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Hi, my name is Carla. Our family adopted a 5 mo old chihuahua rescue dog. She was bred at a puppy mill and was there for 4 mos when the puppy mill owner called the rescue place and said to come get she and her 2 sibs or else they'd be euthanized. :(

Our family had been strongly considering getting a puppy but wanted something small and fairly calm b/c we have a 9 year old son who is afraid of dogs. Well, we went to this rescue booth a week ago and saw her. She was so very very calm and sweet and let everyone pass her around without any shaking or signs of being nervous. My son held her and loved on her and she just ate it up. We thought, "OK, we wouldn't have thought chihuahua for a family with kids but perhaps she is more accepting because of her background." She got spayed about 3 days ago (rescue's rules). She seems to be feeling okay and is on pain meds once a day.

My concerns are that day by day as we have her she seems to like other people less and less. The first few days she let all the neighbor kids hold and love on her and yesterday she growled at the neighbor girl. She loves me and my husband. She tolerates my son holding her. She does NOT like my 6 year old daughter. My daughter is pretty calm and mature but she IS 6. She will do anything to get away from Lydia. Lydia was sitting there with my husband on our bed the other night holding her, being very calm and Leila (our puppy) BOLTED as soon as she got the chance and jumped off our 3 1/2 foot high bed (Leila is 7 lbs). We were so scared that she hurt herself but thankfully she didn't. The other day Lydia came up to Leila and Leila snapped at her.

That is my primary concern but in general, Leila runs from anyone, including me when I try to pick her up or come toward her. She is just way more antisocial than she was at first. We *thought* she was meek and quiet b/c she was scared and it was all new and that she'd come around. She has no idea how to play. Doesn't care a lick for her toys. She wants to lay under a kitchen chair in the corner, in her crate or under my bed all day.

I'm going to call a trainer today. Do you think that having a trainer would help with her being more friendly and learning to be more playful? I'm thinking an in home trainer with my kids present would be good. I will do just about anything to make this work.

Any advice would be great!
 

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If it was me i would let her settle in a bit more,she's also only been spayed 3 days ago so she must be traumatized,new home,new people then the vets.I would get your daughters to feed her,is she in pain after the op or maybe in pain after falling off the bed ?
 

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You have no idea what this little chi has gone through. For 4+ months she was in a wire cage, peed and pooped in there. Might have been dark?? Maybe people were rough with her---ie a young girl??? Then she is 'rescued' and put in a hospital with alot of smells and then she wakes up in pain, then is transferred to your home. Let her alone for awhile. Have your 6 year old sit on the floor with some really good treats. Toss a treat in front of pup. If pup goes and gets it---great. If not, 6 year old is too close. Back up until the pup goes for the treat. Repeat. Go slow. Don't rush her. May take a week before the pup will eat treat out of her hand. Don't pick her up. Use stairs for dogs so she can come to you on the couch, chair.

I had a 7 yr old chi puppymill mama that was so shy, she never came to me. Loved my other dogs, and the trainer said 'let her alone, let her be a dog' She died at 10 yrs from lung complications from the mill. Good luck with yours. Sue
 

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I think it might just be tooo much for her. Let her settle in properly first before inviting all sorts of people. She needs to get used to her surroundings and you as her new owners. I am sure once she feels at home, knows where she belongs and knows that you protect her, you will be able to introduce new people.

And about your daughter. I think she should try to ignore Leila for the first few days (so no trying to get close to her) just so that she doesnt feel pressured. Remember, she lived at a puppy mill before!!!!!!! So everything will be new and maybe even scary for her! Eventually I would give your daughter some treats to have around her and in her hands, while still ignoring Leila and maybe she will slowly try to come closer, realizing that your daughter is fine. Maybe your daughter can even give Leila the food (so put the bowl down for her).

I think you will just need to be very patient and everything will work out fine!
 

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I agree with everyone else's thoughts...She's traumatized. Work with her, and give her some time.

Gracie was 5 months when we got her. She'd been bumped from home to home - no one could 'do anything with her'. She was with a rescue group when we found her. I'm as stubborn as any Chihuahua, and I knew I could work with her. Within 2 weeks, she was my dream dog.

Children move quickly. It's very likely she wasn't exposed to many in the puppy mill, in fact, her socialization is probably sorely lacking. You have to start all over with her...Today is the first day of the rest of her life!

But, cut her some slack right now...She's just been spayed and that is a major surgery. Her hormones (or lack of hormones) are wreaking havoc with her little brain.
 

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Hope you lil chi has come around to adjusting with your family. I too have a rescue dog from a puppy mill..although mine was a breeder and no longer cared for her litter. She was useless to them. It has been two years now and she still is not like any other dog I've had before. She has came so far from where she was though. I love that lil baby like one of my children...they are actually jealous of her these days..lol. She is mommy's baby girl!!
 
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