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I do understand that instinct, as Zoe is sensitive and easily spooked and
sometimes startles me. I try to go up to the "threatening" item and touch it, if possible, and encourage her ... Catherine & Zoe the cockerchow & Queenie the black gold retriever & Max the pomeranian & Rosalie the calico cat

If only I could reach that third floor air conditioner! I will try that with some ground-level stuff tonight, good tip to try, thanks. I have, in the past, made him sit right down next to the scary item for a few seconds, just to prove to him that it won't leap up and eat him. I think he'd need a whole evening with it, though Emotion: smile

Jennyanniedots (Email Removed) said in
I WISH I could distract him or provide positive reinforcement with a cookie to keep him relaxed in these situations. Unforutnately, treats and/or toys are of no use outside the house.

You need to work on attention exercises, then, where there are fewer distractions.
He's too distracted or anxious or whatever to even be interested in food!

It doesn't have to be food. As I wrote - whatever works. My favourite distraction is a tug tug.
(Anyone else experience this?) The best I can do is give him some nice praise for a job well done, ... is, I can't use that praise to distract him "through" the anxiety-inducing situation, since that would be rewarding the behavior.

If your words successfully distract him through the anxiety- inducing situation and he maintains his focus on you, you're not rewarding - you're distracting.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
<< Unforutnately, treats and/or toys are of no use outside the house.
I have a different take on this. You might be flooding him too much with daily trips to the outside world. Everytime he spooks he has a boost of adrenaline. If he's geting that every day, it doesn't have a chance to drain away, so you get a cumulative effect where he becomes more reactive. I would give him a 2-4 week break from outside, give his body a chance to purge all the stress, and then start over at 1-2x a week, venturing out less far so he's not having a chance to go really over the top.
While he's on break, work on targeting exercises, with nose and paw both. When you do start venturing back out, keep to as low stress an area as possible, so he's able to work for food/toys, and ask him to target things. You might not even ask him to target a scary object directly, but something nearby. Like a wall near a waving sign, or even your hand. For people you can ask them to hold out a hand for targeting or ask the dog to touch their shoes. You get the picture. This changes their view of the world from lots of scary things, to things that they may be asked to interact with in order to get cool stuff, and soon you will see him starting to offer touches in hopes that reinforcement will follow.
Keep him on a really structured life at home as well. Structure = predictable = calming And keep working on skills, as the more you work, the better your bond and the more he'll trust you.

Other things you might try to help keep the physical reaction to stress down... TTouch wrap (I use an ace bandage, but you can buy a body wrap or use a snug t-shirt), elastic band wrapped in figure 8 over muzzle and behind head similar to a gentle leader (supposed to hit calming spots), accupuncture/accupressure/TTouch massage on a regular basis, check with a holistic vet for chinese herbs - they have a more subtle effect but can really help to take the edge off, suppliment with B-complex as that affects the nervous system.

Most of all I think the big answer is time. You have to move at his pace. I completely 279% understand where you're coming from, been there, done that, and it IS really hard to not get frustrated, but back off and give him space and he'll probably come around faster in the end. You have my sympathies, really!
== Have you tried walking him together with another very quiet low key type of dog? If not, you could ... often will walk a quiet stable mate horse side by side with the race horse to keep the horse calm,[/nq]I have found that Muttley walks better with Lucky at his side. Lucky seems to have a natural LLW, while Muttley still tends to pull, but his attention is now on her as well as me, so it has helped some. I am fortunate that both dogs are very low key and not much bothered by noises or strange things. They are both large, mixed breed street dogs, and have probably learned to survive by keeping a low profile. They have probably also gained confidence from their experiences alone.

Lucky was at first reactive to touch, where she would flinch, but that has mostly disappeared. I think it is due to my consistent calm and loving interactions with her, and desensitization by repetition. I have heard and read that a dog will become more confident if his bond to his owner is strong, and accepts the alpha's leadership and confidence to provide protection and guidance. But I have also heard that small dogs, especially pure bred, can be much more high strung.
Paul, Muttley and Lucky
"Paul E. Schoen" (Email Removed) spoke these words of wisdom in
They are both large, mixed breed street

You are suggesting that your street dogs, which were dogs running at large in the street are actually feral dogs. These dogs were probably owned by an irresponsible owner and allowed to run free, but they have been socialised somewhat and are not feral dogs as implied. IOW's they were not raised well. But they are nothing like feral dogs. I've seen feral dogs. Muttley doesn't even come close. I guess they aren't pound dogs because they were never in the pound. Or rescue dogs because they truly are not those in that sense of the word.
I am like you, I do not have proper terminology to describe your dogs at large, but although untrained, they are certainly far from feral.

got any ideas for a more correct description of these kids?
"Paul E. Schoen" (Email Removed) spoke these words of wisdom in
But I have also heard that small dogs, especially pure bred, can be much more high strung.

The most high strung/freaked out/unsocialized/badly mannered/ill-adjusted dogs I've ever met have been mutts.
Not that I think it's because of breeding or lack of, but the average uneducated people in general don't invest the
time/training/socialization/effort it takes to be a well adjusted dog.

I think people attracted to purebreds have an investment in the dog and have incentive to develop the dog.
smaller breeds, used as lap dogs and personal amusement generally leave it at that. Larger breed owners HAVE to train their dogs in order to control them.
I don't have experience with chinese crested. It doesn't sound like this poor thing had ANY socialization. I doubt being purebred or mutt has anything to do with it. I think small breed vs large has everything to do with it. People are far more tolerant of small dog quirkiness or disposition faults than they are of large breed dog anomalies

Not just tolerant but many seem to encourage misbehavior. They seem to find it cute to see a 15 pound dog guarding their mom, growling and snapping away, or terrorizing bigger dogs. And it seems like small dogs are far likelier to be carried around in arms and bags rather than put down on the ground to actually interact with the world.

got any ideas for a more correct description of these kids?

Secondhand. All else is speculation.
Mary Healey (Email Removed) spoke these words of wisdom in
got any ideas for a more correct description of these kids?

Secondhand. All else is speculation.

second hand or recycled dogs is a good description

Perhaps certified previously owned?
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