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Buddy's best bud

by Eileen
(Venice, Fl.)

I have a 1 1/2 year old jack russell/dachshund mix that is terrified of other dogs (even Chihuahuas!) He barks, growls, whines. He has pulled so hard on his harness, that he actually wiggled out of it once. My mother-in-law got Buddy (the dog) from a shelter, and they had kept him separate from the other dogs. They said that he had been found in the woods, but didn't know how long he had been there. My mother-in-law couldn't keep up with him, so my husband and I stepped up and offered to take him. This dog loves people, whether he knows them or not, but tenses when he sees other dogs. -And the strange thing is that when he sees them his tail is wagging, until they get too close to each other. I'm afraid to take him to a dog park, because I don't know what will happen. How can I socialize him? I keep a squirt bottle of water handy, to distract his attention, but the closer the other dogs get, he goes ballistic. I need some help here, please!

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May 28, 2012
by: Julia

It's so hard with rescue dogs because you don't know what might have caused their fear. Do you have a friend who has a dog that you could do a "playdate" with? If you have someone, great. You can work on desensitizing your Jack by meeting with them on neutral ground. maybe on a sidewalk somewhere just for a few minutes and reward your Jack with high value treats and praise for calm behavior, and then leave. Keep doing this to build up your Jack's confidence. I'm wondering if obedience training might be good as well, especially at a school, to help build confidence and trust. First work with him on basic commands at home and then bring him to a school where there are professionals that can help you deal with the socialization aspects.

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