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Chihuahua puppy growls at owner

4. Question:

My Chihuahua puppy growls at us. Did we pick the wrong breed? We have a female and she is thirteen weeks old. When I went to pick her up last night to put her in her crate for bedtime, she growled at me and turned her head like she wanted to bite. I have never had a dog this small before and have never encountered one with such a temper. She will growl if you go near her things, too. We love this little one and really want to make this work, but now I'm starting to question if we got the right breed?! Can you help? Thank you!


I am not able to tell you if you chose the right breed because I never met you, but I can take a good guess at why the dog is growling. It is very common for small dogs to be treated in a babyish manner with no leadership because they are so small. In the dog world there must be a leader. It's instinct for the dog to have a being that has a strong enough mind to keep their pack safe and secure. The strongest-minded being will run the home. The leader is either going to be the humans or it's going to be the dog.

When your little dog growls at you she is communicating to you what SHE wants. She is trying to be your leader. She is telling YOU it is not time for her to be in her crate and she is telling you not to touch HER toys. Lower members of the pack do not own objects. All objects belong to the leader. One way dogs tell other beings that they own things is by growling and if that does not work, they eventually bite.

Every time she growls at you and you do not correct her or you back away she gets mentally stronger. The more you allow this the stronger she will become and eventually she will be biting. Not because she is a bad dog, but because she is being YOUR pack leader. You need to turn this around now or it will get worse and that is not fair to the dog that is only reacting on instinct.

I recommend you tune into the Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic Channel. If you do not get that channel there are DVDs for sale on On the show, Cesar Millan demonstrates over and over again how to correct dogs who are acting like your little Chihuahua.
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