Flag

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: 2208 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)
  • Sort by:
  • Latest |
  • Rank
Anonymous
Flag
Anonymous

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!

Criscil
Flag

Jun 21, 2008

I have been at the other end of this situation -- the visitor. And, I have become friends with small dogs like yours by doing the following: I ignore the dog and let him come to me when he is ready. Then, still without making any eye contact, I may let my hand hang down loosely, palm facing me to let the dog sniff. I do not pet him until he shows he wants it which is when he comes around to the palm of my hand and rubs or leans into it. If it's a casual enough visit, being I like to sit on the floor, I will do it. This actual speeds up the process for me and the dog becoming friends as I am not towering over him. As long as it it not a setting with a lot of people, such as a party, the dog has wanted me to pet him by the end of the visit. The visitor giving a treat, as Jessica stated, would definitely be a plus. Puppy classes would be a good idea, too.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Jessica H.
Flag

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!

Runlikethewind12
Flag

Jun 21, 2008

I think I can help. I have a 1 year old chihuahua who did the same thing. When someone comes in the door. Use the blocking method. Stand in front of him/her and block them from getting to who is at the door. When they start to bark, make a louder noise then they are making to distract them, when they stop barking reward with a treat. After a few times of practice, your dog will associate visitors with yummy treats.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Marta J.
Flag

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!

Julie Kay S.
Flag

Jun 20, 2008

Oops! I meant to add to this sentence: "If you decide that you, Cocoa and the visitors are all going to remain calm, speaking quietly and moving slowly (children running to and fro can certainly hype up a dog!) and not rewarding Cocoa for her "going nuts."

It should read: "If you decide that you, Cocoa and the visitors are all going to remain calm, speaking quietly and moving slowly (children running to and fro can certainly hype up a dog!) and not rewarding Cocoa for her "going nuts," and you remain calm, it should have a ripple effect on Cocoa, helping her regain her composure."

Thumbs Up: 2 | Thumbs up!

Julie Kay S.
Flag

Jun 20, 2008

I've never had a small breed, but have friends that do. The small breeds are not always very active, but seem to tend to lean that way. That said, our pets often mirror our emotions, whether we realize it or not. If you're nervous and upset over how Cocoa will act, you are transmitting those emotions to her in your voice, touch and perhaps even smell. If you decide that you, Cocoa and the visitors are all going to remain calm, speaking quietly and moving slowly (children running to and fro can certainly hype up a dog!) and not rewarding Cocoa for her "going nuts." You should keep her on a leash at least while the visitors arrive and for a few minutes, allowing Cocoa to know that you're there and you're calm, so she should be, also. I don't know how much help that will be, but it's a start!

Thumbs Up: 1 | Thumbs up!

You might also enjoy:

Got a question about your pet? Get the answers you need from Zootoo's community of pet experts and owners.

Advertisement

Advertisement