feisty bundle of teeth
September 19, 2011 4:45 PM Subscribe
I have a new chihuahua puppy who is a bit too aggressive and not sure how to train it out of him. Details inside, advice needed.
posted by arniec to pets & animals (9 answers total)
We have two chihuahua dogs both 3 years old, bought as puppies, and both are very good natured and loving and not at all aggressive.
We got a third (and final) puppy earlier this year, he's now 7 months old, and we have noticed aggressive behavior. It increases as he got older, and we thought having him fixed (all our dogs are fixed) would help it, but it hasn't.
He normally is not aggressive towards either of us or our other dogs, but he becomes very territorial over food and toys. If he has a high-value toy or if he is eating, be becomes viscous if either of us humans or the other dogs try to take the item from him (note: we're not teasing him, but if he has something he shouldn't we take it, or if we're picking up toys, etc).
Also, if he is laying and sleeping he becomes aggressive if we try to move him or even pet him. I suppose there's a statement about "let sleeping dogs lie" but sometimes he'll fall asleep ON our laps, etc. and then becomes aggressive if we need to stand up.
He'll first growl, then snap/bite.
We've tried various forms of discipline, starting with sharp "no"s and then, from a puppy training book, gentle tugs on the loose skin on his neck, but we don't feel too comfortable with physical correction afraid of increasing aggression.
This puppy is in obedience training, on our 7th week of class, and he does quite well and obeys commands. We've talked to the trainers and they didn't have any specific advice, actually saying that the other, older dogs will learn to not get between the puppy and his food...
We also walk him regularly and he's very good on a leash, so I don't think i's really a dominance thing...
We want to ensure this aggression is mediated quickly lest he become more aggressive and, while he's only 4lbs, he can tear up fingers (and has).
Advice? Links? Books?