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I cannot explain my dog’s behavior half the time. I have a soon-to-be 5 yr old pure bred Chihuahua, I got him at 4 months old and as far as I can tell he was never abused or left in an unsafe environment. He has always been a 2 person dog; it’s just me and my mom. He is, also, a barker. He barks at anything and everything including people. When I got him, he let us do anything to him because everything was new and harmless. Cutting his nails, looking at his teeth and even playing with his feet but something in the past few years changed a lot of that. He got over his puppy separation anxiety and doesn’t care when we leave but is always overjoyed when we come home. I had a rotating schedule at work but mom always kept the same one so he would quickly adapt to my schedule change and that was that.

Then, something changed. As he got older, he became more independent in his doings. He began to growl under his breath if he caught a glimpse of you looking at him while he wanted to eat. He loved to sleep in our beds when he was a puppy and now he prefers sleeping alone at night and cutting his nails became a hassle at times. I will admit, I have spanked him LIGHTELY in the past for wrong doings but I honestly don’t think these behaviors are a byproduct of that and I hardly ever do anything but raise my voice at him when he acts up.

He also seems to act up more for my mom than me. I think he thinks of me as the big dog in the house and he quickly becomes submissive to me where it takes my mom working harder to garner that reaction from him. He is not intolerable, he is the sweetest thing to both of us 95% of the time. Its just those times where he does something and we think to ourselves where did that come from? There have been some massive changes in our lives within the last 2 years. Mom moved out for over a year, it was just him and me and he became EVEN MORE attached to me. Then I lost my job and for a solid 8 months was home all day with just him. Fast forward and mom eventually moved back in. So I know a lot of that can have an effect on his behavior.

He digs at carpet but he did that before mom ever moved out or I lost my job and he rarely does it for me, its mainly with my mom. The big thing I just realized is the most embarrassing habit he has developed the most recent which started around the time my mom was spending less and less time around. He always barked at strangers but he began to uncontrollably poop when anyone besides me and my mom came in the house, he will even shake uncontrollably and poop while I am holding him at the vet. He just had an instance last week with a repair guy where he just dropped turd after turd in between barks. Tonight he even drew a little blood on me when we got to one leg to cut his nails. Those nails on that foot are thicker and slightly curved more than the others but he was calm with the other 3 legs, he even dropped a turd when he started to struggle.

I love this little guy, he really is a sweetie but I cannot explain this behaviors. Maybe its our fault he never socialized with other dogs or people or would rather lay around with bursts of inside energy than spend a good 20 minutes running in the yard. Maybe its all that coupled with the live events causing all of this. I will say he has still yet to adapt to me working again. And I will admit part of the reason I an hesitant to go to the vet for his annual heart worm test or to look at his leg (my other thread) is the fact that he will poop all over the vet office. Any advice would be needed.
 

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He sounds fearful of the nail clippings and petrified of strangers.

These two links will help you work with him on his fear, especially his fear of strangers:
Care for Reactive Dogs
Fearfuldogs.com
My boy is not as bad as yours, he's fear aggressive towards strange people. He barks at them but if they get to close he'll charge and try to bite. The reaction stems from fear, instead of flight he's chosen fight. He's doing a bit better and is less reactive towards people but we do still have bad days. I used the protocol at the links to help him.

The nail problem will also take counter conditioning. Start when his nails do NOT need to be clipped since it will take awhile to get him to where he'll let you do it. Get a very high value treat that he'll only get when you work on this and break them up into tiny pieces. Break nail clipping up into tiny steps (figure out where he starts to act fearful and start there) and work at each step doing it and giving him a treat right when you do it over and over until he's happy with you doing the step then move on to the next step. So if your first step was showing him the nail clippers you'd show them to him and give him a treat till he was happy to see those clippers, then the next step might be handling his feet. You'd touch his foot, or maybe pick it up while giving him a treat over and over till he was wanting you to touch his foot. Break the process down into as many steps as you need to to keep him as unafraid as possible. A little bit nervous is expected, but if he's fearful or panicking he's unable to learn and you're going to fast.
 

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Rain's right. All your unexplainable behavior with your pup is fear. All of it. Chihuahuas are a VERY fearful, nervous breed, most small dogs are. Do not be afraid to comfort a fearful dog, this will NOT teach it to be more fearful in the future, you are NOT reinforcing the fear!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Also realized he went crazy with the nails more than usual because mom cut one shorter than normal.
 

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Also realized he went crazy with the nails more than usual because mom cut one shorter than normal.

Even if she didn't get the quick and just got close to it it hurts them. Cutting to close to the quick pinches it and causes pain.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I know dogs eat less in the summer but it just throws me for a loop some nights he wants more food and other nights (like tonight), he didn't take 1 bite out of his dinner. More often than not he eats it, and I know he isn't sick, just no appetite I guess. He does eat everyday though and doesn't stop begging, which shows he still has an appetite.
 
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