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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have noticed a change in Bijoux since we have moved out, she has become skittish. We used to live in a quiet area, now there is traffic, she is afraid of the cars to the point where she is darting around on her leash and if I keep her beside me to try and have her just cope with the noise she is still freaked and shaking. People, she now runs from, car rides all of a sudden she is showing classic anxiety panting and shaking, these are all new behaviours. I don't understand where I went wrong we did puppy socialization classes I took her everywhere and had her meet everyone. She was fine, a bit timid but with constant exposer was dealing with new things very well.

The only thing I can think of is that not having Lincoln in her life has made her face these things alone and I am just not enough support for her. I walk her everyday to try and get her use to the noise of cars but I have seen 0 change, I always take her to the pet store because the staff there know that i am working with her, they are great but again no change.

We have been here a month now, I would have liked to see a bit of her confidence coming back by now, just a small sign that I am helping her deal with these new fears correctly but I don't think I am. I looked into puppy classes but I can't get there as it is out of town with no public transit, and I am afraid taking her to the dog park will result in fear aggression or even worse anxiety.

I just feel like she isn't living to the fullest I want to help her become confident. Advice?

ps it's not medical she just had her post
spay exam and blood panel drawn
 

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I have the same problem with Penny.. When she is with Lion she is the brave one, but alone she acts skittish at times. You are right about not taking her to the dog park- it can be really overwhelming for them, even with other small dogs. I took Lion & Penny to the small dog park yesterday and Penny was chased by a dog twice her size. It was just trying to play but it really scared her. Next time I will go on a weekday when the park isn't so busy. Maybe that would be something you can try?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That sound like a great idea I'll try that I know that if there was a dog chasing her just to play she would bolt out of fear, it's like zero recall at that point...perhaps I'll keep a leash on her if there are a few dogs...
 

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Charlie is very timid also, basically the same as you describe Bijoux's behaviour. He was five months old when I purchased him from a breeder and I don't think he'd ever left her house. She gave her own vaccinnations so I'm not sure he'd even been to the vet. He is perfectly healthy, thank goodness, but I am worried that he will always be timid.

I am still trying with him. I've also been carrying him to a pet supply store which is the only place he's seemed comfortable. He also hates to ride in the car but loves to go for walks up and down the street in front of our house so I take him for a short ride, run in a store somewhere for a few minutes, and then take him for a walk so the trip ends on a pleasant note. Is there something she particularly enjoys doing or eating that you can use for a special reward? Also, I am interested to hear what everyone else has to say.
 

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Hey we can have a puppy play date bijoux is probably 3 times beaus size so maybe she'll feel more comfortable? Lolol he needs more socialization too he's fine around other dogs and around people but he lives with 2 giant labs that toss him around
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I love that idea Sherri! I am off for school in the next few weeks a playdate is for sure in order
 

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Do you guys have doggy daycares there?? We took Tequila to one quite a bit when she was a pup. It of course depends on where you go; but most places have a person on hand that monitors a small group of dogs and they separate them accordingly by size, age, energy level, etc.
It was a lot better than a dog park IMO because it allowed her to still have a person near her that was well educated in dog training/behavior who helped her "ease" into the pack; and not just depending on other dogs owners to control their dogs properly. Plus it's not as risky as you know the dogs there have already been temperament tested by one of the employees; and they require proof of vaccines (whereas most dog parks insist you have to; but unless there is someone at the gate/entrance checking there isn't much security.) The only downside is you can't really "see" how she's doing unless you have one of those fancy places that keeps a webcam up. The one we go to takes pictures and puts them on their facebook page. But I have a good relationship with the workers there, they had always been honest about her shy days and how she did. They didn't try sugar coating everything just to get me to come back as some places do. After one day you'll be able to get a good vibe; if they go on and on gushing about how much she played with everyone else and you KNOW that isn't like her at first; and they bring her out looking scared; thats your sign lol. They were very upfront about how Tequila spend most of her first day glued next to the "counselor" but eventually reached out to play with some of the tiny dogs. Each day she got better and better.
Doggy daycares are an awesome place and most people just overlook them as a boarding or place to take them while they're at work. I am home with my dogs 95% of the time but we still made a point to bring Tequila there a lot when she was younger so she could have monitored exposure to other dogs and people that were there and knew how to make the experience positive. Cresteds are not common here and she was the first they'd seen so she had a lot of the employees, trainers, groomers etc. very happy to work with her lol. I'm sure with Bijoux being the gorgeous stunning merle she is, she would get just as much attention and people willing to help!
 

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Do you work on obedience? She may have suddenly started being skittish because she's lost her confidence. Maybe when you moved she sort of "lost her place in life"-- her routine is slightly (or radically) different now, etc. Obedience can do wonders for shy or fearful dogs. Is there a place near you that teaches dog agility or rally obedience with accommodations for small dogs? I did rally obedience with Teddy for a few months and had a lot of fun. I had to quit because I moved too far away to continue, but I think it really helped him while it lasted.

PS: There's nothing like watching a Chihuahua do hurdle jumps. ;) Most people don't think chis can be those kinds of dogs, but they absolutely can, and they benefit from it a lot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the suggestions

Hamilton doesn't really have day care, they have a petsmart I will look into the prices we are on a strict budget for the next little while but I can pick up extra shifts to make ends meet.

I did look into obedience but the only good school that does rally is one we can't get to as we only use public transit -student life :s-

Perhaps more obedience at home could give her more confidence?
 

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I agree with Kaila, brilliant idea! Agility is an excellent way to build confidence!
And Kelsey, both beginner obedience and agility exercises can be improved in
parks, streets, etc, pretty much anywhere, even at home. Just have to use
your imagination. You can start with basic obedience commands, in order to
set a firm foundation to build on. If she is already comfortable with basic
commands, try working on right, left, up, down, fast, slow, heel, away, etc.
Work on getting Bijoux comfortable with agility obstacles as well by using
steps, different surfaces to walk on, climbing over logs, running through poles,
crawling under different textured objects, etc. Children's playground is a great
place for some of that. Here though dogs aren't allowed there, that section of
the park is strictly for kids, since too many people let their pooches poop
everywhere without picking it up. But my guys go super early around 5am and
have a blast. Even if you are not too familiar with agility, you can still prep
Bijoux for future lessons, right now off the course, by practicing basic
obedience using toys to play fetch, tug-of-war, etc. to reinforce commands,
getting her used to different objects and getting her excited to run around
and have a blast working and bonding with her mama! Not to mention you'll
build up Bijoux's fitness level! You can also buy an agility set online, in order
to get her accustomed to the obstacles, I've seen pretty cheap ones on
PetEdge, don't know if they still sell them though.

I was also wondering how often do you walk her, for how long? What do you
do on walks other than let her do her business? Perhaps you can just take her
out on adventure walks more often, because even though change of
environment can be a scary thing for a pup, you can not let her shy away
from it, increase the walks and make them as fun as possible for her, make it
truly worth her while, and hopefully she'll adjust to the new neighborhood and
look forward to your special walks together, sometimes these things just take
time. I'm like Bijoux, I don't like change either! lol
 

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I would say that it's a combination of things. First of all you moved - that is a HUGE change. And you moved her at an age where they really need stability. That said, who cares. She WILL get over it. All 3 of my girls that I have gotten in the 5-8 month range were drastically affected by it. I have one that I have had for a month and we are still adjusting her. It takes awhile for them to become confident again when such a big change happens that coincides with a natural fear period in canines. So, Try not to worry. Be positive, play with her, and treat her normally, that's all you can do. The suggestion of taking her to a puppy daycare may or may not work, you will have to judge based on how she handles it. Try to come up with an activity to do with her to build her confidence; something like just going to the park and practicing tricks. Showing has been what has brought two of my girls out of the 'change' funk and I expect it will with the 3rd girl too. Just keep in mind she picks up on your feelings and if you feel nervous about presenting her with something new, she knows.
 

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Good advice Flippedstars, well said, simple and true!
 

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I think agility would be a great way for her to be around other people/dogs/new things without overwhelming her. They don't really interact with other dogs during practice, but they are exposed to all kinds of new stuff and get to "see" other dogs. It really helped Lion and Penny as far as fear of objects and noises. I think it has made them more obedient as well.
 

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What a shame about the doggie day care, that was going to be my suggestion. Poppy goes to day care every Friday for about the last 2 months & I've noticed such a change in her. The place is fab it's run by a couple from their house in the country. They have max 10 dogs a day & they just hang out all day plus hve 2 1/2 hr walks a day!! Poppy loves it & I've seen such a change in her confidence when we meet other dogs, big & small.
Here she is with a few of her daycare pals
 
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