Stick ‘Em Up, Pancho!

Stick ‘Em Up, Pancho!

Pancho is a Chihuahua. He is about as big as a pair of socks. Pancho thinks he is a ferocious Rottweiler. If he sees a big dog he feels he must alert him or her of his ferociousness and large size by charging and barking. This fools no one, but many are annoyed. He is one loud hombre wrapped in a pequeño package. We needed to break him of this habit before someone ate him, so out came the six-shooter. (Don’t have a heart attack — water only!) Now, when Pancho charges or barks aggressively, he gets a squirt in the face. It doesn’t hurt him, but it startles him…every single time…and he disengages from his current behavior. He might need more than one squirt to keep him pre-occupied, but for a moment or two he stops his muy macho display.

My neighbor also uses this technique with her two froofie dogs who like to gang up on other dogs. They are like a loud hurricane of fluffy white bravado. (Funny, they don’t ever do it when they are solo…) She uses a more elegant weapon — a purple spray bottle. It works for her too. She has broken up near fights and long barking sessions with one or two sprays.

If you have a dog who has some…issues…choose your weapon and try a squirt of water in their face. If you’re using a spray bottle, turn it to stream, not spray. You want that beeline of water to distract them, not the soft spray of a dewy morning, which feels so nice on a hot day. As always with our furry friends, consistency is most important. Re-enforce the same message for the same behavior. Practice your quick draw!

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