If you are experiencing problem behaviour with your dog it is not because they are a yappy breed or because they suffer with small person syndrome. It’s likely due to them being treated differently because they are cute! I’ll explain – Good looks and cuteness in the dog world are a curse. Your dog’s cuteness acts as a magnet to spoil, fuss over and allow it to get away with murder – not literally! This in turn creates what I call ‘celebrity syndrome’ – the scenario where ones’ demands are constantly appeased and they’re rarely told no. This naturally hinders an individual’s ability to be and feel grounded.
Now I know your dog is VERY important to you, it’s part of your family. But think to yourself where is your dog’s actual place in your pack? Are they more important than your family, friends or partner? I am assuming not (in most cases anyway) but who gets the more enthusiastic greeting after a separation? If it’s your dog then they will likely believe they are more important.
Think about what your dog thinks if it get your attention anytime it wants by looking, pawing or jumping up at you? If a Great Dane demonstrated these behaviours it would likely be ignored and pushed away as it is would be considered intrusive but a Chihuahua exhibiting this behaviour is often rewarded with a stroke. Do you allow anyone else to get your attention anytime they want throughout the day? I think not, not even your boss or partner can. Of course it’s different if it’s a genuine need but I guarantee you when it is happening all day, it is not genuine!
Think how they feel in times when well-intentioned strangers invade their space to pet them – does your dog enjoy the fuss. Many dogs won’t like a stranger encroaching in their space and so will bark or growl to tell them to back off. This reaction from Chihuahua will often be laughed at and not taken seriously. Where as most wouldn’t even consider invading a Rottweiler’s space, a Chihuahua is not so lucky. This can make them feel threatened and unsafe, and you need to show your Chihuahua that you are there to protect them. You can read a case study of this behaviour, the story of Sydney the Chihuahua and how I helped him and his guardian, in my new book The Dog Guardian.
So to summarise little dogs are treated differently and so different behaviours often form. To prevent these behaviours happening show your partner, family and friends after every separation that they are more important than the dog by greeting them first. Fulfil your dog’s needs but do not give in to their constant demands – instead decide when interaction starts and stops. And intervene if someone attempts to invade your dog’s space.
If you want to learn more about addressing your dog’s behaviour you can my buy book ‘The Dog Guardian from Amazon (link here) and tune into Chihuahua power’s live Q and A on the 14th of July where I will be available to answer your questions.
visit my site at www.thedogguardian.com