once he gets used to noises he isn't so bad with them and if he is in a safe place, certain noises don't bother him anymore. However, he knows that cars can be dangerous, so those noise combined with the smells, etc tend to still make him anxious. Other strange noises outside seem to do the same thing as do loud unexpected sounds inside. So the first thing I do believe is to start with a potential noise phobia.
You have started it seems by playing sounds inside and in the garden to which he doesn't respond. I want you to take that a step further and have him on a lead inside with the sounds playing and reward him for walking around on the leash with the tape playing . Give nice calm praise and tasty hot dog slices. Be sure to get at least 30 silices out of a hot dog as he is very small.
There are some other things that are proven to work with noise phobias such as dap collars. They produce a pheromone similar to the one produced by a mom nursing her pups. They are available at your vets, pet stores and online. The other is Melatonin which you can read about here. It has been shown to work well for noise phobias.
You can also take a tape player with you to the outside area away from home and play the sounds their rewarding the desired behavior. I'd also work on the leash training. You say he is good in the yard, so keep those tasty treats down as low as possible in your fist so he will tend to stay right there at your hand. When doing this, you need to give him a treat every so often to keep him at your side and not run around you. If he does run around, no treats. It is going to take time.
You might just take him out close to the road and just sit with him. Reward him when he is calm and give a short tug and firm NO if he does anything other than sit calmly. Work on getting this right first before trying to move him toward the street. Try the harness that clips to the harness on the chest. This will turn him around if he tries to pull forward. They don't hurt the neck like a head halter might.
to start socializing, you just want to hang around them. You can go to a dog park but sit outside where the dogs can't approach him. You want to get him used to them being around without them being any type of threat. Don't force the interaction, just let him observe . Smaller dogs can be frightened of larger dogs since they are easily injured.
What you might try is going to a class without Freddie and seeing if you can find a very small female dog or even puppy that is well adjusted to have a play date with Freddie. Let him start with one dog at a time and as he gets used to them, introduce him to more and more and then start with two dogs he knows increasing it until he is more used to being around multiple dogs before ever trying to have him be ok with an unknown dog. It won't be an easy or quick fix, but usually there is some improvement.
There are dogs that never get over some fearful behavior, but since it is just when he is outside, I think you have a chance at correcting it in his case. Some yorkies are rarely walked outside and get the exercise they need in their own yards and houses. While I feel walks are good for dogs, some of the smaller breeds can be quite happy living in a smaller area their whole lives.
I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .
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