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Hi everyone. I haven't been here in a while. But I recently came to decide upon fixing a problem.

Some history:

We got Dorothy through a rescue in April 2015. She was around 2.5 years old at that time. The story was that she was in a home with a bunch of big dogs and they were bullying her. I tend to think this was true as one, she has a broken tail that was never fixed and it looks like she was attacked. Second, she was about 1.5 lbs underweight. So underweight that you could see her pin bones at her hips and every single rib.

She has never been a fan of other dogs. I mean, she really hates them. When we take her for a walk and another dog approaches we generally just pick her up and keep on walking. But something happened the other day that scared the living crap out of me......

She comes to our office with us. Typically she just sits and stares out the window. If a dog goes by she'll bark and then stop when they leave. But the other day a client came in and she went to greet them. Instead of coming in before they started to pet her they stood at the open door and pet her. Well, around the corner comes a Chow. Dorothy took off, out the door after the dog. OMG! I thought I would die of fear. Thank GOD that dog was a passive little fellow. I managed to get her out of the situation, back in the office and then I had to go do the walk of shame and apologize to the other dog owner. She was great and we had a really nice talk. Her dog is also a rescue with issues and all ended well.

But, OMG...Dorothy could have gotten herself killed.

So, I am about to start with a very dedicated socialization training schedule. My thoughts are to start at Petsmart. If it were the summer I would chose the dog park but I live in the snowbelt of Canada and it's just too cold outside for her. The plan is to start with her in the van in the parking lot of Petsmart where she can see the other dogs but be far enough away to NOT freak out. I will praise, etc. Then closer, and closer while still in the van. Eventually, on nicer days, outside where she can see the dogs but not freak. And, then, again, closer and closer until eventually (and this could be MONTHS down the road) we can actually get inside the store.

Thoughts?

I realize that she's not trying to act like a lunatic or "bad" but, honestly, something has to be done for her own safety. Generally she doesn't have any direct contact with other dogs because I understood her past and that she is afraid of them (hence her offensive reaction) but now I see this as a problem far past that.

I am open to advice or suggestions.
 

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I also have dogs whoe have dog on dog aggression but they're males. But it's also embarrassing when they see a 5 pound Chi walking and they want to come close to us with their sweet dogs and their is my dog wanting to fight a dog who's over 50 pounds. And the dog just stares at him lol
Would you consider doing a training class with her? Probably private as I don't think a "group" would necessarily be best. Maybe even at PetSmart.
I actually think that's a good start. I would say outside the van but I understand its way too cold.
Does she like little dogs? Or is it just all dogs?
I'm sure it will take a "long time" but it's possible if your consistent.
I also understand what you mean it's from her past why you wouldn't want to bring it back so to speak but it's now getting in the way of her own safety.
 

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Does she like little dogs? Or is it just all dogs?
No, she dislikes ALL dogs. This is why I am hesitant to put her in a group class as I think it would be too stressful for her. And private classes sort of defeat the purpose since she needs to socialize with other dogs.
 

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Oh okay.
Do you know of any other classes offered in your area? I know we have shelters who offer training classes. And since there's always dog's around they'd be able to work with dogs who had aggression issues.
Then being in the van is definitely your best way to start off with.
 

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First of all, you have to get her trained NOT to dash out an open door. You can do this with a 25 foot 'leash'. Tell her to 'wait' and slowly open the door a crack. If she starts to try and get out, the door is closed. Over and over again until she can wait with the door wide open. ALWAYS have a leash attached, just in case. This may take just a couple of days, to a month or more. Practice makes perfect. After you get her under control at the door, you must always have her wait at the door, until you give her the 'OK' cue. Then I would use the van. Go to a parking lot near PetSmart/Co. and wait for a dog to appear. BEFORE she gets to the 'crazy' part of the behavior, stuff her face with tiny treats. Over and over again, slowly getting closer to the door, until hopefully she can stay in control of herself. After you get there, then I would start with her outside the van (hopefully in warm weather) and do the same thing. It will be a long trek, but don't give up. You can do it! Good luck.
 

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First of all, you have to get her trained NOT to dash out an open door. You can do this with a 25 foot 'leash'. Tell her to 'wait' and slowly open the door a crack. If she starts to try and get out, the door is closed. Over and over again until she can wait with the door wide open. ALWAYS have a leash attached, just in case. This may take just a couple of days, to a month or more. Practice makes perfect. After you get her under control at the door, you must always have her wait at the door, until you give her the 'OK' cue. Then I would use the van. Go to a parking lot near PetSmart/Co. and wait for a dog to appear. BEFORE she gets to the 'crazy' part of the behavior, stuff her face with tiny treats. Over and over again, slowly getting closer to the door, until hopefully she can stay in control of herself. After you get there, then I would start with her outside the van (hopefully in warm weather) and do the same thing. It will be a long trek, but don't give up. You can do it! Good luck.
Just to be clear....she doesn't typically bolt out of a door. It's not her thing. She actually has really good recall. It's only when a dog is present that she loses all sense. I could leave the door open all day long and she wouldn't go out - unless a dog was going by.

She is perfect in every way other than the "other dog" issue. She loves people, listens well, behaves, etc. But the site of another dog makes her lose all sense.
 

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Just to be clear....she doesn't typically bolt out of a door. It's not her thing. She actually has really good recall. It's only when a dog is present that she loses all sense. I could leave the door open all day long and she wouldn't go out - unless a dog was going by.
I've always wondered about other people's dogs. My dog is really good at down and stay. I can literally have him stay at the door with the door open and I can walk out the yard. Of course only for training I did that. But I know if he were to see a dog he'd bolt. It made me question whether or not he was really "trained" but he does also know how to "ignore" (face opposite direction but with leash on as I don't completely trust him) my other dog who barks at him constantly (wanting to fight)
 

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Then you have to go about changing her 'feelings' about other dogs. Is she food motivated? If so it will be easier to train. Go in your van to the pet food store, at a distance that she is comfortable with. If she gets alarmed, you are too close. Ari has a good cue "ignore'. SLOWLY go closer and stuff her face with yummy treats. See if you can 'read' her, and tell her to ignore, and give her a treat. If she gets worked up, she won't be able to learn. So see if you can see her getting ready to act up, and interupt her. It will be a long frustrating time, but people have changed there dogs minds. The end goal is that you can tell her ignore, and go into the store, with treats in your hand.
 

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I feel for you in this situation as my little Salsi is the exact same way. I've got a feeling something happened in her past too but no clue what as I got her from Craigslist when she was around 4 years old. She has the exact same issue with just hating all other dogs. She hated Jackson at first but Jackson is the exact opposite and is a little love bug. I knew his personality well enough to know that he would be ok around her.

When I first brought her home if Jackson even looked at her from several feet away she would show her teeth at him. Luckily, it didn't take too long before she got used to him and learned that he wasn't a threat to her. She seems to be terrified of all dogs and so she puts on this Hannibal front to try and scare other dogs away even though she's actually the terrified one. Taking her to the vet I always have her crated and every dog or cat for that matter that comes in she goes into Hannibal mode. I hope things go well for you with the training.
 

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I have forgotten a very helpful item for these dogs. It is a 'calming cap' made by Premier. It looks like a blind fold, but is not. The sheer fabric limits the visual stimulus that makes these dogs go wild. It attaches to the collar. Vet visits, etc, any thing that upsets the dog. I used it with a chihuahua that had gotten upset at dog camp, and it worked beautifully. The dog couldn't see the dogs until they got right next to her, and I picked her up when that happened. It made her relaxed and more importantly, it made ME relaxed!
 

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I have a rescue chi-mix who I got last year, at ~7.5 years of age. He is the same way, but with a twist::confused:
He is very interested in other dogs (but maybe only in theory, I'm not sure)

When on a walk & encountering another dog, he'll seem fine, but after a few seconds when he's had enough, if the other dog continues to want to interact, he'll growl & air snap.

I am learning his limits:
Big dogs scare him & he will tell them to back off right away
Smaller dogs: he wants to smell them, but only for a few seconds, then back off

This is hard for me, since one of the joys of the walk for me, is meeting other people who tell me how great my little guy (Captain Falcon) is. And, he is great. But he has real limits.
My personal way of dealing with this is to continue to act in the (friendly) way that works for me, then praise him whenever he encounters a dog & I manage to get him away before he reacts.

No other animals in my house; it's just him & me.
 
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