Jekyll/Hyde chihuahua

Posted by ABond723
Oct 26, 2007
We have a 6 yearold longhair chihuahua that we have had since he was 8 weeks old. We have had virtually no problems with training him for everything we expect from him and he is usually a very sweet, loving little guy. However, he has this thing for my feet (no one else's, just mine). Mostly in the evenings when we are sitting watching TV, he will lay on the floor and suddenly, without any apparent provocation, he will snarl and attack my feet. He bites very hard and is very nasty when I try to correct him, he wants to fight me. I will send him to the other room, where he will stay growling and snarling at nothing. After he quiets down, I'll let him come back and praise him when he settles down. This is getting to be a very unhappy situation. If I move my hand towards him when he is in this mode, he will attempt to (and has succeeded) bite my hand or arm. When his jaw clamps down on me, it hurts a lot! How can I convince him that my feet are not his enemy?
Posted by eyeluvdogs
Oct 29, 2007
Hi Anne,

Thank you for your post. Much of the time, with small dogs, we tend not to train them as extensively as we would with a larger breed. We also exercise them less and are less inclined to worry about using the Alpha techniques. Unfortunately this can sometimes lead to disobedience, pent up energy leading to frustation, and confusion about the heirarchy.

I can't say whether this applies to your situation, but if so, you may want to consider reading the bonus book "secrets to becoming the alpha dog" and increasing your dog's exercise. It's likely that he doesn't need a huge amount, but a nice walk around the block would hopefully be enough to keep him mentally and physically stimulated.

The Alpha techniques will hopefully help teach your dog that he is actually at the bottom of the pack, and that you are his pack leader. He is less likely, therefore, to attack you if he knows that you are his superior.

You could also start teaching him in obedience, as this will help with his daily exercise requirements, and will also help reinforce your higher position.

I also recommend using the Time-Out technique when he is behaving badly.

I hope this helps
Posted by ABond723
Oct 30, 2007
I have read the Alpha Dog book many times over and I do understand the concept. I have trained him to sit and wait after his food is put down until he gets the signal to eat, he knows that I go through the door first, he heels beautifully on our walks. As I mentioned, when he gets nasty he is sent into the other room for his time out. His behavior makes me think we have 2 different dogs, there doesn't seem to be an explanation for his radical flip-flop. When I explained all this to the vet, she even did a brain scan to see if there was a problem there, but it came back clear. We did put him on Prozac for a time, but it didn't make any difference.