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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All xD

So I wrote part of this in the Sydney meetup thread but it has now made me question whats normal behaviour. Coopy (Cooper) is 5 and a half months and to be fair is quite scared of anything that isn't his territory (our house). He doesn't bark at people or show particularly 'scared' behaviour if someone comes to our house but he isn't friendly either ie sniffing them, wagging tail etc. He will shake and cling to us if we take him to someones house he doesn't know but we haven't done that too much and he is getting better. He was scared to go outside but is getting over that too. So my question is this;

My partners mother just got a Chi pup who is 9 weeks old. Coopy is fairly familiar with their house as we have taken him there a little. When we let him play with the pup (Joey is his name xD) Cooper displayed some puzzling behavior. First off he was curious about the pup, and when the pup got close Coopy stood tall and rigid, ears erect, tail erect which all points to dominant behavior however he did not make eye contact (which is submissive behavior!) Then he would do strange rigid jumps and go 'stiff and stand tall' and then repeat hehehe. He did seem interested and when Joey lost interest would either go over and start the strange behavior again or he would call out to Joey either whine or bark to get him to come back. Then it progressed to him still puffing out his chest, standing tall, ears and tail erect BUT he started pushing Joey! Like using his body weight to kind of slam Joey out the way (I am fairly sure his tail was wagging when he did this although still up and rigid). The body slam/pushing went on for a bit until finally he showed what I consider 'normal play' with Cooper getting down low on his front paws with his butt up, tail wagging, jumping around and they tumbled and chased and play fought. What I want to know is what was all that strange behavior at the start? Is that Coopy trying to be dominant? (Because I should also note he attempted to mate with Joey several times... and Joey is a boy so I am assuming that was dominance). Is that normal for them to act dominant/submissive and then play? Or is what Coopy doing proof that he has very bad social skills and needs to be socialized a lot more (which he does and he will be hehehe) Joey was very cute too rolling on to his back and being very submissive and cute xD
Thanks guys love all the knowledge on these forums :D
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I also just remembered something, when Coopy was doing the 'rigid tall' behavior he also kept turning his back/butt to Joey. That seems like it means something/Shows bad socialization?
 

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That sounds like very dominant almost aggressive behaviour. Obviously the puppy was submissive enough to reassure Cooper that aggression would be unnecessary and he calmed down enough to play with him. It is not a good sign that he needs to show such extreme dominance over a 9 week old pup. Most dogs, even very dominant ones tolerate young pups. I would worry that when Cooper meets a dog who is not so submissive that he might actually show aggression. What is he normally like with other dogs?
 

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My 7 month old started the butt shoving when she was Cooper's age. I don't think she is at all aggressive. She also is scared of almost everything. She does this as a play invitation. The 'bow' is always an invitation to play. The 'blow up myself' is a way to make Coop appear bigger. He is a very scared little dog, and doesn't know how to interact yet. Are there any puppy schools around?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
He is the most unaggressive little thing ever, he is timid and shy as I feel he was with this pup but his behavior is strange because at the same time he was showing dominant AND submissive behaviors (standing tall but no eye contact etc). This is why I feel he is a little confused with how to act and or play around other dogs. With humans, ever since we got him, if you approach him the first thing he does is wag his tail and roll onto his back, showing his belly (submissive).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
And Susan that is good to hear that your Chi did the same. I am not sure about puppy schools, We are making an effort to take him to friends/families dogs etc and just get him exposed to more to try stop him being frightened of things/people/dogs.
 

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I agree that he is scared, but the rigid tail position and 'body slamming' are very close to aggression. fear aggression is common in unsocialised dogs, especially chis. He wants to play, but is lacking confidence around other dogs. You will need to work hard with him to build up his confidence. Did he meet other dogs when he was younger?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don't believe so. To my understanding (we got him when he was 3 months old from a petshop... bad I know) And when we bought him his brother had been long sold. He was alone in his pen for gosh knows how long. On top of it his parents (we finally found out) were from an owner who had no other dogs other than Coopers mum and dad so there would have been no socialization there. A few days after bringing him home we tried to socialize him a bit and asked our neighbour to bring over her king charles cavalier, Molly, who is a very quiet and calm dog. Cooper didn't body slam her but I do remember the erect ears/tail and him being a bit rigid. He also put his front paws on her back which is dominant and at one stage tried mating with her (can you imagine this tiny little thing against a dog about 4 times his size hehehe) But all in all I would describe his behavior as curious, slightly playful and very very confused (how to act).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Although I must also note that when I say rigid tail...mostly it was still wagging. He also tried playing with molly, barking, getting down on his front paws and jumping around trying to get her to chase him but she was NOT interested hehehe. Perhaps this further confused him?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ok so turns out, after reading this article; Dog Body Language - Puppy Language

that cooper is being dominant and a bit aggressive which really surprises me. He is the most submissive dog I know toward humans and never has tried to challenge us or his position. So to act like that towards other dogs is strange? Question is what exactly do I do to stop the behavior and encourage more friendly normal behavior?
 

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He needs to meet lots of dogs and for it to be a positive experience. Puppy classes are a great idea, so is spending more time with Molly and meeting other dogs whilst with her. He must be given time and space when meeting new dogs. All non aggressive behaviour must be praised, he needs his confidence building. I would be extremely cautious about letting him meet dogs you don't know at this point. His behavior could easily incite aggression from another dog, and if that dog is a big one the consequences don't bear thinking about.
 

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I gota agree with Stella, all puppies reguardless of size should always be socilized right from the get, around other dogs, other pets, around all sorts strange objects and sounds as much as possible. But always make sure the pup or older dog has had its shots, you dont want to pick anything up from a dog park or other dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Photos

Ok so I was looking through some old photos and have found some of when Coopy met Molly. However he was much younger than he is now in these photos and I must say was more 'Dominant' with Joey recently than back then with Molly in these photos. But you get the general idea of the standing tall/rigid/ears up/standing on back behavior :)

http://www.chihuahua-people.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=8158&stc=1&d=1350842340

http://www.chihuahua-people.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=8159&stc=1&d=1350842394
 

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Thank you for this thread its been great to read the descriptions and responses. I agree, another dog might not be so "forgiving" of his dominance stances. He sounds a bit insecure to me, which would be natural if he hasn't been taught the proper behaviors/body language signals from other dogs yet. His brother that left him may have been more submissive so he may not have ever been "put in his place" before, either.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Heheheh she was! I couldn't believe how she pretty much just sat/stood there while Coopy was doing his thing. He tried to play with her after this too but she didn't even blink and eyelid (so to speak!) hehehe.
As for the dominance, bad Coopy :( I am almost certain he does it out of fear. Which is sad because it means we have NOT done our job as owners to socialise him properly. We thought we were doing a good thing by getting Molly over. We clearly needed to do a lot more :( We will have to try really hard now, and especially watch him around other dogs (which we would anyway).
Thanks for your imput and knowledge guys it has been great so far :D
 

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Dominance isn't necessarily bad behaviour, there is always at least one pup in every litter who has a dominant personality, and these can be the best pets in the right hands.
Your little boy just doesn't know how to behave around other dogs. He was possibly taken away from his mother and siblings too soon, dogs learn their social etiquette from their canine family. Now it is up to you to fill these gaps in his experience. It will take time and effort, but there's no reason that Cooper can't grow up to be a well-adjusted and sociable dog.
 

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Hey, all! Okay, I gotta say that from what I read of Coopy's behavior in the OP's first post, I'm getting a pretty different read on what happened. Of course, if you can get some video or pictures of Cooper and Joey, it would really help us see what Coopy's doing and offer better advice. But, in my opinion, the 'standing tall while looking away' is actually a form of play invitation. It's a bit of a doofy invitation, and one usually made by dogs that are interested but a little anxious, but I really don't think there was any sort of aggression in the gesture. Most pups try to hump when they meet a new dog, it's a way of 'testing the waters' to see who will be more in charge. It's not aggressive, and we people can find it a little rude and awkward, but it's a pretty common introductory behavior, especially if the dogs are young or if one is a little lacking in canine social skills.

Below is a short video of Lyra playing with our new puppy. She runs around in circles and then stops and sits still (or stands), then takes off in circles again. All the while she's whimpering or squeaking. Sometimes, she playbows. A couple times, she does a quick body check. All if this is pretty appropriate play, even the parts where she goes still and tall.

 

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Hey, all! Okay, I gotta say that from what I read of Coopy's behavior in the OP's first post, I'm getting a pretty different read on what happened. Of course, if you can get some video or pictures of Cooper and Joey, it would really help us see what Coopy's doing and offer better advice. But, in my opinion, the 'standing tall while looking away' is actually a form of play invitation. It's a bit of a doofy invitation, and one usually made by dogs that are interested but a little anxious, but I really don't think there was any sort of aggression in the gesture. Most pups try to hump when they meet a new dog, it's a way of 'testing the waters' to see who will be more in charge. It's not aggressive, and we people can find it a little rude and awkward, but it's a pretty common introductory behavior, especially if the dogs are young or if one is a little lacking in canine social skills.

Below is a short video of Lyra playing with our new puppy. She runs around in circles and then stops and sits still (or stands), then takes off in circles again. All the while she's whimpering or squeaking. Sometimes, she playbows. A couple times, she does a quick body check. All if this is pretty appropriate play, even the parts where she goes still and tall.

Let's Play! - YouTube
Omgoodness!!! That's just the cutest. Lyra is to funny, the song "U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer poped into my head. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Smith, that is similar to Coopy! Although rather than circles he jumps sideways hehe. I think we do have a video of it, will have to get it off my partners phone tomorrow. That video was soooo cute and made me laugh!
 
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