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Hello all,

New to the site, and am oh-so glad I found it!

I've just become a new adopted father of two dogs- they are my girlfriend's two female chihuahua's. Throughout the entire time we've been together, I've gotten along SO well with them both. Lenore is the youngest, and absolutely dotes on me- and we have a deep connection, I think due to me knowing her previously when she was a young pup (she's about 3 now) - However, the other little gremlin, Luciana, who is a 10-11 year old long-haired chihuahua, has serious bouts of jealousy and a sense of 'ownership' for my girlfriend, understandably- she's been in the picture for a lot longer than I have.
We are clearly in the throes of having a war of dominance, that I see no end in sight for and I am asking for some suggestions and any advice I can take.

So as for my relationship with Luciana... It's usually always quite good- she's a grumpy old girl who growls at every single other dog, and almost everyone at first glance. She has definitely grown accustomed to me (we've now been living together for about 2/3 months) - and if we're alone together, she's a loving melting pile of fur and bad breath; adorable. - However, and it's almost only when we are in bed together (nothing saucy here, folks) - when I for instance, go for a good night kiss, or when I leave in the morning and kiss her goodbye- she growls from atop her pillow (she is a gargoyle) and becomes rather menacing. Never lashing out or attacking or anything like that (a rather laughable image) - but definitely hates my guts, with glaringly wide evil eyes- and will bite my hand if I try to pet her.

I've come to understand that chihuahua's are usually a "one-owner type dog", and that I shouldn't take it personally- she gets reprimanded for this behaviour by my girlfriend, but honestly, nothing is changing. It's not that dire of an issue, but it does sort of ruin the peace and tranquility of our time together, having this snarling fuzz-ball basically saying "Stay away, nobhead!" to me every night and morning.

Is there anything I can do to cease this? I realise she's old, so it could be partially due to that... But is there anything I can actively do to assuage the way she acts towards me? I was never really a dog person before my girlfriend, always preferring the indifference and nonchalant attitude of cats- but I love them so much, and they are so incredibly important to my girlfriend, that I want to make this better, for all of us.

Sorry for such a long post, any sort of advice would be welcome.

Many thanks,
NDD.
 

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That sounds like a bit of resource guarding, this is mine you cannot have it please back off behavior. It's not about dominance, the behavior is rooted in a fear of losing what the dog values, they feel that they have to guard it.

If that's what it is then the good news is that it's pretty easy to work with when the dog isn't to bad about the guarding and it sounds like Lucinda isn't. What I'd be doing is every time I went to kiss my loved one good morning or good night I'd be armed with a tasty treat to give Lucinda while I did so, and she'd get it even if she was growling. What that does is changes how she feels about what's happening, she'll start to think I'm not losing what I value and that person is actually giving me something great to eat. Once that happens she'll stop growling and start looking forward to the good morning / night kiss.

Check out this thread for more info on resource guarding http://www.dogforum.com/training-be...guarding-causes-prevention-modification-7511/
 
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