Looks back frequently when out walking

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ericonseat's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-27

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We have a 15 week old male who we have had for 3 weeks. When we take him out for late afternoon walks, every 100 meters or so he will just stop and turn to face the direction we have come from. His pull on the lead isnt enough to suggest that he would run home if we let go but we dont understand this behaviour. After a few seconds of standing still like this he will spin round again and continue with our walk. Is it a sign of anxiety? he is very wary of other dogs we meet and is also very wary of our house girls cat (we live in west africa). Any suggestions or comments would be most welcome.

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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He is a great looking pup and welcome to the forum. West Africa.. WOW.. so happy to have you join us..

What is your dog's name?

He might just be displaying that all consuming curiosity that all Dobermans have.. Wants to know where he's been.. wants to remember how to get back.. On high alert for creatures great and small..

Sofia still will stop on her walks and take it all in .. It's almost like she's appreciating the scenery. She will gaze for hours at the ocean, just the way we do.

AlphaAdmin's picture
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Joined: 2010-01-18

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Hi ericonseat,

Are you walking him in the heel position? I'm guessing no, because he's so young. It's a good idea to start working on the heel position early on. It communicates the right thing to the puppy's doggy-mind.

This looking-back behavior is probably just a puppy trying to handle a big responsibility. A puppy not walking in the heel position feels like he's in charge, and needs to decide where to go.

ericonseat's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-27

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He is getting better, looks like it was just the first few times on a new route.......

Lori's picture
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Joined: 2010-04-03

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I've also found that you can't take them on the same route everyday or they expect and almost try to demand it.  I switch it up every few days with a new turn or twist.  This makes them want to pay attention where they are going now rather than where they just were. 

Lady Kate's picture
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Lori, I think that's a great idea and one we use with Sofia all the time.. The Dobermans are a curious lot and love adventure and change...new directions bring new sights, sounds and smells..

Lori's picture
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I think they also begin to sorta of claim that area as their own if you take the same path every day.  So when something or someone new comes by they aren't as open to it because it's not what is usually there.   I'd notice him not growling but his hair would stand if we pass someone or he'd start to bark but since I started changing it all the time he doesn't have an 'area or space' so to speak so it's always new and he's more open and accepting of stuff.  Now he rarely barks or growls unless it's in the morning when it's dark out.