Being the owner of a Chihuahua, the bond has got to be so great that you sometimes feel you need to add another loved one as such to your family. Many other folks feel that Chihuahuas are like potato chips . . . you can’t have just one! That happened to me . . . now we have 3 gorgeous (sometimes noisy) but extremely lovable Chihuahuas.
So if you have older dogs, how do you introduce the new one to the family without an all out war of the minds . . . and ages? Some tips are to first play it by ear as far as how friendly both dogs are. Sometimes we worry more than we should. Let the two dogs visit each other in a relaxed setting. Just be nearby as referee.
If that does not work, start off cautiously by taking them for a walk together on neutral territory such as a park and not your yard. When they show friendly behavior toward each other, be sure to make a big deal about it and slowly move the exercise to your back yard. Finally, allow the dogs to be together in your home.
Watch for specific tail wagging signs. A straight up tail that wags stiffly is a dominant sign that may signal aggression. If one dog’s tail is tucked down between its legs, the dog is afraid and nervous. In order to not make your dogs more nervous, especially the “ruler” with seniority, go slow and gradual so neither dog gets more nervous and scared. If a dog’s tail is horizontal and wagging in a relaxed fashion, it’s all systems go!
There will usually be a dominant dog of the two so be cautious of that particular dog. This is normal, but sometimes the process can look and sound pretty scary. The dogs will maneuver around each other and may even scuffle to the point at which one dog ends up on his back, with the other dog standing over him. There may be some nipping and grabbing of the neck or throat. They may just be play fighting so try not to worry too much when this happens. It is normal for dogs to engage in such roughness. It is just a way to establish who is boss.
Usually the dominant dog is the current resident. Show him that he is number one. He should be fed first, petted first, given attention first and given the favorite sleeping area. Don’t expect the dogs to share. Sharing isn’t normal for most dogs, especially at first. Feed the dogs separately, possibly across the room, and be careful about giving really delicious chew toys (rawhides, pig ears) too soon. Once the dogs become buddies and pretty much know who’s boss, you’ll probably be able to give the dogs all the chew toys they want.
When you do get a new dog, give it time, do it slowly and don’t force either dog upon each other. It rarely happens that the two don’t become friends. Patience and baby steps . . . and they will probably be the best of buds!
http://www.animalshelter.org/shelters/Humane_Society_of_Winnebago_County_rId1450_rS_pC.html or http://www.pawshs.org/
Check on line for other local listings. http://www.chihuahua-land.com/chi/puppy/index.asp