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Hey everyone! I'm new to this forum as a poster, but have been reading the boards since becoming a chihuahua owner last September.

I have been very consistent in training my chihuahua, who is now currently 11 months old and 9 lbs. He has been with me since 12-weeks and was neutered as a young puppy as he had started to exhibit certain behaviours (humping objects, etc) that led it to be advised. He is crate trained, potty trained, social and friendly in the dog park, but has exhibited aggressive behaviours from time to time at home and when traveling. He is not allowed on the furniture (after he became territorial of the bed he's been banned from it since), is made to wait for humans to enter doors first, and must sit or do other tricks to be rewarded or served his food. However, his aggression has been most seen around food, guarding his crate, guarding me, or when people pet him. Before, he would always want attention from others, but now he will be comfortable receiving a pet but then suddenly turns and snaps, warding off whoever is petting him. My boyfriend, who lives with us, is the most frequent victim. This past weekend, after getting picked up from the train station, I was sitting with my mother and the dog in the back seat of the car. She was petting and he suddenly tensed up and tried to bite her. Prior, he had always been very calm and well behaved in the car. On another occasion, while sitting on my boyfriend's lap in the car, my boyfriend was holding him and moved his hands slightly and the dog began to growl. I'd don't know if this is fear based or territorial. But the behaviour is very fickle and changes quickly. He will be accepting one minute, then suddenly tense and upset. He has been examined recently with a good bill of health. This behaviour is never exhibited towards me. After he lashes out, he instantly gets embarrassed, will lower his head in submission, and know that he has done something wrong. But he will still possibly lash out if anyone is in his space. I'm worried as this behaviour is new, as in the past few weeks, and I want to nip it in the bud. In regards to his aggression in the crate, I've had my boyfriend casually drop treats into the crate when the dog is resting inside, and speaking kindly to him. This is slowly improving and he is more accepting of people's presence near his crate. However, the other moments when he snaps are concerning me. If anyone has any advice-- please let me know. I have also been seeing a behaviorist to assist, but wanted to gather additional feedback from chihuahua owners. Thanks!
 

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My Chloe can show a little aggression when she doesn't want to be bothered or thinks a certain person belongs to her. We have a couple of tricks we have been using and she has shown a lot of improvement. If she is aggressive because she doesn't want disturbed we simply scoop her into our arms and hold her like a baby. We keep one hand on her chest so she can't bite and we hold her there until she is calmed down and then she goes to the floor and isn't held until she wants to be nice. If she is possessive over a person she gets put to the floor and ignored and isn't allowed back up. She still has an occassional moment but she is much better now that she is starting to learn the rules.

I think a behaviorist is a great idea and I am sure you will learn some valuable information.
 

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Is there a possibility that where he is being pet is injured at all? Maybe it hurts him? It might be worth just a checkup or something.
 

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Is there a possibility that where he is being pet is injured at all? Maybe it hurts him? It might be worth just a checkup or something.
This is a very good suggestion! I was just going to say the same thing I've heard of dogs becoming aggressive because they have been hurt and the owners don't realise it. I could be worth a look into it to ensure there isn't an under lying health issues :)
 
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