What are Some Reasons for a Chihuahua Being Afraid of Going Outside?
- A Chihuahua may be afraid of rushing traffic
- A dog may be afraid of all of the different noises that they hear; ones not found in your home. With keen canine hearing, a dog can be overwhelmed with a barrage of clatter and commotion.
- A Chihuahua may be hesitant to walk on different surfaces. If a puppy is used to soft carpeting in the house, he may have a fear of asphalt, cement or rocky areas. When we rescued a senior dog, the poor girl hadn't been brought outside for years; she was afraid of the grass and only because it was so new to her.
Training to Help
The key to fixing this dilemma is to determine what is making your Chihuahua afraid of going outside. You can do this by taking your dog out for a walk and paying close attention. Does he shake or freeze up when cars drive by? Does your Chihuahua seem to have a hard time walking on the surfaces?
If your Chihuahua is afraid of Cars
The best way to handle this is to slowly allow your Chihuahua to become accustomed to cars. It may not seem logical that your dog is afraid of cars; however think for a moment how large and scary a car may seem to such a tiny dog as the Chihuahua!
You should begin by going for a relaxing walk in a very quiet neighborhood. If you do not live in such an area, you can drive to one. Or you could find a quiet park that allows dogs. Quite frankly, the Chihuahua is so small that many owners go for walks in "Non-dog" parks.
Keep your Chihuahua close to you and speak in a matter-of-fact voice as you slowly walk. Be sure to not use a soothing tone, as this can signal to a dog that his owner is trying to provide comfort in response to a real threat. If a car does approach, your dog will look to you for clues in regard to behavior
Do not act panicked and pick up your dog. Simply talk calm and tell your Chihuahua that everything is okay. Continue walking; Do of course, stay on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, you should be closest to the street and allow your dog to walk on the inside.
Any time that a few minutes goes by with the dog remaining calm, alternate between giving praise and giving a small treat.
Many owners give up on the first few tries; they do not want to put their dog through a stressful situation. However, by starting off in an area of low traffic, ignoring fear based behavior and rewarding tolerance for traffic, a dog can learn that his fear has no basis.
Your Chihuahua will slowly get used to these types of walks and then you can take it up a notch by going to a more crowded area. Again, if any cars go by or you see any other dogs, stay calm and speak with a casual tone. Dogs can sense emotion even if you do not say anything, so do not tense up. Depending on the puppy or dog, it can take a week to several weeks for fears of the outside to subside.