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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 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.


​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


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.



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.



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.



Saturday 9th of July 2022

We have a 7 month old chihuahua girl. We got her at 8 weeks and introduced her straight away to our three grandkids all under 5. Aswell as outings daily in the car shopping and parks, be it in our arms pre-vaccines. Now we have the most sociable furry girl, loves adults, kids, in particular toddlers. She plays in the paddling pool and even plays football of sorts! She is our 2nd chi we lost a 14yr old before her. We made the mistake before of being so anxious of her size pre-empting danger. We did not realise then our negative energy and being fearful of exposing her to all experiences at 8 weeks on, made her timid and nervous. She was a lovely girl, not aggressive but anxious with other dogs and strangers. My advice, is don't make our mistake don't be over protective, let them try everything - under supervision of course, and you'll help to nurture a more secure,friendly and loving furry companion


Saturday 9th of July 2022

Good advice Susie!


Friday 29th of October 2021

I actually don't have a chihuahua yet, and I won't for a while, but I'm trying to be as prepared as possible. I'm hoping for an ESA and I feel like I've made the right choice breed-wise. But I'm a little worried because, while I'd like to start with a puppy so socialization is easier, I know it's better to find a reputable breeder but there aren't any in my state, and due to being on SSI for mental disability I'm not sure if I could spend more than a little over $1000 on a puppy (though I'd like to be off it by 2023.)

I also worry that, since they are very sensitive to the stress of their owners, that my anxiety and depression might actually affect a chihuahua negatively (I'm autistic with ADHD, anxiety, depression and trauma) but if I can I'd be willing to better myself so that doesn't happen.

Any insight on that? Thank you for all the information on your website. I know that it'll be useful for me in the coming months. I want to be able to give the very best care and life to my chihuahua and your posts have certainly helped me learn how I might do that. :)


Friday 29th of October 2021

@Cathy, Thank you very much! That's very encouraging. I appreciate your reply.


Friday 29th of October 2021

Your dog will be affected by your moods because they are very in tune with us but it's usually a positive thing. I know when I'm upset, my dogs sense it and try to make me feel better. Dogs are great for people with your issues and chihuahuas, in particular, seem to be very good with them.

Saturday 5th of June 2021

How do I use kitty litter for my 8 week old chihuahua when in the house. He goes on the grass outside but it is too cold to do this in the winter


Sunday 6th of June 2021

Litter works for a few dogs but most don't like the feel of it under their paws. I use something called Doggie Lawn. It's like a mat of real grass sent to you once a month. It isn't as cheap as kitty litter but my dogs do like it (2 of them do anyway, the 3rd prefers potty pads).


Wednesday 10th of March 2021

Hi there! What I don’t understand well is how to do all this socializing when the dog vaccine schedule finishes at 14 weeks. So not sure how to socialize my chihuahua puppy if at 7 weeks it only has its first shots. Is it safe to expose the puppy to all of those things without more vaccines? Or Should I make her vaccine schedule shorter and get her all vaccines I have faster than 14 weeks? 😫 help!


Friday 12th of March 2021

No, don't speed up the vaccines. small dogs can have issues with vaccines and they need the time between them to recover. If you have any friends or family with friendly dogs that are uo to date with their vaccines, then invite them for a play date with your puppy. Otherwise, just wait until he's fully vaccinated.

Connie Sporn

Friday 4th of December 2020

I have 2 small Chihuahuas that are now classified as Emotional Support Dogs. Knowing that made the socialization training very critical. We drove to areas away from our house and then walked around the area. We went to the schools when the students were outside, using a dog purse carrier they went every where with me. We rode on the bus, we went for walks around the stores etc. They are great companions. I suffer from extreme PTSD. When we are out and about they sense when I’m anxious and about to have a panic attack and let me know (most times- bed I didn’t realize I was close to having attack). One is a I male and the other one is female. They weigh 4-5 lbs. The dog purse looks more like a woman’s large purse. Most of the time people don’t realize I have a dog with me. They don’t react to their surroundings with one exception - the male is very protective of me. At home and outing if he thinks I’m in danger he will bark. He knows and accepts both of my sons unless they start to give me a hug (pre COVID) then Frankie charges them and will nip at their ankles. Worked hard with that one and it took a lot of patience and time. Frankie still reacts to his interpretation that I’m in danger but he doesn’t bark! His hair gets stiff and goes into high alert! At home he keeps a close eye and stays very a close to me. He follows visitors and tries to “herd” them to the front door. Two times a month I take them to see residents in the rest homes. They enjoy the attentions of the residents and the residents are happy to see them! Haven’t done that since the middle of January because of the virus.


Friday 4th of December 2020

I love your story Connie and glad you have your little buddies to see you through the hard times. I'm curious, how did you get your male to stop barking?