New puppy.

Training and behavior topics, guidelines, and tips for Chow Chows.

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Secondhandlion
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New puppy.

Postby Secondhandlion » Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:03 pm

We purchased our 13 week old, male Chow puppy (Jazz) from a breeder 5 days ago. This is our second Chow, we had a blue female years ago and she was the best dog we have ever owned. We are aware of their nature and like that about them. We expected him to be stand-offish and not trusting, but not quite as severe as this is. Out of the two pups that were left from this litter, Jazz seems to have been dominated by his sibling. The other pup was very energetic and playful. Not Jazz, he doesn't play at all. He cowers down from us even if all we do is look at him. When he will enter the room we cannot speak to him or he will walk back out. He will not come to us; if we go to him he will hang his head and cower down. He will eat but I have to carry him to the room and walk away, if he sees me he will stop eating and go hide. He will not take food (or anything else) from my hand which we actually like, but makes it impossible to use treats as reward. He will potty outside, but I have to carry him out. Knowing it is a bad thing to carry him, I tried to coax him back into the house by hooking my finger around his collar and tugging to get him to walk on his own and it took 20 minutes to get back into the house, a foot at a time. It was a very ugly scene and I won't do it again. I have already bathed him once with no trouble at all and have brushed him daily, also with no trouble, hoping to create a bond but it is very slow coming. I speak calmly and kindly to hm, but it does little to help. During brushing he will slowly lay flat on his side (submitting?) but heavily panting. However, if I am in another room he will slowly come into the room and lat down as long as I don't look at him. Once he lays down I can approach and pet him, but he will still cower and hang his head. He often looks like he really wants to come to us, but just can't bring himself to do it (the distrusting nature). There are two issues I feel I should address first: coming to us when called and walking on his own (to go to his food and to go outside). I know it will take time for him to trust us, but I know it is wrong for me to carry him. He needs to go outside without being carried. I have done a lot of reading and I feel it is all so contradictory....be dominant but don't force; where is the line....how am I suppose to be the alpha to a dog that is starting to look like his spirit is already broken?

Sometimes I think he is just happy to be alone, and I know he will eventually warm up to us. But, after reading so much including this forum, shouldn't he at least play with a ball? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Leann
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chowpups
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Re: New puppy.

Postby chowpups » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:22 pm

Leann
Congrats on your new pup.. You say its only been 5 days ..He could just be trying to get adjusted to his new home and missing his sibling. I would make sure he gets a clean bill of health from your Vet and go from there trying to gently socialize him. Not responding to treats? My chows were always picky treat eaters. The vets would offer those boring old treat things and Nikki and Oneill would not even put them in their mouths. It was give me something good or don't bother me with it..
Good luck, Iam sure he will come around . . I had one just like him and she came around and was fine. She was 12 wks when I got her..
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Re: New puppy.

Postby Secondhandlion » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:35 pm

Thank you for the encouragement. I just have to remind myself to be more patient and be happy that he is eating and letting me brush him. I think tomorrow I'll go a little slower with the brushing and make it last a little longer, even if it is more for me than him :D
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Re: New puppy.

Postby Sarahloo » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:21 pm

It sounds like you ended up with a totally traumatized, completely unsocialized puppy! :( That breeder scr*wed you over! Looks like he didn't do his job at all and didn't prepare your puppy for anything. Your puppy probably has no idea what human contact is, and why it's supposed to be enjoyable. It's good to hear that he is already perking up a bit! His first weeks were probably one long horrible nightmare!
Of course you can gently carry him outside and show him the garden! Why not?
You have such a huge job ahead of you! It will take so much time & effort to turn your puppy into a "normal", happy puppy.
And do visit a vet with him asap! His total lack of energy might mean there is something seriously the matter with his health!

I wonder where in this forum you read that Chows like to play with balls, because they don't! They like exciting walks in the woods and in the fields.

May I ask why you didn't choose his happy, bouncy brother?
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Re: New puppy.

Postby Secondhandlion » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:02 am

I didn't choose his brother because he was too excitable. We were concerned about how aggressive he was going to get. I never said I saw a post specifically say the pup played with a ball, I was being descriptive. Thanks for informing me of how I just got screwed by a breeder. That was so incredibly helpful. And gee, I had not figured out that I had my work cut out for me. I thought my pup was going to train himself. If this is the type of "help" I can expect then the moderator can just delete my membership!
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Re: New puppy.

Postby Loha'sDad » Thu Jun 02, 2011 2:48 pm

Interesting. Being the Alpha is usually necessary to rein in a (perfectly natural) instinct to determine pack order. Your issue seems instead to be how the undisputed Alpha (you) instills confidence in a member of its pack? I wonder if there is any information available on the internet regarding such pack dynamics?

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Re: New puppy.

Postby Sarahloo » Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:14 pm

Secondhandlion wrote:And gee, I had not figured out that I had my work cut out for me. I thought my pup was going to train himself. If this is the type of "help" I can expect then the moderator can just delete my membership!

Okay, take it that way, if you have to. :roll: But that is not going to help your dog! He is not a normal puppy. He's going to need a lot more attention & support than other puppies. You need to encourage him in every step he takes! He's scared of the world, and you need to show to him every single day that there is nothing to be afraid of. It takes a lot of patience and has nothing to do with the basics like pottytraining, leash training etc.! It's an additional task that is going to take up a lot of your time and energy. There's no need for sarcasm! It really doesn't help your dog.
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Re: New puppy.

Postby Katjusa » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:02 pm

Secondhandlion I really don't see anything wrong with carrying your puppy around ...
I live in a flat in the 1st floor of a buliding. I had to carry mine out to potty and I still sometimes do (she's 7 months old now... quite heavy for me since I'm pretty short and "weak" constitution :mrgreen: )
Now if you don't have stairs that's not necessary but will not do any harm at all :wink: if he lets you just take him in your lap and pet him, they don't like that when they're older

and I wouldn't give up. He may have problems now and maybe some of them will stay, but you are making an effort and your will succeed at something
If the situaion doesn't get better in a month or two, I'd get some proffesional help

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Re: New puppy.

Postby Secondhandlion » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:36 am

First, let me say thank you for all the responses. Most of the comments were informative and encouraging. After more reading and internet searching (including the opinion of a vet) it is appearing that we have a "shy" dog (shy, meaning afraid and insecure). It turns out that this type of chow is more likely to become aggressive if he is not given the correct type of training. I already knew this was going to be a slow process but we dedicated ourselves to the process before we even got the pup. The "extreme" shyness was something we did not anticipate. Our first Chow was also reserved but not this bad, and grew into a loving and secure companion. After five days I expected more progress and because Jazz was still so reserved I became very concerned. My concern about carrying him is this: Shy Chows become more dominant; carrying him is only going to reinforce the dominance. I know I need to earn his trust and Lola's Dad is correct; I am unsure how to instill confidence and earn the trust of such a shy pup. I approach and pet from the side whenever possible, not forward and on his head (I have always understood Chows don't like this and my last Chow didn't either); I brush daily (I'm getting the best result from this); I carry him outside and back in (against my better judgement) and I speak in a loving voice. And I have plenty of patience for him. Isn't there more I can do? Is using treats the best way to get him to come when I call him? I know that right now I should not push leash training, but when I do what is the best way for a shy pup?

I just want what is best for my pup to become a well adjusted adult.
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Re: New puppy.

Postby Cocoa » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:15 am

Cocoa was quite shy with people when I first got her (not with dogs though), and fortunately not an ounce of fear aggression. I dealt with the shyness by taking her everywhere with me (yes I carried her at first). I also had a pocketful of treats with me at all times which I would give to people to give to her. She is seven and a half months now and wants to say hi to everyone (still doesn't like people reaching over her head though). As far as the leash training, Cocoa didn't like having the collar on so our vet suggested leaving the collar on with the leash attached in the house (under supervision of course) and it didn't take long for her to get used to it. Now the leash means walks so she loves it. =D=

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Re: New puppy.

Postby chowpups » Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:36 pm

Treats can help lure a pup along with lead training for sure but I would work more on the confidence thing and expose him to different things if you can like noises, textures and by that we laid a piece of lattice work (wood even)down on the floor and had her walk across it . Believe me that was a big thing for our traumatized pup to do and she didn't do it right away either. Walking over a little ledge several times..like mini horse jumps. (we stood a piece of wood on its side and made her walk over it). These things sounded crazy to me but it worked. Then also the socializing part helped tremendously take him everywhere and you can carry him if you have to, but then put him down after you introduce him to something or someone and just stand there with him.(my chow was on leash for these things even though I held her in my arms too) There are many type of things you can do but you have recognized there is a little more that your pup needs if hes shy . Neither one of my chows showed any aggression towards people, food, or other animals and maybe cause we did classes for socializing and training and we got it before it turned into aggression I don't know for sure but I'd try it.. The alpha and domiant stuff just seemed to come with the training I guess. We just did calm, firm and consistant training. Iam no expert but Iam sure an expert can help you..with each trainer I picked up something new. And also not every trainer is chow savy so ask. You are one ahead of some people .. at least you had a chow before..LOL
Good luck .. Oh, I mentioned about health check. I had a shar pei who had vaccine reacation and was acting odd. She stayed in her crate and wouldn't come out and seemed like she didn't want to socialize with us so I called the Vet and they think she had too much of the vaccine so they give it to her in lower doses ...I was just thinking outside the box???
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Re: New puppy.

Postby Secondhandlion » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:14 pm

We just got back from vacation with Jazz. We drove 800 miles (which he suffered through quietly) to see family and stayed with my Dad who has a 13yr old Boxer female. I was concerned about how the two would get along and was very pleasantly surprised. Jazz followed the boxer every where she went. He watched her interact with us and other members of my family and would get closer to us but only while she was there. We socialized him with every one that came around him and he never growled or snapped. Finally we got to see the puppy-play and a curled up tail. Now that he is back home, he still cowers down (but less often and for a shorter amount of time) and won't come when I call him unless he is outside and wants back in (which we are happy that he now wants back in), so we have seen some improvement. He is still hiding under the bed, behind chairs or under tables. My only idea on that is to block access to these areas and continue drawing him out. Bath and brushing are still a good source of bonding and when we are interacting with him I can sense that he wants to participate, but is still distrustful.
He hates the leash and I was actually going to try what chowpups had mentioned and leave it on him all day. He will not take any treat or food from my hand, but will once I lay it on the floor in front of him. One thing I noticed at my dad's is that he found a bone that belonged to the boxer and loved it (until the boxer noticed and took it back) so I am going to go to the local grocer and see if their butcher will give me some bones. I'm going to boil them and see if that will be a good tool in training.

I owe Sarahloo and apology. My worry over Jazz and frustration over this breeder made me very rude and ungrateful. I sincerely apologize. I believe Jazz is the one who got totally screwed by the breeder. The only human allowed to be around the dogs was the breeder. No children or women or any other men were exposed to the dogs and they never left their pens. I can't express my anger over this. It is going to be a long hard path to walk, but I'm stubborn too and won't give up too easily.
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Re: New puppy.

Postby tabate45 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:27 am

I too have a very shy pup. I got her from the same breeder as my male that is now 9 mos. old. I feel she was the last pup in the litter and was left alone for a few weeks with no other contact but the breeders and other dogs. I had a plan when we went to pick her up to see how she would interact with the older one but was thwarted by downpouring rain. They did alright inside but I wanted to see how she would be outside the kennel. She was very calm and quiet as we drove and when we stopped for a potty break everthing went wrong. She pottied and then bolted. We were at a county fairground (empty) so there was alot of space to run. And run she did, and so did we. She was so afraid of us. We cornered her near a pond and she jumped in and started to swim away. Then she turned around and started back but wasn't going to make it, so in I went as she was going under. I got bit (no fault of hers) and soaked and we were both scared. Needless to say, it was very tramatic for her. No more potty breaks on the way home either. When we got here, we went out to the yard and she bolted again. It took 2 days to get her to come to me. A very long 2 days!! When I finally got her, I loved her up and brought her inside for most of the day. Since then she is still very timid, wil go the other way when we come near sometimes, but on the most part she is pretty good. It's amazing the difference in the dog personalities of these dogs. Coal, the male, is a total love bug and Shy, is aptly named. Socialization is going very well with her. We own a business that she can come to, so she gets to be in many situations, but she is still "shy" at home. Likes to be brushed, and hates the leash. Patience....ahhh, how I am learning what that means. Keep up the good work and she will be a great companion.


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