How to Train Your Chihuahua Dog to Get Along With Other Dogs

Medium
6-12 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Chihuahuas are often known for their stubborn personality. But when it comes to being with their owners, they are sweet and tender dogs. Many Chihuahuas don't often get along with other dogs. They would rather be the sole pet in the house and the only dog on the planet. If you have multiple dogs, you're going to need to teach your Chihuahua to know how to get along with them. You're going to want all of your dogs to be comfortable in your home. If you take your dog out to dog parks or to a pet store, or even to the veterinarian's office, your Chihuahua is going to need to know how to behave and not be overly aggressive. Even a small dog such as your Chihuahua can get into trouble if his attitude is not in check. You don't want to be responsible for your Chihuahua biting another dog because he doesn't know how to get along.

Defining Tasks

The key to teaching your dog to get along with other dogs is to ensure the Chihuahua is social. As early as you can, socialize your Chihuahua. If you get your Chihuahua as a puppy, start as soon as he has all of his shots. You can socialize your puppy Chihuahua with people before his shots are done, but wait until he's had all of his shots before you introduce him to dogs you do not know, such as dogs at the dog park or a pet store. If this is an older Chihuahua, you are rescuing and bringing into your home with other animals, introduce your dogs to your new Chihuahua slowly and methodically. Getting your Chihuahua to be social is key to having him understand how to get along with other dogs. Remember, the commonality between your Chihuahua and other dogs is they will both do just about anything for delicious food. 

Getting Started

Bring your Chihuahua together with other dogs slowly. Be sure to have lots of tasty treats for both dogs. If there are multiple other dogs in your home, you may ask a friend or partner to help with introductions. If you plan to bring your Chihuahua around other dogs outside your home, start with dogs and owners you know. Chihuahuas tend to do best on a harness instead of a collar and leash. If your Chihuahua is aggressive or in danger or harming another dog, pulling him away with a harness is safer than tugging on a leash attached to a neck collar. These little guys can become injured easily with a leash and collar.

The Socialized Chihuahua Method

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Step
1
Plan ahead
Plant scheduled social times for your Chihuahua. This should include times with other dogs his size as well as times with other dogs who are larger than he is. Before you head out for social time with your Chihuahua, be sure he has been fed and is well rested and ready for some playtime.
Step
2
Neutral space
Set up a meeting or a playdate with other dogs your dog will be around, but set this up in neutral territory. If you don't know other dogs but you still want your Chihuahua to be social, you can go to a dog park. Just be sure to start with a small dog area before you introduce your Chihuahua to the bigger dogs' area.
Step
3
Harness
Harness your Chihuahua with an appropriate harness and not just a collar and a leash. Be sure the harness is the right size and on your dog correctly.
Step
4
Voice and tone
When you introduce your Chihuahua to a dog you know or a strange dog at a dog park, keep your tone and your voice calm and even. You don't want your Chihuahua to pick up on any anxieties from your voice.
Step
5
Aggression
As long as your dog is properly harnessed, if he shows any aggression at all, you can gently pull back on the harness pulling him away from the other dog. Do not do this if your dog is not wearing a harness and is wearing a leash instead. If you do so with a leash and collar, you run the risk of collapsing his trachea so be sure to harness your Chihuahua.
Step
6
Commands
Before you introduce your Chihuahua to other animals, teach him some commands such as 'sit' and 'down.' You can use these commands as he is meeting new friends. As you're introducing your Chihuahua to another dog, ask your dog to sit. Provide treats for both dogs as they are meeting one another so they can both be rewarded for good behavior and following commands.
Step
7
Ignore
As the two dogs are meeting and greeting, ignore them unless you see either becoming aggressive. Again, your Chihuahua will pick up on any of your anxieties, so if you are playing helicopter dog parent he is going to expect you to save the day instead of working things out on his own. Remember, the goal here is to keep him from being aggressive and get along with new friends.
Step
8
Rewards
Every so often while ignoring the dogs you are socializing, give them each a reward in the form of a treat. Be sure to treat them both at the same time and make it a high-value treat that they will both want to earn again with good behavior.
Step
9
Practice
Practice socializing your dog with several dogs but only one at a time. Making your Chihuahua social around other dogs as well as people will make him a kinder, friendlier dog.
Step
10
Good behavior
Be sure to reward your Chihuahua for good behavior anytime you see him socially interacting with another dog. Having your Chihuahua learn how to socialize will keep him from being so aggressive around other animals.
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The Obedience Commands Method

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1 Vote
Step
1
Basic commands
As soon as you bring your Chihuahua home, begin to teach him basic obedience commands. This will set the tone for your relationship in the future as well as give you tools to use when he meets other animals or people.
Step
2
'Sit'
As soon as your Chihuahua meets another dog, have him sit.
Step
3
Treat
Once your dog sits, offer him a treat. If he does not sit because he’s on edge with another dog nearby, show him the treat and command him to sit again. Once he sits, give him the treat and treat the other dog as well.
Step
4
Down
Once your dog is sitting and earning treats, have him go into a 'down' position. If the other dog knows this command, have him lie down as well.
Step
5
Reward
Once your Chihuahua is in a down position, offer him a treat. At the same time, give the other dog a treat as well.
Step
6
Eye contact
Allow some time for the two dogs to look at one another and sniff if they choose.
Step
7
Treat again
As they are getting used to one another, offer them both a treat.
Step
8
Repeat
Try to ignore the dogs as they get used to each other. Keep them in a 'sit' or a 'down' position to keep them focused. As long as they are not being aggressive, treat them both.
Step
9
Practice
Use this method each time your dog meets another dog. Always pair a meeting with treats and commands. Consider making the treats you use when with other dogs a bit more high value than training or everyday treats.
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The Conditioning Method

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Step
1
Walk
Harness your Chihuahua and take him on a walk where you know he will see and smell other dogs. You can walk around your neighborhood, go to a dog park, or goto a pet store where you are likely to run into other dogs.
Step
2
Treat
Each time your dog sees another dog, give your Chihuahua a treat.
Step
3
Aggression
If your dog growls or lunges forward toward another dog, distract him with a high-value treat. This is not acknowledging his poor behavior but rather distracting him from his anxieties or fears of the other dog.
Step
4
Practice
Continue to take your Chihuahua near other dogs or in areas where he will see other dogs but not interact with them. Each time your Chihuahua acknowledges the presence of another dog, give him a treat. Do not let the other dogs get close to your dog at this point.
Step
5
Up close
After some practice conditioning your Chihuahua to seeing and being near other dogs, introduce him to a dog you know and trust. This dog can be any size, just make sure it’s one you are familiar with.
Step
6
Neutral territory
Have your Chihuahua and the dog you know and trust meet up in one of the places you and your dog have been visiting.
Step
7
Meeting treats
As both dogs get closer, offer both a treat. You have conditioned your dog to associate treats with other dogs, be sure to continue this conditioning as dogs get closer.
Step
8
Greeting
As long as the dogs are getting closer without aggression, continue to offer them both treats. If your Chihuahua is at all apprehensive about this meeting, give him a treat and walk away with your pup.
Step
9
Keep trying
Keep trying to introduce your Chihuahua to other dogs or the same dog on neutral ground with treats until he allows their interactions to be closer. Each time they meet, try to get them closer and closer. Be patient. If your Chihuahua is aggressive or anxious, it may take time, but he will get it with patience, tolerance, and lots of tasty treats.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Gisela
Chihuahua
15 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Gisela
Chihuahua
15 Months

Have just got another chihuahua female white dog into the family who is 4 months old. We did introduce them for weeks prior to taking her home , he has been ok for most of time although jealous as well . They have been together 3 or so weeks and in just the last two days our male older dog is growling at little one and won’t let her have a treat or play with him. I must say he has been spoilt as an only dog for a year and went everywhere with us so I understand he might be put out . Yet at times he is protective over little Mia and watches over her and at other times growls and is intimidating. He also was used to constant one on one play time and won’t let her play with him and us yet she is so placid she keeps trying to get involved and we are trying to finds ways of helping solve this situation I need some advise on how to handle Thai situation and make for a happy family.
Thanks for any advise given
Gisela Pure

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
492 Dog owners recommended

Hello Gisela, There are a couple of things you can do. The first is to work on respect with your older Chihuahua. Most dogs are tolerant of puppies until the puppy gets old enough to be a threat to their dominant status. Which is why your older dog is probably starting to have more issues with the puppy, the puppy is getting older. When a younger dog becomes threatening to an older dog then there will often be fights to establish who is in charge. To prevent the fights your dog needs to view you as the one in charge, to respect you more, and to have you make all of the rules for both dogs, so that your older dog does not have to decide who is in charge and making the rules. To teach respect have both dogs follow at least one of the methods from this article bellow: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you That article talks about Dobermans, but the training will work for your Chihuahua also. As far as being the one to create the rules, decide rules for both dogs and do not let your older or younger dog be the one to decide what the other dog is allowed to do. You make the rules and you enforce the rules, not your dog. The rules might include: "No taking another dog's bone", "No being possessive of people, toys, or food", "No trying to get between the other dog and a person when the person is petting the other", "No fighting the other dog" (Instead you be the one to deal with the other dog when he is causing issues, so the bothered dog does not have to fight), and "No bothering another dog when he does not want to be bothered". When one dog is breaking a rule then make him leave the room and remove whatever that dog wants, such as your attention or treats being given out. Do this for both dogs to make it fair, but make sure your older dog is not getting away with breaking rules because in this situation he is causing most of the problem. Do protect your older dog's space though, and do not let your young dog bother him when he wants to be left alone. Instead distract your young dog with something like a toy or place him into a crate or exercise pen with a fun toy to give him a break if he is too wound up. Also, use your older dog's dog food, or treats, to reward your older dog whenever the younger dog is around, or the young dog is receiving treats, toys, or affection, or when your older dog is generally being nice toward and tolerant of your younger dog. You want your older dog to begin to want your younger dog around, because when the younger dog is around your older dog gets treats. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
June
Chihuahua
8 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
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June
Chihuahua
8 Weeks

I wanted to leave info for both of my dogs. I left info for June the chihuahua above. Johnny is our other dog. He’s a 7 week old Labrador retriever. My husband and I adopted these two from the humane Society (June on April 2nd and Johnny in April 3rd) We had them meet in a neutral place before bringing them home. It was ok but June seemed aggressive towards Johnny. We tried again at home in the backyard and they started play fighting but then it escalated quickly. I became very nervous because June is so small. She seemed more aggressive than Johnny. I’m so worried that we won’t be able to have them get along. I need help ASAP!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
492 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nicole, I suggest hiring a trainer who is experienced with puppy play times and puppy kindergarten to evaluate the two puppies together and assess their temperaments. At this age true aggression is rare (but not impossible which is why I suggest an evaluation by a trainer), but some puppies will play overly rough and not give another puppy a break when needed. Personalities often determine who is in charge rather than just size. Once pups have been evaluated and have had a couple of private sessions to determine what is going on, if it's simply June being too rough and not knowing how to take turns being dominant and submissive during play, then I suggest joining a puppy kindergarten class with both pups (two adults need to go so that both pups have a person to supervise, or you can join two separate classes, and go one at a time with the pups). Look for a class that has puppy play time part of the time and the trainer moderates the play to prevent bullying and fear. Pups need a chance to be socialized, build confidence (Johhny more so) and to find out that other puppies won't play with them if they are too rough (June more so likely). It is also important for both dogs to have a lot of structure at home. Work on obedience with both, don't tolerate pushiness (the pushy pup has to leave the room when doing so), and create and enforce house rules for both dogs so that they do not have to for each other. For example, se rules might include: No pup can take another's toy. If they do, you retrieve it from the thief, give it back to who had it first, and make the thief leave the room. No pup can bother another one when they want to sleep. No pup can hover around another one while he is eating. (I suggest feeding both in locked crates to avoid food issues to begin with). No pup can be be possessive of someone or something....they have to leave the room if so. No pup can keep another pup from getting through a door way or entering a room. The goal is to decide what the rules are and expect both puppies to follow them, then you enforce consequences/situations if one puppy is breaking a rule so that the other puppy does not have to act aggressive to enforce the rules themselves or is not bullied and taken advantage of by a more dominant pup. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Luna
Chihuahua
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Luna
Chihuahua
3 Years

The chihuahua is very aggressive towards the German Shepard.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
492 Dog owners recommended

Hello Dolores, I would need a lot more details to be of much help. I suggest checking out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training on YouTube, and Sean O'Shea from the Good Dog. You may need to hire a trainer who is very experienced with aggression to work with you in person, to assess what type of training method is needed to help him. In general, building respect and trust for you is a good place to start. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mordie
Chihuahua
5 Years
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Question
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Mordie
Chihuahua
5 Years

My adult chihuahua has an uncontrollable aggression toward other dogs, particularly larger dogs.
Often he knows of another dogs presence before I do and is on edge before I can get a handle on it.
He’s fast, very fast and his aggression ranges from intense, fearful barking to attempting to bite the other dog multiple times if he’s able to get near enough.
He isn’t able to be let of his lead at the dog park as he will run toward any dog he sees with this behaviour.
There has been occasions where he has been completely relaxed around unfamiliar dogs and able to be let off the lead. He is better with most smaller dogs that larger dogs.
When he has spent some time and had the opportunity to get to know dogs he’s totally fine, it’s mostly in the street and at the park this happens.
What can I do to stop this? He wants so badly to be able to run around and the park and interact with other dogs but I believe his fear creates his aggression and therefore I just can’t trust him without a lead.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
492 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brooke, First, he absolutely needs to stop going to the dog park. That environment is a highly aroused, aggressive, and excited. He likely feels frustrated, stressed, and trapped being their the leash around so many other dogs who can approach him off leash. Since he doesn't have the social skills to handle being off leash there either - which would be equally bad for him since he would bully and fight, he needs to stop going to dog parks right now. For future on going socialization, instead of a dog park see if there is a group that you can go on structured heeling walks with. That type of environment where the walk is structured and he is following you and not competing to be in front is calming, focused, and the exercise releases tension, increases endorphins, and decreases things like adrenaline... Helping him pair other dogs with a calm, happy mindset, instead of an aroused, aggressive, stressed one. If there is a G.R.O.W.L. class within driving distance of you I suggest joining that class. A G.R.O.W.L. class is a class for aggressive or reactive dogs who all wear basket muzzles and are intensively socialized together while practicing things like heel. You can also recruit a friend with a well behaved dog to practice the passing approach, then walking together methods from the article I have linked below. You will correct aggressive outburst, and reward calmness, while practicing a structured heeling walk, passing by the other dog from across the street lots of times. As pup improves, you decrease the distance between the dogs very gradually, until they can handle walking in the same direction from across the street and both dogs can stay calm; at that point you decrease the distance between them again. Practice this with one dog until your dog can calmly walk with that dog, then practice this with new, well-behaved dogs until pup can do group walks with other dogs in a structured heel. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs When pup can handle group structured heeling walks, then see if there is a dog walking or hiking group in your city through something like www.meetup.com, a dog training club, a rescue group, or social gathering group. Always keep safety in mind when meeting up with new groups, and have pup wear a basket muzzle if a bite is possible in that situation. An example of a structured walk with a reactive and aggressive dog: Reactive dog - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY8s_MlqDNE Aggressive dog - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Silky
Chihuahua
8 Years
2 found helpful
Question
2 found helpful
Silky
Chihuahua
8 Years

Hello!

This last Monday I got a puppy, about 5 months old. Silky, the 8 year old chihuahua, does not like him at all. He does also try to play with her and she doesn’t like it. She hates when he is near myself or my mother. She tries to bite him and growls and just gets so riled up. It’s only been 4 days now, but I’m scared that if it continues I’ll have to give him away. I don’t want them to get into a huge fight and one gets hurt. She also isn’t really trained, she doesnf listen to any commands. So I’m not sure if there is a way to help the situation.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
492 Dog owners recommended

Hello Erica, It sounds like Silky needs to learn respect with a lot of new structure, working for what she gets, and generally creating new house rules for both dogs to follow. The aggression might be a combination of lack of socialization around other dogs (so the new dog is overwhelming at first) and Silky believing that she runs the house and owns the humans in it (which is why she acts aggressively when the puppy tries to approach people). By building Silky's respect for you, showing her that you are handling situations, and desensitizing her to the puppy by making the puppy's presence pleasant through rewards, and rewarding general tolerance of the puppy, you can likely improve her behavior. The training will take work though and without being there in person to evaluate I cannot guarantee how much she will improve. Many dogs improve dramatically around a new puppy when given rules, taught boundaries, desensitized to the new dog, and given time to adapt. If the aggression is severe enough that she is likely to draw blood, I highly suggest you hire a professional trainer to help you in person and to evaluate the two dogs right now before a potential fight occurs. If the threats are simply loud but very controlled, that is likely less dangerous and fairly common with the arrival of a new dog. Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Working" method and the "Consistency" method with Silky. Both dogs can benefit from the training if you have time to do it with both dogs. Focus on Silky the most though. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Also, create household rules for both dogs and be the one to enforce the rules for both dogs, so that neither dog has to enforce anything for the other dog. Some good rules include: "No dog is allowed to act possessive of people or things (If they do, they have to leave the room). "No dog is allowed to block a dog from going through a doorway or getting to an area". "No dog is allowed to be pushy for attention (nudging hands, barking, or jumping onto laps without being invited first. Instead have the dog do something like "Sit" first and make the dog leave if they do not listen and are still pushy). "No dog is allowed to take another dog's toy (If they do, take the toy from the thief, return it to the dog it was stolen from, and make the offender leave the area). "No dog is allowed to hover around or steal another dogs' food (I suggest feeding both dogs in separate crates to prevent any potential food aggression from starting, then both dogs can eat and feel relaxed about their food - eating in a crate is good for almost any dog). "No dog is allowed to act aggressively toward another dog" (Make the offender leave and stay out of the room). "No dog is allowed to beg for people food" (competing for food near one another is asking for trouble right now). "No dog is allowed to bother another dog when they want to be left alone" (Keep the puppy from bothering your other dog so that your older dog can relax, until the puppy learns to be more polite about it, and reward Silky for being tolerant when the puppy is calmly trying to say hi or generally near silky and Silky is nice). "Both dogs have to get off furniture when told 'Off'." - teach both dogs what this command means. If either dog is guarding the furniture or refuses to get off, they are not allowed on the furniture until their attitude changes. When the puppy enters the room and Silky stays calm, reward Silky with a treat or toy. When the puppy gets near Silky and Silky stays calm, also reward Silky with a treat. Stop giving treats when the puppy leaves. You want to associate the puppy's presence with treats and for the treats to stop when the puppy leaves, so that Silky will want her to stay. This will help desensitize her to the puppy's presence. If you feel like you need more help, I suggest finding a trainer who uses both positive reinforcement and fair corrections who will do the training above, including the rewards for tolerating the puppy and helping you implement more rules and structure for Silky. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Freddy and cocco
Chihuahua
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Freddy and cocco
Chihuahua
2 Months

Im thinking of getting 2 chiwawa puppies from 2 different litters from the same breeders, is this likely to be more difficult to train , also do you reccomend I get a boy and a girl or 2 boys which is what I'd rather?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
492 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sian, Whether getting two pups at the same time is a good idea or not depends a lot on how much time and work you are able to give. Getting two puppies at once tends to be more than twice as much work at one pup. Pups will tend to get into more trouble together and be rougher and less calm together than if you just had one puppy. With cats many people get two so that they can keep each other company and in some ways cats are even easier in pairs. With dogs it isn't less work, it tends to be more than twice as much work with two. For some people this is fine though and they are up to the challenge. Just keep in mind that the pups will each need to be taken potty every hour, will both wake up 1-2 times to be taken potty in the middle of the night at first, will both need to be crate trained - which can involve some crying at first (so double crying). Both will need to be taught things like using their mouths gently and be supervised constantly when free to prevent accidents, destructive chewing, and keep them safe while young. Most importantly, you will need to make time for both puppies to be thoroughly socialized and there is a very specific age window for this (until 16 weeks) when pups need to be taken (carried to avoid disease exposure on the ground) as many places as you can, introduced to lots of people in a positive way, and ideally enrolled in a puppy kindergarten class that has time for off-leash play with other puppies so that they learn to be social with other dogs (one other puppy in the house won't accomplish this on it's own). Socialization is the greatest factor besides genetics on temperament and preventing temperament issues later on so it's extremely important and takes a lot of time those first few weeks and can't be postponed because it's age dependent. Check out the free pdf e-books that can be downloaded at the link below, BEFORE You Get Your Puppy and AFTER You Get Your Puppy for information on puppy raising to give you a good idea of where to start and what to expect if you haven't raised a puppy before. Its a great resource to check out even if you have raised puppies before - it was written by the man who pioneered starting puppy classes at a younger age and co founded the association of professional dog trainers. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads If you feel up for all of that, a male and female are less likely to fight with each other once they hit sexual maturity. The biggest factor will be individual personalities though - try choosing puppies that are neither super submissive nor very dominant - middle of the road puppies. Avoid the puppies who are timid and scared and the puppies who bite and jump a lot - look for the puppies who are friendly and happy but not as rough - they will likely be the easiest puppies to raise with a second puppy around. If you get two males, neutering will be especially important but neutering won't stop all competing - there will probably be a need for good leadership and structure in your house to avoid confrontations as they get older. A male and female will still be work but they just tend to be less of a direct challenge to each other - either way look for those middle of the road temperament puppies. If you decide to wait to adopt a second pup, generally two years of age is the soonest I would add a second dog to let the first dog calm down a bit and get past all the destructive chewing phases and become trained. Spend a whole lot of time socializing the first pup with other puppies, people and dogs during the first year of life to ensure pup will adjust well to a new puppy later. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Peanut
Chihuahua
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Peanut
Chihuahua
4 Years

Just got a pit puppy and my chihuahua keeps growling or running away from the puppy. It's been 3 weeks and he is still aggressive towards him. Both are Male. Any tips to get them to get along better before they pit gets any bigger.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
492 Dog owners recommended

Hello Chelsie, First, I highly suggest crate training the puppy. Almost all puppies will cry the first two weeks of crate training - it is new to them and they have to be given the opportunity to learn to self-sooth and self-entertain to prepare them for environments they will have to be in later and prevent dangerous destructive chewing habits that happen without confinement. Use the Surprise method from the article linked below to gradually help him learn to be calm in the crate and to relax by using rewards for being Quiet. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Once pup is crate trained then life with both dogs can be a lot easier for everyone. Crate pup at night and when you leave, and you can use an exercise pen with some toys in it also. When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, puppy should be crated or in the pen. While you are supervising, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, no bothering another dog when they want to be left alone, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If puppy obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at your pup, make your older dog leave the room while also disciplining pup for antagonizing if needed. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your older dog - you want him to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for puppy to learn respect for your older dog because you have taught it to him and not because your older dog has had to resort to aggression or he has to hide all the time. If you want pup to be free but don't want to chase after him while you are home, you can also clip him to yourself using a six-foot leash, so that he has to stay near you and not wander near your other dog. Whenever puppy enters the room, give your older dog a treat while pup is not looking. Whenever your older dog is calm, relaxed or tolerant of puppy also give Peanut a treat. Try not to let puppy see you rewarding him though so that he doesn’t run over and overwhelm. Right now your older dog probably feels overwhelmed by pup. He needs to feel like you are the one managing puppy, protecting your older dog from him pestering him, and making his appearance pleasant for your older dog. If you can take the pressure off of their relationship and help their interactions to be calmer, then he may adjust to puppy's presence as he grows, especially when he calms down when older. Don’t expect them to be best friends. The goal right now is calm, peaceful coexistence. They may end up bonding and enjoy each others company as adults later but they don’t have to play or be thrilled right now. I find that about half of all older dogs find new puppies stressful at first. Many do adjust as puppy matures though and may even become buddies - you have to add structure and boundaries to help their relationship be calmer and not force interactions though. I would also teach both dogs the Place command and use that to facilitate them learning to calmly coexist in the same room with some boundaries by having them both stay on separate Place beds in the same room. Finally, if you feel overwhelmed, things are getting worse, or there is a bite, then I would seek professional in-person help from a qualified trainer who has a lot of experience with aggression and comes well recommended by their previous clients whose dogs also dealt with aggression. Aggression is something best addressed immediately or it can get worse, so if you feel good about working through it yourself you can try the above suggestions, but if you are not seeing improvement or feel overwhelmed by it, then you may want to hire someone who is very experienced with aggression to come to your home and help one-on-one with you (obedience classes aren't enough - you need someone who has a lot of experience with behavior issues to address it with the dogs and teach you how to manage it in real time). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Nala
Chihuahua
10 Years
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Nala
Chihuahua
10 Years

My older dog is very protective and has never been the social type dog. She did do well 2 years ago when we had a dachshund but he passed on and she has been alone the last 2 years. We just a got a new cheweenie and she is not being nice! She growls when he comes near her or if she is near me and he comes around she shows her teeth! She has had a hurt leg on top of this so her patience is lacking...because of her age is there any chance at all I can get her to accept him? I dont know what else to do. They each have there own food and water dishes and individual kennels because I knew this was going to be a serious adjustment for Nala the older dog. Please Help

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
492 Dog owners recommended

Hello Abbie, If you feel overwhelmed, things are getting worse, or there is a bite, then I would seek professional help. Aggression is something best addressed immediately or it can get worse, so if you feel good about working through it yourself you can try the below suggestions, but if you are not seeing improvement or feel overwhelmed by it, then you may want to hire someone who is very experienced with aggression to come to your home and help one-on-one with you (obedience classes aren't enough - you need someone who has a lot of experience with behavior issues to address it with the dogs and teach you how to manage it in real time). Work on taking the pressure off of both dogs to be in charge and in control by mediating situations for them, work on commands that improve calmness and self-control, and make and enforce the rules so that the dogs are not working it out themselves - you are telling them how to react and behave in a calm but firm way. I suggest teaching both dogs Out (which means leave the area) and Place - which is similar to Stay but on a certain spot and they can sit, stand, or lie down but can't get off the spot. Practicing Place with both dogs in the same room on separate place beds can help facilitate calmness around each other and respect for you. Out is great for giving direction and giving a consequence of leaving the room when there is pushiness or mild resource guarding. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo I also suggest crate training both dogs so that they can have a calm place to chew on a chew toy away from each other when things are tense, or one dog is pestering the other, or you are not home to supervise while they are still getting to know each other. Crate training is an important potty training and safety measure for a young pup also. If you don't feel you can do this with your older dog, definitely at least do it with puppy. An open crate while you are home can also serve as an additional Place to practice, and feeding both dogs in separate locked crates can prevent food resource guarding and remove stress around mealtimes! Crate Manners - great calmness and gentle respect building exercise : https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Surprise method - for introducing crate for first time: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem, you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your other dog when she is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If he obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your other dog, blocking the pup from getting to her, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your other dog. If your older dog pushes pup or gets between you and pup uninvited, tell your older dog Out and enforce her leaving. When she is waiting for her turn patiently, then send pup to place and invite Nala over - no demanding of attention right now from either dog. Make them wait or do a command first to work for your attention since possessiveness is an issue, and make them leave if being pushy or aggressive. If your older dog growls at pup, make her leave the room while also carefully disciplining pup if pup antagonized her first. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your dogs - you want them to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for them to learn respect for each other because you have taught it to them and not because they have used aggression. When pup first enters the room, give your older dog a treat without pup seeing so pup is associated with good things for your older dog - treats stop when pup leaves. When your older dog is being calm, tolerant, and friendly without acting dominant and pushy toward pup, you can also calmly give a treat. Keep the energy calm when interacting with the dogs. Don't feel sorry for either dog but give clear boundaries instead. Don't expect them to be best friends right now - the goal is calm co-existence. When puppy matures and they have learned good manners around each other, they may decide to be friends as adults, but calmness, tolerance, and co-existence comes first. Again, don't wait to get in person help from someone qualified with this type of behavior (ask questions not all trainers are experienced with aggression), if things are getting worse, you feel overwhelmed, or there is a bite. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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