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Anxious Dog Tips or Advice

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by xajack, Oct 7, 2020.


  1. xajack

    xajack PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all

    This is my first post so apologies if this has been covered elsewhere!

    I have a 7 year old chihuahua who is reactive/anxious around other dogs.
    He was attacked a few times when he was younger by dogs that were off their leads, so if I walk him around our area he will bark at any dog he sees.

    I couldn't find anything to help with this so now I drive to the local park for his walks, where he will walk past or meet other dogs no problem. However if the other dog gets excited and tries to play with him we will try and run away, and if they chase him he will bark.

    The reason I have decided to post is that the last few times this has happened, I have had to pick him up as the dogs wouldn't leave him alone despite him trying to run away, the dog has actually jumped on me to get at him which obviously makes him bark more.

    I have ordered a couple of collars that say 'anxious' and 'reactive dog', but I'm not sure how affective they will be considering the only dogs we have issues with are off the lead, and their owners may not see the collar.

    Does anyone have any experience with this and could give me suggestions of things to try? Or even if your dog is the playful one and could give me tips on how to handle it better?



    Thanks
     
  2. Ian246

    Ian246 PetForums VIP

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    Get angry with the off-lead dogs’ owners! There is no reason why anyone should be jumped on by other people’s’ dogs, let alone have their own dog harassed by people’s’ out of control dogs. I wish people would start to understand that letting their dogs have a free for all while out walking is not acceptable.
    Don’t hold out for the collars too much. I have a ‘nervous’ collar on my Sprocker and no one seems to notice it!
    Honestly, you seem to be doing all you can - you’re avoiding other dogs and you’re protecting him when you cannot escape. The best approach is avoidance - if you could walk him where other dogs are not around that would be best.
    If you could find a dog owner who’s willing to act as a stooge, you can try and desensitise you’re dog, but it’s a slow process. Otherwise, carry on doing your best - but do feel free to shout at the other dog owners - they deserve it.
     
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  3. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    Hi. Welcome to the forum.

    I've moved this to Dog Chat because, whilst training your dog is involved, it's as much to do with other dogs and their owners as it is with you and yours.

    Chihuahuas are yappy, feisty little dogs at the best of times. It's well known that they have no idea just how small they really are and will often have a go at much bigger dogs, so I'm not saying your dog isn't anxious, but the barking could just be part of his breed.

    That said, it's wholly irresponsible of other owners to allow their dogs to approach you and your dog, let alone actually jump up on you. I second calling out such owners and telling them to come and get their dog. A dog like that isn't "friendly" - it's obnoxious, ill-mannered and an absolute nuisance. It would be like a complete stranger running across a busy street to envelope you in a bear hug. He can tell you "It's OK, I'm friendly", til he's blue in the face, you're unlikely to feel comfortable with such an intimate greeting.

    As for the barking, find a distance inside which he will not react to the other dog - it might be huge, but it will be there. Once you find that distance, keep him inside that radius -do what you have been doing - change direction, walk away, etc. As long as he interacts with you, and doesn't pay too much attention to the other dog, (a quick glance is fine), reward him for being calm. I try to stop with a barrier between my girl's and any oncoming dog, even if that "barrier" is myself. I get them to watch me and move as necessary to maintain the distance.
     
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  4. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    Shout at them to control their dog or you will do it for them! Say he's contagious or has fleas, that usually gets them away.
     
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  5. LittleMow

    LittleMow PetForums Senior

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    Sorry to hear your dog is anxious, I can't offer any training advice, I'm 1st time owner of a reactive dog so am just learning myself. Most of the techniques I'm working on have come from advice I've been given/found on here.

    I would imagine your chihuahua's collar is pretty small, so hard for people to see in time. My dog has an 'I need space' vest from https://www.yellowdoguk.co.uk/store/ though I think even in the extra small it would be too big for a chihuahua. Yellow Dog also do a (human size :D) 'my dog needs space' tabard, which would be pretty hard to miss! If you're not confident enough to call out to other owners (I'm just getting the hang of doing this) it may help. My dogs vest definitely helps and helps me feel more confident, some people ignore it of course and then I go into management. I try to get Bodmin away with as little fuss as possible, mainly using fresh juicy chicken, squezzy cheese and any available bushes, trees etc.

    I would recommend sticking around on the forum as there really is some great advice to be had :)
     
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  6. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    All the above, plus I find carrying a stout stick helps to keep other dogs at bay and galvanises owners to recall them ;)
     
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  7. Torin.

    Torin. PetForums VIP

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    In this fun year of 2020 I find wearing a mask for my dog walk ensures people keep their dogs away!
     
  8. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Genius!
     
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  9. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    And cough really loudly when they fail to attempt to get their dog back!
     
  10. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Ooh - might try that! :Doctor
     
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  11. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    If you walk in places where off-lead isn't possible, such as beside roads, you can avoid the problem of off-lead dogs harassing you and yours.
    Where I live, there isn't much of an issue with off-lead dogs being a nuisance, but I went somewhere new yesterday after working somewhere different and several dogs tried to play chase with mine who don't want to chase or be chased, and tried to steal their ball. I won't be going back there.
    I find 'my other dog's at home with kennel cough' pretty effective.
     
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