Chihuahuas are pretty good at letting you know what kind of mood they are in, so if you have some basic dog body language skills, you probably know when yours is upset about something.

Once you know that, however, the next step is knowing that to do. How you react to your Chihuahua when she reacts is very important. The following are four things to when your Chihuahua is stressed.

#1 – Find The Trigger

First and foremost, you must figure out what is causing your Chihuahua to be anxious, afraid, or stressed. Sometimes it’s obvious – he’s lunging and barking on his lead at the dog across the street – it’s a good bet it’s the dog. But other times, it may not be as obvious.

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Pay attention to your dog’s body language to give you clues. Is your Chihuahua staring at anything? Running or cowering in the opposite direction of someone or something? Acting hyper-vigilant (looking everywhere frantically – this may indicate it’s the environment that has him stressed), etc. If you can’t figure it out, have a professional dog trainer help you.

#2 – Remove the Trigger

At the beginning, you need to just remove the trigger for the well-being of your dog. The more your Chihuahua is exposed to it, the more stressed he will become. So once you know what the trigger is, avoid it as much as possible until you have a plan to get him over his fears the correct way.

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#3 – Don’t Force Your Chihuahua To Confront Her Fears

Many times, people think, “If I force her to the object she fears, she will see it’s fine and not be afraid anymore.” Dogs don’t work that way. If you force your Chihuahua into a situation that stresses her, it can escalate to the point where she becomes fear aggressive. She may redirect on you, or attack the object/person/dog that is causing his response.

#4 – Train Him

The only way to help your Chihuahua is to use training to overcome his fears. There are many ways of doing of this and what technique you use will depend on the trigger, your dog and you – choose the method that works best for the situation. Definitely get the help of a professional trainer that has experience overcoming fear using positive methods. Correction will only make your dog fear the situation or thing more.

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