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Bella (the) Ball is nearly seven months old and despite our ups and downs, tears (mine) and tantrums (hers) training has been going well, some things she grasps instantly, others she seems to be wilfully refusing to stop or do which can be frustrating but by and large she is growing into a lovely dog. Our lead training has suddenly come on and I am no longer being yanked around, unless she spies another person she considers would be more interesting than me.
We live in a rural area and I have been mindful that Bella needs to learn how to behave when out on the streets in Town etc so since she has been able to be out and about I have regularly taken her into our small town to meet people, cars and buses etc. I call this Urban Warfare, which if you knew how small our town is would make you smile. Anyway this was all fine but in the last few weeks she seems to have developed an absolute hatred of roads and cars to the point where she is now completely freaking out whenever we are near one. I cannot think of a particular incident that will have triggered this.
All of our walks involve a small bit of road interaction, either crossing from one reservoir to another, or nipping from the reservoir up to the canal. Neither more than 50 metres and she has generally put up with this as a means to an end however today she was so unhappy she tried to jump into my arms and then pogo-ed around so much she was bouncing off the pavement into the road. Clearly I do not want to put her in a position of danger, but neither can I never take her near a road again. Certainly when we go to stay with my parents Bella will not have the luxury of road avoidance and I also do not consider it helpful to Bella in the long run if I don't address this.
I spoke to our Obedience Trainer (who is APDT, COAPE Dogwise; Animal Care College intro to Dog Psychology etc) and she has suggested that I take Bella to a quiet carpark and get her used to cars moving around us at slow speed, maybe sit near a quiet road and if she is not reacting then treat her, both of which I have done and Bella has been OK-ish though she is not remotely interested in treats at those points. I am planning to do a one-to-one with my trainer so she can see our interactions etc and how to take this forward when she returns from her easter break, but I wondered if anyone had similar experiences and how they overcame them.
I feel so sorry for her as when she knows the point in our various walks where the road is coming up she jumps up at me, wraps her front paws around my arms, and looks at me as if to say "come on, let's turn around and go back the way we came, no need to go near that nasty road"
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