Territorial Chihuahua with baby on the way
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Thread: Territorial Chihuahua with baby on the way

  1. #1
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    Post Territorial Chihuahua with baby on the way

    I apologize in advance, because this might be a novel, but I feel it's important to give you a feel for our dynamics before I ask for advice. Our situation is this: my husband and I have a pack of dogs- 1 male german shepherd mix (7 y/o), 1 male lab/bassett mix (3 y/o), and 1 female chihuahua (probably close to 8-9 y/o, age unknown). We adopted all 3 from shelters. We've had the shepherd the longest- all his 7 years, and adopted the chihuahua about 6 months after we got him. They were pretty good buddies, and enjoyed hanging together. Having another dog helped him balance out some of his own issues (sep. anxiety, extra puppy energy, etc.), although as he got better, it was clear she had her own issues with territory and guarding. As they got older and we had more financial stability we added the lab/bassett. The lab/bassett and shepherd get along famously, and absolutely ADORE each other. They are both really well-adjusted dudes (it took a lot of work to get there) and we enjoy them! The problem has become the female chihuahua. Her issues have only gotten worse over the years- she's territorial of the couch, the bed, and myself (if I'm sitting near her). This looks like growling when another dog walks in the room (escalating to that awful high pitched yapping and snapping, growling, etc. if they get close to where she is resting). The other 2 just ignore her, but if they want on the couch (by invitation), they sometimes get snapped at or bit/gnawed on (depending on her mood) in the process. We are blessed with 2 big dogs that couldn't care less about it, but it drives me crazy. It wakes me up if she does it in the middle of the night, it's loud and obnoxious, and she's snapped at my husband a few times. Im over it (we've BEEN over it). Looking for some training and advice I can put into place now- we have a baby due in July and I'll have ample time at home to work with her now through this summer. We are committed to keeping our pups, but I don't want to have to separate her in another room constantly if she acts this way towards the baby as well (which I totally see happening).
    Finally, she has bad teeth- her breath is horrendous. I don't have a ton of money to get her sedated and get them cleaned, but I will put it on a credit card if any of you thought it might help her behavior. Otherwise, I'll save up for it to be done after baby is born. WHEW. thanks for reading!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Kathyy's Avatar
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    Re: Territorial Chihuahua with baby on the way

    Definitely take care off her teeth. Pain isn't helping her be comfortable living with all the giants! She is likely needing some teeth pulled and bad teeth can cause other serious health issues like heart disease.

    One of my rescues growled when we went to sit on the sofa. With a few treats I lured him off then back on the sofa/bed and used off and up as cue words. He got it immediately. If he was up and somebody wanted to sit with him then cue off, person sat then cued dog to jump back up.

    That will help. Ask her to get off then the human and canine giants sit calmly down then cue her to get back up. Even if you think she is safe in your lap apparently she doesn't feel safe.

    Find a safe place for her too. Her very own princess bed or crate so she can relax when there a rumpus going on. I'm sure the other dogs rarely make a mistake and bump her but a bump from a creature many times her size has to be scary for her.

    My son has twins and had a terrierX that acted the same. Twins taught that noisy Artie was unhappy Artie and one did not touch a grouchy Artie! Mostly used management until they were 2 years old. Artie was all noise and his infrequent snaps were even just noise. You might want to visit thefamilydog.com now for good information about baby/kid and dogs. And kids vary, his daughter wants to hug and pull dogs around where son interacts more appropriately, remembers to freeze if dog gets bouncy and such. You could get lucky.

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    Re: Territorial Chihuahua with baby on the way

    Sounds like a great start, thank you! I'll get her teeth taken care of next month then. She does have a crate, but even baited with treats, she rarely goes in it. Should I start over with a new bed or crate or is there a better way to make her like it? The one we have is a little cheapie thing, and doubles as a carrier (but we don't use it as such). I've struggled with this before bc she doesn't have any interest in it no matter whats in there.

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    Senior Member Kathyy's Avatar
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    Re: Territorial Chihuahua with baby on the way

    Where does she prefer to hang out? That's where or near where her safe spot can be. Get something you don't mind looking at and if it is a cute princess bed be sure it is out of rumpus range! Can you remove and replace the door easily? If so just keep what you have.

    I train my dogs to stay on the rug and go to their bed so they are out of the way and out of danger. Once they are trained they go there on their own, Bucky is in the living room bed right now. They like it because they've been treated in it and for going in it nearly daily for most of the time they have lived here.

    Since you are expecting [Congrats!] this would be a great time to get all the dogs trained to stay put and out of the way. To start out use a cookie to lure dog to crate/bed, give it as you use whatever cue works [mine is go to your bed!] keep dog on the bed/crate for a moment by holding another treat so they see it then release dog [mine is okay] and give them that cookie. Progress same as down training - moving away, waiting longer before releasing, me moving around. My two dogs love the game - send to bed then released to a rolled cookie over and over.

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    I don't have much advice but I do own 4 Chihuahuas and had one pass away years ago (Brownie)
    I got Brownie like the age of 8 or 9. He was extremely protective over me. He tried biting everyone in my family. They couldn't get near me when he was around and never touch me. He was like my little gaurd dog and would risk his life for me. But sadly he never got better on letting anyone near me.
    Out the 4 I have right now I only have one who loves kids. He seriously loves them and is the sweetest little dogs and it helps since he only is 5 pounds and the kids love him. The one thing is that I can't completely trust him because he his dog aggressive and will try to fight any other dog.
    Jojo has issues with himself as is, he's always been a bit "slow" He doesn't like kids what so ever. He has issue's when people stare at him and little kids tend to stare at him and makes him very uncomfortable and I don't trust him with kids whatsoever. Plus he'll bark and growl.
    Sunshine when I got her was a nervous wreck and I got her the age of about 11 or 12. But it took her years to fully trust me and be okay wiyh the other family members. I never have kids go up to her or my other one Jr. They have learned to ignore them but on a leash when we have people over or little kids walking down the street. And to be honest I'm not looking for anything else. As I am now 18 still living with my parents and the only other member is my brother and be is now 13 and they are all okay with teenagers especially since they have gotten used to my brother.
    I would recommend the crate thing. Have a bed maybe blanket and a toy. Until she's fully comfortable with the baby. I also know little things like allowing the dog to see and smell the baby but not too close. I know many dogs are re-rehome because the dogs isn't what so ever okay with the new baby. But your at least trying.
    Maybe bringing her to situation where there are children. But you obviously don't want to have her a negative effect on her.
    Good luck!!
    And sorry for me not having much advice.
    Have you considered a trainer? Though I know there not necessarily cheap.

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    Senior Member Galathiel's Avatar
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    Re: Territorial Chihuahua with baby on the way

    It's been going on for a while so it might take a bit to retrain your dog. Your dog has resource guarding tendencies (you, the furniture, etc.). I would disagree with it and not allow the dog on the item in question if they started trying to control who could use it or approach me. That means, your husband approaches and the dog growls, I would put the dog on the ground.

    Rai Li - "Boo"
    1/1/2000-11/15/2015

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    Senior Member Kathyy's Avatar
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    Re: Territorial Chihuahua with baby on the way

    Definitely have dog go to the floor then cue him to go back up if he can then behave. I do think this is also due to little dog syndrome, all those big things that can squash him.

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    Re: Territorial Chihuahua with baby on the way

    Quote Originally Posted by Galathiel View Post
    It's been going on for a while so it might take a bit to retrain your dog. Your dog has resource guarding tendencies (you, the furniture, etc.). I would disagree with it and not allow the dog on the item in question if they started trying to control who could use it or approach me. That means, your husband approaches and the dog growls, I would put the dog on the ground.
    this is the method I have always used as well, no scolding, nothing, just basically "if you cant be nice, than you lose the privilege of being on the bed/sofa/ whatever." After a minute or so I would use a treat like Kathyy said and invite them back up, rinse and repeat as often as needed.





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