Hi! Luna is very kind, but very scared. She is terrified of EVERYTHING especially outside. She is trained to go on a pee pad but she WILL NOT go outside. We have tried but it just seems impossible. She is too scared!!
Hello Rose, I would work on desensitizing pup to being outside first. Start by desensitizing her to simply wearing a leash/harness/collar if she is not used to those yet. Leash Desenstizing: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-your-puppy-to-accept-leash Next, on a secure leash/harness/collar set up that she can't slip out of or get away from you in, simply take pup outside, starting with a calm area, and spend up to an hour in that spot every day. Make the experience as fun as possible and reward her anytime she responds well to something new - even by staying calm and simply not responding to it. Play treat hiding games in pesticide free areas, practice training, do doggie massages there, play with toys, or simply relax with her. Almost anything that she finds relaxing and fun should be what you spend your time on, at first she might not be willing to take treats or notice toys, give her time to warm up. She may want to play and train or eat treats with some practice. Once pup is comfortable in the first location, pick another spot, starting with calmer spots and very gradually working up to busier areas, keeping these times fun and relaxed, with enough time outside to help her adjust before going back in. You want to repeat this in at least two dozen locations outside. In the meantime, I recommend continuing with the pee pad training. You can switch the pee pad out for a disposable real grass pad if you want to go ahead and get her used to that surface, but that will require a bit of extra vigilance to help her learn to go on the grass pad instead, so whether that's worth it or not depends on whether pup is confusing the pee pads with carpets or rugs right now and needs to be moved away from using them immediately. Once pup is more relaxed while outside, I recommend following the Crate Training or Tethering methods from the article I have linked below to teach her to go potty outside. Because she is a lot older than the age of puppy the article was written for, you can add 1-2 hours onto all the times listed in the article, taking pup outside every 2.5 to 3 hours instead of 1, and crating pup for 1 hour before taking pup back outside to try again, when pup doesn't go potty the first time you take them. Pup should also be able to hold it for 5-8 hours in the crate when necessary at this age, expecting pup to hold it for shorter amounts of time at first while they are making the transition. Crate Training and Tethering methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside For overall confidence building, practicing agility type obstacles may be food for pup. Also, check out the article I have linked below on shy dogs, and the video channel below as well. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-socialize-a-shy-dog/ https://www.youtube.com/user/kikopup/search?query=fear Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Was this experience helpful?