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Old 02-19-2010, 05:53 PM
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Default My baby is such a coward..what to do..

Hi everyone!

New to this site and new Chihuahua owner.. I have a 3 month old girl Chihuahua who just moved in with me 2 weeks ago. She has been raised in a good home but been totally fenced in with only dogs and limited contact with human. She has such a kind nature and first she was so scared of me. Now she is used to me and her new home BUT its really hard to even think of taking her out or to meet any new people. If I even try to take her anywhere she seems to think Im going to leave her, she totally freezes and just shivers like crazy.

I know Im supposed to just gently try to get her used to new situations.. but how should I start? and how can I teach her to walk in a leash? Right now if I put her on a leash she will not move, anywhere. if I take her out she freezes and just shivers, she looks so fragile and scared it just breaks my heart. But I cant live my life with her in this small appartment? She needs exercise and I wanted a social dog that I can take with me to places..

All help is ver much appreciated! xx
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2010, 08:18 PM
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Whats her name?

I would find out what she is motivated by ( squeaky toy, food, praise. etc) and use that to introduce her to new enviornments and situations very slowly. So, lets say she likes boiled chicken. Let someone, who she has never seen come to your home and sit on the floor holding the chicken. That person cant approach her or call. She must make all the moves on her own if she wants that chicken. The goal is to let her know that she gets rewarded for coming up to people and they arent to be avoided.

If she wont go out on a leash attatch it in the house and let her drag it around ( make sure it isnt too heavy though), when she moves with it on make sure you praise her if she likes to be praised. Some timid dogs dont like the commotion, in that case just keep your excitement inside lol

I dont know how well this works with smaller dogs but when my dog is fearful of something when we are walking i just ignore it and keep going. If she stops and starts to focus on the item or situation i call her to my side and continue to ignore it. This method works for me and maybe it will for you too when you get your pup to walk with a leash on.
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Old 02-19-2010, 08:40 PM
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http://www.bichonfriseusa.com/articl...izationshy.htm
It's directed to another breed but it will for for your chi. I think if you do a google search you will come up with loads of hits but beware as some suggest use of force such as the alpha roll ( what are people thinking?) to get a dog to accept human contact.
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Old 02-23-2010, 04:27 AM
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I feel your frustration! My little one, who I got at 4.5 months from a great hobby breeder, is sooooooo shy. She sounds very much like yours.

Despite being raise around lots of other dogs and the breeder's 4 boys, she is TERRIFIED of new people. Like, we are talking scared out of her cotton pickin' mind.

Eventually, after 2-3 days, she will get used to a new person and becomes unbelievably sweet.

I have tried tons of different things with her. She will not take food, even high value treats from new people. She just backs away.

At first, she would NOT walk on a leash. I literally had to drag her, and I felt like such a jerk. So we started with the basics...leash on dragging behind her in the house. Eventually I'd walk her around the house on it. Finally, we started using it to go out for potty. The hardest step was just getting her to walk around the block. Obviously you encounter things...people, other dogs, cars, children etc. She would act so incredibly terrified.

After about a month of walks, a cool thing happened. Her tail was no longer tucked between her legs and she started to seem to enjoy them. It just took awhile.

If I walk her in pet stores now, she still tucks her tail, but I am starting to see it come up ever so little each time we go in. She used to not even take treats from me in the pet store but now, she is starting to take especially tasty ones fom me which is a huge step.

At home she is a bundle of love and fun and laughs. Sure, I wish she wasn't so scared because people ALL want to touch and snuggle her. Slowly, I think she will outgrow it. I make sure she knows I am pack leader and I do things that build her confidence. I try to be confident myself, because I know she can sense my feelings.

Sometimes, I just take her places with me. She doesn't have a choice. I make sure she knows she is safe, but I don't coddle her or comfort her. Those things "reward" her frightened behavior, something I definitely don't want to do.

Its hard and I am still learning but I love her and it is worth working through.
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:09 PM
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Nugget was a bit skittish as a baby, but with little steps, he has become Mr. Social.

At first, he didn't want to be handled by anybody but me. But I took him to a friend's house, and let him get used to being pet/held by somebody else. Then I took him to bigger and bigger social gatherings, and he quickly got used to being around other people. Now when he meets someone new, he can't wait to introduce himself!

As far as the leash, at first he would pull back, as though he were afraid to leave the patio. So, I held the leash while he went potty. While he was busy going, I moved into the yard a bit. Then he saw me and got the idea that it was safe there. Each time we went out, I walked a bit further out, and in no time, we were going on walks around the whole neighborhood!

Each puppy will progress differently. Just remember that she is teaching you as much as you are teaching her. Be patient, and you'll be greatly rewarded!

If she still won't move on the leash, just put it on her, take her outside, and give her a little praise. If she walks around more, give more praise, and so on. Also, there's nothing wrong with bribing her with a treat!
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Last edited by Sensei; 02-23-2010 at 05:11 PM.
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