We have a duty to our Chihuahuas to teach them how to be comfortable and confident with strangers. Chihuahuas thrive on the attention of strangers once they feel confident with them, and it is our job as their family to teach them how.
It is best to teach your Chihuahua from puppyhood how to respond positively to strangers, but even if your little pup is grey in the muzzle or has come from an abusive or neglectful background, she can learn to take joy in meeting strangers or at least not respond by barking at them.
Teaching your Chihuahua not to bark at strangers will require plenty of her favorite treats and toys. It is helpful to have some dog loving, bark-tolerant strangers available as well. Practice in a variety of settings and with lots of different people. Make sure your chihuahua is wearing a sturdy harness that she cannot slip out of and that won’t hurt her if she pulls against it.
Barking, especially continuous, uncontrollable barking, is often paired with terrible anxiety and fear, as well as possible aggression. Be patient with your Chihuahua and appreciate how frightening meeting new people can be for her. Don’t push her to interact if she doesn’t want to. Doing so can result in aggression or even biting.
How can I make my dog not be so obsessive. I've talked to my local pet smart employees and they have said that she is obsessive. How can I stop that?
Hello Angela, Is it barking that Cookie is obsessive about or something else? Two things might be going on here: 1. Barking is actually a self-rewarding behavior, meaning that when a dog's bark certain chemicals are released in the dog's brain, which rewards him and excites him and encourages him even more to bark. 2. When a dog gets wound up barking due to the chemicals that are being released in his brain he can develop a habit of reactivity because it is a pattern for him and he associates certain feelings with the people. To change the response you ultimately need to change his feelings also. I suspect both of those things are going on if the barking is toward people that he does not like, or new people. If he is barking at everything, like squirrels, when he is bored, or anything interesting that he notices, then it is probably just the first scenario. First, you need to interrupt the barking to stop the rewarding-chemical-releasing cycle in his brain. This requires correction. Once you correct the barking, to stop it briefly, then you need to give him feedback to tell or show him what to do instead. That means rewarding him whenever he does the RIGHT thing, which can be being quiet, saying hi to someone, being calm, looking at you for direction, and any other response that you want him to do instead of barking. If he is obsessive in another way, then please include more details about the obsessive behavior. Other types of obsessions can be due to genetics, chemical imbalances, learned behaviors, or by using certain tools like laser pointers. To deal with obsessiveness, you need to know what the obsession is and what might be causing it, so I would need more information. Thank you. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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