What is the number one behavior problem you have with your Chihuahua? I think it’s safe to say that at least 8 out of 10 would answer that it is their Chihuahua’s jealousy of their partner or spouse, even their children.
Why The Jealousy?
You may think that when your Chihuahua growls, snarls, or snaps at your partner or spouse it’s because they are protecting you. That is only partially true. Yes, it’s true that Chihuahuas are very protective little dogs and they do tend to bond to one person in the household more than the others.
What is really happening is resource guarding. Yes, your Chihuahua loves you, but he also regards you as his “property”. You are a resource to him, just like his food, his toys, his bed (or your bed), and his crate or anything else he regards as “his”.
What Can You Do?
I’ll be honest with you, this is not an easy behavior problem to solve. If you wish to correct it, it will require a commitment from you and your partner or spouse. This commitment will take time, patience, and consistency. Are you ready to invest all that to save your relationship? Be honest with yourself and have that conversation with your significant other.
How To Correct Jealousy or Resource Guarding
- Before you begin, start observing exactly when this behavior happens and write it down. Is it when you and your fur baby are snuggling in a chair? When the two of you are in bed? Keep track of the time and the circumstance of each occurrence.
- Don’t hit, yell, or scold your Chi when he does show jealous or possessive behavior.
- Do have your significant other casually toss a treat to your Chi from a distance when he is on your lap or whatever situation that triggers the behavior, but before he even shows signs that he is about to growl. Do this for a few days and avoid any situation that causes the behavior in the meantime.
- Timing is critical because you don’t want to reward him for growling. So be sure that when they toss a treat it is before your Chihuahua evens shows signs of beginning to growl.
- The more opportunities he has to display this behavior, the more it becomes ingrained in his little brain.
- Have your spouse gradually get a little closer and a little closer and every time he doesn’t growl, have them toss the dog a treat.
The idea is for your Chihuahua to begin associating your spouse or partner with something pleasant.
Reward your Chihuahua when he does something good, ignore him when he shows unwanted behavior or immediately put him away from you — the “resource” that he is guarding.
Get Professional Help
If you and your partner or spouse are unable to commit to the time and the effort it will take to correct this behavior. It may be a good investment to hire a certified trainer or animal behaviorist. It is worth it to be able to all co-exist in a peaceful and harmonic household.