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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I have adopted/rescued a 5yo female Chihuahua who i suspect has only been used for breeding. The owner told me she had a few pups a few years ago and another 8 months ago but this delivery was by c-section.

The house i collected her from had a number of dogs living there in cages (inc her pup that the owner is keeping). I have had her 4 weeks and she is still very nervous. Im taking bad with this. I have been reading everything, sitting on floor to feed, pat etc... Nothing working. She doesnt bark, yap or growl.

I have bought her a plush new bed and fleece covers and put in an item of my clothing. She sometimes sleeps in my bed but not often as my wife doesnt like that. She wont play with toys.

I am trying to clicker train her but its not working. Always giving her treats but she prefers to stay in her bed all day. I take her out for walks but she hates the lead. She has not social skills at all. The vet has checked her over and she is in good health. She is not spayed and not due to go into heat until around March time i believe.

Bought her a coat to keep her warm when she goes out to toilet, think im doing everything right.

Got in touch with owner who only tells me now that she didnt play with humans, only when she was pregnant.

Help.
 

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My brother took on a Terrier just like yours,it took months and months of TLC to bring her round,she still doesn't know how to play with toys ,you seem to be doing everything right,just take your time ,introduce new things very very slowly.Maybe she was just shut in a cage all her life and doesn't know what to do and behave like a dog.I'm sure with love and patience you will get there.
 

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so sa, it sounds like this one will need a slow and gentle approach! So glad she has gone to you, who obviously care deeply and will give her the love and patience she deserves.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies.

Should she spend all day / night in her bed? Thought about taking away the bed until night time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Skye spends all day / night in her bed unless out for a walk or at toilet. I was thinking of perhaps hiding her bed until night time?
 

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You could try and see what happens but if she gets distressed i would let her stay in it , she feels safe in there if she's been locked in a crate all her life ,maybe increase the time you take it away each time,with lots of treats or distractions and cuddles
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Michelle, i will try that.

I am also worried that Skye does not bark or growl at all. She does make weird noises like a pig sometimes...strange. Why is this? What is this?
 

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I bet she will when she gets more confident,the pig noise is probably reverse sneezing? a lot of chis do it, mine do it a lot
 

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oh that's a relief! The sneezing thing. I have been sure she had a mild case of kennel cough but it doesn't seem to be getting worse or better, just this funky choky sneeze. (sorry for jumping in the thread)
 

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I think you are doing a great job. It took Cricket awhile before she started to play and bark. She wasn't crated as much as Skye was, but over time she will be more active.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am also concerned Skye may be depressed, having only ever been used to dogs and living with her pup to now our home with no other dogs.

What can i do?
 

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I would let her progress slowly with lots of positive comments and emotions directed towards her. As you get to know her, find what she likes. Then you can build on that to help her expand her horizons. For example, my puppy loves coming to me for the sit command and a kibble from my fingers. I have used that familiar routine to go into a room he has not been in (and acts scared of), and by offering something he knows he builds confidence to come further into that room.

It reminds me of an adult cat I adopted many years ago. After we brought her home, she was so scared that we literally thought she had escaped the house. It was days (without coming out for food or water) that we found her on a bookshelf hiding behind the books ! I made a nest in my closet for her, and slowly starting bringing her out to sit on the couch with a blanket over her, before she started feeling comfortable to move around in our house. She was the only pet, had come from a lovely home, but she still had very strong instincts to protect herself.

Let us know how she improves. With your great care, I'm confident she'll get there in time.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hey Carrie, i am trying so hard. Im in the house all day (i suffer from MS) and she is never alone. My 5yo son never bother her either. We did rescue a kitten a month before her who is very playful and adds to her nervousness but i keep them apart.

How long did Crickett take to come out of her shell?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hello Barney's Mom,

Skye doesnt know any commands at all (terrible shame) It has took me near 5 weeks to get her to come to me which she does very slowly and stays back and with my outstretched hand, i try and rub under her chin before she runs away. She will sometimes eat a treat out of my hand. Can not get her to sit or lay down.
 

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Hey Carrie, i am trying so hard. Im in the house all day (i suffer from MS) and she is never alone. My 5yo son never bother her either. We did rescue a kitten a month before her who is very playful and adds to her nervousness but i keep them apart.

How long did Crickett take to come out of her shell?
Actually Cricket is still coming out of her shell. I've only had for 3 weeks tomorrow. She wasn't crated as much as Skye but she was neglected and mal-nourished. She sleeps in my lap most of the day, and just recently started barking at people who come to the door.
 

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I started treating Barney just for looking up at me when I said his name enthusiastically, and progressed from there. Don't worry about more complicated commands yet, just build face recognition and trust with her. She'll know you are the one feeding her and talking nicely, and that will be your first important bond. Dogs really want to have a friend. It breaks my heart thinking how lonely she has been before you helped her.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hello everyone, well I think I can say Skye is starting to come out her shell a bit. She is still very nervous, gets spooked at every noise and shakes a lot. But she has started to come over to my hand to be petted and will change side or nudge my hand with her nose to be petted further if I take my hand away.

She has still not barked once since I have had her, nor does she try to lick my hand etc.. She also does not eat or drink much during day but does late at night. She waits until I go to bed then I can here her trot to the kitchen for a drink and eats. Why is this?

Also she sleeps loads and this morning when I approached her bed, calling her name and put forth my hand, she stuck her head out from under the covers and nudged my hand with her nose before turning the other way under the covers again. Why did she do this? Was it a form of acknowledgment?
 

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Hello everyone, well I think I can say Skye is starting to come out her shell a bit. She is still very nervous, gets spooked at every noise and shakes a lot. But she has started to come over to my hand to be petted and will change side or nudge my hand with her nose to be petted further if I take my hand away.

She has still not barked once since I have had her, nor does she try to lick my hand etc.. She also does not eat or drink much during day but does late at night. She waits until I go to bed then I can here her trot to the kitchen for a drink and eats. Why is this?

Also she sleeps loads and this morning when I approached her bed, calling her name and put forth my hand, she stuck her head out from under the covers and nudged my hand with her nose before turning the other way under the covers again. Why did she do this? Was it a form of acknowledgment?
Skye is primarily a rescue dog and only secondly a Chihuahua. I wouldn't expect much from
her as far as what other dogs do. It's going to take a long time. And, a lot of patience.
Just love her and celebrate even the tiniest signs of progress. Yes, nudging your
hand was a tiny way of making contact with you. That may be enough for today :)
Find a treat that is totally irresistable to her. Something like Chicken and use it for "training".
Let her eat from you hand and just be near you. Over time, this relationship can grow
into something wonderful for both of you.
 
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