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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I adopted a 1-year-old female chihuahua a few weeks ago and I'm currently working on some of her behavioral issues. I live alone but when we are at someone else's house and someone (especially a man) stands up, she barks every single time. Any ideas on how to curb this behavior? Also, when I take her near the dumpster to dispose of her poop (condo complex) she puts on the brakes as if she's deathly afraid I'm going to throw her in there. Has anyone else experienced this? I have no idea what she has been through in her 1st year :confused:
 

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I adopted a 1-year-old female chihuahua a few weeks ago and I'm currently working on some of her behavioral issues. I live alone but when we are at someone else's house and someone (especially a man) stands up, she barks every single time. Any ideas on how to curb this behavior? Also, when I take her near the dumpster to dispose of her poop (condo complex) she puts on the brakes as if she's deathly afraid I'm going to throw her in there. Has anyone else experienced this? I have no idea what she has been through in her 1st year :confused:
First of all welcome to CP now where did you adopt her from was it a private adoption or was she a rescue. From what you are saying she could have seen her previous owner abused by a man and or she was and shes trying her best to protect. You may have to reassure her that its OK many times and when she barks ask the man she's barking at to let her smell his open hand while you tell her that its OK once the initial introductions are done. You can ask him to try and give her a pet and make friend all the while reassuring her that its OK. As for the dumpster it could be where they found her if she was a rescue. Is there anyway you can find out anything about her back ground this kind of information could help you to help her over come some of the baggage she's carrying around.
 

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Welcome to the pack! :)
I'm a strong believer that when it comes to fear related issues, it is best to
ignore the negative and reinforce the positive. Carry tiny treats on you at all
times and use them when your pup acts in a wanted way, such as ignores the
passerbyer, or objects that she fears. For example if a man walks by and she
does not bark, give her a tiny treat or use praise to show her that she is a good
girl for focusing on you, instead of fearing her surroundings. It is very possible
that you can curb her fear, and it will pass, she is still really young. But if you
do not see progress, then I suggest you find a reputable behavior specialist to
help you work with your dog to truly understand where her fear and anxiety are
coming from, so you could work on fixing them.
 

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My rescues came with assorted behavioral and emotional issues. With time and patience, they will snap out of it. Keep reinforcing positive behavior and continue to provide many social learning experiences for her. If you have some nice male friends, introduce her to them slowly (no one needs to be rushed). Finn was terrified of men but he is now okay with them. Thank you for rescuing. rescue dogs can and do make wonderful, loving companions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was told that she was surrendered to the Humane Society and the rescue I adopted her from picked her up shortly thereafter. She was fostered for a couple of months after she got to the rescue. So, she's been all over the place in her first year of life.

I will certainly try carrying treats more often and reward her more often. She has another interesting behavioral trait...she won't take treats when she's nervous. So, this could present a problem with the "standing men" situation.
 

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I was told that she was surrendered to the Humane Society and the rescue I adopted her from picked her up shortly thereafter. She was fostered for a couple of months after she got to the rescue. So, she's been all over the place in her first year of life.

I will certainly try carrying treats more often and reward her more often. She has another interesting behavioral trait...she won't take treats when she's nervous. So, this could present a problem with the "standing men" situation.
Hang in there. your little one has suffered some trauma. She WILL come out of it with your love and security. My Annie had a similar background. she's still Crazy Annie (destroyer of napkins and all items with a tag), but she is not the terrified, timid creature she once was.
 

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Welcome to the pack! :)
I'm a strong believer that when it comes to fear related issues, it is best to
ignore the negative and reinforce the positive. Carry tiny treats on you at all
times and use them when your pup acts in a wanted way, such as ignores the
passerby, or objects that she fears. For example if a man walks by and she
does not bark, give her a tiny treat or use praise to show her that she is a good
girl for focusing on you, instead of fearing her surroundings. It is very possible
that you can curb her fear, and it will pass, she is still really young. But if you
do not see progress, then I suggest you find a reputable behavior specialist to
help you work with your dog to truly understand where her fear and anxiety are coming from, so you could work on fixing them.
I echo EVERY single word of LS's post!
 

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I also agree with reinforcing positive behavior. I'm NO expert, but I have a little experience with puppies who were obviously traumatized by something and working with them. It can be a slow process. My problem with that way of training is, at first she won't "ignore" big men enough for you to ever reward her. But start with little things and keep moving up. Maybe walk her around semi near the dumpster during the day, you can tell when she might start to freak out and don't PUSH her there yet, be the smart one and don't set her up for failure by rushing straight the the dumpster every time. the closer she gets without freaking out, treat her.

Sorry for the ramble, just wanted to chime in and say its a TEDIOUS process (or can be) but it's worth it! And welcome I live near Scottsdale. Enjoying the heat? ;)
 
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