Congratulations on being the parent of a new Chihuahua puppy! Welcome to years of love, affection and loyalty! However, these elements do not come naturally. Bonding with your Chi puppy is essential to developing a healthy relationship. With Chi puppies, the process takes no time. There first has to be a natural bond between a Chi and yourself. If your Chi puppy senses respect and affection they will already feel an emotional connection.
Chihuahuas are attention seekers and love the feeling and warmth of a hug. Experts agree, the first 16 weeks of your Chihuahua’s life are crucial to bonding and social development. While some Chi’s will have a determined personality from birth, others can shape their personality based on their environment. Here are some bond training ideas on how to get you and your new chi BFF’s.
A Chi puppy will typically fit in the palm of your hand. It’s hard not to hold them all day and smother them with kisses. While cuddling your fur baby, you can train them to be receptive to touch. Once a Chi becomes familiar with your touch, it will be easier to groom and train her socially. Most puppies, including Chi’s are sensitive when it comes to having paws touched. It’s best to bond with them by stroking their paws when they are calm and asleep.
As easy as it is to cuddle your Chi all day, it’s important that they find their independence. Let them explore their new home and yard. They can sense trust by smelling you and their surroundings. Do not leave them locked in a room by themselves as a puppy, or even a grown Chihuahua.
Read Your Chi’s Body Language
From happy to nervous to playful and excited, it’s necessary to know how your dog is feeling. When you’re in tune with their emotions, it helps you get a better understanding of how to handle your pup. Be yourself around your new Chi and make them part of your daily schedule. You two will easily learn one another’s behaviors.
Communication is Fundamental
Gaining your Chihuahua’s respect as a puppy will make both of your lives much easier from there on out. Begin training with easy commands such as “sit” and “stay.” Training while doing daily activities will also speed up the bonding process. Chi puppies will not understand the actual words you are saying so speaking in a calm tone is crucial. Yelling or using loud tones will increase you Chi’s anxiety and may make them fearful of you.
Besides love, there is no better way to bond than to play games. Sharing your toys and getting on their level will not only establish trust, but it shows your Chi that you are the leader. Find a game that involves a treat as Chi’s love sniffing and finding their food. Depending on your Chi’s personality, they may also love watching and catching bubbles. It may take trial and error to see what will entertain your Chi, but playing together will strengthen your bond. Remember that Chihuahua’s are fragile and delicate; they can be easily injured with roughhousing.
If you have a hard time finding a game to entertain your Chi, your new fur baby will love to burn energy on short walks. Due to a Chihuahua’s size and energy levels, short walks are best to reduce injuries such as elbow dysplasia and growth impediments.
Food and Treats
When given food and treat, you’re showing your fur baby that you love them. Cesar’s Way recommends having a puppy work for their food with a command or trick, so that he sees food and treats as a reward for following directions. With a Chi puppy, this may or may not work. Depending on the age of your new Chi, having them perform commands for food may not work in your favor.
Chihuahua’s are naturally anxious so establish a routine of feeding times to help with comfort and trust. Instead of leaving a food bowl lying around the house all day, give it to them only when it is mealtime. Chi’s are known to develop powerful bonds with one person, if you want that one person to be you then you need to be the one feeding them.
Regular grooming will cause your Chihuahua to release hormones that ease anxiety. Grooming and petting will also strengthen the bond between you and your fur baby. Grooming doesn’t necessarily mean cutting hair and trimming nails. It can be stroking your Chi’s fur and brushing their hair as they cuddle your lap.
Even though bathing is not a favorite past-time for puppies, regularly washing and trimming your Chi’s nails will help reinforce your bond. It’s important that you are the one doing the grooming, especially as a puppy. They want to establish a trust and bond with you, throwing a stranger into the mix may result in negative behavior.
Establish a Routine
It’s already been mentioned to establish a routine when feeding and exercising. However, to reiterate, this is crucial in training and bonding! It helps ease your fur baby’s anxiety and helps them adapt to their new environment. Without a routine and without training, Chi’s can develop mean characteristics such as growling.
Strengthen Your Bond
Once a Chihuahua establishes a bond, they will rarely leave your side. In order to strengthen your bond, continue training your little fur baby. This will give your Chi the mental stimulation they need. Plus, training increases communication between you and your Chi. Playing on a regular basis will also increase an already strong bond. Modern Dog Magazine even states that, “Chihuahua’s are happier with consistent training, fair guidelines and discipline, and a clear sense of who is alpha in the household.”
Properly socializing your new Chihuahua is essential in bonding. Chi’s are thrown into an unnecessary stereotype because of improper training and bonding. It takes dedication, patience and time. In the end, you and your baby Chi will be best friends for life!