Introducing a Chihuahua to Other Pets
Chihuahuas are sassy and entertaining, but they are also woefully loyal. As the tiniest of all dog breeds, these fierce fur babies give a lot of bark to anyone who tries to steal the attention of their owner. Like any breed, personalities are different for all Chihuahuas. Chi’s are notorious for territorial protection so when it comes to sharing the love with other pets, how can you get them to open welcoming paws? Below we provide a guideline on introducing your Chihuahua puppy to your other bundles of joy.
Before the First Meeting
Most pets feel protective of their gear, especially if they have been the only baby in the home. Before introducing a new fur baby, take away all the items that may cause growls and fights. Food and water dishes, favorite toys and bedding are favorite items that your resident pet may feel protective over. Clean up any mess or clutter because pets may feel forced together if the space is confined.
Consider Size, Age and Gender
Many Chi owners notice that after time, their pocket-sized pups become best buds with other indoor pets. However, it does take time and patience. The personality of each animal will determine if they mesh well together. Many pet-parents will worry that their petite fur baby will be overrun by their large, lovable animals. However, how a Chi puppy is socialized and cared for during their first few weeks in a new home can make a huge difference in how they mature and act towards other pets.
There’s an older saying, “age is just a number.” While that is completely true, for two pets in a home, it can cause issues. Two young fur babies with the same type of personality and energy level may mesh well together. If you bring a hyper Chi puppy into the home with a senior animal, the excitement from the puppy may overwhelm the older dog, resulting in conflicts. If you already own a Chihuahua and are bringing another Chi into the family, conflicts should be reduced since Chihuahuas seem to be prone to loving one another. It’s been noted that dogs of the opposite sex tend to become friendlier with one another. Two males together will either bond naturally or try to “out-man” each other. When female Chihuahuas are together they tend to argue the most. Generally, Chi’s get along with other pets and aren’t known for causing big problems.
Keep it Low-Key
Everyone in the home will be excited for an adorable new Chi puppy. It’s important to remember that this tiny fur baby will be apprehensive and scared. Instead of everyone doting over the Chihuahua puppy, have them keep voices and commotion low. Chi’s are naturally nervous, hold them close to your body and let them observe.
Plan a Date Outdoors
Once the personalities of the other pets in the home are established, it’s time to make a game plan for the first meeting. Of course, there will be sniffing and nudging, but it’s important to watch the body language of both fur babies. There are a few ways to handle this first meeting. Since Chi puppies are itty-bitty, putting them in a cage for the initial meeting may work better than face-to-face. Let the resident pet observe and sniff. If they begin barking, talk calmly to them and assure that their new friend is “good”.
If you are comfortable with a tiny baby outdoors and on a leash, plan for a supervised outdoor introduction where both dogs can become acquainted. It’s normal for the resident dog to give a warning growl to the newcomer. Introducing on neutral territory will allow both pets to interact. However, it is advised to never introduce a puppy to a grown animal by holding it in your arms. While Chi’s love cuddles, it’s personality could also be that tight squeezing makes it feel restrained and vulnerable.
Introducing Your Chi Puppy
When the meeting occurs, each fur baby needs to be on a leash held by a calm adult. The leads need to be loose since tension can be sensed and might communicate danger to each pet. Walk the pets side by side with a safe distance in between. After a short walk, allow the pets to cross each other’s paths. This will allow time for each baby to sniff and say hi!
Next, the pets must meet face to face. This is where watching behavioral signs are most important. If their bodies stiffen and they are in an eye-lock with their hair up and their showing, it’s going to take more time for interaction. There are several ways to tell if your resident pet will accept your new Chihuahua. However, a puppy and full-grown dog may need frequent breaks from each other.
Chihuahuas are naturally suspicious of strangers – people and animals. As a puppy, your Chihuahua needs to socialize as much as possible.
After the First Day
Once your fur babies are acquainted and sure of one another, you must let them establish hierarchy. The fearless Chihuahua breed is known for bossing other pets around, no matter what their size. There are instances when a Chi is terrified of other pets. Even though the first meeting of the pets is over, there is still more to do as a parent.
If the initial meeting went well, that is not a sign that each interaction will go smoothly. Throughout training, never push your Chi baby to do anything. Chihuahua puppies will do better when their training is slow and gradual. They need to establish their bravery and boundaries. It is advised to have your Chi on a leash and harness once they are big enough for outdoor walks and meet and greets.
Congratulations on Your New Family Member
Chihuahuas may be small physique, but they pack a large punch in personality. The first meeting is important so it’s best to prepare for a successful introduction. Chihuahua’s are much like people; they have to get to know others before trusting them. It is a gradual process and in time, positive interactions and reinforcement will have your fur baby’s best buds!