Most people assume that a dog that guards her resources – like food, bones, chews, toys, or stolen goods – is a very bad, dominant, aggressive dog. Precisely the opposite is usually true. Usually, and this is most obvious in a pack of dogs, the alpha Chihuahua doesn’t need to guard her resources from the other dogs. They know not to take anything away.
Begin teaching the down command to your Chihuahua in the sitting position. Say “Dinky, down.” Then show him a tidbit, and move it below his nose toward the ground. If he reaches down to get it, give it to him. Repeat, requiring Dinky to reach farther down (without lifting his rear from the ground) until he has to lower his elbows to the ground.
Educating your Chihuahua can never begin too early or too late. With a very young puppy, train for even shorter time periods than you would an adult. The exercises every Chihuahua should eventually know are sit, down, stay, come, and heel. These exercises will be demonstrated with the help of a budding Chihuahua genius named Dinky.
First, you have to get Dinky’s attention. Say “Dinky, watch me”. When he looks in your direction, say “Good!” and give him a treat or other reward. Gradually require Dinky to look at you for longer and longer periods before rewarding him.
Even Chihuahuas need to be trained. A well-trained dog is a safer and happier dog. Around the house you may need your dog to stay while you leave the door open for a moment, to sit out of the way while you prepare his dinner, to lie down while you groom him, or to come when you call. Dog training is not a matter of making a servant out of your dog – after all, no self-respecting Chihuahua would stand for that.
Voice. Dogs are extremely sensitive to human vocal tones. Although your Chihuahua doesn’t have the capacity to understand English, his ability to understand you can easily give this impression. Therefore it’s important to remain conscious of the messages you send when talking to your dog. Dogs learn to make associations with particular sounds and actions by using other contextual clues.
Even the best dogs with the best owners can sometimes do the worst things. Too often distraught owners get their training advice from the next-door neighbor or dog trainers who don’t have a scientific background in dog behavior. Veterinarians can sometimes offer advice, but few are extensively trained in behavior.
Fortunately, great strides have been made in recent years in canine behavioral therapy. Before despairing, consult a certified canine behaviorist, who may employ a combination of conditioning and drug therapy to achieve a cure. As a first step in any serious Chihuahua behavior problem, a thorough veterinary exam should be performed.
Litter box or paper training your Chihuahua can be the ideal solution. Puppy pads are readily available, and will absorb the urine, making it easy to dispose of. Litter box training has also becoming much more common for small dogs and can be used much like a cat litter box. The puppy pad or litter box should placed in an area that makes the puppy feel secure and relaxed enough to potty easily.
Gum Color: The simplest yet most overlooked checkpoint is your dog\’92s gum color. Looking at the gums is so simple, yet virtually no one does it – except your veterinarian, who will often look at the gums before anything else when your Chihuahua comes into the exam room sick.
Your Chihuahua looks at you with big sad eyes. A subtle whine, some barking and perhaps a hopeful tail wag when you look his way, or a paw scratching on your leg. Someone has done a “great” job on how to train a Chihuahua not to beg. That’s right, poor table manners were learned, initially reinforced when someone slipped a tasty tidbit to a begging dog because they thought it was cute, or thought it would make the behavior stop once the dog got what he was begging for. It’s not too late, however to change this embarrassing behavior.
It’s only natural to want to give your Chihuahua the occasional tidbit. After all, food is how we celebrate with family and friends, and it’s at the center of home life, so of course we will want to include our four-legged family member in family dinners, holidays, and other celebrations. Of course, how you share that tidbit is what makes all the difference in your Chihuahua’s behavior during mealtimes.
After your Chihuahua is sitting still and relaxed for more than a second, you should start to teach him how to lay down. Not only is it a more comfy position for your Chihuahua for an extended period of time, but your Chihuahua is also less likely to pop out of position without being released. When lying down, a dog is generally at a lower arousal level and more relaxed. Of course, not all small dogs appreciate this position, as it makes an already tiny breed feel a bit more vulnerable, so only use it in safe, relaxed settings.
There’s two ways on how to teach a Chihuahua to lay down. You can either lure or shape the down position. To start shaping, begin in the most boring room of the home, making sure there are minimal distractions for your Chihuahua, such as toys or other people to pester. This can be a home office, laundry room, or even the bathroom. Go in with your clicker and treats in a pocket, shut the door, and sit down. Read a magazine, pass the time while you ignore the dog. Eventually, the bored dog will lie down, so click and treat!
There’s a few ways to train a Chihuahua to potty outside. First thing in the morning take her to that quiet location that you previously scouted out for suitability. Your puppy should be leashed and escorted to the potty spot, as puppies get easily distracted and will “forget” that they had to go. Use a leash or carry your Chihuahua to the potty spot, and no monkey business on the way!
Retrain your pup if she tries to wander off and hasn’t attempted elimination. allow the pup to sniff around as you stand in the potty zone, though, because sniffing usually leads to potty success. You can put down a piece of previously soiled paper and leave it there to encourage the pup to sniff and squat.
The quickest behavior to get under control is a sit. With a good sit comes a solid stay. After all, what good is it if your Chihuahua hits the floor like a champ, but can’t hold it long enough for it to be a useful skill? But first let’s see how you can teach a Chihuahua to sit.
When new Chihuahua owners think about training their puppy, the first thing they think about is a group obedience class. Though that may be good for some puppies for a variety of reasons, you have some other options that might be better. Here’s a few ideas to find a training program for your Chihuahua.
The best way to start will be to find a good teacher or school. You should look for a trainer who uses positive-reinforcement methods, and ask to observe a class. Many trainers will offer classes for just small dogs. Even if the students are not using clickers, they should be recognizing good behavior and reinforcing it. Stay away from teachers who are punishing or aggressively correcting behavior.
It can be difficult to narrow down what your Chihuahua really needs to know, and overwhelming to know where to start. There are dozens of potential skills and tricks you could teach, but how do you know what you should start with, and what is really necessary?
It is a good idea to start training for all new puppies with some general skills that can be used whether they are expected to be house pets, show dogs, therapy or service dogs, or even to excel at competitive dog sports. Recently adopted adult dogs coming into the home will also benefit from a quick review of the basics as a way to help them learn the ropes in the new environment.
Understanding how to apply positive reinforcement training to your Chihuahua can be overwhelming when you just want a well behaved, well adjusted companion. Not everyone wants to master an entire scientific discipline, they just want a pet they can live with. With that in mind, the following basic principles can address most issues that will come up when you are working with the average Chihuahua.
Achieving Better Behavior Through “Yes!”
One concept that is difficult for people to master is to stay away from using the word “no!” We say it all the time to each other, and humans are great at making those sorts of extrapolations. NO really doesn’t give the dog any relevant information other than “punishment is coming,” but it doesn’t tell the dog what to do to avoid punishment.
Behaviorists identify up to fifteen different kinds of aggression in dogs. An important point to remember is that aggressive behavior serves a function to the aggressor and is therefore reinforced when conflict happens and the outcome is in his favor. However, this also means aggressive behaviors can be changed, and more appropriate behaviors can become just as functional to the dog. Some kinds of aggression respond well to behavioral therapy, and some do not. Almost all kinds can be managed to keep people safer.
There are many mistaken assumptions about how dogs really learn: It’s all in the voice (usually, deep, loud, and booming); you need to show them who’s the boss (by rolling them on their back to make them submit); endless repetitions (often with “corrections” for wrong behavior); old dogs can’t learn new tricks; and so on.
The truth is, dogs learn just like all other mammals. There’s no magic involved, and it doesn’t require any whispering. Anyone can learn the basic principles, and use them to affect their Chihuahua’s behavior. The basic principles include classical conditioning, sometimes called Pavlovian or respondent conditioning, and operant conditioning.
Clicker training refers to training using operant conditioning principles, using a behavior marker linked to positive reinforcement of high value. Clicker trainers routinely leave out negative reinforcement and positive punishment, due to the unwanted side effects of inhibiting behavior and forming negative associations with the trainer.
Of course, not all behavior makers are created equal. Marking the behavior with a novel sound (CLICK!) helps the dog process precise information quickly and speeds up the training process immensely. Other behavior markers can be used, such as a verbal “yes!”, a flashlight or thumbs-up motion for a deaf dog, or a whistle, but a clicker is distinctive and loud enough to stand out.
There is a wide array of aggressive behaviors that any dog has the potential to exhibit. Ethologists identify over a dozen different kinds of aggression, ranging from maternal aggression, the hormonally mediated defense of offspring, to food-related aggression, a subset of resource guarding. Defining the term itself is complex and controversial, and its definition is still hotly debated by ethologists.
Aggression in dogs can be described as the threat of harmful behavior directed toward another dog or human to resolve conflicts due to threat or challenge. Many aggressive threats are ritualized social behaviors used to communicate information in order to avoid combat, since actual fighting is not a good long-term strategy for survival of the species.
There is no such thing as “best dog diet”. Each dog responds differently on different type of diet. Healthful foods should meet certain parameters, but the food you choose must also agree with your individual dog. What provides one dog with vibrant health and energy may not do so for another. Here is some of the most popular types of dog food to help you decide what’s best for your dog.
Most dry foods are made via a process known as extrusion, which is somewhat similar to what’s done to make pasta. Ingredients are ground in a mill and blended together in a mixer until the consistency resembles a powder. The mixture is put into a machine called an extruder, which cooks it with steam.
The growing trend of feeding uncooked meat and vegetables to our dogs has resulted in a whole refrigerated section full of new options. The appeal? Less processing and fewer mystery ingredients. But there’s a downside: the potential for pups who scarf down raw meat to develop bacterial illnesses that they than share with the dogs around them.
Prepare to lose at least one good pair of shoes. Chihuahua puppies are endearing and curious, and they love to chew! Just like their human counterparts, Chihuahuas go through a teething stage and then, a little later on, an even more rambunctious “teenager” phase. These stages are an absolutely normal and healthy part of development for every puppy. But with these undeniably adorable phases comes a little path of destruction, leaving half-eaten shoes in their wake.
While you can’t stop their inevitable desire to put absolutely everything in their mouths, you can puppy proof your home and provide suitable toys as an alternative to chewing. This not only will help keep your shoe casualty to a minimum, but more importantly, will help to protect those furry little family members from snacking on something that could land them in the emergency room.
Here’s a few tips on how to introduce the crate to your Chihuahua:
- Start slowly. Toss a treat into the crate, let your Chihuahua run in to get it and come out immediately. Praise and give her another treat.
- Get the Chihuahua interested in playing with a toy, then toss the toy into the crate. When she follows it in, close the door briefly, praise, then let her out immediately.
- If your Chihuahua seems nervous about the confinement, consider feeding her inside the crate to create a positive association.
- Once your Chi is comfortable eating food or treats inside the crate with the door open, close the door. Gradually increase the amount of time the door is closed.
Food is the strongest driving force for animals in the natural world. Of course, most dogs are happy to munch on what their owner provides on a regular basis and occasionally supplement it with what they hunt (find around the house). Unfortunately, many puppies are not taught from day one that you have the right to take away food or place your hand near their food without any dispute.
This type of aggression takes the form of the dog either growling when you walk near him when he is eating or lying near his food, or when you try to remove the food bowl, which he has decided to guard in a display of dominance.
Avoiding common dog handling mistakes can make all the difference in the world to a dog’s life. By setting up the home properly and abiding by a few time-tested principles, you can prevent disharmony and ensure a loving partnership that benefits all. The following ten bad owner habits are common errors pet behaviorists often see while diagnosing problem behaviors in a troubled pet home. By understanding why these habits are problematic and following the advice given on how to adjust your approach, you’ll take a huge step in making your dog’s life a better one.
Before starting the house training process, it is important to realize that from the perspective of new puppies or untrained dogs, there is no good reason why they should not potty inside the home. It is up to people to give their dogs the tools they need to succeed in a domestic world, that starts with helping them learn where it is appropriate to toilet.
There are a number of ways for potty training a Chihuahua successfully; your choice really depends upon the type of environment you live in. People in urban living situations with no yard tend to paper train their puppies until the pups have had all their vaccinations at approximately sixteen weeks old. When it is safe for the puppy to be outside, they make the transition between paper training inside and toileting outside.
Does your Chihuahua desperately scratch the door to pieces whenever you go out? Does he cower and shake with every clap of thunder? Every dog carries his own set of personality traits – likes, dislikes, wants and fears. But certain dogs carry more fear and tend to be anxious, easily excites and sometimes just a bundle of nerves.
The first and most important thing to look at when dealing with a nervous Chihuahua is the environment in which he lives. Try to create the least stressful environment for your dog, making sure he has access to plenty of fresh air and exercise.
After assessing the environmental situation, you must next identify what is causing the anxiety. Is he a clingy Chihuahua suffering from separation anxiety? Does he have a phobia of thunder or other loud noises? Maybe he even gets aggressive when he is afraid.
Redirecting Unwanted Greetings
If your dog loves retrieving games with toys or balls, take one with you to the park. For the first ten lessons, make sure the dog does not have access to any of his retrieve toys at home. Lock them all away for awhile, and only take one out with you during his walk. As soon as you see that your dog is about to pay unwanted attention to a passerby, call him and throw his ball or toy. This is a good distraction method for dogs that like retrieving. Timing is vital, so attract your dog’s attention before he jumps on someone, not afterwards.
So how to stop a dog from jumping up at you or at your visitors? Dogs seems to be obsessed with face-to-face contact, wanting to lick and nudge our faces and mouths with theirs. This is rather like our preoccupation with shaking people’s hands when we meet them. Between dogs this is an important social action, serving as a greeting, a plea for an older dog to regurgitate food, and even sign of submission.
When it’s directed at a human, the height difference means that they learn to jump up to reach our faces. Since we’re not dogs, face-licking is a habit we don’t normally like. The associated practice of jumping up is even more of a nuisance. It can also be dangerous, especially when big dogs and small children or elderly people are involved.
There’s a few things you can do to prevent play biting in dogs. From day one, avoid playing any games that involve mouthing. If your puppy tries to solicit attention from you by play biting, ignore him. Just get up and walk away. Alternatively, take hold of the puppy by the scruff and say “No” firmly, looking directly into his eyes for about two seconds. The command must be delivered sharply and crisply. Then let the dog go and ignore him. This is normally enough to discourage play biting in the very early stages, say between six and eighteen weeks.
If the puppy or adolescent dog has already developed play biting to a high degree, and resistance to its owner’s countermeasures is severe, holding by the scruff may be seen by the dog simply as more rough play or a dominant threat. It is best just to say “No” and then ignore him.
Every park user, whether a human or a dog, has a right to go for a walk without being bothered by unsupervised or uncontrolled dogs. A dog coming wildly toward you might be friendly and have nothing more fearful in mind than saying hello, but its bulk and speed can be quite intimidating. However, you may be dealing with a fierce brute intent on terrorizing you and your dog.
We’ve met people who have such a phobia of dogs that the prospect of walking across a park causes them misery. Though these are extreme cases, they’re indicative of the fear that uncontrolled dogs can inspire. Badly behaved dogs ruin the reputation of the rest. If you fear being on the receiving end of an attack by an aggressive dog, read on for advice on how to deal with the situation.
- Don’t take a fear-aggressive dog to places where there is a high concentration of dogs, like dog clubs or play areas, if you’re trying to socialize it. This will increase your dog’s anxiety, not lessen it.
- Don’t use physical punishment with fearful dogs. It often frightens them more, rather than teaches them. Distraction devices, like water pistols or training discs, are useful in some cases to put a stop to the aggressive behavior.
- Don’t put your arms around your dog to reassure it if it becomes aggressive or shivers and shakes. These actions simply magnify your dog’s fear. Taking a nonsense, detached attitude is better.
Lack Of Socialization
This cause of aggression is very common. It’s comes about because of poor socialization between six and twelve weeks of age and thereafter. This is the time when all puppies need to learn how to interact with other dogs and humans. If the experiences of contact are limited, the puppy becomes an outcast to its own kind – it does not learn the canine communication skills it will require to deter or defer to other dogs.
Dogs that are aggressive toward other dogs, irrespective of sex, size, or breed, tend to be motivated by a sense of fear. Specific aggression toward dogs of the same gender usually tends to be of the dominant type and can be stimulated by competition coupled with a strong inherited drive to be in charge. Either type can be caused or fueled by lack of early socialization with other canines, which helps to moderate competitive drives.
Alternatively, fear aggression can be caused by a traumatic experience when young. It may even be inherited – certain breeds are more predisposed to inherit a sensitive temperament, and so need much more frequent socialization when very young. Fearfulness in dogs is quite variable too: some dogs are afraid of certain other dogs but not all, and some are apprehensive of certain places; others may have a combination of these traits. Some dogs are more aggressive when in a restricted area, on a leash, or in a car.
Usually the main cause of dog aggressions toward visitors is based on fear, see them as a threat to their safety – they often feel trapped or view a visit as an intrusion on their territory. Dominant dogs often push forward to inspect or bite or nip the visitor; fear driven dogs can react with a facade of ferocity while inside they’re trembling. Some dogs simply hide behind their owner’s legs, watching as if transfixed by the visitor.
Controlling dogs within the home can be difficult, especially when you own an aggressive dog. What you always need to keep in mind is that the dog does not behave badly to upset you. It’s not personal. It’s just the way it has learned to respond to you, the environment, and its actions.
Here are few things you can do, if your dog become aggressive when getting visitors:
Preventing aggression in dogs is much easier than correcting it later on. There are many different reasons why puppies display aggressive behavior, but all aggressive dogs should be handled with the help of a professional.
Aggression in dogs can occur when they trying to escape from a frightening situation. When puppies are not socialized properly they are more likely to be fearful. You can help a fearful puppy to become more confident by gradually introducing him to new people and situations and by rewarding any signs of confidence. You can work to avoid aggressive behavior by using preventative measures as soon as you bring your new puppy home. Your puppy can also show some signs of aggression, when eating or playing with toys.
Though fear aggression can be inherited, it mostly occurs as a result of poor early socialization or an early trauma in puppyhood. Most fearful dogs become aggressive as they mature, though not all do. There are still too many breeders who do not like letting puppies go to other homes at seven or eight weeks of age, even though there is plenty of evidence to show that it helps prevent temperamental problems from developing, especially fear aggression.