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I have come to the conclusion that I have no idea what I'm doing with this puppy raising business. Rudy knows how to heel, sit, stay, twirl, dig, beg, and roll over on command. He gets a 20 minutes walk before I leave for work in the morning and a one hour walk upon my return - plus training time, plus fetch.

But all the tricks and exercise in the world have apparently not established me as the pack leader, because this 11 pound, almost 10 month old chihuahua mix that I have had since he was 10 weeks old bit me for the first time today. In the past week he has begun resource guarding and growling at me when I pick him up off the couch at bedtime - his low growls have progressed rather quickly into full toothy snarls, which today progressed to a bite to the face (surprising more than painful, and no blood drawn). It took him a good 3 minutes or so to stop snarling at me.

I had him checked out by the vet not even a week ago for his heartworm med upgrade, and he is fine. He otherwise doesn't mind getting picked up (ie when we go down our apartment stairs, I don't make a habit of picking him up often).

I'm trying to stay calm but I'm a complete ignoramus and have zero idea where I've gone wrong, or how to correct/fix this behaviour.
 

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If it were me I would start from scratch with a different type of training. Google NILIF (Nothing in life is free) This is an easy training system that is based on rewards where he will have to do something for you and then you reward him with the simple things like, allowing him on bed, couch or even before giving him his food. This will establish you as pack leader ;-)
 

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I think Michelle has really given some sound advise...I have used that method and have found it effective.....one simple thing that I found helped make me pack leader was always going thru the door first and the girls wait until I say its ok..hope you find something that works for you soon :)
 

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I agree that NILIF is a good start. The first thing I would do is NOT to allow this little man on MY couch!! He thinks HE is in charge. By not allowing him on the bed/couch, you are showing him that you are boss. Biting is a really bad thing. When he even starts to growl, I would stop what you are doing immediately. If you think about it, dogs do let you know what they don't like. Try to eliminate the action that brings about the growl. If he doesn't like being picked up; stop! I have stairs that come up to the recliner, so the dogs can come up anytime. I can put them down anytime they get nasty toward each other. They get the message. Keep up being the 'leader' and try not to stress about this behavior too much! If necessary when he is close to you and snarling, you could reach over to a squirt gun/or a rolled up soft towel, that you could divert his attention quickly, then get him off the couch/bed. Better still just don't let him up. Good luck. Sue
 

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Hello rudys gal,
I have a site that will help you with this problem.The dog trainer is victoria stilwell.She is on animal planet.The show is , its me or the dog.She had a show with exactly what your issue is with your dog.She is amazing. If you google- victoria stilwell dog training you will then click on top ten basic dog training tips.This will take you to her site .There they have a forum to ask her questions on all your concerns on proper training.
I hope this helps,
Shirley
 

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I know how you feel. Has he been neutered? I got our chi at 9 weeks old. He is so adorable and loving! He is now 8 months old. (not neutered) He can get kind of "testy" sometimes! I always make him wait a few seconds when I put his food down, this is also supposed to show him who's pack leader. I feed him and my golden at the same time. Lately, if my golden finishes first, he doesn't want me touching his food dish!! If he has something that he regards as "of value" he gets growly and protective. In this case, I have him sit, I hold his dish, put it back and give him the "OK!"

I usually wear a fanny pack with treats in it, I could put them in my pocket, but thats messy! I try to trade him for things, but not too often. Just today, I was helping my husband put an ACE knee brace on and he thought it was a good time to growl and try to bite me! I picked him up, facing me, gave him a stern "NO" and he stopped! It's not always that easy! The spray bottle of water works well for me! If he sees it, he stops!

We always come upon these "unique" circumstances that it would be great if there was a place to get advice about those "unique" circumstances as they arise!

Remember, he is in his "teenage" years - testing the waters!! lol

You will get lots of really good advice here from everyone!
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks soooo much everyone. He hasn't done it since this post because I haven't given him the opportunity to be in a situation where it might happen. :) And I'm reading up on NILIF. You all rock :) I appreciate the responses and support - sorry if I overreacted and got all dramatic. I was just so surprised!

xo
 
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