Here`s another great article:
TL;DR: Seven months old dog we adopted two months ago is afraid outside. We live in an apartment in front of a big busy street and we don't know how to desensitize her.
Hello from Athens/Greece,
We adopted a rescue dog about 2 months ago, and she is getting seven months old tomorrow. We noticed from the first days that she was insecure on our walks outside and afraid of the big busy street we have in front of our apartment. Most friends with dogs and trainers (4 to be precise) we talked to told us that was normal because she was in an adjustment period getting used to the new place, people, and way of life in general, and that we should keep getting her out and that she will get used to it. So we continue our walks trying to hit the more "quiet" streets around our apartment but things didn't seem to get any better. After a point, I start curring her in my arms until we were out of the big busy street before I let her down to walk because she was getting afraid of the traffic. That's not to say that she is not afraid in the more "quiet" streets but not in so much panic mode as in the big streets.
We continued this of almost a month but she wasn't getting used to the outside. So we decided to move for August in my girlfriend's family house that is a few blocks away from our apartment and in a more quiet street than ours but still has some traffic and you can hear the big busy street that is one block away. We hoped that this way we could help her get used to the city and its noises. In the first two to three weeks we start seeing some improvement since our city gets a lot quieter in August because everyone goes to the islands for vacations (yes even now with COVID). But as soon as people got back to the city almost all progress got regressed. Next week have to go back to our apartment and we really don't know what to do. We fear that she will regress even more and we don't know how to handle this. We try going slow but the noise goes pretty fast from 0-100, especially in our apartment with the busy street in front, and we don't know how to desensitize her.
This is our first dog. We tried to use youtube videos of city towns but she completely ignores the sounds from youtube. She is pretty happy to meet humans and dogs. She is less insecure if is more than one person taking her out but still pretty insecure. If we sit outside our building door she gets in full panic mode. When leaving the building she pulls hard (not in a happy excited way) to go forward and when coming back only thing she cares about is to go back inside. She does the same thing in both houses. After a lot of reading and searching around we are a lot more informed about dogs now and we can understand now that this is clearly a lack of socialization in urban areas and that we probably pushed her over the threshold in the first days, not that the lack of knowledge from our part is an excuse but that's how things went.
Any help and suggestion are welcome. We really don't know what's best for her right now. We don't want her to leave is fear and anxiety. We fear that we did a really bad job and messed thing up and that she will never be able to enjoy being outside 🙁
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