How Do I Get My Chihuahua To Trust Me? - The Beginning of never-ending Friendship.
Getting a Chihuahua, you get a chance to introduce true devotion and never-ending friendship into your life. However, although dogs are famous for their friendly, devoted nature, it is essential to remember that your Chihuahua is not obliged to love and trust you only because you are an owner and he or she is a dog.
Just like with humans, there is no second chance to make the first impression once you meet your Chihuahua. And this first impression will, in many ways, determine whether your Chihuahua will trust you and become your devoted friend and partner, or you both will be condemned to simply more or less comfortable coexistence.
Continue reading, and you will learn how to start your relationships with a Chihuahua “from the right paw” and how you can gain Chihuahua’s trust once there was any nasty fallout between you two.
When You First Meet Your Chihuahua...
We all dream about a smooth and joyful first acquaintance with a dog. However, there is a big difference between human and canine psychology. Whatever you may consider as an expression of joy and readiness to become friends may appear as an act of overexcitement and aggression to your Chihuahua puppy.
Here are the fundamental Dos and DONT’S of meeting a Chihuahua for the first time:
- DON’T Pressurize! Perhaps you are eager to make friends with your new Chihuahua and gain his or her full trust. You want to seem as joyful and friendly as possible, and therefore you start to laugh, talk directly to a puppy, grab your Chihuahua in your hands and try to hug the poor confused dog. Remember, Chihuahua does not understand what you are saying. All a dog sees is a huge being that makes loud sounds and tries to grab the poor fragile creature. No wonder such an approach can backfire with mistrust and fear that naturally tend to grow into serious behavior issues and aggression.
- Do Your Homework! Before meeting your Chihuahua puppy for the first time, it is best to do basic research on animal behavior principles. Just like us, dogs have their etiquette and morals. However, their vision or respectful behavior differs from ours. The best way to gain any dog’s trust is to let him get used to the fact of your presence before you make any moves. Try to literally ignore the Chihuahua. Don’t look the dog up in the eye, don’t try to approach or touch a Chihuahua first. Let a dog learn as much as possible about you from your scent, your emotional state, and your voice timbre. Chihuahua is naturally curious and friendly dogs; therefore, right after he or she sees that you mean no harm, the pup will initiate the acquaintance himself.
A 5-Step Plan for Gaining Your Chihuahua's Trust!
So, the first date went smoothly, and you look forward to a new lifetime friendship in your life. However, gaining the trust of a dog may not be easy. Moreover, even if you live together for a while, there may appear issues that can seriously downgrade your relationships with a Chihuahua. Mood swings, health problems, separation anxiety, all those things can cause serious trust issues between you and your dog.
Here is a universal guide to gaining your Chihuahua’s trust whether you meet for the first time or want to upgrade the existing relationships.
STEP 1: MUTUAL TIME AND SPACE RESPECT.
Nothing is more important for dogs than space respect. And nothing is more confusing than timing. Once you are the one seeking trust, make sure to let your Chihuahua decide when is the best time and place for negotiation. Never try to impose your friendship or violate the dog’s personal space (his or her bed, pillow, crate, etc.)
Once a Chihuahua decides that your presence is safe, you don’t demonstrate any aggression or overexcitement, he or she will approach you. A dog is a pack animal, and communication between pack members is essential for a Chihuahua. However, it will happen only when the time and place lend to trust.
STEP 2: EYE-CONTACT AND YAWNING.
While humans consider eye contact as the highest expression of credible attitude, in dog’s language, it only means that you are looking for a fight. Animals look each other straight in the eye only during competition or confrontation. Therefore, no matter how cute and sweet those puppy eyes can be, never establish direct eye contact with a Chihuahua if you want to establish trustworthy relationships.
Later, when the dog gets used to you, your energy and attitude, eye contact will not become an issue. But until that moment, avoid staring your Chihuahua in the eye.
Another body language trick is to yawn when you know that a Chihuahua looks at you. In the animal world, a yawn is an expression of relaxation, low energy, and a calm state of mind. An animal that has just yawned won’t attack. That can be reassuring enough for your Chihuahua to initiate contact.
STEP 3: BODY LANGUAGE IS EVERYTHING!
Who said people could not talk to animals? Body language is even more expressive and understandable than all the words in the Universe.
Here are several signs that clearly demonstrate that you and your Chihuahua still have serious trust issues:
- Nervous lip-licking
- Raising a paw (may be a sign of curiosity is a Chihuahua lens forward)
- Lowering head and ears
- Worried expression.
Once you notice any of those symptoms of unease, stand back and let your Chihuahua make sure that you mean no harm before going any further.
STEP 4: REWARDING THE DESIRED BEHAVIOR.
As we have already mentioned, Chihuahuas are pretty curious and easy-going creatures. Hardly can you scare them off so much that they won’t eventually decide to approach and say “hello”. Once you managed to calm down and let a Chihuahua “study” you, he or she will inevitably come close and demonstrate curiosity and willingness to communicate.
It is exactly the moment to start gaining trust! Prepare a bunch of treats, and make sure to reward each expression of bravery and curiosity towards you. Eventually, you Chihuahua will start associating you with a reward, which is generally the concept of trust for dogs.
It is true that physical contact is the highest reward for a dog, but not in the case of trust gaining. Treats will work better than making your little munchkin think that you want to grab him or her again. Leave affection for the further training routine.
STEP 5: ROUTINE IS EVERYTHING!
Just like all dogs, Chihuahuas are creatures of habit. It means that routine is essential for them. Once you break the routine, your Chi may feel anxious and insecure, which will inevitably lead to trust issues. Eventually, after moving to a new place, introducing a new family member, or even changing your dog’s diet, you may have to revisit the trust-gaining exercise mentioned above.
Maintaining Your Chihuahua's Trust.
Gaining trust is only halfway. Maintaining those precious, trustworthy relationships is most important. Here is how you do it.
ASSUME THE POSITION.
Would you trust a creature that picks you up 1000 feet high? Most probably not. However, it is exactly how your Chihuahua feels once you grab him.
To establish trustworthy relationships, spend more time on your dog’s level. Sit or lie on the floor when you watch TV or work on your laptop, move all the games into the floor dimension, and don’t try to pick up a Chihuahua with trust issues. This way, you will let your dog study you thoroughly and demonstrate your respect, which is essential for gaining a Chihuahua’s trust.
A dog with trust issues is usually an anxious dog. Anxiety comes from boredom and futility. Regular physical and mental exercise will help your Chihuahua work out those excessive emotions and energy and make him or her more approachable.
Training basic commands, playing with your Chi, or providing small brain teasers like hiding treats or favorite toys all over the house is a perfect exercise routine that will prevent your dog from “overthinking” and bulking up extra energy.
Remember, if you are seeking trust, you need to learn to trust your dog in return. Once you feel unsure about what you are doing or expect a dog to snap on you, run away or get anxious, he or she will instantly sense it and decide that this is a dangerous, suspicious situation. Of course, you cannot expect trust in this case.
A Chihuahua will only trust a confident and determined human – a person who looks like he is ready to take responsibility and become an ultimate pack leader.
Gaining trust from a Chihuahua or any other dog may be a “love from the first sight” story or a long journey. It depends on many factors, from the dog’s personality and history to your own attitude. However, it is essential to remain calm and determined and never give up on your furry friend. Our Chi really wants to trust you, and it is up to you whether you will be with this trust.