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Hi Everyone,

I just adopted a rescue chihuahua who was pretty severely abused by his last owner - two broken legs and almost starved to death. He is sweet, kind, loving, perfectly house broken, and just cute as heck. I signed on here to get advice, the most important being:

1) WALKING. He will walk and follow me perfectly if he isn't on a leash. The minute he goes on the leash he will move a tiny bit then stop frozen and refuse to move. I've tried calling out to him sweetly, gentle tugs, and treats. He is completely used to the harness, stays in it all day when he come to work with me, so the problem is something else and I can't figure it out.

2) EATING. The rescue was feeding him boiled chicken and mashed potatoes, etc. to fatten him up. He is a food diva! He'll eat boiled boneless chicken thighs and a small bit of puppy chow. Otherwise I've tried everything else - Stella and Chewy's, several flavors or Merricks, Natural Balance. Any advice?

3) HUMPING. haha. Part of his last owner's neglect was not getting him fixed. He can't be neutered now until he regains some weight. In the meantime, he has taken to trying to hump my arm around dinner time in the evening. I, of course, pull him off and give him a firm 'no.' Wondering if anyone has advice how to handle this situation. My female dog did this, too, when I got her. One VERY stern no stopped the behavior permanently.

I had a female chihuahua just pass away at the age of 21. She had her own set of behaviors. So I want to make sure to help him learn to walk and eat better the correct way.
 

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Thank you so much for rescuing. I don't have any specific advice but do look forward to photos and updates.
 

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Poor little guy. Thank you for rescuing him. As for the walking, I would wait him out. Bring a book or talk on the phone or whatever to pass the time and wait him out. Eventually, he wil get bored and start to wander, then praise like heck. As soon as he stops, wait again. Eventually he will figure out just standing there is boring and gets him no attention or anything. As for the eating, I know he's underweight and your nervous about it, but I would free feed. Fill the bowl with whatever kibble you want and that's it. I had a few skinny rescued food divas here and I ignored them and they learned to eat what was in the bowl and they all gained weight. Best of luck with this little guy. Is he still in casts?
 

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Thank you so much for rescuing a precious Chi! You won't regret it :)

As far as walking on a lead, maybe he has had bad experiences regarding leads. It may just take some time to adjust. I'd do as Pam suggested and wait him out.

Food-wise, I would maybe start by mixing some chicken in the a high quality kibble. At first, just add a little bit of kibble and slowly add more and decrease the chicken. Eventually, you will end up with just kibble. Another suggestion is to go with what Pam said again, free feed until he adjusts.

Just keep a firm "no" when he tries the humping behavior. Once he gets neutered, hopefully it will stop. Otherwise, its a dominance issue but you should definitely get him neutered as soon as he is healthy enough.

Someone else may have better advice, but there's my two cents.
 

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Oh what a special and lucky little boy. You should put up some progress pics so we can enjoy his road to recovery with you!

You could try him on some ZiwiPeak, that'll stack the weight on him in the healthiest possible way.
 

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Oh I just don't understand how people can be so so cruel. People that do these things to animals should have exactly the same thing done to them maybe then they would have second thought on doing these horrendous things to an other animal. I would love to see some pics of him when you get a chance. What is his name? I think the suggestion on free feeding is a good one I free feed my dogs and none are over weight or under weight they eat when they are hungry which is usually 2 meals a day. They eat a small meal in the morning and than their large meal in the evening and they don't over eat. I've been free feeding my dogs since I left home and got my very first dog and that was many years ago and I've never had an over weight or under weight do because of it. Thank you so much for giving this boy a new chance to have a wonderful life.
 

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Welcome! thank you so much for taking this baby in! 2 months ago I too adopted an abused chi, shes a year old and had a broken rib that didnt receive medical attention and healed wrong plus she was an outside dog. Shes 4 pounds and afraid of men and other things. Its so awful! But Its so nice to see people take them in and love them :) As for food, I feed a raw diet but I would suggest trying ZiwiPeak or The Honest kitchen. If you email the companies and explain they hes a picky eater and a rescue, they will send you samples he can try.
 

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I second AussieLass - ZiwiPeak worked for my fussy eater.

I took the fake it till you make it approach to walking. I just dragged my poor little pups up and down my loungeroom like they were walking like champs until finally they would walk in their harnesses. Then went to the driveway and repeated, then the street. Only took a week or so.

Good luck and hugs for giving this guy a second chance.
 

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Congrats on rescuing. I have no advice on feeding walking etc. I just do not understand why some people can be so cruel to a living thing. Kudos to you for giving him a good home :)
 

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awwww...so sad that he was abused. My baby came from a breeder/puppy mill and when she would no longer care for her litter, she was useless to them. I can relate to someone who rescued something so precious that just wants to be loved. Well at least yours walks on a leash. My lil one just stand frozen on the leash for the most part. My first Chi..used to have 5 mini dachshunds though...all just like my children. Just joined today so I am so glad I saw your message. Best of luck!!
 

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Thank you for rescuing!! Have you looked into feed raw? My little one was picky too (supposedly) but she went on raw with ease. :)
 
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