attn: pF doggy owners -question on socialization for pups

  1. hi ladies!!

    a quick question regarding my dear chihuahua, faye (as seen in my av sporting her new UCLA shirt) -i've been asking around and i can never seem to get a straight answer, so i was wondering if any of you wonderful ladies could advise me??

    here's the deal, my pup is about a year and a couple of months, and when i got her (from a friend's litter) we spent tons of time together, but she always seemed a bit tense when we went out in public, or to family events -then, i moved to school, and she stayed at home primarily w/ my mom... unfortunately, my mom is more of a "house mouse" and doesnt go out much

    so now that i'm back home and try to take my chihuahua out, she freaks out and gets very shy with some mild shaking, and is VERY tense around people in general... she is not aggressive by any means, just very "scared"

    -some people tend to say that it's a typical chihuahua trait, but i know both of her parents well, and they are quite friendly and outgoing -and i have encountered MANY chihuahuas at my workplace, most of whom LOVE people

    SO, any advice?? are there any methods i can use to ween her out of her bad habit, or is it too late since she's a bit older now?? or any good training tips? or is it a lost cause (b/c ive tried and she just seems like doesnt want to budge out of it!!)

  2. it's never too late to train/socialize a dog ;). is she around any other dogs at home? how does she act when company comes to your house? maybe she's just not used to being 'out and about' and forgets that its ok and she won't get hurt. where are you trying to take her? also, if you have another dog that is ok around new things, maybe take that dog along to help calm her down.
  3. hello! thanks for the tip

    -we have company over all the time, and she is typically okay with people that she has warmed up to (though that takes quite a bit) or, if it is someone new, she will either run into her kennel or ONLY come to my mom or me

    its such a shame because we will go out shopping (living in LA, people take their dogs EVERYWHERE) or eat somewhere outdoor, and people always comment on how cute she is and want to pet her -even my friends have a hard time, she is EXTREMELY timid around them

    she is our only pup, but my boyfriend and i are looking into getting another friend for her, (probably a maltese) and i am not making the same mistake again if we do!! i will socialize her to death, and we are hoping that since my lil chihuahua is such an "attention whore" that seeing her new "competition" being ultra outgoing when we're out and about will force her out of her shell

    but that wont be for a bit, so in the meantime im still clueless!! but thanks for the tip -and i guess im not about to give up, since there's still hope to socialize my baby!
  4. I agree with gymangel--it's never to late to work on socializing a dog. Your dog is still quite young. I would take her out into different situations, and she will slowly realize she is still safe, and get more comfortable. Chihuahuas are naturally quite anxious, but with reassurance, they can get a lot better!

    We had a similar situation with our cockapoo--she wasn't around many people as a puppy, so she got very anxious when we took her out. We persisted, and took her out for walks a lot, which she loves. She slowly got more comfortable in new places, and with new people.

    It's really nice that you care about your dog and want to make things better!!! :smile: She is absolutely ADORABLE!!!!
  5. when visitors come to the house, give them some treats to give to her, that might help. when she is out and about, take some treats and praise her lots when she does well. also if she is being unsocial, just ignore her (don't scold her or make it negative), do not give her praise and baby her, that will only encourage her to be unsocialble.
  6. First of all, I have to tell you how cute your baby is!!

    OK...I have 2 chihuahuas and I found that the best solution for when my fiancee and I take them out in public is to use a dog stroller. It was kinda weird getting used to at first, but it makes my little ones feel very safe and secure. Plus, that way you can take them ANYWHERE. :smile:

    Also, the dog stroller is really nice b/c then people can ooh and aah over your cutie, but they can't reach their hands in and touch.

    If you want to check out the strollers, I got mine from

    The model I got even collapses to fit in the trunk of my Mustang.

  7. Socializing small dogs is hard. The reason is, because they are small! Also people are really attracted to small dogs and tend to walk up and grab and grope them. The dogs feel cornered. I have a small dog and we've worked really hard to socialize her but she still gets overwhelmed in situations where there are too many people or too many dogs. I would suggest you take her to situations where there are a couple people and a dog her size that she can play with. My dog plays with a chihuahua and they get along great (she's a toy fox terrier).

    I also agree with the dog stroller suggestion. They are great and the dogs love them.
  8. I'd suggest to take her out to a dog park to socialize with other dogs and people. My neighboor has 2 chiuahuas and one of them is a puppy, she is so friendly with myself and the pugs.
  9. I'll have to disagree on the dog park idea. Dog parks are overwhelming for small dogs. The larger dogs are often too rough and sometimes are not supervised properly by their owners. A local dog park near me has had no less than three toy breeds killed by other dogs in the past year. Dog parks are great for bigger dogs that can hold their own ground, but not for toy breeds.
  10. i'd take her to obedience training. it's always good to re-establish or continue to establish that you are alpha. it will also give your pup the chance to interact with other dogs, people in a controlled setting and with a qualified professional.

    check if your dog park has a "small dog" area, if so, dog park could be optiona s well
  11. Hello again ladies! Thanks so much for all of your advice and support!! Its great to know that others have either had the same concerns or issues w/ their pups...

    So I have tried a bit of what each of you has said, and she is SLOWLY getting a bit better each time -although she is still scared of being out, she is excited about actually going out now... She'll run to the door and raise her paw (a signal I taught her for "please") when it looks like we're getting ready to leave -she enjoys getting out of the house now

    BUT, she still is a bit scared when we're out, and often I think she's overwhelmed, but hopefully things will get better with time -a week or so isn't going to completely give her a 180, but I'm sure if I keep working on it... She'll eventually cave

    THANX again for all of your help! If you have any more great hints, please let me know!! Its been doing good thus far! TIA!!