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Old 01-13-2010, 02:01 PM
 
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I just adopted Charlie. He is very dog aggressive. Sometimes he acts like he is just getting friendly with the dog, but out of nowhere he bites their nose. What is that about?
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,244 posts, read 15,773,709 times
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He needs a trainer. Without being there and seeing what's going on I can't really give you much advice. He's most likely giving you warning that he's about to become aggressive and you're just missing it.
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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I have 3 Chihuahuas and they all can be very territorial if they feel anyone is trespassing their personal space. You have to give your dog time to adjust, he could have come from a place where he dad to compete with other dogs for affection, treats or playtime. In time they are really awesome dogs. Check out some videos of territorial chihuahuas here:
http://www.chihuahuarepublic.com (broken link)
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,307 posts, read 37,731,474 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs1885 View Post
He needs a trainer. Without being there and seeing what's going on I can't really give you much advice. He's most likely giving you warning that he's about to become aggressive and you're just missing it.
**with my best respectful disagreement face on** I dunno. I know of at least one chi who seldom issues any perceptible warning. Her attitude seems to be "If I warn whoever or whatever is bothering me, I may not get to bite them."

My favorite chihuahua of all time, although extremely crotchety and of generally cantankerous temperment, was big (for a chihuahua) smart and very consistent. She would definitely bite, but she gave clear and ample warning if that was her intent. As an aside, she hated it when people would do push-ups. Anyway, about ten years ago this dog managed to get possession of a chicken bone from the dinner table at a family gathering and immediately retreated under the bed. It was decided that, in the interest of the dog's safety, someone had to go under there to get the bone away from her. We drew straws. My aunt lost. She got down on the floor and crawled about shoulders deep under the bed before we all heard the menacing growl. She hastily crawled out from under the bed and requested that two of the men hold her ankles to pull her out immediately if the dog got her face. After considerable wrangling the dog tried to make a run for it, was cornered in the bathroom and relieved of the chicken bone. I still have a little scar on my ring finger from that fiasco. Great dog, though. She probably has a lifetime achievement award in "cute chihuahua tricks". She's still kickin' at 18.

At any rate, I wish the OP the best of luck.
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
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Quote:
**with my best respectful disagreement face on** I dunno. I know of at least one chi who seldom issues any perceptible warning. Her attitude seems to be "If I warn whoever or whatever is bothering me, I may not get to bite them."
Which is why my post says 'most likely'. I've had 2 dogs that didn't issue a warning before attacking. I've had many, many others that did show a chance in body language but it was so very subtle that unless you really knew the dog well you'd miss it.

So yes it's possible that the dog is not showing any change in body language, but it's unlikely. And from the OP's post, my *guess* is they have little experience with this breed, let alone training. Thus my suggestion to find a trainer.

I've got 6 chihuahuas. They are brats - big time. They don't have any clue how small they are and will go after the big dogs in the house. I've have to pull them off pitbull ankles and sharply correct them many times. Of all the breeds that have passed through my door, they are definitely high on the list of dogs with attitude and a stubborn personality.
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:59 PM
 
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I look for signs...I look for the hair raised behind his neck. But it is too quick. He seems perfectly fine one second and the next quick second he has their nose. The other dog is never hurt so I don't know if he is trying to hurt them or if it is sometype of play...This is my first dog. To other dogs he definitley doesn't like he just starts growling and barking immediatley. He is amazing with people...except he attacks anyone with black military boots (I think he was kicked). I just want him to have friends...more than just the one we were lucky to find.
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,307 posts, read 37,731,474 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs1885 View Post
Which is why my post says 'most likely'. I've had 2 dogs that didn't issue a warning before attacking. I've had many, many others that did show a chance in body language but it was so very subtle that unless you really knew the dog well you'd miss it.

So yes it's possible that the dog is not showing any change in body language, but it's unlikely. And from the OP's post, my *guess* is they have little experience with this breed, let alone training. Thus my suggestion to find a trainer.

I've got 6 chihuahuas. They are brats - big time. They don't have any clue how small they are and will go after the big dogs in the house. I've have to pull them off pitbull ankles and sharply correct them many times. Of all the breeds that have passed through my door, they are definitely high on the list of dogs with attitude and a stubborn personality.
I hope that wasn't offensive, I was trying to make light of the inherent impossibility (in my limited experience with little dogs, anyway) of chihuahuas...
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:46 PM
 
Location: 500 miles from home
33,949 posts, read 21,278,254 times
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I had a sweet little Maltese that would do that while on a leash. He would just walk up to the offending dog (doing nothing other than walking also on a leash) and immediately try to bite the dog on the nose. When I say sweet - I mean other than that particular behavior. There was no warning growl or bark - no noise whatsoever. He would just nip the other dog on the nose and go on about his way with little fanfare.

Once he got to know the other dog - he was fine. Of course, it is difficult to reach out and make new friends whilst biting them on the nose.

Somehow we managed. Most of his friends were more his size.

No matter what, he would always try to bite the german shephards on the nose. It was not a smart move on Casper's part but I could never train him out of it. We practiced avoidance instead.

Good Luck!
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
5,054 posts, read 12,101,747 times
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People often think there is no warning signs but that is only because we are not that great at reading body language. There are always signs and they can differ based on if you have fear aggression or a dominant aggresion, changes in pupil size, ear position, tail position, body leaning forward,body stiffness, corner of lips moved just a tad, dog standing on its toes the list goes on but one of the biggest aggressive things a dog does which most people just seem to miss or not understand is staring as direct eye contact is a major aggressive move to a dog. The reactive dogs always gets blamed while in truth it is often the other dog staring at them that started the whole thing. That is why owners need to pay attention to their dogs when they are out with other dogs as too many people let them stare then get pissed when another dog reacts in a more noticeable display of aggression. But trust me we will never be able to match the dogs skill at reading body language so the signs are there we just miss them.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,244 posts, read 15,773,709 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mochahana View Post
I look for signs...I look for the hair raised behind his neck. But it is too quick. He seems perfectly fine one second and the next quick second he has their nose. The other dog is never hurt so I don't know if he is trying to hurt them or if it is sometype of play...This is my first dog. To other dogs he definitley doesn't like he just starts growling and barking immediatley. He is amazing with people...except he attacks anyone with black military boots (I think he was kicked). I just want him to have friends...more than just the one we were lucky to find.
My guess is he's scared and it's his way of getting them to leave him alone. He's being the aggressor in the hopes it'll scare them away and he won't be hurt. Again, I haven't seen what's going on, but that would be my guess.

My suggestion is to correct him very sternly as soon as he makes any move to the other dog. It's probably going to take a while. I'm guessing he was never socialized or trained in his former home and now you're stuck with someone else's laziness problems. If repeated stern corrections don't help over time you may need a trainer to come in to help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
I hope that wasn't offensive, I was trying to make light of the inherent impossibility (in my limited experience with little dogs, anyway) of chihuahuas...
Not at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dashdog View Post
People often think there is no warning signs but that is only because we are not that great at reading body language. There are always signs and they can differ based on if you have fear aggression or a dominant aggresion, changes in pupil size, ear position, tail position, body leaning forward,body stiffness, corner of lips moved just a tad, dog standing on its toes the list goes on but one of the biggest aggressive things a dog does which most people just seem to miss or not understand is staring as direct eye contact is a major aggressive move to a dog. The reactive dogs always gets blamed while in truth it is often the other dog staring at them that started the whole thing. That is why owners need to pay attention to their dogs when they are out with other dogs as too many people let them stare then get pissed when another dog reacts in a more noticeable display of aggression. But trust me we will never be able to match the dogs skill at reading body language so the signs are there we just miss them.
This is so true. As humans 'evolved' and gained the benefit of speech we no longer had to rely so strongly on body language. Because dogs don't actually speak, they still get most of their information from other dogs from body language. We're behind the eight ball on that one. One way evolution has failed us, IMO.

Give yourself time to know your new friend before you try to put him into situations where he can make friends. You need to be able to read his body language yourself so you can catch his mood change and correct it before he emits a growl or lunges.
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