Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,153 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Aria has had her second set of shots now, so I feel more comfortable taking her out and about. She's about 12 weeks old, and 2lbs.

Today I took her over to the park across the street. She LOVED bounding through the tall grass, but when a family approached, she shrunk away and tried to hide. They didn't approach aggressively or too quickly, so I picked Aria up and held her for them to pet her.

Then we made our way over to the off leash area and there were only two other dogs there, so I thought we'd give it a try. At first, it seemed like it was going well, the one dog was also a chihuahua and he made some moves to invite Aria to play and she started to show interest in it, I encouraged her and she started to go running after him, but as soon as the tables turned and he started running after her, she tucked tail, YELPED and tried to run away. I picked her up and the other chi basically lost interest (which was too bad, because he seemed really nice and quiet).

I put her down again after a couple of minutes and the other dog came over to investigate her. It was also a nice quiet dog who just seemed very curious about Aria, but she would have none of it, she hid behind me, cried, tried to climb into my lap etc.

Now, when I've taken Corona over to the off-leash park, she has shown serious terror, to the point of drooling, and everything in her body language screams "FEAR"... it's NOT that bad with Aria, but I obviously really don't want it to go there with her.

What is the best way for me to handle these situations? With people I'd just pick her up and hand her over to them.. that method worked really well for Corona.. but with other dogs, I just don't know what to do.

We are going to a Chihuahua meet up on Sunday, and then on Monday I start puppy gymboree classes with Aria.

I don't think "rescuing" her from these situations is the best way to handle it, but I'm not sure what is.. help please?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,423 Posts
Socialization is often a slow, long term process. Trying to flood the puppy with things they can't handle yet often backfires and creates a more fearful dog. The usual approach is to desensitize to whatever creates the fear...ie; dogs in their face then, work at a distance from the dogs....outside the fence. Practice calmness/confidence and reward for showing boldnes.

Same technique is used for fear of sounds, sights, men, kids, bikes, etc.

Let the puppy make the decision to move closer or not...again, reward/reinforce for that show of braveness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
The first time I took my Chi to a DP she freaked out. If a dog even came our way, she would snarl, bark, and yelp. I gave her time, and didn't force anything. About 3 months ago, I started taking her to the DP again. She would sit on my lap, and get sniffed. Everytime she was sniffed and didn't fuss, she got lots of praise and treats. Even more treats if she sniffed back. That's what works for me.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,615 Posts
I agree with Locke. If she was not in immediate danger of being eaten don't pick her up. Instead you can try to interact with the other dog a bit to give her a break, let her hide behind you if she likes..she'll most likely come back out.
I also think a gradual intro through the fence (that park has double gates right? Is it Allan Gardens?) is a good thing to. Thankfully, if it is Allan Gdns. the small dog area can be a great thing for your girl.
It's a fine balance between teaching her it's okay to be afraid (by picking her up) and protecting her from bad experiences...she tried to play, and that's a good sign. Give it some time and always ask the other owner FIRST if their dog is "puppy friendly".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,153 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
There was a chihuahua meet up today at a lovely indoor facility and I decided to give it a try with Aria. It was GREAT!!! She didn't get into full-on chasing/playing, but she happily approached everyone, human and dog, and followed some of the other chi's around.

They also had some agility equipment set up, so I gave her a try with the teeter and the A-frame and she did SOOO well! After a few tries, she was trotting over that A-frame no problem!

I'm VERY encouraged by this and got a lot of great feedback from the other people there, saying that I was doing a great job with her *phew* That's nice to hear!

Tomorrow, she starts Puppy Gymboree classes and I'm looking forward to it!
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top