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Old 07-03-2013, 01:45 AM
RockMaterial RockMaterial is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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Default Socializing Scared Chihuahuas

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!
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:09 PM
milos_mommy's Avatar
milos_mommy milos_mommy is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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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.
"My favorite color is green, green like newly cut grass. When it comes to green with envy, though, you can stick it up your @ss!" ~ Grammy
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abused, chihuahua, scared dog

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