Dogsitting advice question

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Dogsitting advice question

This is a discussion on Dogsitting advice question within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hello everyone - I'm pleased to find this forum, lots of great information on here. I am currently dogsitting an adult chihuahua, for the next ...

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Old 10-14-2009, 02:13 PM
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Dogsitting advice question

Hello everyone - I'm pleased to find this forum, lots of great information on here.

I am currently dogsitting an adult chihuahua, for the next 10 days or so. This particular dog has many positive qualities, such as being 100% housebroken and friendly with strangers. However, the dog has not been well-trained in terms of commands or, especially, in terms of possessiveness issues. It is very much the "alpha" in its household.

In particular, the dog is extremely possessive of its bed (which the owners left with me). Any attempt to claim it or any items inside it (tennis balls etc.) results in aggression, nipping/biting, etc.

My question for all of you experts is - would it be better to remove the bed entirely from the environment (i.e., put it in a closet), while I have the dog staying with me? And encourage the dog through positive reinforcement to become comfortable with other locations in the house (blanket, chair, etc.)? Or should I just bite the bullet and allow the dog's "alpha" tendencies to play themselves out, since it's just a short-term dogsitting engagement?

I look forward to your advice. Thanks!!
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:18 PM
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Welcome!!

It just depends on what you want, and if it's bothering you. Training someone elses dog is pretty useless because if the owner stays on what they were doing before, what you teach will go away.

If the dog's possessiveness of the bed is bothering you, certainly remove it and get him to use somewhere else. It may decide to be possessive with the 'somewhere else' though.
Just depends on what you want though
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:29 PM
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it never hurts to use positive reinforcement...you do only have him for a short time, but you may be able to get him started on learning some good behaviors and then pass the info on to his people so that they can continue the training. i enjoy training myself so i would get a kick out of it...i definatley recommend clicker training since you only have a short amount of time...it really helps to speed things along. you don't need a clicker (tho they aren't expensive) you can use your voice ("yes" or "good") or a bottle top that pops up (snapple bottles work well) clickertraining.com has some advice and there are a lot of great "how to" videos on youtube that can give you some ideas...even if you just got him to do a trick or two, it may convince his people to work with him more. if he enjoys it, he may continue to do it and retain the behavior for a long time so that everytime you visit him you may get him to do the behavior.



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