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Hi all,have any of you had any luck stopping your chis, wanting to kill the big dogs when your out?Charchi,s good with the small dogs, but hate the big ones, even though Ive taken him right up to a couple of them,he still wants to attack them. I alway,s walk him on leash, as we dont have dog parks where i live, i find it very hard to controll him when he sees a big dog, he gets much stronger to hold i try to turn him round so he cant see the dog but i cant hold him, he wriggles back round so he can see the dog, Are there any of you that haven,t been able to correct this, Ive been reading alot on how chis only like their own mostley and if they would always be like this with big dogs thanks sorry for the long post.
 

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What you're actually dealing with, here, is a fear response. Charchi probably finds bigger dogs to be threatening (either because of a specific encounter he had before or simply because they're so much bigger than he is), and he's learned that if he reacts aggressively when he sees a bigger dog, the bigger dog leaves, either by the dog's owner walking him away or you removing Charchi from the situation. Barking makes the dog leave and makes him feel better, so he repeats the behavior, and now it's an ingrained response. These are challenging to work with and require practice and patience, but you can get some improved behavior.

I highly, highly recommend getting the booklet 'Feisty Fido' by Patricia McConnell. It's a fantastic, short little book about leash reactivity and how to change it. It's a quick, interesting read that's straight to the point and walks you through a number of approaches and protocols for changing reactive leash behavior.
 

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Take a look at BAT training. It's especially helpful if you know anyone who owns the kind of dog Charchi is reactive to. Lots of resources here: Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) | Official site for BAT: dog-friendly training for reactivity (aggression, fear, frustration) by Grisha Stewart, MA.

Don't take Charchi up to a dog that's scary. It risks him learning that you don't keep him safe - he's aggressive because he doesn't feel safe around big dogs, and by making him walk up to them, he learns that he can't trust you. This can be a really serious hindrance for counter-conditioning - your dog has to trust you so that you can help him face his fears. This means not doing anything that scares him, even if you think it's silly, even if he never used to be scared, etc etc.

Start by managing the problem - avoid big dogs. Cross the street, or walk in a wide arc around them. Keep Charchi on a long lead or a flexi if you're at the dog park - anything to avoid the problem until you can work out a plan to start fixing it. If he begins to become aggressive, take Charchi out of the situation until he's calmed down. IT IS OKAY TO COMFORT HIM. This is super-important - so many people tell you not to comfort a frightened dog, but there's no good reason for this. You can't reinforce fear. This blog post by the trainer Patricia McConnell explains why: You Can’t Reinforce Fear; Dogs and Thunderstorms » TheOtherEndoftheLeash

Oh and one more thing, I'm a member of the shy K9s Yahoo Group, and it's full of really useful information specifically for this kind of problem. You might want to look at Fearfuldogs.com too, especially the Blog. The more you know, the easier you'll find helping Charchi!
 

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Angel is afraid of big dogs also. When we walk in the park, I keep him away from them. However, I also walk a golden at the same time and she is friendly to pretty much everyone and everything! She does have her exceptions. But, he will go behind me and I let him stay there. If the other dog shows an interest in Angel, I just excuse myself and move on.

Now, at home, and sometimes on a walk, he will bark at something strange. He will usually turn to me as if to ask "what is that?" I ask "do you want to see?" Most of the time we both walk up to the object together. If he is willing! If so, I stoop down to his level and touch it myself. Then he usually comes over and sniffs and all is good. If he is not interested, I remove the object if it is in the house, or walk away from it if it's outside. So far this has worked really well.

I'm going to check out those sites also. Sounds interesting.

Hope things work out with Charchi!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thankyou all, i do need to get a good book, and i will look at all the things you all have mentioned here, dont worry , i dont actually walk charchi over to them he more like pulls me over, and i ask him if he wants to say hello, this is what happens when we do walk over to them, but i let him decide.I ask him now, if he wants to say hello to another dog and now we have included people in that way, he used to be really frightned of people, but if i ask him if he wants to say hello to them ,he looks at me and decides for him self if he wants to or not. I find when i ask that question he does move closer to the person to let them get closer, sometimes he lets them give him a quick pat, i know it takes time to build trust up, i have tried picking him up and turning my back so he cant see the dog but he tries to climb over my shoulder till he can see it,oh i love him so much, but what a little bugger he ,he,he.I will look up everything you all mentioned here, other than that we are very happy. thanks guys will let you know how i get on with this, thanks again.
 

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We have the same issue in a way but I don't think that it's fear. It seems more like frustration he wants to get to the bigger dogs and play it seems. No pinned ears and nothing I mean NOTHING CAN DISTRACT HIM. Man that chihuahua yodel,scream tips thing gets loud.

I had a trainer suggest to have someone have a long tie out and I have a shorter leash. I walk like normal and have the person with the long leash hang back but still hold on. Once that big dog comes along and he starts to react I drop my leash and give him a verbal que and run the other direction or speed up in the other direction. The other person has the leash still and the little butt will have to choose. You or the dog.

Not sure if it will work as we have not tried it (just spoke with the trainer a few mins ago) but hey it's worth a shot.

Tiff


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