Socializing Scared Chihuahuas

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by RockMaterial, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. RockMaterial

    RockMaterial New Member

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    I adopted two previously abused female chihuahuas and been working on them in obedience. However, they're still very frightened of strangers, dogs, and new experiences. When they are inside the house and any of the above enters, it becomes a barkfest. When we encounter those things outside, they cower into me. They also bark/whine when I leave or return (after I'm gone/return for a while they stop). How would you go about socializing and training them? Currently I'm using Clicker Training. Any tips or advise would be welcomed!
     
  2. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Clicker training is a great way to help them with their lack of socialization, and obedience training will increase their confidence :) it sounds like you're headed in the right direction.

    My advice is to start veryyyy slowly. Avoid situations where you know your dogs will be frightened as much as possible. If you do encounter a situation where they are cowering/barking/etc, remove them as quickly and calmly as possible. Start off by rewarding them for observing the scary things (strange people, dogs, etc.) from a comfortable distance. If people do come over, reward ANY calm behavior, even if it's just for a few seconds, and make sure they have a safe place to retreat to.

    They're so lucky they've found a nice home.
     

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