Hi. My new chihuahua puppy (at 7 months) is VERY clingy and will not let me go from the first day I got her. She follows me absolutely everywhere, whines like crazy if I'm busy for a minute or in the bathroom. When I come out of the bathroom or outside, she goes crazy to see me like it's been hours. I can't do anything on my own. I assume she has been with her other puppy siblings her whole life until now so perhaps that's why she chose me to cling to. She does not bother with the rest of the family which really gets to me...in fact she runs from everyone and hides behind me. I've been trying to socialize her by letting everyone hold her for as long as possible, or play with her but she just struggles to get away from other people. She constantly wants me to pick her up. And to make things even worse, the new bed I bought her is useless because she will not sleep alone. I've tried so many things to get her to stay in her bed. She has to be touching me in some way in order to sleep..for example while I'm at the computer working she'll sleep on my feet, when I go to bed she has to be cuddled beside me or she'll whine non-stop. I've tried absolutely everything so far. This last night I've been crating her with a blanket that has my scent, a toy and of course food & water and she will not stop whining and howling. It's so loud that it affects everyone in the house, even the basement! I know crate training takes time but this is unbelievable. Not sure what I should do..will she change now that she's an older puppy and used to being with her siblings? Or is she strictly a one person dog? She is 7 months.
Thanks for any advice, I am really on my last rope here.
Try ignoreing her when she whines, and only verbally reward her when she shows any confidence, like walking away from you or laying in her bed. Feed or bait her bed so she is rewarded for laying in it or just standing in it. Its hard to go from being in a litter where there is always someone to be with to being the only dog. Feed her in a kong or try the tricky treat ball, remember to tell her what a good job she is doing when she acts independently or is doing something that you approve of. If following you around and annoying you is the only time she gets attention, then thats what she has to do to get companionship, or attention. Take her and work on basic obediance, focus on rewards and stay away from scoldings. Just some suggestions...
When I look up into the sky, I think to myself, Wheres the ceiling?
Most of my family all have 'their' dogs, dogs that prefer them over anyone else. It's common espeically among small dogs for them to have a preference that develops almost immediately. She'll probably always prefer you over anyone else.
I would suggest just keep trying to socalize her more. It sounds like she's not had a lot of experience 'in the real world'. This especially happens if she came from a poor breeder that kept the puppies locked away and only gets worse if the dog is never taken out/forced to meet new people.
Hold her while others pet her. Hold her while others sit close next to you (like when watching TV). Eventually she'll get used to her family. Then you can take her out (or invite friends over) and get her used to meeting new people and dogs.
My sister had a Miniature Pinscher that spent the first five months in a cage. It look half a year, but she accepts people petting and picking her up without being so fearful and running from them. She's a normal dog now.
Hey. don't worry about it, my dog spock is just like yourse. litterly, im typing and he won't let me(any errors im sorry). they grow out of it though my grandma has a dog and for the first eight months she had him he wold follow her every where (i heard once he followed her into her shower) after a whill he slowly backed off. now he's always alone and he likes it that way. like the first guy said ignore her for a little bit of time. doing that i can actuly sleep alone. have some other members of the family try to play with her. maybe your daughter or sister(depends how old you are) will distract her and you doggie will want to play with her sometimes to. hope it gets better for you, spock's girl
Thanks everyone for your advice. Yesterday was the first time I ever heard her bark at one of my family members. She still seems really shy even though I have been getting everyone to hold her for as long as she will allow it. I'm still trying to think if there's something else I should (or shouldn't) be doing to get her to feel comfortable around everyone.
Sue - I always try to ignore her which so far doesn't make any difference. I've tried putting her in a room with the door closed and she goes nuts, but I left her in there anyway, for about an hour. When I'm sitting on the couch or even in the kitchen at the table, she'll put her front paws up on my legs wanting me to pick her up. I've also tried ignoring her when she does this, she just keeps on. I've also tried using words like "No" or "Down!". I always give her attention, my family also tries to play with her as much as possible but she just keeps running away, hiding behind me. I hope within time she'll come around. Thanks for your advice!
restless - True. I don't mind her being "my" dog, I just really wish she would pay attention to the rest of the household even just a little, they are starting to think she just doesn't like them. I've been constantly trying to socialize her with everyone. She's quite small for her age so I was thinking perhaps because she's so tiny, she thinks I'm her protector? I don't know. Hopefully she will turn out like your sister's Miniature Pinscher :) fingers crossed.
spock's girl - that makes me feel a lot better! I truly hope she will start doing things on her own. I tried not letting her sleep with me last night but kept her in the same room (or she goes nuts) and all she did was whine and howl. I eventually let her up and she was so excited, she went straight to sleep in my arms. I don't mind too much about her sleeping in my bed, but I really would love it if she would go in her own. I'll try ignoring her again as much as possible. I hope something changes very soon.
This really sounds like your typical seperation anxiety. Sorry, but I have to disagree with Spocksgirl. They do not grow out of it, you just get more tolerant to their bad behavior.
Picking her up when she whines, is just rewarding her, and she will continue to do so because she knows that is what she has to do to get your attention. I agree with Sue, ignoring her unwanted behavior is the best solution. You are just going to have to be patient, and give her time to learn that when she whines, she will not get any attention. But, you have to reward her when she is being good.
Her being shy is usually typical behavior in smaller dogs. Puppy classes are a great way to get her socialized in a controlled environment. Don't carry her anymore, just lead her on the leash everywhere you go. People tend to carry their small dogs everywhere, and that makes them spoiled, and not disciplined.
I really suggest crating her at night. That really teaches her that she cannot be with you every second. You are just gloing to deal with the whining if you want a well balanced, unspoiled dog. Put her in a exercise pen throughout the day to teach her to be independant, again, ignore her if she cries. Telling her to be quiet is just rewarding her in the sense that she is getting your attention.
Here is a good link to help you with seperation anxiety.
I totally agree with Riley. You are reinforcing her behavior...put the crate sonewhere that the whining and crying will not be heard by you, cause the first week it's going to be real noisy....You do no service to a dog by reinforcing this anxiety... what if something happened to you and you weren't there, like a hospital or vacation or worse? She'd be unadoptable.....you know what I'm talking about here,I hope
Riley - Yes I agree. I try to ignore her the best I can, she still jumps up on my legs constantly and if I don't respond within 2 minutes, she starts to really whine. She is still running from everyone, when I leave for a few hours during the afternoon, I make her stay with the family. They say she is unbearable and hard to control because she just keeps looking for me and crying. I am going to keep this routine going for a while, I want her to get used to other people without me being around.
I called around for puppy classes and the only place I'm able to drive out too is all booked till next summer. So that is out of the question. Good thought though. She doesn't do well on a leash yet, I'm thinking I need to train her. She just drags herself along or tries to bite the leash. This is going to take a while.
If I crate her, for how long? Last time she pooped everywhere, even though she had gone before putting her in. I think maybe it was just stress. Should I keep the lights out?
Other than that she is great, I took her to the vet and she is 100% healthy. I just need to control the behavior.
Thanks Riley for the great help!
Schoolbus Gal - Thanks for your response. It's impossible to put the crate somewhere that will not be heard, she is extremely loud and her whining can be heard as far as the basement. It doesn't bother me so much but the rest of family is usually sleeping which of course disturbs them. I'm thinking about crating her in the evening if possible. I've always thought what would happen if I had to go away, that is why I am asking these questions here.
OK I'm not usually one to advocate drugs, but I would ask the vet for a sedative to teach her if nothing else, nighttime crating. When the meds start to take effect, put her in the crate and don't take her out until morning....maybe a week of sedated crating might enforce a new behavior pattern for her, and it might not be too bad. If she wakes up crying in the night, DO NOT GO TO HER AT ALL...If the vet is too far away or whatever, give benandryl as small as your Chi is, get the children's liquid and give her 2 mgs per pound of weight, so if she weighs 5 pounds, give her 10 mgs...lol...she'll sleep...but eventually they build resistance to the sedating effects and it won't work anymore. Also if she poops the crate, she poops...she'll learn to hold it.. it's not like cleaning up after a Great Dane or anything...yes unpleasent, but she'll eventually quit pooping(hopefully..some do not and keep on pooping the crate) You may have to find her a new home .... and get a dog that is more suited for you.
I crate train all my puppies and it takes about three days before they give up on whining. It is hard because I don't get much sleep. But the only way it works is to not go to them for any reason do not tell them to be quiet or anything. First day is bad second day is a little better by the third day they give up a little as long as you don't give in. Same thing during the day. If you do not like want she is doing put her in her crate. As far as pottying that will stop with time because dogs do not like to potty where they sleep. It may take a little longer with her because of her age. But she will learn. It is just like a kid stay firm and she will learn. Good luck
schoolbus gal - I might try the benadryl, the vet is definitely too far away to drive out to again. She is SO small, she's exactly 2 lbs. Is it safe enough to give such a small dog a sedative? I found a homeopathic place near me and I might try that too..it sounds promising. The bed I bought her a while ago..she is getting really used to it now. For the first time since I got her she is sleeping in it alone, but beside me. It's a miracle so far! I know she can learn. I don't have the heart to let her go now..I'm in love with her and my family loves her too, I just need her to stay with someone other than me. I'll do whatever it takes to get this done. Thanks for your suggestions :)
karma88 - Thanks for your advice. I've never had a puppy before, I've only rescued older dogs from shelters so I am totally clueless how to crate train a puppy. I guess you have to start some time! 3 nights of whining doesn't sound too bad, I thought it would be more like 2 weeks, but like you mentioned it may take longer since she is an older puppy. Sometimes I feel like I'm being cruel, but it has to be done if she won't sleep on her own. I will try my best with the crating.
She is improving somewhat, but I have one question I hope someone can help me with on housebreaking her. I've been showing her how to go outside to do her business, but since she is really small she hates to go outside because it's so cold. Could anyone recommend how I can house train her without going outside? Do pee pads work?
When I first got my Chihuahua he would cry and scream if he couldnt see my Tear up the carpet ect. I put him in a crate at night wore earplugs to drowned out the crying. Iy broke my heart but I had to. ! week after spending every night in the crate he is fine to sleep alone. Still gets sad when I leave or lock him up in the day But much better. TOUGH LOVE>>