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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.

 

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

Cathy

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).

Diana

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!

Cathy

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.

Cathy

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?

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!