I swear there is a little switch in a puppy's brain that sometimes gets stuck in the 'off' position and then for no apparent reason **click*** gets flipped on.
That happened yesterday with Jessie. We headed out in the morning on our 'gotta get over your fear of the leash/cars/new smells walk around the neighbourhood - which at last attempt was a twenty minute struggle for both of us around a half block (using a back lane). She didn't want to go. She lay down and pretended to be dead when I put on her harness and leashes.
She cowered at the back yard gate.
She slunk down the side of the house and passed the cars.
She was not a happy camper.
No, I won't 'watch' you!
Then - ZOMG! - she suddenly began trotting along nicely. Right by my side. Head up, tail up. No pulling or weaving or trembling. Just a nice, brisk, happy trot.
Oh! this isn't so bad!
We reached the end of the block, where we have been turning right to return via the back lane, and she wanted to turn left. So we did.
And she trotted right down to the park. And on to the seawalk. Over the metal grid, and along the boards above the sand and sea.
And down to the beach. Where we met some friends and their dogs and chatted for a while. Then she and I sat on a rock under the edge of the wharf and took a few photographs.
Then we returned via the looooong flight of steps, with open spaces and metal grids. No hesitation.
Through a new (to her)neighbourhood and back on home.
And she was happy and proud of herself.
Later in the day, I tried taking her out again, and the switch was back in the 'off position' so that even passing a parked car in front of my neighbour's house was a challenge for her. It didn't help that a bus came down the crossroad (albeit a half block away) shortly after that and totally terrifed her. She was determined to bolt back in the direction we came. I put her into a sit - she has an excellent 'sit'! - waited for it to pass and we continued. She never stopped trembling and yanking and trying to bolt, however, so at the park we sat on a bench for a while and then I walked her home. Once we got back to our block, she eased up and more or less walked nicely back to the house. We shall see how she does today.