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  #1  
Old 12-31-2016, 02:14 AM
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Default my rescue chi snaps at me, even nips...

... when I pick him up to put him in his sleeping room. For quite awhile he was just resigned about it, but he has started snapping very seriously. The first time it happened, I was scared. I certainly now somewhat dread when I decide to go to bed, cos I have to pick him up & he starts being unhappy about it as soon as we get back from our evening walk (as sun sets, around 5:30).

In most other ways, I feel he & I are a good match. He pays attention to me & is very bright. He is not a problem barker.

I also can be thankful that he doesn't have a lot of teeth (he had many of them removed at the shelter, as they were bad). That makes it easier for me to continue to put him in there every night. He has to be confined at night, because he has pooped several times on the rug during the night. Otherwise, he's well house-trained.

Any thoughts or suggestions for me?
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Old 12-31-2016, 03:49 PM
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Hi, I have previously asked about a pen where you could confine him for the night with his crate (open), pee pad, food and water dishes there. If you feed him there, he would learn to like his pen quickly. Mine go into theirs a lot. Sleep during the day, eat in there, and generally enjoy them. The Iris pen is what I have. I can't tell you how much they have been used. Collapsible easily. They are 'open' so the dog can see what is happening. He is seriously unhappy in that 'sleeping room'. Also 6 pm to morning is a long time to be without his person. Is there any way you could get a large crate or pen and put it in your room.? Good luck, just keep thinking of ways that you could solve this problem for both of you!
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  #3  
Old 12-31-2016, 04:41 PM
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Susan, I thank you for your thoughtful & very helpful posts.

I did buy an Iris pen, but my bedroom is carpeted. The reason I chose the downstairs bathroom is
1. for the linoleum floor (for cleaning up poop) &
2) I can confine him in a large comfy space, so he doesn't poop on carpet.

I do make it comfy, put treats in the crate & he has drinking water, pee pad & heat.
BTW, he uses the pee pad pretty darn well (for poop).

As far as time spent away from me, I too don't like that. I have put off putting him in there as late as 9 or even 10, depending when I sleep. What happened was that he starts getting unhappy as soon as it gets dark & at least after he was in there, I could relax & he at least was quiet & not glaring at me.

I have my Iris pen in my kitchen, which has the only other uncarpeted floor. The kitchen is downstairs & my bedroom is upstairs, so I am thinking he might not be much happier in that, than in the sleeping bathroom with door closed.

I do have a bathroom upstairs with linoleum floor; it is too small for the Iris pen (& for me to use it at night). If I could crate train him, since the crate is small enough to fit in the upstairs bathroom, it might work for him to be in the upstairs bathroom - a lot closer to me. But first he needs to be crate-trained, so I am working on that.

I really appreciate your attentive feedback for me. Right now we are laying on my bed, I have the crate on the floor next to me & drop treats in it every so often. I will keep trying of course.

One problem is my personality, I am not a natural leader, I am the partner-type. So, I am slowly but surely getting familiar with dog-human relationships & the fact that he has to respect & trust me - he might not like the situation but I am making it as good as I can for both of us.

Last edited by CaptainF; 12-31-2016 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:36 AM
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Home depot or lowes sell rolls of remnant linoleum. I say buy a roll, and cut it slightly larger than the footprint of your iris pen. Then you can put it in your bedroom so he is near you but in his pen. No worry of the carpet getting ruined and even lessen the stress on your pup of not being near you. Hopefully you can find a solution that will work for both of you.
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2017, 02:39 PM
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Hi, I love coming here for really great help on this site and always get help. Sometimes, however, there can be some variables that are a little more complex. It actually sounds like your chi may be having problems that can be related to something in his history after coming from a shelter or prior. He seems to have had a rough time of it.

I'm not sure of the area you are in nor the shelter you got him from but have you tried giving them a call and just asking if they have any knowledge of any other volunteers having some nipping issues from him? Also maybe thinking that your local humane society or ASPCA can really help out a lot with some advice and help. I used to work with both at different locations and there were always some very experienced and educated people (most markedly at the humane society) whom could give you some options. I think what I'm reading from you isn't the fact that he's nipping a little bit nor the area you have but more that he seems a bit more aggressive in his nipping that has you worried. Shelter babies are a little different and need a bit more care sometimes. There are past histories you can never be aware of and you're quite right to think he may need concern. He can be simply scared but sometimes that requires a little more attention to correct.

I'm not an expert, I've had situations with my animals (especially the cats) that I really didn't know what to do and have called the local Humane society here. Always found them to be very creative and caring about the situation when I've called. My vet can be helpful but sometimes a little narrow in the help he can give at the moment I need it.

Your baby shouldn't be nipping at you in any circumstance of his simply being unhappy or scared; that behavior needs to be stopped. I can give a few beginner pointers that are really simple but not full proof. Simply start by saying firmly and loudly, 'ow' when he begins to put his teeth on you. If he ignores you then you need to be louder and say, 'owwwwwwwch!' until he is surprised enough to let go. If he got to the point that he ignored you, you need to turn your back on him and immediately leave the room as soon as he lets go. Come back in about 5 minutes or so, pet him and give him a treat if he doesn't try to do that again. This needs to be repeated each time he is in this habit before going to bed. If he even grabs your hand lightly, you need to continue to say, 'ow' to him firmly. When he lets go, pet him and give him a treat with praise.

I hope it helps. He just may need a little patience and some time besides.

Almost forgot to add- chihuahuas can bond closely with their owner; it makes this breed very special. Both of my chis came to me either as an adult or as a rescue. My rescue took less time to bond with me but it did take time and she was the more difficult. She had to learn to trust me. She was held back when we got her and held her for many months. She both required more attention and at the same time would show periods of not wanting to be close. The other came from a good home and she missed them terribly. While she was always more friendly, it still took a good year for her to really bond with us and become completely attached. It can take time but both babies are very special for that.
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:01 PM
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Train him the OFF command and after a few weeks he should be fine
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:43 AM
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I ended up giving him another chance to sleep upstairs with me in my carpeted bedroom. I blocked off the carpeted living room at bedtime, as that is where I found the morning poops. Many factors, including Susan's saying he really hates that sleeping room, caused me to try again having him sleep upstairs.

Initially, I planned to put him in the Iris pen with its door opening into my upstairs bathroom, where I put a pee pad on the floor. However, the layout of my bedroom made me not visible from that configuration, & he didn't really want to go in, so I brought his crate up & placed it near my bed, putting treats in there once in a while.
That ended up working well; he does now like the crate, even has gone in to rest there 1-2x, which made me so happy I praised him to the moon. I haven't closed the door yet, seems too soon

At this point he sleeps with me awhile, then goes down & sleeps in his crate or on a pillow next to his crate.

So far (it's been about a week+), he hasn't had an accident. He still doesn't let me know that he needs to poop (pee has never been a problem).

However, now when I wake at night, I go the back door & open it, inviting him to go out if he wants. He has actually gone out several times. I believe he probably pooped out there, cos he was out a long time (at least once). Too dark for me to see; I stayed in the house.

I may be delusional, but I believe this is right, even though I initially feared it might be wrong & weak & "rewarding bad behavior". I really don't expect that he will use snapping as his go-to behavior now when he doesn't like something; if I read him right, he feels guilty about it & knows it is wrong.

He has SO many good qualities: pays attention, rarely barks, is very people-oriented. I love him & am proud of him.

Thank you everyone; I hope I haven't jinxed things by posting this good news. (fingers crossed)

Last edited by CaptainF; 01-11-2017 at 04:13 AM.
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:59 PM
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This is great. Man can sleep, dog can sleep next to his 'person'!!!! Way to go!


Snapping and trying to bite are all the dog has to convey his being very upset. Dogs that bite and the owners say "there weren't any signs before he/she just bit" are not seeing the signs before. There are always signs, but many people punish their dogs for growling etc. The dog learns that growling is met with punishment, and decides in their minds, that he/she just will bypass the punishment and go for the bite first. I'm not saying to completely just let a puppy growl and bite, but try for ignoring, leaving the pup, or just crate them til they figure out, they don't get what they want by acting out. Kindness begets kindness!!!
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