Teddy is a 3 year old male Chihuahua. He has come into rescue due to resource guarding his humans against people. Teddy is actually a very good dog in so many ways. He is housebroken aside from scent marking which is now improving after neuter, and non destructive in the home, travels well in the car, knows tricks and is trained well. He walks well on the lead and loves everyone he meets when he is not resource guarding his human from them.
He’s social with dogs outside on walks and enjoys playing with them. He doesn’t actually resource guard typical things like toys and his bed and also does not guard them from other dogs either. He only guards what he believes as his person from others.
For those who don’t know Resource guarding refers to a dog displaying behavior (growling, snapping, etc.) intended to convince other dogs or humans to stay away from a particular treasure or “resource.” The resource can be food, treats, toys, a place (a bed or favorite chair), or occasionally a person.
Teddy is basically a very bolshy teenager who has gotten his own way for a very long time now, without correction. Unfortunately this has manifested in him being very volatile when he feels his human is in imaginary danger. This is essentially a learned behavior and the further he pushes things the more he gets away with stuff which validates this behavior more for him. Unfortunately the more he guards his human the more people leave them alone therefore it works for him.
He has bitten the boyfriend and others in his last home whilst guarding the lady of the house from them. He had a short private adoption placement where his owner tried to privately rehome him but he bit the lady’s mother whilst guarding her. He doesn’t jump straight to biting though and gives some warning however it is definitely not out of the question for him and this behaviour escalating if not managed.
Teddy’s behaviour is manageable and has improved drastically since coming into rescue. He is much less confrontational after neutering and can be redirected out of this behavior a lot easier. In this environment he is a lot more social with new people. The key with him is to be incredibly firm. He needs a very dog savvy home who can read body language. He needs strict and unfaltering boundaries.
He must not be allowed on the beds or sofas or something level to you as this gives him more justification to guard and if ever you need to remove something from him it must be swapped out with something higher value. He must not be pandered to and in the event that he starts his growling, teeth showing etc a slip lead must be quickly placed on him and he must be removed from the situation and placed outside or in a separate room to be taken away from the situation to calm down.
Teddy is friendly and social with dogs he meets but can be jealous with his human over attention. Because of this we think he would do better in a dog free home. Teddy is actually perfect 90% of the time. He’s very sweet, animated and an affectionate little chap. He enjoys attention and loves a belly rub.
Teddy is very good at offering emotional support, when he feels confident enough to trust you he really throws himself into hugs. Teddy will wrap his head around your neck and stay there, he will koala hug and loves nothing more than being held, it literally does relieve stress and has been lovely for us to share that with him.
Teddy knows basic commands, is housebroken, crate trained, non destructive in the home and happy to be left for reasonable durations of time. He is really lovely when he is managed correctly and knows he can’t push boundaries.
Teddy would benefit from applicants that are very confident in handling difficult dogs because at first he will be feisty and for novice owners this could be shocking and offputting. Once Teddy gets to know you he is so loving and adores nothing more than being held and cuddled so patience to work with his issues to get to this point is important. This won’t be fixed immediately or after a few weeks, he will potentially require constant management but persistence and dedication are what Teddy will need from owners to make an adoption work.
Teddy would also benefit from varied and enriching exercise and outdoor experiences; taking Teddy to different locations, nature walks and offering more than a routine walking route day in and day out will keep his mind stimulated and help with satisfying his energy levels. Even though he is a small dog, he needs variety. Should the need arise, the capability for taking Teddy to training classes would further help to solidify a relationship between Teddy and his owners; structure and new tasks will benefit both owner and dog.
Please do consider the responsibility needed for taking on a resource guarder, they are not for the faint hearted even though he is small and sweet when he wants to be. Understanding your own limitations and confidence is very important to consider before applying.
If you are not capable of working past any situation where a bite may occur then it might be suggested to find a dog without a bite history.