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Hi everyone I am new to the forum. I recently rescued an 8 year old chihauhau and his name is Bruiser. Unfortunately for Bruiser much of his life hasn't been all sun shine and rainbows. Bruiser was dropped off at a high kill shelter by his past owner. Bruiser was automatically placed for euthanasia because he wasn't seen as adoptable. He came into the kill shelter with a broken jaw and a torn ear. It was easy to see that he was abused because he would shy away from human contact. A local shelter saw him and rescued him out of the kill shelter. He then was placed in another shelter. Bruiser was always looked over because of his age and the fact that he has a slight disability. He lived in the shelter for almost 2 years before I came and adopted him. Now he lives with my mom and I and our two other rescue dogs and he loves it. Bruiser and I have really bonded over the short time that I have had him. But unfortunately I can say the same about him and my mom. He growls at her if she comes to pet him, sometimes he even growls if she just tells him he is a good boy. I told her to try to reforce his good behavior with treats when he is nice to her. I completely understand he is still new and we are giving him the space and time he needs. But I would really like him to get along with her. I have never had a chihauhau and don't know if this is a common trait for the breed. If you could just give me some suggestions on how to make him feel more comfortable with her that would be great! He is overweight so I am trying to limit his treat intake. Thank you so much for your help!
-Hillary
 

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It is kind of typical for the breed of those I personally know. Most seem to latch on to one person and growl and snap at the others. It could help if your mom became the food person. Especially with a chub food is very important. If you are afraid of more weight gain weigh the treats and real meat would be best and cut that much out of the meals. Don't feed according to what the dog weighs but what it should weigh. Use a high quality food with no grains, this one does not need the extra calories in grain.
 

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Give him some time and space. Have your mom do all the feeding, but for now I'd tell her not to engage him. You don't want to push it too far too fast. If he's overweight she can take a portion of his normal food and toss it to him through out the day. Otherwise time and patients.
 
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One thing to remember is that you do not have to use a whole treat. My boy tends to gain weight and I use 1 1/2 to 4 cal treats and break those up into small pieces. Treats will go a long way to helping him view your mom as someone he wants around.

Growling is actually a good thing. He's letting y'all know that he is uncomfortable with something but does not want to bite. Your mom can toss him a piece of a treat even if he's growling. It does not reward his growling, but shows him that your mom is good and he does not need to growl. He'll come to be happy to see her and stop growling. It would be like someone who made you nervous started handing you a dollar every time they walked past, eventually you'd be happy to see that person and stop being nervous.

Thank you for rescuing him! He sounds like he had such a hard life and found a bit of heaven with you and your family.
 
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That must be disappointing for your mum. Tell her not to take it personally.
As has already been said , get your mum to drop treats and not make eye contact or try to stroke him . This will change the way he views your mum , he will see her as a good thing and not someone to be scared of.
This is counter conditioning , you'll find more about it on Google .
 

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Thank you all so much for your help! I will definitely have my mom try these techniques with him. I will keep you all updated!
 

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I went through this with our first dog, she was terrified of men. She tolerated my husband at first, but would show whale eyes if he was near, run away from him, growled a few times, and submission peed a couple times when he pet her. We hired a trainer who gave some great tips that made huge differences.

Definitely have her feed him, be the only supplier of food and treats for now if possible. Otherwise, she should ignore him for now. If she does need to approach him, or you while he's with you, ideally do it with her body somewhat sideways, and not looming over him.

Thank you for adopting a dog who needed a home! Please post back updates on how he's doing.
 

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I agree with your mom not forcing contact at the moment.
except of making her the only one giving food, she could chose a distance that is still confortable dog toss some high-value treats on the floor towards the dog.
no talking, looking or touching, just tossing a treat from time to time or let it fall behind her, when she's walking through the room.

also: give it time. this can take a few weeks or months.
 
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