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Lisa, Certified Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 16088
Experience:  CVT with a special interest in behavior modification through structure, boundaries and limitations with positive reinforcement.
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Hello I have two brothers male Chihuahuas who will be 3 in

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I have two brothers male Chihuahuas who will be 3 in November 2013. One is very anxious (Elmo) and he continuously barks at noises and other family members (males mostly). His brother is dominant most of the time, but his presence doesn't reassure him about noises etc. I have had a behaviourist to see him and have asked vets etc. for advice on how to help him - different training techniques etc.
Last year,they both stayed with a friend with two German Shepherds and he said Elmo didn't bark once.
Therefore, we were wondering about adopting another dog - larger breed maybe - to stabilise the dominance and allow Elmo to worry less. We would like another dog anyway, but it would be a bonus if we could handle it right and help Elmo as well. We have asked people with knowledge about dogs and they agree with this. Thinking of getting a GSD puppy - asking breeder for advice about temperament. Do you think this may be worth looking into?

Thank you.
Hi there. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm happy to help you with your question today. Just like an in person consult, I have a few questions of my own to help understand the situation.

Are both boys neutered?

Just to be're asking if I think getting a GSD would help with the pack issues, correct?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes they are both neutered.


Yes I wonder if getting a GSD will help. A couple of people have recommend that breed and it would suit our lifestyle and my parents have experience of training them.


Thanks for the additional information Holly. I really appreciate it.

It is true that some small breed dogs may have odd behaviors becuase they're in a alpha dog position and don't want it, and can have those behaviors resolve when a bigger dog comes around.

Since your boys seemed to do well staying at the other house with the GSD, it might be worth it to bring in a GSD and see if that helps.

Of course, it's possible that your Chihuahuas may continue their current behavior, so having them get trained with the GSD when you get it will help solidfy the GSD as the top dog and the little guys as subordinates...which will help take the pressure off of them, and may help with the anxiety.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for that. So would you say it would be okay for us to investigate a puppy rather than an adult?


I would absolutely go with a puppy. Bringing in an adult to a house with two relatively unstable dogs could go badly. A puppy will be trained to your specifications and there is less chance of a tiny dog rebellion.
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