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My Chihuahua hates our Labrador puppy

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by carolineelizabeth88, Jul 27, 2018.

  1. carolineelizabeth88

    carolineelizabeth88 PetForums Newbie

    Jul 27, 2018
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    Hi all, I'm after some advice if possible-

    I have a 12yo male chihuahua (Bruiser) who I've had from a puppy, hes a little shy around other dogs but not aggressive he more just ignores them and goes about his own business. I moved out of my parents and into a flat with my partner and he stayed at my parents house purely because of his age and that a flat wasn't appropriate for him. (plus he loves living the retirement life)! My partner and i have since bought a house and the plan was to bring Bruiser to come and live with us but he just hated it, he was so much happier with my parents and they missed him so he went back to live at home and i visit him pretty much every week!

    In April this year my partner and i bought a male Labrador puppy and probably a little naively I assumed Bruiser would be indifferent to him as he is with most other dogs but on introducing them (I did loads of research and introduced on neutral ground, on a walk) Bruiser just could not stand him, he was barking and growling at him and went for him on a couple of occasions so we separated them. A couple more introductions have gone the same way once both dogs are on the ground- Denver (The Labrador) is a typical puppy who just wants to play but has a tendency to throw himself at other dogs, so we are working to stop this.

    Any tips or ideas how to make this process a bit smoother? If we can get to a stage where the dogs just ignore each other i would be happy but as it stands Bruiser goes out of his way to snap at Denver which is so upsetting to see and I feel like I don't get to see him as often as I'd like due to this and i'm wracked with guilt. Should i persevere and keep walking them and exposing them to each other and tell Bruiser off when he's being nasty?

    Any tips would be appreciated :(
  2. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Jan 5, 2013
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    Tbh as they don’t live together I’d just keep them apart.
    leashedForLife likes this.
  3. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

    Aug 11, 2009
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    Hi and welcome to Pet forums . Ive asked a mod to move this to the dog behaviour section so hopefully more members will see it.

    I understand your problem , my little chi Libby would react in the same way . Like Bruiser , she finds lab pups overwhelming. I pick her up if I see one coming. Snapping and barking etc is saying keep away from me and no matter how bold the dog is , I think this would be classed as "fear " so really Bruiser is not being nasty and certainly don't tell him off for it .
    You could try starting again but keeping your lab pup well away and on a lead. , get him to focus on you and train him as he grows older to leave Bruiser alone. Not easily done . You can also feed treats to to Bruiser if he will accept them so he learns that the pup is a good thing .

    Perhaps as Lurcherlad says , is it really necessary to walk them together?
    #3 kimthecat, Jul 27, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
    leashedForLife likes this.
  4. Northpup

    Northpup PetForums Senior

    Apr 22, 2018
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    I think it must be intimidating for him, my 12 year old vizsla doesn’t find puppies appealing and whilst as yours is indifferent and adorably patient with them if a particularly rambunctous pup was throwing itself at him even as a large dog he would give it a growl. Puppies learn from this but obviously your situ sounds different as bruiser is being a little agressive?
    As they aren’t living together I would agree with pp keeping them apart is better option.
    However is there any chance you would need to have bruiser back living with you? Chis have long life spans and if so it’s probablg better to get him used to Denver and also for Denver to grow up with him and learn to behave appropriately around him.
    Older small dogs can feel vulnerable and therefore react aggressively and a lab is a big dog once adult!! Keep Denver on a lead around bruiser and let bruiser go up to him on his own terms and encourage + praise this.
    Good luck
    leashedForLife likes this.
  5. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

    Jun 25, 2013
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    Puppies don't learn from these encounters in a positive way. Older dogs shouldn't be telling younger dogs off. This is what owners are there for. To intervene so the older dog doesn't feel the need to growl, and the younger dog doesn't get the opportunity to be a complete pain in the ass.
  6. qamarjaved706

    qamarjaved706 PetForums Newbie

    Jul 19, 2018
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    your puppy should learn some basis to behave with other small pets. You dog needs training.
  7. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

    Jan 18, 2014
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    Your chi is effectively an elderly dog, and your pup is a toddler - a GIANT toddler in comparison to your chi! No wonder your chi doesn't like him, labradors especially tend to be big bulls in a china shop and have no idea that they could potentially hurt your delicate chi. Keep them apart or at least keep the puppy on lead around the chihuahua. Dogs don't really like puppies and both dogs won't be enjoying their interactions.
  8. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

    Nov 22, 2016
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    To be honest, an elderly chi mixed with a lab pup is not the best combination. If your lab pup is anything like a typical lab then he is no doubt clumsy, over-the-top and perhaps a little on the rude side. You need to be aware of the potential damage he could do to your chi's fragile frame and be vigilant to ensure that he does not have opportunity to bounce all over the chi. Your chi sounds intimidated by the pup hence the reaction.

    Work on teaching your pup to ignore the chi and leave him alone. Do not tell off the chi for trying to look after himself - make sure that you do it so he doesn't need to.
    O2.0, leashedForLife, Torin. and 3 others like this.
  9. leashedForLife

    Nov 1, 2009
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    With otherd above, I can only say that most Labs, even as adults, can't or won't take "No" for an answer. :(
    They're notorious for being the dog who "just wants to play" per the doting owner, when in fact they want to intrude, pester, swamp, harass, & at its most extreme, use the other dogs as a chew-toy. :eek:
    They don't know when to *stop*.

    I'd keep the pup leashed, even when in the house, & teach him that a one-yard radius of Bruiser is a no-go zone.
    Bruiser can come to HIM to interact (unlikely, other than to tell him off) but the pup cannot go to Bruiser.

    Maybe, just maybe, once the Lab learns some self-control, manners, & LIMITS, he & Bruiser may become friendly - but I'd say it's improbable.

    --- terry

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