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Tldr: Newly adopted german shepard puppy had never been outside before adoption and is having a hard time learning to walk on a leash. Looking for recommendations for leash training.
A few weeks ago I adopted an 8 month old german shepard and have been struggling with leash training her. Her previous owners severely abused her. She was originally adopted for dog fighting, but when she was found to not be "aggressive enough" those horrid people locked her in a closet for most of the time that she was a puppy.
While she has been adapting to living in a normal home very well (and is the sweetest dog I have ever met) I am still struggling with leash training. She constantly pulls (with all 65lbs of her weight) and will not focus on me or any commands that I try to give her. A big part of the problem is that she didn't get to experience being outside until recently. Because of this anytime I take her outside she is extremely excited/nervous to the point where she isn't at all interested in any food or treats. Whenever I walk her in a new area she is especially anxious/distracted and tries to either run away from things that may be scary or towards anything exciting (birds, rabbits, other people or dogs). Because of this I have been walking her down the same route twice a day at the same times.
To combat the constant pulling on the leash, I got a harness that connects to the front. This initially helped, but recently she has been pulling to the point where it is becoming a pretty difficult task to take her on a walk.
Additionally, any time she sees another dog she goes crazy trying to say hello. She has been socialized with other dogs and is extremely friendly with every dog she has ever met and just wants to play. But now when other dog owners see a nearly fully grown german shepard barking, jumping and pulling on the leash with all her force, they tend to get a little scared of her.
Also, I have been using a clicker for training her for a few weeks now. She responds well to the clicker when inside, but doesn't care at all when outside.
Does anyone have any recommendations for how to get her attention when outside, or for how to help her at least calm down a bit? And any recommendations for leash training a nearly fully grown dog that has never walked on a leash before a few weeks ago?
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