Chihuahua People Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We have a 5 year old male Chi that we got for my son's 18th birthday. I am not a dog person, so I wasn't wanting to get a dog, but two days before his birthday, my husband played the "He'll be so disappointed" card. So we got a cute, I'll admit black and white Chihuahua puppy. My son swore he'd be responsible for his training, and since the breeder claimed he was almost there, I stayed out of it, especially since the puppy, Buddy, started growling at me when I went near my son. But the kids thought it was cruel to put a new puppy in a crate, so he slept with my son. Long story short, he started peeing over the house so much, there was no way we could have ever trained him, the smell was so heavy. So we moved! New house, started over. Took him out every three hours. Still only crating when we're gone, but he got so good, we only had an occasional accident. We finally thought we could declare victory!

Until now. In Dec., we had a blizzard. Last year, we had several bad storms, and that was the on,y time we couldn't get him to go outside. He'd wait the storm out in his kennel. But since this last storm, he's having lots of
accidents. I have to pull out the Spot Bot at least once a day.

Hubby and I are going on vacation, and we've decided to board him instead of leaving him home with our kids because I know the house will be a pit when we get home. At least this go around, I get the accident cleaned up right away. We have a vet appointment to get His shots updated for the kennel, so we'll ask the vet to check for medical reasons for the lapse. Also, during that same blizzard we brought in one of our outdoor kittens to stay in the house, so don't know if a jealousy issue is going on.

So, we are starting over with the potty training. I've been googling and reading my books, but what I really need to know is what is.a good potty and feeding schedule for an adult dog? Right now he's in the kennel. I've read so many different opinions, and one place says to leave them in the crate all the time until they start to get the message.

I just need to know what to do specifically and I'll do it. Like I said I'm not a dog person, so this doesn't come naturally to me. I assume my son will take him when he graduates college, but If we can't get this under control, we have to find him another home.

Thanks
Lori
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
11,989 Posts
Bumping this up ;-)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
11,989 Posts
Hi and welcome to the board!

I guess I will give this a go now that I have more time :)

A two or three meal a day schedule is ideal. Feed once in the morning and once before bed if you do a two meal a day and add a afternoon meal if you are wanting to do a three meal a day schedule. Make sure you take him out right after he eats to go potty. Continue using a crate while you are gone or cannot supervise him. Do not give him the whole house to run until you can trust him again. If this is an issue then you can tether him to you so you can watch him, if he starts sniffing then get him outside. Never punish him for pottying in the floor as this can confuse him, if you like you can get a squirt bottle and if you see him lifting the leg or squatting say no and squirt him. When he potties outside just praise him like crazy, be excited, make it fun. You can also give a treat when they go outside. It may take a little time and patience but he should be back to being trained soon.

Also yes he could be a little jealous of the cat and it is also possible he could have a UTI so better to have him checked at the vet for this ;-)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
6,452 Posts
Just wanted to check to see how it was going.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
also, if he's like my boy and has a certain spot he likes ( mines the bathroom) i honestly put down a puppy pad and praised when he went on that. I know, though, that when he went in the house it was my fault for not getting him out. your situation is a little different. I find that a puppy pad is easier then a puddle on the floor, not everyone feels that way. He still prefers to go outside and asks even in -40F weather, so I know it didn't reverse his potty training lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thank you for the responses. We returned from vacation last week, and since we boarded our chi, Buddy, we had to get his shots updated anyway. So...it was a good time to address the problem with his vet. The vet tested him and determined he didn't have an infections, and decided it had to be a behavioral problem. He gave us rather detailed, and very strict potty training instructions. (He believes in leaving the dog in the kennel for most of the time, and take him on potty breaks every hour, increasing the time when there are no accidents) We followed the plan and off course, it worked because he was either in the kennel, out going bathroom, or being played with for at the most an hour a day with the family. There was no real opportunity for him to make mistakes. The kids finally agreed that unless they had him in sight the entire time he was out of the kennel, he had to go back into the kennel. So he spent most of his time in the kennel. He did have an accident when we got back, I had gotten him a nice new pad for the crate that he tends to prefer, since he spends so much time in there. It happened to be a chilly night, and he'd had a bath earlier, so he refused to go out and go potty from 6 pm on. Of course he couldn't hold it until 6 am, when I get up and went all over his new pad, which really upset and bummed me out.

But anyway, I think we all get the concept of house training, and everyone seems to be on board with being stricter about getting him out. I've always felt that we "wrecked" this dog. Like I mentioned in my op, I wasn't really wanting to get a dog, left him to my son to train and care for, and he spoiled him, and soon the damage was done. I really want to work on his bad points, because I know in the end, we'll all be happier.

So, next up will be addressing his territorial behavior. We live in the country, so we don't have too many people come to the door. But when we do, he goes nuts. Barks, growls, bites at people's ankles. We try to get him in the kennel when we know someone's coming.

I'm about halfway through Cesar Millan's "Cesar's Way" and though I totally understand his theory, so far, there's been nothing concrete on how to become the calm assertive pack leader that he advocates. I'm only part way through, so I'm sure there's more to learn in the book, but I read some reviews on Amazon that mentioned that they also didn't feel he was specific enough.

So, before spinning our wheels for months trying to figure out what we're doing, what is the best approach to training our little guy? I think what we dream of is a dog that has use of most of the house, to sleep or follow us around, either goes out to potty on his schedule or uses his poochie bells when he needs to potty. (our vet recommends hanging bells on the door, and training the dogs to use them to signal the need) Plus be a dog that doesn't have a fit when my brother comes over, trying to nip at his ankles.

I know the problem is with us. When we took him to the vet, the assistant offered him a treat and be about bit her finger off. My husband's response was, "Well, that's just typical behavior of a Chihuahua" as he thumped him on the head. When we picked him up from the kennel, they told us he had become the favorite of one of the workers there, so I know we are contributing to his behavior.. I personally don't believe in the all Chihuahua's are like that, as I've been spending lots of time on this board lately, and I get the impression that most Chi's aren't that aggressive. A week after we got him, I walked into my son's room, and Buddy growled at me, that was the start of my deep down fear of him, plus I still have a red spot on my stomach from him taking a bite out of me!
And in all that, now that my son is away at college, who does Buddy want to sleep with? Yep me! Which is why we've started kenneling him at night, I just can't sleep with him wound up around my legs. I really do want to love this guy. :foxes15:



So...where do we start?

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,144 Posts
I've dealt with fear aggression with my Chi/terrier mix, but what you're dealing with sounds territorial over your son.

I'm not sure if you would handle both the same way.

Pedro was terrified of men, so he bit them. With my husband, he'd be totally fine, and then my husband would try to pick him up or pull him towards him, and out of the blue, Pedro would bite him. It even happened once or twice when my husband tried to pet him before leaving for work. He also exhibits aggression with my son - a big 6'2" guy covered in tattoos, which I believe to be a 'red flag' for Pedro. He never bites him head on, he waits until Colby starts to walk away, then nabs him on the calf. Face to face, they're best friends. He never bites hard, has never brought blood, but it irritates me none the less!

Have you tried having your son scold him for this behaviour? That's what it took with Pedro and my husband - I had to be the one to scold him, rather than my husband. Once I started using a stern voice with him when it happened, he stopped doing it. I was trying to let them work it out on their own, but found that since I was the one he most wanted to please, I was the only one who could get him to change his behaviour.

He's much better with my son, too, although we still have a nip here and there...But, he's not around my son as much so I haven't had as much opportunity to work with him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
I think, at this point, you need to do something fun and rewarding for both you and the dog. Start with something nummy that he likes. you can either teach the touch game, or watch me game. Touch game is you hold out your hand and say touch, and when he touches it with his nose you treat. Its an easy game that most dogs pick up quickly and will help build trust between both of you. watch me is where you take a treat, show him it, then say "watch me" and hold it up to around cheek level. hold for a 2 seconds, say good dog then give treat. keep up for ten repititions then move on always on a good note. Both "games" should always end on a good note, so if you see his attention wavering stop on the next successful attempt.

watch me will help with his stranger danger ( thats what i call it lol) because the goal of watch me is you can call the command and the dog will immediately look at you expecting a treat or praise. it takes time though, to learn it thoroughly, so don't expect immediate responses in high stress situations.

as for his stranger danger too, have your brother come over with chopped up hotdogs or something else quick that the dog can eat. when buddy comes running, or starts acting up have him throw treats where buddy can get them. you want him to associate strangers on his property as a source of good things. Personally i'd leash him ( with a halter) for these meetings, as biting ankles isn't appropriate, so you can control how close buddy gets. once you get inside, i have strangers not look at my dog ( he's super reactive to strangers) but drop peices of hot dogs in front of them on the couch. then eventually on the couch. gettting closer to them as the dog feels safe. It's all about not pushing the dog beyond his thresh hold before he's ready. Me and my friend worked about 45 minutes and at the end of it my psycho dog he barked non stop at strangers was playing ball with the stranger, and asking him not to go when he left. Obviously it didn't fix the issue altogether, we're still working on it, adn will for the better part of a year i'm sure. but the more work we do the better he gets it.

When the assistant gave him the treat did he just bite her, or almost take her finger off while taking the treat? if its the treat thing, trying getting people to treat him by showing him the treat from a distance, then offering it in a closed fist, till the initial OMG treat moment is over then flip to flat palm treat.

And actually its not abnormal for a chi. teh world is a lot bigger then them, and when allowed they will defend themselves from all things that scare them. The key word being allowed. So many people get chi's and let them rule from a young age, and dont' socialize expecting that perfect lap dog to magically appear. thats how you end up with chi's in shelters for biting or attempting to. I'm working to undo what Dukes previous owners have done to him, I think they never socialized and the only corrections he ever got was a hearty smack somewhere. its a long process, and he's bitten me a few times as i've learned how to read him and his moods ( mr cranky pants i call him ;) ) I know that when he's gotten me, its been my fault for not understanding him, and not stopping the situation before it escalated. and I'm learning that not all growls and grumbles are precursers to biting. I have my own fear of dogs, and it just takes time. don't give up on him yet, but definetly find something that doesn't have a punishment end to it as the "games" i suggested, and just have some fun!
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top