Ask a Vet Archive

When it comes to your pet's health, there's no such thing as a dumb question. Search questions real clients have submitted to our popular Ask a Vet Q&A series, and then submit a question of your own.

  • We adopted a second chihuahua who has recently become aggressive, barking at anything and even biting me. He is calm and quite with my husband, and when my husband leaves he sits by the door and cries, but does not care if I leave. We both feed, walk, play and love them both. What could be going on?

    Dogs will often get protective of their home after bonding with the “alpha male” of the family. It sounds like your new pet has assigned himself as your husband’s “Lieutenant” and feels he is responsible for keeping everyone in line and safe when your husband isn’t home. When your husband is home he can relax because he knows the “General” has things under control. Often times training – with you or someone other than your husband leading the training  will help your new dog to learn that he is lower in rank than he thinks he is and everyone is actually happier when he leaves the guarding and running of the home to someone else. Work with a trainer – and get started soon – we often times wait far too long to get these tough little guys trained and this causes much confusion and other problems until they really understand what their role in the house is and how to act appropriately.


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Tags

Behavior