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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had Freddie for 2 weeks (he's 10 weeks old now) and I'm a bit worried. I'm sure i'm probably just being silly, but I don't feel like he's bonding with me as much as i thought he would :/

I've been trying to do everything by the book, not babying him too much, trying to make him independent, but giving him love and cuddles as well.

But i'm worried maybe i've been too cold with him. I'm ignoring him whenever he barks/whines as i dont want to encourage it.. I ignore him when he tries desperately to get up on the sofa (i only have him on the sofa when he's calm). And today I gave him a wash in the sink, and put flea control on him, both of which he hated despite getting treats.

All of this i think has made him see me as a bit scary.. This evening he didn't even want to be on my lap, he just looked at me like i'm his enemy, and he went off to his bed.

Just wondering how long it took for people to properly bond with their dogs? I'm worried he hates me! Am i being too cold? I'm just so paranoid about doing everything correctly after all that i've read about the 8-12 week period being so critical..
 

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I would never put flea meds on a 10 week puppy!! Does he have fleas? At that young an age, they need to be held and loved a lot just like a human baby. He's feeling very lonely and rejected. Chis are people dogs and their favorite place is in our arms or on our lap.
Give him all the love, playtime and cuddles he needs. I would watch him closely for any reaction to the flea meds. He's not bonding to you because he feels you are pushing him away.
 

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He's just a baby. While you shouldn't get him out of his crate if he's crying, you should still give him lots of love and attention. I think you should give him lots of love and attention so he feels comfortable in his new home. While you shouldn't let him run wild, there is plenty of time to train him. I would mostly just work on potty training. I also don't think you should give any flea treatment at that age unless he actually has fleas. Then I would consult a vet.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The flea treatment was from the vet.. He has been scratching himself a lot.

Hope i can make him like me again
 

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That's the great thing with dogs. They are very forgiving and just want to be loved. He loves you very much and doesn't understand what you are trying to do.
 

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It's almost the same as building a friendship with a human, some friendships take longer than others to develop, it doesn't mean it will never get there! I'm pretty sure over time the bond with your puppy will get stronger. A puppy needs to develop trust in order to become affectionate! Building trust can take time, your pup is also just settling in he needs to get used to his surroundings before he feels safe and able to give you love. :)


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Try and make all your interactions positive. Don't keep telling him not to do things, praise him for doing the right thing. So stroke him for being calm, or looking at you, eating his food etc. Create opportunities to praise him, teach him his name, come, sit, etc. Lots of positive reinforcement for doing the right things.
If you don't want him to be on the sofa, sit on the floor with him. Make it easy for him to be 'good'. Remember that his attention span is really short at this age, but he wants to do the right thing and make you happy.
 

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Here in the UK most vets advocate regular flea and worm treatments whether the dog has fleas/worms or not.
That makes sense, I just wanted to make sure we aren't overlooking an allergy. And I don't want to pass up a chance to make sure someone is feeding the best food possible!
 

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I think you are focusing more on the training than the actual bonding.
You don't need to try so hard at this young of an age to train things like getting on the couch hyper, being independent, no babying, ect...right now, you need to train your puppy to be social, to love you and to trust you, and to feel safe and bonded with his family.
Set aside all the independent, no-babying stuff and baby your baby! Pick him up and hold him on the couch, cuddle him, carry him, talk to him...you can make him like you again but you need to set that training stuff aside for awhile and just focus on the bond your trying to get with him. You can train him but only train for things like potty training and crate training.
 

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Personally I think the training at a young age first is important and once you earn your dogs respect after a bit of time that bond will be the strongest!


If you spent ages pampering your pup with little training it'll be harder later. She will naturally be devoted to you once she is used to you. Don't forget not all dogs can show strong affection to begin with. Just like humans!

Its all psychology. But obviously not everyone would agree for various reasons.
 

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I agree that you shouldn't over spoil a puppy with too many cuddles & baby it. I've had many dogs in the past & always been the same & I've always ended up with very loyal, well behaved dogs. Once fully trained I have of course allowed them on the sofa & to have cuddles, sleep on the bed etc but not at puppy stage. Having our 1st chihuahua has been different as this is the first puppy we've ever had with real attitude but with the help & advice of a good trainer I've had to get even tougher & within the space of a week she had become a very different puppy & a complete joy. Everyone that owns a dog has different ways of treating them so no 2 ways are the same or right or wrong. Do what you feel comfortable with & whatever suits your needs & your puppy. I did also flea treat my Zailey at 9 weeks because I have 2 cats & this time of year fleas have been rife. Good luck x x
 

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I am one who runs a pretty tight ship with my dogs. They have plenty of rules and I expect them to be obayed from day one. I think you are totally right to enforce the rules with a puppy exactly as you would want to enforce them with an adult dog. The thing you need to understand however is that the puppy needs some extra help to do things right. For instance of the puppy can't calm down enough to be let up un the couch then spend some time playing on the floor. Or even better just sit on the floor in the first place a few times a day so they can cuddle in your lap without having to ask for something and be denied. For every one thing you find the puppy doing wrong try to find them doing theee thing right. If the puppy is resting calmly at your feet invite them up on the couch right away. If the puppy politely brings you one of their toys to play with then good job! Go play with that toy! Also make sure you are doing fun training stuff too, like teaching sit, down and other fun tricks. Those sessions are usually a lot of fun because your puppy cant really do anything wrong and they get lots of good, positive sruff from you directly. Plus you are teaching usefull stuff. Maybe look up clicker training and give that a go, you are at the perfect age to start it.

So you see, you can be firm and stick to the rules you have now (and I think you should) while still finding opportunities to play and have fun.

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the advice.

Things have got better and i do feel like we're bonding more. The flea treatment doesn't seem to have made much difference though, so maybe it is an allergy. I'll ask the vet when we go for his second injection this week.

I took him away to my parents house this weekend and he is amazingly sociable. We went to some pubs and he seemed to really enjoy all the attention from passers by, i'm really surprised at how confident he is. Is this normal? I expected chihuahuas to be really nervous dogs! He seemed to really like being passed between lots of different people.. I'm worried i've made him too independent by ignoring him too much :s
 
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