Bonding with your Chihuahua is one of the most joyful and beautiful experiences you can have.
For the most part, bonding comes naturally as you get to know one another. But sometimes it can be a bit more complicated.
If you’re wondering how to get a Chihuahua to like you, keep reading! We’ll go over eight ways you can strengthen the bond between you and your furbaby.
- The Importance of Bonding
- Bonding Strategies
- What Not to Do
- Do Chihuahuas Form Strong Bonds?
The Importance of Bonding
A strong bond between you and your dog means that you will both trust and respect one another.
A good bond is important because:
- It ensures your dog is happy and at ease
- It means your dog trusts you to take care of them
- It helps with training and socialization
- Your dog is more likely to listen and pay attention to you
- They’re more likely to come back to you when they’re off-leash
- Vet trips and grooming will be less stressful
- They will behave better in new or worrying situations because they know you’ll protect them
Essentially, your dog needs to know that you are their family and they can rely on you.
It’s best to start bonding with your dog as soon as they come home, whether they’re a rescue dog or a brand new puppy. The strategies below are ideal stepping stones.
1. Spend Lots of Time Together
Take them on walks, cuddle up on the sofa, play with them, and even take them with you to run errands (when you can, of course).
Go on adventures together to new places! Chihuahuas are often overlooked as dogs that like to explore the outdoors but they can make amazing adventure buddies. My Chi loves hiking!
2. Talk to Your Chihuahua
Chat to them about your day or tell them what you’re doing. You want to get them used to your voice. I know for some people this might feel silly at first, but once you get started it will become more natural.
Although they won’t understand everything you’re saying, studies have shown that dogs recognize their owner’s voice. They can also pick up on different tones, for example, whether our voice is happy, sad, or angry.
3. Respect Their Boundaries
It’s crucial to respect your dog’s boundaries. I know they’re adorable and you want to pick them up and cuddle them – but not all Chihuahuas will feel comfortable with that.
A huge part of bonding with a dog is showing them that they can trust you and that you aren’t going to do things that make them feel scared or uncomfortable.
Lots of Chihuahuas will enjoy being petted, but you need to take your time to figure out what they’re comfortable with. Keep an eye on their body language for indications that they aren’t happy, and stop what you’re doing if they don’t like it.
4. Train Your Chihuahua
Training is a great way to bond with your Chihuahua, whether it’s teaching them basic commands or more complicated tricks. Focus on positive reinforcement to make it fun and engaging.
Training requires your dog to listen to you and take your lead so it’s great for building mutual respect.
5. Sit on The Floor
I know this one seems overly simple but I promise for every dog I’ve met it works! Get down to their level and sit on the floor. If you have a nervous dog, this can make them feel reassured and less nervous.
When we first rescued my Chihuahua, she wouldn’t even come out of her crate due to her difficult past. My husband and I took turns sitting on the floor with her for hours at a time just talking to her. Eventually, she came out of the crate to explore. Before we knew it, she was sniffing at us, then climbing up on our knees for a cuddle!
6. Play Games Together
Get the toys out and play games with your Chihuahua. You could even make or get some puzzle games to mentally stimulate your dog.
Playing together is great fun for both you and your dog and is a fantastic way to strengthen your bond.
7. Offer Treats
Over time, this teaches them that interacting with you brings yummy tastes and positive experiences!
8. Meet Their Needs
Chihuahuas that have their needs met are happier and healthier in general. They’re far more likely to bond with you if you show them that they can rely on you to take care of them.
Make sure they have a good routine, are getting plenty of exercise, a healthy diet, and proper grooming and health care.
What Not to Do
Don’t Punish Your Chihuahua
Positive reinforcement is the best way to train your Chihuahua. You should never shout at them or punish them – they won’t understand this and will likely become scared of you.
However, you can use a firm ‘no’, or refuse to give them attention if they’re behaving badly.
Don’t Force Them
Unless it’s vital for their health and wellbeing (for example going to the vet), don’t force your Chihuahua to do things that they are uncomfortable with. Don’t force them into being dressed up, cuddled, kissed, picked up, or stroked if they don’t enjoy it.
Don’t Leave Them Alone for Too Long
Most of us have to leave our dogs at home sometimes. However, it’s important you don’t leave them alone for too long as they may get anxious and upset.
It’s best to build up alone time gradually to teach them that they don’t need to be scared and you will always come back.
Do Chihuahuas Form Strong Bonds?
Chihuahuas tend to form very strong bonds with their humans and are incredibly loving. This bond can take time to build, especially if your dog has had a difficult past, but it’s well worth the effort.
Once your Chihuahua is bonded with you, you’ll have a best friend for many years to come.
How long does it take to bond with a Chihuahua?
It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to bond with a Chihuahua depending on their history and how much time you put into bonding.
How do Chihuahuas pick their favorite person?
Chihuahuas will naturally connect more with the person who gives them the most attention and treats them in a way that they enjoy.