PUPPY'S FIRST WALKS
Many people are very excited to get their puppy out for their first walks when it is safe to do so after their final vaccinations. Yet more often than not, they aren't quite the experience people hope for!
It is common for puppies to struggle with their initial outings - sometimes to the point where they just put the brakes on and refuse to move!
How you deal with this situation will hugely impact your puppy and their confidence...
A puppy doesn't put the brakes on whilst out in an effort to be difficult, defiant or stubborn (dogs can't actually express these complex emotions) - they are doing it because they are uncertain about the big scary world, and feel overwhelmed.
The worst thing that you can do is pull on the lead and try to encourage your puppy to keep going. Doing so will make the problem worse (just like with me if there is a spider nearby and someone pushes me towards it!).
The best way to support your puppy is to just hang out next to them, keep the lead loose and let them take the world in by having a good look around them. When they are ready to get going again, they will!
Being patient is key when building confidence in your puppy. Rather view their initial walks as 'outings' for them to start experiencing more of the world. Don't view your walk time as 'we need to cover this route'. If you spend 15 minutes just hanging around the front of your house watching the world go by instead of making it to the end of your street, don't worry! It is all about quality of exposure, not how far you go!
The more relaxed you are about these outings, the better your puppy will feel, and their confidence will increase tenfold as the weeks progress.