Scary chihuahua

Just bought a chihuahua puppy , he is 16 weeks old. Breeder says she didn’t handle him much. He will not come to me. I get down on his level and wait for him to come, with my hand extended, talking in a gentle tone, but he won’t. Runs away from me very skiddish. I feel I scare him when I reach for him. Should he have been handled more by this age? His tail and head are always down, and he is shaking fearfully. I try to comfort him by gently petting him, scratching his chest and neck. When I hold him, he looks away. What should I do? I have had the puppy for approximately 3 days. I hold Charlie and pet him, I also allow him time to himself. I realize he is scared but, he is not warming up to me. I get down to his level, hold out a piece of his food or a treat and he will not come, just shakes, his ears go down, holds head down and tucks tail. I have been reading that chihuahua’s are skiddish but how long do they take to warm up to their owners?

Answer #1

I have had Chihuahua’s right out of a kennel that have never been handle much. My youngest was 7 months and not very socialized. 4 months is not too old for this little one to be ruined 7 months and 1 year wasn’t for mine. Over 2 is very hard to work (but that is another story)

Does he have a crate to go to feel safe? If so I would start with it and the leash that Phrannie is talking about. I would always act normal around you Chi. Keep him in the crate for security when you have not holding or working with him. Why, because that is what he lived in for the last 4 months and it will feel secure to him until you can over come his fears.

I don’t see if you have other dogs to help him adjust. But I think you are doing a wonderful job. The only thing you need is time and a place for this pup to feel some alone and secure time when you give him alone time.

I had 3 from a kennel and the youngest was 7 months old, I learned a lot from them.

Answer #2

This little guy needs lots of time…lots of kind and patient handling…3 days wouldn’t be enough for even just a shy dog…This little guy doens’t know anything about anything. Give him two weeks to BEGIN to see changes in his behavior…never lose patience with him. I think for housetraining, that it should be very passive for him…in other words, if he goes where he shouldn’t…don’t say “no no”…just clean up, and try to “beat him to the punch” by getting him out before he goes…until there is a trust base.

His turning his head is “avoidance”…and that comes from fear…if he was “terrified” he’d probably bite and fight to get away…but his avoidance behavior says to me that with lots of love and patience, he will come around. It may take a month or two for him to become a “regular” dog…but it will happen, because he’s so young.

You might try leaving a “tag” on him…that’s a nylong leash, cut off to 2 or 3 feet, so you can us it to encourage him to come to you when you ask…just little tugs, and a treat when he gets there…


Answer #3

I am with Prannie, and don’t sweet talk him when he is shaking and not coming to you, that is encourging that type of behaviour. You are right this puppy should have been handled as a very young puppy and should have been with his mother up until atleast 8 weeks of age, their parents do teach them a lot of wonderful social skills. don’t give up. it will take time, Keep readying up on training and get him on a good routine, don’t be afraid to introduce him to new people and sounds now. He must come out of his shell to live a happy life. If you truly don’t feel this is a good match for you then taken him back to the breeder. I am sure with some more time and doing the leash trick that Phrannie told you about and using treats this litlle guy will come around. Best of luck

Answer #4

Thank you! In addition to the initial question here is a little more info that may shed some light on the situation. I’m a travel nurse and have a toy poodle that I got 2 years ago from another nurse. He was very socialized when I got him and I actually bought this dog as a “buddy” for him, but now I’m having second thoughts. I’m very concerned that he won’t warm up to me as my other dog is very loving and was not scared of me. I realized that he would be a bit traumatized initially, so I got the nutri paste and am trying to be very kind and gentle but he runs away. I thought that if he saw repeatedly that I was feeding him and loving on him that he would feel more comfortable establishing a bond with me. I’m concerned that he may become aggressive. Another concern of mine is that if he is having a difficult time warming up to me, training is going to be very challenging. I have read that it is very crucial for a chi to be socialized early and that they should remain with there mother to learn pertinent life skills, I’m doubting that either happened. I’m also feeling that maybe I should return him to the breeder. It’s not that I don’t care for Charlie (he’s adorable), but I was not anticipating a new puppy being so fearful of me either.

Answer #5

the breeder you bought your chihuahua from doesnt sound very legtimate. I adopted four chihuahuas and they were never scared of me at all. that breeder needs to take better care of the dogs, or else if they are realy bad they need to be shut down.

give your new puppy some time. that is the best thing you can do. at this website here–> there is some info on how chihuahuas adjust to their new homes and how to help them get used to you. its an adoption site but it should be helpful all the same. I belong to a chihuahua group so I will get even more info and get back to you :)

Answer #6

Sounds like you bought the puppy from a backyard breeder who doesn’t really care much about the puppies, but more about the money.

A responsible breeder will socialize a puppy from birth and expose it to a lot of TLC and experiences, so that it will adjust easily (or reasonably) to new conditions and people when it goes to a new family.

It’s gonna take a lot of time and patience to get this puppy to warm up to you. I’ll get the members from our dog group here to come in and give you some advice :)

Answer #7

time, give it time. Sooner or later he’ll learn you are there to help him and not hurt him.

Answer #8

All Chihuahuas are like that when you first get them. When we first got ours, he wouldn’t come to us at all. It seemed like he didn’t like us. After a couple of weeks, he decided he did like us.

You’ve only had your dog for 3 days. Give him some more time. Chihuahuas are TINY. So to them, you’re HUGE. He’s just not sure that you’re safe yet. They’re naturally very jumpy. Even though we’ve had ours for almost 10 years, he still runs away from us at times.

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