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Discussion Starter #1
Oh my! I really REALLY thought we'd be over this by now. Madi is just over a year and a half old and is still terrified of other dogs! I just don't know what to do. As far as I can remember, we never did anything to encourage this, we introduced her to other dogs, took her to puppy classes, and just recently got a membership to the local puppy park. She's never been attacked or even growled at! She LOVES people, but other dogs freak her out.

She has been chased a couple times, but it's always playful...

...I just don't know what to do! I don't want her to always be freaked out. She was scared of a 2lb chi!!!
 

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we've thought about it, but we can't really afford to add another dog right now - and because she is so freaked out, we'd hate to stress her out.

For some reason it's an eye contact issue, too. she's interested in other dogs, but scared at the same time. WE're hoping short daily sessions at the puppy park will help!
 

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What about a doggie daycare a few times a week? Make sure it's one that has separate areas or only little dogs. Just make sure you let them know she's scared. A lot will work with them and make meeting/interacting the small dogs a positive experience.
 

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Don't jump into getting her used to dogs so fast!!! A dog park is a huge mistake with a dog like this and will only make the problem way worse.

You need to get her used to just being around dogs, not interacting with them. BABY STEPS!!

First thing to do is find someone you know who has a completely calm and strong dog. A dog that typically doesn't have much of an interest in greeting other dogs and can just "be".

Make a time to meet with this person outside, in a neutral location. Bring lots of her favorite treats (bacon, cheese, boiled chicken - something smelly and great).

Get a good leash (not a retractable) and a harness. Hold the loop in one hand and one foot down the leash in the other and rest your arms at your side. the leash will basically be in an upside down L shape.

Start the process where the dogs can not see each other (yards away or behind a wall)

Start walking with your dog. Do not get her excited. Doing things like "WANNA GO PLAY?!" "LETS GO MEET SOME FRIENDS!" is really bad and just getting too much energy in the air.

You walk to breath, relax, and make sure that YOU feel calm and assertive. Keep this frame of mind, do not start thinking about how your dog is going to react, dont get nervous or high strung. you NEED to be relaxed.

Once you have your mind set and your dog seems to just be waiting for your next move, make it.

Start walking with your dog and have your friend walk with her/his dog as well but still out of sight (just a little slower). Maintain a good deal of space between you and the other dog and YOU must always be behind the other dog.

Spend some time just walking this way (some feet away from each other). Once your dog seems to be fine with walking near a dog, you can catch up a little more.

A scared dog should ALWAYS approach a non dominent, calm, dog for the first time and ALWAYS APPROACH FROM BEHIND with your scared dog. Never bring two dogs face to face together to meet when you have a scared dog.

As you walk, maintain a calm and relaxed stance. If your dog is freaking out, turn around and walk back and to your starting places, recompose yourself, and start again

This could be a day of doing this, but eventually you will get to walk near another dog without yours being scared.

While you are walking, if your dog is just walking happily and not paying attention to the other dog, say GOOD GIRL and give her a treat. If she seems to react (tense body, ears back, whimpering) then remove your dog from the situation

Removing the dog from the situation says a few things to your dog. 1.) as your owner I will always protect you from bad situations 2.) as your owner I have control of the situation 3.) no good things (walks, exercise, treats, and love) will come if you (the dog) being tense

You NEED to fight the urge to pet your dog and tell her that its all ok when she gets tense and nervous. Instead you need to have the feeling like "No - you can NOT be nervous because there is no reason to, I have it under control" It sounds harsh, but its what your dog needs.

Your dog is scared because she feels that she is too small to protect you and herself. You need her to know that you are there for both of you.

So back to the training

Once you notice that your dog is comfortable walking behind your friends dog, inch closed to the other dog. If your dog shows signs of fear, fall back and if she loosens up you can give her a treat and tell her good girl.

If you approach the other dog and your dog shows interest in sniffing the other dog's butt, then allow her but continue to walk. If she sniffs, tell her good girl and give her a treat.

Do this a lot.. have nice walks with your dog and other dogs often and ALWAYS let them meet while walking and let your dog approach from behind.

I did this technique with an 8 year old basset hound. The basset hound was attacked by a german shepard when he was a few months old. The owner witnessed it and both her and the dog had SERIOUS anxiety around other dogs.

This basset hound never left his own yard in 8 years and literally peed on himself if he was outside of the confines of their fenced in yard. This was a seriously SCARED dog.

In 1 night we had him walking behind Cappy and interested in sniffing his butt.. Later that week, they were able to take him out and walk in the woods.. and 2 weeks later we had puppy play dates in their yard.

He is still slightly scared. He runs and plays, but if cappy is facing him eye to eye he gets nervous.. Its just how some dogs are, they are timid and scared. You can not force them to like other dogs (just like you cant force people to like other people) but you can train him that he is safe around other dogs.

I have to tell you.. If your dog is scared of a 2lb Chihuahua, doggie day care is a bad idea - it would do something called FLOODING. Flooding is an old way of making dogs face their fears by flooding them with the fear that they have and waiting till they "break" - similar to breaking a horse with a saddle.

I have been considering making videos on this topic. I think it might be able to help a lot of people.. If you are in my area (connecticut) send me a message - maybe we can work it out.
 

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Pippi used to be so terrified of other dogs that she'd go for them - She was attacked a couple of times before I got her and my EVIL ex set their Husky on her - It took AGES to get her ok with any dog other than my Rottie.

The way we broke her of that was getting her to meet up with other dogs who paid no attention to her at all - Just walking past them etc, not interacting at all, but it got her used to being around other dogs! A year and a half later, shes fine with other dogs!
 

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My dogs love other dogs but when it comes to dogs bigger than them they think they are bad a$$ when they arent....i just tell them to be nice and to leave the other dogs alone. but yes i will have to agree with a post on here that the dog park is a mistake at this time you need to easy her around other dogs. i didnt nothing to my dog and i know you didnt its just them...

good luck
 

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Thanks for all the advice. We actually really like the dog park, and she does, as well. She gets crazy excited when we go there :) :) Makes me laugh pretty hard. And, since it has a small dog and large dog section, we're not too worried. There have only been 3 days in the last 4 weeks that there have even been other dogs in the small dog section - and even then it's big enough that Madi had plenty of room all to herself.

I have always had dogs, just never had scared dogs :) I know when we went to my parent's house for Christmas last year, after a day with my parent's dog, she was fine.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Madi had a great night at the dog park tonight. I am SOOO excited. There were three other small dogs that came after we got there. All three were dogs that had been around before (two are daschsunds, not sure what the other one is). And, instead of running or hiding, madi held her ground and even sniffed the other dogs a few times. She played out near them and didn't watch them each second to see if they were going to chase her. When they came to her, she didn't hide behind us or anything.

I am SOO excited. It's definitely a step in the right direction!!! :) YAYAYAYAYA!
 
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