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Dogs/my chihuahua won't bond with me

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Question
i was given a small a black & tan chihuahua 2 weeks ago. He hides under the covers in another room  all the time, he yelp & fights when i put the leash on him. he is afraid of going outside unless I am holding him. He is calm though when I hold him as long as i am standing up, but he won't be held sitting down. Why won't he bond with me? I give him treats, food, water & toys. He acts like he hates me. I know I have to gain his trust, but how if he won't have anything to do with me. It breaks my heart. I want to be a good "parent" to him.

Answer

Hi Jan,

Depending on the age of the dog you were given, and how well it's been socialized. It could take a month or longer for the dog to bond with you.

As far as walking nicely on the leash, this is something a dog needs to be trained to do, it's not something that comes naturally. Enrolling in a dog obedience class (or a puppy kindergarten class if your dog is under a year old) will help your dog learn to do things like walk nicely on a leash. In an obedience class it's not just the dog who learns lessons, you will also be taught by an experienced dog trainer how to make your dog obey you, and see you as it's leader, and this helps with the bonding process. The following website has a lot of info on how to help a dog bond with it's owner (the info is the same, no matter the dog's breed):

http://shibashake.com/dog/build-a-strong-bond-with-your-dog

http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/news/pet-news/how-to-bond-with-your-dog-no-matt

http://thebark.com/content/building-dog-human-bond

Continue to hold him in whatever way he allows, and never try to force him to do anything. He WILL warm up to you, eventually. I can't say if he'll ever be a big snuggler. Dogs are individuals, with individual personalities. Some dogs are naturally more aloof than others, and that can't really be changed.

Best of luck,

Patti

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Patti

Expertise

To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.

Experience

My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

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Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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