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I have had small dogs in the past and have never had any problems with aggression. My puppy is 6 months old, about to be neutered so hopefully that will help things. He is very well socialised, 12 puppy training classes, daily walks to the dog park and ticked every box on all of the recommended socialisation lists. He shows no aggression to other people, loves little children, cats and is happy with all dogs, he is pretty much perfect out of the house. But he is very aggressive to me and my partner, biting to draw blood most days. This only happens when he decides he wants something you have or if you drop something, he will go from happy as anything to violently biting with no growling or teeth showing in between. We practice trading with him daily and he is ok trading his toys for treats, but it is random items like gloves or rubbish that he turns psycho over. Today I was practising 'leave it' with him with putting a treat down, him leaving it, them praising him. We got to 6 perfect, then went to pick up the treat of the ground and he snapped and I have 6 teeth marks that drew blood, enough to need cleaned up.
After his outburst I tell him NO, pick him up (which means even more savaging) and put him in a empty bedroom for him to calm down. What should I do about this, should I act differently? I will get a dog behavioural trainer to help if the neutering doesn't help.

Are chihuahuas just a horribly aggressive breed or could he have gotten aggressive genes from his parents? He has never been hit, threatened or abused in anyway, so where could this aggression have come from (we got him 10 weeks so plenty of time for bite inhibition)? I know what signs to look for before dogs are upset as I had to give daily injections to my last dog (yorkie) and he would occasionally wrinkle his nose or show teeth but even then he never growled once let alone bite! Sorry long post but I dont know what to do with my chi!
 

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Aggressive behavior should be treated NOT with more aggression, but with a carefully thought out process with a behaviorist. I urge you to not to react to him when he is in his 'mood'. I know how mad you are at him, but there IS a reason that he is biting. You have to read him to see if you can figure out WHEN he is going off. Good luck to you.
 

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Chis are definitely NOT aggressive as a breed, but personalities differ.

I do not think he is just plain aggressive, it sounds more like resource guarding to me. He protects what he views as his- specifically food. Do you practice Nothing in Life is Free? If not, google it. In my opinion, NILIF teaches a dog that nothing is theirs. It's yours, and you let them borrow it when they do certain things. The fact that he only does it with you and your partner makes me think that NILIF will help your dog, because it seems that he doesn't want you taking things that he believes belong to him.

Neutering also helps with aggression, but not always. My moms chi was aggressive and when he was neutered at 14 months he was a different dog. But the fact that your dog hasn't reached sexual maturity yet makes me think it may not solve all the issues. Still it's a good idea.

A positive reinforcement trainer or behaviorist would be best. They will teach you how to train your dog. They will evaluate his personality and what you can do to help the situation.

Good luck.


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I can't completely remember NILIF as there is so many techniques and I have read them all, it feels like anyway. We do make sure that he does a trick like sit/lie before he is allowed on furniture, gets food or toys, walks through doors after us.. he even knows to walk behind us on walks and does so willingly. He doesn't show any food aggression, unless he feels like I don't want him to have it, the only reason he wanted the treat is because he knew I was going to take it. He grabbed a piece of glass once and I tried to trade it for the tastiest fishy treat that he loves but wanted the glass, just so I couldn't have it (he was ok in the end).

Also when it happens I am very calm, I am never aggressive to him no mater how much he hurts me, when I said savage I mean that while I am carrying him he is insane trying to bite at me. I do generally know when he is going to be like this, when he steals stuff, but even if the thing isn't bad for him to swallow (rubbish) I still don't want him to think that he can tare up my stuff, so i have to get it off him some how.
Thanks for all your help so far though, but like I said, he has never been hurt or threatened so please don't accuse me of this.
 

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No one is accusing you just offering suggestions. If one of mind get possessive or aggressive of a treat toy etc they get one warning then I own the treat (sometimes an hour then we try again sometimes it is never to be seen again). They now know watch out as mom rules the roost.
 

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Summer, I can tell you that I know EXACTLY what you are going through! I have one! He has improved greatly over the years! He is two now. Susan is exactly right!

I was not used to this type of behavior and when I look back, I may not have had as much patience as I should have! And I am paying for it, a little. I make a lot of consessions. I cannot pick him up from a relaxed position, but I can get his attention and then pick him up! 99% of the time, he will drop something on command and trade. But there is the occasion when he will not part with something no matter what! I fear that some day he will get something and I cannot get it from him.

In my searches for training on the internet, I did learn something and we are working on it! I agree that you have to get their "undivided" "total" attention if you really want them to learn. At least with some, like mine! So my first goal is to get him to look at me and focus on me no matter what! We are making progress. He needs more training on that with distractions around him.

Luckily he is very food motivated. I make most of their treats, so when there is a small piece of dough left, I roll it very, very thin and cut it into tiny squares with a pizza cutter! That way, I can treat, treat, treat and not infringe too much on his calorie intake! I gradually wean the treats away.

I can go on, and on, and on with his antics! lol

But, he will get there! Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Angel1210 soo glad to here someone else got through it, a bit anyway. I know what you mean about worrying about him getting something, when he got that glass I was really scared, because he was so determined it was his. So did you just work on training your dog in trading things, as the main way to help when he does get something? What did you do then he does get something he isn't meant to chew like a sock and he wouldn't give it back, did you let him have it or how did you get it off him if he wouldn't trade? Unfortunately my dog is the opposite of food motivated, but I have also started making very tasty home made fish treats and that has helped as he will eat them, when he wants to though.
 

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He did destroy some of hubby's socks! In order to trade you need something really yummy, like a piece of hot dog, chicken, or liver! Someone suggested cutting up hot dogs and drying them out!

I used to chase him, but that's a big mistake! He thinks its a game! Try squeaky toys. Angel will come running with a squeaky toy. He will still grab my slipper occasionally, but he will just drop it now. They eventually grow out of taking things, especially when they realize that oh don't care! Getting Angel to drop wasn't difficult.

He can't have any stuffed animal toys. He takes them into his crate and then he will growl if we go near the crate! So he can't have any. He has guarding issues.

Hubby thinks that when he is about 4 or 5 years old, he will be the loving chi I wanted! Yeah, right!

I'm not giving up!
 

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Haha the stuffed animal toy thing is funny, I can totally see that being Rio but with socks, dogs are so silly! I know you are right about the chasing thing, I can see he loves it when I do it but I just didn't want him to get away with destroying stuff. Rio is very un-food motivated and it is even hard to get him to play with his own toys (all the things that they had to do in puppy class to do with toys didn't work since he wouldn't play with them), I have sat for ages while he was chewing something, squeaking toys and waving sausage around for him, I can even through sausage right by his feet and he will smell it but wont drop the thing for no amount of sausage, fishy treats or play and attention. Oh I wish he was a food motivated dog. I will just hope he stops trying to steal stuff as he gets older! Thank you so much for your help, I was going to say Angel and Rio would probably get on very well but then they would probably both be too paranoid that the other would steal their stuff haha :) x
 

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I was going to say Angel and Rio would probably get on very well but then they would probably both be too paranoid that the other would steal their stuff haha :) x
:D I am sorry, I do not mean to laugh at your pain, but that made me laugh :foxes251:

So far my girl will trade most things. The only thing she will not trade is socks. She will steal them any chance she gets. She has a pile stashed somewhere, I am sure because when I do the laundry, I can never make pairs anymore. Chasing does not help because she thinks its a game. Shes pretty good at leaving other things though and giving them back to me. She does not like to be "in trouble" so she can tell by the tone of my voice when I mean business. She used to snap, but once she got older she stopped and does not dare.

I am sorry you get bit. That must hurt your feelings too. Its good that Rio is good around other people though. Imagine him taking bites out of children. Mine did that once and got in a lot of time out and so far has not done it again. But like I said, she does not like to be scolded.

You will find a way to make Rio realize who the boss is. He does not like to give up stuff without a fight. Eventually he will realize that that time outs are punishment for biting. He is still very young, so eventually he will get it, or you will find things that are of value to him, as so far he is not motivated by treats and things. Persistance and consistancy is the key. Patience, I am sure he will get it and stop when he realizes you are the big boss.
 

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Does this pup have free run of the house? If so, then I'd put him in a playpen so that unless I was right there, watching him, he COULDN'T get ahold of anything he shouldn't have. Prevention! You could also tether him to you, so that you could prevent any bad behavior?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
He now has free run of the room we are in, he used to have a doggy play pen but he managed to destroy it in less then a week :(
So he got neutered yesterday and this has brought on a new aggressive problem, if i even go near him with his painkiller tablets he gets very aggressive (wont take it hidden in treats or food), should I just not give him the painkillers? Guess if he gets very sore I could take him to the vets and get them to give him an injection painkiller? What do people think? Thanks for the help so far everyone :) x
 

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Don't quote me, but I remember when Jack was neutered I was given the option of pain killers, and told by the vet that they were only recommended for comfort, but not actually needed. If he is aggressive about it, then maybe skip them? Jack would do the opposite and get scared if I tried to feed him meds, so I wrapped them in cheese, and he would usually eat them then. I'm sorry this has brought on a new problem for you :( Hopefully things get a little better once he heals!
 

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This is a "double edged sword"? If you try to give him the pain killer and he gets agressive and you back off - then he wins! If you force it on him, you get bit, possibly! Angel actually got more agressive after he was neutered! BUT, here we are, 1 1/2 years later and he has gotten a lot better! Time does help with their maturity. He is now afraid of things he never used to be afraid of.

My advice would be to give him time to heal (Angel healed in 24 hours! never seen anything like it!), then start strick obedience training right away. If it means putting him in time out, then do it! Or keep him tethered to you. The point is, he has to get the idea that YOU are in charge here! I say that easily, but I am still working on that with Angel.

It will happen!
 

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I think the tethering idea is a good one....if for no other reason then it would mean you wouldnt have to risk picking him up to move him to another room (and risk a savaging!!).
TBH I would try and find a good behaviourist (more reward based then alpha/pack rubbish). It sounds like you have done your research and are doing everything right but something is still going wrong. Maybe there is something in your attitude or technique that needs tweaking?
Ive never really had this problem. In fact my 6mth old boy is the complete oppisite....anything high value he wants to sit on my chest and eat, preferably shoving it in my face (and if I grab the end and pretend to eat it too, that is apparently the best thing ever!!.. daft ***!!!:rolleyes:).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I was trying to not crate train him, as I dont like the idea and didn't with my last dog who turned out great, but have decided I need some space from him every so often. I am now being very strict with him, he isn't allowed on the furniture and bed, hoping that if he finally realises he isn't the boss he might stop acting like it. Might try tethering him, but he sleeps most of the time so not sure if I want to keep waking him, might make him more grumpy. Since his operation he has now started guarding his used puppy pads and his cone collar (even though he hates it) so don't think neutering has had much of a difference on him.

To be honest, although I have done loads of research on this, I still don't know what to do as there are so many contradictory methods and not many straight answers that will work for him, even the vet just said make sure you discipline him (but how!). Here are the suggestions I have had, could anyone suggest which would be the best.
Time out in different room - very hard to do with out me bitten and him stressed
Time out in current room - inconvenient and he feels like he was won and I have backed down and left.
Cry out in pain (like littermates would) - he is hurting me on purpose so he doesn't care.
Pinch his ear - he moves to fast and even if I got a hold he would just turn and bite.
Turn him over and pin him until he gives up - again I will be bitten badly/he might get hurt.
Trade for treat - not interested/will take treat then drop it to bite when I go for item.
Play with toy - he is not interested.
Ignore him - he will tare it to shreds
Alpha method (walking behind on lead/last though doors) - He does all of these things fine and hasn't made a difference/I bought a dog to cuddle, hate not having him next to me.
Nothing in life for free - We practice this all the time now and no difference, he is progressively getting worse.

Anyone think of a better solution or which of these is the least bad for this situation. I will get a behaviourist soon but want to wait until I have moved into my new house in a month as I share with a flatmate at the moment and would be better when we are settled in the new place. Plus I want to have tried everything I can so that they actually have to find a new solution that will work.

Thank you though for all the suggestions so far :)
 

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I was trying to not crate train him, as I dont like the idea and didn't with my last dog who turned out great, but have decided I need some space from him every so often. I am now being very strict with him, he isn't allowed on the furniture and bed, hoping that if he finally realises he isn't the boss he might stop acting like it. Might try tethering him, but he sleeps most of the time so not sure if I want to keep waking him, might make him more grumpy. Since his operation he has now started guarding his used puppy pads and his cone collar (even though he hates it) so don't think neutering has had much of a difference on him.

To be honest, although I have done loads of research on this, I still don't know what to do as there are so many contradictory methods and not many straight answers that will work for him, even the vet just said make sure you discipline him (but how!). Here are the suggestions I have had, could anyone suggest which would be the best.
Time out in different room - very hard to do with out me bitten and him stressed
Time out in current room - inconvenient and he feels like he was won and I have backed down and left.
Cry out in pain (like littermates would) - he is hurting me on purpose so he doesn't care.
Pinch his ear - he moves to fast and even if I got a hold he would just turn and bite.
Turn him over and pin him until he gives up - again I will be bitten badly/he might get hurt.
Trade for treat - not interested/will take treat then drop it to bite when I go for item.
Play with toy - he is not interested.
Ignore him - he will tare it to shreds
Alpha method (walking behind on lead/last though doors) - He does all of these things fine and hasn't made a difference/I bought a dog to cuddle, hate not having him next to me.
Nothing in life for free - We practice this all the time now and no difference, he is progressively getting worse.

Anyone think of a better solution or which of these is the least bad for this situation. I will get a behaviourist soon but want to wait until I have moved into my new house in a month as I share with a flatmate at the moment and would be better when we are settled in the new place. Plus I want to have tried everything I can so that they actually have to find a new solution that will work.

Thank you though for all the suggestions so far :)
I personally think all dogs should be crate trained as a puppy. At some point in most dogs life they will have to probably go to the vet for a stay and it is less stressful if they have been crate trained and understand a crate is a safe place. Just remember never to use the crate as a punishment. It should be a place that they enjoy going to not a place they are put when they do something wrong.

It sounds like you have done a lot of research and my best advice would be to find a behaviorist that will help you figure out how to work on the aggression. There have been several users on here that have used a behaviorist and got great results. KittyD is the one that comes to mind off the top of my head I think perhaps she could suggest how to find a great behaviorist.

Good luck with whatever you decide though. I can tell you have researched and worked really hard to change the behavior. I hope you can come up with something that will help!
 

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Summer, I wish I could have a conversation with you! You have no idea how much he sounds like Angel! I wanted so badly a cute, cuddly, sweet puppy! I did not get one!:( but, I do have Angel!

He is pretty much hubby's dog, so I have to make it work. I have many scars on my hands because I pushed! At first, I insisted in winning! I have since tried a softer approach and it works a little better! He still doesn't like for me to put anything over his head! Hubby did not want him confined to a crate, but for Angel, it works out very well! He practically lives in his crate, by his choice. When we go out in the car, he is in his carrier. He sleeps in his carrier. I do give him time out (which to me is same as punishment) in a carrier, I do have 3 of them, though.

You never want to strike out at him or "pinch his ear?" Never heard that one. But it is so true that if you are aggressive with him, he will be aggressive with you. He is still very, very young and WILL mellow with age! Angel is now 2 years old and is much better! I've had to make concessions. He cannot have stuffed animals, he cannot have those neat dog beds, he can't cuddle on a lap with a blanket! Those are his "triggers!" So, they go away! I have to it him in his crate when I give treats or he will take Susie's away from her! But he is okay with it! When he sees me get a treat, he runs into his crate!

Check out dogmantics.com. She is very good. One thing I learned and totally agree with is that you have to first get his total and undivided attention before he can be taught anything. I found that around 10 months ole was when Angel began to pay attention and learn. I started this full attention thing around the beginning of the year. It is working out well.

Don't give up on him! I was ready to give up on Angel many times! Once an animal enters our home, it becomes family and it doesn't go anywhere until its time on earth is up! So, I have a looong road ahead of me with Angel.

Feel free to pm me anytime.
 
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