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Krisleigh 10-12-2012 11:42 AM

New Chihuahua Owner (needs help!)
Hi there! New to the Forum...

I am typically a large breed person- I have a Pit Bull, Lab/ Border Collie mix, and a full Border collie who is in training to be my new agility dog.

A friend of my partner recently asked us to take her 2 year old Chihuahua, thinking we could provide her with a better home than she could. I've never had a dog that weighs under 35 lbs! We took her in anyways- she was kept locked up 24/7 in a kitchen with a pee pad.

I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I was hoping that since she was a non-yappy, non-snappy chihuahua we could avoid the stereotypes and she could be my teacup agility dog. Now I'm starting to wonder.

She gets along ok with my other dogs. They don't mind her one bit, and she just tries to avoid them, preferring to stay on the couch rather than play with them. She is in shock at the moment I think. We keep dogs in kennels when we're not home, they have set feeding schedules, set walking schedules, etc. It's the only way a house with this many animals works. She's always been allowed to free feed, never been on a leash, never been out in public (petco, etc), never been made to walk on her own (i.e. not be carried everywhere), and never been socialized in any way. I'm wondering how well Chihuahua's adapt, will she eventually get used to the house rules and be okay with us? She acts scared of everything, shaking all the time. She yelps when walking on a leash because she's not used to even wearing a collar. She's hand shy and cowers when you go to pick her up. She seems constantly stressed. I definitely don't want to give her back to her owner, but I'm not sure about keeping a dog like this for the next 12-14 years. She's sweet and I've gotten attached, but I'm worried.

Any advice? Still trying to research the breed. Any info is greatly appreciated.

Bigboy 10-12-2012 01:45 PM

Hi Krisleigh and welcome abaord to Df! Glad you joined us :) Sounds like another dog that's had no direction in life (sad) So Kudos to you fro rescuing this dog (whats her name?) Even though she is 2 years old which is no age really! And she can be turned around with out a doubt through dedication and love and plenty of patience!!! Ok here's what I would do you already have schedules for your other dogs so this new addition shouldn't really be treated any different but let her settle in!

Iam sure you know how to potty train dogs so no need for me to say ditch the pads! Re leash training here's what I did attach a very light weightcollar on her and let her wander round the house with no intervention from you till she gets used to having one on her!
when she feels comfortable with wearing a collar then clip a light weight lead on her and again let her drag the lead around keep these sessions short for now 5-10 mins max when he feels comfortable wearing collar and lead then pick the lead up

and walk her around in side and try and introduce a sit command (she probably doesn't know any commands but you could try and see what reaction you get!) When she does start tpo accept the collar treat her by saying good girl and toss some small pieces of hotdog (these are high value treats and a member on here monkey swears by them!) on the floor when she's eat them again in a nice happy high pitched voice plenty of good girls I would normaly would say and give her some gentle petting but she is hand shy so not right now let her get used to you on 'her' terms how ever long it takes!!! Please don't give her back to her horrible owners Some people just shouldn't ever have a dog! Any way Good luck and please keep us updated! Thanks :)

Krisleigh 10-12-2012 04:38 PM

Thanks so much for the advice and encouragement!

She's quickly learned to go outside instead of using pee pads, but she does have occasional accidents because she's never had to hold it before. I've put her on a type of "puppy potty schedule" for that. She's sometimes scared to go outside in the dark though!

Working on leash training. She thinks I'm horrible since I'm the one making all the changes and trying to get her to co-operate. I've been doing clicker training with her, but she shows only mild interest. She's never had any sort of training before and doesn't even know sit. She likes my partner the most, since he comes home and loves on her and doesn't work with her or anything. Sometimes she yelps when I pick her up and I have no idea why (I don't think because of an injury, just scared).

She's not fixed, hasn't had her nails trimmed in a long time, has scabs on her from fleas, two cherry eyes that have been left untreated for over a year, and has been on a very poor diet.

Her name is Chloe, but it's clear her name hasn't been used with any sort of purpose. I'm afraid it has negative connotations and would be better to change it.

Name ideas are welcome!!

techie 10-12-2012 04:49 PM

Welcome to df Kris! Bb gave you some excellent advice. I am drawing a blank at the moment on names maybe something will come to you as you work with her. I agree changing it would be better so it will only have good connotations with it as you buy a lot of hot dogs. :D

DeeLind7 10-12-2012 08:18 PM

Kris, welcome to the Forum! first, kudos to you for taking in Chloe. It sounds to me like she really needed a good home. There is no reason why she can't be your teacup agility dog either. Avoid the sterotypes of Chi's and you'll be fine. A dog is a dog, reguardless of size. I am also a medium/large breed person, but I did take in a long hair chi. His name is Scooter. I read a few books, and the books were wrong. Both said that Chi's hate cold weather, rain, and are difficult to potty train. Both books suggested wee wee pads. Well, if I don't allow my large dogs to go in the house, I'm not letting a small one go either. Do yourself a favor, and just raise her like you have raised your other dogs. Scooter is not a yappy snappy dog either. He was raised with 2 Collies. I will say, that Chi's do not do well with large breed dogs unless they are well socialized at an early age, or are raised around them. Mine does not like to be picked up. Of course neither does my 80 pound Collie, so why would I think it's ok to pick up a Chi just because it's small? You may want to get her a halter instead of using a collar. Because of their size, a lot of damage can done to their neck and eyes, from pulling.
I feel so bad for her. She hasn't had a very good life, has she? Right now she probably needs a lot of time to adjust to her new home and being around large dogs. Let your partner love her and hug her. He is gaining her trust. You both will want to be on the same page as far as training her. Take it slow, and give her some time to adjust. Please keep us udated on her progress. And of course, we would love to see pictures of your crew!

Krisleigh 10-13-2012 07:48 PM

Thanks so much!

Yes, everyone keeps telling me how Chihuahua are supposed to be a Chloe doesn't fit any of their descriptions.

Surprisingly she is getting better with the bigger dogs every day. She likes the Pit the most because he is so mellow. She likes the Border collie pup the least, but I think everyone but me feels the same way (lol). She was in a house with a greyhound so she is kind of used to big dogs (even though greyhounds are a lot more mellow than Border collies...and yes, the same owner has a greyhound who is in bad shape too, but doesn't want to give her up. At least the greyhound has access to a yard).

I took your advice DeeLind7 and haven't been picking her up. I also moved her kennel from on top of the other dogs kennel onto the floor in my bedroom so she could have more access to it and so I wouldn't pick her up to put her in and out of the kennel. This has made a difference in how she reacts to me. I also let her sleep with us last night (usually the dogs sleep in kennels) and she was very happy and snuggled with me. Today she has been taking turns with both me and my partner, but likes him the most. He has known her longer so I think that has something to do with it, but I'm still "Mommy" to the other dogs, so I'm a bit jealous, lol.

She doesn't pull on the leash, but if she ever feels any sort of pressure from the leash (even a tiny bit) she yelps. The people in Petco thought I was killing her. I may look into a front clip harness.

Anyone had any experience with Cherry eye?

Also, current names running through my head:
Nutella (She's darkish brown with a black-ticked back and also stole a bit of my Nutella and decided it was the best stuff in the world...)
Pico (Pico de Gallo)
Peanut Butter


DeeLind7 10-13-2012 10:40 PM

I like Nutella! It sounds like she is adjusting just fine. Our Chi sleeps in our bed too. He loves it. They like to "burrow." I'm sure you'll find that out soon. Scooter will actually pick up a blanket with his teeth, and move it so he can get underneath. They are also hoarders. Every toy, no matter how large, must be theirs. I have watched Scooter drag every toy he can find, over to his dog bed. Yep, they must be his.
Cherry Eye has to be corrected. A trip to the vets will determine how bad it is. Thanks for the update, and please let us know what name you decide on.

Meli 10-14-2012 02:26 AM

Congratulations on adopting Chloe!

My chihuahua, Rosie, isn't typical, either, going by all the comments to that effect we get. Either there are a lot of badly-behaved chis out there, or chis get a bad rap.

I pick Rosie up all the time (for one thing, she can't reach the bed on her own), but never when we're outside.

Seconding DeeLind's suggestion to use a halter. Chihuahuas' tracheas are delicate and very close to the surface and can easily be crushed by a collar.

I don't know if you're familiar with kikopup (Emily Larlham), a wonderful trainer who puts training videos up on youtube. Here's one of many featuring her chihuahua, Kiko:

chihuahua tricks agility freestyle... - YouTube

DeeLind7 10-14-2012 08:02 AM

Meli, great video! Chi's get a bad wrap because people have forgotten that back in the day, they actually had a purpose. Today, most are nothing more than pocket dogs that get dressed up and carried everywhere. Meli, Scooter can't reach my bed either, so I do pick him up to put him in bed.
I know I have said this in older posts, but I never even liked Chi's. Every single one I have ever known, were yappy, snappy, down right nasty little dogs. It wasn't until after I got Scooter that I realized it wasn't the dogs fault, but the owners fault. Little dogs still need to be trained, plain and simple. They are smart and eager to learn. I would never trade Scooter for any other dog in the world. He is my constant companion. When we go for walks, he never just walks, he trots. He thinks he's all that plus some.

Bigboy 10-14-2012 08:26 AM

Yes very true I remember a episode of 'It's me or the dog' where this guy had always cats then decided to get a chi he still treated the dog like a cat and when coming to put lead on strewth what a lot of hassle the guy had to get his mum round to help! They may be a 'tea' cup dog but at the end of the day they are still a dog and act like a dog :)

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