How do I get my Chihuahua to stop growling and like me?
I just got a 6 month old female long hair Chihuahua. She is absolutely adorable but clearly having a hard time adjusting to the new setting. She is very timid right now and keep growling at me. I fed her and she let me pet and hold her for a little bit but then started to growl at me. I know it will take some for her to get used to me and my roommates but how do I train her and stay firm with her without making her dislike me more?
on Mar 5th 2012
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Well, I would throw "firmness" out the window and just concentrate on building positive associations with your interaction. Don't scold her or force her to do anything she's afraid to do. It won't help her learn to trust.
Have you heard of positive reinforcement training? You reward the good behavior instead of punishing the bad. It can really help fearful dogs.
I recommend that you sign up for a positive reinforcement training class with her, and do a little reading. www.dogwise.com has a lot of useful books, see if your local library carries any of them.
Other things to do- keep a harness and leash on her all the time so you don't have to pick her up. Feed all her meals out of your hand instead of a bowl. Give her a safe place (like a crate or basket) she can go to and not be messed with. Tell your roommates not to interact with her yet.
Bruno CGC answered on 3/5/12. Helpful? / 0