Play with your puppy. Include handling his paws and grooming him with a grooming brush every day so he’ll be used to being handled the way that you, your vet or a groomer might have to handle him. This way, he’ll learn not to feel threatened when being handled.
Show your puppy affection often, especially while he is still young. Pet, hold and talk to him without spoiling or doting on him. Chow Chows can be afraid of strangers, so encourage others to show your puppy affection to teach him that it is all right for other people to approach the both of you and to handle him.
Socialize your Chow Chow. Encourage interaction with other people and other dogs, both friends and strangers, so that he will learn to feel at ease around people outside of his familiar family environment. Take him on road trips to the vet and pet store, and use his collar and leash when taking him for walks around the neighborhood, the park, the local dog park and anywhere dogs are allowed.
Present yourself the way you want your Chow Chow to present himself. He will be able to pick up on your feelings, including nervousness and anxiety. If you remain calm and collected, he’ll pick up on that, too, trusting that you have the situation under control and that he can remain at ease.
Keep a schedule. Make sure your Chow Chow gets interaction and socialization time every day.
Remain consistent with praise and discipline. Praise can include verbal cues and physical affection; you don’t have to stuff him full of treats. Don’t praise negative behavior, whether it’s obvious (like chewing on your shoes) or not so obvious (like acting nervous or afraid in unfamiliar situations). Praising a nervous puppy, even by verbally soothing or petting him, could just encourage him to continue acting nervous in unfamiliar situations.
Tips & Warnings
* Chow Chows need moderate amounts of exercise and should get it daily. Burning away physical energy can also burn nervous energy and can help him focus mentally, especially if you exercise him before training routines. Walking him to the dog park or around the block is a good way to exercise him before socialization training.Chow Chows are known for their soldierly postures. If they march right up to another dog, they may seem intimidating; allow the dogs to get close and sniff each other, essentially meeting and “shaking hands.”
* Never discipline a puppy with physical force such as a strike or a kick. This could irreparably ruin his trust in you. Control him by earning his respect, as a fearful dog can retaliate or turn to bad behaviors out of stress.Chow Chows have a bad reputation for being temperamental and aggressive. Respect others’ space if they seem afraid of your Chow Chow, and keep working with your puppy so he can be one of the Chow Chows to break his breed’s bad reputation.