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.
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.
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.
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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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 ?
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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