And of course, you will want that dog to have a history of being friendly with others. During this time, try to avoid walking your Chi down routes and paths that a lot of other dogs may be on; you'll want to concentrate on planned, supervised interactions at first.
Since most Chihuahuas feel safe and secure at home, this should be done outside your home. Inside the home can work, however a Chi may feel that the other dog is invading his territory. It can create a feeling of invasion and the need to protect. When having the canine instinct to protect, but feeling afraid at the same time, it can be very overwhelming.
Therefore, it is best to plan for a friend, neighbor or family member to visit with his dog outside your home in the front or back yard.
If you do not know anyone with another dog that is known to get along well with other dogs, your other option is to choose a quiet dog park. When you visit a park in which there are just a handful of other pets, you can initiate a meet and greet with the dog of your choosing. Let another owner know that you are working with your Chihuahua on tolerance and bravery and most will be happy to oblige.
3) The Meet -
Once you have established that you are the leader, when the dog is brought over (or you bring your Chihuahua to the park to meet another dog), act and speak in a matter-of-fact manner. You will want to send a signal to your Chihuahua that you do not view the approach of others as a fearful event.
Have your Chi on a 6 foot leash (and harness
- not collar). You will want to keep the leash short; otherwise, your dog may just decide to run its length and cower down as far away as he can.
After greeting the other person, crouch down for a moment to the other dog's level to pat him and say hello. This will show your Chihuahua that you are accepting the other dog and that you do not see him as a threat.
Do not put all of your focus on your dog. Your goal will be to interact with the other person. You will be ignoring your Chihuahua while secretly keeping an eye on him. Chat away in a friendly manner, ignoring any whining, cowering, shaking or tail tucking. If a few minutes pass and your Chi shows no signs of calming down, it is best to remove him from the area (lead him away, do not carry him). He may need quite a few quick meets like this before he is ready to engage with the other dog.
However, just allowing the approach and as leader, ignoring his signs of fear, you are working towards establishing a 'rule' that if you say it is okay, it is okay.
At some point - whether after 2 tries or 20, a Chihuahua will find a touch of courage to interact. In order for there to be an interaction between 2 dogs, both must agree on the exchange. If they do, the dogs will sniff each other. It is important to allow this to happen.