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Discussion Starter #1
I have a chihuahua girl named Luna and a dachshund mix boy named Ichi. My pups have been together for about 6 months and normally they get along great. They never really have any aggression with each other.

One of the things they love to do is curl up together when they sleep, especially when it is chilly out. BUT whenever Ichi moves, even slightly, Luna goes berserk. She bites, snaps, and basically attacks Ichi. This lasts for about five seconds, and then Luna is almost apologetic. She whines and looks over Ichi, licking him and nudging him. I've tried to reproduce this myself by poking Luna when she's sleeping, but I can never get anything more than a growl from her. She seems to only go crazy when another dog disturbs her sleep.

Why is this happening and how can I correct it? I'm worried because Ichi is a lot bigger than her, and he could really hurt her out of self defense.

 

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my lola does the same to my cat! she gets really angry when my cat moves while they are asleep next to each other...when lola is asleep on me and i move a few times, she is not happy either, but only ever looks at me angryly or maybe growls a bit, like in your case...not sure whether there is anything we can do...?
 

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I definitely would crate them separately!! Sounds like very unusual behavior to me. How old is Luna? Might she have arthritis issues? She might be getting stiff while she sleeps & when Ichi moves, it causes Luna to wake where she feels the aches & pains & is striking out and Ichi is there. For Ichi sake, I would definitely crate them separately at night and possible have Luna checked out by the vet. Some underlying cause could be plaguing Luna that you're unaware of.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Luna is only 1 1/2 years old. At the last vet appointment I was told she was in perfect health.

I can keep them separate at night, but this also happens when they nap. I try my best to keep on eye on them, but more than a few times I had to sprint across the house from this happening during the day.

Any ideas as to why she goes nuts on Ichi, but only growls and walks away when I bother her?

Thanks for the replies!

 

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I think she feels that he's a peer, and you're a pack leader, which is a good thing. You can use that to your advantage if you choose to correct her when this occurs. It's also possible that, eventually, Ichi will get sick of her going postal on him and just not sleep by her anymore. You might also want to check for a seizure disorder of some sort - my Kali goes absolutely berserk at times, and it seems like she is a different dog (possibly of Klingon origin); our vet thinks this is related to a seizure disorder. Good luck!
 

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I have seen this happen when owners tried to move their dogs when they are asleep as well. I know you said it doesnt happen to you but it sounds like it could in the future. I would definitely try to nip this in the bud now. It sounds as if it could be a dominance issue? Where are they sleeping? human Bed/Couch? Can you physically pick her up while she is sleeping without a growl?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
They were sleeping together in my bed, but because of this issue they now have their own separate beds they sleep in at night. This usually happens when they are on the porch, there is a couch out there and they both like dozing during the afternoon.

Luna lets me pick her up while she is sleeping, but sometimes she squeaks. When she goes Rambo on Ichi I always correct, but in the moment she is oblivious. Once she lets out her aggression she'll get very submissive. Tail goes between the legs, ears go back, and she rolls onto her side.

Last night Luna was sleeping on the couch and Ichi just walked near her, hardly touched her at all. She snapped awake and attacked Ichi. My partner got bit trying to separate them. So I really want to fix this, but so far nothing I've tried has worked. Should I try spritzing her? I've read that spraying them with lavender oil and water will snap them out of unwanted behavior.

Thanks for the help.
 

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I have one like this! Hope (she is a sweetheart but can be a drama queen) does NOT want her sleep disturbed. She can saunter over and plop down to nap practically on Ruby's head (Ruby is so low maintenance that she is perfectly okay with it) or give Ruby like 2 inches to move and that is super to her. When Hope is asleep, if Ruby so much as walks near where she is sleeping, it is a growl fest and she will "air nip" her. Heaven forbid if Ruby decides to circle around and drop in an area to take a nap herself even within 12 inches of Hope.
She just does not like to be disturbed when she is sleeping. Period. Nothing wrong with her (other than her overinflated princess self belief). She is healthy as can be. She wants to sleeps when and how she wants to sleep.
 

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Tico does this, too. But being blind, he usually can't do any damage. He just hates being bumped or disturbed while he is sleeping. Or having his face and eyes licked by Pepper and Smoke, but they insist on doing it and I can't get them to leave him alone. I know it's a submission behavior, but it drives him nuts. As he is around 13 years old, I thought maybe he had some arthritis or something or it was related to him being in a wire cage most of his life. I had no idea other chis were doing this, too. Mostly now everyone decided never to try to sleep with him in a bed or by him under the covers. He does make an execption to Billy and sometimes Twiggy, he will let them sleep with him without freaking.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Okay, the last few times Luna attacked Ichi I spritzed her with a mixture of lavender oil and water while saying NO. She snapped right out of it! The aggression has gone way down, and now she gives a warning growl when Ichi moves, not an all out attack. I'm going to keep my spray bottle handy, just in case she gets crazy again. I just feel bad because Ichi usually gets a face full of lavender too! :(

Thanks for all the help!
 
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