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Michelle’s Chihuahua Story

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NOTE FROM CATHY: I received an email in regards to my Chihuahua aggression article from Michelle and I asked her if I could use it as a Chihuahua Story. The letter is an inspiration for those of you who are dealing with dogs with “issues”.

Despite how some may have reacted to your aggression article, I am glad you wrote it. I have a rescued Chi-Weenie named Cole and he, due to his severe past abuse by a male, is very very aggressive toward them.

I am working with a trainer from my local Humane Society to get myself as well as Cole and Java (my other rescue) training on how to deal with their stress. I know a lot about dogs and how to train them, but managing high levels of nervousness and stress is not something I had experience with fixing.

When I rescued Cole and Java, I did so individually and 1.5 years apart. Cole was found as a stray in North Carolina by a vacationing member of the shelter along with his sister. The volunteer brought them back to Pittsburgh where they both had to undergo heart-worm treatment. Once finished, I asked to adopt both of them, but was told that Cole’s sister bullied him a lot so they had to be adopted out separately. I was also told that Cole had SEVERE confidence issues and would really need some work. I embraced the challenge wholeheartedly and have loved every second.

First I had to teach Cole that neither I nor anybody or anything else was going to steal his food… so for about 2 months I fed him one piece of his dog food at a time by hand.

Next, we tackled his stairs problem because he would not walk up or down them. I had to gain his trust and then show him that I wasn’t going to hurt him if he went up and down them.

Once we fixed those issues and got him house trained and settled (about 1.5 years in total) I adopted Java Bean. She was older, much more calm, 100% loving, and had come out of a hoarding situation.

I “interviewed” many female dog friends for Cole because I knew I had to find the perfect personality match for him. Picking a fur-friend that threatened his confidence or made him feel uncomfortable would ruin all the work that we had just done. After driving an hour and a half to meet Java Bean for the first time, I instantly knew that she was the PERFECT pug mix for us.

Now that us 3 are settled into our lives together, I decided to tackle Cole’s male aggression and stress issues. After only 3 training sessions and a lot of hours of homework with Cole and Java both, we are making huge steps in the right direction and I could not be more excited!!! Thank you for your letter and all that you do and share!!!!



NOTE (again) FROM CATHY: Remember to email me ( your Chi Story and at least one photo of your Chihuahua if you’d like to have your story shared with our readers and Facebook friends.


Tuesday 27th of October 2015

the brown one looks like mine. his name is rusty. his are my fav. breed, but I love all dogs.


Tuesday 27th of October 2015

I love all dogs too Pam!