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Chihuahua pup who won't stop barking.(3 Posts)
My DD is wheelchair bound and has constant daily pain, she lives independently in a HA apartment and I've had to step in as her 24 hour Carer. She's wanted a companion dog for quite some time ( we've always had rescue pets in family home) so after a couple of years near her 30th birthday we looked for a pup who would get used to her electric wheelchair, hoist etc... we wanted a small sized dog who could go out with her and be light enough to sit on her lap ( after being walked of course) and a chihuahua seemed a good option. We found a litter online and breeder came to us ( obviously her home not wheelchair accessible) she had 3 bitches and one in particular seemed interested in my DD, were told that they were 8 weeks and got chip com details etc.. had full vet check to find she is only 5 weeks! ... fast forward 8 months and she barks at everything and if anyone approaches her on walks she growls and barks through fear. We have tried plug ins , vibrating collars and herbal calming tablets but nothing works, she went to puppy classes and barked at the dogs in the other groups. She is played with, walked and lived ( but not pampered as a princess) her barking has got worse as she seems to be nearing her first season ( booked in for spay in 2 weeks) it's getting stressful and exhausting but my DD would be heartbroken if neighbours complain and HA say we need to get rid of her ( HA have agreed to let her have her pup- we asked before getting her) I'm really worried that she'll get worse if she's spayed sorry for long post but desperate for advice.
Unfortunately you are seeing one of the big risks with not choosing your breeder carefully. An owner wanting you to bring (unvaccinated) puppies to them to choose one is pretty much a puppy farmer's wet dream. To be able to sell them at 5 weeks and not pay 3+ weeks of food etc is even better.
The mental development that happens between 5 weeks old and 8 weeks (actually slightly later for Chis) is critical and requires the dog to be within its litter. It is during this time that your puppy would have become used to dogs and learned a great deal about how to interact with other dogs and the world around her, by watching mum. It would have been the time she became confident around other dogs and her world (hopefully).
She has missed this critical part of her development. The reality is that there is nothing that can be done to 100% make up for it because her brain is no longer in the same maleable state it was at the time.
I wonder if because she was so young and because mobility sounds very difficult for your DD whether either if you did any socilisation with her outside classes? This would also have been really important to do (more so, because she was so young when removed from mum).
If she spent the first few weeks within the safe environment of your house, except an hour a week at classes, and didn't go out much then this will have compounded the problem.
I'm sorry and don't mean to make you feel bad. I just wanted to highlight some of the reaons why she might be behaving like this. Coupled with a bad breeder who will not have chosen the parents carefully for health and temperament and ou may have a puppy that is even more prone to nerves because of her (lack of) breeding.
In all honesty, I'd look for a good one-to-one trainer to work with you on trying to gently encourage and incraese her confidence and slowly get her used to the world in the right way.
She's still young so it will be easier to do this now than wait another year or so. However, I would still expect it to be a bit of a long journey and require a fair bit of work...
Not a lot to add to pp but yes, you and your poor dog have been stung, not by a 'breeder', but a crook running a puppy mill.
You need help for this poor little dog and the only way is to find a one to one trainer/behaviourist.
Do not just go online and take anyone, as you did to buy the dog.
Anyone can call themselves a dog trainer, and will someone who doesn't know what they are doing could end up making the situation a lot worse.
Do your research. You need to look for someone who is APDT (UK) registered. You could start by asking your vet if they have a list of local APDT trainers.
Everything is going to frighten your dog and fearful dogs can become aggressive dogs.
You need to get help sooner rather than later. This is going to take a long time to work on, and will very probably never been completely put right, but the sooner you start, while the dog is still young, the better the chance of helping the poor little thing.