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My dog is a year old chihuahua. I own his mother and have raised and cared for him since he was born. Due to complications, I had to bottle feed him from birth and as a result he bonded with me extremely early.
Around 8 weeks old, I began taking him with me everywhere. He met dozens of people and grew up in a litter of 6 puppies. As he matured, he continued to interact with a household of 4 dogs ranging from 40lbs down.
At home he is the most loving and affectionate dog I’ve ever seen. He loves to cuddle and sleep and play with the other dogs. He is the only dog I’ve ever known to give actual “hugs”. He is very well-behaved: listens to every command I give, learns new commands very quickly, never even used to bark at passing foot traffic even while the others stirred up a tirade around him.
Is wasn’t until recently that he started acting differently around people. He now barks at even the smallest thing passing our house. He growls and barks at anyone new in the house even after his mother has relaxed and is being pleasant. If anyone does enter the house, he presses his body hard against me, tail tucked between his legs, doesn’t let them out of his sight, and sheds about a blanket of fur.
I’ve tried holding his head to my chest, which used to calm him when he would get shots surrounded by barking and crying dogs, it doesn’t even phase him with this. I’ve tried giving the visitor a toy and treats, which he will take and accept and sometimes even play, but stays just as distrustful. Even after hours, he does not relax and will always come back to me for refuge.
I’m at the end of my wits with this issue. If anyone has any advice, I’d greatly appreciate it.
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