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Canine Behavior/puppy worried


QUESTION: I have a 3 month old gsd puppy and he does very well inside but he is really unwilling going outside the front door of my house that make its really hard for him to go outside for a walk plz suggest me how to make him feel comfortable going out plz....

ANSWER: I need to ask you a few questions before I can determine why this young puppy is afraid.  Please use followup feature (copy/paste questions and answer them).  The followup feature is available to you when you read this answer; scroll down to the bottom of the page, it will say "Ask A Followup Question".  If you need time to come to the answers, then create a .doc file and copy/paste it into your eventual response.

1.  How long have you had this dog
2.  What circumstances was he in when you acquired him (i.e., where did you get him, what was the environment like, were adult dogs on the premises if it was an actual breeder)
3.  What has the veterinarian determined regarding his health (weight, eyesight, history of vaccination, any and all results of examination)
4.  Can you think of anything, even the smallest thing (like a large insect, bird call, etc.) that may have frightened the puppy the FIRST TIME or any time you took him through the front door?
5.  What do YOU DO when he shows fear and refuses to go out the front door?
6.  How is is house training going (if he can't go out for walks, I imagine he is eliminating indoors?)
7.  If you find urine or feces in the house (and at three months, this would not be surprising), what do YOU DO?
8.  What is immediately outside your front door: describe the environment into which the dog must walk
9.  Do you have another door to the outside?

Please be as quick as possible to answer the questions so we can fix this situation in a satisfactory manner.  Meanwhile: do not force the puppy outdoors through the front door; do not pick him up and carry him out.  Show patience at all times.  The GSD has a fear problem, it has yet to be totally eradicated.  A fearful puppy may turn into a fearful adult and fear is the first reason for aggression.  Please answer ASAP.

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QUESTION: Wel i have dis dog for past two months,no adult dog we got him from an family members house who has a female and i visited his home quite a few times before bringing the pup home and the condition he was i was really good to be honest,vet examination shows nothing negative he is vacinated against 9 in1 disease and corona virus and wil have his anti rabies vaccine in two dayz,we generally give him treat to make him come out of the house .One thing he seems a lil willing to come out of the house in the morning when there is very lil traffic but bringing him out in evening when there is heavy traffic is the main issue he just goes stubborn and will not go out.House training isnt that bad bxz he seems  to havw a good control over his things and starts barking then we take him in the lawns .The immediate outside my front door is a road then there is a park at a 5 min walking distance .we have another access from back but its really dirty so we avoid that path

ANSWER: Do NOT bribe the dog to come out of the house; you are rewarding whatever he is thinking or reacting to, not his behavior.  Obviously, the puppy is afraid of traffic.  What is required is slow, steady counter conditioning and this is how you do it.

Buy a very small toy with a squeak in it.  For the next few days, when the puppy is calm (indoors), NOT sleeping (or the squeak will startle him), squeak toy in your pocket, puppy will look up, pop high value food reward into his mouth, keep walking.  Repeat this ONLY when the puppy is relaxed, chewing a bone, lying on the couch, NOT SLEEPING; repeat several times a day at various intervals.  What we are doing is creating a bridge between his peaceful condition (no fear, no flight response) and the food reward: the bridge is the squeak.  After he has an acquired condition response to the squeak ("good treat is coming"), when he approaches you and gets to you for any reason (so long as he is CLEARLY NOT AFRAID, relaxed, happy), squeak pop two treats into his mouth, give him a pat and a good boy, walk away.  You may find that very quickly this pup begins to come to you quite often for this squeak/treat.  This might even happen the very first day after several random trials.  WHEN that happens, put on his leash (indoors) and walk forward.  Since he has no fear of the leash he will follow you; stop, squeak/two treats, remove leash, walk away.  He will, within a couple of days of random trials (no more than five a day at various hours) begin to associate following you with squeak/treat.  NOW you are ready to go out the front door.  Put leash on puppy (you may want to get a longer training leash so as to give you the ability to go past your threshold by at least four feet from the pup), stand there with your back to the puppy.  Say nothing, do nothing.  If he never moves forward at all (quite unlikely), go back inside, unclick leash, walk away; two minutes later, put on leash, walk indoors and when pup gets to your side, squeak/three bits of high value food reward, unclick leash walk away.  A few minutes later, take him back on leash to the door; you walk out, you stand there.  Now we don't want to do this more than twice in a row at any given time.  At some point, your pup will cross the threshold and come to your side OUTDOORS: squeak/lots of treats, take a few steps forward, stop, and wait.  Soon the pup will associate following you out the front door with REWARD.  As soon as that happens, we're ready to go further away from the front door and STOP rewarding his initial crossing the threshold to follow you.  Re-post using followup when you get to that point.  Remember: carefully condition the squeak/treat inside when pup is happy and relaxed and being "good" (but not sleeping).  Then follow the rest of the directions.  Once puppy happily follows you out the front door, we have to be far more cautious since we must then address his fear of heavy traffic.

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QUESTION: Sir I think we found what he is really afraid of today as we had to take him for vet for the shots as soon as we kicked of the bike and was preparing him to take he ran away to the house so it seems he is afraid of the sound of vehicles does we need to do the same thing u suggested or do we change somethmg

I require that you do everything I have suggested. I already know he's afraid of vehicles. The counter conditioning (creating a bridge for reward) is essential to getting this puppy (EVENTUALLY) to a place where he WILL step outdoors, farther and farther IF you follow my instructions as outlined in my response to your question.  DO NOT PUSH HIM.  This will take patience.  Once the puppy has passed the fear phase (8 to 14 weeks) and has learned that going outdoors is rewarding ("forgotten" his former fear of going through the front door), we will then stop rewarding the first few steps and begin to counter condition him to vehicles.

I believe your follow-ups have now expired (I think they are limited to three).  FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN carefully; give this a couple to three weeks unless the puppy shows a very fast response to the "bridge" and begins coming out with no fear.  You will need to begin a new thread:  use your name, and puppy afraid.

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.


I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.


30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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