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Old 04-19-2015, 06:33 PM
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Default Too late to socialize my chi?Gunther hates dogs...

Hi all, we adopted a beautiful 5-year old chi from the pound about three months ago and he's pretty close to being the perfect dog (at least for me). He is gentle, polite, funny, always wants cuddles, is absolutely crazy about people, doesn't bite, doesn't bark at noises, doesn't beg for food..i could go on for ages. BUT he absolutely hates dogs! It is almost embarrassing because my neighbourhood is full of extremely well-behaved dogs and then my Gunther comes along barking non stop and losing it completely at the sight of any dog - big, small, other chis, a shadow, a dog on TV, you name it. The problem is we don't really know his history because he was just found in a forest all alone, so we're not sure if he's had a bad experience with dogs in the past. We do think that his out of control barking is just fear and not aggression because he never tries to attack (even off-leash); he might get closer to the other dog but then if the other dog comes towards him he tries to flee.

We would like for Gunther to get used to other dogs. We were thinking of taking him to a dog trainer or behavioural therapist to try and solve the issue because it's almost impossible to walk him without him going crazy every 5 seconds. He gets so worked up sometimes that he then starts barking at people. The only problem is his age. I know they always say to start early with training and socializing your chi, but I really hope we can train him to be more social with other dogs. It would be great to be able to go to the dog park and watch him play with other dogs, or perhaps get another dog. To be honest at this stage I would just be happy with him tolerating other dogs. Does anyone have any experience of tips with socializing older chis or training them to become more accepting of other dogs?
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Old 04-19-2015, 07:05 PM

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I think you have the right idea with some one on one work with a trainer. My Mother in law got a pure bred puppy (not a chi a terrier) who had a horrible time adjusting to other dogs. He even bit another dog. The dog eventually went to doggie boot camp and lived with the trainer for a couple weeks. The dog is doing much, much better now and is well behaved. I don't think it is ever too late as long as the intervention is positive.
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:41 AM
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I definitely think it'd help to socialize him, even if he's older, now. At the very least, he'll be able to tolerate them a little more and might hopefully stop barking at them as much. It'll definitely do some good.

If you take him to someone to help with his fear issues, I would choose a dog behaviorist if you can afford one. They have a lot more knowledge than just a trainer and usually have a college education. I'm not saying taking him to a trainer won't help. It definitely would.

It's going to be tons of work, but it'll definitely help.
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