Hi, I'm a newbie looking for help for my very skittish almost 8 mo old bichon. - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Question Hi, I'm a newbie looking for help for my very skittish almost 8 mo old bichon.

Hi everyone, my name is Marlee aka Krissysmom. We lost our beloved 15 yr old bichon last July and I could not stand to be in this house without a dog so we bought Krissy in Oct when she was 7 weeks old. I realize now that she was taken away from her mom and siblings too young for one thing. But shortly after getting her my husband started having heart problems and had to have three procedures done over the winter. To make a long story short she did not get the socialization she should have gotten when she was very tiny. I started getting her out for walks as soon as the weather got warm enough and to meet other people and dogs. Sadly, we don't have many dogs in the neighborhood for her to socialize with. We live in a small town that doesn't have a dog park. The problem is she is afraid of everything and everybody. Like today it is windy and she has been a nervous wreck all day when I have taken her out because the wind is blowing stuff around. I walk with confidence when I take her out and show her I'm not afraid of anything.

I love this little girl with all my heart and hate that she is afraid of everything and will do whatever I can to help her. So if anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

Thanks
Marlee
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 04:57 PM
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do you have a petsmart close by? maybe you should sign her up for puppy classes or just walk her around there where other people bring dogs.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-29-2009, 08:45 PM
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I agree with Kendalle - you should take her to puppy/dog training classes. She will be around other dogs and it will also make her more confident. Our Frank is a nut and I am sure he would be a nervous wreck of a dog if I hadn't taken him to puppy class. I took him almost every weekend and sometimes during the week for his first year. He knew everything that was being taught but it was good for him socially. It also encouraged other puppy parents seeing how good Frank was.
I have not kept up on the training but whenever I decide he's being a little too bad and start up he falls right back in. He's 7 now.
I am sad to say that he doesn't really like other dogs now. I would have never stopped taking him but he had hurt his hip and had to get an operation. It took a long time for his injury (not dog class related) to resolve and in that time he got "grumpy". A few years back I brought him around some well behaved dogs and he bullied them a little and showed them he was dominate - and they being females let him believe he was. I think that he could be retrained to play nicely - and your little girl is young enough she should not have too much of a problem. Try and see if there is a small sized dog class so that the puppies are her size or smaller - at least at first - then move up to larger dogs.
It is a lot of work but it is extremely rewarding.
And I hope your husband is doing well.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-08-2009, 01:09 AM
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My friend living in a small town too with less dogs to socialize with, she had to drive an hour to the town and dog park. Finding some nearest dog friendly place could help you too.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-03-2009, 02:33 PM
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Great suggestions! Yep, socializing is so important...and if a dog doesn't become social and is nervous in different situations, I have even seen them bite or nip when overcome with a new situation.

I would also recommend clicker training. It's a great way for your pooch to build confidence in all situations. There are some great sites, just search for "clicker training" and look at the local bookstore or online for videos, books etc. Even youtube has some excellent videos showing this training in action.

I have transformed many dogs, who were so shy they would not come to you or out of their "house" or crate...but now are wonderful social animals now.

Best of luck, have patience and carry a clicker and treats with you into new situations.
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