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Hey guys,

I am a first-time pet owner, I've never had any pet of any kind before.

I recently purchased a female chihuahua, she's now around 8 weeks old.

When I try and walk her on a leash outside, she tends to resist and not want to move. She pulls backwards on her leash and to make her walk forward, I almost have to drag her along. Is this normal? Why does she do this? Is it because she's scared?

Secondly, I noticed that she shakes a lot. Is it because she's cold or just scared? My room is pretty warm and when I give her blankets and scarves, her shaking doesnt seem to stop, so I'm inclined to think she's scared. This does usually happen in response to some external foreign sitmulus such as when a new person approaches her.

Lastly, how much room should she have to run/play around in indoors? Is a single apartment room large enough?

Thanks!
 

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She is so very young to have been taken away from her mother and siblings,i wouldn't put a a collar and lead on her just yet she is too young,let her settle in and take things slowly dragging her along is not helping AT ALL,you are making her more scared.When you say taking her out,she shouldn't be going out at all,she's not had all her shots at that age.
 

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Hi and welcome.

It's really important as a new Chi owner you search this forum and youtube for any number of things such as neutering/spaying, immunisation, socialisation, correct feeding, treats, training, pottying, retained baby teeth etc etc.

The first & most important thing you need to research is feeding such a young CHIHUAHUA puppy (requirements vastly different to those larger dogs who're fine to be going home at 8 weeks) and hypoglycemia which is very common in this breed and can be deadly - suggest you get yourself a tube of Nutri-cal or whatever it's called over there to increase sugar levels if/when they drop dramatically due to more energy expended than food intake can cater for.

Diet with a Chi is, "every mouthful must count" so no cheap, nasty commercial crap - please check out dogfoodadvisor.com and ensure a 5 star food is given for puppy's sake and yours later on in saving on vet bills.

Please do not ever walk a toy dog on a collar, soft mesh harnesses such as Puppia or similar are what they should be walked in to protect their delicate throats and this can commence at any time once you have researched how to go about it without traumatising puppy.

Good luck & everyone here is always more than happy to help answer questions/issues you may have.
 

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Hello, welcome to the forum. A couple of things about your post has really alarmed me. Firstly a puppy of "about 8 weeks" should NOT be going out on walks as her vaccination programme will not yet be complete, you should even be careful in your own yard if animals unknown to you have been there. You should never drag any puppy along on a leash as this can cause fatal damage to their delicate trachea (windpipe). It is much safer to walk a chihuahua on a harness rather than a collar. I know it is very exciting to get a puppy and you can't wait to take them out and show them off but their safety must come first so you must be patient and wait till all vaccinations are complete. Spend these first precious weeks concentrating on good nutrition and potty training and getting to know your little girls personality. Don't be shy to ask any questions everyone on here is friendly and helpfull.
 

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Welcome!

I agree with the other posters who said, at 8 weeks, you don't really want your pup walking around on unknown surfaces. Until about a week after she's had her round of puppy shots at 12 weeks, there's a risk she could contract something and become ill.

However, socializing is also very important, especially for a breed like chihuahuas who can become shy and fearful of new people and places if they haven't gotten to go out and about when they're young. So, DO take your puppy out to meet people, pet stores, coffee shops and the like, but carry her in your arms or in a puppy "purse", so you minimize her exposure. You can also let her meet other dogs if you know they are also vaccinated and will be gentle and careful with her. So, no saying hello to strange, unknown dogs, yet, and definitely no dog parks.

I also agree with the folks who say she really ought to be on a harness, rather than a collar, while you teach her to walk on leash. If the harnesses you find for her are too big right now, try using a ferret harness. It's the same overall shape as a dog harness, but it's smaller and works in a pinch with little puppies.

No walks outside yet, but that doesn't mean you can't start teaching her how to walk confidently on leash in the comfort of your own home. Make this a fun game. Cut up some little bits of chicken, turkey or beef (teeeny tiny bits. Consider her wee mouth and cut the treats up into a size that will only require one or two little chomps before she can easily swallow them). Put her in her new harness and just let her wear it around the house for a few hours a day for a couple of days. Now and again, walk around the room for a few minutes, and give her a treat whenever she decides to walk along with you. Once she's wearing her harness with confidence, snap a leash on and just let it drag along behind her. Play the same game, walking around the room and giving her treats for following you about. Then, pick up the leash and do the same thing. My bet is that within a week, she will be proudly prancing beside you on her leash, excited and confident.

Practice this game a few times a week, and take her to other places (again, until a week after that second round of vaccines, only put her on floors you know and trust to be clean) and play this game. When she's ready to walk outside at 13 weeks, you'll be an old hand at encouraging her to walk with you, and pretty soon, you won't need the treats. The reward will be getting to go out and about.

As for the shivering, chihuahuas do shiver when they're cold, and young pups don't always regulate their internal body temperature all that well. Depending on your weather, she may have been chilly. But, if she's just come home and is in a brand new place, chances are she's also a bit confused and frightened. Chis do seem to get the shivers whenever they're excited or nervous. Lyra, my chi, loves going out and about with me, but she does shiver when we go to new or very busy places. I think it's a mix of excitement and wariness.

A single apartment room is plenty of space to run around for a chi, provided you're playing with her. Dogs are pretty lousy at entertaining themselves, no matter the size of the space they're in. Utilize the room you have, play games of tug, find it and fetch with her. You could even make some tiny agility equipment for her (tunnels and very low jumps only. No hard impacts while her bones are still growing) and teach her how to climb over and through it. Look at the space you have and be creative with it!
 

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Welcome. As Dee and Michelle have stated, she is so very young! Did you get her from a pet store or a breeder? it's okay to treat her like she is precious because she is!

Research hypoglycemia in chis. If she is very small, she will be at risk. I got my chi at ten weeks old, which is still a bit young. But he is far from fragile. he is a 9 pounder and very strong! I fed him frequently throughout the day. he didn't go for a walk til he was about six months old. Partly due to weather. But you can put a harness on her so she gets used to it. And gradually walk her around the house on a leash for about a minute each time and she will get used to it quickly.

There's a lot of good info here.
 

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Just chiming in to say I agree with the others! Leash training can take time, but once she is used to wearing her harness out and about the apartment she will get used to it. You can also make her associate the harness and leash with GOOD things, like extra special tiny treats, every time you put it on her. Then, start coaxing her to walk around, and reward her when she follows you. It sometimes can seem like a lot of work especially for stubborn pups, but let me assure you, a well-exercised pup is a happy pup! Learning to walk in various different environments, and go out to different places, is going to be the key to having a friendly, well-rounded and socialized chihuahua. Also while an apartment is just fine for a Chihuahua, it'll be even more important that she gets to go on walks regularly to help keep her mind and body stimulated.

I encourage you to do a little search for the "Rule of 7's" on here; even if she's 8 weeks it is NEVER to late to start these exercises and they really don't take up much time, but will be VERY well worth it in the long run.

And lastly, WELCOME TO CHIHUAHUA PEOPLE! =D My name is Kat and I can't wait to get to know you and your new addition- congratulations!
 

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I recently purchased a female chihuahua, she's now around 8 weeks old.

When I try and walk her on a leash outside, she tends to resist and not want to move. She pulls backwards on her leash and to make her walk forward, I almost have to drag her along. Is this normal? Why does she do this? Is it because she's scared?

Secondly, I noticed that she shakes a lot. Is it because she's cold or just scared? My room is pretty warm and when I give her blankets and scarves, her shaking doesnt seem to stop, so I'm inclined to think she's scared. This does usually happen in response to some external foreign sitmulus such as when a new person approaches her.
When u say u recently purchased her, at wat age was she then?? She def should not have been sold so young! For both your sakes, for you it's a lot easier to raise a chi pup from 12 weeks. Is she eating ok?

Don't walk her until she's fully vaccinated and never drag her!! She's too small and your only gonna make her hate walking and if she's scared as it is, you will only be making it worse for her. And you will hurt her wee paws by dragging her too :(

She's prob shaking more out of nerves if the rooms not cold.

This is a great place for advice so any other questions do post here :).
 

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Like everyone else has said, 8 weeks is extremely young. I think the shaking could be a few different things, either she's cold, has nerves (Elvis always shakes when he's excited/scared, etc), or it could be some sort of internal problem? Has she been checked by a vet yet? Is she eating well?

Don't hesitate to ask questions here, there are so many kind amazing people on here with great advice! Look forward to getting to know you and your Chi!
 

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Chi's shake for a lot of reasons: cold (feel her ears!), fearfulness, anxiety about an unknown, hypogylcemia among the most common. Some just shake, period. I have a shaker. I pretty much ignore it. She doesn't like to be carried, so she shakes. Now today, she inhaled a tiny bit of cheerio, and went into her playpen, sat down, and started to shake. She was also making alot of noise breathing. I got up right away, picked her up until she got the cheerio into the right "tube". She quit shaking pretty soon after that. She is 6 months. So you have to figure out why they are shaking. If it is something you can do something about--great. If not, ignore it.
 
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