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Our 5 month old female used to like to go for a walk from the age of 3 months with no problem at all. But 3 weeks ago she was surrounded by 2 stray street dogs barking at her and now she is scared to go for a walk. We have tried to convince her with treats and praise when she is out and she walks perfectly for 20' and then suddenly stops and sits down. Sometimes she will about turn and want to walk the other way (towards home) She knows where she lives and we can let her off her leash 2 blocks away and she will pick up the handle of her leash and trot home along side us.

Does anyone have any ideas how we can reassure her so we can take her out for nice walks again? She is not scared of her leash and you can see this when you drop the leash in front of her and she picks it up. She looks so cute when she does this :)
 

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I adore Xandra photo, with leash in her mouth / my girl likes to carry the leash to...He-He / trait, so much the same.

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I trained a black lab once, that would sit down...when he was a house away from its home (but never attacked, on a walk).
I spent an hour training it formal OB, and it healed away from home...while sidewalk walking, with me.
- but I also took charge

When I gave the lady owner the leash back, dog would shut down, next to home.
Because she lacked my confidence and very light perfectly timed corrections...so I worked with the owner, on gaining these techniques.

Next I healed the black lab again and took the long end of the leash and nicely patted her flank softly with the leather end, while walking on-leash.
- to redirect the dogs mind and relax him...transferring this rythem to the new lady handler to try
- and it worked

If all else fails, do as much off-leash walking as possible, even its just walking around the block..or just back & forth some shorter distance.
Cut off a leash to 6-8 inches in length and clip the training leash to your dobe...gives you a grab handle.
Stay away from the neighborhood with the bad dogs...if you can.
Off-leash will build up her confidence again but you have to control any/all hazards, completely. (maybe walk with a 2nd person, ensure dogs safety)
- my personal dog gets mostly off-leash...check her video here:
http://www.dobermantalk.com/general...ontrolled-off-leash-walking-city-streets.html
 

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Can you drive somewhere else and get her enjoying walks again?

I'd also see if a trainer can work with you if you can't get it resolved.

Has she been in any formal classes? It might be worth putting her in a class around other safe dogs so she can learn to be around them too.
 

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Can you drive somewhere else and get her enjoying walks again?

I'd also see if a trainer can work with you if you can't get it resolved.

Has she been in any formal classes? It might be worth putting her in a class around other safe dogs so she can learn to be around them too.
^^^^ +1 above - Xandra new problems, isn't going to be solve...overnight...she has had a big SCARE & needed to protect herself.
- before family others, around her / plain & simple...now leash skidish

You did let her DOWN (sorry to say), in the situation where she (young girl) had to defend herself - from potential dog attack or injury.
- I am not trying to "crap" on you (for not protecting her, in the situation you put her in)...but, you might need professional assistance now

When she is mouthing the end of the leash, I CAN TELL, this dobe has BRAIN's..and communicating the best way she can (take head, to her clues).
- she is talking to you, in a comfort zone...and doesn't need pushed...if you can not protect her ultimate safety.
If you weren't a 15 hour 747 airline flight, across the pond, it would be my pleasure to walk your smart girl...and defend & train her.
- she is giving you signals, to keep her within her comfort zone...do not push, for the plain sake of exercise
Mental stimulation, replaces a normal walk completely...and does so much more (20 minutes of training = 60 minute walk).
OB training, in a formal setting...is a great start / I to am wondering, have you done this yet ??

Your girls problems, is a piece of cake for me, BUT I don't know how skilled you are, in controlling the next bad situation or building canine confidence !!
- and sometimes, this is the real internet advise problem
 

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That's a rough time to have such a big scare.

You're on the right track with treats and praise - making it a positive experience for her - but it's not going to be that easy.

I would recommend distractions. If you use treats, use your best, ultimate treats. That's different for each dog but I'm sure she has some favorites...mine loves string cheese (be careful in dogs that can't handle dairy, of course) and cooked chicken most. However, perhaps a toy would work better? Does she have a favorite toy that she goes crazy for? If so, play with her on your walk. Before you get to her 'threshold' that she's set for herself, start distracting her like crazy. That might mean playing tug with her, jumping around with her, running past her threshold with her chasing you, squeaky ball in hand. Throwing the ball with her on a long-lead and letting her chase after it, playing ball right through her threshold. Whatever it is, keep her distracted.

If you see her hesitating, looking like she wants to sit, don't let her! I don't mean yanking her up forcibly...forcing a dog into something is never going to make them learn to like it better. That's when you get SUPER excited and start running or squeaking her toy, something to get her distracted, happy and focused on YOU and not her fears. You can even try turning around the second she starts hesitating and calling her towards you as you back towards the house. Then when she goes to you give lots of praise and then start running in the direction of her 'threshold' again.

Baby steps at first. Maybe the first day you don't even go up to her threshold. You say she goes about 20' and stops. So maybe at around 15' YOU stop and play ball with her or give her lots of yummy treats and praise and just hang out and then let her go back to the house. Do it again later on in the day and then maybe once more. Do that for a couple days before trying to go for the 'threshold' with distractions. If you can get past the threshold, go a little further and then turn back. BUT, don't let her be the one to decide when to turn back. It's important that you are the one that decides, not her fears. So when you guys are having a great time and she doesn't have a care in the word - instead of pushing further, call it a success and turn back. Do that again for a few days and then try pushing further and further.

That's what I would do if I were in your situation.
 

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Our trainer uses a game she calls "Look" When Duchess acts nervous about someone/something on the street, we tell her to look at it and reward the look. We try to get her to look before she has a chance to show fear. The more she looks at the "threat" the more she learns about that thing and becomes desensitized. You teach the "look" command using a toy and all sorts of objects. Hide it behind your back-say look and pull it out at the same time and immediately reward. Progress to pointing at something and saying look.

Carrying something seems to calm her as well-it gives her something to focus on. She will sometimes pick up a stick when she's feeling nervous and will carry it literally for miles.

She is much calmer now and rarely gets concerned about people coming behind her on the street-that was her BIG fear.
 
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