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Hi there,

I'm brand new (this is my first post, woohoo!), but have been checking out this fantastic site for a while.

I have a beautiful 1 year old smooth coat female Chi, Bonnie, who is an absolute darling around home with me and my boyfriend. I've had her for 3 months now and have done lots of training with her (leash, going to various public places, sitting etc). My concern is that she is still VERY timid with my friends and strangers. I've just gotten home from visiting a friend's place with her and am feeling upset.....she has met these three friends of mine five times before and is still very timid with them (she was even worse than usual tonight).

For example, if one of my friends reached down to touch her, she would bolt away. She does show some signs of wanting to play, but is so uptight and anxious. She just isn't her usual self with other people - she looks really suspicious and darts around if anyone even moves a limb....help! Any advice please? She is also terrified of new dogs too.

I think I'm doing things right - have researched heaps into dog training/positive reinforcement/not letting her sleep on my bed etc, but I don't know what to do to help her over her timidity.

Many thanks, Helen
 

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have EVERYONE you come across give her her favorite treat.
carry a bag of her fave treat cut up small in your pocket, then whenever you arrive at someones house or meet your frineds/strangers have them take a handfull.

then have them go down to her level (kneel/sit on the floor and have 1 treat at a time in their hand, have them hold the treat just away from them and then continue to talk to you, let her aproach for the treat and completly ignore her the first few times (dont pull the hand away dont look at her ect) once she starts acting more comfortable have the person say "good girl" but still no looking or reaching out for her.
next step would be have them look at her when she comes for the treat AND say good girl.
the goal is to slowly desensitize her, the darting away is more a fear of being reached for and picked up by strangers, so first you want to teach her that there not going to do that, teach her to trust "strangers" and that strangers always have nice things :)

once shes comming round start switching up the treats, once time she gets a treat, the next an empty hand...

and then of course the next step would be a gentle pet on the back or chest (never on the head on a shy dog as its a very dominant gesture of the person.)

with timid dogs you have to work very slowly and be extreemly patient, some never completly get over it.

i work with dodger everyday (he was dropped as a pup and now wont let any "stranger" near him let alone pick him up.) hes better than he was but i dont think hell ever realy trust strangers.
 

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Thanks for your reply Foxywench, it's much appreciated!

Yes, I think you are onto something, as my friends are really pushing themselves onto her - she actually seems to be WORSE the last few times around them. I'm considering not taking her with me to friend's houses for a while....one of them poked her from behind a few times with her foot tonight, which seemed to make her really nervy (I don't blame Bonnie! and felt angry at my 'friend' for doing that!)

I'm also very careful to not 'baby' her and encourage any fearful behaviour - it's not working though :-(

One of them picked her up a month or so ago and she struggled like anything and flew out of her arms - it's very upsetting to watch, as she is very cute and they only want to interact in a normal way with her.

She is a submissive girl (though getting quite cheeky at home) but was at the bottom of the breeder's pack. She obviously needs to be taken very slowly.

Sounds scary re your Dodger being dropped - yikes!! Being such smart dogs, they don't forget and seem cautious in order to self-preserve....that's what my boyfriend mentioned re Bonnie - she's standoffish until she gathers evidence about a situation. Cheers Helen
 

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One way to build up confidence is by petting her under her chin and on her chest. This way, she can see exactly where your hand is.

For socializing, have your guest come to your home and invite them in. In their pocket they have treats. Have them completely ignore your dog - and have a conversation with you. Ignore meaning no greeting or talking to, no eye contact, no touching. The guest starts to throw out a treat while interacting with you but continues to ignore your dog. The visit ends without any contact unless your dog has initiated it. They make no attempt to pet her or talk to her and especially NO eye contact.
 

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Does she scared of the every time?

My chi is also very shy girl, she was like that from the beginning (the shyest puppy in the litter), and when people come she is afraid first, and her tail is down. but after 10 minutes, when she see that people don’t look at her and doesn’t do bad things to her, she starts to react normal.
She is not super friendly over strangers, but I find it as a good thing…
 

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Rainbow is the same way, afraid of her own shadow. We've tried everything, but she is still very timid and she screams so loud. We've been going to the doggie park, the first few times he just screamed bloodly murder and stayed under the bench. The last time she finally ventured out by following us. We are hoping she wil start mingling on her own.
 

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I think it just takes a long time for chi's to get used to someone they don't know. My youngest takes a few days to, even if the person is around here awhile.
 

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I know how you feel.My Radar was like that he would not go to any one except me.I just held him and let people pet him and i done the treats to.Tell your friends to let her come to them or you hold her,and just coax her talk to her nicely and have them do the same.She will get better.
 

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It will just take time and patience. I would start by having your visitors give your baby some kind of tasty treat. And tell the not to up and just try to pet her since this is freaking her out a bit. Tell them to stick out their hand so she can sniff them first. And then tell them to offer her some treats. After she is comfortable with them, then they should try and pet her but tell them to make every action slow. I actually got a chi that was from an abusive home, and she is very timid as well. There's no cure all trick, but you just have to be very patient. Good luck! I'm sure your little one will come out of her shell very soon.
 

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My Chi Baxter is now 20 months old and he is just starting to get over his timidity/fear agression.

He basically would not let anyone but me touch him, and would nip when others tried, and he would cower when people got to close. In the last few weeks he has made a major breakthrough and actually let a couple of people pat him so I am happy.

Also today he had to go to the vet because his eye won't close properly, and he let the vet nurse carry him off and he let the vet look at his eye without biting and freaking out.

It has been a slow process, but I have worked on him getting to trust people by letting them give him treats and also making people give him space and not approach him.

I don't think he will be super-friendly dog, but I now have hope that at least others can touch him without drama (which makes the vet visits far less stressful!!)
 
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