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  #1  
Old 04-27-2017, 11:36 PM
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Default Growling for attention?????

Angel has started growling at me and my son, and she has started trying to bite my son (that's a different issue). The growling started about 3 weeks ago, and it seems she does it to get attention. I work from home, I run home-based baking business and my son is home-schooled, so we are home 95% of the time. I'm pretty busy so a lot of hours baking and decorating, but I have made sure I find time to spend with her. With my business when I'm baking she isn't allowed to be near the kitchen, when I got licensed, the inspector said she had to stay in another room when I was baking.
So, most of the time she is either in my room with my son or downstairs with my son in his room. However, she does sneak back into the in the dining room (which is in line of site to the kitchen) at times and she will stare at me, growling showing teeth. I tell her no Angel go sit down firmly, she used to listen and go back, lately, sometimes she won't move and my son has to come get her. My son when I am baking spends more time with her playing, etc, however he is a pre-teen and like most plays his video games or is on his phone/tablet, doing school work, but recently if he isn't playing with her or giving her attention, she growls at him showing teeth too.

When we are eating she isn't allowed in the kitchen/dining room unless she is eating too. She has to sit in her bed in the living room that is connected to the dining room (she's not in a room alone, it's a pretty much an open floor plan) but she will sneak around the couch and peak her head around the corner or sit up in her bed trying to see us over the couch again growling showing teeth. I'm not sure why this has started, nothing in my house has changed, nothing bad has happened to her, is this normal?

Also, when my son is playing with her she has started trying to bite him while growling. I tell him to make sure he isn't rough with her, and he isn't when I see them playing, but she still tries to bite him. I have seen her do it a couple of times and had to firmly but lovingly scold her. She has been with us since first of November and has never done anything like this. Not sure if that is her playing but she has knicked him a time or two.

Any advice on what I can do to stop this?
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  #2  
Old 04-28-2017, 12:32 AM
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Growling and showing of teeth are a symptom of something. What that 'something' is, is going to be kind of hard. I would make sure she has something to chew on when she is 'isolated'. A bully stick, a stuffed kong, an american made rawhide. I would put a kennel, or bed right where she is allowed. During dinner, put her inside with one of the above. Or use a baby gate. My three chi's are not allowed to be in the dining room until after we've eaten when they get 'lickies' off the plates, if what we had is suitable for dogs. I think this dog is desperate for attention.
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  #3  
Old 04-28-2017, 01:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susan davis View Post
Growling and showing of teeth are a symptom of something. What that 'something' is, is going to be kind of hard. I would make sure she has something to chew on when she is 'isolated'. A bully stick, a stuffed kong, an american made rawhide. I would put a kennel, or bed right where she is allowed. During dinner, put her inside with one of the above. Or use a baby gate. My three chi's are not allowed to be in the dining room until after we've eaten when they get 'lickies' off the plates, if what we had is suitable for dogs. I think this dog is desperate for attention.
Hi Susan,

She has her bad that she goes to while we are eating even I am working, my son takes her bed with him so she can have it to lay/sit on. I have tried the bully stick, raw hide (still need to get a kong) even toys to keep her occupied but that doesn't work. The toys last a little while then she is back to growling. I have been thinking about getting a baby gate for other reasons so I will be getting one of those. The first couple of times she did the growling, I thought it was because someone was outside, she usually hears someone coming up my front steps before I do and starting growling or barking, but I saw she was looking at me/us especially when she started coming into the dining room when I was baking, it started concerning me.

As for the attention, I actually give her more now than I did when I first got her. I had to really make it a habit to make more time for her whenever I had downtime to help with her other issues, which have improved (yaaaaay), now this is happening. I'm not sure what is was like with her other owner or the foster family, but yeah she seems to be desperate for attention, I don't mind giving it, but I have to work and my son isn't going to hold/play with her all the time.
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Old 04-28-2017, 03:41 PM
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I've never had a Chihuahua with that behavior.
But I would really consider the baby gate.
Does she have a kennel or crate? I wonder if this would teach her she could be on her own having a safe place without you or your son being around. Maybe increasing her independence.
I'm sure it's becoming a "habit"
Treats or toys won't get her attention long enough? For my Chihuahua a chew gets their full attention. Only the Nylabone's they become disinterested very fast since they realize it's not edible. I haven't tried Kong's for my Chihuahuas but that could possibly get get her attention a bit longer.
I would definitely correct her when she shows those behaviors.
It seems like it'll be hard to see exactly why she behaves that way.
Have you thought of a trainer?
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Old 04-28-2017, 04:02 PM
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There are 'baby' kongs. Pink in color I think. As for correcting her, I'd be careful, 'cause ANY attention, even negative attention IS attention. I'd might say UH,UH to her, but ignoring this behavior might work better. As for biting, I'd tell her NO and put her in her crate/pen for 5 minutes. How old is this dog? She is a rescue? I also wonder if this is a form of separation anxiety? I'd ask your vet for a POSITIVE trainer. Maybe this is the type of behavior that made her previous owners give her up? There are medications along with training that can help.
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Old 04-28-2017, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susan davis View Post
There are 'baby' kongs. Pink in color I think. As for correcting her, I'd be careful, 'cause ANY attention, even negative attention IS attention. I'd might say UH,UH to her, but ignoring this behavior might work better. As for biting, I'd tell her NO and put her in her crate/pen for 5 minutes. How old is this dog? She is a rescue? I also wonder if this is a form of separation anxiety? I'd ask your vet for a POSITIVE trainer. Maybe this is the type of behavior that made her previous owners give her up? There are medications along with training that can help.
Agreed but...
You would give a dog medication for this? Would it just make her drowsy or something in that range? And would the positive results of the medication outweight the negative?

When I read it I wasn't thinking about separation anxiety but would it cause her to growl? I thought it's more like the dog won't leave your side. And when left at alone become destructive or possibly harm itself?

In no way I'm trying to say your wrong everyone has an opinion (hopefully you won't take it the wrong way)
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  #7  
Old 04-28-2017, 07:43 PM
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You are probably right that she is growling at the boundary for attention. My little one is very smart and started being a brat when behind a gate from me to get attention. I would ignore her until she is quiet then give her a quick "good dog" while turning toward her. That will reinforce the quiet rather than the growling.

As for biting while playing, that is pretty typical if she is treating his hands like another dog. Is he playing with a toy with her or with his hands/body? With my last dog, I had a certain word/movement that meant he could play bitey with my hands until I was done. My chi Gobo is much more triggered by movement, so I don't play that game with him or let anyone else use their hands as a toy because I have a toddler. Rather than put her away when she gets mouthy, you could just teach your son to stand up and ignore her (arms crossed, looking up) while counting to 5 or 10. That is enough to teach her that teeth stop the game. Also, make sure he is using a toy to play with her, not just his body.
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Old 04-29-2017, 12:41 AM
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Good idea Reta. Effective AND time consuming too. Hopefully the 'biting' IS play and not aggression.

As for medication, my one chihuahua went to a behavior specialist and he prescribed doggie prozac for severe fearful behavior. I was specifically told to do obedience, play and other techniques WITH the meds. She did not behave as if she were 'drugged'. Later this same dog was diagnosed with focal epilepsy. (she sees things that aren't there and had panic attacks) They are controlled by daily meds that she tolerates just fine.
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