Typical Challenges of the Rescued Dog
Even if your adult dog has been fostered in a home and carefully evaluated, you won't know everything about her. For example, a Chihuahua may be fine around other dogs her size and thus be pronounced dog-friendly, when in fact she is terrified of large dogs.
The key here is to be on the lookout for the kinds of challenges that may not have been evident at the rescue or shelter. Characteristically, an adult dog that hasn't had a lot of home or family time may need a little brushing up on the following skills:
Relationships with strange dogs, as well as living with other household pets (see Chapter 12)
Socialization skills with people (see Chapter 10)
Housetraining (see Chapter 9)
Basic obedience training (see Chapter 14)
Fearfulness from lack of socialization is a common problem among Chihuahuas. If your Chi is timid or easily frightened, consult Deborah Wood's book, Help for Your Shy Dog: Turning Your Terrified Dog into a Terrific Pet.
The good news is that an adult dog learns quickly and will already have many of the skills necessary to become a wonderful companion. You also begin with a dog that wants to please you and has chosen you as her human. Consider your Chihuahua as a work in progress. Some dogs may need a little more work to make progress. Diligence, love, and training can help you achieve the perfect canine companion — that is, if your adopted dog isn't already one!