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Discussion Starter #1
So I just moved in with a new roommate and she has a chi that she adopted and has owned for almost 4 years now. His name is Scrappy and we have gotten along relatively fine. I have never had/been around small dogs before in a living environment. I came home when my roommate was at work last week and Scrappy had pooped on the carpet. Putting into practice my dog training skills from owning larger dogs I called him over, put his nose in it, and patted his nose while telling him "no, bad dog." I did this a couple times with different accidents over the next few days. Mind you that the dog has his own potty pad that my roommate says he has always used just fine and I have seen him use it himself so it's not like he doesn't know it's there.

When I came home the other day I saw Scrappy and bent down to pet him. He squatted and peed on the floor in front of me then laid down and peed into the air. Every time I come home or see him for the first time during the day or even if it's been an hour since we interacted, he does the same thing. Did I traumatize the poor guy? I do not discipline him anymore for fear that he will always be scared of me which is something I do not want. Can I train him to not show this extreme submission (or whatever it is) every time we meet in the hallway, kitchen, bedroom, etc.??

My roommate isn't being much help here. She treats him more like a spoiled child than a dog. I know she is attached to him, but I need to know how to deal with this problem so I don't go crazy having to clean up after the little guy! Please help! I will be happy to answer any questions to get a better answer to my problem.
 

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The whole putting the nose in the accident thing is a myth and does not work at all especially after the fact. He hasnt a clue why you did this and yes it does sound like you scared him, his actions shows he is being submissive to you. Also scolding dogs in general whether large or small is not a good idea. Positive reinforcement is key in training a dog. Praise them like crazy when they do good, they want to please us so when you praise them they pick up on what they did was good.
 

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The whole putting the nose in the accident thing is a myth and does not work at all especially after the fact. He hasnt a clue why you did this and yes it does sound like you scared him, his actions shows he is being submissive to you. Also scolding dogs in general whether large or small is not a good idea. Positive reinforcement is key in training a dog. Praise them like crazy when they do good, they want to please us so when you praise them they pick up on what they did was good.
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Discussion Starter #4
I understand that scolding is bad. I grew up in a household that trained animals with positive and negative reinforcement. Since moving out of that household 6 years ago I have not had an animal. I guess I was just acting on instinct.

Now that the damage is done, however, I need to make it right with the dog. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make it up to him? I know now how to deal with him when he does good. I guess my two main questions would be:

1) How do I handle it when I see him peeing in front of me out of fear?

2) Are there any techniques on how to "become friends with the enemy" so to speak?
 

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Yea...what she said. If I catch Mylo going somewhere he shouldn't I say 'no' in a firm tone but nothing more. I'd spend some time interacting with Scrappy in a pleasant way. Sit on the floor with some treats. If he comes to you give them to him and praise him. If he won't come to you put the treats a little way away and praise him when he takes them. Then move them closer to you little by little. Make a point to have a lot of pleasant interactions with him whenever you see him and he should warm up again. Pay attention to your tone of voice too...they're very sensitive to it. When Mylo goes on his puppy pad I praise like mad and make sure to have a light, friendly and excited tone of voice and tell him 'well done, good boy!' And he loves it. He goes crazy with his tail wagging.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for the advice. The odd thing is that sometimes he is perfectly fine with me and other times not so much. I will work on the interaction more and give him more treats. I don't let him in my room and when my roommate is gone I spend a lot of time in there. I think he is upset that he is alone outside my room and I am alone in it. :/ I will take all the advice I can get and I thank you for yours thus far. I never thought I would be putting this much effort into making a chihuahua like me. lol. He is definitely growing on me though!
 

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Rubbing their nose in it doesn't work with ANY dog, big or small. If you didn't see the accident happen, there is not much you can do at that point. If you see him pee/poo (not including submissive urination) say "no" in a firm tone and redirect him to the potty area. If you see him go in the potty area praise as much as you can. Use treats and kneel down to his level when you come home. Sounds like you did scare him a bit, but with time he will come around!
 

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Whenever I've caught Gemma pottying somewhere that she's not supposed to, I have clapped my hands and yelled "NO!" and then interrupted her by picking her up, placing her on her pad, and saying "Potty on the paper!" If she finished her business on the paper, then she would receive praise and sometimes a small treat. If Scrappy goes potty outside, the same steps should be performed when he's making a mistake but just take him outside rather than to a pad. If you find the accident after it has happened, then there is nothing to do but clean it up without any emotion whatsoever.
 

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I would try laying on the floor, possibly with a treat, call him over & in a gentle voice play with him & love on him a lot. If he has a favorite toy, get it any try to play with him. Don't try to rush it & don't yell. They don't like yelling & loud talking. Take him for a walk. Spend some time. Tell him you're sorry & what a good boy he is. Patience & perserverence is key here. Not sure I understand why you're disciplining your roommates dog, but I definitely wouldn't discipline him for a while until he's comfortable with me. I would reinforce positiveness for the good he does. They're smart & understand more than we give them credit for. If he was adopted, he may have come from an abusive home that treated him that way. He'll come around, just give it time.
 
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