I have a small 14 year old dog (chihuahua/miniature poodle mix). She has grown aggressive over the years and is to the point that she'll randomly attack my other dogs and people if they move near me. When I am not around and my sister watches her, she almost never acts up, which has me confused. My father mentioned that she may be "guarding" me, but I am not sure how to get her to stop. When she starts getting aggressive, I put her in a room by herself for a few minutes, but I don't think this is helping beyond getting her to stop before her next episode. None of the other dogs exhibit this behavior.

Any advice as to what I should do to train this behavior out of her would be greatly appreciated! Currently I am too embarrassed and ashamed by her to have anyone over.

2 Answers 2


I've grown up with dogs. Generally, if I have a dog that's showing aggression without any cause, I'll roll that dog on it's back and hold them down (not choke ) until they yield.

Dogs are pack animals and it's pretty much in their DNA to understand certain thing, for example, if the alpha leader (the dog boss) flips a dogs on his back and holds him down, the dog knows it's doing something wrong and needs to stop immediately. The dog responds by yielding (spreading it's arms and legs out horizontally).

Also, if you're holding the dog or placing the dog on your lap and you see this behavior, put the dog on the ground first to see if that behavior changes.

Definitely also have a trainer work with the dog too!


Every dog needs to have rules and boundaries. Not setting any boundaries and not reprimanding behavior that crosses those boundaries often leads to aggression in dogs. Our human world is just too complicated for a dog to understand as a whole. It's better to set rules that limit the possibilities of how a dog can interact with this world (like "no barking at guests allowed").

The best advice I can give you is to use the service of a professional dog trainer. They should come over to your home, analyze the problematic behavior and give you instructions on how to recognize the signs of her aggressive behavior and how to stop it.

The reason why this is neccessary is that you currently don't recognize what exactly caused this aggression. As you realized, you have to treat the cause, not the symptom, because this (like putting her in another room) is not effective.

Please have a look at this video of a professional dog trainer talking about correcting a dog's behavior. At about 6:45 minutes he talks about some very hard cases of dog aggression and he sums it up like this:

I've hat a lot of success, but [...] it's not because of me. I have a small part to do with it. It's because I have the ability to teach the owners [...]. And the owners have to change everything they're doing in their home that crated those behaviors.

(Sidenote: the only part of the video relevant to this question is the biginning until 8:00 minutes)

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