Bonding can be relaxing for both you and your Chihuahua. Chihuahuas love attention and body warmth, so holding your puppy in your lap is one of the better ways to bond with her. And she won’t mind if you read or watch television at the same time!
While you’re holding your dog, you can condition her to be tolerant of touch. If she lets you handle every part of her body-from the tip of her nose to the pads of her toes- it becomes easier to groom and medicate her.
Is your Chi sensitive about having her tootsies touched? Many puppies are, but she’ll get over it if you deal with it right away. Don’t force the issue. Instead, pet your puppy in places she enjoys until she’s nearly asleep. As she becomes limp, continue stroking her body, but include her feet as well. If she tenses up, go back to petting only her body until she’s sleepy enough that you can try her feet again.
After she falls asleep, gently massage the toes of all four feet. Soon, your puppy will relax and let you touch her toes when she’s awake, and that makes toenail trimming much easier. If she resists being touched on other parts of her body, use the same method to overcome those aversions.
Be yourself around your new dog and incorporate her schedule into your routine. If your pup is napping and you want to watch TV or play the piano, do it. Your puppy can sleep through normal household noises.
Using The First 16 Weeks Wisely
The first 16 weeks of your dog’s life are critical to her social development. What a puppy discovers during that short time shapes her personality-making her outgoing or shy, happy-go-lucky or cautious. The brief time correlates to when wild animals explore outside the den for the first time, quickly learning lessons in survival. Absorbing everything in a hurry is a necessity, because a cub that makes a mistake in the wild rarely gets a second chance.
Although domesticated for centuries, dogs still arrive in the world programmed to relate to their surroundings during their first four months. In an ideal situation, a puppy finds out how to behave around dogs during her first two months, which is why a good Chihuahua breeder keeps a litter together until the puppies are at least 8 weeks old.
Between 8 weeks and 12 weeks, the youngsters become mentally mature enough to leave their canine family; this is the ideal age to settle into human families. From then on, their people shape their personalities.
If you’re lucky enough to acquire a Chi when she’s still a young puppy (under 4 months old), you can help her establish an outgoing attitude. Introduce her to a friendly world and she’ll grow up confident-a canine clown that shows off for your friends and likes finding out new things. But if you keep her secluded, she’ll begin to fear anything unusual.
Introducing Your Chi To The Guests
Socializing your Chihuahua has one big dilemma: Your dog needs to meet plenty of people before she’s 12 weeks old, but she’s prohibited from going out in public places where she could encounter unvaccinated dogs until her series of shots is complete, which usually takes between 12 and 16 weeks. Breeders who keep their puppies for three months or more have their own socializing programs, but you may bring home a younger pup than that. No problem. The solution is simple-and fun. Let your dog meet new people right in your home by throwing a few puppy parties.
Introduce your Chi to men, women, and well-supervised children by inviting a small group of friends over for dessert or a video. Place a bowl of your dog’s dry food on the goodie table so your friends can hand-feed her. Show your helpers how to hold a puppy and ask them to take turns holding, feeding, and petting your pup.
Try to have several of informal get togethers before your puppy turns 12 weeks old, making sure you include men, women, and children of various ages.
Going for a short drive every so often keeps your dog from associating riding in the car with receiving a shot. Ask your dogless friends or friends with well-behaved, healthy dogs if you and your puppy can stop by for a few minutes. Investigating new places and meeting new people is wonderful for your Chi, provided that there’s no chance of contacting a doggie disease.
By the time she’s vaccinated and ready for real outings, she’ll feel secure around strangers and comfortable in the car. In other words, she’ll be ready to experience the world.
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