|Barked: Sat Feb 16, '13 7:23pm PST |
|So Louie, the little 3-month old chihuahua housemate has been a very good friend. His training has been going mostly smoothly. However, there is one set of behaviors that is a bit concerning.
Occasionally, Louie will suddenly resort to a quick growl and a hard nip at a human's hand if they're doing something he doesn't like, such as picking him up to be placed in time-out or mistaking him playing with a toy for an invitation to a game of tug. He shows calming signals, but escalates to what appears to be an inhibited nip too quickly for a human to react. But 99% of the time, he is patient, showing enough non-verbal cues for a human to notice. And he had a vet checkup two weeks ago and got a clean bill of health.
We only had one instance of this behavior in Clyde and it never appeared again after doing a tiny bit of management with him. But Clyde was an adolescent at the time.
So, I believe this may just be Louie reacting impulsively out of feeling grumpy at the moment, since I have found that he has almost zero impulse control right now. My question is this: is my observation correct? If not, what other factors may be leading to these emotional outbursts?
While I, personally, can live with these little moments, not everyone in the house is being force-free with him (especially my dad, and my mom, whom he belongs to, recently stopped being on-board with it in his training ) I would really like to nip this issue in the bud in a force-free manner ASAP so he cannot end up turning fear aggressive like her last dog from making a habit of these behaviors (last dog's aggression started with his original owners, not us)... Or end up behaving but after going through a lot of unnecessary stress and anger.
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