There is nothing more pitiful than a tiny little Chihuahua shivering in fear. A frightened Chihuahua can also be dangerous as they do what they think is necessary to protect themselves. It is up to you to learn how to handle a scared Chihuahua and help your precious pup become more confident.
Signs of Fear
The first step in helping your frightened pooch is learning to recognize signs that she is scared and may become aggressive out of self-defense.
Like all dogs, Chihuahuas communicate mostly through body language. Your Chi will use her ears, posture, and tail to communicate to you that she is scared.
- Ears – When scared, your pup may flatten her ears against her heads. Dogs use the angle of their ears to tell other dogs how they are feeling and this flattened angle is her way of saying “I’m scared!” loud and clear. Learn to watch your dog’s ears for signs of how your dog is feeling in any given situation.
- Posture – A scared Chihuahua will sometimes portray a submissive posture by standing with his head low and back arched. Or your little friend may show his fear by rolling over to expose his belly in the ultimate show of submission.
- Tail – What your little dog’s tail for signs that he is becoming scared. A frightened Chihuahua will tuck his tail between his legs to protect his genitals. Some little dogs will also do this when they are cold so watch for other signs of fear along with the tail-tucking.
- Cowering – One of the most common signs of fear in animals is shying or cowering away from the thing that is scaring them.
- Panting – You probably know that dogs pant when they are hot but heavy panting is also a sign of a scared, stressed or nervous little dog.
- Yawning – Similar to the way you might take a few deep breaths to calm your nerves, a tense or scared Chihuahua may yawn frequently.
- Shaking or Shivering – Little dogs tend to shiver when they are frightened but this can also be a sign of health problems such as hypoglycemia. If you notice your pup gets shaky even when there doesn’t seem to be a reason to be scared, you may want to check with your vet.
- Growling – Chihuahuas tend to growl more out of fear than aggression. They do this as an effective way to keep the animal or human that is scaring them at a safe distance.
How to Deal With a Scared Chihuahua
Your little friend may have been abused or roughly handled in the past or she may be intimidated by a world that is a dangerous place for such a tiny creature. Once you have learned to recognize the signs of fear, you can begin to help her learn to feel safe.
- Stay calm and positive – Your little friend is sensitive to your moods and any negativity she senses from you will only make him more frightened and distrustful. Your pup will look to you as the leader of the pack to let her know whether her fears are justified; don’t give her any reason to think they are.
- Don’t overreact - It is very tempting to shower our little friends with love and comfort when we see them frightened. This can have the undesired effect of training our Chihuahuas to act afraid so try to act normally when your Chi gets scared.
- Desensitize – Desensitization training is a great way to help your little dog become more confidant. By exposing her to those things she is frightened of in small doses over time, your Chi will become more and more use to those scary situations.
- Socialization – Many dogs become frightened because they just aren’t used to being around other dogs and people. This lack of socialization can lead your pup to think that everyone and everything is to be mistrusted. The more places, people, and animals you can expose your baby-dog to, the more confident she will become. one of the reasons that dogs become fearful in the first place is a lack of socialization.