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7 Key Tips for Socializing Your Chihuahua

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Has your Chihuahua been socialized properly?
socializing Chihuahuas

While Chihuahuas are adorable, they often have a notorious reputation for being unsociable, high-strung, and difficult to train. Fortunately, with proper socialization and training, you can put an end to these behaviors and help your Chihuahua adopt a friendly personality that is free of fear of other people and animals. The following tips are designed to make socializing your Chihuahua a much easier process.

SOCIALIZATION SHOULD BEGIN AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE

Socialization is simply the act of introducing your dog to a vast array of different situations so that he or she will become comfortable with them. The sooner you begin introducing your Chihuahua to situations, people, and other animals, the easier it will be for him to adapt. In fact, you can start this process when he is as young as six weeks old. This significantly decreases the odds that he will be fearful of these types of situations as he gets older. Just be certain that his interactions are non-threatening to allow him to gain a sense of security that will follow throughout his life.

FOLLOW THE RULES OF SEVEN

​The Rules of Seven simply state that by the time your puppy is 7 weeks old (or as soon as you possibly can, he should have done the following things.

PLAYED WITH 7 TYPES OF TOYS, including fuzzy, soft, squeaky, fabric, ropes, and small and large balls.

• MET AND INTERACTED WITH 7 TYPES OF PEOPLE, including adults, kids, the elderly, someone walking with a walker or cane, and different races.

• WALKED ON 7 TYPES OF SURFACES, including gravel, grass, concrete, wood chips, dirt, carpet, hardwood floors, and vinyl.

• BEEN EXPOSED TO 7 GAMES/CHALLENGES, including climbing up and down steps, climbing over an obstacle, playing hide and seek, and running around a fenced in area.

• BEEN IN 7 PLACES, such as the car, front and backyard, dog park (skip this one until your pup has been fully vaccinated), kitchen, living room, vet’s office, and groomer.

• EATEN IN 7 PLACES, including kitchen, crate, outdoors, living room, and laundry room.

socialize your Chihuahua around kids

SUPERVISED SOCIALIZATION IN A CALM ENVIRONMENT IS CRUCIAL

This is particularly true in regards to children and large dogs. On an additional note, make sure you are calm going into the interaction. If your Chihuahua feels negative energy from you, he is likely to become nervous and upset, as well as identify the person, animal, or situation as one that is potentially threatening.

 

PAY ATTENTION TO THE SENSITIVE PARTS OF YOUR CHIHUAHUA’S BODY

socialize your puppy

All dogs are born protective of their teeth, rear, paws, and claws. However, if you start touching his mouth, paws, nails, and rear at a young age, he will become less territorial and begin to understand that this behavior is not threatening. This is particularly important if he will be around small children who are prone to make quick movements and touching a dog anywhere they can get their hand on them.

 

BE SURE TO PRAISE YOUR CHIHUAHUA

praise your chihuahua

 

When your Chihuahua takes a big step, be sure to praise his behavior, show him some affection, and even throw in a treat.

Socialization doesn’t happen overnight. It may takes months before your Chi is comfortable around many situations and places. ​With the right training and socialization, your Chihuahua can be happy and well balanced.

Have you tried something that has worked well in socializing your Chihuahua? Leave a comment and let me know.

 

2 Legged Leo
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Saturday 1st of February 2020

Our Chihuahua was potty box trained at a very early age we would out her in the kitty box to go potty. She lived almost 16 years and was inside and outside trained.

Cathy

Tuesday 4th of February 2020

That's wonderful! Did you use kitty litter in the box?

Cathy

Sunday 2nd of February 2020

That's great!

Angela Edwards

Thursday 30th of January 2020

My chihuahuas Alfie and Eva are the best little dogs I have ever known, they absolutely love meeting people and are very joyful and loving to everyone, they never snap growl or bite even when little children swarm around them, they are so calm and friendly, they barely bark only when the door goes, sweet adorable dogs I rescued when they were 6 years old, they obviously were well socialized

Cathy

Thursday 30th of January 2020

They are freaking adorable too Angela!

Stacia Davis

Thursday 22nd of March 2018

I have a chi that is almost 2 years old & have had him for almost a year. He was a rescue dog or abandoned & my neighbor had him for a few weeks before I adopted him from her. She has several chis & great with dogs she’s been around them all her life. My chi Boudro is so loveable & playful at home with his sisters & my husband. He is the cutest thing ever. He does a lot of the 7 steps already. I’ve taken him to the beach as a puppy he was around several people no barking & was the life of the party! He goes outside fine, he goes to doggy park & does fine but the minute a person walks by the car or if a person comes the door at our home he goes absolutely crazy! He also bit my daughters friend on her arm when he walked into her room & saw her sitting on my daughters bed. He rides in the car all the time windows down & all but the minute a person moves on closer to car or just walking by he’s growling hard inside of his mouth & going crazy. I don’t like the fact that I now have to put him up when I have company over. I also feel chis do this when it’s a singular person approaching rather than taking your chi out around a group because they don’t know which one to bark at! LOL

Cathy

Thursday 22nd of March 2018

It sounds like he is being protective and he probably thinks he is doing his duty to keep yall safe. We do have an article on barking: https://ilovemychi.com/chihuahua-barking/ and biting: https://ilovemychi.com/how-to-stop-dog-biting/ but he may need help from a dog behaviorist.

Christine Carlson

Thursday 18th of January 2018

I have a 4yr old chi who loves us so much! She is happiest sitting on our laps with blankets. But when someone comes over and they want to pet her, she growls, never bites tho. I want her to behave with others and other dogs, ant suggestions?

Cathy

Thursday 18th of January 2018

Some dogs are just a little shy and Chis in particular don't care for strangers petting them.

To help your girl accept others easier, you could keep a few small treats in your pocket and get the stranger to offer a treat to your dog. Have them offer it in their open hand. After eating the treat, your dog may be more open to accepting petting.

Also before they go to pet your dog, they should allow her to smell their closed, palm down hand. That's the most non threatening position.

Sharon brown

Sunday 26th of November 2017

I had a 16 yr old little chi and sh loved to go everywhere I went and loved everyone she met. I’ve never seen another as outgoing and sweet as she was. I lost her almost 3 yrs ago and I just got a little Pomeranian at 8 weeks old and she is now almost five months old her name is Evie and she is becoming a very sweet social girl like my Khole was. It takes time and consistency with them and they will learn. Just stay patient.

Cathy

Sunday 26th of November 2017

Good points Sharon.