The Foundation of Bonding
As we touched on, respect is a fundamental element in the bond between owner and dog. Our dogs live by canine laws; one very important one being that of hierarchy. Every den (house) has a pack (family consisting of humans and animals) and that pack has an Alpha (the leader).
If a dog has an improper understanding of hierarchy in which he does not know who is in charge, or worse, thinks that he may be in charge, this warped perception can most certainly get in the way of proper bonding.
While it is best to start when a Chihuahua is a young pup, teaching him that you are his loving leader will go a long way in establishing a bond and is extremely helpful (and often vital) for such things as housebreaking
and having your Chi walk properly beside you, etc.
While some owners would rather be best friends with their Chihuahua as opposed to being the leader, it is important to note that once the relationship of Alpha is established, you and your Chihuahua can have a fantastic friendship. It can be one of respect and loyalty, love and companionship.
Expecting a 'Sit' before any food is given, both meals and snacks, is one way to claim your place as leader.
Puppy Bonding VS Adult Bonding
There is a difference in the way that a Chihuahua puppy and an adult Chihuahua will bond with his humans.
– Though puppies go through amazing growth spurts in the first 8 weeks and have a good degree of cognitive abilities, it is normal for a pup to appear to be very well bonded, then seem distant and then go back again. There are several reasons for this.
Firstly, young pups have not yet reached their full cognitive awareness. For this reason, they may not seem to mind being held and cuddled. They may seek warmth and comfort with no hesitation, easily snuggling up to their human. They often do not complain or show intolerance for any level of holding or attention.
But then, as the pup matures a bit, he becomes more aware; for this reason, he may assert himself that he does not prefer to be held quite so much. He becomes more independent; for this reason, he may want the freedom of retreating to his doggie bed
instead of sitting up on the sofa with you. He is more curious. For these reasons, he may choose to investigate toys instead of laying on your lap.