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Hello. I am new to this forum but extremely glad I found it. Looks like I will be keeping myself busy reading the previous posts.

Our puppy is four and a half months old. She seems to be exhibiting alot of the traits mentioned by other people eg biting, problems coming back if she sees a dog or person she wants to make firends with etc. I am pleased to see that these things are likely to change with age.

What does concern me is that she is very scared of everday things like cars, bicycles etc. I can't even distract her, she gets so nervous she physically shakes with fear. I keep her walking if she is on the lead and don't make a big deal of it but some bikes passed us in the park last night and she dived into the undergrowth. I am concerned that something will scare her and she will run off in a blind panic.

I would be really grateful if anyone can offer some advice on how to help her. I don't know, maybe this will be something else that she will grow out of - hopefully.

Thanks
Tracey
 

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Tracey

Each puppy/dog is unique. Some take to things quicker than others, some get comfortable faster than others. She sounds like what she is, a 4 month old puppy. Cars, bicycles and such are not yet part of her everyday life, but they will be
In her own home environment does she exhibit a higher degree of confidence? or is there still a lack of confidence?
There is a training technique that you have accidentally stumbled on. When dogs need to be brought more fully under control, trainers change their environment to make them a little more dependent on them and increase their focus and attention span. It works well when you can control the variables. In this case though the variables are outside of your control.
I think she'll grow out of it personally, but in the meantime try to use the "advance and retreat" philosophy. Introduce her to something from a distance, give her time to make a mental picture. Remove the stimulus, ie. the bike, for a time and then come back to it. Give her time to examine it. Next time you hear the bikes pick her up first and let her watch them go by a few times. She is still at a point in her life that she needs to feel protected. Bikes are scary ;).
I've had two dogs that would put their tale between their legs and slink off and hide if I had a shotgun out in the house, You'd swear they were gun shy. Ring a bell with the shotgun out and and they were 4ft off the ground heading for the door and the truck to go hunting, not gun shy at all. They put pictures together in their minds, and I guess for those two guys shotguns in the house weren't part of their picture.
Stop the biting and nipping at this age. It's a lot easier.
The come command at 4 months is a hit or miss thing, but it's a pretty sure bet she's not completely leash trained. That would be way too much to ask of a 4 month old puppy. Keep her on a check cord and " very gently" reel her in when the come command is given, making a big fuss over her the whole time. She's old enough to start her walking at heel on a leash for a few minutes at a time. Walking at heel is control for the handler.
I really think though that she's going to be just fine. She's bold enough to go make friends, she'll pick up the confidence as she's socialized more.
 

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My V had similar "scared" episodes when she was younger. I used to walk her every morning while it was still dark, just the street lights. One morning the neighbour put out big black rubbish sacks (normally a big plastic bin). I didn't take much notice but the V stopped in her tracks from 30ft away. Took her about 15mins to finally appraoch them. They have spectaculary good memories. It always amazes me how she can remember a hardly visible game trail when we haven't been down it for a month.

She was also really shy of having guys on their own come out of left feild. I think she would still be wary of new experiences. that is why you need to get them out doing everything you can in those early months. For instance mine is hopeless at travelling on the back of a ute (truck deck), as she has only done it twice for short trips of about 200ft. Put her in the back of an SUV and no problems.
 
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