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Discussion Starter #1
I've been having so much trouble with Josie lately. When I first got her and picked her up from the breeder, she had no problems whatsoever with going to me. The breeder watched me hold her for a minute and said, "Well, she didn't hesitate going to you at all." When I got her home, she did that with everyone; there wasn't really anyone she didn't get along with and she was introduced to a large number of people (not all at once, but over a span of a few days, around 10-15 people). I took her in our local pet store and the lady behind the counter, who I feel I know fairly well, wanted to hold her and she was the first person I'd ever seen Josie not want to go to.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I had her out with me and drove around Wendy's to get something to drink. She was in my lap and growled and barked at the lady that took my money. It was kind of embarrasing, I'd never seen her do that before. She had no problems with the guy that handed me my soda, though. This happened at a McDonald's too. Same deal.

Well, now it's to the point that Josie isn't really liking anybody. She has even tried to bite a couple of people. Turns out, the people she's not so crazy about happen to be huge animal lovers. I got my eyebrows waxed a couple of hours ago and the girl that always does my waxes was afraid of her because Josie kept snapping. She asked me beforehand if Josie would bite and I told her no, as I've never seen her attempt to bite anything. But sure enough, she snapped at her. I was humiliated. So many people were saying, "Oh what a cute dog!" but when they approached, Josie growled and so they moved back.

Is there anything I can do to get her out of this or will she always be this way?
 

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What are you doing when she does snap or barks at people? You may be propagating the behavior by holding her or just "being too nice" to her. If she snaps at someone and you give her attention by picking her up, holding her or petting her, she may think that's what you want her to do and sees your attention as positive reinforcement.

Also, at four months of age, puppies will go through a fear stage since they are getting out more, seeing new things, etc. Josie may be reacting out of fear; strange smells, different people, etc. She may have barked at the money lady and NOT barked at the drink guy because he was giving you food and the lady just took your money.

I'm going to guess she was in your lap or arms when she barked and snapped at people. Cooper shows aggression towards larger dogs if he's in my lap. If I put him on the ground, he behaves himself and acts like a "normal" dog. Josie may feel you are her territory and anyone that approaches causes fear of intrusion or protectiveness.

I saw a program on fearful dogs and the trainer said you have to make the dog face their fears in order for them to move past them, just as in humans. Going on the assumption that you are holding Josie in new situations, you might try putting her on collar and leash and making her experience things "alone" - it may teach her that new experiences aren't all that bad if she doesn't have you behind her to get her back. :)

Also, I don't know if you've taken her to puppy classes or obedience but those would probably help with the aggression she's showing.

I hope she decides to let whatever it is go though; she's so adorable and I know everyone you see wants to pick her up and give her kisses! :D
 

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I know exactly how you feel! Diego was the same way. When I first got him, I socialized him like crazy. I bet the first couple of months he met at least 100 people. He loved everyone and was the friendliest puppy. Around 5 months he started to growl at some people, and he definitely doesn't like kids and old people for some reason. My grandparents, who don't live near me, were so surprised when he didn't want to come to them after being so sweet the first time they met him. He also barks and growls at the drive-through employeess too! :oops: Then he started to snap at people who would try to pet him. I was so disappointed that after doing everything i could to make him a friendly dog, he was acting this way. Then I realized that the only time he would snap or growl was when I was holding him. He's still always really friendly if he's on the ground. Someone mentioned it looked like he was protecting me, which seems to be the case. Maybe try and see if that makes a difference? Of course, I'd rather he didn't do it all, but at least I know not to let people pet him if I'm holding him. Anyone else have this problem? Is there a way to make them not so protective?
 

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Cooper said:
I'm going to guess she was in your lap or arms when she barked and snapped at people. Cooper shows aggression towards larger dogs if he's in my lap. If I put him on the ground, he behaves himself and acts like a "normal" dog. Josie may feel you are her territory and anyone that approaches causes fear of intrusion or protectiveness.

I saw a program on fearful dogs and the trainer said you have to make the dog face their fears in order for them to move past them, just as in humans. Going on the assumption that you are holding Josie in new situations, you might try putting her on collar and leash and making her experience things "alone" - it may teach her that new experiences aren't all that bad if she doesn't have you behind her to get her back. :) :D
Wow- I'm a slow typer! Thanks for the answer!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
When I take Josie in places, I'm holding her unless she's in her carrier or a bag. When she snaps, I pull her back a step or so and say, "Josie! No!" and when the person tries to come close again, she'll wait for a few seconds, but then she growls again. By then, people usually don't want to try it a third time and I need to be on my way, regardless. I'm not sure how she'll react around other dogs yet. The only dog she's been around is Ryan and she's been with him since day one, so that's no big deal to her.

I've hesitated taking her out for walks and things until she got all of her shots, which happened on Monday, so I'm hoping to get that going on this week. She doesn't like kids either. Elderly people don't bother her, just kids really. She's pretty picky when it comes to adults.

I'd love to get her in an obedience/behavior class, but the closest one from where I live is about three hours and right now I don't have the spare cash for the class (and gas which by the way is $3.29 a gallon here!). Hopefully, she'll get out of that soon.

Thanks for all the advice. :wave:
 

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Pixie is having similar issues. She is about 4 1/2 months old and used to have no problem with anyone. Now eventhough she isn't biting, she will growl and bark at any new people that come into our house. She isn't too bad when I have her out places....she is pretty good (knock on wood) if I'm holding her. But I don't know why she suddenly is doing this. I actually think she is afraid of the new people. She runs and hides from them and barks for awhile until she eventually warms up to them. Yesterday I had a pet sitter over to meet Pixie and I and Pixie just kept barking and running from her. Good first impression huh?? She also is very afraid of children. I think because kids think chis can play the way big puppies can and they don't really like to as you probably know. Anyways, I just keep telling Pixie "no" and after a little time around the new person she seems better. Good luck and let me know if you figure out any good tricks!
 

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Tucker is coming out of it

Tucker was a very shy pup, when anyone (myself included) visited the breeder he was one of the dogs who would run up to you then run away. He wanted so badly to come up but when I "caught" him he'd actually yelp when I picked him up. After 2x of that I just petted him a while before picking him up. After that he was so friendly. When I brought him home 2 weeks ago he was fine for 2 days then started snapping, even lunging (sp) at people, including my sons who live here.

Puppy class this week was socializing time (he was kenneled with his littermates and had been fine with other litters) he was dubbed "the agressive one", he was quite mean to the other dogs (and the smallest). The trainer said the small dogs know they are small, they are the first aggressor as a means of being on the offense rather than defense. Also there is the protecting factor. Tucker has finally gotten used to the guys in the house because I went back to work (took a week off when he came home). Without me around the house he tolerated then, liked them.

Anyway, now he's 4mos (today) and beginning to be more tolerant of others. The trainer agreed with the advice given on here, put him down and let him be a dog, holding him to protect the people from getting hurt only reinforces his behavior. And even shushing him reinforces the behavior. we are supposed to ingore it, especially when he looks back at you for reassurance.

Good Luck!
 

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Gadget loves people but there are people he can't stand.. and those people get the deep dark bark and the straight tail... the people you he likes gets the happy go luck talk to me bark witht he waggly tail....

I have to laugh because he went through a stage where he would bark at everybody who came to the house with that deep dark bark with the straight tail... even the people he used to like.... I think he was about 5 months when he started that and it only last a month or so... but when he did that I told him to "KNOCK IT OFF" and he did...
 

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I'm so glad to hear of other puppies doing this at 4-5 months old!! I thought I broke Tico because he started doing this at about 4 1/2 months!

He had been a little shy before, but then got to where he would snap at anyone who would try to just reach right out for him. He likes kids though - mostly just men and older people (expecially men) that he's not fond of. I never thought it could have anything to do with holding him... But that could be why he's better with kids. When I take him to our local park - there's a kids play water area (like a waterfall/wading pool/fountain kinda thing), he's always on the ground at kid-level.

The times I'm thinking of when he's snapped at adults, I most likely had picked him up to "introduce" him to someone who was standing up. Makes sense! A couple weeks ago, at an extended family bbq, my sister took him around to some other people, and he behaved pretty well with her though.

So those of you with grown chis that did this at 4-5 months, how long did it last and what, if anything, did you do to get them past it? (besides cooper's suggestion not to baby them when they start up).

As for the drive-thru.... he's not had a problem there - but he sits on the passenger seat, not my lap. BUT I can no longer use my cup holder - because he will try and steal my straw every time!!
 

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I think the main key is dominance with puppies. As they grow into themselves, much like teenagers, they're going to challenge your authority while looking to you for direction at the same time.

I never had problems with Cooper barking or nipping because of he came "pre-submissive" but if you can claim the dominance in your household, they'll most likely follow your lead in and out of the house.

Cooper NEVER walks through a doorway before a human (he even waits for OmaKitty to go through doors before him), he never walks in front of a human when they're going somewhere and he never EVER eats until I tell him to. As militant as it sounds, it's actually not bad. I don't have to remind Cooper about walking behind people - he just does it out of habit and gets very nervous when someone follows him. And, with his food, I just have him sit, I put down the food, I stand back up and he looks me in the eye and I say "okay" and he eats. If, when training him, I had felt as if I were abusing or causing him some kind of trauma, things would be different around here.

Being the dominant one in the household is really great, especially when you've got the dog running from you down the street (in a hurricane while you're in your nightgown ... LOL :wave: ) and you can just say COME and they do. It's also nice to know you don't have to keep a continual eye on your pup at someone else's house or out in public since your dog will generally come to you and "ask" if they can do something, just like a "well-trained" child.

Lastly, your "aura" and your general vibe is important. Dogs feed off our energy since they look to us for information on situations. I've noticed that with Cooper, if I am nervous or not completely relaxed, he becomes withdrawn and extremely shy. If I am completely comfortable with my surroundings, he's excited and friendly. And if I'm really angry, he's hiding. :lol:
 

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peanut barks at everybody...and when jellys around him and he starts barking she imitates him and starts as well..peanut isnt very aggressive though usually when people come over if you put your hand down towards his mouth he'll smell and then he'll be fine..he's never tried to bite anyone atleast i dont think so :? and jelly well she's afraid of everything..shes a big scaredy cat but she will bark at our neighbors if they start talking to me :lol: i've somewhat given up on peanut barking at everybody..i tried even pinching his butt lightly when he starts barking..he'll turn around but then start up again..
 

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i think chihuahua's are very picky when it come to humans !
mine LOVE some people and then HATE other people :? i have no prblem behaviour , but it can occur that they don't like someone .....maybe because of the tone of the voice, smell or just a feeling ......

kisses nat
 
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