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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good Morning Chi lovers!

My husband and I have recently (one week ago) adopted an 8 month old male chihuahua. His name is August. He used to live in a quite chaotic household with a big dog who was dominant.
We also suspect that he might have been hit (he has two marks on his back) and not well socialized.
When picking him up, the family told us that he is well socialized and not scared at all.
The first day at home, he was scared of everything and did not want to be pet or picked up. He ran around with his tail in between his legs all day.
Now he has really warmed up to my husband and I and he acts happy and confident most of the time inside.
Unfortunately he is really really afraid of other people.
When visitors come or we pass by people on walks, he squeals, moves backwards with his tail in between his legs and tries to bite them when they come close to him. Sometimes he even still snaps at my husband.
We are very worried about this anxious behavior. Especially since we might have children in the future; we don´t want to worry about him biting our kids.
Do you guys think that this behaviour can be corrected? Do you have any advice?
It would be much appreciated.
Greetings from Bavaria, Germany,

Carina (and August)
 

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BG was nervous of noises and outside things when her first spring rolled around. I placed her in a small carrier and took her to Home Depot (its a hardware store that allows dogs but very noisy). Being close to me helped her and slowly we worked her up to be able to walk in there like she owns the place. Now she is not afraid of anything. Also I read in one of threads that someone got their timid chi an anxiety jacket. Maybe one of the others can get you info on that.
 

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In my experience of having a chi for 4 months - they learn really well. Being scared is ok, but he also needs to learn how to get past that emotion if the danger isn't really bad.

I'd suggest working on it slowly and teach him how to recover. I would treat his reaction as if he was barking an alert, take him seriously, praise that he noticed something, but then investigate the problem and encourage him to explore the very thing that scared him. Lots of praise and maybe a kibble treat when he does. For me, this builds the type of watch dog I want - alert, able to notify me, but then able to calm down once we investigate the issue.

In public, he does get growly sometimes. I'm working on it. This forum has given me ideas, but it is a work in progress. I'm glad he's alert, but I need to teach him that everyday people are not a threat. It will take time and lots of socialization, but I'm determined to work with him so I can take him places. Exposure, correction, setting him down, praise, distraction. I'm not there yet.

Congratulations on your new dog !
 

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Maybe consulting a respectable trainer would be a good idea. You want to make sure the corrections you're giving him are being done correctly and not making things worse. For 7 yrs i worked as an assistant to a great trainer at National K9 and a lot of good training can be very helpful in his case. Training for both you and him. The corrections you use will impact him greatly in the long run and want to make sure all steps are done right. Are there any good facilities in your area??
 

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Mandi is right.

I have a shy/fearful dog. Her name is Ruby. We met with a Behaviorist team and I got a lot of good information from that in-home visit. I will make a separate post about shy/fearful. Hope perhaps you can get some information form what I learned.
 

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Hello, I recently adopted a year old rescue chi boy who we think had been abused and was very, very nervey. The first thing I did was to get him neutered and that has made a big difference because he was quite seriously humping anything all the time. I have a little 6 month old boy chi who I've had since he was 9 weeks. It took time for us all to adjust but we've shown the new boy how much we love him and over praised and rewarded all his good behaviour. I think he's really settled now and hope he enjoys being part of the family. However my boy was very well socialised and is fine when we pass other dogs and people. It's my existing little one that's a hooligan with other dogs. He is tiny and has no fear barking at BIG dogs. I'm working on that!!! And this forum is a great place to pick up tips and ideas. Hopefully August will settle in time. If he's anything like my new boy - he just needs lots of love and reassurance cos he's been taken away from everything he knows. Good luck. :)
 

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Welcome and congratulations on your new chi!! He will definitely change as he gets older. But it sounds like he did not get a good start in life.
I know, from having spent time there, that Germany is very strict on the treatment of animals. At least they used to be! It's a shame how some people look at these poor things as "just a dog!" They add so much to our quality of life and us to theirs.

I got Angel at 9weeks old. I made sure he met everyone that came into our shop, as long as they liked dogs. But, he is now 15 months old, and has a "circle of friends!" He is not okay with "everyone" just a certain group! It's strange.

Probably a good idea to get a trainer if you budget allows.

By the way, I used to live in Wolframs Eschenbach. I loved it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone! You guys are really helpful! Such a forum is really nice!
August has made a big step in the right direction today - my brother came over and he growled once and was scared at first. My brother just ignored him at first and acted normally. Later August ate a piece of chicken out of my brother´s hand, sniffed his feet and eventually we were sitting right next to my brother and August even let my brother stroke his head. What a big step! So proud. It makes me believe that he can change his behavior!
Will keep you guys updated!
 

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We are also in Germany and we are working with our 4 month old chi - with all the frigid temps, we didn't get him out as much as we should have, so we're making up for lost time now by getting him out and exposing him to as much as he can handle, while reassuring him that the "dangers" are ok. At home, he's very confident and loving, but in public, he can be fearful and barks at selected people. Little by little, I hope we get to a confident dog!

Hope August comes around for you!
 

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You have some great advice here, I would just add that it's
going to take time. One week isn't really very long for him
to adjust, I'm sure you will see more improvement as time
goes on.

Mimi came from a very bad situation. She has lots of fear
and anxiety although she is not a biter. When I first brought
her home she sat in a corner for a week and would not eat
in front of me at all and she would soil herself if anyone other
than me even tried to show her some attention. Slowly she has
came around and she still does more and more as time goes on.

I do continue to push her though. I don't force her to socialize
but for example, I walk her at a local park that is very busy with both
humans and pets ( and wildlife ), so that she is out in other environments.
Otherwise left to her own will, she would hide under a blanket next to
me all day!
 
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