Babies vs Dogs
Do you baby your dog too much, really, is there such a thing? Let’s face it, Chihuahuas are adorable! So adorable and tiny that we sometimes forget that they are dogs. They are after all babies to us, just four-legged babies with fur. But, can you baby your dog too much? What is the harm? We see it everywhere we go. I’m not saying it’s totally wrong. My three are my babies too. When I got my first Chihuahua at 9 weeks old I don’t think his paws touched the ground for at least a week. Sometimes we even forget that they are dogs.
Chihuahua Love, baby your dog
Why wouldn’t you love your Chihuahua and baby your dog? They think you are the most awesome person in the world. They never hesitate to sneak a snuggle. To thank them for making life so much better, we spoil them just like babies, we baby our dog.
But, with Chihuahuas love must be balanced with leadership, rules, and structure. If it’s not, your baby could end up with a myriad of behavior problems. There should be a limit to how much we baby our dog.
Because Chis are so small it’s easy to just scoop them up in your arms and feel that you are protecting them. An example is when they encounter a big dog This is a mistake that even I have made. I mean, really, wouldn’t you be afraid if you encountered a 15 ft giant? But, when you do, you are only conveying to your dog that there is something to be afraid of. And when you pick him up, he feels that he is bigger and badder than that big dog.
Picking them up only increases their fear and Chihuahuas are fear aggressive. Chihuahuas act aggressively when they are afraid hoping to scare off the danger. He will also become insecure and aggression becomes his reaction to anything that he perceives as a threat.
What to do instead
Unless your Chihuahua is in danger from the other dog, you should confidently teach your Chihuahua how to behave when he encounters a big dog and that there is no need to be fearful.
It is also common to say things like, “it’s okay, don’t worry, mommy’s here”. It’s natural to want to soothe his worries and make him feel better.
The problem with this is Chihuahuas look to their owners for guidance when feeling insecure or afraid. When you talk baby talk to them it only feeds their fears. What he hears is that you don’t sound confident, so there must be something to fear. They also read your body language. If you show fear, that also tells him there is something to be afraid of.
What to do instead
Offer confident encouragement. If he senses that you are not afraid, then he will be more confident and become curious instead of afraid. He then will be more likely to approach the object or noise.
If you want a well-behaved dog, you must let him know that you are the leader or parent in this relationship. If he is treated like a baby he will see no reason to listen to you. He will know that when you say, “down” when he is on the couch that he must get off the couch with no protesting.
Do not get me wrong, I am not saying you should never pick your dog up, or that you should never talk baby talk to him. But keep in mind that if he is showing fear of anything, that is not the time to do it.
I know that doing the wrong thing can feel so right at the time. Just keep letting your Chihuahua know that you are the leader and that you have things under control and you will have a better behaved, well-mannered dog and you will have many happy years together.