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Discussion Starter #1
I don't know what his deal is. The breeder said her puppies never meet a stranger and that she socializes them. When we first got Gunner (10 wks old) I gave him time to adjust at home. About a week, I guess. Then I started trying to get him out and about when I could. Parks, etc. It was hard to get him out alot at first because it was when the weather was soooo hot (100 degrees and up most days). So I couldn't just take him anywhere randomly where I also had to leave him in the vehicle. Of course people also come to my house as well.

His issue seems to be FEAR. He's not aggressive. Just extremely bashful. He barks and growls if they get close. And if someone picks him up he SCREAMS like he's being hurt. It's so embarrassing. I don't know how to correct that. The only thing I know to do is put up a sign on the front door "No Touch, No Talk, No Eye contact" since he only acts like this when people address him. I can control the barking and such at the front door. He does fine as people enter. But if they address him then he loses it. God forbid they try to pet him.

So is he just gonna forever be one of those awful chi's everyone hates?
I really didn't want that and I've tried so hard to prevent it. He's such a sweet guy here with the family. He's not a scaredy-cat per se. For example: I took him to Petsmart on his leash (he took to the leash the first time I put him on it!) and he walked by the buggy like he's done it a million times before. He loved it. But he hates people :(
 

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He may just be going through his fear period. He's young, and, just like a baby, they go through a stage where they fear strangers. I would do like you say, don't have anyone go to him, let him decided to make contact first. That said, Pepper is very shy and scared of strangers even though he was socialized the same as all my dogs. He's the only one like this, it just may be his temperment. I've had him since he was 6 weeks old so I know there's no abuse or trauma in his life. He is just a shy, scared little guy.
 

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Just give him time.My Radar went through this he was terrifed of everyone except me.(Don't know why he wasn't scared of me he chose me for his person)But no one but me could get around he would freak out.So If he was with me he wasnt as scared.So I would let people pet his back with me holding him,but if he got to scared snapping or clawing to get away I told them to stop and give him a min. and now he is my freindliest dog.
 

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Lion was socialized a ton as a baby and he is still shy.

Don't force him to allow people to pet him- let him approach the strangers and get treats for it. He is probably just going through a fear stage, and if you continue to work on it he should be fine.
 

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hi i woulld just talk calmly and you hold him don't let him be scared when your friends come over sit him on your lap and let him enjoy everyone safely and go slow
 

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Should also mention Gunner picks up on you feeling embarrassed, tensing up when the moment of truth comes and someone is in and you know they are going to attempt to pet him. He doesn't necessarily know you are "embarrassed" getting "tense" about the situation, but he notices a change in you. So try and keep it together and be be cucumber cool when these situations pops up. When you change, he picks it up and he gets on his guard. Nonchalantly, when the situation arises just say to someone he has stranger issues that we are working on please let him approach you before you approach him and go about your business until as if nothing is different and you aren't worked up at all. When he sees you are relaxed a bit and going about your normal business he will begin to go about his.
 

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Diesel is like that to an extent. When someone enters our home that he doesn't know well, he gets behind me and stays there, to the point of almost tripping me. And, he growls...If they try to approach him, he does everything he can to get away from them.

If they aren't going to be here long, I really don't worry about it. He doesn't have to like everyone, and it isn't worth scaring him to death by forcing him to interact. But, if they're settling in for a few hours, I will give Diesel an hour or so to do his thing, telling them not to push him. If he doesn't come around on his own in that time, I will pick him up and hold him and let them pet him. Usually, once I set him back down on the floor, he's right back in their laps getting some loving!

My dogs all 3 seem to sense people in my life who stress me out, and they will NEVER warm up to those people, but they are learning to be tolerant, just like me!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Should also mention Gunner picks up on you feeling embarrassed, tensing up when the moment of truth comes and someone is in and you know they are going to attempt to pet him. He doesn't necessarily know you are "embarrassed" getting "tense" about the situation, but he notices a change in you. So try and keep it together and be be cucumber cool when these situations pops up. When you change, he picks it up and he gets on his guard. Nonchalantly, when the situation arises just say to someone he has stranger issues that we are working on please let him approach you before you approach him and go about your business until as if nothing is different and you aren't worked up at all. When he sees you are relaxed a bit and going about your normal business he will begin to go about his.
I'm sure this is true!
 

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It could be a stage or it could be his personality. Time will tell that one. My chis are not 'people friendly' either and what I do is have an 'open bar' whenever someone comes over, etc. The treats are just free flowing. After the treats are gone they will chill out.

They will not let strangers pet them and such however. I just ask people to ignore them and let them be. Not a big deal. And I take mine on errands all the time. I just ask people to ignore them and we rarely have any barking or snarling.

Chis are known to bond strongly with one or maybe a few people and that is it. So yes, some chis will never just take to strangers and new people wanting to be there friend. Mine have learned to tolerate our guests and have good manners. I expect my guests to respect that my dogs would prefer to be standoffish and let them be. :)
 
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