How to Bond with a Chihuahua
Chihuahuas are extremely loyal dogs that form intense bonds with their owners. These bonds are so strong that Chihuahuas will jealously guard their owners against other people and dogs, including the owner’s family members and other pets. In order to bond with your Chihuahua, you will need to care for it properly in order to foster a strong relationship. If you have a new dog, you can begin the bonding process as soon as you bring the dog home by making your home a safe and inviting environment. Finally, in order to ensure that the bond is strong, you will want to maintain a healthy relationship with your Chihuahua by establishing healthy boundaries.
Fostering a Strong Bond
1. Keep your Chihuahua close.
Chihuahua’s are extremely territorial of their owners and love being around them. They like nothing more than to snuggle up in your lap and nap. Indulge your pets desire to snuggle and keep your Chihuahua close. This will only intensify your dog’s already strong bond.
- Consider carrying your Chihuahua in a carrier designed for small dogs.
- Hold your Chihuahua in your lap and pet it while you watch TV.
Feed your dog. One of the easiest ways to establish a bond with any dog is by feeding it. Establishing routine feeding times will help keep your Chihuahua’s anxiety levels down, helping it feel more comfortable with you. Feeding your dog also creates a positive association between you and your Chihuahua’s food.
- Avoid leaving the food in the bowl all day. Instead, give the dog its food at mealtime. You want your dog’s positive association with feedings to be with you and not the bowl.
- Because Chihuahuas can develop such intense bonds with one person, make sure that you are the one feeding the dog. If someone else is feeding it, your Chihuahua may end up bonding with them.
- Command your Chihuahua to sit and stay before you set its food bowl down in front of it. Also, make it wait for your command before it starts eating. This will establish and reinforce some rules for good behavior.
- Giving your dog a treat every now and then will also strengthen its affection towards you.
3. Groom and pet your dog.
Regularly petting and grooming your Chihuahua causes its body to release hormones that make it less anxious. This will also strengthen its bond with you. Stroke your dog’s fur while it sits in your lap. If you have a long-haired Chihuahua, give its coat a regular brushing. The more that you touch your Chihuahua, the closer its bond with you will be.
- Washing your Chihuahua and clipping its nails will also help strengthen your bond.
- Because they tend to only bond with one person, you should groom your dog and avoid hiring someone else to do it. Your Chihuahua may react negatively to someone else.
4. Train your dog.
Training is a great way to build a bond between you and your Chihuahua. You will spend more time together. You will also give it encouragement and the occasional treat. All of these things will build a sense of teamwork and strengthen the bond between you and your dog.
- Rewarding your dog with treats will reinforce good behavior and create a positive association between you and treats.
- Maintain an even and warm tone during training. Getting frustrated and yelling at your dog will frighten your Chihuahua and make it anxious around you.
- Without training, Chihuahuas can develop mean tendencies, such as growling and snapping. Be persistent in your training to ensure that your Chihuahua is enjoyable to be around.
- Chihuahuas can be difficult to train. You may want to work with a trainer. However, you will need to be present and conduct much of the training to ensure that your dog bonds with you.
5. Play with your Chihuahua.
In general, playing with your dog is one of the best ways to build a strong bond between an owner and their pet. You can play fetch, hide-and-seek, tug-of-war and other games with your dog. As you do more things that it enjoys, your Chihuahua will develop a positive association between you and having fun.
- Try to avoid roughhousing with your Chihuahua. They are delicate dogs that can be easily injured.
- If you take your Chihuahua on a walk, only go a short distance. Chihuahuas exert their energy in short bursts and do not have the stamina for long walks.
Helping a New Dog Feel Comfortable
1. Keep things relaxed.
Whether you are bringing home a puppy or a rescue dog, the first thing you will need to do is create a safe space for your Chihuahua. The new dog will be very anxious about its new environment. You can make its transition smoother by keeping your home quiet and relaxed. Once your Chihuahua has settled in, you can begin building a bond between the two of you.
- Initially, keep your new Chihuahua away from any other pets you may have.
- Ask your family members or roommates to be quite while the new dog adjusts.
2. Let your new Chihuahua explore.
Once your dog has settled in, let it investigate its new surroundings. Your new Chihuahua will want to explore and familiarize itself with its new home. By allowing your new dog to explore, you are helping it feel more relaxed and safe in your home. This is particularly important for Chihuahuas who tend to prefer indoor staying indoors. Through exploration, your dog will relax and get to know your scents, facilitating the bonding process.
- Do not leave the dog locked up in a room. This will increase its anxiety and make it more fearful of you, limiting your ability to bond with it.
3. Be careful when socializing your Chihuahua.
If you have family members or other dogs, you will want to be very careful when it comes to socializing your Chihuahua. Because they form such intense bonds with only one of their owners, Chihuahuas are territorial and aggressive towards anyone or anything that is not that person. Initially, you will want to limit your new dog’s interaction with your family and any other dogs.
- Socializing a young Chihuahua will help it be less territorial. However, an adopted or rescue dog may not have been properly socialized and have behavioral problems.
- A Chihuahua’s territorial nature can be extremely problematic around other dogs. Chihuahuas often pick fights with much bigger dogs and, because of their small frame, they tend to get badly injured.
- Unfortunately, because Chihuahuas are so territorial of their owner, your dog may never be friendly to your family members or any other dogs. Be sure to consider this before bringing home a Chihuahua.
4. Begin your Chihuahua’s routine.
It is important that you start your dog’s feeding and exercise routine immediately. This will help it relax and acclimate to its new home. Feeding and play are also two of the main ways in which you can build your relationship with your dog. By starting a feeding and play routine immediately, you are getting on the fast track to bonding with your Chihuahua.
- Establishing a regular feeding routine is particularly important since this is the best way to bond with your Chihuahua.
Building a Healthy Relationship with Your Chihuahua
1. Establish your alpha status.
Be sure to establish that you are the alpha in the pack. Dogs are pack animals and feel secure when they understand the household’s hierarchy. In order to create a healthy bonding situation between you and your dog, you will need to establish the proper hierarchy between you and your dog.
- Demonstrate to your dog that you control its food. If your Chihuahua is being possessive of its food, take away its bowl and then return it later. This will demonstrate that you are in charge.
- When you walk your dog, you should also make sure that you do not let the dog lead or tug on the leash. Instead, you should lead the dog or allow it to walk beside you. If you have difficulties with controlling your Chihuahua while walking it, try using a head collar to help minimize your chihuahua’s ability to pull on the leash.
2. Speak in a calm tone.
When you interact with your Chihuahua, stay calm and speak to them in a warm and positive manner. Remember that dogs cannot understand the words you say. However, they do understand your tone and speaking with a friendly tone will increase their affinity towards you.
- Remember to keep a calm and warm tone even if your dog misbehaves. Yelling at your dog will only make it fearful of you.
3. Use positive reinforcement.
Rewarding your dog for good behavior is a great way to build the bond between you and your Chihuahua. By giving your dog praise and a treat when it does well, your dog will develop a positive association between you and getting a reward. This will also help you properly train your dog.