The Order of the Pack
To a canine, the order in which members of the 'pack' (this includes all humans and all pets) enter and exit what the dog perceives to be the 'den' (the house) sends a very strong signal. Many owners do not think about this element and find it normal to let a hyper, active dog lead the way outside or rush back in when the door is opened following a walk.
However, when you have a Chihuahua with frenzied behavior
, hierarchy should be clearly established by any and all humans entering first and exiting first.
During walks, the dog should not lead. When you watch others walk their dogs, you might notice that in many cases, the dog is ahead of his human. For dogs that are not trying to make a stand as leader, this might not be a problem (other than the fact that proper heeling makes for a much more pleasant experience).
A short 6 foot leash (or retractable leash) should be used along with a harness, which gives an owner much better control over the dog. Starting with the Chihuahua on your left, begin to walk, saying out-loud the command word of 'Heel'.
Any time that he moves ahead or tugs on the leash in another direction, stop walking. Stand in place, with the leash short so that the puppy or dog cannot explore or find the time to be anything but boring. If he lunges, remain standing firm (with a harness, injury will not occur to the dog's neck).
When he settles down, begin walking ahead and stop any time that he tries to veer off course.
When a dog is not behaving, the owners should not sit on the floor with him. It sends a signal to be physically higher than the dog.
If the dog is blocking your path, never walk around him. This shows submissive behavior, even though it is not intended. The Chihuahua should be commanded to move. If he does not, he should be gently moved to the side.
It is not recommend to initiate a staring contest. However, if you happen to lock eyes with your Chihuahua, do not be the one to look away first. It is a very clear sign of submission.
When a dog is acting crazy and out-of-control, he should not be allowed to sleep in his owner's bed. This should not be something that is decided on a day-to-day basis; it should be the rule for an indefinite amount of time. Do may sure that the puppy or dog has a quality canine bed and a quiet, warm area to rest and sleep.
Toys dogs that are having problems with behaving should not be allowed to sit in their owner's lap. Some can become very fussy and particular about what their human is doing and movements that the owner makes. This places the dog in a position where e he may be tempted to try and take charge.
The Importance of Commands
All basic commands should be taught. Dogs should not be given anything (meals, toys, snacks, etc.) without first sitting. Even if a dog struggles to learn commands, needing to sit before being given any object at all is high motivation for learning the command.
The dog should be given the "Sit/ Stay" command when visitors arrive at the house; he can be released from that stance after a minute or so, once you give the "Okay".
How to Handle Tantrums
When a dog acts crazy and throws a tantrum, his main goal is to receive the direct attention of his owner(s). The way to stop a dog from even thinking about doing this, is to make sure that he does not receive what he wants. When his goal is not met, he will soon learn that it is not worth his time and effort to act in this way.
As soon as a Chihuahua begins to act up, he should be 100% completely and utterly ignored. As if he is invisible. Some wonder how doing 'nothing' can actually make a difference. However, to a canine, being ignored is akin to being temporarily banished from the pack. This is a very strong signal that in order to be accepted, he must behave.
Any severe aggression (actual biting, threatening or actions that make a family feel unsafe) need to be dealt in a more serious way and is best handled by a professional dog handler and behavioral trainer.