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Old 03-14-2018, 11:01 AM
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Default New User - Need Advice Please!

Hello everyone! You can call me Splendid, and I am the proud momma of a 7 month old chi named Poncho. We are in Australia. I actually joined this forum because I’ve been having some issues with him lately and I can take all the help I can get.

Poncho is 7 months old, he’s very tiny, and he is absolutely terrified of all other dogs. Even other chihuahuas. Admittedly I didn’t socialise him much until he was about 3 months old because he didn’t have all his shots and I was too afraid to take him out (first time dog owner here). So that may be the cause of the issue, but i really need to resolve it. I’d love to see him run and play with other dogs. Having him cower between my legs while the rest of them play and then pee in fear if a dog comes up to greet him, it’s just heartbreaking.

I take him out on multiple walks every day to expose him to people and other dogs with treats, and he’s starting to come around to people, but dogs are still a big issue for him. It’s really hard to make the experiences positive because a lot of people here walk their dogs off leash, which frees them up to charge at poor little poncho, who freaks out excessively because he doesn’t know what’s going on. They only ever want to play, but he is so terrified he begins to snarl and snap and sometimes he will pee.

He’s even scared of people walking their dogs on the leash, because most of the time they will pull towards him to try to greet him and sometimes they will bark.

I’m not sure what to do at all. I don’t want to stop walking him for fear someone else might be walking their dog, But whenever I do walk him and we run into someone with dogs, I feel he is just getting more and more scared each time. Any sort of advice on this would be very greatly appreciated. I love him to bits and he is so perfect otherwise. I just want him to be a happy dog and not be so nervous all the time.
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:21 PM
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Hello, Splendid and Ponchino!

Well, it's too late for puppy kindy. Those are actually meant for puppies under 13 weeks who have not had all their shots yet.

You could try beginner dog training classes though.

Join a chihuahua group (look for one on Facebook in your city), and see if you can arrange a playdate with 1 or 2 chihuahuas that are good with other dogs.

You'll need to keep trying! Don't give up! I believe 7 months is within the "fear period" of dog adolescence. So, if you just be careful, but persistent, there's a chance he could grow out of this, or get better.

I agree that it sucks the leash law doesn't seem to be enforced at all, even in Perth. That can be really dangerous for toy breeds! But, still need to get them outside.

Can you try to find a walking route around your area that has the least amount of dog traffic??

Also, check youtube for videos about fearful dogs and socialization.

Otherwise, you could try hiring a behaviorist/trainer.

Good luck!!
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Old 03-14-2018, 03:28 PM
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Poor poncho. He is terrified of other dogs. I would not 'make' he meet other dogs. He is telling you he is not comfortable doing this. If you can afford a positive trainer that is certainly the way to go. Until you can get professional help, I would carry him, and every time a dog comes up to you, I'd be feeding him tiny bits of a high value treat. Llke chicken, cheese,what ever he adores. You want him to think, Oh Boy, another dog, and I'll get a treat! You may have to start out with him just looking at another dog, and getting a treat into him before he starts to react. Good luck. (I have a reactive dog, and it has to do with her genes. Her Mom was the same way.
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