How to stop aggressive behavior in a maltese towards toward a chihuahua.Is the neck biting and such normal?

I have a three year old chihuahua and recently adopted a maltese, one year old. Both female. The maltese is twice the size of the chihuahua and is overly playful to say the least.Lily bites,not hard,on Tylie's neck and head,enough that she has yelped a time or two.I can't leave them alone for a second unless they're crated--separately of course. I read another Q&A on here that stated the nipping is normal for dogs and I don't want to get rid of either one. Am I not being firm enough with Lily? Saying "no" only worked for a few days; now I do a quick jab to the side when she starts with the biting and that seems to work better.I can't afford to hire a trainer and would just like to know if this behavior is normal, will Tylie be able to defend herself if I just let them "work it out"? The get along otherwise and nap together, sleep together and share toys.I am careful to show the same amount of affection to each,and they walk well on the leash together.Advice?

Asked by Member 1149380 on Jan 11th 2013 Tagged behavior, biting in Aggression
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STOP poking your dog!!!!
It sounds like play. Rowdy, normal play. Monitor it, as you are doing. If it gets too rough, then separate them. Crate Lily for about 2 minutes. No need to yell or jab. I use "settle down" or "house rules", even "knock it off" in a firm, but not loud voice. Into the muss, no fuss.
Personally, I would let them take it as far as you are comfortable with. Honestly..when my 2 play it sounds like they are killing each other. Squam can put Wiley's whole head in his mouth & tries to drag him off the couch.
If you see Tylie taking evasive action, stop play. But if she goes back for more, then I would just let them be buddies & wrestle.

Member 904338 answered on 1/11/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


Sounds to me like your Maltese is taking on the Alpha rank in a very strong scale. It is normal, yes, but needs to be monitored or it could possibly get out of hand. Neck biting and/or face biting is what the Alpha in a wolf pack would do to it's pack mates to show them who's boss when they get out of line. You will never get them to fully share toys together unless human training is evolved. Right now, your Maltese is pure "Gene trained." She is only doing what she knows is right. Do not worry though, these traits can be un-trained with calm patients and confidence. During training, NEVER show these emotions: Fear, Anxiety, Nervousness, and/or frustration. Any animal can basically 'read your mind' due to the smell and body language you pull off, causing them to rebel against your training. Hope this helped! =)

Member 1149282 answered on 1/11/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Sorry, Teddy, but humans ARE NOT dogs and the old Alpha theory went out with the wash years ago!
This sounds like normal play, and as such, it is up to the little one to stop play when it gets too much for her. As long as she is not running away and hiding from the bigger one, OR screaming in pain or fear continually, I would let it go and let her do the correcting if she feels it is too rough.
Because we are NOT dogs, any interference we do can only upset the normal actions between the dogs.
When my little ones play with the big ones I DO watch, but, unless one is obviously trying to get away and not being allowed to, I usually watch only. Otherwise, the whole balance is upset and they do not ever learn how to give and take as normal dogs do. By interferring you run the risk of the larger dog becoming a bully and the smaller one never learning how to interact with another dog.

Member 641257 answered on 1/12/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


To me, this sounds like normal dog play. We have a pit/chow/gsd mix, a daschund/terrier mix, and a whippet/terrier mix. All three of them play together like this. The pit bull mix, rain, is at least 3 times the size of the two little ones, rocket & zero. Sometimes the little ones get too rough, but I just say no and crate them for a few minutes and when I let them out theyre fine. I don't believe that this is anything to worry about, but if there is any blood drawn, then you have an aggression problem. as long as there is no blood drawn, I believe you have nothing to worry about. hope this helped, best regards :D

Rain answered on 1/12/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


wow, where can i find calm patients for my dog to read the minds of?

Member 1041057 answered on 1/12/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 3 Report this answer


It sounds like play-maybe rough at times, but play, nonetheless . My Cocker plays hard & crazy with a couple of dogs, but always goes back for more. If blood isn't drawn, let them sort it out. Tylie can learn to give a warning growl that states she doesn't like the nip. If Lily pushes it, then give her a noise interupter (AY! Eh, etc.) to break their focus.

Also, don't be tense when they rough-house, as they sense it. Let them work out the play style that is the most fun for them. They're going to be housemates for a long time and can figure out what will work for them

Also, NO poking! It's not needed. Making a noise is just as effective.

Rusty answered on 1/12/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 4 Report this answer