How to Train Your Chihuahua Dog to Not Whine

Medium
6-10 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Your Chihuahua might be suffering from Small Dog Syndrome. This is behavior based and rooted in lack of training. Chihuahuas are known to be stubborn, but they want to please their owners and earn rewards. If your Chihuahua has small dog syndrome, he will try to appear larger than life to let everyone around him know just how fierce he can be. But when your Chihuahua is not just acting aggressive but also whining, he’s communicating something to you. Chihuahuas will whine when they are uncomfortable. He is vocalizing his anxieties before the aggressions come out in barking or growling. This kind of behavior can occur if your dog is feeling lost and alone or fearful of others in or around your home. Your Chihuahua could also be whining to appease another dog within your home. 

Defining Tasks

Building your Chihuahua’s confidence will help control the amount of whining he does. Obedience training will build your Chihuahua’s skills as well as give you and your guests tools when socializing your Chihuahua. You can also give your Chihuahua purpose by teaching him obedience commands. This gives him jobs to do, even if it’s as simple as sitting before having his meal served, that will build his confidence and place him in the ranks of your pack. If you have other dogs in your home and your Chihuahua is acting submissive by whining, you can place them on closer levels in the pack by treating them the same. Make them work together to earn treats at the same time. If you are carrying your Chihuahua around the house or coddling his fears when he whines but you don’t do that with your other dogs, begin treating them the same with the same rewards for good behavior. 

Getting Started

Be prepared to set boundaries with your Chihuahua. This will build confidence and set defined rules. Make your training sessions with your Chihuahua short and rewarding. Bring playtime into training sessions. To encourage your dog to stop whining and bring his confidence to a level where he feels secure, use high-value treats during training. Foods like cheese and hot dogs, cut into small bite-sized pieces, will keep your Chihuahua interested in working on changing this behavior. 

The Cry It Out Method

Most Recommended
3 Votes
Step
1
Safe places
Set up safe spots your for Chihuahua to sleep and play. This should include a comfortable bed or a place to sleep on the floor in a living space as well as in the space where expect your Chihuahua to sleep at night. These may be the same spaces, but be aware if they are separate spaces within your home, and offer two beds.
Step
2
Crate
Offer a crate as well as a place to sleep or for quiet play. A small crate for your Chihuahua offers a small, confined safe place for your Chihuahua to sleep and rest or play quietly when you are away. Unless it’s night sleeping, try not to use the crate with the door closed when you are home. He may go inside, but keep the door open, so he has the independence to come out as long as you are home.
Step
3
Whining
When your Chihuahua whines, take him to his special safe place. This would be his bed in the room near you or his crate. Try to stay close by so your Chihuahua can see you and feel secure. When he whines, ignore him, but when he’s quiet, give him a treat, rewarding him for good behaviors.
Step
4
Soft voice
Build your Chihuahua up by talking to him, assuring him that he is safe and all is okay in his world when he is quiet. When he goes to his safe spot, encourage him with a quiet voice. When you are ready for your Chihuahua to go to his safe spot, tell him with a soft and quiet voice to go to his bed or into his crate. If you train these keywords early on, he’ll associate those spaces with safety and security.
Step
5
Negativity
Do not get angry or show frustration with your Chihuahua when he whines. Your Chihuahua will pick up on any negative emotions you have and mimic them or feel more anxiety because of them. Showing anger will scare your pup. Remember the goal is to build his confidence and give him safe places to go when he is sleepy or anxious.
Recommend training method?

The Expectations Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Early on
Know your expectations of your Chihuahua and set some boundaries with him. Decide where he will sleep so he feels safe and is near you. If he will be allowed on furniture, give him tools like steps or a ramp to get up there safely. Be sure to think about his security as you set these boundaries. You want a confident Chihuahua.
Step
2
Training
Train basic obedience commands and keywords or phrases to your Chihuahua as soon as possible. This will also build his confidence and give him purpose within your pack together. Take training slowly, but be consistent and work on something together every day.
Step
3
Whining
If your Chihuahua misses you, feels threatened, or insecure, he may whine. When you hear him to this, ignore him. When he takes a break from whining, give him a treat. Reward moments when he is not whining.
Step
4
Quiet rewards
There will be moments when you are not training your Chihuahua and he is not whining. When you catch him in these moments, give him a tasty treat. While you are training, be sure to offer treats as well.
Step
5
Expectations
When your Chihuahua is meeting the expectations you set early on, such as using a pet step unit to climb to the couch, give him a treat. When you notice him going to his bed to nap alone, give him a treat. Any time you see him doing something independent within the boundaries you’ve set, offer him a treat.
Recommend training method?

The Conditioning Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Separation
When you leave your house, your Chihuahua may whine and feel separation anxiety. When you arrive home, take a few moments to ignore your Chihuahua. This may be difficult to do but ignore him. After several minutes, greet him with lots of love and attention. This will condition him to be alone and secure while you are away and while you are home.
Step
2
Worn out
Be sure to give your Chihuahua lots of exercise while you are together so when you are away or busy around the house he is too tired to whine and worry about where you are.
Step
3
Entertainment
Whether you are home or away, offer your Chihuahua entertainment in the form of toys and puzzle treats with toys. If you are home, make a big deal of giving him entertainment with a treat when he is lying quietly. This will give him attention and entertainment. Use a soft and calm voice as you give him his toys and treats.
Step
4
White noise
If your Chihuahua is used to music or television or even your family talking, give him white noise while you are away or when you step away to shower or cook a meal. Keeping up a common level of noise in the house will give him the comforts he feels when you are around.
Step
5
Safe place
Give your Chihuahua a safe place to go such as a crate with the door left open while you are home so he has a place of security and comfort. Anytime you hear him whining, take him to that space with a treat. To condition him to go there alone, you can treat him, talk to him softly, and even offer a piece of laundry that smells of you while he is there.
Recommend training method?
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Written by Stephanie Plummer

Published: 12/27/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Daisy
Chihuahua
2 Years
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Question
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Daisy
Chihuahua
2 Years

We recently adopted a puppy chihuahua that is bigger than Daisy and she is very upset. She screams loudly if u get close to her too fast or if the puppy tries to play with her. The puppy growls at daisy when she gets close to me while I’m petting the puppy. Help i want to help Daisy feel more confident. Her entire demeanor has changed. She no longer gets excited

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
841 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ann, To begin, teach the puppy an "Out" command, which means leave the area. Tell the puppy "Out!" anytime that she is being possessive of you, especially when Daisy comes over. To teach her the "Out" command toss treats a few feet away from you while you also point the finger of your tossing hand in the direction that you throw the treats. Tell her "Out" while you toss the treats. Do this until she will go over to the area where you are pointing when you say "Out", before you have tossed the treat. When she will do that, then practice telling her "Out" and pointing to where she should go. If she does not go there, then herd her over to the area by walking toward her until she backs up several feet. Block her way so that she stays out of that area. Do this until she stops trying to get past you. When she stops, then back up to where you were before, and if she follows you, block her out of the area again by walking toward her again. Do this until she stops trying to come back into the area. When you are ready for her to come back, tell her "OK" and act welcoming and happy, to encourage her to come back over. Anytime that she is being possessive of you and growling at your other dog or shoving her out of the way, tell her "Out", and if she does not leave, block her out of the area and keep blocking her until she stops trying to come back over. Also, make the new puppy work for what she gets in life right now. For example, tell her to sit before you feed her, before you pet her, or before you take her on a walk. Tell her down before you give her a treat, before you toss her a toy, or let her onto any furniture. Decide what your rules for both dogs are, and be the one to enforce the rules so that neither dog is allowed to make or enforce the rules for the other dog. They should learn that is your job and not Daisy or the puppy's. You being the one in charge can remove some of the tension between the two dogs. That way neither of them are in charge, you are. Also, feed Daisy treats whenever she is tolerating the new puppy well. Reward her for letting the puppy come over and remaining calm, for letting the puppy sniff her, or for generally letting the puppy get close to her. Make the appearance of the puppy a wonderful thing, and make things boring again when the puppy leaves, so that she will want the puppy to be around. Also make sure that Daisy has rules and consistency too, because a lack of that can effect a dog's confidence. Lastly, be patient. A new puppy is a big adjustment for an older dog so it also might just take her time to adjust. Try not to act like you feel sorry for her or coddle her or act sad yourself about it. Instead act confident, happy, and believe that she can succeed. Such an attitude will help her feel more confident also. Do make sure that the puppy is not allowed to pester her though. The dogs should be expected to tolerate each other and not bully each other or pick on one another, but do not let the puppy be in Daisy's space all the time, unless Daisy is being rewarded for tolerating it and is alright with it. Encourage Daisy to be calm, but also encourage the puppy to be respectful. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Pascky
Chihuahua
3 Months
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Question
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Pascky
Chihuahua
3 Months

My dog whines all day. Why is that?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
841 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kawana, Without observing Pascky I cannot tell you for sure why he is whining. Dogs whine for a number of reasons and puppies even more so. Some puppies are simply vocal and "talk" a lot to express how they feel. Make sure that the following needs are being met: 1. Mental stimulation like training. 2. Physical exercise. 3. Being fed enough food. 4. Health - Check for any other symptoms or signs that something is wrong. How is his appetite, growth, and peeing and pooping? Does he react when you gently run your hands over him. If anything seems off, take him to your vet, especially if the whining is recent and not something he has done for a long time. 5. Anxiety - does he seem tense, scared, drooling, shaking, tail tucked, ears back, paw raised, or otherwise nervous or frightened? If he is anxious, he will need help working through whatever is scaring him and building his confidence. 6. Attention - does the whining stop when you are paying attention to him and start again as soon as you stop paying attention to him? If so he is probably whining for attention and needs to learn more independence and how to play on his own. I suggest looking for an underlying cause by seeing if all of the above needs are being met. If nothing seems to be wrong or he is simply doing it for attention, then teach him a "Quiet" command and give him food-stuffed chew toys in an exercise pen for at least an hour a day to help him learn how to be more independent and self-sooth with the toy stuffed with food. The toy, such as a hollow Kong, needs to be stuffed with food in order to make it interesting though. To teach "Quiet" check out the "Quiet" method from the article that I have linked below. The method talks about barking, but once he has learned what "Quiet" means with barking, you can tell it to him when he is whining and distract him by making a small noise, as soon as he gets quiet, praise and reward him - this is to help him learn that quiet also means stop whining. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Loma
chihuahua mix
6 Months
-1 found helpful
Question
-1 found helpful
Loma
chihuahua mix
6 Months

My dog follows me around the house and any time she loses sight of me she starts whining. I leave her in her crate when I go to work and she whines for a few minutes after I leave. She's only in her crate 3-4 hours throughout the workday and hasn't shown much destructive behavior. But at home I cannot step into another room without her whining and crying.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
841 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emy, Check out the videos below for teaching Place and crate manners with the door open. With her temperament it is likely very important for her to practice staying in one place while you go about your normal routine - so that she is exercising self-control and having to cope with her anxiety by not following you. Crating is very important also, but with the crate she is forced to stay - these exercises make her practice self-control and self-soothing to help her learn how to cope better. She may whine at first, but that's because she is having to do something new to her that's a bit hard - it's hard because it's a skill she lacks that you are helping her learn. Hard isn't bad. That same skill helps prevent separation anxiety so be consistent with it. You can also give a food-stuffed chew toy in the crate and on the Place. Work up to her staying there for 1-2 hours while you go about your normal routine over the next few months. 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/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Dash
Chihuahua
5 Weeks
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Question
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Dash
Chihuahua
5 Weeks

Hello. so I have a 5 week old chihuahua. He howls and whines all night. We got him in Friday the 19th and he has been whining every since that night. I feel sleep deprived and I just need a little bit of guidance. I give him a bottle like I was told to do every 3-4 hours but hes up more frequently then that. Yesterday was the 1st day I gave him soft dog food and he ate it all then went to sleep. Should I try keeping him awake more during the day or what? He was in my room in a crate next to my bed, but now he is in the laundry room. I leave his crate door open so that he can walk out on when he has to pee or anything but he whines until I come in and take him out and place him on the pad. Then even after hes done, he wants to play and things but I just be so tired with little to no energy at this point. I'm just frustrated at this point. He doesn't be hungry because his little tummy still be full and firm. Please help me. Thanks

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
841 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shavanity, Honestly, this process is a hard one with such a young puppy - at this age he normally wouldn't be ready to leave mom and litter mates, so nights are extra hard. It should get easier in a couple of weeks due to age. I do suggest working closely with your vet when it comes to feeding and health, since pup is still making the transition to solid food slowly it sounds like. Is pup eating gruel yet? - the mixture of puppy milk replacer and solid food that most puppies are weaned onto around this age? work closely with your vet to make sure pup's feeding schedule and type of food is age appropriate as pup's needs change over the next couple weeks. If your vet feels the issue isn't food related, pup is probably just lonely due to litter mates being gone. Check out the surprise method linked below. Use a soft food pup can lick off your finger instead of hard treats if pup isn't ready for hard food yet, and work on methods like the Surprise method, during the day to help pup transition to alone time. At this age, you can also practice this method with pup in the exercise pen with the crate attached so they have access to an indoor potty. The point is adjusting to time alone though. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate If pup isn't chewing hard yet, you might want to try giving a stuffed animal that can be warmed a bit in the microwave - such as the ones made for kids when they get hurt. Be careful of any chewing and ingesting material though. Make sure nothing gets too hot though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Bella
Chihuahua
3 Months
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Question
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Bella
Chihuahua
3 Months

My dog whines for anything how can I change this?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
841 Dog owners recommended

Hello Milangros, First, I suggest working on the Quiet method from the article linked below. Initially, it will teach pup not to bark, begin to use the Quiet command when pup whines also once pup has learned it for barking, then reward as soon as pup stops whining for a second or stays quiet for a couple of minutes when they normally would be whining. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, work on commands that build pup's independence and impulse control - pup will probably whine more at first while doing this, that's normal. They should learn how to handle things like being alone and mental exercise better though with practice - so that calmness is more present overall. Good commands, include teaching pup to stay in their crate with the door open, crate training in general, a long Place command (work up to that gradually), a Down-Stay command, waiting for meals, waiting at doors, and a structured heel. All of those commands require focus, patience, self-control, and being more independent. Third, pay attention to whether pup is inadvertently being rewarded by anyone when they whine. for example, does someone set their food down when they whine? - wait until they get quiet for a second. Are they petted when they whine? - then give a command and when they get quiet while focusing then give affection. Are they being released from their crate when they whine? - wait until they are quiet, or if you can't wait because of pottying, create a small distraction what results in pup becoming quiet, then release them. Also, know that some dogs are naturally more vocal that others or more anxious than others. It's fairly common, but you can begin building impulse control, independence, and quiet skills to help pup manage their vocalizations or anxiety better. Puppies are especially more likely to whine. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
luna
pucci
3 Months
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Question
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luna
pucci
3 Months

plz show luna to pee and poo outside and not whine and bite and but shots on her teach her to sit roll STAY ect. and teach her to sleep thank you for your time

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
841 Dog owners recommended

Hello Alicia, Check out the free PDF e-book download AFTER You Get Your Puppy from the link below. I suggest reading that book for more detailed information on raising a puppy, including potty training, biting, ect... www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads For the commands, check out the videos from a puppy class, week by week: Puppy Class videos: Week 1, pt 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnhJGU2NO5k Week 1, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-1-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 1 https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-2-home-jasper-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1-0 Zach George on YouTube is also another great resource for learning how to teach puppy tricks at home. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMRRLUyAIyw Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Gizmo
Chihuahua
7 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
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Gizmo
Chihuahua
7 Weeks

How to get my puppy to stop crying all the time and to sleep on his own. I got him at 6 weeks and he is very clingy and since the first night would not sleep alone I have a small dog kennel and when I try to put him in there he crys and doesn't stop till I take him out. I tried being stop and letting him cry but I wasn't sure if that's the right option. As well as at night he will sleep maybe an hour and wake me up crying and will not go back to sleep. I really need help. I have been trying to potty train too but am not quite sure how to do it all at once.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
841 Dog owners recommended

Hello Trinidy, First, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate At night, take pup potty right before bedtime, and anytime they wake after it has been at least 1.5 hours since they last went potty. Pup will be able to hold it for 2-5 hours normally if they stay asleep that whole time. They will have to go out as soon as 1.5-2 hours after the last potty trip if they wake up sooner though - the bladder tends to "shut down" while a dog sleeps, allowing them to hold it longer while asleep than while awake. Wait until pup wakes up to take them, instead of waking pup up, to help pup learn to sleep through the night sooner. When pup wakes up, take pup potty on a leash, keeping the trip boring and quiet, with no treats, food, or play. Place pup back into the crate right after the potty trip, and go back to bed - ignoring any crying that happens at that point - knowing that pup doesn't need to go potty, but simply wants attention and needs the opportunity to learn how to go back to sleep. Ignore the crying that happens when you first put pup in the crate at night too - every time you let pup out when they don't need to go potty but just want attention, they learn that crying is how to get out and cry even more in the future. This will usually result in three really hard nights of crying, then pup will still cry for up to 2 weeks but it should get to be less crying each night - until pup can finally relax in the crate and go in easily. Practicing the Surprise method will help pup learn sooner and result in less overall crying too. Keeping the night potty trips boring, waiting for pup to wake on their own, and ignoring any crying after crating pup again are the quickest ways to get pup to sleep through the night sooner - as soon as their bladder is able. I generally don't recommend putting anything absorbent in the crate because it can encourage pottying in the crate and be a choking hazard if pup discovers they want to chew the item. Check out www.primopads.com for an example of a non-absorbent bed you can put in there, and a durable chew toy like a Kong is fine generally. Once pup is well, as a general rule, while awake, a puppy can hold it for a maximum time of the number of months they are in age plus one. At 7 weeks - that is a 2.5 hour maximum. When asleep that number sometimes doubles (if pup stays asleep that long), making that number 4-5 hours for pup at this age. When pup is 3 months old, the number while awake will be 4 hours, ect... I like to give an hour wiggle room because some pup's naturally have less mature bladders, making the number 2 hours instead of 3. If it's been at least 2 hours and pup wakes up after having been asleep (or cried for the whole 2 hours - which isn't unheard of but shouldn't last more than 3 nights going for that long, if you are consistent), then take pup potty. If pup doesn't wake up to go potty - let them sleep until they wake up on their own at night unless that is leading to accidents in the crate. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Foxy
Long haired chihuahua and german spitz
17 Weeks
0 found helpful
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Foxy
Long haired chihuahua and german spitz
17 Weeks

We try not to put her in too often but sometimes our attention needs to be elsewhere so we put her in her little pen. Her pen is located right next to us where she can see us in the living room. Ear splitting whining almost as soon as we put her down in there. I need her to stop. I need her to be okay without us sometimes.

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Question
Tommy
Chiweenie
3 Years
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Question
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Tommy
Chiweenie
3 Years

Our dog Tommy has recently taken it upon himself to whine for everything. The only time he won’t whine is while sleeping, walking, or being cuddled, we’ve tried teaching him how not to whine but he refuses to take rewards such as dog treats unless it’s human food. Even if we’re sitting he’ll get up to whine but won’t eat or go outside. I’m at a loss of what to do

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Pepe
Chihauhau
8 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
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Pepe
Chihauhau
8 Weeks

whining

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

Hello, does Pepe whine constantly, or just at night? She is pretty young and no doubt misses her mom and litter mates. I would suggest setting up an exercise pen are for her (but keep her with you often for hugs and cuddles during the day). This makes a nice den-like area for Pepe to call her own at night. Of course, if she is in a crate, that is good, too. But don't leave her in the big house or apartment without putting her somewhere that she feels safe. Take a look here for information on an exercise pen: https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/how-to-set-up-puppy-long-term-confinement-area. The article explains that having a confinement area will keep Pepe safe without having her in a small crate where it may feel cramped. If you are potty training Pepe for outside, pay close attention to the whining. She may be signalling that she needs a potty break - her bladder is not yet mature and is very tiny. Good luck!

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Question
Theodore
Chiweenie
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Theodore
Chiweenie
2 Years

He likes to try to bark out the window. Allot

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
841 Dog owners recommended

Hello Teresa, What is pup barking at? It sound like pup needs a combination things. First, work on desensitizing pup to whatever is triggering the barking - some dogs enjoy the activity of barking itself and others are overly sensitive to certain things - like leaves, squirrels, people, dogs, ect...and need to be desensitized. Second, what does pup's mental exercise look like as far as training, games that make them think, or toys that require thought like puzzled toys? Look for activities that stimulate pup's mind and body, like the above suggestions, walks that involve commands like a structured heel, practicing Down and Sit. Or even devices like AutoTrainer or Pet Tutor that can be programmed to automatically release a treat when it detects pup being quiet for a set amount of time. Desensitization article: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark If the barking is happening while you are away, you will also need to either confine pup away from the window when you aren't there to train it, or use an automatic bark collar, or treat dispensing device - if the behavior is boredom related and not territorial. While you are home, you can also work on teaching pup the Quiet command and enforcing that command. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Command pup to Quiet if they start to bark. If pup obeys, reward after two minutes of staying quiet. If they continue to bark or stop and start back right away, you can correct with an interrupter like a puff of air from an unscented pet convincer blown at pup's side briefly. Reward for staying quiet and correct when they continue barking. As pup improves, gradually space the rewards out so that pup is staying quiet for longer and longer before being rewarded, and look for opportunities to reward pup for not barking in the first place - like when pup watches another dog walk outside and doesn't bark at all. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Naomi
Chihuahua
9 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
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Naomi
Chihuahua
9 Weeks

she sleeps then will jump up and flinch and spit up water or yellow stuff comes out her nose. she wont eat hard food but will eat soft food, she wont sleep in her cage, if she is in there she will automatically start whining , should i take her to the vet?

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

Hello. Because she is spitting up, yes I would take her in. Puppies have sensitive systems, especially the first few weeks away from mom. It could be an adjustment to new food, etc but I would take her in just in case. Parasites are very common at this age and it will be good to have it ruled out. After that, feel free to contact us again if you have questions on any behavioral issues.

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Minnie
Chihuahua
5 Months
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Minnie
Chihuahua
5 Months

She is very whiny any time I leave. Even if just to go to the bathroom or when I get out of bed. Do you recommend sleeping with her.

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

Hello, if Minnie is getting too attached to you, it will only get more difficult as time passes. Why don't you try setting up an exercise pen area for her? Most dogs love a den area they can call their own. https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/how-to-set-up-puppy-long-term-confinement-area. This area can still be in your room so that she feels safe and not anxious at night. Buy her a super comfy, can't-resist bed and use the Surprise Method described here so that she can get used to the area and go to it on her own during the day: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate. Whether you choose to sleep with her is your choice but I do think the both of you will get better rest if Minnie is in her own bed at night. As well, if she is whining when you leave, it may help her to gain independence to sleep on her own. I also recommend taking her to obedience classes so that she gets socialized with other dogs and people. That will help her to gain confidence. Dogs really love to train and to meet new people! All the best to Minnie and have fun training!

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Luna
Chihuahua/Basebjii
2 Years
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Luna
Chihuahua/Basebjii
2 Years

Whining, separation anxiety

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

Hi there. It sounds like there may be some separation anxiety going on. Because this behavior issue is complex, I have a lot of information to send you. With some time and practice, this is something that can be turned around over the next month or so. The first step in treating separation anxiety is to break the cycle of anxiety. Every time a dog with separation anxiety becomes anxious when their owner leaves, the distress they feel is reinforced until they become absolutely frantic any time they are left alone. Owners should give the dog an acceptable item to chew, such as a long lasting food treat when they go out. The goal is to have the dog associate this special treat with the owner’s departure. Treats might include hollow bones stuffed with peanut butter or soft cheese, drilled out nylon bones, or hollow rubber chew toys such as Kong toys with similar enhancements (place these in the freezer before giving them to your dog to make them last longer). Give the bone to your dog about 15 minutes before preparing to depart. The chew toy should be used only as a reward to offset the anxiety triggered by your departure. Hiding a variety of these delectable food treats throughout the house may occupy the dog so that the owner’s departure is less stressful. In an effort to prevent destructive behavior, many owners confine their dog in a crate or behind a gate. For dogs that display “barrier frustration,” the use of a crate in this way is counterproductive. Many dogs will physically injure themselves while attempting to escape such confinement. Careful efforts to desensitize and counter condition the dog to crate confinement before leaving them alone may be helpful in some cases. However, some dogs rebel against any form of restraint, including restricting barriers and, for them, crate training may never be a positive experience. Crate training and utilizing the crate while people are home can be a positive way to make the crate a safe place. If you utilize it when people are around, your dog won’t necessarily associate the crate with departure and being left alone. Creating nap time in the crate throughout the day can also be helpful. Building Independence Independence training can help fight separation anxiety and loneliness. Independence training can help build confidence and instill obedience. “Doggie Daycare” or hiring a pet sitter may be a better alternative for dogs that are initially resistant to treatment. It can be expensive, but prices vary. Independence training is one of the more important aspects of the program. It involves teaching your dog to “stand on their own four feet” when you are present, with the express intention that their newfound confidence will spill over into times when you are away. You need to make your dog more independent by reducing the bond between both of you to a more healthy level of involvement. Decreasing the bond is the hardest thing for owners to accept. Most people acquire dogs because they want a strong relationship with them. However, you have to accept that the anxiety your dog experiences in your absence is destructive. Essential components of the independence training program are as follows: Your dog can be with you, but the amount of interaction time should be reduced, especially where attention-seeking behaviors are concerned. You should initiate all interactions with your dog, and they shouldn’t be permitted to demand attention. If you give your dog attention every time they whine, it helps to foster the dog’s dependence on you and increases its anxiety in your absence. You should ignore your dog completely when they engage in attention-seeking behavior, and avoid catering to them when they appear to feel anxious. This means no eye contact, no pushing away, and no soothing talk or body language, all of which will reward their attention-seeking mission. Attention is encouraged only when your dog is sitting or lying calmly. The goal is not to ignore your dog, but to stop reinforcing attention-seeking behaviors so that your dog develops a sense of independence. Minimize the extent to which your dog follows you by teaching them to remain relaxed in one spot, such as their bed. To accomplish this, it is helpful if you train them to perform a sit-stay or down-stay while gradually increasing the time that they hold the command and remain at a distance from you. Providing a treat or toy and encouraging individual play time can be helpful. Once your dog has learned basic obedience commands, you can train them to hold long down-stays while you move progressively farther away. First, your dog should be trained to perform a “down-stay” on a mat or dog bed using a specific command, such as “lie down.” Your dog may have to be gently escorted to the designated spot the first few times. Initially, they should be rewarded every 10 seconds for remaining there, then every 20 seconds, 30 seconds, and so on. Once they have figured out what is wanted, you should switch to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement [reward], as this will strengthen the learned response. Each time your dog breaks their “stay,” issue a verbal correction, indicating that there will be no reward, and then escort them back to their bed. First, your dog can be made to “down-stay” while you are in the room. Next, they can be asked to stay when you are outside of the room, but nearby. The distance and time you are away from your dog can be increased progressively until your dog can remain in a down-stay for 20 to 30 minutes in your absence. Your dog should be warmly praised for compliance. Of course, they need to accept the praise without breaking the stay. Your dog should become accustomed to being separated from you when you are home for varying lengths of time and at different times of day. You can set up child gates to deny your dog access into the room you’re occupying (i.e. reading, watching television, or cooking). Instruct your dog to lie down and stay on a dog bed outside the room. As previously mentioned, you can provide an extended-release food treat or toy to keep your dog calm and distracted. Once they are able to tolerate being separated from you by a child gate, you can graduate to shutting the door to the room so your dog cannot see you. Allowing a dog to sleep in bed with the family can increase dependence. If you decide to prevent your dog from sleeping in your bed, there are some steps to take to establish this routine. First, you need to train your dog to sleep in their own bed on the floor in your bedroom. They may have to be taken to their bed several times before they get the message that you really want them to sleep in their own bed. Alternatively, you can train your dog to enjoy sleeping in a crate to prevent unwanted excursions. Do not use a crate if it causes more anxiety and distress for your dog. Once they tolerate sleeping in their own bed in your bedroom, you can move their bed outside of the bedroom and use a child gate or barrier to keep them out. Always remember to reward your dog with praise or a food treat for remaining in their bed. Develop Departure Techniques Many owners erroneously feel that if separation is so stressful, then they should spend more time with their dog before leaving. Unfortunately, this only exacerbates the condition. Everyone in the family should ignore your dog for 15 to 20 minutes before leaving the house and for at least 10 to 20 minutes after returning home. Alternatively, your leaving can be made a highlight of your dog’s day by making it a “happy time” and the time at which they are fed. Departures should be quick and quiet. When departures (and returns) generate less anxiety (and excitement), your dog will begin to feel less tension in your absence. Remember to reward calm behavior. Teach your dog that your departure and return are just normal parts of the day and are not times to be stressed. You should attempt to randomize the cues indicating that you are preparing to leave. Changing the cues may take some trial and error. Some cues mean nothing to a dog, while others trigger anxiety. Make a list of the things you normally do before leaving for the day (and anxiety occurs) and the things done before a short time out (and no anxiety occurs).Then mix up the cues. For example, if your dog is fine when you go downstairs to do the laundry, you can try taking the laundry basket with you when you leave for work. If your dog becomes anxious when you pick up your keys or put on a coat, you should practice these things when you are not really leaving. You can, for example, stand up, put on a coat or pick up your car keys during television commercials, and then sit down again. You can also open and shut doors while you are home when you do not intend to leave. Entering and exiting through various doors when leaving and returning can also mix up cues for your dog. When you are actually leaving, you should try not to give any cues to this effect. Leave your coat in the car and put your keys in the ignition well before leaving. It is important to randomize all the cues indicating departure (clothing, physical and vocal signals, interactions with family members, other pets, and so on). The planned departure technique can be very effective for some dogs. This program is recommended only under special circumstances because it requires that you never leave your dog alone during the entire retraining period, which can be weeks or months. Timing is everything when implementing this program. If your dog shows signs of anxiety (pacing, panting, barking excessively) the instant you walk out of the door, you should stand outside the door and wait until your dog is quiet for three seconds. Then go back inside quickly and reward your dog for being calm. If you return WHEN your dog is anxious, this reinforces your dog’s tendency to display the behavior, because it has the desired effect of reuniting the “pack” members. The goal is for your dog to connect being calm and relaxed with your return. Gradually work up to slightly longer departures 5 to 10 minutes as long as your dog remains quiet, and continue in this fashion. Eventually, you should be able to leave for the day without your dog becoming anxious when you depart. When performed correctly, this program can be very helpful in resolving separation anxiety. Other Treatment Options Obedience Training Obedience training helps to instill confidence and independence in your dog. You should spend 5 to 10 minutes daily training your dog to obey one-word commands. It may be helpful to have training sessions occur in the room where your dog will be left when you are gone. All positive experiences (food, toys, sleep, training, and attention) should be associated with this area of the home. Exercise Your dog should receive 15 to 20 minutes of sustained aerobic exercise once, preferably twice, per day. It is often helpful to exercise your dog before you leave for the day. Exercise helps to dissipate anxiety and provides constructive interaction between you and your dog. It is best to allow your dog 15 to 20 minutes to calm down before you depart. Fetching a ball is good exercise, as is going for a brisk walk or run with your dog on a leash. Even if your dog has a large yard to run in all day, the aerobic exercise will be beneficial since most dogs will not tire themselves if left to their own devices. This is incredibly helpful in dogs that are working breeds that need a job to expend energy and work their brains. Supplements Recently, supplements have been released to the public that can help dogs with anxiety. Purina created a probiotic that has been shown to reduce anxiety and provide a calming effect on some dogs. Your veterinarian may recommend this product for treating anxiety, or other products that contain L-Theanine or L-tryptophan.

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