August 26th, 2003, 11:17 AM
I have a small spayed chihuahua mix 3 years old. She is extremely jealous of any affection that I show my wife. If i try to hug or kiss my wife she starts barking like crazy until we stop. Sometimes she even nips at my leg.
What is the best way to get her to stop this behaviour?
August 26th, 2003, 11:52 AM
my sister-in-law has a purebred Chihuahua who acts the same way. It could be a protective thing, but in this case I think it may mean that she feels she is alpha and therefore should get all the attention. Little dogs are often coddled, spoiled and allowed to get away with outrageous behavior. NOT saying that is the case with you, but it's quite common.
Does she also growl at you over food, toys, position on the furniture, etc?
Your dog needs to know that YOU are in charge, and she will not be telling you what you can and cannot do.
I suggest obedience training and lots of practice, and a "Nothing in Life is Free" regimen which means that the dog gets nothing - walks, food, attention - until she does something for it, like "sit" or "down". This will teach her that you and your wife are alphas and that she is the lowest ranking pack member.
Once she knows her commands, put her in a sit, then touch your wife. If the dog behaves, she gets praise and /or a treat. If she does not obey, she gets put back into a sit until she holds it.
If she is "barking like crazy", she gets a time-out in her crate or another room. You must be consistant that her behavior is NOT allowed.
August 28th, 2003, 06:52 PM
This behaviour could be part of the Chihuahua mix's breeding. May I suggest that both you and your wife work together with your little Chihuahua mix so it will get used to you. Try doing some obedience training with the Chihuahua. Training it to "come" to you when called. Sitting, staying and teaching it the "down" command. Try teaching it little "tricks". Even take the Chihuahua on small walks around the house along with your wife. After a while, you can try working with your wife's dog by yourself with your wife watching in the same room. Give your little dog its dinner and do other little fun things around the house. Have your wife leave the house for a little bit at a time -- leaving you alone with your little dog. Slowly lengthen these periods of time so you're alone longer with your dog. Take it in the car with you, etc. Your Chihuahua mix will realize that you're lots of fun. Try making these training sessions short and fun with lots of praise so your Chihuahua mix will enjoy them and most of all -- you. Chihuahua's (and most small breeds) have a tendency of being a one person dog.
© Nancy Kitching 2003
Dog Trainer Member of CAPPT, CKC, OKC (Ottawa Kennel Club), and Bytown Obedience Club in Ottawa.
Hudson, Quebec J0P 1H0