Are you a proud parent of a delightful Chihuahua, forever striving to deepen your bond? Have you ever caught yourself musing over the question, “How can I make my Chihuahua love me?” Ponder no more – this article is prepped just for you.
Are Dogs Capable of Love?
Many pet owners, including you, would say that their dogs love them. After all, you’ve got a lot of proof. 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 loop study. Oxytocin is also called the ‘love drug’ or the ‘love hormone.’ This hormone produces feelings of love and satisfaction and is responsible for behaviors associated with bonding.
In the study, dogs were presented with five scents: their own, a familiar dog’s, a strange dog’s, a familiar human’s, and a strange human’s.
Among these scents, the familiar human activated the caudate nucleus to a maximum level, while the other scents – not so much. This suggests that dogs have a positive association with their owner’s scent.
How To Make My Chihuahua Love Me?
Now that we’ve gotten their ability to love out of the way, let’s get into how you can feed this behavior. You can make your Chihuahua love you 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 are more comfortable around you. For those of you who want to get into more detail, read along to find the 12-item cheat sheet that answers the question “How to make my Chihuahua love me?”.
1. Show Affection
To earn your Chihuahua’s love, you need to show them love. Thankfully, Chihuahuas are simple creatures. Simple things are enough to make them know that you love them. You can freely give pats, scratches, hugs, or rubs throughout the day. You’ll know it’s working when your pup responds to your act of love with joy and excitement.
In specific cases, your pup may maintain eye contact while you scratch the base of their ear. Or, they’ll ask you to keep petting them by nudging your hand with their nose.
However, not all Chis like the same ways of petting. Some hate to be hugged or you touching their face. Others feel uncomfortable with being touched altogether. So, it’s vital to discover what your Chihuahua likes so you can respond accordingly.
2. Let Them Do What They Love
Know what drives your Chihuahua, and you’ll know how to respond to their needs. Give them opportunities to do more of what they love, and you’ll see how quickly they’ll show their love and admiration.
Maybe your Chihuahua gets their jollies by running up a hill and sliding down on its back. Or, they’re suckers for walks or crazy about swimming. Whatever it is, let them have it and join them so you can bond with your Chihuahua.
But what if, what makes your Chi happy doesn’t make you happy? Like chasing the cats. Or stealing your socks and clothes. Well, you can solve these issues with a little creativity.
Integrate training in your pup’s free time, so you can teach them positive behaviors while bonding together. Try fetching with your Chihuahua so they don’t harass the cat, or play hide and seek to divert their attention from stealing your clothes.
3. Go On Adventures Together
It’s vital for you to go on adventures with your pup and create memories together. Show your Chihuahua the world outside your home. Take them hiking in the countryside. Take everything in. The trees, the breeze, and the never-ending roads.
You can also try having picnics at the beach and going swimming with your pup. Others even enjoy camping trips, where they can set up a cozy tent by the river for a sweet bonding ambiance with their Chis.
But, if you can’t get away, that’s still okay. You can still go on adventures in the city. Just take your dog shopping at your local Walmart or Lowe’s. Doing fun stuff with your Chi will make them want to be with you more, making them love you in the process.
4. Walk Together
Never underestimate the power of walking with your Chihuahua, as it can be an enriching experience for both you and your pooch. After all, dogs love to stretch their legs and sniff around. So, now is your chance to let them do these activities.
If your Chihuahua is just a puppy, keep your walks short. The ideal length of time is 5 minutes multiplied by their age in months. So, if your dog is 3 months old, give them 15 minutes of activities. You can even break this into shorter times throughout the day, as long as you fulfill your pup’s needs fully.
If your Chihuahua is between 8 and 10 months old, your walks should range from 20 to 30 minutes. Then, take a break to rest and give your dog water. As your Chi grows older, you can go on walks for as long as 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 your pup’s health, gradually decrease the walking time. When you see them start panting excessively and look tired, that means they’ve had enough exercise for the day.
5. Take Good Care of Them
The most fundamental answer to the “How to make my Chihuahua love me?” question is very straightforward – simply ensure you’re looking after them well! Here are two ways you must absolutely nail when taking care of your Chi:
Give Them Good Food
High-quality dog food and treats are essential for your Chihuauha’s overall well-being. The amount of food your pup needs depends on their age, weight, and activity levels, so this is where Chihuahua feeding charts come in.
Otherwise, when feeding your pup, don’t just dump their food in the bowl. Make them work for it, by giving them a puzzle toy such as a stuffed Kong. These exercises shape their brains as they figure out how to get the treats from the toy.
Also, avoid free feeding, where you keep their food bowl full all the time. This practice is not recommended because you risk making your pup overweight. In addition, readily available food invites a host of critters like insects and rodents – something you definitely don’t want near your Chihuahua.
When dealing with picky eaters, you should teach your pup that you’re the provider of their meal, and aggression is something you won’t tolerate.
For example, if they haven’t touched their food within 15 to 20 minutes of you serving it, take it away. Do the same if they have not finished the meal. This will teach them “proper manners” and make your bond more stable.
Have Regular Check-Ups
The surest way to keep your Chihuahua healthy and protected is to take them in for regular vet check-ups. You must always ensure their vaccinations are complete and updated.
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If they’re injured or ill, don’t hesitate to sign up for an emergency vet visit. Your dog will benefit from immediate treatment, and you’ll refrain a mountain of bills from accumulating in your bank account.
If your Chihuahua has ticks or fleas, make sure to invest in the best treatment plan there is. You must understand that during this time your pup is very vulnerable.
And, they’ll keep on scratching themselves to relieve the itching, which will not only prolong the healing but also leave remaining side effects that you’ll have to deal with in the long run.
6. Practice Positive Reinforcement
A well-trained Chihuahua is a well-loved Chihuahua. When you begin training them, you’ll see that there are many ways to go about it, but the most used method is operant conditioning.
By using operant conditioning, your Chihuahua will associate a behavior with a consequence. The consequences can be good or bad. Operant conditioning, as a whole, has four 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
How Does Positive Reinforcement Build Love?
From these, positive reinforcement is the most ideal for training a dog. That’s because positive reinforcement helps your dog foster open communication and trust.
It’s important to understand and help your Chihuahua conquer their fears, as this strengthens your bond and makes your pet see you as a safe haven.
Being well-socialized helps your Chihuahua to become a better companion, as they become welcomed by the public and behave well with other people and pets.
Positive reinforcement also helps them get accustomed to different sights, sounds, and scents. This will help them in their social development and let them be comfortable in different settings.
Chihuahuas are safe when they know commands such as stop, sit, and stay. These skills are crucial, not just for their safety, but for your peace of mind as well.
Finally, by incorporating all these aspects, you’ll no longer question how to make your Chihuahua love you, instead, you’ll enjoy a loving and satisfying relationship with your pet.
7. Avoid Punishing Them
Building a relationship with your Chihuahua can be simply viewed as a matter of ‘positive action, not negative reaction’. The process involves redirecting your Chihuahua’s negative behavior and rewarding them promptly when they exhibit appropriate conduct.
However, remember these moments as teaching opportunities should always be led by positivity and patience. Always hold back from expressing frustration or anger towards your Chihuahua, such as yelling or showing visible signs of impatience.
Most importantly, never resort to causing physical harm to your pet under any circumstance. This could result in your Chihuahua developing a fear towards you, which is counterproductive to the goal of building a loving connection.
Keep in mind that just like humans, dogs also have their individual pace when it comes to learning. Patience is a virtue that pays off, so maintain a calm demeanor and encourage progress, however slow it may be.
8. Make Them Feel Safe & Secure
As a loving pet owner, who wouldn’t crave forming a bond where your furry friend feels completely safe and secure around you? It’s a universal truth that we all seek.
When your Chihuahua feels safe in your company, it naturally paves the way for a stronger, deeper bond – a bond filled with love and affection.
Your Chihuahua will also learn to associate you with a feeling of security, understanding that they will not be harmed in your presence. Over time, this nurtures a priceless relationship of trust.
And just like any relationship, building comfort and love with your Chihuahua might take time. It’s important to be patient and give them the time they need to adjust and feel comfortable with you.
9. Socialize Them
Socialization improves your dog’s well-being, making them love you better in the process. When you have a Chihuahua, introduce them to other people and pets. They’ll be happier when they can interact with others.
Have you ever thought about the difference between a well-socialized dog and one that’s constantly afraid of people and their surroundings? A well-socialized Chihuahua is generally much happier. They have a better ability to adapt to diverse situations, exhibiting more comfort and ease.
However, it’s crucial that your Chihuahua’s socialization occurs in a controlled and secure environment. Don’t pressurize them into becoming friendly with other dogs.
Listen to their signals – if your dog appears stressed or scared, it’s best to remove them from the situation immediately.
10. Provide a Dedicated Space For Them
The importance of a peaceful, personal space for your little Chihuahua cannot be understated. Just like us, our furry friends appreciate having a quiet corner they can call their own. This space serves as their refuge, their sanctuary, and a place where they can fully relax.
But what makes a perfect spot? Well, it’s all about comfort and location. Given that a dog spends a significant portion of its day snoozing, a warm, cozy bed is an absolute must. To make it even more inviting, add a soft blanket that carries your scent for that extra comforting touch.
Don’t forget to include a few chew toys they love for those moments when they are awake and looking for something fun to do. In the end, you won’t have to ask “How to make my Chihuahua love me“, because you’d have already achieved it.
11. Spend Quality Time Together
You want a well-behaved dog but you keep wondering how to make my Chihuahua love me. Is there a golden ratio? Yes, there is! If there’s one universal canine truth, it’s this: dogs love to play. And your Chihuahua is no exception!
Building a close, loving relationship with your Chihuahua doesn’t always mean that you have to be in full-on training mode. At times, it’s equally essential for you both to kick back, unwind, and engage in activities that aren’t directly related to training.
Playing isn’t just about fun and games, though. It also serves as a crucial bonding time between you and your pet. Whether it’s a boisterous round of fetch or a playful tug of war, these little moments of joy build an enthusiastic, positive association with you in your Chihuahua’s mind.
So why not set aside a specific time each day, or perhaps a whole day each week, dedicated to joyful playing and training? Over time, your dog’s enthusiasm for this playful interaction will grow, strengthening the bond between you two.
12. Listen to Them
Regrettably, a common issue many pet owners face is not fully understanding their dog’s barking. This misunderstanding often stems from not observing their pets closely or listening to their needs.
Consider your Chihuahua for a moment. Have you ever found yourself puzzled when your little canine friend doesn’t respond to training? Or worse yet, when they don’t heed your attention? It can be frustrating trying to communicate with your pet, only for them to seemingly ignore you.
To create a strong bond with your pet, it’s essential to try and empathize with their experience. Although small, Chihuahuas have big personalities with a robust range of emotions to match.
How to Understand What Your Chi Is Telling You?
The first step to understanding your Chihuahua is acknowledging their basic needs and instincts. This includes security, exercise, nutrition, and social interaction. Making an effort to understand these needs and addressing them effectively can significantly improve your relationship with your Chihuahua.
Secondly, keep a keen observation of their behavior. Noticing patterns or changes in your dog’s behavior can give you valuable insights into their state of mind. It’s easier to address possible issues once you have a better understanding of what might be causing them.
Does your Chihuahua respond negatively to certain stimuli? Do they get defensive when a specific person enters the room, or excited by a particular kind of toy? Understanding these signs may allow you to address any problems more accurately.
By paying attention to them, attending to their needs, and responding to their unique personality, you’ll no doubt find yourself in your dog’s good books before long. After all, who doesn’t want to be loved by their Chihuahua?
In conclusion, making your Chihuahua love you is a heartwarming process that involves both patience and understanding. Caring for their needs, bonding through playtime, feeding them nutritional meals, providing them consistent training, and offering a comfortable and safe environment are the primary elements of this beloved journey.
Remember, every Chihuahua is unique and might not respond in the same way as others. It takes time to build trust and love, but the bond that forms between you and your little companion will be worth every effort.
Love your Chihuahua, respect their space, provide them with their needs, and gradually, they will grow to recognize you not just as a provider but as a trusted and loved companion.