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I recently had a puppy come walking up to my yard sale. The family he was with just drove off without him. So of course, I decided to keep him. He seems very skittish, and after he does anything, even move, he looks at me like he's going to be in trouble. If I go to pet him, he finches like he thinks he's gonna be hit.
I can work on that though. My real concern is, when I give him a treat (what dog DOESN'T like treats?), he gets behind it, puts his nose on the ground, and pushes his nose towards the treat. The he pushes on the treat with his mouth, but refuses to eat it. I don't get it. My boyfriend thinks that maybe he got beat bad and has slight brain damage?? :( His right eye looks lazy also. I'm scared for my baby :confused:
 

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Thank you for taking him in.

It sounds like he was abused. He may be scared to do anything, including eat treats.

I would get him checked out by a vet ASAP to make sure he is okay physically. If he is, then it is behavioral and just needs lots of love and positive encouragement to learn that it is okay to act.
 

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I second Ashley. Get him to the vet asap. It's possible that he's just scared, or he could have problems with his teeth/mouth, etc. that would prevent him from eating. In the meantime, maybe try leaving a few different types of food out for him close to a place for him to feel safe and secure and he might try again.
 

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3 of my chis push their treats along with their nose when in their beds or in blankets, as though they're trying to nuzzle it into a hiding spot.

I would certainly take him to the vet for a check, get some worming suspension or tablet (depending on age) and have his teeth looked at. Between my 4 Chis I've had something like 22 teeth removed - they have a horrible and expensive habit of retaining their baby teeth and those teeth MUST come out for their health and safety down the track.
 

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First, thank you for answering! He is eating his food just fine. It's really hard food, so I don't think its a problem with his teeth/jaw. :/ I don't know what it is. I just hate to see him scared like this. :( And just a minute ago, he was sleeping and whining, so I tried to wake him up and it look like 5 or 6 times of shaking him for him to finally wake up.
 

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What a poor little darling; THANK YOU for taking him in! Are you for certain that the folks who drove off were whom he belonged to? My advice would first be to take him to the veterinarian for a checkup and also to check for a microchip. Some chihuahuas who simply weren't socialized well as puppies, can grow up to be fearful/timid/shy adults (not because they were ever beaten but just because everything is new to them, and very scary, since they didn't have proper exposure when younger.) So before falling too madly in love (hard though isn't it?!) I would do your due diligence and make sure he isn't a dog that escaped or even got stolen and later dumped. You can check Craigslist for Lost Dogs or even call your local animal control to see if a dog has been reported missing. Sad, but it DOES happen.

Plus, if you're already at the vets getting him scanned and it turns out he's not chipped, they can go ahead and give him a proper exam and everything at that time. That'll help determine if he seems to be suffering any damage; and they can give you advice on helping him adjust. Some dogs just aren't food motivated so they need a different approach. With shy dogs, the key is to let THEM come to YOU when they're comfortable. Don't make eye contact or make any direct advances toward him; all of those can be considered threatening and can make the situation even MORE scary (he doesn't know you're just trying to help.) So, just take things slowly with him, and allow him to come around on his own time. If you do find a treat he likes (few can resist little bits of chicken!) just sit around, and toss them in his direction (again, don't make direct eye contact.) You can talk softly if it doesn't startle him, too. Eventually he will get used to realizing that your presence means good, nummy things. I have helped rehabilitate a lot of shy/unsocialized dogs; so if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask! Thanks again for taking this guy in, hopefully nobody is missing him and he can finally be safe and happy with you!
 

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Kat brought up a good point - maybe they weren't his owners!

You probably don't know how old he is. If it takes that many shakes to wake him up, he could be a senior dog. My golden is 8yrs old and everyone, I mean everyone thinks she is about 2yrs old.

I also find that one treat they all love is freeze dried liver.

You are a good person to take care of him.
 

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Poor little guy. Glad you took him in regardless to how he wound up alone in your yard. Like others said, get him scanned for a chip and call shelters to report him found/see if anyone reported their dog missing.

When dogs are in deep sleep they are very hard to wake up. Most dogs will vocalize in their sleep too.
 

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