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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please help, I'm afraid to admit I'm running out of patience with Skye who is 5 next month. I purchased her at the start of November from a breeder, I could see she became surplus to requirements. I was only too glad to pay the money and rescue her.

For 3 months, all day everyday, I have fed her out my hand, gave her lots of treats, take her out for walks that she hates, bought her toys that she won't play with, gave her endless hugs which she doesn't seem to like, sit on the floor at her level, brush her, bought lovely new beds for her, everything that can be done.

It's obvious she was used for breeding only, she has no social skills or knows any basic commands. She won't come to me and when I stretch my hand out, she will slowly (after some coaching) and nervously where she will touch my finger with her nose before running back to bed :-(

Help me please. Should I ignore her for a while in the hope she will come round herself or could it be she won't get better and is indeed affected like this for life?

I bought her one of those collars which release a pheromone to help with anxiety but no difference.
 

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I probably don't know what I'm talking about, but I read on another thread that it takes rescues many months to come around and even then it may not be what you expect. I am by no means saying Skye was abused, but if she was used for breeding I just don't think she has the capability to interact with you normally in this short time. Pam would probably know best, but I think you have a few more months of doing what your doing before you see any significant change. Don't give up. I so admire you for giving a loving home to a Chi that was used to breed and not socialized--she needs special love you are giving her!
 

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Hate to say it but in the broad spectrum of things... 3 months really isn't that much time. Some of our fosters in the past have taken nearly a year before adjusting. I mean, if she's 5 now she probably has only known one kind of life, for 5 years... and it might take years before she learns to handle anything differently.
And I might advise a little different approach. Instead of making her accept your hugs, cuddles, etc. just literally leave her be. It's tough initially as nobody wants to NOT interact with their pet; but often times those who've been poorly socialized really need to just learn to come around on their own time, on their own terms. Only reward her with special treats, etc. when SHE shows the initiative to come near you. Eventually yes, she will grow accustomed to your presence. And from there she will grow to LOVE it. Right now though, if after 3 months the approach you've been taking isn't doing much good; I would just step back and see how she does when you stop initiating any contact with her. When the treats suddenly aren't just passed out to her; but instead she has to learn to be brave and come close if she wants to be rewarded with them. When you're just walking about doing your daily business, and you happen to pass her; keep some super yummy treats in your pocket so that you can just casually drop them by her. But no eye contact; no reaching toward her, nothing that she might feel threatened by. You want her only to associate your existence, with a yummy reward. This will help reinforce that you are NOT something that should cause anxiety... it's possible that all of your efforts prior have only reinforced her worry; because "whether she likes it or not" she has to endure hugs, or walks that you mentioned she doesn't like... so she may be associating you with just general unpleasantness now which may be why she isn't going out of her way to interact. Once she realizes that she only gets the goodies when you walk by; or if she approaches you at ALL, always reward! Reward the good behavior... and IGNORE everything else. Good luck!
 

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hi oh my she has no idea how to be loved yet please give her all the time she needs and you are such a good person haveing lots of patience and hope
 

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This poor baby is traumatized and it's going to take time. Just like with people, every dog is different as too how much time it's actually going to take. I know it's frustrating when you want to start enjoying life with her, but try to put yourself in her shoes in what she has been thru probably from birth. She has no idea what you're trying to do, but she'll start to understand & like it. If you're getting frustrated because it's taking too long, she can sense this which may make her keep pulling away from you. Just talk softly to her, lay on the floor & let her come to by calling her gently. Don't force her to do anything. She'll will in her own time.
 

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Bianca has been with me for almost 12 yrs and has always been nervous and skiddish. I think she was a producted of a puppy mill. I brought a new dog home two yrs ago and moved to a new home within a few months. That didn't help, but when it was just her and I outside she was great! In the last month or so she has ventured out and not stayed in her cage all day. Gone upstairs and layed with me to watch the AM news. Plus for her toys were never interesting. Chewies and zoomies outside she loves!
Don't give up. Let her settle in more.
 

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Mimi was rescued from an abusive home and she is five yrs old also
and I got her in October of last year.

The main thing I did when I first brought her home was to just let her
be. When she first came home she would hide in a little blanket in the
corner of my living room, and I just let her do her own thing. I would
talk to her when I was in the living room so that she got used to my
voice but other than feedings and bathroom I left her alone.

She started coming around slowly, now she is my little shadow,
and everyday she is starting to do something new. She still does
not know how to play with toys, and she still doesn't really come
when called all that well.

You obviously love Sky a lot, don't get frustrated, it's going to
take time. Don't beat yourself up, just relax and let her go at her
own pace, that's going to help her more than anything.

Much love to you for rescuing her from that breeder :love2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the great replies, im welling up just now as i want to do good by her, hate seeing her so scared, really hope she changes. Will heed the advice although it will be hard not trying to hug her...i will miss that.

I bought her a new bed that she loves a couple of weeks ago, although it is shaped like an igloo so once she is in there, she doesnt have to see anyone or anything. Will this bed just reinforce her negativity?
 

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See I think of the igloo as a double edged sword.

In a non-abused chi I would say the igloo is a great idea But in a dog you are trying to socialise I think it would give her reason to hide and not push her forward. My advice would be to remove the bed and replace it will a comfy bed that's not closed in. You don't want to give her another safety net, you want to push her always, not shove just a gentle nudge and that bed I think won't let her move forward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I know that sounds right but she loves this bed and i dont know if i have the heart to remove it :-(
 

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Lacey came to me about a little over a month ago, with similar behavior. She'd never been bred, but she did come from a breeder who didn't have much time for her "non-breeders". She also had no idea what any of the basic commands were, and she'd never been on a leash or worn a harness or collar.
While Lacey trusted her breeder-mum, she didn't trust anyone else. I, too, gave her an igloo bed. At first, I would only let her go in there as a reward. In order to have her igloo, she had to interact with me in some way. She'd either need to let me pet her, take a treat from me, or come to me. In the first couple weeks, she'd get to have her bed just for looking at me without running away. I found the more I ignored her, the more she wanted my attention. When she learned she was stuck with me, she learned I was her "alpha" and she needed to pay attention TO ME in order to get attention FROM ME.
She's now a very loving dog with me, though she is still pretty cautious. She's gone for a few walks outside with me, no longer caring about the harness/leash. We took baby steps, and I only pushed her as much as she was willing to be pushed. She's learned "come", "sit", and is working on "down" and "wait".
Once Skye trusts you and understands you have the best in mind for her, you'll be golden. I've actually gotten to the point where I can take Lacey to the pet store with me and she'll accept attention from strangers (though not always happily) without running away. It takes some dogs more time, but just be as patient as possible with her. I lucked out with Lacey and the breakthroughs we've had. I know how frustrating it is to see a cute little Chi and not be able to get near it! Hang in there, hun. ;)
 

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U already got such great advice. I, too, think you should back way off. Give her space. Over time she will learn to trust and respect u. And want to be with u. Shell come around. And just think how nice it will be when she comes to u cause she WANTS to!
Sadly, she'll probably never want to play with toys.

I have no advice about the bed.....
 

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Just a thought. U may not be able but what about getting another chi? One that acts like a chi and could "teach" her to be a dog instead of just a breeder.
 

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Try taking her in the bathroom with you when you get a bath. Bathrooms are usually smaller she would have her space and be confident and you would be in the tub just talking nicely to her not making any advances & there aren't too many animals that won't try to sneak in a lickie-loo on a fresh out of the water leg and foot. I personally am not a fan of the lickie-loo so I discourage mine from doing it ~ so I say Ri no lickie-loo, but we have great talks while I am getting a bath ~ she loves the feel of the bath mat on her belly. Every single new to the home dog we have had has loved the bathroom rugs, loved to sneak in a quick lick on my legs after getting out of the tub and it's not for lack of them having water. It's just something ours always seem to do. If you put her in the bathroom with you and just talked real nicely to her while you were bathing each in your own space, she could enjoy the comfort of the bathmat & it might start a little something.

Just a thought as I know it has to be breaking your heart that she isn't reciprocating yet, she will though, it's just hard to trust initially.
 

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Skye may feel safe in the igloo--I would let her enjoy it. She's not being negative--she's just adjusting, and you are wonderful to rescue her. I am a rescue person and I agree with the advice to leave her be. Just talk to her, be good company, but don't force anything. She will come around, but she may never be the lovebug we all want in our Chis. My Katy was a caged breeder for 2 years--she is such a sweetheart, but she does not want to be in my lap, cuddle, etc. She comes up to "check in" with me, which over the months became check in and smooch, and then she scampers away. I have grown to love her for what she can give rather than what she can't.
 

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I personally would not take her igloo away from her. I see it as
something that makes her feel safe which is the best thing to
help her trust her surroundings and make her more confident.
 

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I hope she warms up soon. I have a Cat I adopted as a 10 week old kitten from our local animal control shelter that is very shy and skittish still is after 2 years but she will come to me for pets and love but everyone else in the house she just freezes and shakes when they touch her. I can pick her up and she shakes still but tolerates it with out freaking out and scratching the crap out of me lol. I have no idea why she is this way I assume she was badly treated as a kitten or not around people but i thought because she was so young she would come out of it but I guess sometimes things that happen that we do not know about lives on with them.
 
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