Canadian Chihuahua Rescue team offers these suggestions for helping a particularly shy, frightened dog transition into a new furever home, or a foster home, as smoothly as possible.

  • Lie on the floor and ignore him. Let him come to you.
  • Take the top off the crate and turn it into a cozy bed
  • Move the dog’s crate/bed to another location. He want to burrow under the covers, or curl up on top of them where he can watch things happening around him.
  • Give him electrolytes and “Rescue Remedy” (available in health food stores)
  • Turn radio, TV, etc. on low to cover outside noises.
  • Talk to your dog, but don’t look at him. Use his name frequently.
  • If he’s pacing, block his route so he can’t pace in his usual pattern.
  • Constantly walk past him without even looking at him or speaking to him.
  • Put his leash on the floor where he has to go over it or at least by it often. Then move it to different locations that he walks by. Then, move it beside his food dish and eventually, touch him with the leash.
  • Never corner him and always let him come to you. Lie down on the ground, with no eye contact, and speak confidently to him. Baby talk is not encouraged.
  • Take him to the vet so he can be checked for health problems or other physical conditions that may be affecting his behaviour.
  • Use Rescue Remedy the day before a vet visit to lessen the stress that inevitably brings on.
  • Offer dog treats to all of the dogs in your home frequently. If the dog doesn’t take the treat, simply put it away. He’ll eventually want the treat.
  • If you think your dog may have food issues, trying replacing his dish with a new one. Try a different shape, size and colour. You could also try putting the food directly on the floor.
  • Go outside, talk to him and say his name. Hopefully, he’ll come out to join you. Do not force him out or hold him outside once he gets there. Stand near him without being too close. Continue talking to him but make no eye contact.
  • Never, never, ever say ‘it’s ok’ when he is nervous, pacing, upset, frightened, or displaying any negative behavious. This CANNOT be stressed enough.


Read more helpful tips in our ‘Rescue Dog Adjustment Period ‘ document by clicking here.