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Chihuahua advice please
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kamillaw · 11/05/2019 15:33

This is not my dog but a friends. Seems like it has been maltreated all its 4years. Has nipped at a teen in the house but is definitely egged on. Trying to think of a solution. Local rescue won't take the dog. I would take it but have a dog and 3 kids. Neighbour is keen to take it also. Do you think a 'fear aggressive' dog could be turned around?

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Bunnybigears · 11/05/2019 15:36

Possibly with a lot of work but Chihuahua's as a breed have a tendency to be a bit bitey.

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AvocadosBeforeMortgages · 11/05/2019 17:46

There are few dogs that are beyond redemption. Sometimes the dog can be taught that things it finds scary aren't that bad after all. Sometimes the owner works what presses that dog's buttons and avoids it. Sometimes the dog is safe indoors but needs to be muzzled and on a lead outdoors. Often it's a combination of the three.

It's not something I'd take on if the children were younger than teenagers (and even then I'm only saying that because it's a chi and damage will be limited) and I'd put them and the rest of the family through a crash course in canine body language so they could recognise when the dog is feeling uncomfortable. Expect that sooner or later someone will get it wrong and the dog will feel so threatened it has to bite; on the plus side dog bites are nowhere near as painful as you'd imagine.

If you're seriously thinking about taking this dog on, I'd have it assessed by an APBC or CCAB accredited behaviourist so that you can get an idea of how serious the problems are, how you would need to work on them, and the likelihood of getting the dog to a point where you can live with the behaviour long term. It's not necessarily that expensive - I paid £105 + vet checkup and it will at least mean you can make an informed decision, and send on that written info with the dog if you decide it's not going to be feasible for you.

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Baloonphobia · 11/05/2019 17:49

I'd be wary of taking a dog like that with children. Even more so because of the breed.

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AvocadosBeforeMortgages · 11/05/2019 18:06

PS if neither your or the neighbour feel able to take it on (understandable) then do try the breed rescue, who must have seen more than their fair share of snappy chihuahuas.

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Espoleta · 11/05/2019 18:06

I have a chihuahua and once they fear something and have a certain reaction it’s really hard to change that behaviour.
I agreed with avocado that you need to speak to a behaviourist and see what they think.
Honestly I wouldn’t take a chihuahua that has previously bitten with kids. They are the most amazing breed of dog and give so much back but they are stubborn and as a breed have a certain temperament.

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kamillaw · 11/05/2019 19:20

My neighbour has grown children and 2 X chi's who have actually gone from hating to tolerating mine - I'm not blowing my trumpet but my kids are awesome with dogs but I'd be wary as you all say. She could take the dog and was thinking about it for her Mum but we'd need to see the dog with other dogs first.

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mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork · 12/05/2019 16:25

If you live near London (or Brands Hatch/Windsor), Battersea would probably take it if it has to be rehomed. They rehome to a lot of different sorts of people and a fair proportion don't have children. Battersea are great at dealing with problems in their dogs - they have behaviourists in house. I've noticed that chihuahuas don't have to wait long to be adopted on their lists.

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AvocadosBeforeMortgages · 12/05/2019 16:42

Trouble with Battersea is that they take every dog which comes their way, but put down a noticeable proportion, especially those with behaviour problems. I've known a couple of ex Battersea staff who have left in great part due to a sense of resentment over particular dogs being euthanized that they felt shouldn't have been.

Dogs Trust has its issues, but at least with them being selective intake you know they're highly unlikely to end up being put down for behaviour reasons. In fact, I've heard mutterings from current and past Dogs Trust staff that dogs which are irretrievably dangerous even for experienced staff to handle take too long to be put down (in one case I heard of, it took a year for a dog to be approved to be PTS after seriously injuring a member of staff).

Battersea do some great work, but it's not somewhere I'd advise for a dog with a significant bite history.

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SauvingnonBlanketyBlanc · 12/05/2019 17:00

My chi dislikes children apart from our ds,God knows why.I hope you find a solution

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