How to Train Your Chihuahua Dog to Not Be Aggressive

Medium
1-2 Months
Behavior

Introduction

Chihuahuas are cute little dogs, but they are dogs nonetheless. It is easy to not take them seriously when they behave aggressively. A snarling, snapping Chihuahua may be thought of as “being cute” and the behavior dismissed as not important. This is a huge mistake. Your Chihuahua is a dog, and if he is behaving aggressively, he is not respecting your leadership or other people. Although a Chihuahua may not be as dangerous as a larger dog, a Chihuahua is still capable of biting and causing damage, especially to a child or older person. Chihuahuas are prone to acting aggressively for the same reasons any dog may behave aggressively, due to anxiety, territorial behavior, or to show dominance. It can not be stressed enough that Chihuahuas are dogs like any other dog, and should be treated similarly with regards to expectations for training and behavior; they should not be allowed to behave dominantly. Obedience expectations and positive socialization should not be allowed to slide as a requirement when caring for a Chihuahua.

Defining Tasks

If your Chihuahua is behaving aggressively, try to determine what is behind his aggression. Is your dog experiencing anxiety that needs addressing and requires confidence and experience to be developed? Is your Chihuahua acting dominant, trying to establish himself as a leader? If so, you need to make sure your dog views you as the leader and behaves respectfully toward you, family members, and friends by respecting other people's space and submitting to having toys or food removed. Some Chihuahuas become possessive of their owners, biting and snapping when someone else approaches them and their owners. If this is the case, replacing territorial behavior with appropriate, well-socialized behavior is required. Your Chihuahua should not behave aggressively but allow others to approach him and yourself and to take toys or food without a fuss. A Chihuahua should know basic obedience commands like 'sit', 'stay', 'down' and 'come' the same as any other dog. This helps establish who is the leader and what is expected, which also helps reduce anxiety and territorial behaviors.

Getting Started

If your dog suddenly starts acting aggressive and they were not aggressive before, you should consider taking your Chihuahua to a veterinarian in case he is experiencing medical problems. Pain or discomfort can cause aggression that can be addressed by relief of the condition. Once a medical condition has been ruled out, make sure all members of the household are on board to counteract aggressive behavior, as consistency is important. Avoid punishing or yelling at a Chihuahua that is behaving aggressively, as this will only contribute to anxiety and aggression. Instead, be prepared to reward alternate behaviors and provide opportunities for positive socialization and to establish yourself and members of your household as leaders that need to be respected. This will require time, patience and consistency.

The Alternate Behavior Method

Most Recommended
2 Votes
Step
1
Teach 'sit-stay'
Teach your Chihuahua basic obedience commands like 'sit-stay' or 'down-stay' in a quiet place, free from distractions. Ask you dog to 'sit-stay' and provide a treat for compliance.
Step
2
Add distractions
Practice 'sit-stay' or 'down-stay' in a variety of environments until well established.
Step
3
Change reward
Replace treats with praise and affection for performing 'sit-stay'.
Step
4
Use when aggressive
When your Chihuahua starts to behave in an aggressive manner, growling or snapping, or takes an aggressive stance, distract him and provide the 'sit-stay' or 'down-stay' command.
Step
5
Reward alternate behavior
When your dog complies, praise him, this will provide a distraction from aggressive behaviors and provide your dog with a different response.
Recommend training method?

The Extinguish Aggression Method

Effective
1 Vote
Step
1
Change situation
If your dog behaves aggressively when sitting on your lap and approached by other people, do not allow your Chihuahua to sit on your lap while others are present.
Step
2
Distract aggression
When your Chihuahua behaves aggressively, distract him with a noise maker, or firmly say "no".
Step
3
Reward calm
When your Chihuahua behaves in a calm, friendly manner, provide praise and a treat to reinforce that behavior.
Step
4
Remove when required
If your Chihuahua behaves aggressively, ignore him. Remove him from the situation if behavior is out of control. You can put your Chihuahua in a crate or another room.
Step
5
Increase expectations
Increase the amount of time you expect your Chihuahua to be calm before providing reward or praise, attention, affection, or treats.
Recommend training method?

The Establish Leadership Method

Least Recommended
2 Votes
Step
1
Teach obedience
Teach your dog basic obedience commands like 'sit', 'stay', 'come', 'down', and 'heel'.
Step
2
Be food provider
Establish that you are the food provider. Make your Chihuahua sit and wait while you prepare food. Put his food down on the floor and wait with your dog while he eats to establish you are the provider. Practice removing and returning food so your dog knows what to expect and accept it.
Step
3
Socialize
Socialize your Chihuahua. Introduce your Chihuahua to other people, other dogs and other animals in a positive non-threatening environment. Reward positive interaction, remove your dog if aggressive behavior occurs while you continue to interact with others. While socializing, keep your dog at floor level. Avoid picking your dog up or keeping him on eye level with yourself or others.
Step
4
Do not reward agressiveness
Do not soothe your agitated dog when he is behaving aggressively, as this is just reinforcing anxiety and aggression. Do not pick your dog up or hold him close when he is acting anxious or aggressive.
Step
5
Reward appropriate behavior
Reward your dog with praise and treats for behaving positively in a situation that previously made him anxious or aggressive. Increase his experiences, expose him to new sights , sounds and places slowly, at a pace that is comfortable for your Chihuahua.
Recommend training method?
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Written by Laurie Haggart

Published: 12/14/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Vivienne
chug
8 Weeks
2 found helpful
Question
2 found helpful
Vivienne
chug
8 Weeks

We just rescued this 8 week old chihuahua pug puppy. She has a very sweet disposition and is comfortable with all people. She has shown no signs of aggression that are not playful, but as she becomes more comfortable with us, is making more growling sounds when playing. How can we nip this behavior in the bud?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

What a cutie! Growling is somewhat normal in very young puppies. Growling and play biting is part of typical puppy development. But you are not wrong in wanting to be sure that Vivienne grows to be a well-rounded pup. I've found an excellent article on puppy aggression and how to recognize it. You will find it helpful. https://www.thelabradorsite.com/help-my-labrador-puppy-is-aggressive/. You will want to be sure that Vivienne is socialized well with both people and other dogs. Be sure to have her out and about around lots of people (not overwhelming her of course, and not with kids who do not know how to handle a small pup gently and safely). Taking her to obedience training when she is fully vaccinated (your vet will give you the okay) is a good way to get her used to being around other dogs, yet it is in a controlled setting. Please read this as well, to help ensure that Vivienne remains friendly and confident. https://wagwalking.com/training/be-friendly. Have fun training!

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Macho
Chihuahua
2 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Macho
Chihuahua
2 Years

My daughters dog Macho lives in an apartment. she brings him to my home often to stay with my 15 year old border collie. he loves to be in our home as hes free to roam and has the yard. When she returns to take him home he gets very aggressive towards her and even attempts to bite her. what do we do ?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Doreen, This sounds like an issue of lack of respect. If Macho has learned from past experiences that he will be left alone if he reacts aggressively, then he is probably trying to control situations to get what he wants, which in this case is to stay somewhere more fun. Check out the article that I have linked below and both she and you should follow those methods with Macho when he is at your and her home. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Also, spend time getting Macho used to wearing a soft silicone basket muzzle using lots of treats, and clip a drag leash on him when someone is home to supervise. Get him used to wearing the leash and the muzzle around, until they become normal to him. When he stays with you, occasionally put those things on him, and on the day when you know he will have to go home, clip the leash to him and put the muzzle on him, and then calmly let her lead him home. The goal is to show him that his aggression and avoidance do not work anymore. When he stops resisting and is compliant and calm, then she can reward him through the muzzle with small treats, or peanut butter, liver paste, or cheese on a straw he can lick. Practicing regular obedience with him at her house, giving him more structure at both places, getting him used to wearing a muzzle so that he cannot bite, and rewarding him when he cooperates. All of those things should work together. Practicing obedience with him at her home and leaving him with interesting puzzle toys, food stuffed chew toys, or automatic treat dispensing devices, such as Pet Tutor or AutoTrainer should also help him like her apartment better. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Marley
Chihuahua
2 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Marley
Chihuahua
2 Years

My dog Marley definitely has little man syndrome, or only child syndrome. It’s cute when he’s an only child, but we are getting a new puppy that will be 8 weeks old and I’m worried about Marley being mean to the puppy. Any tips on what to do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Casey, I suggest starting Marley on doggie boot camp before the new puppy arrives. Establishing respect through training with less confrontation will set a better tone for the puppy's arrival. You do not want Marley thinking that he runs the house. Have Marley work for everything he gets in life by doing a command before you feed him, pet him, take him on a walk, play with him, or give him anything else he wants. Work on teaching him "Place" and having him stay in place with distractions around for up to an hour. No being pushy. No climbing into your lap uninvited. No guarding furniture, people, objects, or food. Keep a drag leash on him when you are home, and when he gets possessive, pushy, or rude, pick up the end of the lead and make him leave the area calmly but firmly. Reward calmness and obedience with calm attention, but don't over do it. When there are issues between dogs in the same household, increasing respect for the humans in charge, creating rules for all the dogs, and being the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs do not have to is advised most of the time. If you are in charge, and you make and enforce rules and are the mediator between the dogs, there is less to compete for and expectations are clearer. When Marley is being tolerant of the puppy, you can reward him calmly with his own dog food or attention (keep space between them when you rewarding to avoid any food fights though). As soon as the puppy leaves, rewards and attention stops - you want to associate good things with the puppy's appearance. Also, I suggest crate training the puppy and setting up an exercise pen. Feed the puppy his kibble food in hollow chew toys as often as you can in the crate or exercise pen instead of only a bowl (where Marley can't steal it or bully him). This gives the puppy something to do, teaches him to entertain and sooth himself, and helps prevent boredom barking by keeping him busy. It also prevents him from wandering into Marley's space when you are not directly supervising him. The puppy and Marley should only be interacting while the puppy is young and still learning under your direct supervision. You want Marley to feel like you are supervising and in charge and the puppy is not something he ought to handle - it's your job. Create rules for all of the dogs and enforce those household rules for each. Some good rules might include: No dog is allowed to be pushy. No dog is allowed to beg. No dog is allowed to be possessive or people, objects, food or furniture. No dog is allowed to steal another dog's toy. No dog is allowed to bother another dog when they want to be left alone. No dog is allowed to block another dog from getting somewhere. No dog is allowed to stare at or intimidate another dog. No dog is allowed to steal or bother another dog while they are eating (I suggest feeding all the dog's in separate areas where no other dog can get to them - such as in crates). No dog is allowed to tell another dog what to do. Have consequences that are related to what the dog did, such as having to leave the room, when a dog breaks a rule. If another dog takes a toy, you be the one to take the toy back from the thief and return it to the dog who had it originally. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Maci
Chihuahua
7 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Maci
Chihuahua
7 Years

We’ve had maci for 7 years and she has always been aggressive towards other people outside the family no matter what we did, we have recently gotten a new puppy and she is extremely aggressive towards her she attacks her every chance she gets. What could we do to stop her from doing this?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Alexandria, You need to hire a professional trainer to come to your home and assist you right away. This sounds like a dangerous situation for your new puppy. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Colt
Chihuahua
6 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Colt
Chihuahua
6 Years

My dog is very hostile towards anyone other than family members. He growls and snarls and sometimes will run and lunge in an attempt to bite. This happens to anyone outside of family members, I've tried to socialize him more and show him that it's okay and they mean him no harm. I thought it was a territorial issue but I even have problems taking him out anywhere. I'm supposed to be moving in the next few months and I want to try to get him to not be so hostile. I would like to be able to not have to crate him when anyone enters the house anymore, it truly breaks my heart. He's such a sweet dog when it comes to us. He's just so unpredictable when it comes to his aggressiveness.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Austin, I suggest finding a trainer who works with several other trainers and can practice desensitizing him to a lot of different people using their staff as "strangers". Look for someone who specializes in aggression and reactivity. Also, work on structure and building leadership. Check out the videos linked below for some structure exercises and an exercise to get him more comfortable around strangers. Notice the safety measures taken in the final video for people aggression. At least part of structure exercises training needs to take place with you present and involved in the training to build his respect for you also. 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 People Aggression protocol video- notice the back tie for safety (your guest should never be put at risk. Only train with the correct safety protocols to keep everyone involved safe. https://youtu.be/mgmRRYK1Z6A Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Tucker
Chihuahua
2 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Tucker
Chihuahua
2 Years

We rescued Tucker a year ago and then rescued a Rhodesian (Nala) about 7 months later. They get along fine, unless Nala is getting attention from my 10 year old daughter. Tucker loves to snuggle and begs for attention from anyone who will give it to him. But it is clear that when the two dogs and my daughter are around, Tucker goes straight to her to "claim" her. He has even urinated on her things. He will stand on her and growl at Nala and try to bite me if I try to remove him from her. Also, we crate them when we aren't home and if my husband or I try to put Tucker in the crate he pees. My daughter has no problem getting him into the crate, but recently he has become very aggressive toward her when she is locking the crate. My husband and I are trying to decide if we should regime Tucker to someone without kids and other pets.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Amy, The decision to re-home a dog is very personal one that only you can make, knowing what you feel would be best for your family. If you decide to keep him, I suggest starting a boot calm with him. It sounds like there are dominance and insecurity issues. You need to build respect and trust, especially for your daughter. Have him work for everything he gets, especially pets and cuddles, by telling him to do something like lay down first. Teach him the Out, Off, and Place commands and keep a drag leash on him without a handle so it won't get caught, when you are home. If he disobeys a command, you can enforce it by simply picking up the end of the leash and leading him to where he ought to go. If he attempts to bite, he should be wearing a muzzle while you are home and he is relearning the rules of the house, especially around your daughter. A muzzle does not have to be harsh if you introduce it gradually using his dog food as treats and reward him for sniffing it, touching it, putting his face in to it, and letting you buckle it. You can use a soft silicone basket muzzle so that he can open his mouth while wearing it and you can pass treats through the holes. To get him to put his face into it hold the food through the holes so that he has to willingly poke his face into the muzzle to get the treat. How to teach Place: https://youtu.be/omg5DVPWIWo Crate Manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ How to teach Out (use a muzzle with this command if needed): 1. First call him over to you, then toss a treat several feet away from yourself while pointing to the area where you are tossing the treat with the finger of your treat tossing hand and saying "Out" at the same time. Repeat this until he will go over to the area where you point when you say "Out" before you have tossed a treat. 2. When he will do that, then whenever you tell him "Out" and he does not go to where you are pointing, walk toward him and herd him out of the area with your body. Your attitude should be calm and patient but very firm and business like when you do this. 3. When you get to where you were pointing to, then stop and wait until he stops trying to go back to the area where you were standing before. 4. When he is no longer trying to get past you, then slowly walk backwards to where you were before. If he follows you, then tell him "Out" again and quickly walk toward him until he is back to where he was a moment ago. Repeat this until he will stay several feet away from where you were when you told him "Out" originally. 5. When you are ready for him to come back, then tell him "OK" in an up beat tone of voice. 6. Practice this training until he will consistently leave the area when you tell him "Out". 7. When he will consistently leave, then practice the training with other areas that you would like for him to leave, such as the kitchen when you are preparing food, a person's space when he is being pushy, an area with a plant that he is trying to dig up, or somewhere with something in your home that he should not be bothering. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Pepper
Chihuahua
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Pepper
Chihuahua
2 Years

Our dog gets unpredictable, like recently, me and my cousin gave pepper a bathe then later he just growls. And also, whenever he goes inside our house and I am attempting to carry him to put him back in our yard, he then growls again. What do I do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kyle, I suggest working on the Obedience method and Working method from the article linked below. When you train him, treat him like you would a 60lb dog, so that he is responding based on obedience training, relationship with you and respect for you, so that you do not have to physically move him as often to get him to do what you need him to - you can simply tell him and he will respond. Check out the respect/listening article linked below. Follow the "Working" and "Obedience" methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Also, work on teaching him to like being handled. At his meal times, from a baggie (not his food bowl) feed him his dinner one piece at a time as rewards for tolerating touch. Gently touch him somewhere like his ear and give a piece of food. Touch one ear - give a treat. Touch the other ear - give a treat. Touch his paw - give a treat. Touch his tail - give a treat. Put a hand on his belly - give a treat. Gently lift up on his belly give a treat and put him back down... Practice this gradually with every area of his body, being gentle and going slowly while you do it. Start with the areas he is most tolerant of being touched on first. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Gizmo
Chiwana
One Week
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Gizmo
Chiwana
One Week

He tends to bark and snap at people. Sometimes he bites them and occasionally us if we got him in our arms. What do i do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Wendy, I am assuming your dog is not one week old like you indicated. Assuming you are talking about an adult dog, check out the video linked below for addressing aggression with strangers: Human adult and dog aggression: https://youtu.be/mgmRRYK1Z6A In addition to pairing strangers with food when he is calm, I also suggest building his respect for you by practicing the following commands from the links below. Place command: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-place-command-the-good-dog-training-tips/ 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 General tips for building respect: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Finally, I suggest working on getting him used to being handled. If the aggression is happening when you go to touch him to move him, it is probably partially due to a lack of respect and partially a dislike of being touched in a certain way. To help with touch use his meal kibble as often as you can to reward him for tolerating being touched. Touch him somewhere he tolerates well and give a treat. Touch another area, like an ear, and give a treat. Touch his side and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Touch his tail and give a treat. Hold his collar and give a treat. Food him his entire meal, measured out into a baggie (not from his bowl) this way. Gradually work through being able to touch him all over, one area at a time, until he is comfortable with being touched in general. Take care not to get bitten while doing this. Start with areas he likes first, be gentle, and progress gradually as he improves at being tolerant. Do this for several weeks, every day if you can. As he improves you can also add briefly putting you hand under him and lifting him up, then giving a treat. Be careful when practicing handling to avoid being bitten. You can even wear leather gloves at first as an added safety measures and do this while he is on a loose leash attached to something secure nearby. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Piper
Chihuahua
8 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Piper
Chihuahua
8 Years

Piper was a rescue dog .We have had her for about 4 years now. She is often aggressive with other dogs and almost 100 percent of the time to strangers She is deaf. She is not highly motivated by treats or food she has recently become very aggressive to the person,who is my dog Walker when I am,at work. I witnessed this agressI've behavior today. I thought my dog was going to bite her for real. I do have to tell the dog Walker person lives down the hallway from my apartment Also she's really weird and maybe a little crazy. She can control herself but often gets mad and rants and raves in her apartment or the hall way.
So I think piper picks up on the craziness and I assume I act a little more uncomfortable when Sheena is around But I have never seen her behave so aggressively towards strangers much less someone she sees almost daily.
How can I motivate a deaf and non motivated by food dogs behavior
I also recently adopted a mini golden doodle (who had to learn better behavior and not jump on piper trying to play. Piper of course is flipping out over the puppy but I have begun to have riley behave by having him come to me and sitting. He's the opposite of piper he IS TOTALLY MOTIVATED BY TREATS AND HE CAN HEAR TOO. I think before I got my 9 week old puppy he was better socialized then piper ever was. I don't know if piper was ever properly socialized when she was young. Maybe that's why she flips out with stranger and goes into her angry ongoing to kill you mode just when a stranger is looking at get (people think she's zoo cute and little that they act stupid and try to bend down to pet her.) I always discourage that because of how she reacts. She has never bitten anyone yet... but she may. Sometimes people wait until I'm not looking and try to let her and temporary hell breaks loose behind me with piper snarling and going to the end of the leash.
So can you help me?
Thank toy
Betsy Gee

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Elizabeth, Was she fine with the dog walker in the past and the aggression toward your wvalker specifically is new? Based on your description of your dog walker, if she used to be fine with her, I would be concerned that something happened between them to escalate the aggression. With her current lack of socialization it may not have taken something severe, just something a bit too rough, scary, or weird to cause her to distrust her. Her aggression now could be related to fear. It could also be related to a lack of respect. If the aggression toward your walker is new, based on your description of your Walker, I suggest looking for a new walker. There can only be improvement in their relationship if her relationship with your Walker also improves. If your Walker I still doing whatever it is that originally triggered aggression there will not be progress. If your dog has always been suspicious of your Walker and has simply gotten worse as she has gotten older in general in that area, then a different walker could be beneficial, but it is likely not specifically related to the walker. I suggest training with hand signals and a vibration collar to help build her confidence. Work on pairing the vibration collar with something she likes (such as food, toys, a random object she loves, petting...anything she loves that is safe). Experiment with different things to see what she enjoys. Whenever she looks at you, make it rewarding and teach her to look at you so you can then give her a hand signal command. Right now if she is not trained in hand signals there is probably very little communication between you, and thus not a lot of trust, respect or dependence on you to trust you to handle situations around strangers. Start the process of teaching hand signal commands, then I recommend hiring a professional trainer who is very experienced with aggression and is creative enough to modify the training for a deaf dog, to specifically work on the aggression with you. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Pogo
Chihuahua
Three Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Pogo
Chihuahua
Three Years

He bites when I touch him when he is sleeping. He has bitten me when I put his harness on. He seems to be very anxious. I am his 6th home. I love this fur baby and want to do everything I can to help him.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Barb, The biting during sleep can be difficult if it is happening right when he wakes up - before he realizes it is you, since it is often an instinctual defense drive due to fear and being unaware of his surroundings. If that is the case, I suggest practicing saying his name first to wake him up, then when he wakes up, if he doesn't respond aggressively, immediately toss a treat over to him - so that he will begin to associate being woken up with a pleasant reward instead of something scary. If he is waking up, becomes fully aware of whats going on first, then chooses to bite out of rage, that is a different issue. That demonstrates a lack of impulse control and a more dominant-aggression. I suggest working with a trainer for that type of aggression to practice commands and activities that increase impulse control, build respect through training, create more boundaries around the home, and require him to work for more of what he gets by having to do a command, like Sit, first. If the harness and the sleeping aggression are just two examples of aggression and not the only times he behaves aggressively, then there likely is a respect issue going that needs to be addressed, in addition to some desensitization that needs to happen with handling. If it is just those two things they may both be fear related. For the harness, work on teaching him to like being handled better. As often as you can feed him his entire meal one piece of kibble at a time. Measure the food into a bag (don't grab it out of his bowl). Gently touch him somewhere that he is more tolerant of and while you do so, feed him a treat if he does not act aggressively. Practice gently touching different areas of his body while feeding him treats. Start with the areas he is most tolerant of first, then gradually move onto areas he is more unsure of as he improves and relaxes. Expect to practice this for a few weeks, and once he does well, continue to do this occasionally to maintain his new level of tolerance. Once he is tolerant of being touched, then introduce the harness. Sprinkle his meal kibble around the harness on the floor so that he touches it to eat - watch out for him chewing on it though. Once he is comfortable with that, hold the harness up and feed him a treat whenever he touches the harness for any reason. Once he will touch it and is comfortable, hold the head opening of the harness open (widen it for training to make this easier at first). Hold a treat inside the head loop and give it to him when he reaches toward the harness. When he is comfortable with that, then hold the treat a bit further away so that he has to reach his head into the harness opening slightly more to get the treat. Practice this, gradually moving the treat slightly further away as he improves, until he is putting his head all the way through the harness opening on his own. Don't throw the harness over him or try to rush putting it on him or you may set him back. Once he will put his head into the opening willingly, then reach under him while the harness is over his head and move the buckles under his belly together, then let them go. Feed treats while you do this. Gradually move the buckles more and more as he becomes comfortable with that, while feeding treats. Finally, snap the buckles together and feed treats while you practice adjusting the harness to get the right fit. Have him put on his harness this way for a while, until he looks forward to wearing it. Expect this to take time since he is already afraid of it. I suggest purchasing a martingale collar to walk him on while you are practicing the harness training in the meantime. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Rambo
Chihuahua
2 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Rambo
Chihuahua
2 Years

Hello
Although Rambo has always been really good socialising with other dogs all shapes and sizes. This weekend I have noticed a behavioural change. We went to visit my cousins 17 week old puppy who is a staffi. Lovely temperament but was playing quite rough which seemed to make Rambo feel scared and intimidated. We took them for a walk first together on leads which was fine but once we came back the playing seemed to be too intense. Rambo started growling, snapping and acting very aggressive at the puppy every time it came close. Rambo was visibly exhausted and upset the next day and seemed depressed. We also went to see more family the next day where he socialised with my in-laws little dog daisy who is bison friis and very old but they get on well and also my sister in laws puppy who is a Kerry blue terrier. Again very young and wanting to play with Rambo. Rambo was not as upset and aggressive as the day before but he was still snapping and snarling at her a little and occasionally it looked playful also. This is quite long winded but obviously I’m concerned about this behaviour and how to deal with it. About a year ago Rambo had an experience where a pit bull turned on him and he was bitten. He’s always been a very social with other dogs and people and especially children but since this event he’s been more nervous of dogs and will protect himself with a little growl. I think there is a mixture of issues perhaps with respect for us as owners but also a little of small dog syndrome. What do you think?! 😊

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ellice, From what you described he was likely overwhelmed by the other dog and the growling and snapping were his way of defending himself. This is common with older dog's and puppies or smaller dogs and bigger dogs. The issue is likely him needing you to advocate and defend him better from dogs who overpower him or have too much energy for him and wear him down. You want him to feel like you will step in and handle situations so that he does not get overwhelmed. If he feels he can trust you to take charge and step in as needed as the leader, then he doesn't have to act aggressively to scare the other dogs off. He should be corrected for aggressive displays, but if he is behaving that way then you likely waited to long to step in also. When he is playing with another dog, praise him and encourage him when he is happy and doing well. When you start to see him getting tired or another dog being too rough with him, then before he has to do anything about it himself, you step in, and calmly get between him and the other dog and distract the other dog away (only do it this way with safe, friendly dogs and not aggressive dogs - aggressive dogs should be handled much differently). Once the other dog has been shooed away, he can take a break and rest. If, after resting, he wants to play again you can let him as long as he is initiating it (not the other dog coming over) and the other dog also wants to play (don't let him be to pushy with the other dog either). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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R2
Chihuahua
5 Years
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Question
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R2
Chihuahua
5 Years

He is my boyfriends rescue dog. We often fight with him to get him motivated to eat and
Sometimes its understandable, as we give him chichken 3 days in a row and gets bored However he is always given either meat of sone sort and or veggies. But, we often have to fight with him to eat. He growls.

The other oroblem is peeing on new things coming into the hs.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Vicki, If fight with him to eat you mean that you are trying to force him to eat, then I suggest investigating why he is a picky eater and trying to make meal times more peaceful. The anxiety of being force fed can actually cause so much stress that his digestive system causes him not to be hungry and have a hard time digesting. He is likely a picky eater already, which is how this started, but check with your vet to see if there are any nutritional deficiencies, parasites, digestive disorders, or good bacteria imbalances, or a food allergy. Even though he is being fed people food is his diet varied enough to avoid a nutritional deficiency? - Organ meat is very nutrition but most dogs are fed muscle meat like chicken breasts, which are less nutritious in terms of vitamins, minerals, and different fats. If he is overweight that could also lead to not wanting to eat often. I suggest looking into his digestive health, then feeding him in a closed crate in a quiet room where there is less pressure to eat or people and other dogs around making him feel anxious, but he is still close enough to his food to choose to eat it. Liver paste, Ziwi Peak freeze dried food, nature's variety raw boost, and goat milk will sometimes help picky eaters become interested in food again if the issue is simply pickiness and not something medical. Also, some dogs can be allergic to common ingredients like chicken and rice, although eggs, wheat, corn, soy, and chicken fat/by products are more common allergies. If you do try a different food, make the change gradually over a two week period to avoid diarrhea and stomach upset, and give the new food a month to see improvement as long as you do not see any set backs - if the food causes an issue stop using it. The peeing is a dominant, territorial behavior. I suggest working on building respect and trust in general to help with this. When he tries to lift his leg to pee on something, clap loudly three times to surprise him, then move him away from the object calmly. Do not punish after the fact - the timing needs to be right when he tries to do it. To build respect and trust check out the videos and articles 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 General guidelines for calm respectfulness: https://www.solidk9training.com/sk9-blog/2016/09/08/the-ten-commandments-of-dog-training-and-ownership-do-2 Working method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Chase Bartholomew
Chiweenie
3 Years
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Question
1 found helpful
Chase Bartholomew
Chiweenie
3 Years

His name is Chase Bartholomew.He's three years old and he used to be so cute and small ,before now all he does is roam the house bark agressively at me ,and tries to bite me when I walk in the hallway.I take him outside all three time,rub his fur,but when my mom's not around he lowers his head ,and growls,but when she's there he acts out.And if you raise your voice he starts barking ,as if he thinks you're the agressive one.I don't like Chiweenies he doesn't like going outside,he"lbite me,if I try to put his leash on.He pees on our clothes,eats up human foof,and then barks at us if we leave the house of walks too fast.And he snaps on us,if I see him walking in the hallway he growls and walks away.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Charity, I would highly suggest hiring a professional trainer for pup. You can start by desensitizing pup to wearing a basket muzzle. I would have pup wear a basket muzzle and have a drag leash attached to their collar when you are home. Those devices will allow you to interact safely with him, direct him where he needs to go calmly, enforce commands, and begin to make progress in general with training. He needs to learn that biting no longer gets him what he wants, and people need to be calm and confident around him - which is hard when he can still bite you. You may need to have another family member that he is less aggressive toward do the following until he is improving around you also. To introduce the muzzle, first place it on the ground and sprinkle his meal kibble around it. Do this until he is comfortable eating around it. Next, when he is comfortable with it being on the floor with food, hold it up and reward him with a piece of kibble every time he touches or sniffs it in your hand. Feed him his whole meal this way. Practice this until he is comfortable touching it. Next, hold a treat inside of it through the muzzle's holes, so that he has to poke his face into it to get the treat. As he gets comfortable doing that, gradually hold the treat further down into the muzzle, so that he has to poke his face all the way into the muzzle to get the treat. Practice until he is comfortable having his face in it. Next, feed several treats in a row through the muzzle's holes while he holds his face in the muzzle for longer. Practice this until he can hold his face in it for at least ten seconds while being fed treats. Next, when he can hold his face in the muzzle for ten seconds while remaining calm, while his face is in the muzzle move the muzzle's buckles together briefly, then feed him a treat through the muzzle. Practice this until he is not bothered by the buckles moving back and forth. Next, while he is wearing the muzzle buckle it and unbuckle it briefly, then feed a treat. As he gets comfortable with this step, gradually keep the muzzle buckled for longer and longer while feeding treats through the muzzle occasionally. Next, gradually increase how long he wears the muzzle for and decrease how often you give him a treat, until he can calmly wear the muzzle for at least an hour without receiving treats more than two treats during that hour. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Next, I would teach directional commands calmly, such as Place, Heel, Out, Leave It, and Quiet. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel I would crate train him and use the crate as a way to manage especially hard times with him and to help with the potty training. Crate introduction - Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Potty training - Crate training method: Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Make sure that the crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for him. Make sure the crate is only big enough for him to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that he can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents - only enzymes will remove the smell and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. The method I have linked below was written for younger puppies, since your dog is older you can adjust the times and take him potty less frequently. I suggest taking him potty every 2.5- 3 hours when you are home. After 1.5 hours (or less if he has an accident sooner) of freedom out of the crate, return him to the crate while his bladder is filling back up again until it has been 3 hours since his last potty trip. When you have to go off he should be able to hold his bladder in the crate for 5-8 hours - less at first while he is getting used to it and longer once he is accustomed to the crate. Only have him wait that long when you are not home though, take him out about every 3 hours while home. If he hasn't gone poop yet during that half of the day, he needs to be tethered to you or returned to the crate, then taken back outside again in 30-45 minutes if you know he likely needs to go, less frequently if he likely doesn't need to poop. Pooping outside equals more freedom. Less freedom now means more freedom later in life. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Finally, I would work on building his trust, which the commands will also help with, by desensitizing him to touch. To desensitize him to touch (while he is wearing a basket muzzle - with holes you can pass treats through, and after he is more respectful and trusting in general due to other training you have already done): Gently touch an area of pup's body while feeding a piece of food. Touch an ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Hold his collar and give a treat. Touch his tail gently and give a treat. Touch his belly, his other paws, his chest, shoulder, muzzle and every other area very gently and give a treat each time. Keep these times calm and fun for pup. Do this daily with his meal kibble that's been measured into a plastic baggie, having him earn his food one touch at a time. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Taquita
Chihuahua
8 Years
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Question
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Taquita
Chihuahua
8 Years

Just rescued her from the street a couple weeks ago. She's been a stray for a while but shows signs of human socialization. Vet says blood tests all good...

She is very meek and shy but never aggressive to people. Will greet other dogs but becomes insanely aggressive when the other dog turns away. She attacked a Yellow Lab the other day after spending 45 seconds smelling each other. She saw another dog go past us while we were on a leash and when the other dog turned the corner 20 yards away, Taquita went into attack mode. Best methods?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ben, What you are describing sounds like a dog that lacks confidence. A bold dog will attack a dog head on and fight in a way that seems typical. A dog that lacks confidence feels tense about other dogs and is likely displaying subtle aggressive and stress signals around other dogs that people may miss, but they wait until the dog's back is turned and the dog is essentially defenseless to attack - sort of like the phrase 'stabbing a man in the back'. If she waits until the other dog is turned away then the other dog can't fight back as easily. This type of aggression can be sneakier but is typically still treated like other forms of aggression. You will need to get better at noticing more subtle body language though so that you can give her direction , rewards, or correction when she is 'thinking bad thoughts' vs. truly being calm and not just when she is fully exploded - which is much harder to address because of all the adrenaline she is experiencing during that moment. I suggest: 1. working on general confidence building exercises, such as agility obstacles. Working him through new things can help him learn to trust you more and gain confidence without directly stressing him with other dogs. 2. Work on more structure and boundaries in general to help him trust and respect you more, and thus feel like he can look to you to handle interactions with others and things he feels uneasy about. Check out the articles linked below for ways to build these things. This type of obedience should be done very calmly to help bring his own arousal and anxious emotions back down to a calmer place. 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 Dog Training Do’s https://www.solidk9training.com/sk9-blog/2016/09/08/the-ten-commandments-of-dog-training-and-ownership-do-2 3. Look to see if there is a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area. This is a class for dog aggressive and dog reactive dogs to learn to be social and calm around each other in a safe environment more quickly. All the dog's wear muzzles in this class to keep everyone safe. If there is not a G.R.O.W.L. class, or even if there is you can also work on counter conditioning him around other dogs - which means helping him associate other dogs with good things. There are several ways to do this. A structured heel and confidence building and boundaries are a good place to start to help him enter into new situations with dogs in a calmer state to begin with. Rewarding him for looking at another dog but staying relaxed (learn about body language here, you don't want to reward him feeling aggressive instead, since he is less obvious). Reward him for looking at another dog and then back toward you. Correct early signs of aggression, encouraging him to look back at you and stop staring a dog, getting aroused, or tensing up. As soon as he relaxes again or looks to you for direction, reward him and praise him very calmly. You are giving him information here. Right now he feels uncertain about other dogs and is making poor choices about how to feel and act. Tell him when he is doing something wrong and when he is doing something correct - behavior and emotion wise (look at body language to see emotional and mental state). It can also be very helpful to work directly with a trainer when it comes to fear and aggression. If you do, look for someone who specializes in aggression and behavior modification, has good client referrals, and the resources (lots of other calm dogs to train with) to be able to practice the training that's needed. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Olive
Chihuahua
1 Year
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Olive
Chihuahua
1 Year

Olive is a really sweet dog towards people, but when it comes to strange dogs she gets really aggressive. Also, one of our others dogs just had a puppy and since then her and olive cannot be in the same place because they start fighting. She’s a great dog with people but I plan on moving to an apartment with her and I don’t want her aggression to be a problem with the other dogs in the apartment complex.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Samara, First, I suggest seeing if there is a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area. A G.R.O.W.L. class is a class for dog aggressive or dog reactive dogs, who are all socialized together in a structured way while all the dogs wear muzzles and owners are instructed by the class trainer. These classes can help decrease dog's reactions toward other strange dogs more quickly. As far as getting along with a household dog and dogs in close quarters, I suggest hiring a private trainer to help you. There are likely other issues in addition to socialization needs, that should be addressed, possibly including: dominance, possessiveness, resource guarding, prey drive, bullying/rudeness, fear-aggression, and genetic aggression. It can also be a combination of things. You need someone who can determine exactly what is going on, see your dog's personality, and has access to a lot of well socialized dogs to practice the training around your dog. Check out the videos linked below. The details of how to train will depend on exactly what type of aggression and temperament your dog has. Structured obedience and building focus and respect toward you is generally a good place to start though - if your dog has ever shown aggression toward you have a trainer help you with that aspect of training too, and be aware that some dogs will redirect their aggression toward what or whoever is close by when frustrated - it's important to be able to read body language and know the dog and how to handle aggression really well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8juiJ-Hq8dI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxEfqnuN0ic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HedxL5Dns54&t=761s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Boe
Chiweenie
6 Years
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Question
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Boe
Chiweenie
6 Years

We have a large dog in our home and also 2 dachshunds who get along, we recently rescued a 6 year old chiweeni. we have tried to gently introduce him to the large female but continues to growl, not sure what to do about this behavior. Thanks

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Karen, Is the Boe the one growling or your larger dog? Assuming that Boe is the one growling when introduced to your larger dog, I suggest working on calm obedience exercises with the dogs together to help socialize them with less confrontation and in more neutral areas. This doing this, keep them separate in the home until they get comfortable with each other, then practice the obedience exercises with both of them inside in the same room also. Have one family member walk one of the dogs and you walk the other using the Passing Approach method from the article linked below. When both dogs are ignoring each other and calm, then use the Walking Together method. Both dogs should be heeling during these walks: Passing Approach method and the Walking Together method for walking: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Also, practice Down Stay and Place commands with both dogs several feet apart outside. Use long 20'-30' leashes for this to keep the dogs from being able to get to one another if they did try to fight, and to allow you to back away from the dogs while they stay. Practice with them far enough away that both dogs can still focus on you and take treats with the other in sight. As they relax around one another you can decrease the distance. Place command (great for the dogs to know in general for calmness inside later): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Lie Down: https://wagwalking.com/training/lie-down-1 Lie down and stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Tindo
Boerboel
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Tindo
Boerboel
3 Years

it is not aggressive

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Chibaba, Could you please explain your message. Did you have a question related to your dog not being aggressive? Thank you. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Eddy
Chihuaha
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Eddy
Chihuaha
3 Years

I am adopting a 3yr old male chihuaha' i live on my own but do have young grandchildren age 3yrs that visit once a month' do i place my new pet in another room

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Susan, That depends on how the dog does with young children and how gentle your 3 year old grandson is. If the dog does well with young kids, and your grandson can be taught to be very gentle with the dog, you can have your grandson tell your dog to do commands he knows like Sit and then be able to toss him treats, and they can be in the same room together while you are supervising. The gentleness and treats should help them get along. If the dog may not be good with young kids or your grandson doesn't know how to be gentle yet, then the dog should be put in another room with a food stuffed chew toy, so that he has someone fun to do and so that he associates the kids coming over with something pleasant, instead of feeling suspicious of them in another room, even if he doesn't interact with them. Either way young kids and dogs should never be left unattended together. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Puff
Chihuahua
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Puff
Chihuahua
5 Years

i have 4 chihuahuas and an american bully the first months they were all getting along but a few weeks after one of my chihuahuas drowned in our pool all of the sudden puff and my american bully started chasing each other and a few times my american bully had puff in his mouth (dind’t bite him) but since hes a big dog we got scared and now puff is so scared of him he only stays in the room. I tried to have them get along but puff is too hrumpy and he starts growling and even bit my american bully (nothing bad) i hate having them separated because they used to get along. Can you help me ?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Mayela, It sounds like the dog who died may have been a dog that the other dogs looked to for consistency, leadership and direction. Decide what your house rules are for all the 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 one dog comes over to your other dog when he is trying to sleep, tell the one bothering the sleeping dog Out. If he obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your sleeping dog, blocking the other dog from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your sleeping dog. If your dog growls at your other dog, make the one who growled leave the room while also disciplining the one who was growled at if needed. 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 your more excited dog to learn respect for your smaller dog because you have taught it to him and not because your smaller dog had to resort to aggression. Have the two dogs who are having a hard time work for everything they get for a while by performing a command first. For example, have pup sit before being petted, Down before being petted, wait before exiting doors, Sit before being throw a toy, ect... Teach both dogs a Place command and work on them both learning to stay on their place beds for 1-2 hours and simply hang out in the same room as each other while you watch TV, move around, or do something else calm - you can give both dogs a durable chew toy if it there is no resource guarding issues while they are on their Place beds. Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Finally, reward both dogs by calmly feeding a treat below their chin or placing it between their paws when they are being calm (your bully especially), tolerant (your chihuahua especially), or generally doing well together and not getting over aroused, fearful, or aggressive. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mr.Man
Chihuahua
4 Years
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Question
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Mr.Man
Chihuahua
4 Years

So when I had brought mr.man home as a puppy (June 2015) I knew that I wanted to socialize him early in his life (after he received his shots) and I would bring him everywhere and anywhere with me. From beaches, dog parks and outdoor events ect. But as he gets older he becomes more vocal around new people and children. If he feels uncomfortable by them he will snap (not bite). He was also raised with a cat, and a German shorthair pointer Mix, but he gets very aggressive around other dogs regardless of size. This worries me as he is a small dog (Chihuahua) and when he snaps at a bigger dog I worry he could get hurt. When he is around new people for extended periods of time (let’s say I have a date over) he will bark like crazy and act mildly skittish. Eventually he calms down (98% of the time) and will let people pet him, and sometimes be comfortable enough to be picked up or even lay or sit on a lap of his own free will. Are these just small dog antics? Are his growls at other dogs just him expressing he wants to be left alone? What is really going through my dogs head?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sonya, Honestly I would have to see his body language during those times in person to get a good idea of what's really going on. The behavior you described could have a lot of causes. Was he socialized around dogs other than your own pets? Unfortunately having your dog around your own dogs doesn't help prevent a fear or dislike of other strange dogs. Its a bit like a person who is only ever around their own family and fine with their family but never around strangers as kids vs. a person who is constantly meeting new people as a child and having lots of good experiences with people. If he was around a lot of other dogs in a pleasant way and hasn't had a traumatic experience with dogs since then, the issue could be genetic or over-excitement. some dogs are naturally timid. Because of his timidity around new people despite being socialized well around a lot of people while young I would guess genetic - but again I would need to evaluate in person. It could be another issue instead. Genetic doesn't mean he can't improve though. It does mean that the timidity will be his natural go to forever without your ongoing help with training and behavior modification. It should get easier with practice though A timid dog often benefits for long-term ongoing socialization that is rewarding (only reward for calmness, tolerance, and friendliness not while barking or acting poorly). Confidence building exercises like agility obstacles, certain types of trick training, and experiencing new things that he overcomes can also help. A lot more structure at home - things such as practicing a long Place command, a structured, focused heel during walks, staying in a crate with the door open, a distance-down-stay, door way manners, working for what he gets in life more by having to do a command for it first - such as Sit before being petted, can help him feel more secure. Things that build a dog's trust and respect in you, and their confidence in general through succeeding at things that made them nervous before can help timid dogs. A timid dog doesn't need to feel in charge and needs to know that you are handling things and can be trusted to do so - dogs trust those they respect and have seen be consistent. Many of these practices are also good for dogs that are over-excited too. 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 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Pico
Chihuahua
2 Years
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Question
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Pico
Chihuahua
2 Years

Hello,
We have had Pico since he was a puppy. He is not fixed. When we got him we a had a mellow senior male beagle. A year later our beagle passed away and we got a female beagle puppy named Rosie. She is now a year old. Before we got Rosie, Pico was pretty happy and liked all of his family members. He had no problem with letting you pick him up, pet him, put on his leash, etc. After Rosie got older she became more hyper and Pico became more paranoid and aggressive. Things have slowly gotten out of hand. There is a weird dynamic between them. He seems to really care about her but at the same time will snap and growl at her. When this happens she thinks he is playing and will run over him. There is also a problem of him always wanting to mate her and her reacting the same way. That is not even the biggest problem. Pico no longer likes me or my sister and will snap and bite most of the time if we try to touch him, put is leash on or do anything with him really. I really do not know what to do when he behaves this way. Yelling “no” only makes him hate us more. I have tried making him do tricks for his food put he is a picky eater and very stubborn. I want the old Pico back but I do not know what to do. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sarah, It sounds like there are maybe some dominance issues between the dogs - at least in his mind, a lot of anxiety because he won't respect his space and is more energetic and bigger, and generally he has lot respect for you. The training that needs to happen will have to involve Rosie and Pico because really this is probably a household issue not just him - his behavior is the symptom so to speak. First, work on teaching both dogs the following commands - more on why in a minute: Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Out command - which means leave the area - read the entire article: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method for teaching Leave It command: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite 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 Crate training - Surprise method combined with crate manners video linked above too: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Both dogs really need structure. You need to advocate for Pico so he doesn't feel like he has to use aggressive to get Rosie to listen - you be the one to handle any issues; doing so will also go a long way to earning his trust back. 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 Rosie comes over to your Pico when he is trying to sleep, tell Rosie Out. If she obeys, praise and reward her. If she disobeys, stand in front of Pico, blocking Rosie from getting to him, and walk toward her calmly but firmly until she leaves the area and stops trying to go back to Pico. The Out article linked above has a section on pushiness that details how to do this. If Pico growls at Rosie, make Pico leave the room while also disciplining rosie for antagonizing him if needed. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of Pico to handle things himself - you want him to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for Rosie to learn respect for Pico because you have taught it to her and not because he has had to resort to aggression. Have both dogs practice being on separate place beds in the same room and staying on them for 1-2 hours calmly. You can give both a food-stuffed chew toy on the place bed and they can move around to get comfortable but they can't get off until given a release command. They need to have time where they are simply just calmly coexisting, and Place is also a good way to teach her impulse control and him calm respect for you and how to face his anxiety and cope better. When Rosie or Pico are too excited or agitated, give them a break by either tethering one of them to yourself with a 6-8 foot leash or crating one or both dogs separately. Feed both in separate locked crates so there is not competition for food or anxiety from the other dog hovering nearby waiting. If Pico is hard to physically handle right now, keep a 4-6 foot drag leash on him while you are home to supervise, so that you can simply pick of the end of the leash and enforce his obedience if he ignores you without drama. Your attitude in the household needs to be very calm and confident. You should mean what you say and enforce the rules but be very calm and not angry, anxious, or loud - I know that's a lot easier said than done! Your attitude helps set the tone for the dogs being calmer and feeling like you are taking care of things and leading though. When Pico is being calm around Rosie and relaxed you can give him a treat if he wants one - if he doesn't want the food that's fine though, just calmly and genuinely praise him without getting him all worked up. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Simba
Malchi
15 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Simba
Malchi
15 Months

It’s just my fiancé, daughter, Simba and myself. He’s a 12lb Malchi that is more Chihuahua than Maltese. In his mind he’s the size of a full grown German Shepherd! We’ve had Simba since he was 6 weeks old. He’s an inside dog. He’s not consistently aggressive but about 4-6 months ago he started to growl if any of us touches him if/when he doesn’t want to be touched. He’s attacked my fiancé when he was told not to eat the paint from the window behind our bed. He’s potty trained for the most part aside from peeing on things...territorial claiming I’m sure. We cage him as punishment, and he knows exactly what it means when we send him to his cage. He “talks back” on his way to his cage...barking and growling. The issue is that once he’s in the cage, he tries to lunge back out while growling, showing all teeth. It’s to the point where I don’t use hands to close and lock the cage. I’ll close it with a shoe while firmly saying no. Once the door Is locked he’ll growl a bit more but he’ll drop his ears and he knows he’s wrong. I stand up and firmly say no, bad dog and talk to him to let him know this is unacceptable! The lunging is getting more and more aggressive. He used to do all the back talking from in the cage, whereas now he’s physically trying to get out of the cage and to whoever is punishing him. Is there something we’re doing wrong? There aren’t many (if any) dog parks around where we live and I don’t know anyone else with dogs to socialize him. I only have one dog owner friend and she owns 3 80+ lb pit bulls. They aren’t aggressive with each other or other dogs buuuuuuuut I’m honestly afraid of what might happen if Simba gets out of hand with them. Help please!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Crystal, Being around other dogs can be important for certain behaviors, but his behavior toward you likely has nothing to do with his exposure toward other dogs - so finding other dogs isn't really what's needed. His issue sounds like a respect and trust issue, and it sounds like the atmosphere in your house around him is maybe angry, frustrated, and nervous and tense -understandably so. To deal with aggression calmness and confidence is actually most effective though. The best aggression trainers are extremely calm around the dogs who want to attack them. Instead of getting into physical battles with him often, I suggest gaining his respect through his mind as much as you can. Get him used to wearing a basket muzzle first - he will need to wear it regularly until there is some improvement while you are putting him through a training boot-camp for his behavior. The muzzle keeps you safe and prevents him from using his mouth to control things. It may also take the stress out of the situation a bit to allow you to train more calmly. To introduce the muzzle, first place it on the ground and sprinkle his meal kibble around it. Do this until he is comfortable eating around it. Next, when he is comfortable with it being on the floor with food, hold it up and reward him with a piece of kibble every time he touches or sniffs it in your hand. Feed him his whole meal this way. Practice this until he is comfortable touching it. Next, hold a treat inside of it through the muzzle's holes, so that he has to poke his face into it to get the treat. As he gets comfortable doing that, gradually hold the treat further down into the muzzle, so that he has to poke his face all the way into the muzzle to get the treat. Practice until he is comfortable having his face in it. Next, feed several treats in a row through the muzzle's holes while he holds his face in the muzzle for longer. Practice this until he can hold his face in it for at least ten seconds while being fed treats. Next, when he can hold his face in the muzzle for ten seconds while remaining calm, while his face is in the muzzle move the muzzle's buckles together briefly, then feed him a treat through the muzzle. Practice this until he is not bothered by the buckles moving back and forth. Next, while he is wearing the muzzle buckle it and unbuckle it briefly, then feed a treat. As he gets comfortable with this step, gradually keep the muzzle buckled for longer and longer while feeding treats through the muzzle occasionally. Next, gradually increase how long he wears the muzzle for and decrease how often you give him a treat, until he can calmly wear the muzzle for at least an hour without receiving treats more than two treats during that hour. Second, work on the following commands with him, and make him work for everything in life via the Working method from one of the articles linked below - use a basket muzzle so his food can be passed through the muzzle's holes: 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 Working method and Consistency method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you For handling work on desensitizing him to being touched - part of this is also building trust by touching him gently and not roughly too. To desensitize him, with the basket muzzle on him, start getting him used to touch using his meal kibble. Hold one hand out to him with kibble and let him eat the kibble - as he tries to move toward the kibble to eat it, poke it through the muzzle's hole for him - you can also use a little soft food on the end of a straw if poking the kibble through doesn't work. While you are feeding him the piece of food, also gently touch him somewhere like his shoulder with your other hand. As soon as the food is eaten, remove your touching hand, then use another piece of food to repeat the same thing, continue doing this with the entire meal one piece at a time. Start with non-threatening places to touch him like his shoulder, and gradually move to other spots like his face, back, belly, paws, collar area, and tail as he improves. Have him earn his meals this way for a while. Pay attention to how you are interacting with him - are you doing things to create fear, which is leading to him expressing that as aggression. Having tools and methods for training can help keep the peace by letting you earn his respect with confidence and calmness instead. Corrections will be needed, but corrections should teach and be calm, then good behavior taught and rewarded instead so he is able to succeed. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Oliver
Chihuahua
5 Years
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Question
0 found helpful
Oliver
Chihuahua
5 Years

Hi, we have had Oliver a year and a half. We started as fosters then adopted him shortly after. We have another chi that is 8 and she’s food and toy aggressive also but she’s as sweet as they come and loves all people. But Oliver wants to bite anyone that comes to our house or approaches our home, mail lady, ups, workers, etc. we have to kennel him if anyone comes over but he acts like he want to tear out of the kennel and bite them, and he would if we let him out. He goes to doggy day care and does great, we have to board him, which he also does great with them, if we go our of town because he can’t stay with the dog sitter in our home. He lets you touch him and his food if he’s eating, but if he’s sleeping and you try to move him he turns on you. If he’s trying to bury his treat in his sisters kennel and you try to get him out he turns on you. He came from a back yard breeder that turned him over to animal control so not sure of his background. He is a very sweet dog when he wants to be, but watch out if he gets angry with you. We had a trainer come to the house and she tried to work with him, she said he’s out to bite and hurt not bite to warn you. We had another trainer come over with no luck. We love him to pieces but not his aggressive behavior or biting. What can we do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Terri, The issue could be partially genetic, but it also sounds like he may be possessive of your home or you (which means he is resource guarding you - opposed to food around other people), and his behavior may be linked to a lack of respect for you as well. Since he does well when you are not around and out of his own environment, that suggests the issue may not be fear related - without seeing his body language I cannot say for certain though. Seeing a dog's body language is a huge part of working with aggression. Check out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training, Sean O Shea from the Good Dog, and Thomas from the Canine Educator - they all have video channels on YouTube and specialize in aggression. Watch Jeff's videos on aggression rehabilitation. He uses a ton of structure through obedience exercises, he works on building respect and trust through things like a structured heel and agility obstacles for confidence. He uses tools to carefully correct aggression while it is happening, but then rewards the dogs using positive reinforcement for calm, tolerant behavior as well - desensitizing them to what they are reactive to, teaching boundaries and consequences carefully, and teaching appropriate replacement behaviors instead. He also does paid Skype sessions. Unfortunately most trainers don't specialize in aggression. Many are experienced with fear aggression but not other forms of aggression - what you have going on sounds like more than fear based aggression, so it needs to involve more structure, boundaries, and probably calm, fair corrections - paired calmly with positive reinforcement also. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Precious
Chihwahah
6 Years
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Question
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Precious
Chihwahah
6 Years

My dog has has been killing small squirls in the back yard. My other dog Petra 5years old (her baby) is picking up the same habit.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jp, Since the behavior is likely happening when you aren't watching, you will need to teach an e-collar avoidance. Part of which will involve teaching her to obey Leave It when you are present using working level e-collar stimulation, and part of it will involve you spying on her from somewhere where she can't see you, like an upstairs window overlooking your backyard and correcting her for beginning to chase the squirrels - so that she will associate the correction with her chasing the squirrels and not just you being there to tell her not to. Check out the videos linked below to learn more about e-collar training and teaching avoidance. The videos are related to livestock chasing, but the training is much the same for chasing small prey. Day 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgNbWCK9lFc Day 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpf5Bn-MNko&t=14s Day 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj3nMvvHhwQ Day 4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxrGQ-AZylY Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the room: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ You will either need to spend a lot of time learning about e-collars or hire a trainer who is very experienced using them for what's called "working level" and "act of god" - a good e-collar trainer should be familiar with both of those terms. They simply mean "the lowest level your specific dog will respond to the collar at", and using the e-collar at a higher level when you are not present so that the dog doesn't associate the collar correction with your presence but the thing they should be avoiding - squirrels. Also, only ever use a high quality e-collar, such as Dogtra, Garmin, SportDog, or E-collar technologies. There are cheaper collars out there but a good collar has at least 20 levels and is well built so that it doesn't over correct or correct too harshly. Cheap knock-off brands can be dangerous and are not the same thing. To be fair to pup, I wouldn't suggest having any bird feeders in the part of your yard pup can access - which attract extra squirrels. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Debo
Chihuahua
10 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Debo
Chihuahua
10 Months

He’s always growling/barking when someone comes to pet him and try’s to bite them, also when my family members start playing with our other dogs Debo starts barking at the other dogs that are getting played with

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Carmen, It sounds like he needs a lot of structure, socialization and boundaries in general to build respect and trust. 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 Working and Consistency methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Leave It method - use this command to make pup leave when he is barking at another dog getting attention: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite People Aggression protocol video- notice the back tie for safety (your guest should never be put at risk). Only train with the correct safety protocols to keep everyone involved safe. Ideally, you will be working with a trainer who has a staff that can practice this with pup correctly. https://youtu.be/mgmRRYK1Z6A Desensitizing pup to people at a closer distance as he improves - notice the back tie leash so that pup can't bite someone. As he improves, there should naturally be less corrections and more rewards. The main goal of corrections is just to change pup's initial response so that he learns to try a different response. When he tries an acceptable response, then that response should be rewarded to help desensitize pup to people and teach better coping measures in the process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIJoEJfTS-E Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Marshmallow
Chihuahua
1 Year
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Marshmallow
Chihuahua
1 Year

My dog Marshmallow is unpredictable. Sometimes he will even bite us! He always barks at people coming over or at people walking past our house. When we have people over he will act innocent and then when someone tries to touch him he will attack.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Leah, I suggest hiring a professional trainer in your area who can help you at your home person. It sounds like there are several things going on with Marshmallow's issues. First, you need to work on his respect toward you in general. He needs to learn that biting will not gain him what he wants by getting him used to wearing a soft silicone basket muzzle and desensitizing him to the situations that be normally bites in. He needs to be desensitized to touch with treats with other people once he will relax during your interactions with him. He needs to be desensitized to the appearance of other people through the window treats for his calm behavior around people, treats for seeing someone before he reacts at all, and through interrupting his bad behavior, combined with the rewards for the correct behavior. The corrections need to be done carefully and associated with his own poor behavior though and in combination with pleasant rewards that are associated with the people. Finally, he needs to be desensitized to people coming over to your home through practice, rewards, calm interactions where the people ignore him apart from tossing him treats, and finally touch desensitization while wearing a muzzle that has holes bite enough to receive treats through, while he is calm and relaxed. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Gabe
Chihuahua
12 Years
2 found helpful
Question
2 found helpful
Gabe
Chihuahua
12 Years

Hello, I've had our dog Gabe for about 1year. He belonged to my sister in law and we have him while she is overseas. He is very aggressive towards my husband but is fine with me. He can be aggressive towards other dogs but its not consistent so I'm often not sure why he likes some dogs and not others. If my husband tries to sit next to me or come in the same room as me he barks and tries to bite him. Eventually he calms down but overall I know he prefers when my husband is not around. When we first got him he wasn't like this. My husband is not as affectionate with him as I am and I wonder if that's the reason. Also I dont think my sister-in-law spent a lot of time with him so I think he craves the attention. How can I fix his behavior before my husband wants to get rid of him?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Stephanie, It sounds like a potential respect issue combined with a lack of socialization. His behavior is actually possessive of you - he is claiming you around your husband, which is not alright. Affection at the wrong time can actually make the behavior worse. He needs to build respect for both you and your husband. For a while he should get nothing in life without having to work for it first. Have him Sit before petting him, Down before feeding, Wait before tossing a toy, ect... Also, have him work for his meal food with your husband. Have your husband toss him treats while he is calm to earn his meals first. When he can handle being close to your husband, have him perform commands for your husband to earn his dinner a few pieces at a time, such as Sit, Down, Watch Me, Stay, Wait, Paw, ect... When he is taken for a walk he should walk in the heel position, with his head behind your leg. He needs to be following you and looking to you for direction and not forging ahead - even though he is so small. If he is forging ahead of you, he isn't paying attention and isn't following - a good heel can make a huge impact on attitude. When he can handle walking with you, he should heel for your husband too. Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Only pet him when he is being calm and tolerant, and not pushy, aggressive, climbing on you uninvited, guarding you, standing above you, and generally doing anything he shouldn't be. In general you increase the behaviors you reward. If he jumps into your lap uninvited, acts aggressive toward your husband, or is pushy in anyway, make him leave the room using the Out command (which means leave the room). Be firm and insistent but emotionally calm when you do this. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Calmly rewarding a dog for tolerant and calm behavior, teaching them new things, challenging their minds, and making them work for things can help build a relationship. Dogs tend to like who they respect and trust the most so being firm about household rules but very calm when you do it can actually help the dynamics in your home. You can still reward him and love on him, but do it when he is displaying behaviors you like and do it calmly. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Prancie
Chihuahua
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Prancie
Chihuahua
3 Years

My little 4 lb Chihuahua is my baby. My daughter got her for when all my daughters left home, so had Prancie to take of. I bought my daughter a baby Chihuahua MIdge 2 years old but she was raised with Prancie. They get along good together Prancie will lick her ears and be sweet. Then Prancie will just attack her and I have to pull Prancie off Midge. What can I do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tammy, I highly recommend hiring a professional trainer to come to your home and work with you in person for this situation. Look for someone who is very experienced with aggression, can read canine body language well, and comes very well recommended by their previous clients whose dogs have had aggressive tendencies. I would want to evaluate the body language of the dogs to see if the older dog is giving subtle warning signs the puppy is ignoring or missing, to see if the puppy is being pushy or dominating in what appears to be a sweet behavior (licking can be a pushy behavior at times). I would want to observe the dogs together and see why the aggression is happening. A dog can "switch" suddenly from a truly happy mood to aggression without any warning - but that is less common and generally related to a genetic issue or chemical imbalance that should be discussed with your vet. What often happens is that there are subtle body language cues that the dogs are giving each other and someone is causing the conflict and the human needs to create and enforce boundaries for both dogs, and reward the correct emotional responses when they happen so that those increase - and the person needs to be able to read the dog's body language to tell when those are and are not happening. A qualified trainer with experience with aggression should be able to evaluate and teach you how to read their body language to know how to train. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Buster
Chihuahua
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Buster
Chihuahua
3 Years

Have this dog. When he came home to us 3 yrs ago as a super tiny little thing he was never aggressive towards anyone but about 6 months ago he has become extremely aggressive towards anyone that comes in my mother's direction. Too the point of him actually bitting 2 family members (not bad) am I afraid he is going to bite her for moving him or something What do we do (almost at point of getting rid of him cause he snaps at her and she is a stroke patient) thank u

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jenifer, It sounds like he is resource guarding your mother - he believes she belongs to him and doesn't want anyone near her. That could partially have become even worse because of her stroke and him noticing her vulnerable state. This is definitely a case where i would encourage you to hire a professional trainer who specializes in aggression to work with you in person. You need someone who can safely demonstrate how to deal with the resource guarding without people getting bitten. This will also involved getting pup used to wearing a basket muzzle. Safely measure like a basket muzzle and back tie leash need to be utilized during training to prevent a bite. Look for a trainer who specializes in behavior issues and aggression, comes well recommended by their previous clients whose dogs have struggled with aggression, and especially understands human related resource guarding, also known as possessive behavior. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Henry
Chihuahua
4 Years
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Henry
Chihuahua
4 Years

We got him from the shelter 2 and a half weeks ago. He had snapped and bit me a few times these past few days. One time was when I was petting him while he was playing with his chew toy. The other 2 times were when he was in his crate and I was petting him and trying to clip his leash on him he snapped and bit at me. The second time in the crate was minutes after the first time, I was just petting him and not trying to clip his leash on him and he snapped and bit me. Is he doing it because of invading his territory? Or is there another reason why?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sarah, It's likely a combination of a lack of respect for you and fear. All the incidences you mentioned involved things he may have been guarding or him feeling trapped. First, I suggest respecting his space by not doing things that make him feel cornered. Second, work on building his respect. Check out the methods from the article linked below for ways to go that. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Third, it sounds like he does not tolerate touch very well. Work on desensitizing him to being petted in general. Use pup's daily meal kibble to do this. Gently touch an area of puppy's body while feeding a piece of dog food or liver treat. Touch an ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Hold his collar and give a treat. Touch his tail gently and give a treat. Touch his belly, his other paws, his chest, shoulder, muzzle and every other area very gently and give a treat each time while you do. Keep these times calm and fun for pup, and practice this at a time when pup isn't already stressed. Start with areas he is already comfortable with and practice with those areas until he is 100% comfortable with that level of touch. Don't corner him while doing any of this - he needs to learn to feel relaxed and not trapped and overwhelmed, this is a trust exercise. Fourth, work on the resource guarding. I suggest not giving any bones for right now. Instead, practice him trading you less valuable toys that are longer and easier for you to hold while he chews them, for high value treats instead. Hold out a long chew toy to him and tell him to "Take It" and you hold one end while he chews the other end. After a couple of minutes of holding it while he chews, place a treat near his nose for him to smell and say "drop it". When he drops the toy because of the treat, praise him and give the treat. Practice this until he will quickly drop the toy to get the treat. At that point, tell him to "Drop It" but just pretend to hold a treat. When he drops it, give a treat that was hiding behind your back. Practice until he gets good at that also. Next, don't show your treat hand at all, just say "Drop It". After he drops the toy, grab a hidden treat from behind your back and reward. Finally, let go of the toy while he chews it and practice drop it that way also - rewarding with a treat when he obeys. If he doesn't obey, go back a step and practice that step for longer. You want him to learn to trust you around toys and to get into the habit of releasing things around you and not being stressed about guarding things. As he improves, you can slowly begin to practice with more exciting toys until he can finally handle having a bone again. Expect this to take some time and lots of practice. Stay consistent. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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roscoe
Toy chihuahua
7 Months
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Question
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roscoe
Toy chihuahua
7 Months

He growls and tryes to bite his owner if we try to move him off the bed or put food down and then his water but he acts aggressively all the time

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kimberly, It sounds like he needs an entire aggressive protocol - which is a lot more comprehensive than what I can get into here. Check out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training on YouTube. He has videos on resource guarding, comprehensive aggression rehab programs, which includes having pup work for everything, long Place commands, waiting at thresholds, crate training, structured heel, lots of obedience exercises, and specific practice with aggression triggers. Pup may need to be desensitized to handling too. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Chiquita
Chihuahua
7 Weeks
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Chiquita
Chihuahua
7 Weeks

I found her at 3 weeks and have taken care of her since. She growls and bites and snarls sometimes when I pick her up. She gets so bad at bite lunging and biting my hands I have to put her back in her kennel, which is in the same room as I am in. I don't want her to be aggressive. I don't know what to do to train her not to be. I also have a Golden Retriever and a Bulldog who are both very sweet and patient with the puppy. What do I do, please.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tina, Work on desensitizing pup to touch and handling. Use puppies daily meal kibble to do this. Gently touch an area of puppy's body while feeding a piece of food. Touch an ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Hold his collar and give a treat. Touch his tail gently and give a treat. Touch his belly, his other paws, his chest, shoulder, muzzle and every other area very gently and give a treat each time. Keep these times calm and fun for pup. Check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Yelp" method. At the same time however, begin teaching "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method. As soon as pup is good as the Leave It game, start telling pup to "Leave It" when he attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if he makes a good choice. If he disobeys your leave it command, use the Pressure method to gently discipline pup for biting when you told him not to. The order or all of this is very important - the yelp method can be used for the next couple of weeks while pup is learning leave it, but leave it will teach pup to stop the biting entirely. The pressure method teaches pup that you mean what you say without being overly harsh - but because you have taught pup to leave it first, pup clearly understands that you are not just roughhousing (which is what pup probably thinks most of the time right now), so it is more effective. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite When pup gets especially wound up, he probably needs a nap too. At this age puppies will sometimes get really hyper when they are overtired or haven't had any mental stimulation through something like training. When you spot that and think pup could be tired, place pup in their crate or an exercise pen with a food stuffed Kong for a bit to help him calm down and rest. Also, know that mouthiness at this age is completely normal. It's not fun but it is normal for it to take some time for a puppy to learn self-control well enough to stop. Try not to get discouraged if you don't see instant progress, any progress and moving in the right direction in this area is good, so keep at it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mollie
Chihuahua
7 Years
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Mollie
Chihuahua
7 Years

Hello,

We adopted Mollie (Chihuahuaabout 4 months ago. We have another dog, Oliver (3 year old Border Collie Terrier Mix) who we adopted about 2 years ago. Mollie can act aggressively toward him when he tries to get on the couch or bed, when he goes near her food bowl, and when he tries to play with his toys. She can also be very possessive. She has not bitten him or attached him, but will growl and lunge at him. The shelter thinks she was abused in her former home. They found her abandoned in a house in a crate with another dog. What is the best way to modify this behavior?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emily, For the jealous behavior, pushiness, and resource guarding, 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 behavior 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 - so no bullying is happening while you are away. 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 he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If she obeys, praise and reward her. If she disobeys, stand in front of your other 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 other dog. If your Mollie pushes your other dog or gets between you and pup uninvited, tell Mollie Out and enforce her leaving. When she is waiting for her turn patiently, then send Oliver to place and invite Mollie over now - no demanding of attention right now from either dog. Make them wait or do a command first to work for your attention, especial Mollie since pushiness is an issue, and make the trouble maker leave if being pushy or aggressive. If your Mollie growls at Oliver, make her leave the room while also carefully disciplining Oliver 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 Oliver is has something Mollie tends to be possessive of and she is being truly tolerant and calm, without acting dominant and pushy toward him, you can also calmly give a treat. The lesson should be that you own everything in the house, even the other dog, and you make and enforce rules. You should be a fair and kind leader, who earns their respect - but they still have to treat each other a certain way and not act possessive of people of things, because you already have that role. Keep the energy calm when interacting with the dogs. Don't feel sorry for either dog (whatever Mollie's history, don't let that stop you from giving clear, calm rules and boundaries) but give clear boundaries instead. Don't expect them to be best friends right now - the goal is calm co-existence. Work on the Working method and Consistency method with Mollie to build her respect for you - building her respect for you calmly, can have a direct effect on how she behaves around others in the household, like Oliver. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lola
Chihuahua
14 Weeks
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Lola
Chihuahua
14 Weeks

Lola can growl and go to snap if you go to move her and she doesn’t want to be moved. It is normally when she’s about to go to sleep. It isn’t every time and you don’t know when it will be as most of the time she is fine. She gets lots of attention from 3 children and myself during the day and is normally very playful and happy so I don’t know why this has started. Please help as the children now don’t want to pick her up if she looks settled just incase. Thanks x

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rebecca, First, I suggest working on desensitizing her to touch and building his overall respect for you. Check out the article linked below and follow the Working method and Consistency method - the Obedience method can be followed also, but definitely work on the Working and Consistency method to build respect gently. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Also, work on getting her more tolerant to touch and handling. Use her daily meal kibble to do this. Gently touch an area of pup's body while feeding a piece of food. Touch an ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Hold her collar and give a treat. Touch her tail gently and give a treat. Touch her belly, her other paws, her chest, shoulder, muzzle and every other area very gently and give a treat each time. Keep these times calm and fun for pup. Have her earn meals, one piece of food at a time, this way. Measure her food into a baggie and use that food - don't reach into her food bowl to do this. Practice this with just you at first. When she is doing well and likes the exercise, then have the kids help you - just when you are there to supervise, starting with the older kids first, and incorporating the other kids are she grows to like the older kids doing this exercise too. Watch her body language to see if she is at all tense about the kids. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Willow
Chihuahua
2 Years
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Willow
Chihuahua
2 Years

Hi there, we have a two year old chihuahua that we rescued. We have had her for about 2 months now. She is very loving but can “snap” out of nowhere. If my boyfriend or I are holding her and we go to kiss each other to say hello or goodbye she will attempt to bite our face.
She also was lying with me in bed and my boyfriend was petting her, she snapped at his face without warning.
How do we correct this behaviour and have her socialized better?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Calla, It sounds like she is resource guarding you. First, pup shouldn't sleep in the bed anymore at this time. When both humans are fine with it and there are no behavior issues present, I do not have a problem with a dog sleeping with you, but anytime there is resource guarding of people or things going on, or other respect and trust issues, pups shouldn't sleep on the bed at night. I would introduce a crate and have pup sleep there while working on the below training, to increase pup's tolerance and deal with any resource guarding of people that's present. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Second, work on the resource guarding by increasing pup's respect for you and your boy friend in calm, confident, less-confrontational ways. Have her work for everything she gets for a while by having her perform a command first. For example, have her sit before you feed her, lay down before you pet her, look at you before you take her outside, ect.. If she nudges you, climbs into your lap uninvited, begs, or does anything else pushy, make her leave the room. Teach her a Place command and work on her 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 her nose does not go past your leg. 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 Working and Consistency methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Out - which means leave the area https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It - leave it method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Off section: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ If she is generally a bit nervous, then some confidence building exercises may also help her overall attitude. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elvtxiDW6g0 In addition to working on respect, use pup's daily meal kibble to do this. Gently touch an area of pup's body while feeding a piece of food. Touch an ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Hold her collar and give a treat. Touch her tail gently and give a treat. Touch her belly, her other paws, her chest, shoulder, muzzle and every other area very gently and give a treat each time. Keep these times calm and fun for pup. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Buddy
Chihuahua
5 Years
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Buddy
Chihuahua
5 Years

Hi,Buddy will be 5 years old next Friday. When he gets comfortable and I try to pick him up he growls and snaps at me. He also crys/whines when it is windy outside. He doesn't mind being outside in the wind but he is inconsolable inside. I feel bad for him. Any ideas would be helpful.
Thanks

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lisa, First, I suggest working on desensitizing him to touch and building his overall respect for you. Check out the article linked below and follow the Working method and Consistency method - the Obedience method can be followed also, but definitely work on the Working and Consistency method to build respect gently. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Also, work on getting him more tolerant to touch and handling. Use his daily meal kibble to do this. Gently touch an area of pup's body while feeding a piece of food. Touch an ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Hold his collar and give a treat. Touch his tail gently and give a treat. Touch his belly, his other paws, his chest, shoulder, muzzle and every other area very gently and give a treat each time. Keep these times calm and fun for pup. Have him earn meals, one piece of food at a time, this way. Measure his food into a baggie and use that food - don't reach into his food bowl to do this. For the whining, help pup associate the wind with something good, without rewarding or cuddling him for the anxious response itself. What that looks like it acting confident and excited yourself when it's windy - do a dance, get him excited and playing, but don't pet, baby talk or coddle him - that can increase his fearful state. Act the way you want him to feel - which is happy and confident. Practice fast paced, higher energy training activities and games that make him think - and reward participation and success. Your energy should be higher and fun to help him want to engage. If you ever built blanket forts to play in during storms as a child - it's a bit like that. The storms become less scary because you associate it with something fun that takes your mind off of it, but if your mom sat around and reassured you over and over that it would be okay each time (when nothing truly scary had even happened yet), you might feel even more worried about storms in general, instead or using your imagination and play to help you cope. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mickey
Chihuahua
10 Years
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Mickey
Chihuahua
10 Years

I adopted Mickey 5 months ago from a Chihuahua rescue organization in Texas, where he was found abused and abandoned on the street (only a few weeks before I adopted him) so I have absolutely no idea what his history is. He clearly had been cared for at some point, as he walks well on a leash, he's house trained and knows some basic commands. We've taken obedience classes together and he does very well. He does have some arthritis and luxating patella in his rear legs. For the first week with me here in Toronto, he was the sweetest thing. But something quickly changed in him. He is still that sweet thing 70% of the time, but...he bites, often and hard with attacking aggression. I'm talking drawing blood and bruising. It used to be several times a week, and thankfully it has slowly decreased to once a week or less, but it's very unpredictable. He bites me, and any other person he wants, his bites don't discriminate. He also barks and snaps at all other dogs we come across (even though his tail will be wagging). It seems like it could be fear triggers most times, but it can also be out of the blue, without warning. He will attack-bite me (and others) in basically any situation, from a slight movement beside him, touching him, feeding him, petting him, putting his collar on, touching anywhere near his face, and sometimes even just going near him. He is triggered into biting when he's asleep, or awake. He won't even let my (Fear Free) vet do a proper exam, even when he's taken his prescribed trazadone (which is only for vet visits to calm the attacking). Before COVID, I was taking him for regular "happy visits" to the vet for acclimation. You get the idea, he's a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 100%. He is improving slowly with love and patience. I see a wonderful boy in him, who just has a lot of trauma, fear and trust issues, and I'm determined to give him a safe and loving home for the rest of his days, I'm just unsure how to train this aggression out of him. Thank you, Cristy

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, so nice of you to take Mickey out of the situation that he was in. It seems as though you are doing everything right in regards to training and taking care of Mickey. The fact that he is so unpredictable and bites hard enough to draw blood is a problem. I think a behavioral specialist that works one on one with dogs that show aggression is necessary. Look online for a trainer in your area that can give you and Mickey private lessons. In the meantime, this site has many helpful training videos and the opportunity to talk to a trainer. https://robertcabral.com/. Good luck!

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Roderick
Chihuahua
4 Years
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Roderick
Chihuahua
4 Years

We rescued a 4yr old Male chihuahua 3 weeks ago . He warmed up to me, my husband and our 3 children fairly quickly. He was in a hoarding situation with 12 other chihuahuas. He has recently become aggressive towards my husband. Growling, charging, trying to bite when he's in the room or walking. Other times, without prompting, he will randomly sit on his lap. He is very clingy towards me. I took him to the vet and he is medically fine. He is not neutered. We do not know how to address the confusing behavior towards my husband. We do not condone it and tell him "no" but it is not effective.
Thank you for any suggestions.
Amy

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, this may be a situation for a behaviorist, but the fact that he did accept your husband in the beginning is a good sign. You might consider neutering him once things calm down with his growling and charging. Roderick is very clingy with you - do you do all of the feeding and walking? Have your husband take over these chores at least a majority of the time so that he can learn that your husband does good things for him. When they walk, have just the two of them go and make sure that treats are dispersed throughout the walk. Also, work on obedience commands and have your husband do the same. https://wagwalking.com/training/be-obedient-2. If none of the suggestions help, consult a behaviorist in your area. All the best!

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Bella
Chihuahua
4 Years
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Bella
Chihuahua
4 Years

Bella started acting aggressive towards people about a year ago. If someone's walking by us, Bella was stop barking aggressively and start lunging towards them to try to jump on them but she doesn't want to buy she wants the attention as soon as the person or stranger stands still She will either smell them while barking and the jump up on them so she can be rubbed. most people don't know she want attention. They think she is going to bite. She never bites, but her behavior bothers me a lot.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I would begin by teaching Bella how to greet people calmly - it's good that she is not intending to bite. But still, it can be unnerving to others when she approaches. I think that getting her to focus on you when out for walks is the best solution. Keep her busy and working, and she'll have no time to jump on people. Start with the heel command while on walks. This guide has an excellent step by step explanation of how to make it work: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel - the Turns Method. Then, you can do the Under Control Method here: https://wagwalking.com/training/stop-barking-on-walks. Also, the Trouble Shooting Method has a few suggestions and tips for you as the owner, too: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-be-friendly. Good luck!

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Levi
Chihuahua
16 Months
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Levi
Chihuahua
16 Months

My chi is a cuddle bug, licker and is always with me. Three days ago he started snapping and growling and he want let me touch him. He starts trembling and folds ears back and rolls those eyes. He is eating well and after a few he wants to kiss me it goes on for a good 10 mins then back to normal.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Pattie, I highly suggest consulting your vet to get pup checked out. It sounds like something medical is behind the new behavior. I am not a vet. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Michi
Chihuahua
13 Weeks
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Michi
Chihuahua
13 Weeks

Hello
I have a 13 week puppy who is suddenly very aggressive. We rescued him from a bad home when he was 4-5 weeks old. We live in a studio home and he has had minimal interaction with people due to the COVID-19. He’s always been a bitter but we thought it was teething and provided him all of the toys needed. Recently we have noticed a big change one his attitude and he has become aggressive, we are not sure why. He is so small and we do not want to raise him to be aggressive.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, because the aggression is a new thing, it is always advised to get a vet check up to rule out a medical reason for the change in personality (such as an infection, etc. ). So please do that first, Then, it is time to get Michi out and about, going on plenty of walks and interacting with people. Take him to dog training right away - that is the first step. With the nice weather, outdoor classes should be opening up, especially with some of the lockdowns lifting. Getting Michi socialized while he is still young is essential. Don't delay! All of the methods here are very good: https://wagwalking.com/training/be-friendly/. Read the entire guide through so that you can understand all of the tips and tricks to getting Michi to be friendlier. These include not letting him be dominant, be consistent with leadership, give him the chance to meet people and dogs, and all kinds of other pointers. Good luck!

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Chihuahua
Chihuahua
3 Months
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Chihuahua
Chihuahua
3 Months

We took him to the vet and ever since he’s been growling and going to bite.. very aggressive!

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Rex
Chihuahua
4 Years
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Rex
Chihuahua
4 Years

My male desexed chihuahua is still not toilet trained properly even though he goes outside all the time and I clean the areas he toilets on inside thoroughly he keeps weeing in the same spots 😣 I also have trouble with his behaviour he is so territorial he attacks anyone that comes into our yard that he doesn’t know even when I rouse.. any tips?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, have you been using an enzymatic cleaner when you clean up? This is available at the pet supply store and is the only product that completely removes the odor. You may not smell the pee but Rex does. This may help. As well, read this guide - it has many good tips on potty training. https://wagwalking.com/training/go-to-the-bathroom-outside. You may have to take Rex outside every 30-minutes to an hour whenever possible (this is how I have trained my last few dogs). Once they get the idea that inside is a no-go, then all is well. Time the visits right after a nap, after a meal, etc. As for the aggression, is this a new behavior? How does Rex respond to the obedience commands you have taught? I would spend a lot of time reinforcing the commands and making sure he listens to you.https://wagwalking.com/training/not-attack-strangers. Try the Alternate Behavior Method and keep Rex on a leash when in the yard until you can teach him not to be aggressive. Enroll him in Obedience Classes; it goes a long way towards having a friendly dog. It is worth theime and money. Good luck!

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Lady
chihuahua mix
4 Years
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Lady
chihuahua mix
4 Years

We have 2 other dogs. She growls occasionally. Our oldest dog has been attacked by her 2 times in 2 days. Lady puts her neck across Violets neck while standing. She randomly for no obvious reasons has attacked and bit Violets ear. It happened before about a year ago.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

First, I would take Lady to the vet to make sure that there is not a medical reason for the aggression. It is always most important to rule that out. Make sure that you are removing Lady from the situation and even giving her a time out for her actions. Work on her obedience commands so that she listens to you 100% when you need her to. The Obedience Command Method and the Socialized Chihuahua Method are good to work on: https://wagwalking.com/training/get-along-with-other-dogs-1. I would get the vet checkup right away, though. Good luck!

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Shirley
Chihuahua
4 Years
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Shirley
Chihuahua
4 Years

For starters my dog Shirley is quite anxious and scared all of the time. She constantly barks at people and other dogs. About a year ago we added a new puppy to the mix and it seemed to calm her loneliness down. (She used to jump the fence and chase my car when I’d leave for work). Not so much the barking or the aggression that she has recently shown. She constantly barks and will even get herself out of her collar to go and bark at someone up close and even bite them. This has gotten worse in the past 6 months. She ran away from house and bit someone down the street for no reason, they were getting in their car to leave their home. This is no longer an issue of wanting more to keep us safe she is just biting for every reason. People cannot come into my house without her barking like crazy, followed by her going up and biting them with all of her might. How do I fix this!?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, this is a problem with cute Shirley that cannot be fixed without the help of a trainer coming to your home and dealing with the aggression one on one. A few tips in an email won't be enough. But I can say that due to the aggression and the fact that she has bitten numerous times means that a trainer used to working with aggressive dogs is essential. Look online and seek a trainer in your area. If you cannot find one, consult your vet to see if they have a recommendation. In the meantime, work on her obedience commands to re-establish what she learned long ago in puppy school. Good luck!

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Zeus
Chihuahua
1 Year
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Zeus
Chihuahua
1 Year

My dog has a problem socializing with people and other dogs and acts aggressive to new people, we had never bitten anyone but he has lunged out and snapped at people , I have taught him many sit and stay commands and he understands them , however he chooses when to listen and sometimes in a situation where he is being aggressive I can’t seem take his attention away from the situation... he is extremely well behaved around people he already knows

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brynn, I suggest hiring a trainer to help you with the aggression. Look for 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 may have some possessive aggression going on too, and that is treated a bit differently than fear. 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 people). Aggression video: https://youtu.be/mgmRRYK1Z6A The dog is attached to the pole with a secure leash while on Place - notice the tape on the ground the kid knows not to cross - to keep the kid out of the dog's reach in case the dog lunges: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gblDgIkyAKU Later stage, up close desensitization - even though kids are close, there is still a line and pup is still on a back-tie leash so that pup can't actually get to kids to bite if they tried...This is a later stage exercise for pup once they can do well with the other above scenarios: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIJoEJfTS-E Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Pedro
Chihuahua
11 Years
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Pedro
Chihuahua
11 Years

Pedro won’t walk on a Lease even at 6 weeks old & as he was growing up we tried to get him to walk on a Lease but he would & still does refuse. He thrash’s about almost hurting himself & won’t stand up on his feet. Also he is bad to run after people he is not familiar with & bites their heels & feet. He will sometimes jump on another dog for no reason. He has to be watched closely to stop him from doing these things. I use my Cane to swing towards him but I don’t hit him to stop him. He doesn’t listen to me telling him NO, STOP etc. Being afraid of being hurt is the only reason he stops this behavior. How should I handle his behavior? Thanks, Edna Bridges

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Edna, First, check out the article linked below and the drag method to introduce a leash. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-your-puppy-to-accept-leash You will need to go back to the basics of leash introduction and be a bit stubborn yourself with the leash. For the safety of others, your own protection liability wise, and pup to be trained, pup will need to be able to be on a leash unless you want to hire a professional trainer to work with you in person, going straight to off-leash e-collar training. That needs to be done with a professional's help though. Once pup is walking on the leash, I suggest working on the structure of your walk first. You want pup to be working during the walk - having to stay behind you, focus on you, perform commands periodically, and not have his mind on scanning the area in search of other people and dogs. The walk should start with him having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if he isn't calm. He should wait for permission ("Okay" or "Free" or "Let's Go") before going through the door instead of bolting through if that's an issue. When you walk he should be in the heel position - with his head behind your leg. That position decreases his arousal, reduces stress because he isn't the one in charge and the one encountering things first. It prevents him from scanning for other dogs, staring dogs down or being stared down, and ignoring you behind him. It also requires him to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how aroused, stressed, and aggressive he is - it makes him feel like the responsibility is on your shoulders not his around other dogs. Additionally, when you do pass other dogs, as soon as he starts staring them down, interrupt him. Don't tolerate challenging stares at other dogs. Remind him with a fair correction that you are leading the walk and he is not allowed to break his heel or stare another dog down. It is far easier to deal with reactivity when you interrupt a dog early in the process - before they are highly aroused and full of adrenaline and cortisol, and to keep the dog in a less aroused/calmer state to begin with. This also makes the walk more pleasant for him in the long-run. When pup is in a calmer state, focused on you and calm, reward with treats while in the presence of other people you are passing - to condition pup to feel calm and happier around other people in general. Notice when pup doesn't react poorly, doesn't tense up, and stays focused on you when others are in the area and calmly reward pup at those times - rather than waiting for an explosion or poor reaction and having to correct. Leading the walk this way can actually boost a dog's confidence in the long run because the dog feels like you will handle the situation so they can relax. 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 Working on building pup's confidence and trust in you in general can also help. Commands like Down-Stay, Place, and having pup work for what they get in life, combined with consistency and calmness on your part are some good ways to increase respect gently. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Chico
Chihuahua
8 Weeks
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Chico
Chihuahua
8 Weeks

Hi I have a teacup Chihuahua and he is 1.8lb he is playful but way aggressive. He likes to bite a lot of things and also my fiancé and I and other family. We also have a other dog. He is a poodle and Chico bites him alot. What can I do for this to stop

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I would begin obedience training Chico right away. He may be small, but his teeth are sharp. He needs to know that it is not acceptable. This guide is written for a Great Dane, but the principles are excellent for any sized dog. https://wagwalking.com/training/obedience-train-a-great-dane. Put these methods into practice and work on them every day. Buy Chico teething toys with different textures to soothe the gums. Provide him with interactive feeder toys to keep his mind busy. He'll need lots of walks once his vaccines are up to date. Do not allow Chico to bite the Poodle - if you have to, remove Chico from the situation so he learns to stop. Once Chico is old enough, put him in obedience training classes for socialization and leadership from you. Good luck!

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Sammy
Chihuahua
8 Years
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Sammy
Chihuahua
8 Years

My dog is super aggressive only to me & seems like only at certain times. When I day aggressive I mean he has bitten me hard enough to break skin. The aggressiveness seems to worsen at night when we are laying down for the night. Sterness doesn't work, rewarding & not rewarding hasn't worked, removing from the situation hasn't worked cuz he just comes right back seemingly to stalk and growl, ignoring don't help either. I feel like I've tried everything and I'm at my wits end with this little 8 pound monster. I could never fathom getting rid of him, plz help rid my lil guy from this demonic possession! Lol.
Sincerely,
This Chi Chi Mom

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I suggest hiring a professional trainer who specializes in aggression to help you in person. This is a case that may need to evaluated in person to see how it should be addressed, and figure out if there is resource guarding of people, a physical issue, fearfulness, or something else. I also suggest checking out Thomas from the Canine Educator and Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training on Youtube to learn more about the different types of aggression and how they might be addressed. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Yuki
Chihuahua/whippet
2 Years
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Yuki
Chihuahua/whippet
2 Years

Yuki is extremely possessive over me. He becomes aggressive to anyone nearing me. He has even bitten a couple friends. How can i stop this behavior?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. It sounds like you have your hands full. I am going to provide you with information on how to correct this behavior. You won’t be able to solve your dog’s overprotective behavior in one day. In the meantime, you don’t want to put your life on hold. You can still invite guests into your home as long as you prioritize managing your dog’s behavior. You’ll need a short-term strategy to start showing your overprotective dog what behavior is unacceptable while also keeping your guests safe. There are a few ways to do this. Leash: Keeping your dog on a leash while friends are visiting gives you control over your dog’s actions. Leash him up before the doorbell rings and keep him close as you greet your guests. During the visit, you can let the leash drag and only use it if you have to. Muzzle: If you feel his behavior warrants the use of a muzzle for the time being while you work on solving this problem, then it may be a wise choice. Separate Room: Your dog won’t get better without practice, but sometimes you have to weigh the risks versus rewards. If your overprotective dog is in the beginning stages of training, keeping her separated from guests might be best. You don’t want to put a friend’s safety at risk or needlessly stress out your dog. As long as you keep working toward stopping the behavior, separating an overprotective dog from company is a temporary management solution. Start Obedience Training Obedience training is a must for every dog, and it’s especially important for overprotective dogs. Working with your dog on things like “sit-stay,” “down-stay,” and “heel,” will help build her impulse control. He’ll start seeing you as a capable leader and will turn to you for guidance. A mistake many pup parents make is stopping obedience training once their dog masters the basics skills. Being well-trained is about more than knowing how to sit when a person holds a treat in front of their face. It’s a lifetime lesson, and even senior dogs need regular training. Commit to training your dog several times a day for short periods of time. Make Your Dog Work for Affection You can’t help but smother your dog with love every time he’s within petting distance, but that isn’t always what’s best for her. He will start to feel entitled to your attention, and that’s part of the problem. To remedy this, initiate a “work for it” program that allows you to show your dog affection as long as he earns your attention in appropriate ways. Make him sit, stay calm, and do whatever else you ask before doling out whatever it is he wants. If he’s excited for dinner, make him sit and leave it before digging in. If he wants in your lap, ask him to do a trick first. Never give your dog attention if he rudely nudges your hand or barks in your face. He needs to know polite behavior, and polite behavior only, is how he gets what he wants. You ignore everything else. Involve Other People in the Dog’s Life Most overprotective dogs choose to guard only the person they feel closest to. It’s usually the same person who fills their food bowls, takes them on walks, and handles training. They become obsessively attached, and a strong bond gradually mutates into overprotective behavior. Putting some space between you and your dog will help him learn to trust other people. Enlist the entire family’s help and take a step back in your role as primary caregiver. Have someone else feed the dog a few times a week, and encourage other people to engage her in playtime. This will help him be more comfortable with different people. Socialize Socialization is best done during the puppy stages, but even adult and senior dogs benefit from new experiences. Exposing your overprotective dog to new places, experiences, and people, will help her learn that not everyone is out to hurt you. Make sure each new experience is positive, and encourage your dog without forcing him to interact. If your dog is afraid, you don’t want to make things worse. Take socialization at the pace he’s comfortable with. If he seems overwhelmed, back up and try something a little smaller. These are some general ideas and they can be modified to fit your dynamic. These behaviors do take time, I am talking months, to correct. And sometimes the behaviors get worse before they get better. So just push through that time if that starts to happen. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

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Cupcake
Chihuahua
4 Years
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Cupcake
Chihuahua
4 Years

A friend of mine rescued this chihuahua. He was told she was territorial with her crate & will become aggressive if someone touched her crate. When he works she is put in her crate. I let her out in my yard with my terrier & she will immediately go over to his bowl & bed & snoop around for food. When I say NO, she will refuse to go out & go back into her crate where she challenges me & sows her teeth. There has been times she will be outside & Id call her to come in & she’ll stand where she’s at & wait for me to come get her. When this happens she will lay down & roll onto her back & when I try to pick her up she will try to bite me. She hasn’t tried this with her owner, but he’s never shown her who is the boss either. His remark about her behavior is, that’s how chihuahuas are! I find this unacceptable. My terrier is very mild mannered & tolerates her going to his “space” but when I see it I tell Cupcake to get out of there. He says no very softly & picks her up. From what I know about Cupcakes past, she’s been with 2 or 3 different people & none worked out. Am I dealing with a dog that’s already set in her ways? What needs to be done to conquer this aggression & hostility? She’s not mine but lives here until her owner can find a place of his own.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, very nice of you to try and help with Cupcake's issues. Chihuahuas can be small but pack a powerful little bite. There are several things you need to work on but they will work best with her owner's cooperation. I will say it may be hard for Cupcake to be in her crate all day while your dog is out and about - with the aggression issues already, this may add to it. Can you suggest an exercise pen instead? To at least take away the confinement issues (obviously she does not want to go back in the crate). Here is an article on setting up the exercise pen (minus the litter box): https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/how-to-set-up-puppy-long-term-confinement-area. It would be nice to help Cupcake get over her issues so this can be her final owner and forever home. Each change in ownership probably makes things worse. Teach her the Leave It command, along with the help of your friend, of course: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite. Try to give Cupcake as much praise as possible and speak to her in an uplifting voice. Good for your Terrier to be so accepting and tolerant of Cupcake and nice of you to try and help her out. Take a look here for helpful videos:https://robertcabral.com/. Good luck!

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Banjo
Chihuahua
6 Years
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Banjo
Chihuahua
6 Years

My dog Banjo is aggressive towards everyone. We'll be walking down the street and he charges people and barks. I keep him on a short leash so he can't get close. He's bitten one person before. But it wasn't bad. If people like friends come into my house, he'll bark at them. I have found that if they ignore him and let him approach them on his time, he warms up fast. It's mainly just the strangers. I don't have a fenced in back yard, so walks are our only choice to go "potty" He'll stop if I say a really low growling NO. Or I've also trained him to not like the sound "pssst" and he'll usually stop or at least tone it back. But once he gets going, nothing stops him. He just goes crazy at the end of the leash. I have to drag him away. (He wears a harness...I'm not dragging him away by his neck.) But is there any tips to get him to just ignore people? He's generally good with dogs. I was a nanny for a family who had German Shepherds and Huskies and they all got along. We lived with them for 3 years and had minimal issues. He absolutely loves cats. He just wants to play with them...even if the feeling isn't mutual. I just want him to listen to me when he really gets going so I don't have another situation where he bites someone and it turns out really bad.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. It sounds like you have your hands full. I am going to provide you with information on how to correct this behavior. You won’t be able to solve your dog’s overprotective behavior in one day. In the meantime, you don’t want to put your life on hold. You can still invite guests into your home as long as you prioritize managing your dog’s behavior. You’ll need a short-term strategy to start showing your overprotective dog what behavior is unacceptable while also keeping your guests safe. There are a few ways to do this. Leash: Keeping your dog on a leash while friends are visiting gives you control over your dog’s actions. Leash him up before the doorbell rings and keep him close as you greet your guests. During the visit, you can let the leash drag and only use it if you have to. Muzzle: If you feel his behavior warrants the use of a muzzle for the time being while you work on solving this problem, then it may be a wise choice. Separate Room: Your dog won’t get better without practice, but sometimes you have to weigh the risks versus rewards. If your overprotective dog is in the beginning stages of training, keeping her separated from guests might be best. You don’t want to put a friend’s safety at risk or needlessly stress out your dog. As long as you keep working toward stopping the behavior, separating an overprotective dog from company is a temporary management solution. Start Obedience Training Obedience training is a must for every dog, and it’s especially important for overprotective dogs. Working with your dog on things like “sit-stay,” “down-stay,” and “heel,” will help build her impulse control. He’ll start seeing you as a capable leader and will turn to you for guidance. A mistake many pup parents make is stopping obedience training once their dog masters the basics skills. Being well-trained is about more than knowing how to sit when a person holds a treat in front of their face. It’s a lifetime lesson, and even senior dogs need regular training. Commit to training your dog several times a day for short periods of time. Make Your Dog Work for Affection You can’t help but smother your dog with love every time he’s within petting distance, but that isn’t always what’s best for him. He will start to feel entitled to your attention, and that’s part of the problem. To remedy this, initiate a “work for it” program that allows you to show your dog affection as long as he earns your attention in appropriate ways. Make him sit, stay calm, and do whatever else you ask before doling out whatever it is he wants. If he’s excited for dinner, make him sit and leave it before digging in. If he wants in your lap, ask him to do a trick first. Never give your dog attention if he rudely nudges your hand or barks in your face. He needs to know polite behavior, and polite behavior only, is how he gets what he wants. You ignore everything else. Involve Other People in the Dog’s Life Most overprotective dogs choose to guard only the person they feel closest to. It’s usually the same person who fills their food bowls, takes them on walks, and handles training. They become obsessively attached, and a strong bond gradually mutates into overprotective behavior. Putting some space between you and your dog will help her learn to trust other people. Enlist the entire family’s help and take a step back in your role as primary caregiver. Have someone else feed the dog a few times a week, and encourage other people to engage his in playtime. This will help him be more comfortable with different people. Socialize Socialization is best done during the puppy stages, but even adult and senior dogs benefit from new experiences. Exposing your overprotective dog to new places, experiences, and people, will help him learn that not everyone is out to hurt you. Make sure each new experience is positive, and encourage your dog without forcing him to interact. If your dog is afraid, you don’t want to make things worse. Take socialization at the pace he’s comfortable with. If he seems overwhelmed, back up and try something a little smaller. These are some general ideas and they can be modified to fit your dynamic. These behaviors do take time, I am talking months, to correct. And sometimes the behaviors get worse before they get better. So just push through that time if that starts to happen. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

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Dexter
Chihuahua mixed Rhodesion Ridgeback and 6 other b
7 Years
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Dexter
Chihuahua mixed Rhodesion Ridgeback and 6 other b
7 Years

Dexter can be very loving then snaps on a dime. When he is aggressive we point to the ground and make him sit, any growl a firm no is given. The minute we lift our finger he is back to growling and charges at us. I have sat with him in this position for 15 mins and he does not let up. Help.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. It sounds like you have your hands full. I am going to provide you with information on how to correct this behavior. You won’t be able to solve your dog’s overprotective behavior in one day. In the meantime, you don’t want to put your life on hold. You can still invite guests into your home as long as you prioritize managing your dog’s behavior. You’ll need a short-term strategy to start showing your overprotective dog what behavior is unacceptable while also keeping your guests safe. There are a few ways to do this. Leash: Keeping your dog on a leash while friends are visiting gives you control over your dog’s actions. Leash him up before the doorbell rings and keep him close as you greet your guests. During the visit, you can let the leash drag and only use it if you have to. Muzzle: If you feel his behavior warrants the use of a muzzle for the time being while you work on solving this problem, then it may be a wise choice. Separate Room: Your dog won’t get better without practice, but sometimes you have to weigh the risks versus rewards. If your overprotective dog is in the beginning stages of training, keeping her separated from guests might be best. You don’t want to put a friend’s safety at risk or needlessly stress out your dog. As long as you keep working toward stopping the behavior, separating an overprotective dog from company is a temporary management solution. Start Obedience Training Obedience training is a must for every dog, and it’s especially important for overprotective dogs. Working with your dog on things like “sit-stay,” “down-stay,” and “heel,” will help build her impulse control. He’ll start seeing you as a capable leader and will turn to you for guidance. A mistake many pup parents make is stopping obedience training once their dog masters the basics skills. Being well-trained is about more than knowing how to sit when a person holds a treat in front of their face. It’s a lifetime lesson, and even senior dogs need regular training. Commit to training your dog several times a day for short periods of time. Make Your Dog Work for Affection You can’t help but smother your dog with love every time he’s within petting distance, but that isn’t always what’s best for him. He will start to feel entitled to your attention, and that’s part of the problem. To remedy this, initiate a “work for it” program that allows you to show your dog affection as long as he earns your attention in appropriate ways. Make him sit, stay calm, and do whatever else you ask before doling out whatever it is he wants. If he’s excited for dinner, make him sit and leave it before digging in. If he wants in your lap, ask him to do a trick first. Never give your dog attention if he rudely nudges your hand or barks in your face. He needs to know polite behavior, and polite behavior only, is how he gets what he wants. You ignore everything else. Involve Other People in the Dog’s Life Most overprotective dogs choose to guard only the person they feel closest to. It’s usually the same person who fills their food bowls, takes them on walks, and handles training. They become obsessively attached, and a strong bond gradually mutates into overprotective behavior. Putting some space between you and your dog will help her learn to trust other people. Enlist the entire family’s help and take a step back in your role as primary caregiver. Have someone else feed the dog a few times a week, and encourage other people to engage his in playtime. This will help him be more comfortable with different people. Socialize Socialization is best done during the puppy stages, but even adult and senior dogs benefit from new experiences. Exposing your overprotective dog to new places, experiences, and people, will help him learn that not everyone is out to hurt you. Make sure each new experience is positive, and encourage your dog without forcing him to interact. If your dog is afraid, you don’t want to make things worse. Take socialization at the pace he’s comfortable with. If he seems overwhelmed, back up and try something a little smaller. These are some general ideas and they can be modified to fit your dynamic. These behaviors do take time, I am talking months, to correct. And sometimes the behaviors get worse before they get better. So just push through that time if that starts to happen. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

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Lucy
Chihuahua
7 Weeks
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Lucy
Chihuahua
7 Weeks

He bites aggressively. Pee I. Playing area. Doesn’t follow poty training

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hi! I am going to send you information on potty training as well as nipping. Hello! I am going to send you information on the nipping/biting, as well as jumping. Both of these behaviors are attention seeking/play engaging behaviors. The best you can do for both is to completely ignore. But I am sending information with much more detail than that! Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior.

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Lucky
Male Apple Head Chihuahua
4 Years
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Lucky
Male Apple Head Chihuahua
4 Years

He would not let us put a leech on him and he uses the bathroom in the house

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I apologize for the delay in reply. Is Lucky new to your household? Take these steps to get him used to the leash: https://wagwalking.com/training/accept-a-leash This guide also has very good pointers on dealing with Lucky; please read it through to see if any of the tips work for you. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-pitbull-puppy-to-be-obedient. Also, the Establish Leadership Method may help here:https://wagwalking.com/training/not-be-aggressive. Have Lucky sit before every event (going outside, getting his food bowl put down, before a treat) to establish respect. As for the toileting inside, is it because he won't let you take him for walks to do his business, or is it because he needs potty training? This guide has excellent tips on potty training: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside. Take Lucky outside every 30 minutes; I know it seems like a lot but once he gets the idea it will be worth the effort. It is essential to take him out first thing in the morning, after meals, after a nap, after playtime, etc. Be sure to clean all accidents with an enzymatic cleaner. This is the only thing to remove the odor. Despite your best efforts, Lucky will still smell the odor from the pee and poop when a regular cleaner is used. Good luck with Lucky and happy training!

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Sarge
Chihuahua
1 Year
0 found helpful
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Sarge
Chihuahua
1 Year

They are very aggressive towards Mexicans it don't matter if it's adult kid it don't matter

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

You might want to contact a local trainer in regards to this very unique issue. I do not believe I have a solution to help you.

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Indy
Chihuahua
8 Years
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Indy
Chihuahua
8 Years

I have 2 female Chi's Princess 10(blonde) Indy 8 (Blue) Princess has a calm and friendly nature absolutely adores everyone. Indy is my problem child she is a sweet little darling however HATES men she doesn't know. She's fine with my family and partner but if we have guest over she barks aggressively and will try to nip them on back of ankles its extremely stressful and i want to help her overcome this so we can all be happy. I've had her as a puppy so there is no background of aggression and my girls live inside with us. Im so confused as to what to do hope you can help.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! This is not uncommon. Dogs have tendencies to react negatively towards anything that they may be unfamiliar with. We view it as aggression, when it is really fear. They are basically saying, "go away!" Not necessarily, "I am going to attack!" I am going to give you some information on how to handle this situation. You won’t be able to solve your dog’s overprotective behavior in one day. In the meantime, you don’t want to put your life on hold. You can still invite guests into your home as long as you prioritize managing your dog’s behavior. You’ll need a short-term strategy to start showing your overprotective dog what behavior is unacceptable while also keeping your guests safe. There are a few ways to do this. Leash: Keeping your dog on a leash while friends are visiting gives you control over your dog’s actions. Leash her up before the doorbell rings and keep her close as you greet your guests. During the visit, you can let the leash drag and only use it if you have to. Muzzle: If you feel her behavior warrants the use of a muzzle for the time being while you work on solving this problem, then it may be a wise choice. Separate Room: Your dog won’t get better without practice, but sometimes you have to weigh the risks versus rewards. If your overprotective dog is in the beginning stages of training, keeping her separated from guests might be best. You don’t want to put a friend’s safety at risk or needlessly stress out your dog. As long as you keep working toward stopping the behavior, separating an overprotective dog from company is a temporary management solution. Start Obedience Training Obedience training is a must for every dog, and it’s especially important for overprotective dogs. Working with your dog on things like “sit-stay,” “down-stay,” and “heel,” will help build her impulse control. She will start seeing you as a capable leader and will turn to you for guidance. A mistake many pup parents make is stopping obedience training once their dog masters the basics skills. Being well-trained is about more than knowing how to sit when a person holds a treat in front of their face. It’s a lifetime lesson, and even senior dogs need regular training. Commit to training your dog several times a day for short periods of time. Make Your Dog Work for Affection You can’t help but smother your dog with love every time she’s within petting distance, but that isn’t always what’s best for her. She will start to feel entitled to your attention, and that’s part of the problem. To remedy this, initiate a “work for it” program that allows you to show your dog affection as long as she earns your attention in appropriate ways. Make her sit, stay calm, and do whatever else you ask before doling out whatever it is she wants. If she’s excited for dinner, make her sit and leave it before digging in. If she wants in your lap, ask her to do a trick first. Never give your dog attention if she rudely nudges your hand or barks in your face. She needs to know polite behavior, and polite behavior only, is how she gets what he wants. You ignore everything else. Involve Other People in the Dog’s Life Most overprotective dogs choose to guard only the person they feel closest to. It’s usually the same person who fills their food bowls, takes them on walks, and handles training. They become obsessively attached, and a strong bond gradually mutates into overprotective behavior. Putting some space between you and your dog will help her learn to trust other people. Enlist the entire family’s help and take a step back in your role as primary caregiver. Have someone else feed the dog a few times a week, and encourage other people to engage her in playtime. This will help her be more comfortable with different people. Socialize Socialization is best done during the puppy stages, but even adult and senior dogs benefit from new experiences. Exposing your overprotective dog to new places, experiences, and people, will help her learn that not everyone is out to hurt you. Make sure each new experience is positive, and encourage your dog without forcing her to interact. If your dog is afraid, you don’t want to make things worse. Take socialization at the pace she’s comfortable with. If she seems overwhelmed, back up and try something a little smaller. These are some general ideas and they can be modified to fit your dynamic. These behaviors do take time, I am talking months, to correct. And sometimes the behaviors get worse before they get better. So just push through that time if that starts to happen. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

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Diego
Chihuahua
17 Months
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Diego
Chihuahua
17 Months

Growls when anyone comes near me. Or if they try to pass me something. Even reaching for something within 6 feet of me. If someone tries to pet him when on my lap He will snap at them

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. It sounds like you have your hands full. I am going to provide you with information on how to correct this behavior. You won’t be able to solve your dog’s overprotective behavior in one day. In the meantime, you don’t want to put your life on hold. You can still invite guests into your home as long as you prioritize managing your dog’s behavior. You’ll need a short-term strategy to start showing your overprotective dog what behavior is unacceptable while also keeping your guests safe. There are a few ways to do this. Leash: Keeping your dog on a leash while friends are visiting gives you control over your dog’s actions. Leash him up before the doorbell rings and keep him close as you greet your guests. During the visit, you can let the leash drag and only use it if you have to. Muzzle: If you feel his behavior warrants the use of a muzzle for the time being while you work on solving this problem, then it may be a wise choice. Separate Room: Your dog won’t get better without practice, but sometimes you have to weigh the risks versus rewards. If your overprotective dog is in the beginning stages of training, keeping her separated from guests might be best. You don’t want to put a friend’s safety at risk or needlessly stress out your dog. As long as you keep working toward stopping the behavior, separating an overprotective dog from company is a temporary management solution. Start Obedience Training Obedience training is a must for every dog, and it’s especially important for overprotective dogs. Working with your dog on things like “sit-stay,” “down-stay,” and “heel,” will help build her impulse control. He’ll start seeing you as a capable leader and will turn to you for guidance. A mistake many pup parents make is stopping obedience training once their dog masters the basics skills. Being well-trained is about more than knowing how to sit when a person holds a treat in front of their face. It’s a lifetime lesson, and even senior dogs need regular training. Commit to training your dog several times a day for short periods of time. Make Your Dog Work for Affection You can’t help but smother your dog with love every time he’s within petting distance, but that isn’t always what’s best for him. He will start to feel entitled to your attention, and that’s part of the problem. To remedy this, initiate a “work for it” program that allows you to show your dog affection as long as he earns your attention in appropriate ways. Make him sit, stay calm, and do whatever else you ask before doling out whatever it is he wants. If he’s excited for dinner, make him sit and leave it before digging in. If he wants in your lap, ask him to do a trick first. Never give your dog attention if he rudely nudges your hand or barks in your face. He needs to know polite behavior, and polite behavior only, is how he gets what he wants. You ignore everything else. Involve Other People in the Dog’s Life Most overprotective dogs choose to guard only the person they feel closest to. It’s usually the same person who fills their food bowls, takes them on walks, and handles training. They become obsessively attached, and a strong bond gradually mutates into overprotective behavior. Putting some space between you and your dog will help her learn to trust other people. Enlist the entire family’s help and take a step back in your role as primary caregiver. Have someone else feed the dog a few times a week, and encourage other people to engage his in playtime. This will help him be more comfortable with different people. Socialize Socialization is best done during the puppy stages, but even adult and senior dogs benefit from new experiences. Exposing your overprotective dog to new places, experiences, and people, will help him learn that not everyone is out to hurt you. Make sure each new experience is positive, and encourage your dog without forcing him to interact. If your dog is afraid, you don’t want to make things worse. Take socialization at the pace he’s comfortable with. If he seems overwhelmed, back up and try something a little smaller. These are some general ideas and they can be modified to fit your dynamic. These behaviors do take time, I am talking months, to correct. And sometimes the behaviors get worse before they get better. So just push through that time if that starts to happen. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

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Arthur
Chihuahua
9 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Arthur
Chihuahua
9 Months

I have just bought him from a family we have had him for 3 days he is becoming more confident with us he doesn’t bark at us not aggressive to us but he to my brother and my father. Previous owners told us he wants to be the dominant male

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! So your best bet with this type of behavior is to have anyone he is reactive to in your household take over care giving duties for a while. Have your brother and father do the feeding, walking, and even spend a few minutes a day playing games or going over training commands. Lots of treats and fun should be implemented into this plan to make it a positive bonding experience.

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Zipper
Chihuahua x pom
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Zipper
Chihuahua x pom
5 Years

He don't like little kids he is fine with them until they touch him unaware I think he gets scared and reacts. He constantly barks at anyone that turns up until they get inside he also tries to nip their heels when they go out the gate.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. It sounds like you have your hands full. I am going to provide you with information on how to correct these behaviors. You won’t be able to solve your dog’s behavior in one day. In the meantime, you don’t want to put your life on hold. You can still invite guests into your home as long as you prioritize managing your dog’s behavior. You’ll need a short-term strategy to start showing your overprotective dog what behavior is unacceptable while also keeping your guests safe. There are a few ways to do this. Leash: Keeping your dog on a leash while friends are visiting gives you control over your dog’s actions. Leash him up before the doorbell rings and keep him close as you greet your guests. During the visit, you can let the leash drag and only use it if you have to. Muzzle: If you feel his behavior warrants the use of a muzzle for the time being while you work on solving this problem, then it may be a wise choice. Separate Room: Your dog won’t get better without practice, but sometimes you have to weigh the risks versus rewards. If your overprotective dog is in the beginning stages of training, keeping her separated from guests might be best. You don’t want to put a friend’s safety at risk or needlessly stress out your dog. As long as you keep working toward stopping the behavior, separating an overprotective dog from company is a temporary management solution. Start Obedience Training Obedience training is a must for every dog, and it’s especially important for overprotective dogs. Working with your dog on things like “sit-stay,” “down-stay,” and “heel,” will help build her impulse control. He’ll start seeing you as a capable leader and will turn to you for guidance. A mistake many pup parents make is stopping obedience training once their dog masters the basics skills. Being well-trained is about more than knowing how to sit when a person holds a treat in front of their face. It’s a lifetime lesson, and even senior dogs need regular training. Commit to training your dog several times a day for short periods of time. Make Your Dog Work for Affection You can’t help but smother your dog with love every time he’s within petting distance, but that isn’t always what’s best for him. He will start to feel entitled to your attention, and that’s part of the problem. To remedy this, initiate a “work for it” program that allows you to show your dog affection as long as he earns your attention in appropriate ways. Make him sit, stay calm, and do whatever else you ask before doling out whatever it is he wants. If he’s excited for dinner, make him sit and leave it before digging in. If he wants in your lap, ask him to do a trick first. Never give your dog attention if he rudely nudges your hand or barks in your face. He needs to know polite behavior, and polite behavior only, is how he gets what he wants. You ignore everything else. Involve Other People in the Dog’s Life Most overprotective dogs choose to guard only the person they feel closest to. It’s usually the same person who fills their food bowls, takes them on walks, and handles training. They become obsessively attached, and a strong bond gradually mutates into overprotective behavior. Putting some space between you and your dog will help her learn to trust other people. Enlist the entire family’s help and take a step back in your role as primary caregiver. Have someone else feed the dog a few times a week, and encourage other people to engage his in playtime. This will help him be more comfortable with different people. Socialize Socialization is best done during the puppy stages, but even adult and senior dogs benefit from new experiences. Exposing your overprotective dog to new places, experiences, and people, will help him learn that not everyone is out to hurt you. Make sure each new experience is positive, and encourage your dog without forcing him to interact. If your dog is afraid, you don’t want to make things worse. Take socialization at the pace he’s comfortable with. If he seems overwhelmed, back up and try something a little smaller. These are some general ideas and they can be modified to fit your dynamic. These behaviors do take time, I am talking months, to correct. And sometimes the behaviors get worse before they get better. So just push through that time if that starts to happen. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

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Nugget
Chihuahua
4 Years
0 found helpful
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0 found helpful
Nugget
Chihuahua
4 Years

Adopted at 3.5 from a shelter, we’ve had him nine months. He was rescued from a hoarding situation with 29 dogs. He has PTSD, is terrified of almost everything, and is becoming extremely aggressive. He is completely attached to my husband, and tries to attack me if I come near. Anyone entering our home causes aggression. He is getting worse, and we need help. We’ve never had a chihuahua. Our other two dogs are mild mannered and sweet, a retriever and a Shi Tzu, 12 and 7

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. It sounds like you have your hands full. I am going to provide you with information on how to correct this behavior. You can apply the tips below to anything that triggers your dog. You won’t be able to solve your dog’s behavior in one day. In the meantime, you don’t want to put your life on hold. You can still invite guests into your home as long as you prioritize managing your dog’s behavior. You’ll need a short-term strategy to start showing your overprotective dog what behavior is unacceptable while also keeping your guests safe. There are a few ways to do this. Leash: Keeping your dog on a leash while friends are visiting gives you control over your dog’s actions. Leash him up before the doorbell rings and keep him close as you greet your guests. During the visit, you can let the leash drag and only use it if you have to. Muzzle: If you feel his behavior warrants the use of a muzzle for the time being while you work on solving this problem, then it may be a wise choice. Separate Room: Your dog won’t get better without practice, but sometimes you have to weigh the risks versus rewards. If your overprotective dog is in the beginning stages of training, keeping her separated from guests might be best. You don’t want to put a friend’s safety at risk or needlessly stress out your dog. As long as you keep working toward stopping the behavior, separating an overprotective dog from company is a temporary management solution. Start Obedience Training Obedience training is a must for every dog, and it’s especially important for overprotective dogs. Working with your dog on things like “sit-stay,” “down-stay,” and “heel,” will help build her impulse control. He’ll start seeing you as a capable leader and will turn to you for guidance. A mistake many pup parents make is stopping obedience training once their dog masters the basics skills. Being well-trained is about more than knowing how to sit when a person holds a treat in front of their face. It’s a lifetime lesson, and even senior dogs need regular training. Commit to training your dog several times a day for short periods of time. Make Your Dog Work for Affection You can’t help but smother your dog with love every time he’s within petting distance, but that isn’t always what’s best for him. He will start to feel entitled to your attention, and that’s part of the problem. To remedy this, initiate a “work for it” program that allows you to show your dog affection as long as he earns your attention in appropriate ways. Make him sit, stay calm, and do whatever else you ask before doling out whatever it is he wants. If he’s excited for dinner, make him sit and leave it before digging in. If he wants in your lap, ask him to do a trick first. Never give your dog attention if he rudely nudges your hand or barks in your face. He needs to know polite behavior, and polite behavior only, is how he gets what he wants. You ignore everything else. Involve Other People in the Dog’s Life Most overprotective dogs choose to guard only the person they feel closest to. It’s usually the same person who fills their food bowls, takes them on walks, and handles training. They become obsessively attached, and a strong bond gradually mutates into overprotective behavior. Putting some space between you and your dog will help her learn to trust other people. Enlist the entire family’s help and take a step back in your role as primary caregiver. Have someone else feed the dog a few times a week, and encourage other people to engage his in playtime. This will help him be more comfortable with different people. Socialize Socialization is best done during the puppy stages, but even adult and senior dogs benefit from new experiences. Exposing your overprotective dog to new places, experiences, and people, will help him learn that not everyone is out to hurt you. Make sure each new experience is positive, and encourage your dog without forcing him to interact. If your dog is afraid, you don’t want to make things worse. Take socialization at the pace he’s comfortable with. If he seems overwhelmed, back up and try something a little smaller. These are some general ideas and they can be modified to fit your dynamic. These behaviors do take time, I am talking months, to correct. And sometimes the behaviors get worse before they get better. So just push through that time if that starts to happen. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

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Kiley
Chihuahua
1 Year
0 found helpful
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0 found helpful
Kiley
Chihuahua
1 Year

We r thinking about adopting Kiley and the foster home mom states Kiley is very aggressive if anyone gets near her is this something we can get Kiley to change and accept other people and be friendly

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I am pleased that the foster mom is honest about Kiley's aggression problem. If you decide to adopt her, remember it will take a lot of patience to work with her to try and change things. You will most likely have to consult a professional trainer to come to your home to assess Kiley to see what can be done. The trainer will have to work with you and Kiley to help her along with the problem - and there is no guarantee. As well, Kiley should be seen by the vet right away to see if there is a health issue (like a dental problem or an injury) that is causing her pain, and that may be bringing on the aggressive tendencies. All the best to you and Kiley!

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Minnie
Chihuahua
7 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Minnie
Chihuahua
7 Years

How can i teach my dog to atop growling at me when she is with someone else, and to stop growling at everyone else as well?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Savannah, The answer to that question depends a lot on why pup is growling. Pup could be growling because they are resource guarding, possessive of you, fearful, or some other reason. To stop the growling effectively, you will want to address why pup is growling. I recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression who can evaluate pup's behavior and history to determine how to train to improve it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Brooke
Chihuahua
15 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Brooke
Chihuahua
15 Years

This is my girl friend’s dog, she’s had her the full 15 years, at about 4 Brooke was attacked by another dog and traumatized. We recently thought that moving her into my place she’d at least calm down aggressive behaviors, but there’s no slowing her down. I just wanted to know how to fix these, sometimes I’m afraid it’s too late.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jeremy, Is the aggression directed at you and people, or only at other dogs due to the trauma? What type of behavior is she exhibiting with who and under what circumstances? I will need a bit more details to help, but you can start with some of the below general exercises to set a foundation of trust and respect. Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Off- section on The Off command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Confidence building - Agility/obstacles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elvtxiDW6g0 Other things that can generally help are acting confident and calm around pup. Having consistent boundaries and sticking to them, and practicing obedience that builds self-control, trust and respect, like the commands above. Check out the Working and Consistency methods from the article linked below for more details on that. Working and Consistency methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you There are probably more specifics that need to be touched on but I would need more details to address the specific situations and specific issues - like whether resource guarding is going on, how pup tolerates being touched and handled, what situations trigger the aggression, is pup pushy or possessive of people and who, ect...? Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Shy
Chihuahua
3 Years
0 found helpful
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0 found helpful
Shy
Chihuahua
3 Years

What is the best training e-collar to use for obedience training for my 3yrs old 5lbs chihuahua Shy? I know he would definitely benefit so much from having one

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am including a link for a collar that is electronic but doesn't shock. He is too little for a traditional shock collar. https://www.amazon.com/IOKHEIRA-Training-Rechargeable-Vibration-Waterproof/dp/B085ZYZSZ8/ref=sr_1_12?dchild=1&keywords=vibrating+e+collar&qid=1599318501&sr=8-12

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Beau
Chihuahua
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Beau
Chihuahua
3 Years

My dog beau is 3 years old, he’s potty trained but for some reason when me or someone else picks him up he pees on us. Not only that but when I started dating my boyfriend he was okay with him and now for whenever he try’s to pick him up gently or command him in any way when I’m not in the same room he screams murder and sometimes nips. This behavior started happening when beau and my boyfriends malamute got in a little spat she’s much older than him and she scared him real bad. He knows how to sit and struggles with stay but also knows how to shake. I don’t have any money right now but some advice from a professional on what to do would really be able to Alleviate stress.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Hope, For the peeing, I suggest desensitizing pup to touch and handling. Use your pup's daily meal kibble to do this. Gently touch an area of their body while feeding a piece of food. Touch an ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Hold his collar and give a treat. Touch his tail gently and give a treat. Touch his belly, his other paws, his chest, shoulder, muzzle and every other area very gently and give a treat each time. Once pup is comfortable with these touches, begin lifting pup gently, first just a little pressure, then an inch off the ground, two inches, ect...Keep these times calm and fun for pup. Start with just you, then gradually have one new person at a time start the process over again with him. Have your boyfriend practice fun tricks and commands using food rewards with him daily - pup can even earn their meal kibble this way some days - first while you are present, then while you are out of the room. This should include heeling since that's as especially good trust and respect exercise. It can also involve agility type obstacles. Try to keep the mood calm, fun and patient, without acting sorry for pup or reacting to the screaming (take it as a sign you may be moving too quickly and to slow down and work where you are at for longer before moving to the next step, but don't quit entirely, try to end training session with a small success since pup may have learned to control the situation using screaming and aggression and needs calmness and gentle follow through potentially). At the same time set more boundaries and respect in the household by expecting more from pup on your end. Do things like teaching pup the Place command and work up to having them stay on their Place bed calmly for 1-2 hours. This is a great calming, self-control and respect building command. Have pup practice heel during walks, and follow the working and consistency methods from the articles. This calm, firmer leadership should come from you, and the rewards and desensitizing should come from your boy friend - you are the firmer one between you and your boyfriend with pup right now when discipline is needed. He is who pup goes to most for food and fun training practice. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Finally, work on manners and building respect and trust for you with both dogs. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Working method and Consistency method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Poquito
Chihuahua
3 Years
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Poquito
Chihuahua
3 Years

He is being aggressive and biting me when I try to touch my husband or try to wake my husband up. It has progressively been getting worse over the last year and we can't seem to get him to realize that I'm also in charge here. I had to leave for work for 7 months and during this time, he started to favor and act protective over my husband. He was initially my dog and favored me. Now, he favors my husband but when he's not here, he's back to the loving, sweet dog he used to be with me.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Gina, It sounds like pup is being possessive of your husband, which is a bit different than protective. Possessive is a form of resource guarding, where pup is acting like they own the person they are guarding. It's generally related to a lack of respect. Since this involves both you and your husband I suggest you both work on building pup's respect for you. I also recommend introducing pup to wearing a basket muzzle and temporarily having pup wear a basket muzzle and drag leash while you are both home, so that when pup behaves aggressively, you can calmly pick up the end of the leash and make pup leave the room. This should be done with a calm and confident attitude - when you tell pup to do something, you mean what you say, but you are calm when enforcing it. No body should react angrily or by petting and soothing pup - angry can encourage a defensive fear response, and petting and soothing pup when they behave that way rewards the aggressive behavior - simply pick up the end of the leash and lead pup out of the room and keep them from returning until they are willing to do a couple commands like Sit and Down and return with your permission. Don't allow pup to be pushy at other times either. No standing on laps, climbing onto you uninvited, nudging or barking for attention or food, ect...Anytime pup wants something, even petting, command pup to do something like Down first before giving it to them - have them work for everything they get right now. Follow the Working and Consistency methods https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Commands that are good for respect building - Out, Leave It and Off are especially important for giving pup directions right now. Place, Down and Heel are especially good for respect building. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Off- section on The Off command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ Since this is happening in the bed at times, pup also looses bed privileges right now. Pup should sleep in another room or crate until pup no longer acts possessive at all. To introduce the muzzle, first place it on the ground and sprinkle his meal kibble around it. Do this until he is comfortable eating around it. Next, when he is comfortable with it being on the floor with food, hold it up and reward him with a piece of kibble every time he touches or sniffs it in your hand. Feed him his whole meal this way. Practice this until he is comfortable touching it. Next, hold a treat inside of it through the muzzle's holes, so that he has to poke his face into it to get the treat. As he gets comfortable doing that, gradually hold the treat further down into the muzzle, so that he has to poke his face all the way into the muzzle to get the treat. Practice until he is comfortable having his face in it. Next, feed several treats in a row through the muzzle's holes while he holds his face in the muzzle for longer. Practice this until he can hold his face in it for at least ten seconds while being fed treats. Next, when he can hold his face in the muzzle for ten seconds while remaining calm, while his face is in the muzzle move the muzzle's buckles together briefly, then feed him a treat through the muzzle. Practice this until he is not bothered by the buckles moving back and forth. Next, while he is wearing the muzzle buckle it and unbuckle it briefly, then feed a treat. As he gets comfortable with this step, gradually keep the muzzle buckled for longer and longer while feeding treats through the muzzle occasionally. Next, gradually increase how long he wears the muzzle for and decrease how often you give him a treat, until he can calmly wear the muzzle for at least an hour without receiving treats more than two treats during that hour. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Loki
Chihauhau
8 Months
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Loki
Chihauhau
8 Months

Loki had his cherry eyes corrected and was castrated two weeks ago. Since then, he has turned into a monster and will only allow you to pet him if he wants you to. He will happily sit on your lap but if you touch him, he will snap at you and other times he is sweet and friendly. Loki is not smacked or shouted at, when he is snappy, he is put in timeout in his crate for a 15 minutes but this doesn’t seem to have an impact on him. It is getting to the point where everyone is scared to pet him because his reactions are so unpredictable. Any advice you can offer me would be appreciated.
Thanking you in advance.
Lynn

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lynn, First, I would speak with your vet about whether he could still be in pain or if any medication he is taking has side effects. I am not a vet. If the answer is no to both, the issue is probably related to some fear aggression from the unpleasant experiences. I suggest working on desensitizing pup to touch again using his meal kibble. If you can't do this without being bitten, work on desensitizing pup to wearing a basket muzzle first - which should allow pup to open their mouth still for treats to be given through the muzzle's holes during touch exercises, or you can reward touched with a lick of peanut butter off the end of a straw poked through the muzzle's holes. Avoid peanut butter with Xylitol sweetener though - it's very toxic to dogs! To work on getting pup used to touch and handling use pup's daily meal kibble to do this. Gently touch an area of pup's body while feeding a piece of food. Touch an ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Hold their collar and give a treat. Touch their tail gently and give a treat. Touch their belly, their other paws, their chest, shoulder, muzzle and every other area very gently and give a treat each time. Keep these times calm and fun for pup. To introduce the muzzle, first place it on the ground and sprinkle his meal kibble around it. Do this until he is comfortable eating around it. Next, when he is comfortable with it being on the floor with food, hold it up and reward him with a piece of kibble every time he touches or sniffs it in your hand. Feed him his whole meal this way. Practice this until he is comfortable touching it. Next, hold a treat inside of it through the muzzle's holes, so that he has to poke his face into it to get the treat. As he gets comfortable doing that, gradually hold the treat further down into the muzzle, so that he has to poke his face all the way into the muzzle to get the treat. Practice until he is comfortable having his face in it. Next, feed several treats in a row through the muzzle's holes while he holds his face in the muzzle for longer. Practice this until he can hold his face in it for at least ten seconds while being fed treats. Next, when he can hold his face in the muzzle for ten seconds while remaining calm, while his face is in the muzzle move the muzzle's buckles together briefly, then feed him a treat through the muzzle. Practice this until he is not bothered by the buckles moving back and forth. Next, while he is wearing the muzzle buckle it and unbuckle it briefly, then feed a treat. As he gets comfortable with this step, gradually keep the muzzle buckled for longer and longer while feeding treats through the muzzle occasionally. Next, gradually increase how long he wears the muzzle for and decrease how often you give him a treat, until he can calmly wear the muzzle for at least an hour without receiving treats more than two treats during that hour. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Luna
Chihuahua
3 Months
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Luna
Chihuahua
3 Months

Although a puppy so a bit nippy this has become very diffiicult in her bitting is becoming nasty and hurts. I put her in her crate but she is now starting again straight away when let back out

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is some information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

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bubbles
Chihuahua
2 Months
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bubbles
Chihuahua
2 Months

My chihuahua is extremely aggressive towards children I got him from a shelter and they said he did show some signs of aggression i am getting really scared because bubbles bit a 5 year old but the child lunged for bubbles and before i could do anything Bubbles bit him...
On the NOSE help me please

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sophie, First, check out the free PDF E-book AFTER You Get Your Puppy and the information on socialization found there. I also recommend the article I have linked below on shy dogs and the section on shy dogs and humans especially: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-socialize-a-shy-dog/ If the biting may be normal puppy mouthing, I recommend the article linked below on dealing with mouthing - which is not aggressive in nature but simply how puppies interact and communicate while young until they learn to do differently. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite If the biting is aggressive and not due to puppy mouthing, I would work a lot on socialization, but I also recommend hiring a professional trainer to help now because this is very early for that to be starting and you likely need professional help in person to minimize future issues. Look for someone who specializes in behavior issues like fear and aggression, and also has a lot of experiences with puppies and socialization. You want pup to have as many positive experiences with different people as possible, using treat rewards they can offer pup for nice behavior, instructing people to be gentle and not rush or handle pup too much at first while pup is nervous - supervising the situation to keep everyone safe. At this age there is a lot you can do to help overcome fear through tons of positive socialization experiences, but if you wait until pup is 5-6 months old their jaw strength develops and bites can because dangerous and training has to be done very differently. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Roxie
chihuahua mix
2 Years
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Roxie
chihuahua mix
2 Years

She has become agressive and bit some people. She has bit my dog my daughter who has her deos not know what to do pleases help

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cheryl, I recommend working with a trainer in person for this. First, I would desensitize pup to wearing a basket muzzle using food rewards. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Second, I would work on desensitizing pup to touch also using food rewards, with pup possibly wearing a basket muzzle that you can pass small treats or licks or peanut butter on a straw through (avoid Xylitol sweetener- it's extremely toxic to dogs). Start with an area of pup's body they don't mind being touched like their shoulder. Touch and give a treat. Repeat with different areas of pup's body daily using pup's meal kibble as treats each time you touch somewhere, such as collar area, shoulder, chest, paw, ear, back, ect.. Only progress to harder touches as pup becomes relaxed with the current amount of touch - this should be a fairly relaxing and fun exercise for pup to build trust, not something super confrontational. If pup is resource guarding, I would also work on the Drop It command by trading pup treats and better toys for a long toy that you can encourage pup to grab then let go off. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-to-fetch/ I would also keep a drag leash on pup while they are loose in your home, and you are there to supervise to make sure it doesn't get caught on anything, so that when pup grabs something they shouldn't have you can calmly walk over and pick up the end of their leash then work on enforcing your obedience without having to grab pup's body or chase them - this helps things be calmer for pup but also more consistent with the training. Finally, I would generally work on building pup's respect and trust for you overall through methods and commands, such as the Working and Obedience methods in the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bailey
Chihuahua
3 Years
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Bailey
Chihuahua
3 Years

Very aggressive and not consistent sometimes so sweet then he becomes aggressive. When got him from shelter he was kind then now he is so moody

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Seiry, 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 Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Working and Consistency methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you There are likely other specific issues needing addressing too, such as possible fearfulness, resource guarding, or territorial behavior. You will need to work directly with a trainer who can evaluate pup and your relationship with them in person to see exactly what's going on and create a tailored training plan with you. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Juno
Chiweenie
2 Years
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Juno
Chiweenie
2 Years

I've had him since he was 6 weeks old. And hes always been aggressive towards me. He has bitten me many times and drawn blood. But I love him and dont want him to be put asleep

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Amanda, For such long standing aggression I do recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in aggression and behavior issues, and comes well recommended by their previous clients. How to address the aggression depends a lot on what all pup is doing - biting when you handle them, biting when you give a command, ect...and why they are acting aggressive. Aggression can be genetic - which it may be since you have had this issue since pup was young, but even genetic aggression can often be better managed with the right training - but you likely need a trainer or behaviorist to come to your home and show you how to change your interactions with pup, address it in real time, and teach the commands that can help manage it. Respect building (you will likely need to desensitize pup to wearing a basket muzzle to address things safely) https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Desensitize to touch with treats - giving a treat each time you touch and pup responds well, while pup is wearing a basket muzzle - so treats can be passed through that type of muzzle. Practice commands like Leave It, Off, Heel, Down, Place and other impulse control, calmness and respect building commands, that you can use to direct pup calmly. There will be additional things needed but a trainer will have to evaluate when and why pup is aggressive to recommend training for those areas. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Chico
Chihuahua
8 Months
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Chico
Chihuahua
8 Months

Hi
Chico is my 8 month old chihuahua and he used to get in fine with the other family Chihuahua until now. He has just been castrated and is suddenly very aggressive towards the other dog all the time over minor things that never bothered him before. Do you have any ideas how I can sort this out as I am worried he will hurt the 2 year old Chihhahua.
Thanks

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Chantel, If the neutering was within the past two weeks, pup may still be sore and be feeling badly. If that's the case, I recommend keeping the two dogs separate since he will be feeling vulnerable. If the neutering was in the past month, I recommend speaking with your vet, to make sure pup is not still in pain or there is something that needs to be addressed medically causing pup to be more on edge. I am not a vet. If the behavior is purely behavioral and not related to something medical that needs to be addressed, like pain, I recommend giving Chico a treat whenever your other dog enters the room and pup is being tolerant of them - don't let your other dog see you rewarding Chico so that they aren't competing over the food. I also recommend teaching both dogs Place and giving each a chew toy on separate Place beds (remove the chew toy when they aren't in Place to avoid fight over it), to work on calmness and self control around each other in the same room, from across the room. You be the one to make and enforce boundaries, instead of the dogs. If one dog is breaking a rule - like hovering around the other one while they are eating, guarding things or people, being pushy, or stealing toys, you enforce the rules by making that dog leave the area calmly. This is an issue I would also recommend hiring a professional trainer to work with you in person for, so that they can evaluate exactly what's causing the fights and create a training plan that addresses the specific triggers. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Rocko
Jack-chi
5 Years
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Rocko
Jack-chi
5 Years

When he goes out in public he is perfect and listens to me besides when people try to pet him. He starts to snap at people and as I am trying to get him to be a trained service dog this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Melanie, I recommend looking for a trainer who specializes in behavior issues and works with a team of trainers. You need a variety of people to practice desensitizing pup to touch using treats, but you need people who are knowledgeable enough to do so safely. Start by using pup's daily kibble as rewards for touch. Feed pup their meal one piece at a time as you gently touch an area of their body - stop the touch as soon as pup finishes the treat. Repeat this with each piece daily. Once pup has learned to associate your touches with food, the trainers can practice one person at a time doing the same thing with pup. Pup may need to wear a basket muzzle that treats can be passed through at first for safety. Look for a trainer who specializes in behavior issues and comes well recommended by their previous clients. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Sassie
Chihuahua
8 Years
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Sassie
Chihuahua
8 Years

Very territorial, possessive behavior.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! It sounds like you have your hands full. Because this is such a complex issue, I am sending you an article that is packed full of information about how to help her. Please reach out if you have any additional questions. https://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/pet-behavior-training/territorial-aggression-toward-people-in-dogs/

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Dunkie
Chihuahua
5 Years
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Dunkie
Chihuahua
5 Years

I just moved in with my boyfriend of 10 years to an apartment. Dunkie spends most of the day with my boyfriend since June due to covid since he works from home. I feed him in the morning and he feeds him lunch and dinner and takes him out 2-3 times a day. However, if my boyfriend suddenly comes near me he will respond aggressively most of the time and bark loudly. Dunkie does the same when my friends come over and they reach over to be near me. Dunkie is super protective over me. Everytime he does this i firmly say no but I'm not sure what else to do. Today my boyfriend leaned over and dunkie was super aggressive and bit him for the first time. not sure what to do

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. It sounds like you have your hands full. I am going to provide you with information on how to correct this behavior. You won’t be able to solve your dog’s overprotective behavior in one day. In the meantime, you don’t want to put your life on hold. You can still invite guests into your home as long as you prioritize managing your dog’s behavior. You’ll need a short-term strategy to start showing your overprotective dog what behavior is unacceptable while also keeping your guests safe. There are a few ways to do this. Leash: Keeping your dog on a leash while friends are visiting gives you control over your dog’s actions. Leash him up before the doorbell rings and keep him close as you greet your guests. During the visit, you can let the leash drag and only use it if you have to. Muzzle: If you feel his behavior warrants the use of a muzzle for the time being while you work on solving this problem, then it may be a wise choice. Separate Room: Your dog won’t get better without practice, but sometimes you have to weigh the risks versus rewards. If your overprotective dog is in the beginning stages of training, keeping him separated from guests might be best. You don’t want to put a friend’s safety at risk or needlessly stress out your dog. As long as you keep working toward stopping the behavior, separating an overprotective dog from company is a temporary management solution. Start Obedience Training Obedience training is a must for every dog, and it’s especially important for overprotective dogs. Working with your dog on things like “sit-stay,” “down-stay,” and “heel,” will help build his impulse control. He’ll start seeing you as a capable leader and will turn to you for guidance. A mistake many pup parents make is stopping obedience training once their dog masters the basics skills. Being well-trained is about more than knowing how to sit when a person holds a treat in front of their face. It’s a lifetime lesson, and even senior dogs need regular training. Commit to training your dog several times a day for short periods of time. Make Your Dog Work for Affection You can’t help but smother your dog with love every time he’s within petting distance, but that isn’t always what’s best for him. He will start to feel entitled to your attention, and that’s part of the problem. To remedy this, initiate a “work for it” program that allows you to show your dog affection as long as he earns your attention in appropriate ways. Make him sit, stay calm, and do whatever else you ask before doling out whatever it is he wants. If he’s excited for dinner, make him sit and leave it before digging in. If he wants in your lap, ask him to do a trick first. Never give your dog attention if he rudely nudges your hand or barks in your face. He needs to know polite behavior, and polite behavior only, is how he gets what he wants. You ignore everything else. Involve Other People in the Dog’s Life Most overprotective dogs choose to guard only the person they feel closest to. It’s usually the same person who fills their food bowls, takes them on walks, and handles training. They become obsessively attached, and a strong bond gradually mutates into overprotective behavior. Putting some space between you and your dog will help him learn to trust other people. Enlist the entire family’s help and take a step back in your role as primary caregiver. Have someone else feed the dog a few times a week, and encourage other people to engage her in playtime. This will help him be more comfortable with different people. Socialize Socialization is best done during the puppy stages, but even adult and senior dogs benefit from new experiences. Exposing your overprotective dog to new places, experiences, and people, will help him learn that not everyone is out to hurt you. Make sure each new experience is positive, and encourage your dog without forcing him to interact. If your dog is afraid, you don’t want to make things worse. Take socialization at the pace he’s comfortable with. If he seems overwhelmed, back up and try something a little smaller. These are some general ideas and they can be modified to fit your dynamic. These behaviors do take time, I am talking months, to correct. And sometimes the behaviors get worse before they get better. So just push through that time if that starts to happen. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

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Charlie
Chihuahua
5 Years
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Charlie
Chihuahua
5 Years

Hello. My dog is very aggressive with all people. If i take him out for a walk he barks all The Time at all people and even bites. Please help, he even bites my husband when he want to leave The room.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, you may need to work with a trainer used to dealing with dogs that are aggressive. It is worth the effort and expense to have a couple of sessions that could change Charlie for the better. But you can try a few things first. I would work on basic obedience to start. This builds a bond between dog and pet parent (have your husband do some training sessions, too).https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-dog-basic-obedience. As well, continue to take Charlie on lots of walks. Teach him to heel so that his focus is on you and not on the passing dogs. Try the Turns Method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel (and the other methods are excellent, too. Once you have Charlie walking along nicely - it may take a few weeks of training every day for 10 minutes - then try the Passing Approach Method here: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs. If no success after trying my suggestions, contact a trainer in your area for extra help. Good luck!

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Rolo
Jack Chi
1 Year
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Rolo
Jack Chi
1 Year

He can get aggressive when anyone approaches me, even family members. He van sometimes also get aggressive towards my youngest daughter who is 11.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I agree this needs to be taken care of as it is no fun for anyone - especially your 11 year old. This is a good time to start letting Rolo know that he has to listen to you and this show of respect is step one toward taming the aggressive attitude. Take a look here: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you. To further work on respect, have Rolo "sit" before every action - before he gets his leash on to go for a walk, at mealtime before the food dish is placed, before a treat is given, etc. Have your child take Rolo for walks (you can go as well if you need to but let your child be in charge of the leash and directing the walk). Consider taking Rolo to obedience training to get hin socialized to people and dogs. This is a fun activity that your 11 year old could do with Rolo, forming a bond of respect and love. Have your child take care of the feeding routine as well. This can make a big difference in Rolo's attitude. If you are the only one looking after him, it is natural that he may get protective. This article also has excellent tips: https://wagwalking.com/training/be-friendly. Good luck!

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Ziggy
Chihuahua
4 Years
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Ziggy
Chihuahua
4 Years

Ziggy is extremely aggressive. If you move he barks. If you approach owner he tries to attack. He bites. Doesnt listen to commands. If you pick him up then put him down he tries to attack.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tory, For this behavior I highly recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression to work with you in person. This will likely need to be addressed in several ways to tackle overall attitude and specific types of aggression. It sounds like pup needs to build their overall respect for people in a calm way. Pup also sounds like they are possessive of their owner - which is similar to resource guarding but with people. Pup probably needs to be desensitized to touch. They may also have some fears, like fear of people that needs counter conditioning - helping pup associate other people with good things to change how they feel emotionally about them. With a variety of things needing to be addressed, ideally there would be a training group that works with a team of trainers or staff, so you can utilize the staff for practice around new people. If not, you will need some volunteers to set up training scenarios with safety measures to prevent bites in place, to work through the aggression toward other people with your trainer's help. Check out Thomas Davis, and Jeff Gellman from solidk9training on their websites and YouTube to learn more about various types of training for different underlying causes of aggression. I do still recommend working with a trainer in person though because of the delicate nature of aggression training and safety issues involved. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Cream O
Chihuahua
3 Years
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Cream O
Chihuahua
3 Years

He became Agressive when a new dog arrived. He don't hurt the new dog but becomes aggressive when giving attention and food to the new dog.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Is your dog being aggressive toward you, toward the new dog, or both? It sounds like pup may be acting possessive of you around your other dog - which is similar to when dogs resource guard toys that they think they own. 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). If pup is harming you or the other dog, I would also desensitize pup to wearing a basket muzzle using food rewards over several days, and have pup wear it when you are home to supervise and pup is not crated. For the jealous behavior, pushiness, and resource guarding, 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 behavior 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. 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! 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 he 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 him, 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 the new dog or gets between you and the other dog uninvited, tell your Cream Out and enforce him leaving. When he is waiting for his turn patiently, then send pup to place and invite Cream over - no demanding of attention right now from either dog. Make them wait or do a command first to work for your attention if pushiness is an issue, and make them leave if being pushy or aggressive. If Cream growls at your other pup, make Cream leave the room while also carefully correcting the other pup if pup antagonized him 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 your new dog first enters the room, give Cream a treat without the other pup seeing so pup is associated with good things for Cream - treats stop when pup leaves. When Cream 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. Since pup may be acting possessive of you and resource guarding, I also recommend working on building some respect for you with Cream, gently. Check out the article linked below and the Working and Consistency method (although you can implement all three methods), as well as teaching the commands mentioned above, like Place, and a couple more linked below, like Heel. Working and Consistency methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Off- section on The Off command, to use if pup is guarding you while on the bed or couch: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Chloe
Chihuahua
3 Years
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Chloe
Chihuahua
3 Years

Aggressive to men mainly and certain female friends. Constantly barking and lunging and snapping at them. Constantly barking even when I put her in her crate while company is around.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. It sounds like you have your hands full. I am going to provide you with information on how to correct this behavior. You won’t be able to solve your dog’s overprotective behavior in one day. In the meantime, you don’t want to put your life on hold. You can still invite guests into your home as long as you prioritize managing your dog’s behavior. You’ll need a short-term strategy to start showing your overprotective dog what behavior is unacceptable while also keeping your guests safe. There are a few ways to do this. Leash: Keeping your dog on a leash while friends are visiting gives you control over your dog’s actions. Leash him up before the doorbell rings and keep him close as you greet your guests. During the visit, you can let the leash drag and only use it if you have to. Muzzle: If you feel his behavior warrants the use of a muzzle for the time being while you work on solving this problem, then it may be a wise choice. Separate Room: Your dog won’t get better without practice, but sometimes you have to weigh the risks versus rewards. If your overprotective dog is in the beginning stages of training, keeping him separated from guests might be best. You don’t want to put a friend’s safety at risk or needlessly stress out your dog. As long as you keep working toward stopping the behavior, separating an overprotective dog from company is a temporary management solution. Start Obedience Training Obedience training is a must for every dog, and it’s especially important for overprotective dogs. Working with your dog on things like “sit-stay,” “down-stay,” and “heel,” will help build his impulse control. He’ll start seeing you as a capable leader and will turn to you for guidance. A mistake many pup parents make is stopping obedience training once their dog masters the basics skills. Being well-trained is about more than knowing how to sit when a person holds a treat in front of their face. It’s a lifetime lesson, and even senior dogs need regular training. Commit to training your dog several times a day for short periods of time. Make Your Dog Work for Affection You can’t help but smother your dog with love every time he’s within petting distance, but that isn’t always what’s best for him. He will start to feel entitled to your attention, and that’s part of the problem. To remedy this, initiate a “work for it” program that allows you to show your dog affection as long as he earns your attention in appropriate ways. Make him sit, stay calm, and do whatever else you ask before doling out whatever it is he wants. If he’s excited for dinner, make him sit and leave it before digging in. If he wants in your lap, ask him to do a trick first. Never give your dog attention if he rudely nudges your hand or barks in your face. He needs to know polite behavior, and polite behavior only, is how he gets what he wants. You ignore everything else. Involve Other People in the Dog’s Life Most overprotective dogs choose to guard only the person they feel closest to. It’s usually the same person who fills their food bowls, takes them on walks, and handles training. They become obsessively attached, and a strong bond gradually mutates into overprotective behavior. Putting some space between you and your dog will help him learn to trust other people. Enlist the entire family’s help and take a step back in your role as primary caregiver. Have someone else feed the dog a few times a week, and encourage other people to engage her in playtime. This will help him be more comfortable with different people. Socialize Socialization is best done during the puppy stages, but even adult and senior dogs benefit from new experiences. Exposing your overprotective dog to new places, experiences, and people, will help him learn that not everyone is out to hurt you. Make sure each new experience is positive, and encourage your dog without forcing him to interact. If your dog is afraid, you don’t want to make things worse. Take socialization at the pace he’s comfortable with. If he seems overwhelmed, back up and try something a little smaller. These are some general ideas and they can be modified to fit your dynamic. These behaviors do take time, I am talking months, to correct. And sometimes the behaviors get worse before they get better. So just push through that time if that starts to happen. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

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Beans and Frankfurt
Chihuahua
9 Years
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Beans and Frankfurt
Chihuahua
9 Years

My two dogs used to be good with other animals but now get really aggressive and aggravated by other animals. They started this when we moved out of an apartment with another dog and cat.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I am not sure if you mean you left another dog and cat, or if you now have another dog and cat. But either way, Beans and Frankfurt could be out of sorts due to the move. They are older and perhaps are not taking well to the change. Give them time and keep up allowing them to associate with other animals. If you are worried about the aggression, then take them to a location where there are plenty of other dogs (like an enclosed dog park) staying on the outskirts on the other side of the fence the first several times so they can see that the other dogs are okay. Enlist the help of a friend or neighbor with a dog and go on lots of walks alongside each other, keeping a distance but then getting closer on subsequent walks. After a while, they should be able to get along. These suggestions are all activities that take place at neutral locations, where territory is not an issue. Take a look here as well, even though your dogs are older the advice will help: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-rottweiler-puppy-to-not-be-aggressive. The Manners Method may do the trick. Good luck!

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Little Debbie
Chihuahua
2 Years
0 found helpful
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Little Debbie
Chihuahua
2 Years

I have a two-year-old Chihuahua mix that when somebody comes over she aggressively barks at him not in a bad way but what I am concerned about is that her bark or whatever it is is extremely loud and piercing it's at a point where her reaction that she gives him is completely for lack of a better word she goes balistik..

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. It sounds like you have your hands full. I am going to provide you with information on how to correct this behavior. You won’t be able to solve your dog’s overprotective behavior in one day. In the meantime, you don’t want to put your life on hold. You can still invite guests into your home as long as you prioritize managing your dog’s behavior. You’ll need a short-term strategy to start showing your overprotective dog what behavior is unacceptable while also keeping your guests safe. There are a few ways to do this. Leash: Keeping your dog on a leash while friends are visiting gives you control over your dog’s actions. Leash him up before the doorbell rings and keep him close as you greet your guests. During the visit, you can let the leash drag and only use it if you have to. Muzzle: If you feel his behavior warrants the use of a muzzle for the time being while you work on solving this problem, then it may be a wise choice. Separate Room: Your dog won’t get better without practice, but sometimes you have to weigh the risks versus rewards. If your overprotective dog is in the beginning stages of training, keeping him separated from guests might be best. You don’t want to put a friend’s safety at risk or needlessly stress out your dog. As long as you keep working toward stopping the behavior, separating an overprotective dog from company is a temporary management solution. Start Obedience Training Obedience training is a must for every dog, and it’s especially important for overprotective dogs. Working with your dog on things like “sit-stay,” “down-stay,” and “heel,” will help build his impulse control. He’ll start seeing you as a capable leader and will turn to you for guidance. A mistake many pup parents make is stopping obedience training once their dog masters the basics skills. Being well-trained is about more than knowing how to sit when a person holds a treat in front of their face. It’s a lifetime lesson, and even senior dogs need regular training. Commit to training your dog several times a day for short periods of time. Make Your Dog Work for Affection You can’t help but smother your dog with love every time he’s within petting distance, but that isn’t always what’s best for him. He will start to feel entitled to your attention, and that’s part of the problem. To remedy this, initiate a “work for it” program that allows you to show your dog affection as long as he earns your attention in appropriate ways. Make him sit, stay calm, and do whatever else you ask before doling out whatever it is he wants. If he’s excited for dinner, make him sit and leave it before digging in. If he wants in your lap, ask him to do a trick first. Never give your dog attention if he rudely nudges your hand or barks in your face. He needs to know polite behavior, and polite behavior only, is how he gets what he wants. You ignore everything else. Involve Other People in the Dog’s Life Most overprotective dogs choose to guard only the person they feel closest to. It’s usually the same person who fills their food bowls, takes them on walks, and handles training. They become obsessively attached, and a strong bond gradually mutates into overprotective behavior. Putting some space between you and your dog will help him learn to trust other people. Enlist the entire family’s help and take a step back in your role as primary caregiver. Have someone else feed the dog a few times a week, and encourage other people to engage her in playtime. This will help him be more comfortable with different people. Socialize Socialization is best done during the puppy stages, but even adult and senior dogs benefit from new experiences. Exposing your overprotective dog to new places, experiences, and people, will help him learn that not everyone is out to hurt you. Make sure each new experience is positive, and encourage your dog without forcing him to interact. If your dog is afraid, you don’t want to make things worse. Take socialization at the pace he’s comfortable with. If he seems overwhelmed, back up and try something a little smaller. These are some general ideas and they can be modified to fit your dynamic. These behaviors do take time, I am talking months, to correct. And sometimes the behaviors get worse before they get better. So just push through that time if that starts to happen. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

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Chema
Chihuahua
3 Years
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Chema
Chihuahua
3 Years

Hello! I’ve been having my chihuahua since a baby. I had to feed him milk since they had sold him to me too small. He’s always been so overprotective and aggressive, but not that he’s older is even more aggressive and jealous. Is this normal for a mixed chihuahua? He does not obey any rules as to “sit” or “lay”. Its really hard to have him around people.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Chantel, Aggression can be genetic, but it's usually a combination of things that leads to more aggressive behavior, and even genetic aggression is often improved through training, although those dogs may forever need more structure and boundaries and management than some other, less aggressive dogs would. With pup's background, it's possible they missed out on important socialization too. Check out the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you I recommend following the Working and Obedience and Consistency methods from the article I have linked above. You may also need to desensitize pup to wearing a basket muzzle, and teaching commands like Place, Out, Leave It, Off, and Heel to help direct pup in situations where they are guarding you or objects or food. Muzzle introduction video - expect to do this over a couple of weeks with lots of sessions with the muzzle being new to pup, going at a pace where pup can stay relaxed about the muzzle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Come - Reel in method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Off- section on The Off command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ Finally, I do recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression to help you desensitize and counter condition pup around people in general, as well as work on the specific aspects of aggression - like pup protesting commands, resource guarding, fear, not wanting to be touched, or however the aggression tends to present itself primarily with you. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Roo
Chihuahua
1 Year
0 found helpful
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Roo
Chihuahua
1 Year

This is Roo we just adopted her from our local shelter and we took her to a pet store today and had a big reaction to other dogs there barking and growling to the point that we had to go to a different part of the store then when we got home she started to be a bit aggressive and nervous she started to bark at both of the males in our house hold and when they come over to pet her and let her know it’s okay she starts to kinda bite of their hand it doesn’t hurt it’s like love biting but she growls at them I don’t know what to do this behavior came out of nowhere please help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Isabel, Sit down - so that pup is calmer, and have one of the men toss pup her dinner kibble one piece at a time without making eye contact. Do this as often as you can. Keep enough distance between them for pup to relax enough to eat the food. As she gets more comfortable, decrease the distance by tossing the treats slightly less far, so that pup has to come closer to your husband to eat them. Watch pup's body language to determine when pup is relaxed enough to decrease the distance - don't rush this process but do practice often at the current distance. When pup will come within a foot of their chair to eat the food and is relaxed at that distance, start to practice this in other positions like standing up, sitting on the ground or laying down. When they change positions, they will likely need to go back to tossing the treats further away again because the new position will probably make her nervous. Once pup will go up to their chair when they are sitting or in one of the other positions and is even more comfortable with both in general, put on a harness or martingale type collar that pup cannot get out of on pup. Spend time slowly introducing the harness using the method from the video linked below once pup is comfortable enough to get close. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tn5b8u1YS_g&feature=emb_title Choose a secure, front-clip type harness. Ideally, practice this in a fenced in area since pup may be a flight risk. Clip her leash on the harness and go on a walk with pup and one of the men. If pup is nervous, have the man stay several feet away while walking in the same direction at first - with you (or whoever pup is most comfortable with at that point, holding the leash). As pup relaxes during the walk, gradually have the man get closer until you can hand the leash off to them and let him walk pup alone - without you. This might take several sessions before you can do that without pup stopping or tensing up when he gets close. Don't rush this - be aware of pup's body language and any tensing up. Definitely practice in a fenced area if available, even though that will mean walking back and forth a lot. Once pup will walk with him and get close to the men and you to eat, practice them hand-feeding her the dog food and walking her regularly to develop trust. When you get that far, also have them teach her commands and tricks using positive reinforcement to further build trust. Check out the article linked below as well, and be aware of pup's body language and not putting her into situations that might lead to a fear bite. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-socialize-a-shy-dog/ For the dog reactivity, I recommend looking for a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area you can attend with her. Those classes are for dogs with reactivity or aggression, to work on intensively socializing them in a structured environment around other dogs, while all the dogs wear basket muzzles and are supervised by the trainer, to help them get used to other dogs more quickly while keeping everyone safe. The issue could be stress related from all the transitions, but there is a good chance that pup came to the shelter dog-reactive or with a lack of socialization and the behavior just didn't show up until pup felt less stressed than while at the shelter. Muzzle desensitization: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Luna
Chihuahua
1 Year
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Luna
Chihuahua
1 Year

I got Luna in a dog shelters parking lot by this family. She was extremely dirty, had long nails, poop on her butt and tail, had her tail tucked between her legs, was extremely skinny and was unknowingly pregnant. The conditions were a red flag and I knew she was going to have some problems.

The first instance where I found one of her triggers was when I brought out a broom to sweep. She started to scream and run away (hiding under the bed). The led me to believe that she was abused. Other stuff I found that triggered her was large dogs, vacuums, people, and other dogs. However her and my large German Shepard had formed a close bond but at first she was terrified of him. Also Luna is territorial of my room and/or really territorial of me.
One day I took her to the beach and she was really scared and I think she was having a panic attack or something because she kept crying and shaking to the point we had to go home.

So I believe my challenge (well hers) is to help her alleviate her PTSD, anxiety, fears, not be aggressive and to only focus on me.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Esperanza, Check out the youtube channel linked below. https://www.youtube.com/user/kikopup/playlists Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Fuego
Chihuahua
10 Months
0 found helpful
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Fuego
Chihuahua
10 Months

He gets aggressive when he is tired or when he doesn't get his way and he constantly play bites and when you tell him no he gets aggressive and then when he has something he knows he is not supposed to have and you take it from him he bites. he also cries in the kennel (scream barking, howiling, and digging)

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello. Here is information on puppy nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

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Cali
Pomchi
9 Years
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Cali
Pomchi
9 Years

My Chihuahua is extremely anxious. HATES other dogs and has drawn blood before. I’m too scared to socialize her with other dogs because of this, so how can I get her to be calm around other dogs without putting them in danger?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Riley, I recommend seeing if their is a G.R.O.W.L. class within driving distance of you. That class is for dog reactive and aggressive dogs. The dogs all wear basket muzzles and are intensively socialized in a structured environment while practicing commands under the supervision of a trainer. To introduce the muzzle, first place it on the ground and sprinkle his meal kibble around it. Do this until he is comfortable eating around it. Next, when he is comfortable with it being on the floor with food, hold it up and reward him with a piece of kibble every time he touches or sniffs it in your hand. Feed him his whole meal this way. Practice this until he is comfortable touching it. Next, hold a treat inside of it through the muzzle's holes, so that he has to poke his face into it to get the treat. As he gets comfortable doing that, gradually hold the treat further down into the muzzle, so that he has to poke his face all the way into the muzzle to get the treat. Practice until he is comfortable having his face in it. Next, feed several treats in a row through the muzzle's holes while he holds his face in the muzzle for longer. Practice this until he can hold his face in it for at least ten seconds while being fed treats. Next, when he can hold his face in the muzzle for ten seconds while remaining calm, while his face is in the muzzle move the muzzle's buckles together briefly, then feed him a treat through the muzzle. Practice this until he is not bothered by the buckles moving back and forth. Next, while he is wearing the muzzle buckle it and unbuckle it briefly, then feed a treat. As he gets comfortable with this step, gradually keep the muzzle buckled for longer and longer while feeding treats through the muzzle occasionally. Next, gradually increase how long he wears the muzzle for and decrease how often you give him a treat, until he can calmly wear the muzzle for at least an hour without receiving treats more than two treats during that hour. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Snoppy
Chihuahua
5 Months
0 found helpful
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Snoppy
Chihuahua
5 Months

When company comes over he barks at them. He tried to bite my grandson when he come by me.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. It sounds like you have your hands full. I am going to provide you with information on how to correct this behavior. You won’t be able to solve your dog’s overprotective behavior in one day. In the meantime, you don’t want to put your life on hold. You can still invite guests into your home as long as you prioritize managing your dog’s behavior. You’ll need a short-term strategy to start showing your overprotective dog what behavior is unacceptable while also keeping your guests safe. There are a few ways to do this. Leash: Keeping your dog on a leash while friends are visiting gives you control over your dog’s actions. Leash him up before the doorbell rings and keep him close as you greet your guests. During the visit, you can let the leash drag and only use it if you have to. Muzzle: If you feel his behavior warrants the use of a muzzle for the time being while you work on solving this problem, then it may be a wise choice. Separate Room: Your dog won’t get better without practice, but sometimes you have to weigh the risks versus rewards. If your overprotective dog is in the beginning stages of training, keeping him separated from guests might be best. You don’t want to put a friend’s safety at risk or needlessly stress out your dog. As long as you keep working toward stopping the behavior, separating an overprotective dog from company is a temporary management solution. Start Obedience Training Obedience training is a must for every dog, and it’s especially important for overprotective dogs. Working with your dog on things like “sit-stay,” “down-stay,” and “heel,” will help build his impulse control. He’ll start seeing you as a capable leader and will turn to you for guidance. A mistake many pup parents make is stopping obedience training once their dog masters the basics skills. Being well-trained is about more than knowing how to sit when a person holds a treat in front of their face. It’s a lifetime lesson, and even senior dogs need regular training. Commit to training your dog several times a day for short periods of time. Make Your Dog Work for Affection You can’t help but smother your dog with love every time he’s within petting distance, but that isn’t always what’s best for him. He will start to feel entitled to your attention, and that’s part of the problem. To remedy this, initiate a “work for it” program that allows you to show your dog affection as long as he earns your attention in appropriate ways. Make him sit, stay calm, and do whatever else you ask before doling out whatever it is he wants. If he’s excited for dinner, make him sit and leave it before digging in. If he wants in your lap, ask him to do a trick first. Never give your dog attention if he rudely nudges your hand or barks in your face. He needs to know polite behavior, and polite behavior only, is how he gets what he wants. You ignore everything else. Involve Other People in the Dog’s Life Most overprotective dogs choose to guard only the person they feel closest to. It’s usually the same person who fills their food bowls, takes them on walks, and handles training. They become obsessively attached, and a strong bond gradually mutates into overprotective behavior. Putting some space between you and your dog will help him learn to trust other people. Enlist the entire family’s help and take a step back in your role as primary caregiver. Have someone else feed the dog a few times a week, and encourage other people to engage her in playtime. This will help him be more comfortable with different people. Socialize Socialization is best done during the puppy stages, but even adult and senior dogs benefit from new experiences. Exposing your overprotective dog to new places, experiences, and people, will help him learn that not everyone is out to hurt you. Make sure each new experience is positive, and encourage your dog without forcing him to interact. If your dog is afraid, you don’t want to make things worse. Take socialization at the pace he’s comfortable with. If he seems overwhelmed, back up and try something a little smaller. These are some general ideas and they can be modified to fit your dynamic. These behaviors do take time, I am talking months, to correct. And sometimes the behaviors get worse before they get better. So just push through that time if that starts to happen. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

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scooter
Chihuahua Jack Russel Mix
5 Years
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scooter
Chihuahua Jack Russel Mix
5 Years

scooter has suddenly become aggressive

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Bob, Often there are subtle signs leading to aggression to are missed, but if the aggression is truly uncharacteristic and sudden, I recommend speaking with your vet or an animal behaviorist to evaluate pup. An underlying medical condition like a source of pain, hormonal imbalance, cognitive dysfunction, loss of hearing or sight leading to fearfulness, or some other medical cause could be related. I am not a vet, so I would start with your vet. If pup has experienced any sudden changes or trauma that could also lead to fear related aggression. There could also be another form of aggression going on, which there were probably subtle signs of that went undetected and unaddressed, that have now turned into full blown aggression. I would speak with a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression about pup's history, any traumatic experiences or new circumstances, any other physical issues you have noticed, and work with someone who can evaluate pup more thoroughly to determine exactly what's going on, starting with your vet since you said the aggression is sudden. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Tito
Chihuahua
3 Years
0 found helpful
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Tito
Chihuahua
3 Years

He seems to be territorial of his bed, food aggression & will bite in an instant,no warning. He seems to be insecure in these ways but doesn't seem fearful.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Megan, For all of those behaviors I highly recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression, and comes well recommended by their previous clients. Pup's respect and trust for you needs to be carefully build. Certain safety measures like a drag leash and basket muzzle may need to be introduced and used during training at first. Pup needs to be taught some directional commands like Off, Leave It, Drop It, and Place to help with managing behavior. Finally, pup rewarded for appropriate behavior. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Daisy
Chorkie
9 Weeks
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Daisy
Chorkie
9 Weeks

Our Chorkie puppy gets along well with other dogs, and is very playful with our children. However, when she is laying down and gets comfortable she does not like to be picked up or messed with and will growl and get snappy. Sometimes she will be laying by herself or other times she can be laying with a person and do this. Why does she do this and what can I do to fix it?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Danielle, If you are using any methods that involve physical roughness with your hands, then I would switch to a different method. Pup may be sensitive or have a bad experience with being touched so is getting defensive - even being surprised when woken up enough times can cause that. I recommend working on getting puppy used to touch and handling. Use puppy's daily meal kibble to do this. Gently touch an area of puppy's body while feeding a piece of food. Touch an ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Hold her collar and give a treat. Touch her tail gently and give a treat. Touch her belly, her other paws, her chest, shoulder, muzzle and every other area very gently and give a treat each time. Keep these times calm and fun for pup. If pup is acting aggressive lying on your lap, I would also not allow pup to lie on top of you right now, invite pup next to you to snuggle instead, and teach pup Off. Teaching Off and Up section: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ When you need to wake pup up, call their name and toss a treat to them instead of touching to wake, to avoid scaring them. This also helps them learn to wake up happy because they anticipate a treat instead of feel they are in danger and disoriented. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Skeever
Chihuahua
4 Years
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Skeever
Chihuahua
4 Years

He was extremely aggressive tonight when trying to take a piece of food from him (that he took from a plate), we have done this before and he has never gotten aggressive. He bit my boyfriend and growled like we have never heard before.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Theresa, I do recommend hiring a professional trainer to help you with this in person since there are probably a couple different things that need to be addressed in this case. First, pup's resource guarding needs to be addressed by rebuilding trust around food. This is done by rewarding pup for good responses when you approach when pup has food - not taking the item pup has but simply walking past and tossing treats when pup responds good to that, gradually decreasing the distance as pup gets more comfortable with you approaching. This also involves practicing Drop It proactively very often with things like toys, trading pup for something better when they obey. Drop It section, practiced with pup on a long leash with slack in it so they can't just run away with the item. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-to-fetch/ Because pup stole the food from a plate to begin with, I would work on pup's overall respect and trust for you through less confrontational methods. Check out the article linked below and the three methods found there. I would avoid any methods that involve physical harshness with hands - especially since it sounds like there may be some defensiveness from being grabbed or touched, that those types of methods could make worse in this case. All three methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you You may also need to desensitize pup to being touched using pup's food. Gently touch an area of pup's body while feeding a piece of food. Touch an ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Hold their collar and give a treat. Touch their tail gently and give a treat. Touch their belly, their other paws, their chest, shoulder, muzzle and every other area very gently and give a treat each time. Keep these times calm and fun for pup. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Reeses
Chihuahua
3 Years
0 found helpful
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Reeses
Chihuahua
3 Years

he is getting more aggressive to me every day. He runs from me when outside. When I try to catch him he growls & snaps at me. Sometimes he even bites me but not hard. I'm afraid his biting will get worse because he has steadily gotten worse with the growling and snapping.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Saundra, I recommend hiring a professional trainer to help in person with this since it sounds like there could be something under the aggression that needs to be addressed too. For the running away, I recommend using the Reel In method and treat rewards once pup's aggression has been addressed with the help of a trainer first. Focus on making Come fun again for pup. Be calm when reeling pup in and don't punish when pup gets to you - when pup arrives, it's a fun party, even if they didn't come at first. It sounds like pup is expecting something bad to happen when they get to you and becoming defensive, even if pup is only expecting to have to go inside and doesn't like that. Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Flash
Chihuahua
2 Years
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Flash
Chihuahua
2 Years

Aggression

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emily, What exactly is pup doing that's aggressive? What generally triggers the aggression? How recent is it? I recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression and comes well recommended by previous clients to help you in person. Having someone who can ask more questions about Flash's behavior, history, triggers, and can observe their body language and show you how to train safely to address any underlying fear, resource guarding, lack of respect, or other issue, is important with aggression cases in most cases. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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CeCe
Chihuahua
7 Years
0 found helpful
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CeCe
Chihuahua
7 Years

She barks constantly at guests and is getting worse about trying to bite at the ankles I don’t know what to do we have been putting her in another room but she constantly barks even then

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. It sounds like you have your hands full. I am going to provide you with information on how to correct this behavior. You won’t be able to solve your dog’s overprotective behavior in one day. In the meantime, you don’t want to put your life on hold. You can still invite guests into your home as long as you prioritize managing your dog’s behavior. You’ll need a short-term strategy to start showing your overprotective dog what behavior is unacceptable while also keeping your guests safe. There are a few ways to do this. Leash: Keeping your dog on a leash while friends are visiting gives you control over your dog’s actions. Leash him up before the doorbell rings and keep him close as you greet your guests. During the visit, you can let the leash drag and only use it if you have to. Muzzle: If you feel his behavior warrants the use of a muzzle for the time being while you work on solving this problem, then it may be a wise choice. Separate Room: Your dog won’t get better without practice, but sometimes you have to weigh the risks versus rewards. If your overprotective dog is in the beginning stages of training, keeping him separated from guests might be best. You don’t want to put a friend’s safety at risk or needlessly stress out your dog. As long as you keep working toward stopping the behavior, separating an overprotective dog from company is a temporary management solution. Start Obedience Training Obedience training is a must for every dog, and it’s especially important for overprotective dogs. Working with your dog on things like “sit-stay,” “down-stay,” and “heel,” will help build his impulse control. He’ll start seeing you as a capable leader and will turn to you for guidance. A mistake many pup parents make is stopping obedience training once their dog masters the basics skills. Being well-trained is about more than knowing how to sit when a person holds a treat in front of their face. It’s a lifetime lesson, and even senior dogs need regular training. Commit to training your dog several times a day for short periods of time. Make Your Dog Work for Affection You can’t help but smother your dog with love every time he’s within petting distance, but that isn’t always what’s best for him. He will start to feel entitled to your attention, and that’s part of the problem. To remedy this, initiate a “work for it” program that allows you to show your dog affection as long as he earns your attention in appropriate ways. Make him sit, stay calm, and do whatever else you ask before doling out whatever it is he wants. If he’s excited for dinner, make him sit and leave it before digging in. If he wants in your lap, ask him to do a trick first. Never give your dog attention if he rudely nudges your hand or barks in your face. He needs to know polite behavior, and polite behavior only, is how he gets what he wants. You ignore everything else. Involve Other People in the Dog’s Life Most overprotective dogs choose to guard only the person they feel closest to. It’s usually the same person who fills their food bowls, takes them on walks, and handles training. They become obsessively attached, and a strong bond gradually mutates into overprotective behavior. Putting some space between you and your dog will help him learn to trust other people. Enlist the entire family’s help and take a step back in your role as primary caregiver. Have someone else feed the dog a few times a week, and encourage other people to engage her in playtime. This will help him be more comfortable with different people. Socialize Socialization is best done during the puppy stages, but even adult and senior dogs benefit from new experiences. Exposing your overprotective dog to new places, experiences, and people, will help him learn that not everyone is out to hurt you. Make sure each new experience is positive, and encourage your dog without forcing him to interact. If your dog is afraid, you don’t want to make things worse. Take socialization at the pace he’s comfortable with. If he seems overwhelmed, back up and try something a little smaller. These are some general ideas and they can be modified to fit your dynamic. These behaviors do take time, I am talking months, to correct. And sometimes the behaviors get worse before they get better. So just push through that time if that starts to happen. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

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Chalupa
Chihuahua
1 Year
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Chalupa
Chihuahua
1 Year

Chalupa is extremely aggressive and fearful of other dogs (size plays a huge role in how aggressive he will get). When I first brought him home, he was only about 10 weeks old, I tried introducing him to larger dogs and he would bark and snarl at them. I have tried constant socializing and have done basic obedience training, but when he sees another dog on a leash I can't break his focus. I will walk away in the opposite direction if I can but if we are forced to pass another dog, it becomes difficult and quite frankly embarrassing.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello, For this level of aggression where you have already tried working with pup on your own, I recommend getting professional help. I recommend looking for a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area, which is a class for dog aggressive/reactive dogs who are intensively socialized in a structured environment while wearing basket muzzles. Or Hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression, comes well recommended by their previous clients, and is part of a training group where there are a lot of well mannered dogs to practice the training around. You will likely need a combination of obedience and structure, fair corrections to interrupt an aroused state at times, and rewards for calm responses. Check out Sean O' Shea from the canine educator on youtube for a few examples. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Sox and Sophie
Chihuahua
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Sox and Sophie
Chihuahua
5 Years

Just adopted 5 year old sisters. Most of the time they get along. But sometimes they fight and I do mean fight. They mostly do it when they both enter a crate or get up on our bed. Then they settle and lick each other and fall asleep.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I would take care to not crate them together. Invest in a second crate and buy them both new beds and toys to make both spaces new - so no protecting of the old space. Try to always be present when they go on the bed to prevent the fighting or make the bed off limits to completely avoid this problem altogether. It's never too late to work on obedience with dogs; I suggest that you start training them in obedience to give them the opportunity to use their keen minds for other things as opposed to getting into arguments. Start here: https://wagwalking.com/training/be-obedient-2 (Read the guide in its entirety for excellent tips). Start with having Sox and Sophie sit for every event. Sit before they have their meal, sit before getting their leash on, sit for a treat, sit before playtime, etc. This teaches them to respect you and learn that you are in charge. Put the obedience commands in place as well, spending time training the dogs every day (10-15 minutes a day) to instill respect for each other as well. All the best!

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Sydney
chihuahua mix
10 Years
0 found helpful
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Sydney
chihuahua mix
10 Years

We adopted him in March 2020. Within a week we noticed he gets aggressive when anyone comes near me or when sitting on the couch with me and my husband moves.
Even when he sits with my husband he can sometimes be aggressive towards me if I come near. We have tried making him get off the couch and ignoring him and now we have been putting him in his kennel in the bedroom every time he acts aggressive. I feel this is making him worse as we seem to be putting him in his kennel a lot. Most of this behavior is in the evenings but it isn’t limited to just evenings.
He has also made our once very sweet border collie aggressive towards others now too.
He’s gotten a clean bill of health and he gets chiropractic appts regularly. We need to stop this.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I think the best way to approach this is with the help of a trainer who can assess Sydney on her home turf (and perhaps the Border Collie, too) to give you tips and tools for working out this problem. Whenever there is aggression, working in person with a trainer is always advised. In the meantime, you can work on Sydney's obedience skills: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-small-dog-basic-obedience and https://wagwalking.com/training/obedience-train-a-whippet. To teach Sydney that she needs to respect you and your husband, have her sit before every event. "Sit" before getting her meal, sit before getting her leash on, sit before playtime, sit before a treat, etc. She will get used to listening to you before something good happens. You are right about too much time in the kennel as well - it may turn into resentment and a dislike for the kennel without a change in behavior. Take a look here: https://wagwalking.com/training/be-friendly. I've given you lots of reading but I think that it will give you some direction as to helping Sydney be less aggressive. Good luck!

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Rocky
Chihuahua
6 Years
0 found helpful
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Rocky
Chihuahua
6 Years

He bites gma if he’s in her bed as she reaches for remote or tell him to not lick her pillow,he bites my 26 year,bites me (mom) not as much,he’s an inside dog uses a potty paper will at times wet on carpet in mine or my moms room,shampooing carpets all the time it seems,he’s loving and mean.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Christina, First, I recommend desensitizing pup to a basket muzzle - which is more comfortable than a standard one and will allow pup to open their mouth while wearing it still, and keeping a drag leash on pup while you are home to supervise. Muzzle introduction video - for a dog who is new to the muzzle, progress through the process very slowly over several days, at a pace pup can stay relaxed at, rather than doing it in one sitting like the dog who is already comfortable in the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s With those safety measures in place, I recommend teaching the following commands, desensitizing pup to being touched and handled, and following the commands from the listening article I have linked below. If you don't see things improve, feel unsure how to proceed, things get worse, or feel you need additional help I recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues and will come to your home, like a private trainer, to work with you in person for this. Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Off- section on The Off command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ Listening methods - all three - including Working method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you To work on getting pup used to touch and handling use pup's daily meal kibble to do this. Gently touch an area of pup's body while feeding a piece of food. Touch an ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Hold their collar and give a treat. Touch their tail gently and give a treat. Touch their belly, their other paws, their chest, shoulder, muzzle and every other area very gently and give a treat each time. Keep these times calm and fun for pup. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Kay Cartmell
Chihuahua
8 Months
0 found helpful
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0 found helpful
Kay Cartmell
Chihuahua
8 Months

My chihuahua has started snacking an growling at me
I’ve just found out I’m pregnant which I’ve read can change their behaviour
Is there anything I can do to make him stop ? This is quite upsetting as he usually loves his cuddles from me

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kay, I recommend working on building pup's respect for you calmly, and hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues to work with you in person for this, coming to your home where the issue is happening most often. Check out the article I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Is pup acting aggressive when you touch them specifically? If so, I would also work on carefully desensitizing pup to your touch again using food rewards paired with each gentle touch when pup is tolerant. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Oreo
chihuahua mix
8 Years
0 found helpful
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Oreo
chihuahua mix
8 Years

Given up by 2nd owner said to be aggressive. Fostering this dog gets along with other pets but growls shows aggression when approached by people or other dogs when sitting on couch with me.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Stephanie, It sounds like the issue may be related to resource guarding you and furniture/spaces. I suggest a combination of teaching pup directional commands, building their respect for you (so pup doesn't view you as something they own), keeping the animals separate when you can't supervise and enforce rules, and being the one to create and maintain rules between the animals in your home. Pup needs a bit of a bootcamp as far as structure and boundaries being increased, at least for a bit. Check out the following articles and videos on teaching directional commands like Out, Place, Leave It, and Off. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Off - section on "Off command specifically: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ To build pup's respect, have pup work more through the Working and Consistency methods linked below. Pup will already be following the Obedience method somewhat with the above commands too: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Finally, decide what the rules are in your home and you be the one to enforce them, instead of the animals being allowed to on behalf of each other. For example, when you say Off - they must get off furniture, no guarding of people or things - if you guard, you have to leave, no blocking spaces and doorways, no nudging, climbing into laps uninvited, or barking for attention, no stealing things from another animal, ect... Do not pet or reward pup when they act aggressive or tense. Be calm, confident and firm with rules. Do reward pup when they are being tolerant and calm. I also recommend keeping a drag leash on pup so that you can calmly enforce Off and Out when pup doesn't obey, without risking a bite. If pup actively lunges for you, also desensitize pup to wearing a basket muzzle using treats, then have pup wear it routinely so you can simply calmly enforce new rules with the leash without pup being able to bite you. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bella
Chihuahua
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Bella
Chihuahua
3 Years

We rescued a 2 year old chihuahua mix. She is sweet most of the time but she has severe food aggression. Anytime anyone is near her food she covers it and growls. She also grows and nips at our young neighbors feet. She grows and and barks are all new people. If you try and move her with she snaps and sometimes bites. I’m scared she is going to really hurt someone.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Laura, For such general aggression in several different areas, I recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression to work with you in person. A training program to build pup's overall trust and respect for you and your family members, desensitize pup to people being near food gradually, desensitizing pup to touch, and desensitizing pup to strangers. Since pup will need to be desensitized to strangers, if you can find a trainer who specializes in behavior issues and works with a team of trainers, who can practice being strangers around pup, that should also make the training process easier. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Monty
Chihuahua
10 Years
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Monty
Chihuahua
10 Years

Hi there! We've just adopted a senior dog named Monty. He hasn't had a stable home in about 6 months, with about 3 different homes in that span.

He is a relatively relaxed dog through out the day. He doesn't bark, is okay with us leaving the home and doesn't destroy items/furniture or pee in the home. He does however, growl. With his previous owners and the person he stayed with for about 5 months, he would growl for attention. He is a very needy dog, which is fine to a certain extent, but we are trying to figure out of a way to stop his excessive growling. I've spent hours sitting next to him on a couch and petting him while watching TV and then when I leave to do some work on my computer at a table, he'll growl from the couch or go down to the rug and growl. There are times we are actively giving him attention when he'll go to his carrier in the living room, get in, and start growling. We know he has some anxiety, and are trying to find ways to help him, but because much of the information the foster home gave us was incorrect. We have stopped some of the behaviours he had by ignoring him and using positive reinforcement when needed, but sometimes, he keeps growling.

At night, he wants to be cuddled for about 10 to 15 minutes, until he gets tired and wants to go down to his bedroom carrier. We don't have a ramp or stairs yet for him, so I pick him up and put him down. He then starts to growl while in his carrier for attention. So I get up to see if he wants back up, but then he doesn't and further retreats back into his carrier. We don't want to reach for him in his carrier, since it's his safe space, but he is in our bedroom and we want him to understand that he can't just growl for 15 to 30 minutes at night and stay in the room with us.

Sometimes, he is completely chill and then other times he is growling at noises or the laundry machine, which he is mostly used to at this point. He is pretty skiddish around big dogs and most people, which is the opposite of what we were told when adopting. We just don't want to be causing him more anxiety and want to help him, as well as train him, as he was only potty trained.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jasmin, It sounds like he may be growling due to insecurity or feeling nervous and defensive. I would actually require a lot more work from him, give him structure, and limit the petting to times when you want to pet him and not for hours, as the petting can reward his nervous attitude if he is being pushy and demanding about wanting to be petting excessively. Give him some work to do and more rules, interacting with him with calmness and confidence to help him feel more secure his trust and respect for you. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Off- section on The Off command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Working and Consistency and Obedience methods: (pay special attention to this article in your case) https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Some confidence building exercises may also help his overall attitude. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elvtxiDW6g0 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ren
Chihuahua
13 Years
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Ren
Chihuahua
13 Years

My dog has been with just me from the beginning for years, however once I moved into my now husband he is very aggressive to him and they have a love/hate relationship. He is aggressive and anxious when I am around and my husband is near by and has bitten him on occasion when he sits next to me on the couch. He is blind in one eye and has one tooth, I think this attributes to his aggression however it has to stop as it is causing a great contention in my marriage.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cara, It sounds like pup may be possessive of you, which is a form of resource guarding, where pup guards a person instead of an object because they view that person as something they can own and don't want others to get close to. I would highly recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues to help you with this issue in person. I suggest a combination of teaching pup directional commands, building their respect for you (so pup doesn't view you as something they own), and desensitizing pup to your husband. Pup needs a bit of a bootcamp as far as structure and boundaries being increased, at least for a bit. Check out the following articles and videos on teaching directional commands like Out, Place, Leave It, and Off. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Off - section on "Off command specifically: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ To build pup's respect, have pup work more through the Working and Consistency methods linked below. Pup will already be following the Obedience method somewhat with the above commands too: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Do not pet or reward pup when they act aggressive or tense. Be calm, confident and firm with rules. Do reward pup when they are being tolerant and calm. To desensitize pup to your husband, have him sit down - so that pup is calmer, and have your husband toss pup him dinner kibble one piece at a time without making eye contact. Do this as often as you can. Keep enough distance between them for pup to relax enough to eat the food. As he gets more comfortable, decrease the distance by tossing the treats slightly less far, so that pup has to come closer to your husband to eat them. Watch pup's body language to determine when pup is relaxed enough to decrease the distance - don't rush this process but do practice often at the current distance. When pup will come within a foot of his chair to eat the food and is relaxed at that distance, start to practice this in other positions like standing up, sitting on the ground or lying down. When he changes positions, you will likely need to go back to tossing the treats further away again because the new position will probably make him nervous again, until he has worked up to being closer again with him in that position. Once pup will go up to his chair when he is sitting or in one of the other positions and is even more comfortable in general, put on a harness or martingale type collar that pup cannot get out of on pup. Spend time slowly introducing the harness using the method from the video linked below if pup isn't comfortable with one already. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tn5b8u1YS_g&feature=emb_title Choose a secure, front-clip type harness. Ideally, practice this in a fenced in area since pup may be a flight risk around him. Clip his leash on the harness and go on a walk with pup and your husband. If pup is nervous, have your husband stay several feet away while walking in the same direction at first - with you holding the leash at first. As pup relaxes during the walk, gradually have your husband get closer until you can hand the leash off to your husband and let him walk pup alone - without you. This might take several sessions before you can do that without pup stopping or tensing up when your husband gets close. Don't rush this - be aware of pup's body language and any tensing up. Definitely practice in a fenced area if available, even though that will mean walking back and forth a lot. Once pup will walk with your husband and get close to your husband and you to eat, have him practice hand-feeding him the dog food and walking him regularly to develop trust. When you get that far, also teach him commands and tricks using positive reinforcement to further build trust, and he can practice those commands with him. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Coco
Chihuahua
2 Years
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Coco
Chihuahua
2 Years

My dog gets super aggressive around strangers , especially on our walks. He barks at almost everything and everyone that he doesn’t know. I’ve tried to stop this behavior but nothing is working. He thinks he runs things around here but that shouldn’t be the case. I need help. I’ve had him for almost 3 years and it’s only gotten worse and I feel like it might be too late to change this behavior.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jerome, I recommend hiring a private professional trainer to work with you in person in your case. This will likely involve building pup's trust and respect for you, so that pup is more willing to listen and allow you to handle situations that make him uncomfortable. Desensitizing pup to new people, starting from a further distance. Carefully interrupting or correcting (depending on type of aggression) aggressive responses - like fixating on someone, early before pup is overly aroused, and rewarding pup for calmness, tolerance, focus on you, and ignoring the person. As pup improves, you would gradually decrease the distance based on how relaxed pup's body language was able to stay. Eventually, the person could be within a few feet while pup was on a back tie leash, and toss pup treats whenever pup reacts well. This would need to be practiced with a number of different people. Finding a training group that specializes in behavior issues, comes well recommended by their previous clients for this type of need, and has several trainers who could all practice the training with pup. Once pup could tolerate various people being close, the next step would be to get pup working for different people, by having the people give pup commands and practice things like heel and agility, while rewarding pup with treats for good responses. This all would need to be done very carefully with the proper tools and methods to avoid a bite. Finally, pup could be desensitized to touch by having those people reward pup with a treat each time they gently touch pup somewhere - like collar, shoulder, chest, ect...Having pup earn their entire meals regularly, one piece at a time - by giving one piece of food with each gentle touch, and only touching for as long as it takes pup to chew the food, before giving another and touching again. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Millie
Chihuahua
16 Weeks
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Millie
Chihuahua
16 Weeks

Millie keeps acting aggressive to our older dog by jumping and biting his face and he then reacts aggressively. This is not all day and at times they can be in same room and good together but when it starts it is difficult to stop the aggression and they bark very loudly.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Michelle, Its most likely that pup is trying to play by antagonizing your older dog to get a reaction out of them, but lacks the social manners because of their age and lack of socialization at this point to do it appropriately, which is making the older dog angry. For the biting, I recommend teaching pup the Leave It command. Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite I also recommend teaching pup Out - which means leave the area, and using the section on how to use out to deal with pushy behavior, and you enforce Out on behalf of the older dogs so they don't have to deal with pup. This helps pup learn respect for them as an extension of pup respecting you, and takes the pressure off the older dogs to handle things. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ When you aren't supervising pup with the older dogs, I also recommend confining pup to an exercise pen or crate with a dog food stuffed chew toy, to give the older dogs a break and keep pup out of trouble, like chewing. The Surprise method can be used to teach pup to handle some alone time. When you are home, you can also tether pup to yourself with a hands free leash (add a carabiner to a normal leash for a cheap option), to keep pup closer to you and not bothering the older dogs as needed too. 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, 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 her. If she 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 by making them leave for antagonizing if they did too. 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 her and not because your older dog has had to resort to aggression or she has to hide all the time. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Dobby
Chihuahua/fashions
1 Year
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Dobby
Chihuahua/fashions
1 Year

Dobby is actually my son’s dog. He’s a rescue from Texas and 2 days before they were to pick him up they found out he was abused. He was very aggressive towards everyone when we all met him. He has warmed up to my husband and myself but is still very aggressive towards everyone else including my 93 year old mother in-law, our niece (10) and nephew(14), and our daughters (18/23). My son is afraid to take him ur in public. He is also aggressive with other dogs like my daughter’s 1 year old beagle/border collie mix. He jumped up on my 18 year olds lap last night and she thought he was warming up to her but the minute she went to pet him he tried to attack her face. In fact, he did nip her chin and lip but didn’t draw blood. We all love him but my son definitely needs help with him. Any suggestions would be helpful.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tanya, For that level of generalized aggression and trauma, I highly recommend working with a trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression, in person. I would also desensitize pup to wearing a basket muzzle so that interactions and training can be done safely for everyone involved. Have the person he trusts and respects the most practice the muzzle. If even that person cannot do the following without risking a bite, have a trainer help you with this also. To introduce the muzzle, first place it on the ground and sprinkle his meal kibble around it. Do this until he is comfortable eating around it. Next, when he is comfortable with it being on the floor with food, hold it up and reward him with a piece of kibble every time he touches or sniffs it in your hand. Feed him his whole meal this way. Practice this until he is comfortable touching it. Next, hold a treat inside of it through the muzzle's holes, so that he has to poke his face into it to get the treat. As he gets comfortable doing that, gradually hold the treat further down into the muzzle, so that he has to poke his face all the way into the muzzle to get the treat. Practice until he is comfortable having his face in it. Next, feed several treats in a row through the muzzle's holes while he holds his face in the muzzle for longer. Practice this until he can hold his face in it for at least ten seconds while being fed treats. Next, when he can hold his face in the muzzle for ten seconds while remaining calm, while his face is in the muzzle move the muzzle's buckles together briefly, then feed him a treat through the muzzle. Practice this until he is not bothered by the buckles moving back and forth. Next, while he is wearing the muzzle buckle it and unbuckle it briefly, then feed a treat. As he gets comfortable with this step, gradually keep the muzzle buckled for longer and longer while feeding treats through the muzzle occasionally. Next, gradually increase how long he wears the muzzle for and decrease how often you give him a treat, until he can calmly wear the muzzle for at least an hour without receiving treats more than two treats during that hour. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Check out Thomas Davis from the Canine Educator on Youtube. I recommend finding a trainer who also works with other training staff and has access to well mannered dogs, like the trainers' dogs so that there are multiple people and socialized dogs that pup can be desensitized to. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Wilson
Chiwawa/ wired hair terrier
3 Years
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Wilson
Chiwawa/ wired hair terrier
3 Years