I have a 15 month old puppy and seems to be afraid when being walked. He can start off fine and then out of the blue he starts acting strangely, tail between his legs and wants to bolt off.
I try to calm him but he doesn’t want to pay any attention. i often try to walk him where there is every day noise – buses cars van etc, to try and not let this behaviour develop, but would really like to get some advice!
I’m not sure if you’ve been walking your pup since he was much younger, or if these walks are a new thing to him.
If it’s new, then it will take him some time to adjust, at 15 months he isn’t a tiny puppy anymore and will have developed certain habits and comfort zones… and it’ll take him a little longer to adapt to new ones that it would if he were 10 or 12 weeks old. But, he’s still plenty young enough to learn.
If you’ve been walking him regularly in this way for months but he’s still scared and anxious then he may be naturally a timid, or anxious dog, and you may need a bit of extra ‘hands-on’ help from a dog trainer to get over the ‘hump’ of his fears.
A basic dog obedience class would be a very good thing for him right now, regardless of how long he’s been going on walks.
Also, either way you will need to continue his socialization, because although it’s difficult for him it’s even more important than it would be with a confident, friendly pup. His fears can’t be allowed to get the better of him, or you.
BUT don’t push him too far beyond his comfort zone all at once, take it slowly and expect it to take time, and a lot of patience, to help him become more self-confident. Lots of loud traffic noises, people etc. will be very scary for him and it would be best to start on quieter streets, or when there are less vehicles and people about to begin with. Gradually build up to more busy areas as he gains in confidence.
Socializing puppies is vital if you want them to grow up to be happy, friendly and confident but it does take time and patience, and all pups are different in terms of what they need.
I’d really suggest getting some professional guidance here from a local, qualified dog trainer to make sure you’re on the right track. Hope this has helped, and I wish you both lots of luck.