Do you want to bond with your Chihuahua? Have you ever wondered “how to make my Chihuahua love me?” Then, this article is for you!
Read on to learn:
- What science has to say about dogs’ capability to love.
- How to use positive reinforcement to your advantage.
- How going on adventures with your Chihuahua can make them love you
- A lot more
How to make my Chihuahua love me?
You can make your Chihuahua love you in more than 13 ways. That’s by showing them affection, taking good care of them, scheduling play and training sessions with them, and making them feel secure. If you show them, love, they will reciprocate. When Chihuahuas are taken care of, they become happier and more comfortable around you.
Are Dogs Capable of Love?
Many pet owners, including you, would say that their dogs love them.
You’ve got a lot of proof to go with it. The slobbery kisses, the eye contact, the licking. But, there’s actually scientific evidence to prove that dogs might love their owners.
Let’s start with the oxytocin-gaze positive loop study. Oxytocin is also called the ‘love drug’ or the ‘love hormone.’ This hormone produces feelings of love and satisfaction.
Also, it is responsible for behaviors associated with bonding.
This study proved that mutual gazing between humans and their dogs increased their oxytocin levels.
In the study, the dogs were presented with 5 scents:
- Familiar dog
- Strange dog
- Familiar human
- Strange human
Among these scents, the familiar human activated the caudate nucleus to a maximum level. It suggests that dogs had a positive association with their owner’s scent.
But, How Can I Make My Chihuahua Love Me?
Well, there are many ways. But, the most fool-proof ones include the following:
#1: Show your Affection
To earn your Chihuahua’s love, you need to show them, love.
Thankfully, dogs are simple creatures. Simple things are enough to make them know that you love them. Next time you ask yourself “how can I make my Chihuahua love me?”, think of the following actions. You can freely give pats, scratches, hugs, or rubs throughout the day. You know your dog likes it when they respond to your act of love.
For instance, they maintain eye contact while you scratch the base of their ear. Or they ask you to pet them by nudging your hand with their nose.
Note: Not all dogs like the same ways of petting. Some hate to be hugged or for their face to be touched. Other dogs feel uncomfortable with being touched. Know what your dog likes and dislikes and respond accordingly.
#2: Let your Dog Do What they Love
Know what drives your Chihuahua. Then you’ll know how to respond to their needs.
That said, give them opportunities to do more of what they love. And I can assure you. They’ll love you more.
Perhaps your Chihuahua gets their jollies by running up a hill and sliding down on its back. Or they’re probably a sucker for walks. Or maybe they are crazy about swimming.
You can even join them. It’s one way of bonding with them and strengthening your relationship.
But what if, what makes your dog happy doesn’t make you happy? Like chasing the cats. Or stealing your socks or other clothes. You can solve these issues with a little creativity.
Play fetch with your dog so they don’t harass the cat. Or play hide and seek to divert their attention from stealing your clothes.
#3: Create Memories by Going on Adventures
Make more memories together. Show your Chi the world outside your house.
Take them hiking in the countryside. Take everything in. The trees. The breeze. The never-ending roads. Don’t be in a rush. Let your dog, and yourself, smell the flowers.
You can also have a picnic at the beach or lake and go swimming. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen on your little pal to protect their skin from the sun.
You can also do a camping trip. Set up a cozy tent by the river. In the morning, catch some fish to share by the fire.
If you can’t get away, it’s okay. You can still go on adventures in the city.
Doing fun stuff with your Chi will make them want to be with you more.
#4: Walk Together
Don’t underestimate the power of walking with your Chihuahua.
It can be an enriching experience for you and your pooch.
After all, dogs love to stretch their legs. And you know they love sniffing around. So now is your chance to allow your dog to do these activities.
If your Chi is just a puppy, keep your walk short. The ideal length of time is 5 minutes multiplied by their age in months.
So if your dog is 3 months, give them 15 minutes of activities. You can break this into shorter times throughout the day.
So instead of walking for 15 minutes straight, take 5-minute walks 3 times a day.
If they’re between 8-10 months old, walks can be longer. It can be 20 to 30 minutes. Then take a break to rest and give your dog water.
As your Chi grows older, you can do walks for between 30 and 45 minutes.
When a Chi becomes a senior, they will naturally slow down. But they still need regular walks to keep them in shape.
Depending on the health of your pooch, you may decrease the time for walks. Observe your Chi while walking. When they start panting excessively and look tired, they’ve walked far enough.
And when you walk, allow your Chihuahua to explore. Let them sniff the flowers or the fence. This is a mentally stimulating activity, so it will also help tire out an energetic puppy.
In addition, walking is beneficial if your dog is trying to lose weight. This way, you won’t have to worry about how to “make my Chihuahua love me”. You will be doing so by keeping them healthy.
#5: Take Good Care of your Dog
If you ask yourself “how to make my Chihuahua love me” often, there is one very basic answer. Just take good care of them!
A high-quality dog food and treats are essential for your dog’s overall wellbeing. They cannot feel loving if their basic need is not provided.
When feeding, don’t just dump their food in the bowl. Make them work for it.
Do this by giving them a puzzle toy such as a stuffed Kong. It sharpens their brains because they figure out how to get the treats from the toy.
Also, avoid free feeding. Free feeding is keeping their food bowl full all the time. In short, you let your dog eat whenever they want.
This is not good because they’re at risk of becoming overweight. In addition, readily available food invites a host of critters. Such as insects and rodents.
The best thing to do is time-limited and amount-limited feeding. Give them only the right amount to maintain a healthy weight.
And when your dog has not touched their food within 15 to 20 minutes, take it away. Do the same if they have not finished the meal.
You can also consider hand-feeding your dog sometimes. No, don’t do it their entire meal. Just a few handfuls are enough.
It’s to teach your dog that you’re the provider of their meal. This also helps prevent aggression.
Keep your Chihuahua healthy and protected by taking them for regular check-ups. Ensure their vaccinations are complete and updated.
If they’re injured or ill, don’t hesitate to take them to the vet. Your dog will benefit from immediate treatment.
Also, get the best treatment if your Chihuahua has ticks or fleas. Otherwise, they’ll keep on scratching themselves to relieve the itching.
#6: Practice the Positive Reinforcement Method
When training your Chihuahua, there are several methods you can use. The most used is operant conditioning.
By using operant conditioning, your Chihuahua associates a behavior with a consequence. The consequences can be good or bad.
Operant conditioning has 4 quadrants:
- Positive reinforcement – rewarding a dog’s desirable behavior.
- Positive punishment – adding something unpleasant to decrease a behavior.
- Negative reinforcement – removing something unpleasant to reinforce behavior.
- Negative punishment – removing something pleasant to decrease a behavior.
From these, positive reinforcement is the most ideal for training a dog.
That’s due to the many benefits it offers.
For starters, it helps your dog:
- Become friendly.
- Conquer their fears.
- Become well socialized.
- Learn desirable behaviors.
- Adapt lifelong good manners.
- Become a better companion.
- Become welcomed by the public.
- Behave well with other people or pets.
- Communicate well with you and vice versa.
- Get accustomed to sights, sounds, and scents.
- Be safe when they know commands such as stop, sit, and stay.
- Help you stop questioning how to make my Chihuahua love me
Through positive reinforcement, you make training fun for your dog. You don’t punish them by using force. Or by introducing unpleasant things. And when it’s fun, your Chihuahua will enjoy the training. They won’t feel like it’s a chore.
In addition, positive reinforcement does not promote fear. Thus, your dog will trust you more. As for you, you’ll find that it is a joy to own a well-behaved Chihuahua.
Note: Don’t forget to reward your Chihuahua when they show desirable behavior. For example, you teach them to sit and wait when you come home from work. If they do that, give them their well-deserved attention and some treats.
#7: Avoid Punishing
The good thing about using positive reinforcement? There’s no need for punishment.
Instead of punishment, do something better to correct a behavior. Try redirection.
Quite simply, it’s “do this, not that.” When you redirect your Chihuahua and they behave correctly, reward them asap.
Caution: Refrain from yelling or showing how frustrated you are. Avoid hurting your dog at all costs. Otherwise, you’ll have a dog that’s fearful of you. And remember, sometimes a dog takes longer before learning. You just need to have patience.
#8: Make them Feel Safe and Secure
Who doesn’t want a dog that feels safe and secure with you?
When they feel safe with you, they will love you. They learn that with you, they will not be harmed. And sometimes it takes a long time for a dog to feel safe. So, give them time until they become comfortable with you.
#9: Socialize your Dog
Socialization improves your dog’s well-being.
When you have a Chihuahua, introduce them to other people and pets. They are happier if they can interact with others.
Just imagine a dog that’s socialized to one that’s scared of people and everything.
You’ll see that a well-socialized pooch is happier. They can adjust to different situations.
Caution: Make sure your dog socializes in a controlled environment. Don’t force them to become friends with other dogs. If they’re uncomfortable or afraid, take them away from the situation.
#10: Provide a Dedicated Space for Your Chihuahua
Having their own quiet space is important for a Chihuahua.
A dog sleeps most of the day, so they need a cozy bed to doze off. Add in a blanket and some chew toys they love.
When choosing a corner, it should be where they can sleep or relax in peace. Meaning it’s out of the way, but where they can see and be part of the family.
A corner of the living room is a good choice.
#11: Spend Quality Time Together
So, you want a well-behaved dog. but, then again, you wonder how to make my Chihuahua love me. Is there a golden ratio? Yes, there is!
It doesn’t mean training all the time. Sometimes you and your dog need to relax. Or to do things that are outside training.
What I mean is, play! If there’s one thing dogs are crazy about (aside from you), it’s playing.
Do a quick game of fetch, or tug of war. Play in between training. Or designate a time or day to just play with your Chihuahua. Doing this builds your Chihuahua’s enthusiasm. They enjoy these moments with you.
And they’re highly likely to love you for being fun!
#12: Listen to your Dog
Unfortunately, many pet owners don’t understand their dogs. That’s because they don’t listen.
For example, it frustrates pet owners when their Chihuahua doesn’t respond to training. Or when their Chihuahua ignores them.
Find out why. Could it be that your dog is distracted? Maybe they just need a recall.
Or perhaps they’re under the weather? In which case, training will be pointless.
Note: Listen to your dog by observing their behavior or body language.
#13: Be Together
I’ll bet your Chihuahua loves being with you or near you.
That’s already a sign that they love you!
That’s because, with you, they feel safe.
They prefer your companionship over anything else.