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:) Hi everyone! I hope I am posting in the correct area. I've been having a little problem finding my way around and trying to figure out how to post. I am new to this forum. I found it because I was doing a search about Chihuahuas and came across this forum and thought it would be cool to join. I have an 18 month old male Chihuahua named Little Pogo that I love with all my heart. He is our first small dog. We have always had large dogs. When our last two dogs who we've had their whole lives died, we thought we wouldnt have any more dogs. Its so heart breaking when they die. So, for a few years we just had cats. 4 to be exact and we still them. Then Pogo came into our lives and we fell head over heals for him. He is our little baby. We take him every where we go and just love him so much. Maybe a little too much. I say this because he is sometimes a little to aggressive and doesnt think anything of biting me if he has something and I might try to take it from him, or if I might want to move him from a chair he is laying on or for something else. We have NEVER ever had a dog that would bit us. Ever! We would never have tolerated it or even a growl would not have been tolerated. So, I dont know what to do. I actually sometimes just let stay where ever he is to avoid a situation. He just bit me the other day when one of the cats vomited and I was trying to clean it up and he wanted to help. Of course I didnt want him to help, ( he wanted to eat it) so he bit the heck out both my hands. On one hand I had the biggest bruise and the other the biggest open cut. I actually feel hurt that he does this to me. I mean of course, I know he is a dog, but to bit the hand that feeds him! Not good! I dont know how to discipline him. I had heard that Chihuahuas can be nasty, is this what they mean??? Anyone have these problems with their dogs ?? Well I am looking forward to making friends with other Chihuahua people and happy to have found you :D:Dguys.
 

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I don't know what to suggest about your biting problem. There are others on here much more experienced with Chi behaviour than I am! As a rule though, I have never found Chi's to be nasty, just sometimes spoiled which can lead to it's own problems though.

Welcome to the forum!
 

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Welcome to the forum!! Sorry to hear about your chihuahuas behavior though. The truth is you will need to start letting him know that you don't tolerate his behavior. He clearly does not respect you, and he does NOT think of you as his pack leader. This can cause a whole array of behavioral issues as you're already experiencing.
When he does something inappropriate; try correcting him with just a verbal "EH!" or "NO!" Loud enough to really catch him off guard. You don't need any kind of physical reprimanding; as sometimes that can make a dogs aggression worse if he tries to challenge you in return. But he needs to learn that his behaviors are NOT allowed, and that YOU are the one in charge. You can use other methods; such as a Squirt bottle; or a few pennies in a pop can that you shake. Any time he does something such as growl at you, or try to bite you, immediately "Correct" him. Either shake the can of pennies, squirt him; and ALWAYS pair it with a verbal command. (This way, eventually you can stop using the other things and he'll understand to respect just the words.)
When you want to take something from him; use the "trade-off" method. Say "Drop it!" and have a treat in a (closed palm) in your other hand. Obviously, he won't be able to take the treat unless the other thing is out of his mouth. As he takes the treat, you take the other object with your other hand. Say "Good boy!" as he crunches the treat. This will help teach him that when you ask him to "Drop it!" or take something away from him; that it is a POSITIVE thing. After he has let you have it; tell him another command before giving it back. Make that toy or whatever he has be the reward for ANOTHER action. Such as "Sit!" and until he sits, and holds that position for a few seconds, then say "Good boy!" and give him the object back.
Teaching him to get off the chairs is easy too. Use a simple command like "OFF!" use a stern, deep tone. If he doesn't (and realistically he probably wont at first) give him a squirt with the squirt bottle. Most dogs don't like that and will move quickly.
As far as your daily routine; you may want to google Nothing In Life Is Free training. It basically trains him to realize that YOU are in control. Before feeding him; have him "Sit" before you give him the bowl. Don't let him up in your lap unless YOU say "Come!" first. Don't let him demand anything of you, even affection or your attention. It doesn't mean that you can't snuggle or give smooches; they just have to be on YOUR terms. If he barks to get your attention, simply cross your arms and turn the other way. That is using "his" language to help him understand he cannot demand attention from you (just like wolves, their ancestors do...)
I hope this helps you. A good other first step is to help teach him some basic obedience. Doesn't mean you need to take a class with him (but if you can that's also great for socialization, plus gives you time with a trainer; but if you can't afford or don't have the time for a class you can teach most things on your own. All of these actions (You telling him to do something and him responding) helps to reinforce that you're in control. ) Here's a great site that can help teach basic commands:
Five Essential Commands for Your Dog - FamilyEducation.com
Training a dog to be well-behaved is not difficult; it just requires CONSISTENCY. And it is SO worth it as your dog will become much more relaxed as he will feel safer with you; once he "trusts" you as pack leader he will no longer feel the need to take charge of so many situations.
Good luck!!
 

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:)I say this because he is sometimes a little to aggressive and doesnt think anything of biting me if he has something and I might try to take it from him, or if I might want to move him from a chair he is laying on or for something else. We have NEVER ever had a dog that would bit us. Ever! We would never have tolerated it or even a growl would not have been tolerated. So, I dont know what to do. I actually sometimes just let stay where ever he is to avoid a situation. He just bit me the other day when one of the cats vomited and I was trying to clean it up and he wanted to help. Of course I didnt want him to help, ( he wanted to eat it) so he bit the heck out both my hands. On one hand I had the biggest bruise and the other the biggest open cut. I actually feel hurt that he does this to me. I mean of course, I know he is a dog, but to bit the hand that feeds him! Not good! I dont know how to discipline him. I had heard that Chihuahuas can be nasty, is this what they mean??? Anyone have these problems with their dogs ??
Yes, absolutely, that's what they mean! I would never say that this breed IS inherently nasty. They are just incredibly opportunistic. They are bossy and stubborn and will take advantage of you if you're not firm with your boundaries. They're not Labradors who generally want to bend over backwards to please you! Look into Nothing In Life Is Free, but in my opinion, stay away from things like sound aversion or squirt bottles as they create a stressful environment that prevents learning and makes an aggressive dog even more reactive.

If You're Aggressive, Your Dog Will Be Too, Says Veterinary Study at University of Pennsylvania | Penn News

To start, I'll say that I'm a believer in positive-based training methods so I'm going to describe one method that sets your dog up for success. "Setting your dog up for success" means that you never give them an opportunity to practice bad behavior. You are providing him with a positive alternative, limiting his option to follow through with the bad behavior, rewarding the heck out of using the positive alternative, and ignoring bad behavior that springs up.

Warnings:
- Use only real, skinless boneless chicken breast as a treat. You can use deli meat. Each treat should be smaller than your fingernail.
- Limit training sessions to 15 minutes at a time. You can have several training sessions a day, however. If your dog seems bored or disinterested, end on a good note and be done for a few hours.
- Be calm. If you are afraid of your dog, he will sense it. This method should also make you feel more in control once you start to see results.
- Take it slow and don't expect instant results. This method will take much longer than dominance-based techniques but it is likely to fix your problem permanently if you follow through and practice it a few times every day.
- If you advance too quickly and he starts to react badly, back up to a point where he wasn't reacting. For example, if he wasn't reacting when your hand was a foot away from his toy, but he starts to react if your hand is six inches away, then back up to the point where your hand is a foot away and start over. Advance more slowly.
- Try to keep training fun! If your dog enjoys training, he will learn faster and retain more of what he learns. He'll also be more likely to listen to you because of the positive relationship you have.


Method: Desensitization and Counter-Conditioning

Is there a situation where you can 100% predict that he will bite you? (For example, does he always try to snap at you if you take away a piece of food or a toy?) If so, recreate this situation by setting him up for a time when he would normally start to bite you. If it's when he's holding a treat or toy, then get something he likes even better and hold on to it. I'll use a specific example so that it's more clear.

Let's say he usually snaps at you if you try to take away his favorite bone. However, he likes eating chicken meat even more than his bone because he rarely gets it. Sit on the floor a few feet away while he is chewing his bone. Toss a chicken treat away from him so that he has to get up and leave his bone to go get it. Then TAKE the bone. Show him that you have it, and hand it back to him. Rinse and repeat until he is familiar with the game.

Next, start to gradually reach your hand towards him before throwing the treat. (Continue throwing the treat away from both of you so that he has to move away to get it.) Start slowly and with your hand very far away at first. Don't move too quickly or make any jerky movements. Reach for him but don't get too close (you don't want to be close enough to trigger a reaction), then throw the treat a few feet away, take the bone, and hand the bone back to him. Do this over and over, gradually letting your hand get closer and linger an extra second longer before tossing the treat. ALWAYS make sure you hand him the bone afterwards and praise him.

The next step is to work up to touching and finally taking the bone while simultaneously shoving treats in his face. He should already be used to your hand approaching his bone, so if you did this right, he shouldn't growl or bare his teeth at you for getting near his bone. Reach for the toy with the same hand you've been using, and when you get close put a treat right in front of his nose with the other hand. While he is distracted with the treat, take the bone away, give him ANOTHER treat to reinforce the act of giving up the bone. Hold on the bone for a second and then give it back to him. Praise him a lot. Rinse and repeat.

Finally, work on taking away the bone, holding it for a second, and then giving him the treat. This is different from the last step because you are giving the treat after you have taken the bone away rather than at the same time. Praise him if he allows you to take the bone calmly, give him his treat, and then give the bone back. Rinse and repeat.

Pretty soon he should start to see you taking his bone away as a positive experience.

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I hope this helps! Let me know if you try either of these and if they work for you. :)

Here's a short video about counter-conditioning:
 

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I like this guy:
How To Train Puppy To Stop Biting! - YouTube
Tab289
At first he exaggerated annunciation distracted me... but he has some really great videos and you can see his dog is amazing.

Now this is for a puppy biting and I do realize that, but you pretty much have to start at square one regardless his age because you are in correction / relearning appropriate behavior mode. So there might be something here for you or if you scan his youtube clips you might find something more helpful.

Nip it at the bud. I know everyone does everything different with their dogs as it relates to training. You just need to find out what works for you. I tend to go with positive-based training. For me I don't want our pets to fear us, I want them to respect us and get with the program. So +based works best for us. I am not knocking how others do it ~ I just am speaking about what works for us here.

These dogs are little but that's not an open ticket to act like a maniac & if you unable to correct it (an by unable I mean not patient enough ~ because everyone for the most part is able to with help and patience), it is going to change your relationship because you won't be as happy with him as you would be if he was behaving. You can easily get him going in the right direction, but you are going to have to work at it and be consistent and so is everyone in your home and around him. My partner in consistency is a 6 year old little girl ~ so needless to say its been all kinds of crazy fun here :) Even very old dogs coming from very bad situations can learn how to live in peace and harmony under a roof so don't give up. There are a lot of people here who can help you and support you while you get things going in the right direction & you will :)
 
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