How to Train Your Chihuahua Dog to Be Friendly

Medium
4-10 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

All puppies are sweet and cute; yours will be no different. Chihuahuas are sweet and cute as well, and your Chihuahua will be super friendly to you. Chihuahuas are unique in that they fall in love quickly with their masters but don't often have any interest in meeting other people or other dogs. 

Chihuahuas are very comfortable within their own spaces, so to teach your Chihuahua to be friendly you need to expand his personal space. Having a friendly Chihuahua means your dog won't give off the scary bark every time your doorbell rings or a guest walks in the house. A friendly Chihuahua won't growl at your guests as they reach over to pet him or pick him up. A friendly Chihuahua sits in your lap and allows others to be near you. A Chihuahua, if not taught to be friendly to other people will come across as aggressive and possibly even mean. This is not what their personality is; they are just built to be the only dog in your universe and need to be trained that your universe doesn't always revolve around them.

Defining Tasks

The trick to training your Chihuahua to be friendly from the start is to get him social as early as possible. If you are adopting a Chihuahua puppy into your family, let as many people handle him as possible as soon as you bring him home. If you have other dogs in your household, let them interact with your new Chihuahua. If this is a puppy, as always, be cautious with any older dogs or larger dogs around your new Chihuahua because he is small and tender. Under your close supervision, let your Chihuahua and your other pets explore and get to know one another. A social Chihuahua knows how to be friendly because he has been exposed to more than just his owner. A Chihuahua who lives and breathes for his owner only and does not know the breadth of the world around him can sometimes come off as aggressive or unfriendly. You can also teach an older Chihuahua to be friendly, it just may take more time for some of the older guys because they are set in their ways and need to learn new behaviors.

Getting Started

Start training your Chihuahua to be friendly as soon as you bring him home. To do this, be sure to socialize him as much as you can with people as well as with other pets. If you are introducing your Chihuahua to other pets, be sure to have treats for both animals on hand so they can meet on common ground over food. If you are introducing your Chihuahua to other animals that do not live in your home, be sure you know the owners and are comfortable with the animals to keep both animals safe during your initial meeting. Be persistent and consistent with his training. Your Chihuahua can be friendly to people and animals, but you have to insist he behaves as so. Keep your training sessions short with lots of rewards.

The Boundaries Method

Most Recommended
4 Votes
Step
1
Commands
As leader of the pack in your house, teach your Chihuahua all the commands he can learn. Start with the basics to get him to sit and lie down on command. Then move on to cute tricks like standing on hind legs, rolling over, or begging. Little dogs can learn a lot of fun tricks that will give him positive attention when performed. Be sure to end any training session with treats along with the treats he earns while learning.
Step
2
Food
Do not let your Chihuahua free feed. Provide his meals to him on a set schedule. Make a big deal out of preparing is meals and setting them down at meal times.
Step
3
'Wait' command
If at all possible, train your Chihuahua to stand back away from you while you are preparing the meal and putting it in place. Your Chihuahua should be able to see you prepare his meals but not be allowed to jump or beg while you are making his food. You can train the ‘wait’ command to help with this.
Step
4
Territory
Show your dog what part of your home is his territory. When house training, take the Chihuahua on a leash to one part of your yard, training him to only use that area. By keeping him on a leash and showing him where to go, you are showing him you are alpha-dog and will make the rules.
Step
5
Shared spaces
While your dog is in training to be a good social dog, keep him off your couch or bed. Give him a comfortable bed near you but down on the floor as he is learning to be under your command. Be sure to acknowledge him with treats and a calm tone when talking, but do not let him on your level until you can trust him to be a friendly, well-rounded pet.
Step
6
Social
Socialize your Chihuahua as often as you can to get him used to people and other dogs. The earlier and more often you can do this, the better adapted he will be once he’s around people and pets without you coaching him along the way.
Step
7
All together
Once your dog has gone through obedience training, has been socialized, understands who feeds him and his role while waiting for his meals, and knows he has to earn his place on the couch or in your spaces, even your arms, put all these things together and have him around people and pets more. If he’s well trained and well adapted, he will do fine.
Recommend training method?

The Respect Training Method

Effective
4 Votes
Step
1
Position
Establishing the leader of the pack role with your Chihuahua and demand respect for yourself. Over time, he will get that you expect him to be respectful of others as well.
Step
2
Set boundaries
Set your boundaries early on. If your Chihuahua is acting aggressively or growling, put him down or do not pick him up to begin with. Babying or coddling this behavior will only enforce the behavior as good for your Chihuahua.
Step
3
Remain calm
Do not discipline your Chihuahua with angry voices or tones. Yelling at your Chihuahua only sends mixed messages of aggression and anger. Remain calm and redirect your Chihuahua when you see him misbehaving or acting in an aggressive manner.
Step
4
Wait
Train your dog to wait. In all occasions as you see fit, from walking out the door to feeding times, have your Chihuahua wait for what he wants. Walk through the doorway first, holding it open for your pup to follow. Have your Chihuahua watch you prepare a meal and make him sit and wait patiently as you set the bowl down before he is allowed to eat.
Step
5
Work dog
Make your dog earn privileges. You can ask him to do commands before eating, such as sit. Before you pick him up or let him into your bed or on the couch, have him 'beg' or stand on his hind legs to be picked up.
Step
6
Social dog
As early as you can, have your dog be social with people as well as other pets. Use your commands with your Chihuahua as he is getting to know his world. This will teach him how to behave around others
Step
7
Friendly dog
If your dog has learned commands from you, is social, knows to work for what he wants, and respects you, he will carry that respect around to others as well. Make sure he knows you expect him to be friendly and continue to use commands for respect when he is with people and pets to ensure his behavior is up to par.
Recommend training method?

The Set Rules Method

Least Recommended
4 Votes
Step
1
From the start
Before you bring a Chihuahua into your home, decide your boundaries. Set boundaries with sleeping arrangements, whether or not your Chihuahua will sleep in your bed, be allowed on your couch, or be held much of the time. Set physical boundaries within your home, such as not allowing the Chihuahua in the bathroom with you or in the kitchen while you are cooking.
Step
2
Obedience training
As soon as you bring your Chihuahua home, begin obedience training. Chihuahuas can be stubborn, so do not give up even if your dog stops showing interest. Offer high-value treats during training and keep your sessions short. Start with the basics to set yourself up as the leader of the pack. If this isn’t done early, your Chihuahua may become the leader before you even know it.
Step
3
Aggression
Your Chihuahua will growl a lot, especially as he is meeting people and pets in your world. Do not allow him to get away with growling at your guests. Do not show him affection or hold him if he’s going to be aggressive. Be firm and ignore poor behavior but overly reward good behaviors.
Step
4
Good behavior
When you catch your Chihuahua being friendly to someone within your household, a guest, or another pet, reward him with a tasty high-value treat. When setting your boundaries, decide if lap sitting or couch sitting will be allowed as long as your Chihuahua is well behaved. If so, when he is good, allow these things as rewards.
Step
5
Socialize
Get your Chihuahua out as often as possible to see the big wide world. He needs to be comfortable with people coming into your home and with other pets being near you. A Chihuahua who is not well socialized will stick to his owner and fear anyone else. From early on, take your Chihuahua anywhere you can take him. Let people hold him or pet him while he’s on the ground. Introduce him to other dogs.
Step
6
Treats
Always end social time, training time, good behavior moments, and affection moments with a treat.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Piper
Chihuahua
11 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Piper
Chihuahua
11 Months

What if my dog just does not understand the word wait?. And should I take piper on walks up and down my driveway for more exercise?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lexi, Check out the videos linked below for a couple of different ways you can teach wait: Wait using leash: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00hglPctKpw Wait for puppy and harder wait walking away: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c--37qrAG2A Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Sweet Pea
Chihuahua
4 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Sweet Pea
Chihuahua
4 Years

My chihuahua may have trained Lucky to bark at other dogs, or at least trained Lucky to behave in her way.

How do I get her to stop training Lucky to be bad? Should I separate the two until Lucky's trained? I think maybe Sweet Pea is hindering our progress in training, so...

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kien, Separating the two dogs would help Lucky not to learn bad habits from her. Once he is fully trained it will be easier to enforce your rules for just him. The best option is to train both dogs, so that both behave well and listen. This is sometimes doable and something not. Training just one dog is a lot of work, training two takes a lot of time and since Lucky is the priority right now with his age and size, it will depend on how difficult Sweet Pea's problem behaviors are whether or not that is something you want to tackle right now. Separating will be easier temporarily. Even working on Sweet Peas's general respect for you and having consistent rules around the house that you decide on and enforce will help both dogs, rather than the dogs being the ones to make and enforce the rules for each other. Check out the article that I have linked below to help Sweet Pea learn to listen. Enforce what you feel you are able to while still focusing the most on Lucky's training, and keep the dogs separate for the things that are too difficult to train both dogs on right now, like Sweet Pea's aggression. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Foxy
Chihuahua
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Foxy
Chihuahua
4 Years

I adopted Foxy a little over a year ago. He was surrendered to a shelter because he “barked too much” for previous owner. He is fine with me and my fiancé and my fiancé’s mother because she is over a lot. He barks aggressively at anyone else who enters our home. He also barks at other people and dogs when we are out on walks. I try to take him when there are not many other people out but I know avoiding the issue isn’t good either. What can I do to help him?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Becky, First, you need to determine why he is barking. Is he overly sensitive and used to barking, fearful of people, possessive of you or your home. If he is overly sensitive, then you need to desensitize him to people and the things that indicate people are about to come over like the video linked below; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpzvqN9JNUA If he is fearful or acting possessive of you (looks like he is protective or is fine in other locations away from you and his home), or simply dislikes people, then check out Jeff Gellman from solidK9Training's Youtube training channel. He specializes in various types of aggression, reactivity and fearfulness. The exact program you will follow would depend on why he generally is barking, and would look like giving a lot of structure and boundaries through obedience commands, calm interaction, long Place and Down Stay commands, structured heeling, consistent leadership, and things that help with calmness, then interrupting the unwanted behavior as soon as he shows signs of it, and rewarding the correct behavior after he stops the unwanted behavior, then practicing the whole thing until he becomes relaxed around people. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Messi
Chihuahua
7 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Messi
Chihuahua
7 Years

We recently adopted Messi from an abusive home and he came with some unfavorable traits. He is mostly nice and laid back, but occasionally he becomes EXTREMELY aggressive. For example, if you try to move him from the bed while he is resting he will attempt to bite your arm off. You can’t even pick him up to move him without getting bit, it takes him sometimes 20-30 times telling him “OFF!” in my deepest voice. He also will occasionally try to bite if he doesn’t want to be picked up, if you grab his toy at the wrong time, or walk near his food bowl. Please help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Chloe, I suggest hiring a professional who has a lot of experience with different types of aggression, comes highly recommended by other clients, and uses both fair corrections and positive reinforcement. Messi needs to be desensitized to being touched, he needs to be desensitized to wearing a silicone basket muzzle (so that you can safely work with him and help him learn that biting does not get him what he wants), and he needs to be put on a protocol to teach him respect safely. For the respect training, I suggest starting by making him work for everything he gets in life. Before you feed him, take him outside, pet him, or play with him require him to obey a command to earn the thing that he wants. Sit, Down or Watch Me are three examples of commands he can do. To desensitize him to the muzzle you will want to show him the muzzle and give him a treat. Repeat that until he is comfortable, then touch the muzzle then give a treat. Repeat that until he is comfortable, then gradually move the muzzle closer and closer as he gets comfortable. Finally, you can buckle the muzzle, feed him treats through the muzzle's holes, then take the muzzle off again. You can increase the amount of time he wears the muzzle for until he has worked up to wearing it for a couple of hours. Expect getting him comfortable with the muzzle to take a couple of weeks. I suggest introducing the muzzle, working on respect, and getting him used to being handled with the help of a qualified trainer who can do it safely with you. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Mitzi
Chihuahua
6 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Mitzi
Chihuahua
6 Years

6 months ago I rescued Mitzi from a puppy mill. She was used as a breeder her entire life. As a result, she never had any training or socialization. She is extremely attached to me and will tolerate my husband when I'm not available. However, she goes off the rails when my adult sons come into the house. She barks at them and acts like she will take them apart. When she won't calm down, I remove her from the room and isolate her. When she is calm I bring her out again. However, she goes right back to viciously barking at my sons if they're in her line of sight. Interestingly, she will let them pet her if I'm holding her. If she is in my lap or on the floor she is ready to kill them. What can I do to alter this behavior?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sandra, I suggest finding a trainer who can help you with the training from the video below. Since your children are adults, they should be able to carefully following the instructions from the video and remain calm around her while they practice the training. At first, you will probably need your sons to be further away, while your dog is leashed to something like the dog in this video so that she cannot charge them. When she behaves poorly, you can correct her with a low level stimulation or vibration from an e-collar. When she is calm, have them toss her a treat. When she can handle them being close, then they can hand feed treats like the video below when she is behaving nicely. Do not reward her aggressive behavior. If she cannot calm down, interrupt her with a mild correction or add more space between your sons and her while you practice to make the training easier. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIJoEJfTS-E Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Maggie
Chihuahua
16 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Maggie
Chihuahua
16 Weeks

We have had Maggie for almost a week. She is 16 weeks old. Maggie can be loving and sweet but growls and bites if you pet her, pick her when she is alseep or get to close to her face. We have introduced her to guests and is aggressive toward them. Try to bite their hand off. Help! Her behavior is making bonding difficult.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Christine, You need to hire a professional trainer to help you right away. At four months she is showing a lot of fear and aggression and that is not normal at that age. She was probably never socialized or possibly even traumatized. Work on feeding her her food one piece at a time and rewarding calmness, focus on you, choosing to be near you (don't force her), and any touches she tolerates. Once she is comfortable being near you, with the help of a trainer you can work on getting her used to touch by giving her a piece of food every time you gently touch her somewhere while you touch her. Stop touching her as soon as she finishes eating the piece of food. Later you can have willing friends and family members give her pieces of her food for being calm around them, choosing to be close to them, and focusing on them in a good (curious) way. When she can tolerate simply being around the guests, then they can work on giving her a piece of food every time she let's them gently touch her somewhere. She can be fed her entire food as treats throughout the day. As long as she eats the same amount of food per day, she does not need to be fed in a bowl. If there is leftover food from what you measures out for her for the day, you can give that in a bowl. You need a trainer in this case. Look for someone who is experienced with aggression and fear, has good reviews or comes well recommended, and ask that trainer questions to see if they seem experienced. Look for a trainer who will do private lessons with you. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

she lookes so cute

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Question
Pancho
Chihuahua
14 Weeks
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Pancho
Chihuahua
14 Weeks

I got my Pancho at 12 weeks. When we went out to the yard for potty he was scared of cars, noises, people, cats, and dogs. I have been asking him to sit for treats when I can see him get scared, though ssometimes the trigger is too much and he tries to run away. When people are getting close to him he tries to run away and if they stop to talk to him and get a bit close or try to pet him he pulls away and growls. He tries to run from dogs he sees and barks, growls, and lunges at them if they are close. I have been bringing friends over a few times a week and he has gone from growling to being a bit shy at first but warming up to them and falling asleep next to them on the sofa. He sleeps in a crate in pur bedroom at night and during the day he either sleeps in his crate in the living room or on the sofa. Should I stop him from sleeping or being on the sofa with us or guests?
All I wanted was a lovely small dog who was nice to people and animals that I could take everywhere with me. I didn't want a mean yippy dog. I brought him to a puppy social but he hid under a table and lunged at other dogs. I have tried bringing him out on walks around the block but he gets too scared and eventually tries to run away. I don't drive but I can walk to the local park, take the train to town, the seafront is nearby. He struggles to walk all the way to the places I want to show him. Should I introduce him to new places even though he gets scared?
Any advice would really help I'm so sad about his fear and growling.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shay, Don't give up on socializing him. He probably needs the socialization to go slower, be more gradual, and involve a lot of rewards like treats, whenever he acts brave (in a good way) or calm around new things (don't reward the aggressive behavior though). The issue is likely inherited, but dogs who are naturally more shy need socialization even more to make up for their natural fearfulness. He might also be going through a fear period, which is a period when the dog is learning about what's safe and not and the world can seem even scarier during those two weeks that each fear-period tends to last. Keep socializing during this period, but try to avoid overwhelming situations and make the social experiences as pleasant as you can. For example, recruit lots of friends to socialize him one at a time (instead of a whole group coming over) and toss him treats without trying to pet him yet. Instruct them to ignore him while they toss the treats, until he approaches on his own as he warms up. Act confident and happy yourself around new things he is deciding about...For example, if he sees something new on a walk or passes a dog on the other side of the street, do a little excited dance and talk to him in sing-song voice... essentially act happy and silly to lighten the mood and change his mind about the situation. I highly suggest hiring a trainer who has a lot of successful experience helping shy dogs. The earlier you start, the better the outcome is likely to be. Find someone who can do training sessions with you in lots of different types of locations, like meeting you at the pet store, park, a friend's house, your neighborhood, hardwear stores, or outside of other training classes at her facility (so that you can help him get used to the sight of other dogs and people without overwhelming him and crowding him with up-close interactions yet. If she has access to her own, patient, calm dogs to help socialize him gradually with them, even better. He needs lots of extra help and lots of positive interactions with others, without overwhelming him too much. Anxious dogs also tend to do well with a lot of structure and rules in their life. Have him work for things like food, walks, and ball throws at home, by having him perform a command, like sit first. Teach him "Place" and work on him staying there calmly (you can give him a chew toy to chew on while on Place). Teach him to Heel during walks instead of walking on the end of the leash and leading you. Work on his focus on you. Rules and boundaries can help an anxious dog trust and respect you and relax more when they feel like you are in control of things and dependable and confident. If he is respectful of you and get off the sofa when told to, the sofa is likely not an issue. If he acts possessive of the sofa, does not listen to you when you tell him to get off, or it is otherwise causing issues, then the should not be on the sofa. When guests are over, if he is acting possessive, pushy, or aggressive while on the sofa, then he should not be on the sofa. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Dio
Chihuahua
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Dio
Chihuahua
4 Months

When I let my 4 month old chihuahua outside to potty he runs off and will not listen to me when I try to get him back inside. When I put him on his leash he thinks we are going on a walk and will stay right beside me and not use the bathroom. What tips do you have?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sean, I suggest purchasing a long (30'-50' foot) water proof leash (waterproof in case it gets peed on or grass is wet) such as a tie out material leash (with wire core and rubber sheath and clip) or a poly check cord. Teach "Come" and "Inside" and use the "Reel In" method from the article linked below to teach them. You will teach both the same way you would teach a recall but you want to teach two separate words and practice both separately because you will use "Inside" for the yard and less fun things and save "Come" for emergencies so that "Come" does not become unpleasant like "Inside" will be sometimes... Recall article - follow the Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall After he knows "Inside," clip the 50 foot leash to his collar or a padded harness and tell him to "Go Potty" and let him drag the leash around and sniff around and walk away from you to go potty. After he goes potty, praise him and toss him a couple of treats. If he does not come back on his own after going potty, then tell him "Inside". If he comes inside when you tell him to, reward him with another treat when he gets inside. If he disobeys your Inside command, reel him in with the long leash and do not give a treat - simply act matter of fact but not angry. The goal is to: 1. First teach him a command for inside so that he clearly understands your expectations and does not think you are playing with him by chasing him... 2. To reward him after he goes potty every time for a while to help him learn the "Go Potty" command so that he will go potty quickly even while on th leash, and so that he will automatically want to come back to you after peeing to get his treat. 3. To enforce the "Inside" command by reeling him in so that he learns that obedience is not optional; he has to obey, but if he does it willingly then you will reward him. You can give him treats less frequently when he is coming inside consistently - so that he is just praised and occasionally surprised with a fun treat, but does not need to treat in order to obey. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Pancho
Chihuahua
8 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Pancho
Chihuahua
8 Years

Pancho is 8 years old. He does not like toddlers. I felt it has gotten worst since now I have a toddler. He growls at her if she is close to him. She can’t pet him. Amy suggestions?

Thanks,

Sharlene

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sharlene, I suggest hiring a private trainer to help you since the training needs to be done carefully and a lot things need to be demonstrated during the training. Check out the video linked below of a dog on a leash for safety being rewarded with treats for being calm by someone he is afraid of: Aggression video: https://youtu.be/mgmRRYK1Z6A Practicing with dog and kid: https://youtu.be/9n0_27XY3z4 Also kid and dog: https://youtu.be/gblDgIkyAKU Safety should be number one priority so I suggest using leashes and if needed a basket muzzle while training or in general. I also suggest teaching your toddler to leave your dog alone (easier said than done I know). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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cooper
Chihuahua
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
cooper
Chihuahua
2 Years

My chihuahua puppy is so sweet to me and the immediate people in our house but he is terribly mean to anyone new that comes in our house or tries to touch him. We did puppy school and it helped with his obedience but it didnt get rid of him being territorial and aggressive with new people. I'm out of ideas and a little disheartened. Im not sure what to do.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Puppy school is great for teaching obedience but it can't accomplish the specific things that need to be improved, that's where private in-home training comes in, especially if he tends to do well with people out in public but is behaved badly at home. I highly suggest finding a trainer who will do private aggression training with you, to tailor a program to his needs. Look for someone who is part of a training group where there are multiple trainers - who can practice being 'strangers' for the training. For training to work he likely needs to practice the training around a variety of different people in your home. Additional encounters with people outside of your home can also be beneficial but most training needs to happen at home at first if that is where the main problem is. When searching for a trainer ask questions. Not all trainers are experienced with aggression so look for someone who has a history of success working with aggression. Read reviews or ask for client referrals from those who had aggressive dogs. Without more details about the aggression I cannot offer specific advice on training, but most types of aggression benefit from building the dog's respect and trust for you. Additional training can then be build off of that foundation. Check out the articles and videos linked below: Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo The above training links help to lay a good foundation, more specific training will depend on what type of aggression he has, how he is reacting to people, and other possible clues into his behavior that would help determine a good training protocol. Check out the video linked below for one exercise that can be done with people. Notice the back tie leash that keeps the person that the dog does not know safe. There are likely other things that need to be practiced as well though. https://youtu.be/mgmRRYK1Z6A Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Guppy
Chihuahua
6 Months
2 found helpful
Question
2 found helpful
Guppy
Chihuahua
6 Months

I am working on socializing Guppy as much as possible so she grows up to be a friendly happy girl. I have a 3 yr old son who she is completely fine with. As part of her socialization, I try to take her everywhere with me. Recently, while at a friend’s house, Guppy was off leash and started growling at one of my friend’s daughters. How should I correct/modify this behavior?

Thank you,
Amanda

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Amanda, Right when the incident happens, I would tell her "Ah Ah" firmly, get between her and the child or remove me from what she is being possessive of and make her leave the area. That is just to show her that that's not acceptable though. To prevent future occurrences, have that child and other children of various ages practice giving her obedience commands that she knows and giving her treats when she obeys. Supervise and help them as needed. You want to teach respect but also trust. You want to do this in a way that helps her relax and associate the kids with fun things like rewards. Having the kids take her for walks, feed her her entire dinner one piece at a time (from a zip-lock and not her bowl) everytime she does something for them like sit, act friendly, or act calm, or play a game like fetch but sit when you old to get the ball and drop the ball on command. Make the encounters rewarding and fun for her but also structured to build both trust and respect. Also, don't let kids tease her or scare her. The encounters should be rewarding. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Alexander
Chihuahua
8 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Alexander
Chihuahua
8 Months

My pup likes to bark and everything outside and does growl and want to eat people other than me my daughter my son my parents and my ex husband. Above it said put dog down and ignore him. But dont we have to protect the guests from being eaten lol Do we calmly put him in his crate? i dont want the crate to be punishment but i want the barking and growling to stop. he is a really good boy as far as totally potty trained,. sits rolls over. fetches a ball and brings it back repeatly.... super smart.. however this one thing.....

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Patti, The article you commented on was written more to address preventing aggression. Since Alexander is already displaying aggression you are correct that you need to do things differently. Having boundaries and not encouraging his aggressive behavior is certainly important too, like the article states, but you do need to take measures to protect guest and the aggression needs to be treated differently than what you would do to prevent it in most cases. Check out this video by Jeff Gellman, who specializes in aggression. Here he demonstrated safety measures (a back tie), when to have guest reward a dog (during calmness and not during aggressive displays), and how to appropriately use punishment when treating aggression (with good timing, calmness, and in combination with positive reinforcement for calm behavior and with the appropriate safety measures for your guests). Aggression video: https://youtu.be/mgmRRYK1Z6A Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Gypsy
Chihuahua
3 Years
2 found helpful
Question
2 found helpful
Gypsy
Chihuahua
3 Years

Hi!
I have a 3 year teacup long haired chihuahua that my mother got me while I was still living at home. Recently I have moved out and I am living in apartments while going to college. Where I live there is constant people around, other dogs, and I like to have friends over every once in a while. While living at my mothers house he was the only dog around, never really had company over other than family every once in a while and we live far off into the woods with no noise surrounding so he was pretty spoiled. Now I live around noisy neighbors (can hear them above, beside us and walking by door), many neighbors has dogs they also walk and have and I have people over some times. He is very territorial about me particular (always has been), but he barks constantly with neighbors, growls, charges and barks at neighbors and dogs when passing, and some of my friends boyfriends (he's really funny about males; he never liked my younger brother much and he never socialized with him, but liked my dad) he will bark and growl at them the entire time they are in my apartment even tries to chase after them and nip at their heels. No matter how much I yell at home, get onto him, pop his butt, he does not care. The next time it happens he's right back to acting out. PLEASE help me learn how to make him more social. I would love to be able to take him for a walk without him freaking out.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Carlee, Check out this video by Jeff Gellman, who specializes in aggression. Here he demonstrated safety measures (a back tie), when to have people reward a dog (during calmness and not during aggressive displays), and how to appropriately use punishment when treating aggression (with good timing, calmness, and in combination with positive reinforcement for calm behavior and with the appropriate safety measures for your guests). Aggression video: https://youtu.be/mgmRRYK1Z6A It sounds like he needs a lot of structure and boundaries in general to build respect. Have him work for everything he gets for a while by having him perform a command first. For example, have him sit before you feed him, lay down before you pet him, look at you before you take him outside, ect.. If he nudges you, climbs into your lap uninvited, begs, or does anything else pushy, make him leave the room. Teach him a Place command and work on him staying on place for up to an hour, even when you walk into the other room for a minute. Practice crate manners. Work on teaching a structured Heel. Forget about getting places during a walk for a while right now, instead go somewhere open, like your front yard, a park, or culdesac and practice a heel where his nose does not go past your leg. You need to hire a trainer to help you with the aggression and you need someone who uses a lot of boundaries, positive reinforcement and fair discipline tactfully. Look for someone who is very experienced with aggression and different types of aggression - many trainers are only experienced with fear-based aggression and you likely have some dominance- based or territorial/possessive aggression going on too, and they are treated a bit differently than fear. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Domino
Chihuahua
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Domino
Chihuahua
2 Years

My Chihuahua who I adopted about three months ago from a local animal shelter is very hard to train and is crazy. He will start barking when a new person comes to the house to visit and does not disturb him. He will not stop tying to attack and bark at them. He also will pull on the leash a lot on walks and try to attack every dog and person he sees and will not stop barking, growling, and being aggressive. I have tried to train him with multiple methods, but will not listen to me. Although, he does know basic commands he will not listen when I tell him to stop barking and attacking people. Please help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Alexis, Check out this video by Jeff Gellman, who specializes in aggression. Here he demonstrated safety measures (a back tie), when to have people reward a dog (during calmness and not during aggressive displays), and how to appropriately use punishment when treating aggression (with good timing, calmness, and in combination with positive reinforcement for calm behavior and with the appropriate safety measures for your guests). Aggression video: https://youtu.be/mgmRRYK1Z6A It sounds like he needs a lot of structure and boundaries in general to build respect. Have him work for everything he gets for a while by having him perform a command first. For example, have him sit before you feed him, lay down before you pet him, look at you before you take him outside, ect.. If he nudges you, climbs into your lap uninvited, begs, or does anything else pushy, make him leave the room. Teach him a Place command and work on him staying on place for up to an hour, even when you walk into the other room for a minute. Practice crate manners. Work on teaching a structured Heel. Forget about getting places during a walk for a while right now, instead go somewhere open, like your front yard, a park, or culdesac and practice a heel where his nose does not go past your leg. You need to hire a trainer to help you with the aggression and you need someone who uses a lot of boundaries, positive reinforcement and fair discipline tactfully. Look for someone who is very experienced with aggression and different types of aggression - many trainers are only experienced with fear based aggression and you likely have some dominance- based or possessive aggression going on too, and they are treated a bit differently than fear. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Trubel
Chihuahua breed
8 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Trubel
Chihuahua breed
8 Weeks

Trubel is a very sweet and active pup and shows respect to me and some obedience as i have set boundaries. however, are there any videos on training the pups with basic commands and potty training? being winter months and him not having completed his vaccines, i am not comfortable taking him outside as yet.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Radhika, Puppy Class videos: Week 1, pt 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnhJGU2NO5k Week 1, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-1-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 1 https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-2-home-jasper-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1-0 Also, check out this article on puppy classes and socialization. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ As far as potty training, check out the free e-book download from the website I have linked below. In the AFTER You Get Your Puppy book, there is a section on potty training, which also includes how to teach pup to go potty on a real grass pad in an exercise pen if you can't crate train and take them potty outside. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads You can also modify the Exercise Pen method from the article linked below, using real grass pads in place of a litter box, putting the exercise pen in a room you can close off later when pup doesn't need the potty anymore (You only want pup using potty inside in an area of the house he can't access later if you plan to outside potty train later - so he won't get into the habit of soiling other areas of the house), and not phase out the exercise pen - instead transition to crate training and pottying outside when the weather is better. Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad brands - most also found on amazon www.doggielawn.com www.freshpatch.com www.porchpotty.com Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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