My dogs are scared of everyone but me

I got two chihuahuas from my moms coworker (who was abusing them) because she was planning on taking them to the pound, and obviously that’s not a good place for a dog to be at all. After I got them, they immediately wanted all of my attention all day everyday and are constantly following me around everywhere. If I leave for a split second to somewhere they can’t follow me, they flip out. For example, if I close the door when I go to the bathroom they sit outside the door and scratch at it, and when I leave the house for a long time I always come home to them whining and jumping all over me and licking my face.
The strange part about all this is that they never warmed up to anyone else immediately, in fact, they’re scared of everyone except for my brother and I.
When it comes to other people, they hide beneath furniture and growl and whine at them, and when I try to convince the dogs to get close to them so they’ll warm up to them, they just hide in my arm or behind me. I don’t understand why they’re like this. Also, if they’re just scared of people in general, why would they love me immediately? Is it normal for dogs to be like that? I’ve heard that dogs can sense if you’re a good person, and all the people they’ve been around since living with me are people who have abused me or someone else. Could that be why?

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Comments ( 5 ) Sort: best | oldest
  • Animals are smart and can have ptsd like anyone. Given the past id say this is 10000% Normal. I adopted 2 stray cats and one was clearly abused. She was scared of everyone especially men would hide with any new noise. She's terrified of new people you can see in her eyes when she hears something it's like she goes back to her bad past and does into panic mode. Not their fault, and my cat follows me everywhere She's the sweetest. I'm the one person she trusts.

    You should feel honored knowing those dogs trust you. They have anxiety and feel safe with you so obvi wanna be near you. You saved them. They may get better with time but there's always that past that can't be forgotten. They make anxiety meds for dogs with abandonment issues if it comes down to that. But trauma changes everyone, glad you took them in.

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  • It takes quite a bit of time for an abused pet to get used to normal life and people.

    My grandparents nursed a beaten dog back to health. It took over half a year for the dog to get used to living with us, trust us and know we are not gonna hurt him. Eventually he became a very friendly dog. Friends that came over could pet him and play, etc. But he was still hostile to strangers. He once bit a gypsy that tried to steal something from the yard.

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  • Those poor, little dogs probably have severe PTSD as a result of the abuse they suffered.

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  • Perhaps your dog isn't used to seeing people who aren't familiar.

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  • This is why chihuahuas are the worst animals on the planet. Theyre such little shits. Its a womans dog.

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