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Hi, I just joined because I am having a problem with my 4 year old, tri-colored male Chi. His name is Dylan. I got him when he was 10 months old and he is a big scardey cat. He has gotten a lot better but, when he gets something in his head, he gets really bad again. A couple of weeks ago, I put a box of rice on my counter with about a 1/4 cup of rice in it. Dylan was in the kitchen with me. I left the kitchen and the box fell and scared Dylan. He thinks there is something wrong with his foot now. It wasn't bad at first. He would be fine and then, if he walked by the kitchen, he would hold his foot up but once he got past the kitchen he was fine. Last night, I had a treat for him in the kitchen. He wanted it but would not leave his bed. So, I picked him up and carried him into the kitchen and put him down. Immediately, he held up his back foot and hopped back to his bed! Now, he is totally confined to his bed on the living room floor. He will not leave it for anything! He will go outside but has a hard time thinking he cannot go down or up the stairs. I am not giving in to him and I am encouraging him all the way. Once downstairs, he is fine and acts just fine. He won't leave his bed to eat or drink water. I can't get him to leave his bed to have a treat. Is there anyway I can bolster him back up so he can get over his fears? Thanks! Sherry from Orlando, Florida, USA.
 

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Hello. I'm new here too. Ohhh that little buggar Dylan! LOL First of all, I wonder if he did hurt himself when the box fell. He could have tweaked his knee scrambling to get out of the kitchen, and now he associates the kitchen with that. Very often, if a dog suddenly starts acting strange, there's a chance that there's something medical behind it. The fact that he stays in his bed, doesn't want to eat, and won't do the stairs now is suspicious. As for him being a scardy cat, that takes socialization and confidence building games with him. The face that you're not giving in to him is great. If he's not really hurt, he sure is doing his best to work you isn't he?
 

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Yes - he is a little buggar! I'm sure he didn't hurt his foot because once we are down the stairs, away from the Condo, he runs and walks just fine! He really is a silly boy. I am trying to coax him off his bed. I had to put his food bowl next to him so he eats which I really don't want to do because that will enable him - but - they guy's got to eat! Do you have any Confidence Building games that I can do with him? I praise him alot. Thanks, for your reply!
 

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It depends on what his interests are. A real good game is tug. Always let him win, but you have to initiate the game and decide when the game is over. If he's really insecure he may not be getting that you are in charge. Another one is "find it". Start with a high value treat hiding it right near him, even out in the open. Make sure you say the words, then advance to really starting to hide it. He'll be all proud of himself.
Do you take him out for walks or take him places with you? He needs to be socialized to gain confidence. But be sure to do it under his threshold. If something is really wigging him out, just calmly take him away from it, DO NOT CODDLE HIM. If you're out on a walk and something strange comes near, just have him take a look with no reaction on your part. If he deals with it calmly FANTASTIC and treat. If he comes across something that spooks him a bit but he goes to investigate, throw him a party! He needs to learn from you that he can trust you, that you'll take care of him no matter what.
 
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