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How to regain trust

Joined
Mar 19, 2020
Messages
10
I just got a chinchilla for the first time and it’s been a bumpy road. The first few days weren’t the best she was in a dog cage cues her cage hadn’t gotten here yet and she was constantly bothered by my family. Once her cage got here she started show signs of pain and at first I thought it was bloat but the sings stoped and she started feeling better. But as far as bonding it hasn’t been well. She naturally curious but also easily scared. I’ve scared her multiple times during play time. I can pick her up without her bitting but she struggles when I try to to put her in her cage and when in her cage she wants nothing to do with me. And just today I had to pick her up to take pictures of her feet cues I’m worried she might have bunblefoot which would explain the not wanting anything to do with me when she in her cage. And she started biting me when I tried to take the pictures. But I want to regain her trust I’m just not sure how or even if I can. So if anyone knows if or how please respond.
 

Devynthecatwithsocks

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Joined
Jan 30, 2019
Messages
130
Location
Southern California
Where'd you get your chin? Mine was a rescue and she was also naturally curious but scared of me as well. She had no human interaction her entire life and was stuck in some guys garage. When I got her she was curious and friendly but also kinda shy and scared. It took several months to gain trust between us and bond. Firstly how long have you had her? For the first week or so I would recommend leaving her alone and just coming in to feed and clean. After that week when she's settled in you can start the bonding process. First do not pick her up. Some chins don't like being picked up so don't force it unless its an emergency. Also when picking up make sure you aren't holding her to tight, which may be one of the reasons she's barking. While chins are about the size of a rabbit without their fur they are tiny and super fragile. Pick her up using very little pressure because to much could break her ribs. Next I would start being around the cage more often and talking to her. Playing music helped us bond as well. I'd enter the room and play my guitar and she'd emerge from her house and run to the front of the cage and watch. Giving her treats (in moderation of course) can help build trust as well. During playtime I would keep low volume since she is in a bigger space that is kinda new to her. You can lay on your stomach so you are at her level and give her the opportunity to come to you. Take it slow and eventually trust will build. Don't let your dog near her unless its super calm. I trained my dogs to be nice around her so if you need any help in the department i can help. Also provide her with plenty of hides so she feels secure and do not invade that space. Best of luck to you and your chin.
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2020
Messages
10
She was in a pet shop and they let anyone hold her and pick her up. I’ve had her for about a week. But my parents firmly believe otherwise about the whole bonding thing she’s never got a lot of time to get use to her surroundings. She lets my pet her in her cage but during playtime she sits in the corner and shivers and runs away when try to pick her up to put her in her cage
 

Amethyst

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May 7, 2012
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Alberta
It takes most chins at least a week just to settle in to a new home, a month or more is not uncommon though, then after they settle in then they can start building a trust with you. Since you also switched cages I would reset that week back to day one, also if anything "bad" happens, like someone scares her, that can also set things back too. Bonding can take a long time, months or even years sometimes, if mistreat. They are smart animals and require you to earn their trust, it's not freely given, you need to give them a reason to trust you. Spend time just sitting by the cage, talking, singing, reading aloud, things like that to get her use to you. I would just give her at least a week of no playtime, since it sounds like you aren't able to catch her yet without scaring her and it doesn't sound like she is even enjoying the time out of the cage. Cnce you start to build a bond, in a few week or even a month or two (depending on how things go, you can't rush it), then you can let her out. You can work on getting her use to you by playing with her in the cage, let her come to you and climb on you. You can also offer a treat (max of one a day), chew toy, or chew stick when ever you enter the room, that should help start getting her to realize you coming in means good things.
 

JamaisVu

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Joined
Jan 7, 2012
Messages
64
I'd give her a couple of weeks to settle down before even trying to take her out to play.

Sit by her cage, talk to her so she can get used to you and your voice, offer some treats and go little by little. Respect her limits while she gets to know you're a safe person. Chinchillas are naturally curious so if she starts associating you with good things that are happening she'll likely start reacting positively to you.

Just remember that not all chins are cuddly. I got both of mine from a rescue and to this day (9 years later) neither of them like to be picked up and will stay away from me angrily for a couple of days if I pick them up for any reason. But they'll happily jump on my shoulder and hang out as long as I don't try to grab them (specially if they think I have treats).
 

Madip

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Joined
Mar 7, 2020
Messages
61
I have 2 chinchillas currently and one I got just 3 days ago. He is 7 and was a rescue. The rescue had him for 2-3 years and they said he had not been outside his cage the whole time aside from when he escaped and was traumatized from being captured to be placed back in the cage.

Chinchillas have great memories especially for things they like and don’t. Your chinchilla could have had bad experiences before and also coming to a new place which is stressful with added stress on top.

I would recommend playing everything by ear to When it is ready. You will know in your heart if it is ready for the next step. first things first your chinchilla needs a safe place if it doesn’t have that it will stay skittish and untrusting leading to an unhappy chinchilla. First allow it to feel comfortable it it’s cage. (My chinchillas like small spaces not so much huts but tin buckets and ledges close to the ceiling) It needs a routine so try to keep everyday the same if you can. Wake up talk to it. Come home talk to it.

Biggest thing is try not to force touching. Ik it’s a new fluffy adorable pet but remember if feels alone and is terrified in a strange place. Abrupt movements and being touched and grabbed when u aren’t comfortable is scary to us let alone a tiny animal that is the size your hands together.

Talk to it sit by it’s cage let it come up to you give it pets through the cage when it comes up and wants it. If it walks away still sit and talk. They come and being there always with love you gain their trust. Once it will come up to you and let you touch it without running off Open the cage don’t reach in let it come to you and pet it with the back of your finger or 2 a full hand can be scary and reaching in feels threatening. Hand it toys and treats Honestly I even hand fed my chin pellets by hand on at a time.

when it comes time for play time open the cage let it come out on its own. Most chinchillas that I’ve seen don’t like being snatched from their home. I mean would you? my first cage was on the floor and the door opened like a ramp for him to come and go as he please the newer cage opens different so I made a make shift ramp. When they come out for play time they need a safe place to go my chin while he was gaining my trust would hop out 5 hops sit and run right back and he did it over and over. Week after week he went further and further till he didn’t feel he needed to unless he went to get food water or to go to the bathroom. Like I said before this needs to be on their terms not your!

PATIENTS IS KEY!!!! Chinchillas are a lot of work and they like things their way. Let the cage be the safe place don’t disrupt it. It will come out when it has the freedom and is ready and it will come to be pet when it wants they are smart and know what they want. Remember for everything you do they don’t like could be 5 steps back. You will gain the trust a lot quicker at their pace than you forcing it at yours!

GOOD LUCK! Hope this helps.
 

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