…Questions from a new xolo owner:
“My son takes her out potty every time he his over and talks to her and spends time with her but yesterday she started growling when she heard the door then barking and growling at him even though she knows who he is. She did the same with my daughter and she also tries to spend time with her when she is here.”
Some of this is testing to see what she can get away with, and its part of finding her place in the pack order of the family. When she does inappropriate behaviors like this, give her a stern correction. A sharp NO and shake your finger at her. She is trying to see where she settles in the pack order and this is alpha behavior. DO NOT TOLERATE IT. If need be, put her little booty in her crate and give her time out.
“She had no problem sniffing other dogs just not the other way around. She could visit with them through a fence just fine.”
Try to arrange a few one on one meetings for her to be with other dogs that seem non-threatening. Maybe sit next to the other owner and have your dogs on your laps. If she can relax with the other dog, try wiping a little butter on her shoulder and let the other dog lick it off. This is a great ice breaker for hairless dogs. How can you not like someone who wants to lick you off?
“I have made contact with two obedience class trainers. One class meets with a group of ten dogs and class doesn’t start again until January. The other will meet with us at home for training. The trainer say’s she is loud and uses prong collars?”
Please either skip the second trainer who is loud and uses prong collars or try to observe her in her work and decide if she is treating the dogs fairly. I believe in strong corrections when it is needed but not routine shouting and abuse. A choke collar and a stern voice should be adequate to correct a small dog like Izcuica. It is a very rare Xolo that requires the use of a prong collar. Keep checking around, there must be some classes that you have not discovered yet.
…This is a very unusual question and very worth sharing. A lady has a 5 month old standard female hairless xolo. She has worked hard establishing a relationship with her Xolo that keeps her in the alpha position in the pack. Now that she has an excellent rapport with the Xolo, she is observing the Xolo’s behavior with others and trying to understand the reasons for certain things. She wrote: “Quick question-when she is playing and cuddling with my 24 year old son (who is one of her favorite people in the universe) she groan-growls and wrinkles her nose with teeth born- sometimes chews his ear- it seems affectionate- but a little confusing- thoughts? I think her tail is down and ears are back, but I will check-”
…the behavior that you described is that of a pack sibling (which she considers your son to be) telling another sibling that they are alpha to them. She must be absolutely discouraged from doing that. Teach her to jump up on the couch with a treat reward and to jump down from the couch with a treat reward. As soon as she has learned that well, he should immediately use the down command when she does that to him, and he should stand and walk away from her.
A young family, just getting to know their xolo, sent this message: “He settled in nicely and we introduced him to the kids this morning. He did a little bark/growl at our daughter, but we believe (it was) because he and I bonded last night and today. He is off with (my husband) today and will spend the day with him. He is just so wonderful and we adore him!”
Response: Thank you for your message,
When he makes a growly sound, I want you to be a strong alpha.
Say NO as if it were coming all the way from your gut and get a really angry look on your face.
If he does it again, repeat the NO and grab his muzzle in your hand and give it a firm shake, look into his rotten little
eyes with the fiercest look you can muster and growl like a momma dog that is giving a strong correction.
You might want to warn the fam. so that they don’t call 911 on you, but you must treat this with a very firm correction.
He must not ever growl at the members of his pack and he must learn GOOD manners.
It would be good to have the daughter do his feeding and she should run her hands through the kibble before she
gives it to him so that he will associate her smell with food.
Keep me in the loop.
From new owner: The only issue so far is he’s a little fearful of new people, which I realize is a Xolo trait. I told him he doesn’t have to love them, but he does need to pretend he likes them a little. I know he’s heading into another developmental fear period so I’m trying to take that into consideration as well. I’m taking him to work everyday and to the pet store several times a week. Any other suggestions? Otherwise, he’s perfect and a complete and total love. Response: You are wise to recognize that he will go through many developmental stages as he grows. Keep socializing him as much as you are able. Often it is good to sit in a public place and let him just watch the movements and interactions of people. Remember to take the hand of a new person in your own hand and let him smell the two hands together. This is very important. Xolos will not always remember what a person looks like but they always remember a person’s individual scent–always. I have met xolos that I raised and had not seen for several years and sometimes they need ten minutes to remember my scent, but they do remember. It is like watching a light bulb be turned on. All of a sudden I could see the recognition in their eyes. It is good to carry a good quality doggie biscuit or two in your pocket, as well.
Give a stranger one of these to offer him. He may take it and he may not. Just depends on how he “reads” the person, and what the value of the treat is to him.
labeled ‘Research and Inspiration.’ It will be called Xolo FAQs. I should have done this long ago because over he years I have responded to sssssssssssoooooooooo many questions. Well, better late than never. I will try to add to it each week.
FAQ: Is the xolo a good first time dog? Response: I have placed a few xolos with first time dog owners and I felt they were good families for the xolos because they were eager to learn and able to facilitate the things that xolos need in order to assimilate to the pack order in a family. Humans often need to learn new behaviors in order to live with xolos. Xolos thrive in homes where their daily routine is predictable and consistent. They generally dislike changes to their environment. Of course, there are exceptions to everything and no two Xolos are totally alike. They appreciate being treated with respect
and kindness but they must never be allowed to be the alpha in the home. The human must always be the pack leader and set limitations and expectations that the xolo can understand and adhere to. This is a thinking dog that requires its owner to do the same. They are so smart that they can easily become manipulative in their relationships with humans.