Teaching a Hollywood Chihuahua to Focus to Stop His Reactive Behavior

By: David Codr

Published Date: January 24, 2020

For this Hollywood dog training session we taught 3 year-old Chihuahua mix Barley to focus to help stop her from barking and wiping at strangers.

Knowing that Barley sometimes barks at and nips strangers, I set him up for success by meeting outside. After using a few dog behaviorist tricks, he was calm, comfortable and relaxed. Once this was the case we went inside to get to work.

Stopping a dog from barking or nipping is often best accomplished by teaching them to stay calm. Many people confuse excited for happy, but when a dog is over stimulated, that is when they are most likely to make mistakes. By exercising the dog before potential encounters and increasing distance when the dog shows the first sign of excitement of arousal, they can calm themselves down sooner. The more they practice, the easier it becomes.

Another great way to stop a dog from acting aggressive is to redirect its attention away at the first sign of distress. This is often a stare, moving slowly or stiff body language. Recognizing these signs and practicing a control exercise is a great way to help a dog learn to not act aggressive to strangers.

I handed the guardians my phone so I could show them how to teach a dog to focus on command. You can learn how to train a dog to focus by watching the free positive dog training video below.

If the guardians practice frequently for a week, they should be able to develop a strong focus command. This will allow them to help stop Barley from acting aggressive before it happens. I had the humans take turns practicing after we wrapped that video until they were getting the same results. You don’t have to be a professional Chihuahua dog trainer to teach a dog to focus this way.

We covered a number of other dog behavior tips in this in home Hollywood dog training session. To help the guardians remember them all, we recorded a roadmap to success video that you an watch below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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