Q: HELP! My 6 month old chihuahua is scared of everybody and barks and squeals at them, what can i do?

June 20, 2008 | By Akennedy83 | 7 answers | Expired: 2364 days ago

HELP! My 6 month old chihuahua is scared of everybody and barks and squeals at them, what can i do?

everytime someone new comes into the house cocoa goes nuts and i need to find out how to soothe her because she is very gentle to the people she knows but when people she hasn't seen come by shes terrified

Readers' Answers (7)
Marta J.

Jun 21, 2008

If you haven't socialized her that would be the reason. Puppies should be exposed to as many sounds sights and smells she can be EVERY day.Walk her twice a day and let her see the world. DO NOT pick her up when she's afraid. Ask a friend to come visit. Do not have her or him talk to the dog, touch the dog or make eye contact. If she starts to act up just gently but firmly touch her on the side of the neck with two fingers to snap her out of it. Let her come to the person on her own to smell. Again no talking to her. Once she is calm then you can pet or talk to her. When you give affection to a scared or anxious dog, your telling that dog you agree with that behavior. You only want to agree with calm behavior. Watch the Dog Whisperer. When the dog does calm down have the person give a treat like liver or chicken. Now the person is not scary anymore and is associated with something good. Do this as often as you can and slowly add more people and commotion to the mix.

Thumbs Up: 7 | Thumbs up!

Jessica H.

Jun 21, 2008

First off, do not make a big deal about her behavior. Just ignore it. The more attention she receives the worse it may get.

When visitors come over if possible let them know before hand to not make direct eye contact with your dog and do not try to interact with your dog. Ask them to pretend like she isn't even there. Let HER come up and investigate them and get used to them first. Then slowly (and I don't mean in the same visit, I mean maybe after a few weeks of doing this), slowly have your company try to pet her while not looking at her.

My dog was terribly afraid of strangers when I first got him. He even runs from me still sometimes, but he's come a long way. It's taken us four years to get him to where he is now, and every now and then he will get freaked out but he is SO much better than he used to be!

It will just take time, patience, and LOTS of socialization.

Do you have a crate? Another option would be to have a crate available and leave it open at all times, when your dog gets stressed out she can run to it. Perhaps put it in the family room or a room where you usually entertain guests, that way she can observe them from the "safety" of her crate.

I also STRONGLY recommend puppy classes. It's a wonderful way to socialize your dog to not only people but other dogs too, and the trainers are usually very helpful with behavior problems like this.

Thumbs Up: 4 | Thumbs up!


Jun 22, 2008

Jessica H answered this well. I have 2 Chi's and this is a common problem if they are not socialized. But you can not force it on her, let her come to the visitor. Bring her everywhere. Let her walk on a leash, unless it is an unsafe situation for her. My Chi's have both been socialized since they were puppies and they love everyone. BB did not like other dogs, so that has been our challenge. He turned into pshyco Chihuahua. I taught him a bunch of tricks. Evertime he would start to go nuts, I would start getting him to do tricks. I always had lots of treats on hand. He is now 2, showing in agility and does a ton of tricks. I say his name when he has a psycho moment, and he will just start doing tricks for me. He is very easy to travel with now at the dog shows. Have ALOT of patience, it wont happen overnight.

Thumbs Up: 3 | Thumbs up!

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