100 lb. Club - Kinda Bummed - OT

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10-09-2009, 04:19 PM
I am sure you all remember that my bf's son spent the night here weekend before last and we had a great time except for the fact that my little doggy is not use to being around anyone but my bf and I and he barked at the boy the whole time he was here. This is the weekend my bf gets his son again (every other weekend) and he was gonna bring him here again but the boy says he would rather stay at my bfs parents because of the doggy :(. I am glad it is not because of me but still, kinda bummed about it.

That is all.


10-09-2009, 04:21 PM
couldn't you lock the dog up while he's there?

10-09-2009, 04:23 PM
Like lock him up in a whole other room for 24+ hours?

10-09-2009, 04:26 PM
Or better yet, teach the dog not to bark. There are a number of discipline techniques to teach a dog not to do an undesirable behavior. Not claiming to be an expert but there are lots of doggie books out there. My new puppy (he's a year old now) had a lot of trouble with barking but it is a behavior he has learned we don't want.

10-09-2009, 04:27 PM
Just wanted to let you know I'm sorry you're bummed out & I wish there was something I could do. :hug:

The only way the dog is going to start getting used to him is having him around more, though. So it's a tough one. I wish I could be more help :(

10-09-2009, 04:28 PM
Thanks Abby :D :hug: Maybe I can get Cesar Milan to come here and whip the dog (and my bf and I) into shape ;) :p

10-09-2009, 04:42 PM
Aww Michelle, that sucks!

I agree that the only way the dog is going to get used to the boy is to have the boy over regularly. Also a squirt bottle does wonders in behavior modification of an animal :-P

10-09-2009, 04:43 PM
Oh I didn't now he stayed the night.

10-09-2009, 04:43 PM
Ohh, Cesar's the best. Maybe try to socialize the dog more. Can you take him on walks, or sit outside where he might get used to seeing more people? Or, and I know this is bad advice, have the boy bribe that dog with treats a plenty. I swear, my dogs would leave us for strangers with treats in a heartbeat! :0

10-09-2009, 04:46 PM
They are never going to get used to each other without being together. I say buy a bag of treats and give them to the boy! That will make them fast friends!

10-09-2009, 04:46 PM
Aww Michelle, that sucks!

I agree that the only way the dog is going to get used to the boy is to have the boy over regularly. Also a squirt bottle does wonders in behavior modification of an animal :-P

The squirt bottle is the great equalizer for my rat terrier....I don't even have to spray anymore. See SEES the bottle and knows what she's doing isn't acceptable...

10-09-2009, 05:01 PM
Thanks for the squirt bottle idea :) :hug:

10-09-2009, 05:19 PM
I agree on the squirt bottle I use one on my cats they r soo used to it all they have to do is see it and they stop.

10-09-2009, 06:00 PM
You need to socialize your doggy... BIG TIME. Take him to pet stores, walk him and let little kids pet him, take treats with you and ask people to give your dog a treat. PRAISE THE LIVING HECK out of him everytime he show positive behaviour towards ANYWAYS. Use your puppy as an EXCUSE to get out of the house and take him EVERYWHERE. Good behaviour? Treat. No barking? Treat. Let's a kid pet him? Treat.

You can make this work :)

10-10-2009, 01:24 AM
Just remember to modify his food intake to account for all those treats LOL.

10-10-2009, 03:52 AM
actually a GREAT thing to do is hand out his kibbled food INSTEAD of treats. Take his daily ration and put it in your pocket. That's his "treats" for the day :)

10-10-2009, 03:57 AM
Humm. Has you dog been around a lot of other people and not barked at them? Maybe he's trying to tell you something. He may not like him for some reason. Has he ever been alone with him? If the BF's son scared him dogs don't forget that easily. Don't totally blame the dog if this is unusual behavior.

That said, my son had a problem with one of his saints growling at one of the other dogs in a bid for dominance. Now he eats last, gets treats last, and has to go outside last behind the other dogs. That cured the behavior because he now accepts my son as the leader of the pack. Dogs just operate this way; it's instinct. They are only comfortable if there is a distinct hirerachy of power. Maybe you need to asset your dominance so that when you tell him to stop barking, he obeys you. but, take a closer look at why he's barking if it is unusual. Don't completely disregard the idea that there is a real reason. Investigate a little further before you decide there is a real problem.

10-10-2009, 10:35 AM
actually a GREAT thing to do is hand out his kibbled food INSTEAD of treats. Take his daily ration and put it in your pocket. That's his "treats" for the day :)

Thanks, great idea :hug:

10-10-2009, 10:37 AM
Humm. Has you dog been around a lot of other people and not barked at them? Maybe he's trying to tell you something. He may not like him for some reason. Has he ever been alone with him? If the BF's son scared him dogs don't forget that easily. Don't totally blame the dog if this is unusual behavior.

That said, my son had a problem with one of his saints growling at one of the other dogs in a bid for dominance. Now he eats last, gets treats last, and has to go outside last behind the other dogs. That cured the behavior because he now accepts my son as the leader of the pack. Dogs just operate this way; it's instinct. They are only comfortable if there is a distinct hirerachy of power. Maybe you need to asset your dominance so that when you tell him to stop barking, he obeys you. but, take a closer look at why he's barking if it is unusual. Don't completely disregard the idea that there is a real reason. Investigate a little further before you decide there is a real problem.

In my original post, I stated that the dog has only been around my bf and I and is not use to any other people at all. And as far as the dominance thing, yes, I am sure my doggy sees himself as alpha male here but that is my fault really cause I spoil him and treat him more human like than dog. We are trying to remedy it but it's not easy at all. Thank you for the advice.

10-10-2009, 11:52 AM
I wonder if the dog would be less excited about company if you had different types of people over to your house, to get used to having a lot of people around. Does he bark at your family members and friends, too?

Dogs are very, very trainable.

10-10-2009, 11:56 AM
Honestly, no one comes here at all so the dog has only ever been around my bf and I exclusively. Yes, it is our own fault but we are wanting/trying to fix it best we can. Unfortunately, we are no Cesar Milan, hehe :p

10-10-2009, 02:41 PM
My dog is a rescue & he doesn't really like other people. He likes us because we rescued him. It's only now that he's older (17!) that he's mellowed out.

We had another rescue who had major separation anxiety. He would bark if someone looked him in the eyes for too long, so make sure the son isn't doing that, it makes dogs nervous if they don't know the person.

What breed is your dog?

One of the best things to do is have the son give the dog a treat. Do you give your dog people food? Apple slices (no peel) cut into small chunks are good, as are baby carrots. These are low calorie things that dogs can have in SMALL amounts. Otherwise, if he is on a schedule, then one of his scheduled cookies can be given to him by the son.

For example, our dog wakes up in the morning & goes outside, then comes back in for breakfast (1/4 cup dog food), then goes back out. At noon he has a dog biscuit (aka cookie) and goes outside again. 4:30pm is suppertime, then he goes out again. 8pm is another cookie & trip outside. So if your dog is on a similar schedule, the cookies can be given to the dog by the son.

And I agree, the dog shouldn't be allowed to bark indiscriminately at anyone. Barking as a greeting when someone first comes in is normal, and dogs do tend to bark when kids are screaming or running. Also on walks at other dogs. You still want him to bark to let you know when something is wrong, but barking because the son is staring at him, or barking every time the kid moves is not acceptable. I applaud the squirt gun idea.

Is there a game your dog likes to play that maybe the boy could play with him? (Frisbee, fetch, throwing a ball, etc)

Good luck & let us know how it goes! My dog loves everyone who feeds him. Last weekend my aunt was visiting from overseas & made breakfast for her husband & kids. I scramble him an egg every weekend because it's good for his coat. So he was kinda checking her out, and she thinks he's sooo cute, so she scrambled him an egg & he followed her around the rest of the time she was here like he follows me around. :) She also fed him bits of apple out of her hand. He loved that. :love:

10-13-2009, 02:34 AM
How did it go? We need an update!

10-13-2009, 09:54 AM
It didn't go. I stated in my original post that the son wouldn't come here and he didn't. My bf said maybe next time but he didn't want to force his kid to come here because of the dog if he didn't wanna and I can respect that. I do appreciate all the advice and have it wrote down so when he does come here again, we can implement them. Thanks again everyone.

10-13-2009, 10:11 AM
I use to work with dogs and I can understand your problem. Many people don't socialize their dogs and then find out later that it is a problem. a good example is never using a crate and having a vet emergency where fido is so unhappy becuse he is sick and THEN he is in a crate and REALLY stressed because he has never been in one. OR your dog has never left your side and now you have an out of town emergency/vaccation and you can't go or have to stress out your dog because he has never been without you by boarding or having a dog walker come to your home. Overall you are not alone, but you need to find help ASAP. this could ruin your relationship because your BF SHOULD chose his son over the dog and if this relationship is going to go long term you can't ignore the fact that your dog does not like his son.
Here is a place close to where (http://www.smartdogschool.com/)you live, based on the info above, and I think it is worth a call and an evaluation as to what can help your dog cope with life changes. you have an opportunity to take care of this problem before it gets worse. AND please don't let finaces get in your way. this should be a priority if the realationship is a priority and if not for the realtionship, for the sanity of your dog to feel like life is ok.

Lori Bell
10-13-2009, 10:30 AM
Maybe the dog can go to Grandma and Grandpa's when your bf has his son for the weekend. This would help socialize the dog, and give DS some quite time with his Dad and you. After a while the dog might come to enjoy other people. I think if you don't try to remedy the situation, the child will feel as though the dog has importance over him, and with that thought implanted in his mind, a meaningful relationship between you and him will be next to impossible. :hug:

10-13-2009, 01:37 PM
I'm sorry but I HATE the squirt bottle idea! Dogs bark by reflex, and they can learn to curb it with proper training, but squirting them in the face every time they bark is cruel and gives the wrong message. Imagine if someone slapped you every time you sneezed. Besides, most people don't even use this training method correctly. They start doing it inconsistently, so that the dog is never sure when it's "OK" to bark and when it's not.

The local humane society and some pet stores have training classes--that help both owners and the dogs. Sometimes these are no charge, or low charge, and it is well worth it to have a properly trained dog. Most dogs want to have our approval, but don't know what is required.

Rant over.


10-14-2009, 02:29 AM
Onederchic, I'll keep my fingers crossed. Hopefully by this time next year it won't be an issue. I think getting him socialized is a great idea. It couldn't hurt, could only help.

I'd never squirt a dog in the face!!! Any time we've done it, it's been on the rump. It gets his attention off whatever he's barking at. Haven't had to do it in a very long time.

While we're (sort of) on the subject, what is with people who bark back at the dog? You don't actually live next door, I WANT him to bark at people who don't belong there. You visit your mother 4 times a year & think he should remember you? Are ya serious?

10-14-2009, 01:47 PM
Sandi's suggestion of treats is a good one. That dog trainer on Animal Planet -- the microscopic British woman, what's her name...Victoria Stilwell, I think? -- anyway, she introduces new people to barking and/or aggressive dogs all the time by having them drop treats around the dog while it's outside on a leash, then giving more treats once they're in the house, until the dog associates visitors with treats.

Another good approach is having them spend time together in neutral territory. If your bf is willing to meet you and the dog with his son on the weekend for a walk, maybe, or some window shopping, whatever, that would help as well. Once your dog is out of his 'territory' it might be an easier transition to get used to having a kid around.

Kids move fast and they're scary, and dogs who aren't used to them can have bad reactions. The only way to fix the problem is lots of patience and hard work. Good luck!

10-14-2009, 05:21 PM
I don't have any advice that others haven't given already. I do think taking him for walks so that he can be around other people is a great idea. Treats can also be a great help, just make sure they are given immediately upon the display of proper behavior or he won't know what he's being treated for and it won't do any good. A spray bottle (not in the face) or some noice (I use a hissing kinda sound for my cats) when he shows the behaviors you don't want might help. I am sorry the boy doesn't want to come there this weekend and I wish you the best of luck.

10-15-2009, 09:04 AM
I'm so sorry that your BF's son wouldn't stay at your house. That must have been very disappointing.

I have had dogs since I was a very young child. Most of the dogs we had were tiny dogs....chihuahuas,maltese, dauchshunds, etc. Currently, I have three dogs....a 6 pound chihuahua, a 4 pound chihuahua/poodle mix and a 55 pounds lab/pit bull mix. The one thing I can tell you with certainty is that every single dog has had their own personality, but the little dogs are the toughest. For some reason, they can pack a big attitude in such a tiny package. My chihuahua rules the roost and the other dogs better toe the line, or else! :D However, she loves everybody...family, strangers, mailman, etc. The little mixed guy is strange. He doesn't like anyone except for family. We've had him since birth and he's never been abused, but he's just strange. He's afraid of everyone except for immediate family. We've tried socializing him, but nothing seems to work. Now, we just accept him for who he is. However, he also knows that we have zero tolerance for his negative behavior towards stangers. We have made it very clear that barking and growling are unacceptable. He gets sharply scolded and sent to his crate. Remember...you are the boss. You let the dog know that you won't allow his behavior.

Regarding the water bottle....this has been a hugely successful technique with our lab/pit mix. We would never squirt him in the face! That assumption is just ridiculous! All it took was 2-3 times of getting squirted on the flank for him to realize that his negative behavior resulted in a wet backside. He would see the bottle and stops his behavior immediately. As he has gotten older, he responds better to just our voice and we don't need the bottle. I've also had really good results with a soda can with a few coins tossed in. My poodle hated the sound and responded quickly when the can was rattled. I also had a cat that responded well to the can. I'm not a huge fan of the giving of treats to change a dog's behavior. As Cesar Milan has said for years, you don't encourage negative behavior. My dogs get treats when they've been on their best behavior only.

04-05-2010, 05:06 AM
We tried the water bottle and it failed. We have let this dog be the boss for so long that he just won't listen to us no matter what on some issues and he has even bitten us both to where we have bleed...not a lot but still. I need Cesar Milan :|

04-05-2010, 11:27 AM
Oh boy! That is not good. Are you afraid of him? Be persistent. Don't let him know that you're afraid he'll bite you. This gives these little guys a big does of self confidence that they don't need. I recommend a crate. Negative behavior equals an immediate time-out. It doesn't need to be for long....10 minutes at the most. If he is not the center of attention and not calling the shots, he'll learn.

04-05-2010, 11:55 AM
I also recommend a crate and if you can put it in a separate room for his time out that would be even better. Praise him for good behavior but he needs to be disciplined too.

He knows you are afraid of him and it's time to take your pants back from him ;) You and your BF are the boss not the pup!

Is he altered? If he isn't, you may want to consider getting him neutered.

I have a great dane, boxer & chihuahua...the chihuahua was given to me by a cousin & I had to totally retrain her. It was a PIA but she went from hating everyone esp my kids to loving everyone except the UPS man :lol:

04-05-2010, 05:25 PM
Yes, I will admit that I am afraid of him, he may be little but his bites hurt :|

My boyfriend really has suggested a crate but it is me that stops it. I just worry about him being cramped up in some little space where he can't move around :| I am too emotional with him, I know it.

Tanee, I would love to get him neutered but in honesty, can't afford it. I have even checked for places that may give a discount for it and all and can find nothing. Not only that but my bf won't even pay for him to have his shots and I don't have any money nor any means of getting a job. But I really don't want to turn this into a boyfriend bash lol so I will focus on the problems and solutions that I am able to do.

Thanks for the responses :hug:

04-05-2010, 05:27 PM
Oh, also, I (we) do not have a clue how to regain control. He has been spoiled for the whole time we've had him, which I bought him when he was 3 months old and now he is 2 years old. We've watched Cesar, tried the techniques and failed. We've read books, including Chihuahuas for Dummies, and failed. It seems hopeless sometimes :|

04-05-2010, 05:44 PM
Oh I think a kennel is absolutely necessary. If he bites you or your BF, fine, but what if he bites a toddler? That could be a lawsuit. Especially if he doesn't have shots and can pass on something like rabies. I think a kennel, in this case, is the lesser of two evils! You can do it. Your will has to be stronger than his, and you have to persist with training efforts.

I've only raised a German Shepard/Husky, and I do know that Chihuahuas have their own special personality quirks, but I also know that it's possible to train them. Dogs like to be a valued member of a clan.

04-05-2010, 05:46 PM
Sorry to tell you this but it is hopeless. You have a dog who considers himself the leader of the pack. Unless you overcome your fear and become the boss, the situation is going to continue.

04-05-2010, 06:39 PM
I understand something needs to be done but my problem is where and how do I start after 2 years of letting him rule the roost?

Suzanne 3FC
04-05-2010, 10:25 PM
I agree with cfmama that the dog needs to be taken places to socialize him. I also agree with JayEll's suggestion of searching out local classes to help train him. It's not too late, if you do it right. You can ask your vet to recommend a local class. They are done in small groups, so it's less expensive than hiring Cesar Milano :)

I also agree with JayEll when she disagreed with spraying. That's considered negative reinforcement and is frowned upon. Your vet and/or trainer can explain positive reinforcement and how your dog will be happier and more obedient at the end of the day.

Now that your dog is biting and will not obey, then you MUST do something to help him, and as quickly as possible. It's the fair and ethical thing to do for the dog.

If you and your boyfriend are unable to seek out help, for whatever reason, then your best move would be to contact a chihuahua rescue in your state and let someone take him that has the resources and knowledge to help him become a loving and stable little fellow. It's an act of love.

I hope my suggestion doesn't seem harsh. I love chihuahuas and have two of them. I firmly believe that our attention to their well-being is a priority and a requirement. There is no choice.

Good luck :)

04-05-2010, 10:56 PM
On the kennel thing, let me tell you my experience.

I was VERY ANTI KENNEL for a long time. I, like you, thought that putting a dog in a kennel and leaving her there where she couldn't roam around was not kind. But we adopted a dog who had some issues (in her case, some pretty severe separation anxiety), and we didn't know what else to do.

If you do buy a kennel, it's important to get your dog accustomed to it as a fun place, not as a place of punishment. Put some delicious, amazing treats in there, leave the door open, feed the dog in the kennel, and basically teach her that "good things happen in the kennel!" Only after the dog goes in comfortably and is hanging out in there do you start training with the door closed...only for a few seconds at a time, then let the dog out and give lots of treats. Repeat, keeping the amount of time the dog is in the kennel longer and longer as time goes by. Remember - the kennel is a happy, good place where awesome things happen!

Slowly your dog will acclimate to the kennel, and be comfortable in there...the more awesome things happen to the dog in the kennel, the more happy the dog will be in there. Go slow, be persistent, and consistently give rewards.

Again, I was very anti-kennel. But our girl used to FREAK OUT when we left her alone, being destructive and generally being in a panic. The kennel has COMPLETELY resolved that issue. And now, if I just say her command ("Kennel!") she runs right in and lays down, happy as a clam to have her safe place to stay. And when someone comes over and I need her out of the way or she's too amped to behave well, I can give her that separation WITHOUT it being a punishment.

Here's a great article on kennel training: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/crate_training.html

You don't need Cesar Milan to train your dog - you just need some knowledge, and you need to be firm and consistent. There are some EXCELLENT resources online on dog training, or you can go to your library and get books, even Cesar Milan's books, to give you guidance. The information is out there for free.

For example, on barking - you need to introduce a word that means "don't bark"..."quiet" would be a good one. When your dog barks, give the command, then distract the dog with a treat immediately, which should stop the barking. If the dog is quiet, it gets the treat. If it continues barking, no treat until it stops. AS SOON as the dog stops barking, say a reward word and give the treat. Next time he barks, give the same command, and when he stops barking, say the word and give him the treat. No scolding, no yelling, just rewarding for acceptable behavior.

Now this can take a REALLY LONG time. Sometimes the dog will bark and bark and bark and bark, and you'll want to give the dog the treat to shut him up. Don't. No treats unless he's exhibiting behaviors you want him to exhibit.

Some basic obedience training might be REALLY GOOD for your dog, as well. It can burn off excess energy and provide intellectual stimulation. And good obedience skills are great for getting a dog's attention when it's not behaving the way you'd like. You can start basic obedience training with focus games. Say your dog's name - when he looks you in the eye, even for a second, say your "reward word" (ours is "Yes!") and give a treat. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Every time he does the behavior you ask for, say his reward word and give him a treat. Only ask once...if he doesn't get it the first time, get him to look at you some other way (snap near your face, make kissy noises, etc)...reward AS SOON AS he looks at you.

Another focus game is "Touch" - tell your dog to "Touch", and hold out your hand near his face at eye level. When his nose touches your hand, say your reward word and give him a treat. Repeat, repeat, repeat, using the same method of saying the command once and getting attention however you can, then rewarding AS SOON as the good behavior occurs. Either of these games can be great distractors from barking...a dog rushing to touch your hand or looking at you because you said his name isn't focusing on barking or other undesirable behaviors.

After your dog has basic commands with just you, introduce distractions...bouncing balls, noises, etc. And keep practicing until your dog is doing the command every time, even if distracted. It takes a LOT of repetitions. But when it's done, you will be so. much. happier!

You know, lots of people with weight to lose say "Wow, I need Bob and Jillian to come here and help me". But we all know that if we're consistent, get answers, and work hard, we can do it on our own. The same with dog training...you don't need Cesar Milan, you need to be consistent and do your research.

Here's one site to get you started:


I would also like to third the suggestion that you try to find a small group class...it'll not only get your dog a basic training foundation, but it will also get your dog exposed to other people and dogs. Both will help with the problem you're experiencing.

04-05-2010, 11:23 PM
I treat my dogs like my babies...I love them so much but like I said before you need to be the boss :) It's a pretty bad comparison but I have to be very consistent with them and my kids or they will think they can get over on me. That can't happen...they way out number me! Start with the basics like you would with any pup.

You don't really want to "break" him...you just need to redirect and replace his bad habits with something else. All you need it time and patience (and a kennel :lol:).

I also recommend contacting a chihuahua rescue group....not to give him up but to see if they have any additional resources we aren't thinking of and that are in your area. They work with a variety of personalities and might have some good advice!

04-06-2010, 01:03 AM
Thanks so much for all the info. We are gonna work on retraining him (or training him, rather since he has never had any boundaries) but yeah, giving him up is NOT an option. I don't have any children and he is like my baby so giving him away is not happening ever.

I am gonna talk to my bf about the kennel/crate idea too. I think if I can do the positive experience with it as Amanda mentioned then I would feel better about it.

Thanks again so much ♥

04-06-2010, 10:10 AM
Onederchic, I don't know anything about dog training, so no advice there. This thread has made me think about raising my children. Sometimes it was so hard to discipline my children and not let them have and do anything that they wanted. There were times that I had to let my head rule over my heart and I ended up being very glad that I did. This sounds like the same principle. I suspect that at first it will be difficult emotionally to discipline your dog (baby) but the long term reward will be worth it.

04-06-2010, 12:58 PM
Thank you, Cheryl. I am well aware that I let my emotions guide me when it comes to the dog and a lot of times (or maybe all the time?) I shouldn't and I am really gonna work on that. I even make it difficult for my boyfriend to discipline the dog because I get too upset about it. Today is a new day and I am gonna do my best to help my doggy get the balance in life he needs :D