Doxie Anxiety



Hello everyone,
I just signed up for this forum yesterday, and I'm thrilled to be able to talk to other doxie owners! I have two Dachshunds: Maximus, My one year old, and Kyah, my 9 month old. My boy is a black and tan with piebold markings on his chest from his grandpa. My Kyah is a very petite sable. My dogs are my children, and a very big focus for me. Mostly the appeal of this forum was to give me the opportunity to speak about something that concearns me about my Kyah. I have heard that Doxies are a hyper breed, and Kyah fits the bill. Now that she is a little older she has settled down a little. When we got her at 8 weeks, we took her places with us to get her accustomed to people and other small dogs. I admit that when we had this encounter she had not really had much exposure to large dogs, and maybe this was our biggest mistake. Since my dogs were about 2-3 months apart we were still teaching Maximus to be ok on his leash, so to encourage independence we would walk them seprately around our complex and meet in the middle and switch dogs. I had Maximus at the time, and my boyfriend Conner had Kyah. They were walking around the corner and did not see the large dog coming at them. I encountered this dog before. He was a great Dane, and was VERY exciteable. When he laid eyes on tiny little Kyah, He barked his whooping bark and she wet herself and took off running. The leash flew out of Conner's hand and he took off running after her. She is so tiny and runs so fast, and the handle of her retractable leash was pounding the pavement right at her heels. Conner finally caught her but she was horrified. Between the dog, the leash handle, and Conner chasing her, she was shaking. She started barking and whining. Ever since that day she has never been the same around dogs of any size OR people. (Only other Dachshunds, which are only walked every few days by one of our neighbors.) We tried to keep walking her as usual, but she barks with this sort of screaming bark and all of our neighbors come out of their houses and gawk at us. We do still walk her, but usually its around sunset at a neighboring elemantry school. I just wish she could go play outside during the day, and also I have to have my boyfriend there to walk Maximus as well because he comforts her. I feel terrible for her, and I was just wondering how I can go about getting her back out there. I know it's gonna be a long process and I'm willing to do whatever it takes. Is there anyone that can give some advice? I know the same thing HAS to have happened to other Doxies considering how brave this little breed is. Any and all advice is welcome. -And Kyah would really appreciate it.



Alberta Region Moderator
Poor little Kyah. She is now a reactive dog, she was prob. a sensitive dog before, but she is having trouble getting over her fears. Here's a couple of ideas... I have a reactive dog, he is extremely fear aggressive, and will attack stuff he's afraid of. so here's what I am doing with my boy.

I use clicker training methods and Click to Calm. Karen Pryor's books are really worth the read, as well as the book "Click to Calm"
Karen Pryor Clickertraining

you can find the books and alot of info on clicker training on this website. I would really recommend the book "Reaching the Animal Mind"
Reaching The Animal Mind

on the clicker training website, you can find Karen Pryor trained clicker trainers that are near you, if you should so choose to go that way.

it is a very complicated issue to deal with, and Cesar's Way is not appropriate IMHO for dogs with trauma and anxiety issues. DO NOT correct her for showing fear, on the other hand, you CANT pick her up and comfort her. best thing to do is find her threshold (the invisible line in which she starts reacting) and work on diminishing it. one of my favorite "tools" for this is a click to calm method. It's called "Look at That" Basically, when a dog comes into view (far away) click when she looks. She'll look back for her treat, and do this continually (look, click treat, look, click, treat) that is after you've "loaded the clicker") You'll know when she starts to become anxious, as she wont look back at you when you click her for looking. Take a few steps back, and work her up to this point again. Make sure you are using a non reactive dog, who'll be calm around her. dont take her past her threshold, and dont work very long, a few minutes for each dog will be enough.

Her fear of people can be worked on in the same way, but make sure you protect her by letting people know she is afraid of them, and for them to not look at or otherwise acknowledge Kyah in any way.

You can also have a stranger stand talking to you, ignoring her, but dropping treats periodically. if she asks for attention from the stranger, they can give her a treat, but not touch her yet... if she is comfortable with that, have the stranger give her a treat then touch her gently under the chin or on her throat. then hand her another treat. Make sure the stranger never L
"looms" over her. because she is small, pick her up for the treats and petting part (after she asks for attention. Make sure she is on the ground at first, ONLY after she has taken a treat from the strangers hand, pick her up.... NEVER pick her up when approaching a strange person or dog, if the dog is not suitable to work with (scary/reactive) just calmly move away, dont pass any tension through the leash and feed her treats as you go (tough, I know as she's so small)

The other idea I have is to get rid of the retractable altogether. use a 6ft leash, so you have more control, and she cant ever be scared by the retractable again.

Hope this helps you some, and good luck!!! It's not a quick fix, but hopefully you'll start to see some improvement quickly!