Unsocial Chihuahua

by Jamie
(Norristown, PA

How do I help my 8 year old chihuahua to get along with other dogs? He barks and growls at every dog we see.

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Sep 13, 2008
Genetics Do Play a Part
by: Donna - dog-beds-n-beyond

Hi Jaime,

A Chihuahua should be socialized as a pup to avoid excessive aggressiveness with other dogs. Your Chihuahua's temperament as an adult is largely influenced by genetics and also by how well he has been socialized within the first 12 weeks of his life. Having said that, some may be slightly difficult to train, but they are intelligent, learn quickly, and respond well to proper, gentle positive training and this can be done at any age.

Chi's tend to be fairly dog-aggressive. They generally recognize their own breed, but sometimes disapprove of other breeds. However, a well-socialized Chihuahua can be friendly with other dogs. You should give your chi lots of chances to interact with other breeds.


  • The use of a quirt bottle is the best method I have found to accomplish corrections. The method is humane and very effective from the dog's point of view. Ideally, you want to make a quick correction and leave things on a positive
    note. The squirt bottle enables you to do this with a single squirt. You also benefit from being able to make the correction from a distance. Use consistently with a stern command "stop." Be careful to avoid squirting water into the nose or mouth. Praise your dog when he is quiet and calm. Praising good behavior is just
    as important as correcting bad behavior.

  • If you are walking your dog on a leash and another person approaches you with their dog, also on a leash and your dog starts growling or barking. Make sure your buddy knows the "down" command, this is the position of submission indicating to your pet that he is not the decision maker in the situation. Physically, the
    down also makes it difficult for a dog to bark or even growl. If your chi is in full down (elbows on the ground)if those elbows start to come off the ground give him the "down" again and make sure those elbows are on the ground.

  • Try to keep your chi at a safe distance when passing another dog. If he is quiet give him a treat and say "good dog." You need to use positive re-enforcement.

    Here are some links that may be of help to you:

    obedience training

    Chihuahua training


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