Here is what happens. We bring him outside. He walks quite fine until he finishes his business. Then, he starts pulling back. He refuses to move forward. He looks back towards home and then sits down, trembling. We look around, and there is nothing moving, nothing coming our way, and nothing making any noise. He used to at least not tremble. It started this fall.
This video was taken just around the corner from our place.
This is really hard on us. We need to walk him for exercise. We know that exercise is good for fearful dogs. But he does not have fun walking in our neighborhood. No matter which directions we go, he is scared. He just does not seem to want to go further away from home. Treats does not work once he is in this mode. He just looks away and shuts down. This makes us feel really mean, especially while we coax him to move. We often have to pull him quite hard only to end up dragging him, at which point we stop pulling.
The video on the left was taken on a better day, a quite Sunday afternoon. This is before peeing, so he walks without resisting. You can see that he's still quite nervous.
The funny thing is, after 5-10 minutes of coaxing, we do get far enough from home and he suddenly starts walking. Still alert and hesitant with frequent stopping and thinking, but he moves forward, on his own. He also trembles much less. It's like he decides to just get it over with.
And once he realizes that we are headed back home, he is much more confident. He even pulls forward quite hard to get home.
Those daily walks have not been fun for us. It is stress-inducing. We are always on the look out for possible fear triggers, so we can avoid them. It is sometimes maddening.
Deep breath. Deep breath. Ommmm....