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Hi! I have a female Chihuahua (7wks old). I was very...

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Question by Jacki
Submitted on 3/17/2004
Related FAQ: rec.pets.dogs: Chihuahuas Breed-FAQ
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Hi!  I have a female Chihuahua (7wks old).  I was very excited to get her because I heard that these dogs can go "anywhere" with you.  Well... the second I put her in the car with me (even when I am holding her) she starts SCREAMING!  I also have a little crate that she can go into when she is in the car (it has her toys, food, water, blankets,etc.) and yet she SCREAMS like someone is killing her!  It has gotten to the point where I start to shake and become anxious when I know I have to leave the house with her.  What do you suggest I do to make her traveling experience more enjoyable for the both of us?  Thanks! - Jacki

Answer by chimama
Submitted on 3/18/2004
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You can try to desensitize her by putting her in the car and just sitting there until she stops screaming.  Ignore her, don't give her any attention or that will reinforce that screaming gets her attention.  Once she quiets down (she will eventually, take a book or something to keep you occupied) you can praise her.  Give her a treat and take her back in the house.  Repeat until she is quiet in the car.  Then, you get to start the car.  Do as before until she's ok with the car running.  Then, drive around the block, do as before until she's ok with movement.

Or, you can ask your vet for a sedative.  I don't recommend these, since chi's are so small it doesn't take much to go from calming to over-sedating.  Sometimes that's what it takes though, although I would use it along with the desensitizing method above.  Also, make sure that the car takes her to good things as well as the vet, so every ride doesn't end up with her getting a shot.


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