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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys!

It´s me again :)
August, the 8 month male (will get fixed this Monday) Chihuahua joined our little family about 1 month ago.
He was supposedly bitten by his previous family´s other (big) dog and has scars on his back. I am also guessing that he was hardly socialized there.

He enjoys his time with us, well, mainly me. He is as cuddly and sweet as can be. Calm, uncomplicated and so affectionate. He also enjoys meeting other dogs - despite bad experiences.
Every now and then though, his "other personality" comes out:
When he meets a stranger (especially when somebody comes to our home), he growls, tucks his tail in between his legs, shakes, walks off and tries to bite the person if they come close. Sometimes this even happens with my husband. Of course, I am trying to stop/change this behavior by NOT picking him up then, NOT comforting him then, but telling him "NO" firmly.
Unfortunately he still acts that way.
He doesn´t have to be like a labrador, loving everybody immediately, but I would like for him to be friendly. I don´t want to have to worry about him biting people (also my family). Sometime he might have to stay with somebody else for a little while (when I´m on vacation or at work) and I have no clue how that would work out.
Do any of your chis have (had) behavioral issues like that? Maybe you can tell me from your experience how you dealt with the problem.
What advice would you give me? What should I do?
I really enjoy this forum by the way; such helpful posts, advice, cute pictures and friendly people!
Thank you!
Regards,
Carina (and August)
 

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Hey Carina,

You are right for not comforting him when he acts this way. No babying, no picking
him up, no talking to him, simply ignore the unwanted behavior. When he is being
good or indifferent to a stranger, guest or passerbyer reinforce it with a tiny
piece of a treat. As for people coming into your home, ask them to completely
ignore August. Let him come to them on his own terms and time. Once he does
you once again reinforce the positive/wanted behavior. Also to help him bond
with your hubby, I would recommend that your husband either feeds August
his every meal or walks him daily and uses positive reinforcement techniques
when August walks well, such as pats, treats, happy voice congratulating
August, etc. August needs to be conditioned to associate your hubby with
positive things. Whenever you take in a dog with an unknown history you
must be prepared to deal with possible behavioral or physical issues. If he has
been given a thumbs up at the vet's, and you put in the work and still see no
results, no improvements, then I would highly recommend you find a reputable
canine behavior specialist to help you work with August. Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much for your tips. That sounds very reasonable. I will try all of those things for sure.
He has already improved so much, so I have high hopes. When walking him outside, he used to try running and hiding whenever he saw a person. Now he just walks by.
And I´ve taught him to stop barking when somebody new is at the door.
I realize it´s work - but he is soooo wonderful, it´s worth it.
Thanks again!
You really take the time to answer a lot of people question´s - that is very very nice of you.
Have a great day!
 

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No problem Carina, I wish you all the best. :)
 
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