UK Pet Forums Forum banner
  • Please post in our Community Feedback thread for help with the new forum software! If you are having trouble logging in, please Contact Us for assistance.

1 - 20 of 65 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there

My first posting, so I hope ive done it all right.

I have two chihuahua bitches and very recently took on a rescue chi, male 5 years old.

This poor chap has been moved around quite a lot, spent time in kennels had 3 homes in the last 3 weeks (inc mine) and has been a bit of a handbag dog by all accounts, not socialised and has never liked men. He has been teased (and more i think) by a male in his household in the past.

When I collected him, he would not shop shaking or even come near me, but as soon as I got home and met my husband, well all hell broke loose.

He is petrified of him and basically just clung to me...he sat on my shoulder for the first few days and followed me everywhere. He is no longer stuck to my shoulder or foot but does still follow me everywhere.

He plays with toys and runs around (although still skitty and anxious) when hes alone with me and the girls..He scared of the garden and has been messing in the house but ive figured out his little routine with that now and can manage to get him outside to do his business, but with LOTS of encouragment on my parts and general hanging around. As soon as he loses sight of me or hears a sound, he runs back in, even if hes desperate.

I have not been pandering to him and not picking him up, which i know is what he wants...i hope im doing the right thing here?

He just stares at my husband when he is in the room and pants.

My dogs sleep in the bedroom with us with my girls being at the end of the bed and my new recuit stuck to my side away from my husband. I did plonk him in the middle and I have noticed when i wake in the night, he is actually snuggled in to my husband back, but then as soon as my husband wakes, the little growl comes out and hes back to being pertified again.

He will very occasionally take the odd treat from him, will not eat the food he puts down for him (just hides), flips out when he trys to take the lead from me on walks, i mean flips on his back as he is so eager to get away from him. I asked my husband to try and take him for a walk last night, which lasted 20 seconds...he carried him out of the house a he was just cowering and put him down only for the dog to do a crazed backflip, trying to escape.

I have told my husband to ignore him and to just throw treats in his direction, which i think may have helped the tiniest bit, but he still will not eat unless i stand next to him.

The thing with throwing treats is a bit awkward as I have a liver shunt dog who cannot eat treats.

He is ok with my bitches but i have caught him growling at them when they lie to close to him, its as if hes happy to lie with them for a bit then changes his mind.

He is also a barky little fella and barks at my husband when he comes home and he does growl at him too, a low growl.

I have today bought him a thundershirt and hope this may settle him a bit. He must be shattered from following me around all the time.

If anyone can offer any advice that would be good!

I know that I have my work cut out with this fella but I just need to know Im not making things worse with my current approach.

Many apologies for my war and peace first post!
 

·
Still missing my boys
Joined
·
42,311 Posts
It sounds as if you are doing a brilliant job. The only thing I would say is not to push him where your husband is concerned.
If it was me I'd get the OH to completely ignore him and just go about the house as if the dog isn't there. Don't look at him don't feed him just nothing.
Once the little one gets used to him just being around, and feels a little safer, he may even take it upon himself to go have a sniff, fuss or cuddle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for that...its hard work and im only 9 days in. I have a prebooked girlie weekend in ten days so I really hope some progress can be made by then otherwise i may have to cancel. I must me mad!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, I have to when I got to work. Hes being left for 4 hours at a time...i seperate him and my other two and leave him with a basket, and my husbands shirt. He doesnt like it and howls and throws himself at the door but stops after about ten mins. (I tested this out before i went to work for the first time and listened).

I have also left him alone with my husband for an hour at a time and keep leaving him with him whilst i have a shower etc. Hubby says he just sits on the same sofa as him but the opposite end.
 
G

·
Just had to say good on you, for taking the little chap on, but it is terrifying to imagine what he's been through, to get to that state.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,811 Posts
Hello there

My first posting, so I hope ive done it all right.

I have two chihuahua bitches and very recently took on a rescue chi, male 5 years old.

This poor chap has been moved around quite a lot, spent time in kennels had 3 homes in the last 3 weeks (inc mine) and has been a bit of a handbag dog by all accounts, not socialised and has never liked men. He has been teased (and more i think) by a male in his household in the past.

When I collected him, he would not shop shaking or even come near me, but as soon as I got home and met my husband, well all hell broke loose.

He is petrified of him and basically just clung to me...he sat on my shoulder for the first few days and followed me everywhere. He is no longer stuck to my shoulder or foot but does still follow me everywhere.

He plays with toys and runs around (although still skitty and anxious) when hes alone with me and the girls..He scared of the garden and has been messing in the house but ive figured out his little routine with that now and can manage to get him outside to do his business, but with LOTS of encouragment on my parts and general hanging around. As soon as he loses sight of me or hears a sound, he runs back in, even if hes desperate.

I have not been pandering to him and not picking him up, which i know is what he wants...i hope im doing the right thing here?

He just stares at my husband when he is in the room and pants.

My dogs sleep in the bedroom with us with my girls being at the end of the bed and my new recuit stuck to my side away from my husband. I did plonk him in the middle and I have noticed when i wake in the night, he is actually snuggled in to my husband back, but then as soon as my husband wakes, the little growl comes out and hes back to being pertified again.

He will very occasionally take the odd treat from him, will not eat the food he puts down for him (just hides), flips out when he trys to take the lead from me on walks, i mean flips on his back as he is so eager to get away from him. I asked my husband to try and take him for a walk last night, which lasted 20 seconds...he carried him out of the house a he was just cowering and put him down only for the dog to do a crazed backflip, trying to escape.

I have told my husband to ignore him and to just throw treats in his direction, which i think may have helped the tiniest bit, but he still will not eat unless i stand next to him.

The thing with throwing treats is a bit awkward as I have a liver shunt dog who cannot eat treats.

He is ok with my bitches but i have caught him growling at them when they lie to close to him, its as if hes happy to lie with them for a bit then changes his mind.

He is also a barky little fella and barks at my husband when he comes home and he does growl at him too, a low growl.

I have today bought him a thundershirt and hope this may settle him a bit. He must be shattered from following me around all the time.

If anyone can offer any advice that would be good!

I know that I have my work cut out with this fella but I just need to know Im not making things worse with my current approach.

Many apologies for my war and peace first post!
I would ask your husband to continually ignore him, not even look at him or speak to him anything as hard as it may be. He sounds like any attention or approaches from your husband at the moment is just too confrontational and he cant cope. You may well find in time he will become curious without any pressure put on him whatsoever and maybe even approach, he can also watch and learn and gain confidence by your OHs interaction with your other too.

Growling is a way of communicating they are not happy with a situation so thats probably why he does it to your OH and barks too in the event it will ward him off and make him go away. Panting is usually a sign of stress and fear too.

It might be an idea to make him a Den he feels safe in in the communal areas
if you have a table or even a side table you could put his bed and a thrown over it to make a den, one that he can feel safe in and retreat too if he feels the need and also watch learn and weigh up the situation from and learn the order of things without being pressurised.

Plug in dog appeasing pheromone diffusers can help to calm and soothe dogs too might be worth trying one of those if you want to read up more on them
Adaptil - Adaptil
You can buy them at vets and I think pets at home but usually cheaper from online vet pharmacies. They may be worth a try.

The best thing if he does show curiosity and interest in your OH when the pressure is taken off is to gently and slowly throw treats in his direction. If he takes them to gradually over time throw them not so far a stage at a time and see if it will encourage him to appraoach, until he will hopefully take one from by his chair, then get him used to your OHs voice speaking softly to him,
then see if he will take a treat, then work up to a gentle stroke, and then finally OH looking at him, and then lastly eye contact. Will be difficult as you say though with a dog with liver problems about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello, I got an adaptil plug in delivered on monday and also got him a thundershirt on wednesday...there has been so much improvement, he now goes out to the toilet first thing with the others, and I am beggining to spot the signs when he wants to go out for a wee to.

He is beginning to get better on his daily walks and actually sniffed my husbands hand and licked it yesterday when he gave him a treat too. Hubby still ignoring him and no eye contact but I think we are going to be just fine :)

I also left him alone with my other two for the first time yesterday too and everything was fine...i set up my laptop to take pics every 20 mins and they all just slept and cuddled together :)

Thanks for all your advice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,811 Posts
Hello, I got an adaptil plug in delivered on monday and also got him a thundershirt on wednesday...there has been so much improvement, he now goes out to the toilet first thing with the others, and I am beggining to spot the signs when he wants to go out for a wee to.

He is beginning to get better on his daily walks and actually sniffed my husbands hand and licked it yesterday when he gave him a treat too. Hubby still ignoring him and no eye contact but I think we are going to be just fine :)

I also left him alone with my other two for the first time yesterday too and everything was fine...i set up my laptop to take pics every 20 mins and they all just slept and cuddled together :)

Thanks for all your advice.
So glad that his beggining to settle and gain more confidence sounds like your on your way to covercome his problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well i have good and bad updates for the little fella.

Good update is that he actualy sniffed, licked husbands hand and then jumped on his knee for a few mins and is now happy for him to stroke him when he sat down on the sofa. Also at the vets yesterday I had to ask hubby to hold him for a few mins (there were some biiig dogs in the waiting room who were trying to eat him!) and he did not struggle to get away.

He is also beginning to eat his food within a few mins of it being put down too as long as I am in seeing distance and he is disovering he can do his poo business in the garden...still struggle with him weeing in the garden though in the morning when i first wake up and come home for lunch from work. I am giving him treats everytime he does something in the garden as a reward..

Bad update is that yesterday morning, when we were all just waking up and one of my chi's was coming up from under the duvet and he lunged at her and this morning when she came up from the bottom of the bed to come see me same thing happened. Both times, I have put him on the floor with a firm no and then petted the other dog. Both time he marked against bedroom door then jumped on the bed again.

I have always had my dogs sleep with me, they have their own blanket at the bottom of the bed but the fella is still sleeping up the top end with us (he actually cuddles into my husband to sleep weirdly).

From what i can gather, this is resource guarding of me.

I am trying to ignore him and teach him to wait until I allow him to come sit next to me, which does seem to be learning the wait signal, but wondering how on earth i can stop him from going for the other dogs when they come for their morning cuddles when they wake up?

I guess the answer is at the moment to leave him in another room whilst we all go to bed, but is this going to be cruel?

I appreciate any help you guys could give.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,811 Posts
Well i have good and bad updates for the little fella.

Good update is that he actualy sniffed, licked husbands hand and then jumped on his knee for a few mins and is now happy for him to stroke him when he sat down on the sofa. Also at the vets yesterday I had to ask hubby to hold him for a few mins (there were some biiig dogs in the waiting room who were trying to eat him!) and he did not struggle to get away.

He is also beginning to eat his food within a few mins of it being put down too as long as I am in seeing distance and he is disovering he can do his poo business in the garden...still struggle with him weeing in the garden though in the morning when i first wake up and come home for lunch from work. I am giving him treats everytime he does something in the garden as a reward..

Bad update is that yesterday morning, when we were all just waking up and one of my chi's was coming up from under the duvet and he lunged at her and this morning when she came up from the bottom of the bed to come see me same thing happened. Both times, I have put him on the floor with a firm no and then petted the other dog. Both time he marked against bedroom door then jumped on the bed again.

I have always had my dogs sleep with me, they have their own blanket at the bottom of the bed but the fella is still sleeping up the top end with us (he actually cuddles into my husband to sleep weirdly).

From what i can gather, this is resource guarding of me.

I am trying to ignore him and teach him to wait until I allow him to come sit next to me, which does seem to be learning the wait signal, but wondering how on earth i can stop him from going for the other dogs when they come for their morning cuddles when they wake up?

I guess the answer is at the moment to leave him in another room whilst we all go to bed, but is this going to be cruel?

I appreciate any help you guys could give.

Thanks
If dogs are going to start there are usually several main triggers. Food, toys, treats especially long lasting ones like chews, attention, confined spaces and times of hyper excitement like visitors coming, leads coming out for walks and door bells ringing.

His trigger at the moment seems to be attention, or rather when the others get it, so it is likely a form of resource guarding. Ive just checked back to see what the other twos sexes are, and I see they are girls? as I thought one or both may be male and often you see it more with same sexes as regards to competing. Although male and females will often give verbal reprimands and do things like growl and air snap and lunge and chase off normally they dont go beyond that as same sexes will sometimes do, so if they are girls that at least is some good news. You need to watch him obviously just in case as he has only been there 9 days, dogs in the main shouldnt actively really go for a bitch and fight but with him its still early days and you dont know how stable he is. Also when you take on a dog, often their full personalities dont appear until at least 2/3 weeks down the line sometimes even longer as they usually spend the first weeks working out whats what and where they fit in the order of things.

It sounds like too that he does seem orientated to you mostly as I think you said he runs to you as well so it could well be resource guarding you. Sounds like too he is beginning to mark especially if he weed up the door it was a little amount. Are the girls spayed, if not any due a season? that may even be the cause otherwise at least for marking or not helping, Is he entire? Especially if he is he could well be marking his territory and leaving his scent.

I notice you say also that he doesnt immediately settle when you leave him for work. It might be that he is getting overly attached to you, if he has access all the time then he could start to be overly dependant especially if he has access to you all the time you are there. So you may need to work on that too, by giving him periods alone while you are in and gradually build up the time as well, so that he doesnt find it harder and harder to cope when you are not there. You may need too start giving him more boundaries as to whats accetable and isnt, whilst its fine if he sleeps on the bed and thats what you want, he may be well starting to get too territorial over you and the bedroom and chasing the girls off more and more.

You could try giving him a bed by your side of the bed, with an old t shirt or jumper you have worn so it has your smell and also use it too when you go out in his bed. Other alternative maybe is to crate train him so he accepts a crate and has his bed in there and then have him crated by the bed, but you will have to make sure that he he is fully trained and happy and settled in the crate before you use it. Or put his own blanket on the bed further down and train him to sleep and stay on that, rather then up with you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi, thank you for that.

Yes my other two are females and both been done and so has this little chap.

He marked when he first got here and i think in the two weeks ive had him, hes maybe done it about 6 times?

He does still follow me everywhere but occasionally he has stayed downstairs when ive popped upstairs, so I hope hes getting more secure. The growling at the girls has only happened when we are all on the bed. My youngest chi was so shocked as she is usually the one who does the warning!

Ive noticed he does like to sit on things, like a pile of washing and stuff and likes to burrow (I found him trying to get the girls blanket and pull it over his head with his teeth earlier bless him).

In fact, ive just bought a bed into the living room and put a pair of my unwashed pj's on it and he quite happily sat on it for a few minites which is absoloute first! I think i will give him his own blanket too, as my other chi's go wherever their blanket goes.

I believe he is crate trained but as hes been in an about of kennels and foster homes so im unwilling to do that at the mo, but will keep it as an option if the pj/blanket/bed trick doesnt work first. Ive never crate trained the other two though and I think i see it as cruel, when I know deep down its not.

Just one last question. How should I handle the growling and lunging at the girls when it happens again? He did not bite, just a warning as far as i could make out, but he def did jump half way across the bed to warn them.

Thank you again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,811 Posts
Hi, thank you for that.

Yes my other two are females and both been done and so has this little chap.

He marked when he first got here and i think in the two weeks ive had him, hes maybe done it about 6 times?

He does still follow me everywhere but occasionally he has stayed downstairs when ive popped upstairs, so I hope hes getting more secure. The growling at the girls has only happened when we are all on the bed. My youngest chi was so shocked as she is usually the one who does the warning!

Ive noticed he does like to sit on things, like a pile of washing and stuff and likes to burrow (I found him trying to get the girls blanket and pull it over his head with his teeth earlier bless him).

In fact, ive just bought a bed into the living room and put a pair of my unwashed pj's on it and he quite happily sat on it for a few minites which is absoloute first! I think i will give him his own blanket too, as my other chi's go wherever their blanket goes.

I believe he is crate trained but as hes been in an about of kennels and foster homes so im unwilling to do that at the mo, but will keep it as an option if the pj/blanket/bed trick doesnt work first. Ive never crate trained the other two though and I think i see it as cruel, when I know deep down its not.

Just one last question. How should I handle the growling and lunging at the girls when it happens again? He did not bite, just a warning as far as i could make out, but he def did jump half way across the bed to warn them.

Thank you again!
Its always hard on here to advise certain things because you cant see the dogs and the situation. Ive always had multi dog household for years, and Ive found that they do need to communicate between themselves too. Obviously you need to train and manage them as a multi dog household, but at the same time communication between them is important. At the same time you dont want him to frighten the others either or make their lives unconfortable and cause friction. Also with some dogs stopping them growling and communicating that way, which is a low key way of communicating can make them go to other bases instead which is what you dont want, If he growls I wouldnt actually stop that, but instead use distraction to nip it in the bud so it doesnt escalate and get him to offer an alternative behaviour instead, getting him to do something else thats behaviour you do want and then reward him for that. It may be for example coming to you and leaving the girls and getting him to lay on his bed calmly.

The best way to do this quite honestly is training teaching commands and when he listens to you instead reward that behaviour. Teaching things like leave, come, sit bed and all the basics is usually the best way for control Ive found.

I agree about the crate, if you can manage the situation without it then so much the better especially given his past. Its still early days and he needs to learn boundaries and whats acceptable and whats not, especially as it doesnt sound that he has had any direction or training given in the past and could well have been allowed to do as he wants. A kind fair but firm way to go with him is likely the best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
well!! Romeo spends a few minutes in his new bed and is getting better with the girls on our bed in the mornings, but this morning i woke up to find him actually under the covers of the bed along with one of my others, so i had one either side! I give up lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,811 Posts
well!! Romeo spends a few minutes in his new bed and is getting better with the girls on our bed in the mornings, but this morning i woke up to find him actually under the covers of the bed along with one of my others, so i had one either side! I give up lol.
Good thing is they are all getting on better together and everyones happy, and if you dont mind them on/in the bed I wouldnt worry tbh. Sounds like its going well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It is actually and i think over the next few months he will begin to relaxed around my husband too...he is nothing if not patient! Starting to see his true personality to come out now too, hes so funny and just loves to please.

Now my next trick is to get him to go for wees and poos outside in the long and lovely garden we have...he just will not go out there so i end up taking him for a walk every night (not that i dont want to walk him every night) but i need him to start using the outside space too if you know what i mean.

For example, ive just spent 15 mins outside with him trying to get hm to go (i use the command wee wees with the others) and nothing. I pop upstairs for a wee myself and 2 mins later hes done a blinkin poo in the house! arghhh.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,811 Posts
It is actually and i think over the next few months he will begin to relaxed around my husband too...he is nothing if not patient! Starting to see his true personality to come out now too, hes so funny and just loves to please.

Now my next trick is to get him to go for wees and poos outside in the long and lovely garden we have...he just will not go out there so i end up taking him for a walk every night (not that i dont want to walk him every night) but i need him to start using the outside space too if you know what i mean.

For example, ive just spent 15 mins outside with him trying to get hm to go (i use the command wee wees with the others) and nothing. I pop upstairs for a wee myself and 2 mins later hes done a blinkin poo in the house! arghhh.
I take it that your starting basic training as you would a pup, out very frequently etc etc, the girls hopefully if they go out with him will teach him too.

You usually only need to get one or two successes to get started with the re-inforcement of the praising and treating to start, but as you say thats sometimes the hardest part the getting started. Ive found frequently for shorter periods the best way, and watch them like a hawk, you often see, circling sniffing and scratching if they are looking for somewhere to go too.
Usually after drinking eating, playing and sleeping is the best time too as they usually need to go then.

Ive found too, what often works and especially if his personality is now emerging and he likes to play, is to take them out for a play session, sometimes the running about and their mind taken off it, you often find they will absent mindedly just stop and start to go, then you can use the cue word when they start, and then the praise an treats when finished. That might be worth a go. If you have pads and paper down too and thats what they are used too it can confuse them, as it can act like a cue that inside the house is acceptable, so if you have anything like that down maybe take it up in case.
 
1 - 20 of 65 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top