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My barking / territorial Chihuahua

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by LittleMissMe, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. LittleMissMe

    LittleMissMe New Member Registered

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    Hi

    Im looking for some advice or techniques to prevent my 2 year old Chihuahua from barking at people so much.

    Indoors shes quite territorial. She barks at my mum whenever she comes near my room.

    And when Im walking her shes usually well behaved, but if I sit down to have a rest she will bark at strangers and cause quite a scene and startle people.

    Thanks in advance
    Paula
     
  2. LittleMissMe

    LittleMissMe New Member Registered

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    Helloo! Excuse me?? Is there anyone out there please??

    I've written this post and waited for at least a couple of days now, and no one has answered. :-/

    I'm having a few behaviour issues with my chihuahua here, and I don't know where else to look right now.
    Plus, a private dog behaviourist can be very expensive and out of my price range.

    Is there anyone out there who may be able to give me any helpful advice please??
     
  3. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    .

    The good news? — this is definitely a retrainable issue. :)
    The bad news is that she’s been rehearsing this reaction for TWO YEARS... it’s a highly practiced, very fluent, completely automatic response, by now. :(

    The longer a behavior is practiced, the longer it takes to reduce, re-direct, or [maybe] extinguish it. // That doesn’t mean “give up, & don’t start B-Mod” —- rather, it means that the sooner U begin B-mod, the sooner U will see a reduction in the frequency, intensity, & / or duration of that practiced, unwanted behavior. **thumbs-up**
    U can’t change their past behavior, but U can alter their current & future behavior. :D


    The other bad news? —- she’s literally born with this tendency. :(
    It’s not her fault; she’s a Chi, & Chis are reactive, hypervigilant, vocal, defensive, possessive of their humans, emboldened when they’re on home turf, & maniacally over-confident when they are TOUCHING their human/s. // That’s why they are so notorious as lap-piranhas; when they are on Ur lap, they are both defending their person from the intruder, AND feeling insanely brave because, after all, they have back-up, & they are touching U, which vastly inflates their already-foolhardy willingness to move TOWARD a threat, rather than to flee from that threat.


    Chis practice what’s known as “active defense”.
    A Rottweiler or Dobe or Akita will stand their ground & rather than charge toward a possible threat; they stand & observe from a distance, & may or may not bother to bark; silence gives them the advantage of surprise, letting them quietly slip up on an intruder after the intruder actually enters their premises / crosses the perimeter, without alarming them.

    Chis don’t believe in holding their tongues - if they see something or someone that worries or scares them, which *might* be a threat, they TELL THE WORLD & ITS BROTHER all about it, loudly & persistently, until either the threat is identified as nonthreatening, or the threat is gone - whichever comes 1st.




    ___. Ways to reduce her stress & reassure her ____


    * ONE: systematic desensitization
    Expose her to the scary thing [a stranger] for VERY BRIEF periods; put the stranger at a SAFE distance, where the dog is aware of them but not reacting;
    simultaneously pair the presence of the stranger [scary thing] with a very happy event, such as a special food treat, doled out in pea-sized dollops as fast as she swallows the previous dollop.
    Note that this is not “training”, there’s nothing the dog must do to “earn” the tidbit; this is pure Pavlov, associating a particular stimulus, person, setting, or event, with something - in this case, with a GOOD THING.
    If she barks,
    she still gets the goody - she did nothing wrong; then back up, to give her more distance, so that she’s under threshold.


    * TWO: personal distance & perceived safety
    Put her on a tether secured deliberately ON THE FAR SIDE of U, her trusted person - so that the stranger would need to go “thru” U [past U] to reach the dog.
    The stranger stays on the OUTSIDE of the dog’s bubble of personal space; YOU are the defining perimeter, no one gets any closer to the dog than where U sit or stand, & the dog herself forms the ‘core’ of her ow personal-space bubble.


    * THREE: ‘give the dog something to do, & a place to do it’
    Provide a nice bit of oral busywork, a pacifier which will occupy the dog & help de-stress her - such as a raw knuckle bone [freeze to reduce the bacteria popn, then thaw B4 delivery to the dog], a sterilized cow hoof, sterilized marrow bone [with or w/o edible stuffing], a bull pizzle, or an antler or horn [in the round, not sliced in half - they won’t last nearly as long, once sawn in twain].

    Lay down a mat, to give her some sense of boundaries & a place - a folded bath-towel or tubside rug, a vet fleece, a foam pad, or any washable, comfy, low-profile cushiony surface to lie on, with her chewy to keep her soothed & busy. :)


    * FOUR:
    See all the video-clips on YouTube posted by
    KikoPup [AKA Emily Larlham] a trainer that U can trust never to suggest anything that’s confrontational, punitive, harsh, or that could overface the dog & make failure far-more likely.
    Emily wants to goof-proof the process, build the dog’s confidence, avoid “testing to failure”, & make doing the desired behavior so easy, it’s well-nigh inevitable.
    Pick out any applicable titles & start B-Mod - or, alternatively, re-start her socialization process all over again, as if she’d ne’er met a stranger before in her entire life. // Second-time training goes much, much faster than the 1st time.


    Please let us know how U both get on? Hang in there,
    - terry

    .
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  4. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Sorry didnt see this but the answer is training.
    Dont reward in any way for the barking so nothing positive like picking her up or giving a treat to shut her up but nothing negative like shouting or clapping your hands etc.
    Only reward when she doesnt react.


    there are some good youtube videos that could help.
     
  5. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    I am so sorry! :eek:
    - i don’t know what combo of keys produced the automatic underlining in my post, above, so I don’t know how to fix it... i will try to edit the underlining out, but I can’t guarantee it will work. :(

    My sincere apologies,
    - terry


    UPDATE: i fixed half of it, & must now go help my client - I will be back to fix the remainder. :oops:

    .
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
  6. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Terry, depending what you are using it might have been Control + U.
     
  7. LittleMissMe

    LittleMissMe New Member Registered

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    001.JPG

    Thank you for the very helpful replies guys. :)
    Firstly, I've seen some of your posts around the forums here showing off some photos of the lovely dogs from some of you, and wanted to do the same, hence showing of my own cheaky little chi too. I'm hoping it's okay.
    Please feel free to say or give any advice if I have this wrong at all.

    So anyhow... there are some quite helpful tips here, for which I will try to take into account and follow up on in some way. Youtube videos are also, always very helpful too, as they can help with with training following visually what is explained and shown so that I may be able to repeat with my own dog what is shown in the videos.

    This cheaky little madam is named "Caramel." I've had her for around 2 years (or there abouts) now.
    She is very vocal (like other dogs) and isn't afriad to voice her opinion whenever she feels.
    And YES.... when she's sat on my lap, or when I have hold of her in my arms, she has this tendancy to shout her head off at my mum when she approaches, like the cheaky little madam she's become. This of course in the process has turned her into a possesive and territorial little barking pirahhna. :p

    In the case of the holding position, I eventually realized, when my mum approaces and she (Caramel) suddenly starts up going bark mad, I'm like... right little madam... you're going down on the floor, and down she goes.
    Barking over.

    Secondly, sat down on my lap, mum walks past and off she (Caramel) goes again, barking mad. :p
    After some thought, I've worked out here that Caramel sits out of my way, and not even touching me.
    Mum walks past, she wanders off to some other part of the room and her attention is diverted... bark over.

    As a final thought, I feel it seems quite silly to recognize that these breeds of dogs have always been a "lap dog" when quite literrally, the problem at hand.... is always when this dog is sat on ones lap. (makes them feel very protective, defensive and territorial) How silly is this??

    I know that dog treats are always useful as a way of training, which I have been trying to use.
    So I think I can continue on from here for now.

    Thanks again guys. :)
     
    Mad Murphy likes this.
  8. Mayblossom

    Mayblossom Well-Known Member Registered

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    The little terror in my profile pic is very similar in her guarding tendencies, if she’s on the sofa and hubby goes by she’ll growl but she’ll do the same if anyone is sitting on the sofa with her, not loyal to anyone and just has to protect, not a barker but very possessive . She’s done it now for 9 years but we know she did have a bad experience before she came to us so we know the reason. Never bitten anyone thankfully but we do tend to keep her off the sofa as much as possible so we don’t get into that protection scenario :rolleyes:
     
    leashedForLife likes this.

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