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Hi folks! Been busy the last few weeks, not really having a good time with things. Anyway, I am finding myself running into the wall with Sugar lately! As I've been getting busy and having more things to be leaving the house for, (as a stay at home mom that's not easy to do!) she's been showing herself to be increasingly dependent on me. I love the sweet, cuddly lapdog in her but sometimes she is overwhelming.

She will poo and pee as soon as I leave even if I just took her out and that includes taking a bath, shower, and when I ask her to come in with me she always backs out. If I make her go into the bathroom with me she still whines cuz I have the shower curtain closed. She literally follows me everywhere, she can't just sit on the couch if I get up and go ten paces into the kitchen she has to follow me, and even I have to corner her or sit on the couch and have her come to me before she'll let me hook her to go outside. She's gotta know what it all means by now, I keep her on a pretty good schedule. She even hops the baby gate, I've tried penning her up in the kitchen when we leave and she always gets out. I had her in there earlier when I had a client over for portraits, I'm right next to her anyway she can see me but she whines. I don't get why. I do still plan to get her a crate and that will solve the getting out/potty problem but will she just whine herself sick or something??

Her skiddishness hasn't been an issue till lately either, she's SO SCARED of everything! It gets hard sometimes when she's on the leash and she tangles herself up into things like our baby swing. I hardly ever see that cute little tail of hers she's always got it tucked in! =(


I just had no idea it was going to turn into this, and I'm upset thinking I haven't done something right enough and the thought of her coming from a bad beginning which is what it looks like makes me sad for her. I hate that she's so scared, I have never beat her or given her reason to be afraid and neither has my husband. Will she ever settle in and become a more relaxed dog?? She's already 5 though, it doesn't seem likely. Nobody seems to think you can teach an old dog new tricks.
 

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Sorry to hear you're having a hard time :(
I don't really have any advice but as far as teaching an old dog new tricks..I believe you can. I mean if you have ever watched "the dog whisperer" you know that any dog can be helped. So have faith and i'm sure plenty of people on here will have some ideas. I will try to do some reading online and see if i can come up with any ideas.
Well one thing, you could give her a really special toy like a stuffed kong or something really fun for her while you are busy and hopefully maybe that would distract her somewhat.
Keep us posted! :D
 

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My dogs are like that, too. They want to be with me all the time. If I leave them behind the gate even to go to the bathroom, Reggie and Tico will whine and bark. Sometimes they will get all the others going, too. Reggie is very, very vocal, always 'talking' to me and whining and barking to get my attention. He is between 4 and 5 years old and I only have had him since February. It doesn't bother me that much, but I can see how to can get on some people's nerves. It's just his personality, he is a talker. Actually, I think it's kinda cute. Sorry I have no information on how to stop this behavior.
 

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Exercise, exercise, exercise!!!

My ChiChi was like this for a while after he was attacked by a GSD last summer.

I have earned his trust back with hour long, structured walks and plenty of mental stimulation ie training. Use a clicker as it makes things a million times easier on everybody. They really pick up fast with the clicker training.

He can sit and lay down on cue! He can now walk by anything with me outside without hesitation. Even just today some crazy JRT mix that was chained outside someones front door went ballistic and he just merely looked at him and kept on trucking with me!

He also gets 'poked'(dog whisperer technique) every now and then, but those are very few and far between as he is very responsive to a verbal reprimand(tcchh!) with a snap of the fingers!

Best of luck and I hope others can chime in with their own advise and experience.
 

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I really can't offer very much advice either as a lot of times these are matters that are easier to understand when seen first hand, but I absolutely know with a lot of patience and love you can teach an old dog new tricks. I got both of my little ones at ages 2 and 3 and they had zero training, but they have come so far and are just absolutely wonderful pups. So I know it can be done. :)

I agree about exercise. I think some issues are born out of simple boredom and also a lack of structure. Dogs thrive on exercise, structure, and routine. Structure/routine gives them stability and makes them feel secure. Whatever methods you use, be consistent. Try and develop good routines with her and stick closely to them so she knows what to expect, that will help her feel more secure and less anxious.

I'm a big fan of positive dog training and the methods used by dog behaviorists and trainers Jean Donaldson and Pat Miller. They teach positive reinforcement over coercion or force. If you want to look into their methods they have some great books that have helped me a lot over the years. They really help you to understand the way dogs think. I'm sorry things are difficult now, but don't worry or give up hope. You definitely can teach an old dog new tricks. :)
 

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i have similar problems with my ninja he's so obsessed with me he used to jump into the shower with me lol he has such bad anxiety because i babied him too much.

I started making him do things independently let him cry at the bathroom door and turrned a shower radio on to tune him out now he waits quietly in my bed for me, since yours goes to the bathroom u should crate her.

I take him to the park everyday when the weather permits exercise really is key like what was mentioned above. Maybe you can walk sugar for 30 mins prior to ur clients coming over so by the time they get there she is tired out. even throwing a ball around the yard if she likes it or playing with other dogs can tire them out. Walking is the best thing though. it gives them more confidence and gets them used to the sounds of the world.

I couldn't ever go out before because he would be so devastated and scream all night, i can leave him for a week now with my mom and go on vacation. you just have to keep working with them they definitely can change, I've seen the results with my little guy. You have to be firm but relaxed when talking to them. You should buy some cesar milan books, I have one and it is great.
 

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Exercise, exercise, exercise!!!

My ChiChi was like this for a while after he was attacked by a GSD last summer.

I have earned his trust back with hour long, structured walks and plenty of mental stimulation ie training. Use a clicker as it makes things a million times easier on everybody. They really pick up fast with the clicker training.

He can sit and lay down on cue! He can now walk by anything with me outside without hesitation. Even just today some crazy JRT mix that was chained outside someones front door went ballistic and he just merely looked at him and kept on trucking with me!

He also gets 'poked'(dog whisperer technique) every now and then, but those are very few and far between as he is very responsive to a verbal reprimand(tcchh!) with a snap of the fingers!

Best of luck and I hope others can chime in with their own advise and experience.

YES YES YES :D Never tried clicker training but YES YES YES YES so agree.. I exercise Daisy daily she gets free run around time off lead and structured walks on lead.. She also gets verbally reprimanded and Poked if she needs it!! Which isn't oftenh!!
 

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Sugar is in her what, 3rd or 4th home in 5 years? That's a lot. There's also a big difference in how she was cared for in the other place and how she is homed at yours. It's a huge life change. Some of this is normal Chi behavior....amplified. It's typical for them to follow you from room to room, even if they can see you. They want to be with their people. However, I wouldn't rule out seperation anxiety to some degree based on her past. If she has a skittish, timid personality to start with, it's just been compounded with all the bouncing around she's done. It can take 4-6 months to see the true personality of a rescue and I'd approach this the same way. You need to work on her daily structure, do some basic obedience with her every day so she's getting one on one bonding time and learning to trust you, and keep the stress level in the home down. Dogs feel it, so if you're stressing over her behavior, the move, etc., it will cause her behavior to get worse. Definately get the crate. Don't put it off. I have no doubt in my mind that as a brood bitch, she's used to being crated. It will not only help with the house soiling, but given time, will provide her a sense of safety and protection. Dogs are den animals by nature. She needs her own space. I don't understand how she's getting all tangled up in the furniture with her leash. Is this when she's going in/out? Or do you have a leash on her all the time in the house to "catch" her? If that's the case, please get a short 2 foot lead so that she's not getting caught up with everything yet you still have a means to get her. That's scary in itself. Imagine how she feels when everything "grabs" her. Yes, you can teach old dogs new tricks but she may never be Miss Social Butterfly. She should get comfortable enough in your home to have her tail up though. That's so sad that she's feeling that badly still. Keep working with her. I know it's time consuming, especially right now, but she has to have it every single day or her behavior is going to get worse instead of better.
 

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This made me think of an episode of 'Its Me Or The Dog' recently where a pair of dogs would soil the house as soon as the owners left. VS said they were whining and pooing coz they felt in charge and when the owner left it was like the puppy went out alone and the dog couldnt follow. So it panicked, whined and created a big smell to draw the pup home.
It may help to back off abit, dont greet when you come home, occassionally shut her on the other side of a door and then come back again and make sure things (fuss, play,etc) happen on your terms not hers.
Course that might not apply to you, its just a thought!:)
 

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Chico follows me everywhere too.... but doesn't do the whining thing....
when I need alittle 'me' time ... I have found that peanut butter spread inside of hooves work wonders for about an hour:)
hooves: http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3200130
(except the 'stuffed goodies' are gone from the hoof)...spread PB on the inside of the hoof(where the stuffed goody used to be)..... takes him awhile to lick it clean :)
 

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BTW, my last Chi (TITO) would chew or claw my door when I left..... he also would howl... VET told me that I was the cause and to change my habits. I was hugging, kissing, cuddling him and talking to him right before I left and that was making him anxious... once I stopped all that and just left.... he stopped his bad habits...
 

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I jsut read that she has been in 3-4 home sin 5 years, no wonder she is scared and worried. She is so used to jsut getting to know people and surroundings then she is moved again.

No wonder she lacks confidence and is so emtionally stressed, it sounds to me that she needs reassurance. This poor dog is so scared of being abandoned that it is no wonder she cries for you.

You do have a lot of work on your hands as seperation anxiety is deep ingrained.

Personnally I don't hink I would crate her as this could increase her worries of being taken away from the person she seeks comfort from.

What would I do, well I'd have her with me 24/7 or as much as I could, when I took a shower or a bath I'd let her come to the room and if she started crying I'd ignore her. In fact I'd ignore the cries all of the time (unless she'd genuinley been hurt or something).

In otherwords I would try to teach her that crying does not get a reaction.

I guess I am lucky that I can spend the majority of my time with Jake, I am unsure of you daily schedule. If she was my dog I would let her be with me as much as possible.

She sounds like a scared little girl with a lot of worries, its good she has a caring mummy but it is gonna take a lot of time and effort before she trusts that she is not gonna be moved.

That tail will come up and a nice more confident dog will come out.
 

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Exercise, exercise, exercise!!!



I have earned his trust back with hour long, structured walks and plenty of mental stimulation ie training. Use a clicker as it makes things a million times easier on everybody. They really pick up fast with the clicker training.
I find the clicker helps alot with behaviour, before it i found bella was unsure what she was treeated for or exactly what i wanted her to do but with the clicker she totally gets things.

I haven't tried it for problem behaviours but just normal training.
 

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Might be worth getting a behaviourist to visit and tell you what her problem is. We have mentioned 2 approaches here,1. back off and 2. give attention.
If you pick the wrong one you could make her a hundred times worse.:(
 

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I jsut read that she has been in 3-4 home sin 5 years, no wonder she is scared and worried. She is so used to jsut getting to know people and surroundings then she is moved again. No wonder she lacks confidence and is so emtionally stressed, it sounds to me that she needs reassurance. This poor dog is so scared of being abandoned that it is no wonder she cries for you. You do have a lot of work on your hands as seperation anxiety is deep ingrained.
Aw poor girl! :( I didn't know anything about Sugar's background, this explains a lot. Both of my little ones are rescues too and they really do need tons of patience/structure/routine and love for them to feel safe and secure again. Best of luck, YoQuiero. You'll get there. :)
 

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Honestly - Do NOT dwell on her past or feel sorry/negatively about what has happened.

It's the past for the reason and it will only help reinforce her behaviour.
You need to start being hopeful for the now!

Honestly a TIRED dog is a GOOD dog! Get her out on those long walks - make her heel as structured walks are MUCH more beneficially to them mentally. It's not only a work out for her body, but for her mind too!

Bring treats and a clicker with you if you must, but I would concentrate on basic obedience with the clicker inside your home first so she grasps the concept before trying to overwhelm her with all the distractions the outdoors offers.
 

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I'll look into the clicker. I haven't heard of it before. I don't know how many previous owners she had but I know it's not necessarily the cause of her behavior. Just because a dog sees many owners, doesn't mean it's going to act this way. My theory and the lady who I got her from believed she was in a puppy mill type of establishment. Whatever the case, she is like this now. Regardless of what it's from.

And I did state I keep her on a tight schedule. Everyday. I don't always have opportunity to walk her everyday though so I'm going to assume when she gets to go on walks more consistently that should help. I do make her heel though and I don't let her circle around me, she doesn't get much of the lead, that kinda thing. And she is a very lazy dog in general, she could sleep all day if she had the opportunity. But I'm not the dog whisperer so I'm doing the best I can.
 

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Wanted to say good luck!!

I would go the ignore/teach her to amuse herself route. I have a rescue chihuahua as well. Her crate has been invaluable. It's her personal space with nice blankets and a towel over the top so it's nice and den-like inside. I use it to give her and myself some downtime. Have you tried a nice stuffed kong for when you leave the house? Stuff it with something really, really awesome (I use yogurt, chicken broth, or peanut butter, etc) and freeze it so it will last longer; also makes it a nice summer treat. Only give it to her when you leave so she looks forward to you leaving so she can have her kong! Be matter-of-fact, no hugs or kisses or worry. I have a certain phrase I say when I'm leaving so the dogs know I'm going and that I'll be back and not to worry. I simply say "guard the house, I'll be right back" and calmly walk out the door. You can add in giving the kong and just leave.

I would also ignore the whining, annoying as it is.

I would not keep her with you 24/7. This is setting the dog up for a possible big trauma later. At some point you are going to need to leave her, whether for a vacation, health issues, or for her to spend some time at the vet's if she ever gets sick. If she's never been away from you and never learned that it's okay it's going to be horrible for her.

She needs to learn that you will leave but you'll always be back. It's going to take a while, months maybe, but I think she can and will learn that you won't leave her and will relax.
 

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I guess a lot of us have different views and not everyone is gonnna agreee on one system, I have Jake with me as much as possible and there is never any problems when he is left on his own.

I guess this is because from day one I have left him downstairs when I went to bed and at the time he was in a pen as he was being toilet trained. At first Jake would cry if I went into the kitchen and he was in the front room with the door closed but I just ignored him and after a few minutes he stopped. I do understand though that Jake has never had any trauma and so does not have the issues you do.

I think the suggestion made in an earlier post regards seeing a dog behaviourist is a good one. As they can then assess the dog and give advice and help accordingly.

Good luck on helping her

Deme
 
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