ChiPin suddenly acting afraid

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ChiPin suddenly acting afraid

This is a discussion on ChiPin suddenly acting afraid within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi, all. I took in a one year old Chihuahua/minuture pinscher mix from an older lady with cancer about a month ago. Shes the first ...

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Old 09-15-2018, 01:09 PM
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ChiPin suddenly acting afraid

Hi, all.

I took in a one year old Chihuahua/minuture pinscher mix from an older lady with cancer about a month ago. Shes the first dog I have ever owned, but I dont think she was very well cared for. She had horrible fleas with spots of her fur missing from scratching, was a bit thin and her nails were horribly long. She has since had that all taken care of, her nails are at a healthy length, has had flea treatment and her fur is growing back nicely and shes put on a nice amount of weight. She also hadn't had any of her shots even though I was told that she had.

My concern the past few days is that she is suddenly acting afraid of me. She warmed up to the family fairly quickly and was especially attached to me. She would follow me all around the house, sleep with me at night, loved going outside and for walks. Now she spends most of her time in her bed in her kennel. The kennel came with her and I leave it set up in the living room with a bed and blanket inside (she likes to burrough) so she has a place to go if she wants to get away.

She also had stopped sleeping with me. I would call her to bed and she would come somewhat reluctantly and lay for awhile then take off back to her kennel. When I try to take her for a walk she will run in to her kennel, hunched down, ears back and tail between her legs and back up in to the corner. I thought maybe it was the harness I had bought her that she doesnt seem too fond of having put on, but even hooking the leash to her collar doesnt do it. Next I thought maybe it was the retractable leash, so I tried the old one she had come with... no go. Once I get her outside though, she seems perfectly happy, sniffing and checking everything out. Other than all of that, she seemed to be somewhat skiddish of me all the sudden.

There is honestly one thing I can think of that could have brought on this change. She was hanging out while helping my 10 year old son clean up his room the other day, when he found the inside fluff of one of her toys under his bed. He pulled it out and asked me what it was. Immediately, she curled all up on herself, tail and ears tucked and slithered under his bed. She finally came out after a few minutes, acting all apologetic. I talked to and petted her and ended up giving her a treat, hoping she would realize that no one was mad at her. That's when the strangeness started.

The next day or day after, I found one of her toys under my desk, so I grabbed it up and asked her "what's this?" in what I thought was a playful voice, hoping she would want to play. Nope... off she went all low and tucked into her kennel. My mom was over and she was able to call her out but she sat on her lap with her head hidden in her arm and wouldn't look at me. She didnt want to look at the toy either. Last night my son found another stray piece of fluff from the destroyed toy and picked it up and when she saw him with it, you could tell she was going to try running off again, but I distracted her and had my son just throw it away.

This all reminds me of another incident not too long after we got her of when I found a spill on the carpet (5 year old stepped on her juice box) and had asked "what is this?". Same thing as with the fluff happened...

She did sleep with me all last night as usual and after going out this morning, she sat on my lap for a bit before she took off to her kennel. So I'm hoping she is warming up to me again, but her behavior is still have me somewhat concerned and at a loss... does anyone have any insight or advice? Sorry for the long post, and thanks!
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:02 PM
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I would think that someone had used those words and then punished her, like they found something she had chewed up and said "what is this" probably in an angry voice. Try not to say that at all as it sounds like it triggers a bad memory.
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