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Hi Chihuahua experts,

I'm very new to Chihuahua breeding and showing, and hope that someone here might be able to help me.

My wife and I have a 10 month old longhair bitch bred from champion lines.

On her first show entry (puppy class, at 7 months) she won the challenge. Her behaviour in the ring was exactly what it is at home - bright, confident, outgoing.

But in the 5 or 6 show appearances since, she has misbehaved terribly. No aggression, but she cringes away from all contact with the judge, and cannot be persuaded to hold her table-stand position. During the walk segments, she 'crab-walks' on the lead, and drops her tail, and looks like a complete mess.

However, at home with our other chis, she is outgoing and confident. She walks with her head and tail held high like there isn't a problem in the world. But if we walk her alone, away from the others, her walking behaviour turns into a mess, just like in the show ring.

Can someone please offer some pointers as to how we might work to break her out of this?

Thanks in advance if you can help

aum
 

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She needs to get away from home for training. Is going to the dog show the only time she's out? Or does she go to training classes and training visits to outside places already? If so, how's her behavior then? Since you only mention home and the shows, I'm gonna assume for now that she's mostly at home. If that's different, give us an idea of how she handles all her other outings.

It's great to work with them at home, but it's not giving her the exposure to outside experiences and distractions that she needs. Show training should be her one on one time with you. The other dogs must be put up when you're training at home. Take her off by yourself daily. If you live in a neighborhood, walks down the road, around the block, etc, with traffic and people going by helps. Pet stores that allow dogs are great. Do lead training outside and inside. Walk her up to people and let her bait for them. Most people love to give treats when you ask them if they'll "be the judge." There's generally stacks of dog food, etc., that can be used to stack your dog for an "exam" there as well. We do this a couple times a week routinely but since you're having issues, go as often as possible. The more the better. Keep treats in your pocket so that she learns meeting new people means getting a treat. Crab walking can be straigtened out a bit by walking her by a curb or wall with her between you and it. She has to walk straight then.

Keep at it and get her out there away from the house and the other dogs daily. She's got to rebuild her confidence and break her use of the other dogs and familiar surroundings as a "security blanket." HTH
 
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