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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have two chis - one is golden and behaves like a prince, the other is a brat and behaves as such. she is 2 pounds of fierceness and 'attacks' my bf whenever he visits. she goes for his ankles and grabs on to his pants legs when he walks around the apartment. she never bothers him when he is sitting down or laying down, just when he stands or walks. she will get up from her bed, or wherever she is, to come and attack him at the ankles. i have tried training at a local center, he has tried to bond with her by brushing her, walking her, feeding her treats, petting her, etc. and he, not being a dog person, is giving up and starting to dislike my chi, who is otherwisea great dog, very quiet and obedient. she does this with all men, not just the bf,a nd i noticed just last night, that she does it with women too. as joggers or walkers pass by she will head straight to the ankles as if to bite them or grab the pant legs. i scold her and say no, but she isn't changing the behavior. i work on this a lot with her and the bf but we're not progressing. any tips or thoughts??? i have had her for one year and she is approx. 2.5 years old, about 1.5 yearso old when i got her. a long haired chi if that should matter. thank you.
 

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This is a fearful chi. Most fearful dogs are fine when people are seated and not moving. As soon as they move, the dog reacts. If this were my dog, I would have a playpen, crate whatever, and the dog would be in it WHEN the visitor arrived. When they settle down, the dog can come out. When the visitor leaves, the dog again is put away BEFORE the visitor moves. This is called management. IF you want to work with the dog, have a visitor toss the dog tiny bits of cheese (the size of your fingernail) or meat, when they come in or leave. Good luck. Sue
 

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Sue is right. She is a fearful dog. Not a brat. I sure hope the dog that is a "prince" is not treated differently than the dog that is a "brat". We certainly would not do that with a human child, a dog should be no different.

I do not allow anyone to compare my girls. That is unfair. They are distinctly different dogs with characteristics and personalities different from each other. I frankly think it would be boring to have three dogs all exactly the same.

A fearful dog requires patience and a lot of work. On your part, your boyfriend's part and the part of anyone who encounters your dog. You cannot allow anyone who comes into your home to yell at the dog nor punish the dog for being fearful.

I would google shy/fearful/reactive and get some tips on things you can do to help the dog adapt.

Perhaps she had bad experiences before she came to your care. If you know that she did, that explains it. If you do not know, I would manage her as if she did.

I'd be very careful with words (bad, brat, etc.). They often drive our actions and that will only make her worse, not better. I promise.
 

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Agreed with the ladies above.

You must look into positive reinforcement and stop the negative reinforcement.
Instead of punishing her when she acts out of fear, ignore it, because if you
react in a negative way to her being afraid it only reinforces her belief that there
is something to fear, tense owner = tense dog. But do reward her when she
pays no attention to things that normally frighten her, for example the times she
is accepting of your bf. You've got to up her exercise regimen as well. If you are
walking her less than three times per day, I'd start there. Provide her with plenty
of physical and mental stimulation, it'll ease her nerves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is a fearful chi. Most fearful dogs are fine when people are seated and not moving. As soon as they move, the dog reacts. If this were my dog, I would have a playpen, crate whatever, and the dog would be in it WHEN the visitor arrived. When they settle down, the dog can come out. When the visitor leaves, the dog again is put away BEFORE the visitor moves. This is called management. IF you want to work with the dog, have a visitor toss the dog tiny bits of cheese (the size of your fingernail) or meat, when they come in or leave. Good luck. Sue
i like this suggestion, but what about when we are outside on walks and as someone walks/jogs by she lunges towards their ankles? what then?? i call her name to divert her attention, but that doesn't seem like the right solution because it only stops the behavior in that moment and not forever. as for thf bf and men, i have them walk around with treats and yes, drop treats as they walk to get by her without being bitten. i also call her name to get her attention off of the person and do tie her up someplace until she calms down. amazing that a 2 pound dog can instill such fear in people :) but we think she is so brave for her size
 

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She sounds a little like my Penny. Penny will come up and sniff people but barks when they start walking around. I tell people to complete ignore her, don't try to pet her, don't even look at her. She gets treats when she is being quiet and nice. It takes a while, but she will warm up to people. I don't let people pick her up or pet her unless she wants to be. That often makes it worse.
 

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Start at a PetCo/Smart type of store. Get far enough away that the people do not bother her. (may have to be accross the lot!) Feed her tiny bits of really good food. Move closer when she looks to you instead of the people around. This may take a long time (weeks) Move closer only when she is comfy. Keep up the good treats. Before too long, you will be able to be on the outside of the store with people going by. IF at any time she regresses, you've gone too fast. This may take many weeks, but if she is fearful, she has to learn YOU are the protector. Don't let anyone pet her or speak to her during this time. It will take a long time, but don't give up! Sue
 
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