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  1. #1
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    Nov. 13, 2010
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    Default How to deal with super aggressive small dog?

    I'm dog sitting 2 Chihuahuas for my aunt and uncle. Chi numero uno is the sweetest little guy ever. At all of 6 lbs with collar and tags he is like a little stuffed animal, only wiggly and he likes to lick your face. He likes me, I like him, the world is a happy place.

    Chi numero dos is the opposite. Weighing in at a whopping 4 lbs, this little girl is out for blood. I can't get near her. This makes bathroom visits very problematic. She refuses to get up off her couch to go outside herself. Even if she would go outside herself, she will be about 10 ft from a busy road. She is supposed to come when called, but who really knows if she will. If I could pick her up I could carry her to the huge backyard where Chi numero uno does his business. Or if I could get a leash on her I would feel a lot better about letting her go out herself, assuming she will go out herself. Now her owners are coming home tomorrow at some point, so this isn't life or death, she has a puppy pee pad in there, but I would really like to get her outside! Any tips/tricks? I thought about throwing a blanket over her and carrying her out that way, but I think that would be too traumatizing for the little devil.

    This whole situation is disheratening to me as I tend to think of myself as really good with animals, yet I can't get within 5 ft of this dog without her lungeing at me. Which honestly is kind of funny because she is all of 4 lbs. The worst part is that she gives no warning signs that she is uncomfortable before she lunges. Now "eyes" no shivering, no growling, she seems as happy as can be and then she lunges.



  2. #2
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    Aug. 23, 2006
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    Wow, that's a tough one!

    Unfortunately, there are quite a few things wrong here. First is that your aunt and uncle should never have left that dog with someone who couldn't even get near her! What were they thinking?

    And I would NEVER just let her outside on her own without a fenced in yard. Especially on a busy road. If you let her out there you will never get her to come back to you. You can't get near her in the house and that won't change when she's loose outside (it'll get worse, I'm sure - she's likely to RUN). And the result of that on a busy road probably won't be good!

    So, since you can't get near enough to get a leash on her, I'd say just let her use her wee-wee pads in the house and don't worry about it. Let her owners deal with it when they get home tomorrow. In the meantime just make sure she has access to food and water and call it a day.

    Oh, and enjoy the company of her sweet *brother*!



  3. #3
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    She wasn't nearly this bad when they were home. They were actually telling me that they've never seen her warm up to someone so fast. Usually she growls and nips even when my aunt or uncle are holding her, but she let me pet her no problem.

    I probably will just let her use the puppy pad until they get back, I mean, she is 4 lbs, she can't pee/poo that much.

    I'm checking food and water regularly.



  4. #4
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    Dec. 29, 2001
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    I have had a few fearful/unsocialized fosters from my local animal shelter -- one who has become a long-term resident!

    I know it is probably too late for you to do this, but (in the future) if this dog cannot be handled by strangers, the owners should leave a light "drag leash" on her at all times. That way you can move the dog without touching the dog. This is generally my protocol with these types of dogs until I can get to the point that I can touch them.

    In the short term, could you perhaps get yourself a light "loop" leash? These are the little noose-like leads that are frequently used in vet's offices. Once again, the idea is to be able to move the dog without touching the dog -- with a loop leash you can just slip the loop over the dog's head (without touching the dog) and then lead him/her outside. I've generally found that once dog and I are moving together in a walk-type situation it is easier to engage with him/her.

    That said -- in the future your aunt and uncle should either use a professional pet sitter that can handle this dog, or she should be kenneled with fair warning to the kennel operators. That is what I do with the little quasi-feral dog (mentioned above) that I eventually adopted. She is wonderful with my husband and I, but because of concerns with liability I make sure that she is carefully managed to keep everyone safe.



  5. #5
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    Mar. 24, 2004
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    Any chance that you can run the end of the leash through the loop and kinda lasso her? Wear some heavy gloves in case she grabs you.

    Since owners aren't going to be away much longer the wee pads might be the safest.
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)



  6. #6
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    I could probably get a loop leash on her but I'm not sure that would be enough. I'd probably have to drag her outside and because she is so small I would really worry about her neck.

    I'm usually competent with dogs. This isn't the first aggressive dog I've worked with, and usually I don't have any problems. I'm cautious and business-like, I don't crowd the dogs personal space, and I really watch body language. Heck, I live with a VERY aggressive, previously abused, Cockapoo and I'm the only one that can handle/groom him without him lungeing. But this little one wants nothing to do with me.

    Maybe I'll keep a loop lead handy and if she shows any interest in going out next time I take her brother, I'll just loop it around her and let her come out herself.



  7. #7
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    I would not take any chances with someone else's dog.

    Leave her be where she is safe, it is only one more day.

    If you insist on taking her outside, maybe nothing will happen, but if it does, if she slips out of the leash or somehow fights and gets injured, why take any chances with a dog that is not yours?

    When a dog tells you who they are, unless you are supposed to be training them and need to change what you can, just believe them and leave them be.

    Dogs, like people and horses, come in all kinds of temperament and upbringing and not all are nice and pleasant to be around.
    A choice if some want to live with grumpy or even abusive humans, horses or dogs.



  8. #8
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    Oct. 12, 2001
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    that's pretty sad anyone would let a dog live like that.
    Many of these little dogs bite all comers because they are terrified of the world.
    Can you try to win the dog's trust by tossing food near it? I assume you're supposed to feed the dog something.
    I wouldn't let the dog out without some mechanism of control in place.



  9. #9
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    Apr. 1, 2008
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    I agree with the others. Let her use the pads. If Auntie and Uncle need you to dog sit again, make sure they get her used to you ahead of time.



  10. #10
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    Oct. 20, 2009
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    ok, where are the photos of the little devil and her angelic brother? TINY DOGS NEED PICTURES!



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAcres View Post
    I thought about throwing a blanket over her and carrying her out that way, but I think that would be too traumatizing for the little devil.
    And for you. I've tried that trick with the devil Yorkie, and it left emotional scars. If I'd dropped him a moment later, it would have left physical ones too. The drag leash is the only way you can realistically grab a tiny dog without a) hurting it and/or b) getting bitten. There's just so little there to grab, their heads are kind of close to everything else. I second everyone else - leave her to the pee pads and her owners. She may just be traumatized already from being "abandoned" and that's why she's being so aggressive after seeming ok when the owners were home. I wouldn't try to loop her. It might get the leash physically on her, but I suspect (almost guarantee) that the dog will not chill out after a bit and come around to the idea of going out with you. She's going to go panic and not calm down until you walk out the door and drive away.



  12. #12
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    Nov. 10, 2005
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    A lady I work with has several recued Chi's and hers won't go outside. She keeps them in her utility room when she is at work and they have several pee pads for potty use. I would just make sure she has her food and water and not worry about trying to get her outside. Clean up the pads as needed.



  13. #13
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    Jun. 16, 2001
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    Thick gloves - maybe like the falconers use.
    Muzzle (Take off for food and water at regular intervals use common sense)
    Leash

    You are supposed to be in charge and miss wee-she-dog knows you are not.

    *Because of the small size you will need to psyche her out not resort to punishment as even a finger-flick might be too painful.
    If she is wearing the hannibal lector mask she will know the jig is up and recognise you as alpha.

    *You can board her at the vet and tell your Aunt she looked like she was coming down with something, you were worried about her and took her to the dog doctor just to be safe and play with the nice one.

    *If she is not too athletic and you have a deep bathtub put her in there for a time out.

    *Borrow a parrot cage and put her in jail

    Good luck I hope you get the upper hand before Auntie comes home.
    I ain't voting for Monica Lewinski's ex-boyfriend's wife!



  14. #14
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    Jan. 10, 2010
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    awwww.......poor wee thing.....i agree that she may just be so upset about mom and dad being gone, and stranger danger, that she dosn't need any more trauma til they get home.........i have small terrier rescue that was very traumatized and insecure for about a year.....now she is great with family members, but still very unsure about visitors, and slinks around,trying to be near me at all times when strangers are here.........she would most likely bite someone out of fear................and it reminds me of your little gal...........good luck for the duration, and just keep a good supply of pee pads!



  15. #15
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    Dec. 14, 2006
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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by 5 View Post
    Thick gloves - maybe like the falconers use.
    Muzzle (Take off for food and water at regular intervals use common sense)
    Leash

    You are supposed to be in charge and miss wee-she-dog knows you are not.

    *Because of the small size you will need to psyche her out not resort to punishment as even a finger-flick might be too painful.
    If she is wearing the hannibal lector mask she will know the jig is up and recognise you as alpha.

    *If she is not too athletic and you have a deep bathtub put her in there for a time out.

    *Borrow a parrot cage and put her in jail

    Good luck I hope you get the upper hand before Auntie comes home.
    Time outs and parrot jails? Where's the fruitbat

    Ditto the majority: puppy pads and let her be. Talk to aunt & uncle when they return.

    Toy breeds are still dogs. Few owners treat them that way so you get this result. Sad.



  16. #16
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    Nov. 13, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5 View Post
    Thick gloves - maybe like the falconers use.
    Muzzle (Take off for food and water at regular intervals use common sense)
    Leash

    You are supposed to be in charge and miss wee-she-dog knows you are not.

    *Because of the small size you will need to psyche her out not resort to punishment as even a finger-flick might be too painful.
    If she is wearing the hannibal lector mask she will know the jig is up and recognise you as alpha.

    *You can board her at the vet and tell your Aunt she looked like she was coming down with something, you were worried about her and took her to the dog doctor just to be safe and play with the nice one.

    *If she is not too athletic and you have a deep bathtub put her in there for a time out.

    *Borrow a parrot cage and put her in jail

    Good luck I hope you get the upper hand before Auntie comes home.
    Are you insane? You would like me to muzzle a scared, agressive, 5 lb chi and stick her in a parrot cage or a bathtub for "time out"? I'm not trying to traumatize her!



    I ended up just leaving her with the pee pads. She was most comfortable that way, and I didn't want to stress her seeing as how "mommy and daddy" already "abandoned" her. But now they're back and everyone is happy. I shall try to post a pic of the good Chi. He is flipping adorable. I didn't think I was a small dog person but he is just so cute and wiggly...how can you resist a real live stuffed animal? I might have to get one now.



  17. #17
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    Jun. 16, 2001
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    First off - If a chichuaua has you twisting in the wind perhaps you shouldn't try to deal with something bigger say... a horse just my opinion based on what you have posted I think you may be outmatched by the four pounder.
    That said.
    Next time go the boarding at the vet route as the pup has your number she sounds like a doll BTW I would like six just like her(Not).
    Hope the cleaning bill wasn't too painful.
    Last edited by 5; Jul. 19, 2012 at 12:50 PM.
    I ain't voting for Monica Lewinski's ex-boyfriend's wife!



  18. #18
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    Wow, 5, that was pretty uncalled for.

    I think the "put down pee pads and wait for owner" was the right call. We have a fear aggressive dog, an ACD mix, who is extremely attached to my husband. When he's out of town for a while, she becomes very hard to handle, due to her anxiety. She wants to park her butt where she thinks he'll show up first and gets aggressive when you try to move her. She also becomes very territorial. I've lived with and cared for this dog for 12 years, know her well, and she can still give ME a run for my money. She does trust me, so I can, with very careful management, get her needs met without a bite (not so when I first met her!), but, if we're both going to be away, we cannot board her with anyone but the town Animal Control Officer, who is equipped and educated to handle her and knows her deal well. She'll turn on anyone when she's in her fear state, which starts about 4-5 days after my husband leaves. We try our best to avoid trips longer than that, but sometimes it's unavoidable, that's where AC comes in.

    Yeah, the ACD could do a lot more damage than a Chi, but I don't personally want to get torn up by a tiny dog either and I wouldn't want to further traumatize a terrified dog.

    I do agree with telling the owners "no thanks" if they want you to take "bad Chi" again.



  19. #19
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    Oct. 20, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAcres View Post
    I shall try to post a pic of the good Chi. He is flipping adorable. I didn't think I was a small dog person but he is just so cute and wiggly...how can you resist a real live stuffed animal? I might have to get one now.
    I'm waaaaiiiitinggggggg......

    Also, ignore 5. you did the right thing.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5 View Post
    First off - If a chichuaua has you twisting in the wind perhaps you shouldn't try to deal with something bigger say... a horse just my opinion based on what you have posted I think you may be outmatched by the four pounder.
    That said.
    Next time go the boarding at the vet route as the pup has your number she sounds like a doll BTW I would like six just like her(Not).
    Hope the cleaning bill wasn't too painful.
    The 5 lb "chichuaua" ahem, Chihuahua does not have me "twisting in the wind". Believe it or not, I'm actually pretty well qualified to deal with aggressive dogs. GASP, I've volunteered at some rescues, I've actually had some training. The whole aggressive dog thing isn't new to me. I was looking for suggestions on how to avoid the "traumatize the poor scared dog by trying to show her who is boss" thing that often comes with ideas like shoving a muzzle on her face, grabbing her, and putting her in a parrot cage (I would love to know if you got that idea on your own or if some other idiot gave it to you). The dog used the pee pads, her owners came home. They weren't that surprised the was scared out of her little mind while they were gone. She isn't used to other people in general, and I didn't have a pre-existing relationship with the dog.

    As for not being able to handle my horses? Kind of the opposite actually...people are usually the ones asking me to work on respect issues with their horses. But maybe I should just quit while I'm ahead as I apparently don't know anything about animals.

    Best of luck 5, I feel sorry for your animals.

    ETA:
    Duke! Also know as "Dukey or Round Boy". He's the good one.



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