|Barked: Sat Mar 6, '10 4:00pm PST |
|My 14-week old Chihuahua puppy is somewhat of a fearful little guy and growls at new dogs and, sometimes, new people. Sometimes I can tell he's just playing, as he'll be growling and play-bowing, jumping back and forth. Other times, I'm not sure.
Today, I took him for a walk with 2 of my friends' dogs, one hyper Shih-Tzu x Japanese Chin (6 years old), and an English Bulldog (1.5 years old). He growled and snapped at the Shih-Tzu because she was hyper and kept trying to smell him in the car. She just backed off into the back seat for a bit, but then would start trying to sniff him out again in the front seat.
With the Bulldog (who didn't really pay him much attention except for some sniffing), he kept growling and jumping towards him, barking a little, and snapped a couple of times. I THINK he was playing because he'd jump back and forth at the Bulldog when his back was turned. At one point, the Bulldog was just looking up at me and my Chi snapped at his face.
I'd read that you're supposed to just let a puppy and an older dog "sort it out" on their own, as older dogs will correct inappropriate puppy behavior. However, neither the Shih-Tzu nor the Bulldog did anything but back away and ignore him afterward. I'm not exactly sure what my role should be in general.
One lady came up to us and bent down to let him smell her hand, and while he was smelling it, he snapped at her. She wasn't even trying to pet him. I just snapped the leash and said "NO", but now I'm freaking out that he's going to be this difficult dog.
I have a few questions:
1) How can I tell if it's just playing, or if it's fearful/aggressive?
2) How much growling and snapping should I let him get away with? Is some play growling OK, but all snapping bad?
3) Any other tips, suggestions, and advice?
I don't want to have a overly fearful, snappy, bitey dog and need to know how to prevent the situation from getting worse
Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
Edited by author Sat Mar 6, '10 4:07pm PST
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