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Old 12-12-2012, 11:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Our new family member Snoopy, need your advice!

The shelter we adopted him from tagged him with the name Snoopy and we decide to keep it, took no time at all for us to get to know each other and fall madly in love with our family. He's just the sweetest thing and we are so blessed to be able to add him to our family.

He was rescued from the Adirondack mountains of New York State. A runaway or perhaps abandoned pup about a year old. Rarely barks, playful and healthy and fit, house trained, not food aggressive, and always shows so much affection to us, hard to believe someone never bother to claim him. We took him home to NYC little over a week ago and although he's perfect in so many ways there are somethings I want to help him with. So I'm here looking for your expert advice.

Leash pulling:
The narrow always crowded sidewalks of NYC is a challenge to walk him. He sniffs and pulls the leash with all his mights. We recently started using the "Easy Walk Harness", significant improvement but he seem to hate it, and he can't relax to do his "business". Can this Easy Walk Harness be used as just a training tool? If yes, what's the proper way to leash train him with this "easy walk harness"? We would like to eventually put him back on his regular collar if we can manage to train him not to pull.

All the sights and sounds of NYC are traumatic to Snoopy based on his background, but after 1 week he seems to get much better with it. However there are lots of sirens and illegal sidewalk bicycle riding that still spook him to cause him to freeze and petrified, how do I help him in situations like that. He is social to other dogs on the street, really cute how he picks and choose which dog to get acquainted with. Some dogs he just simply ignore and act indifferent while some other dogs he pulls excitingly(and never barks). How do I properly calm his nerves?

Separation anxiety:
This is probably a big one. Snoopy lives with my in-laws since we are not allowed to have dogs in our apartment. Luckily we live close by and we visit him everyday. Lots of playtime with my daughter, and we walk him at least 20-30 minutes each day. He does have a fenced backyard to run around in(which is a luxury in NYC). He gets really excited to see us everyday, he jumps and put his front paws on us. However whenever anyone leaves the room, he'd start whining and look for the person left, perhaps it's the normal thing, perhaps we are overreacting because he's such a quiet dog and it's weird for us to hear him make any kind of noise. How do we help him with this separation anxiety?

thank you for your time reading this post, please do share if you have similar experiences or advice. Much appreciated.

here is Snoopy
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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As for walking on a leash using the types of harnesses you mention, while helpful, don't really train the dog very well to walk. If you can find a trainer who uses the Koehler method of leash walking I believe is very good. You can find information on this on the internet.

As for nervousness it sounds like the dog needs more socialization which includes introduction to noises like trains, cars, animals barking,horns. When the dog acts nervous around such sounds don't comfort or pat the dog-that only re-enforces the anxiety. My dog doesn't even flinch at such sounds.

I think your dog may be confused having essentially 2 families-who should the dog bond to?? How do you expect your dog to be yours when it lives with other people-there isn't consistency in training and affection. this is an odd arrangement in my opinion.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Aston was terrible on the leash when we first got him. We got him a trainer and he suggested a martingale collar instead of a harness. The martingale worked "ok"...but because his nose was always glued to the ground, the collar always slipped out of place. We didn't want to use the prong collars we'd seen so many use on their dogs. Then we found the Caesar Milan illusion collar (a variation on the martingale). Big difference! Hw wears that collar every time we go on walks. He not uncomfortable at all and gets excited when it comes out.

Separation anxiety---we dealt with this too. In a way, we still deal with it a little. Aston is cared during the day when we are gone. At first he'd bay and cry...to the extreme. Nothing helped....we finally put him on medication...I know what you're thinking....it works for him and he's doing we'll now. Goes into his crate willingly and no crying or baying. Long term, he will eventually be off meds. Now, the meds weren't the answer, there are other exercises in addition to it.

Long story short, he has come a long way in just a year. Be patient.

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