The Macho Minute is about my dog Macho, a chihuahua I rescued in January of 2010. Macho was rescued from a house in Dearborn, MI where 100+ other Chihuahuas were found alive and another 150+ were found dead amongst garbage piled from floor to ceiling. Due to these living conditions, Macho is very timid at all times. I created the Macho Minute to share Macho's stories and progress, as well as my joy of rescuing a dog who needs extra love and care.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Macho's Training Update

Thanks everyone for your comments on my last post about Macho's training! He is still doing very well and getting better each day.

I'm happy to report that Macho has only been showing small signs of dominance! There are times when Nick calls Macho but Macho doesn't come. I'm not sure why he does it, but he likes to run into the bedroom and lay in the cage. Nick isn't doing anything bad, just sitting on the couch and calling Macho to come sit over by him. Macho should have learned by now that if he runs in the cage, Nick will come in there with the leash and make him come out. But he still runs in there occasionally.

Other than that, the training is still going well. Macho is getting better at "stay". Our trainer wants Macho to stay for his food when it is put on the floor. The problem is that Macho isn't like most dogs who eat food the second that they see it. He usually waits for me to put in on the floor and sit down. Sometimes he even waits a few minutes before going to eat. Finally this morning I decided that I would just stand there while holding his food bowl and calling him. He actually came over and stood there waiting for me to put the bowl down. I said "stay" and put it down, and then let him go eat it, however, he was never trying to go to the food. I'm going to keep doing this and see if it helps Macho to get more excited about eating. I know, it's crazy to have a dog that doesn't want to eat!

Now that Macho goes outside, I want to take a video of him playing out there with me. It's pretty adorable to see him running around in the grass. Especially knowing that for the first half of his life he never got to go outside or play at all. I will post a video when I finally take one!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Re-training Macho

I've been MIA lately as we've been busy making Macho a better dog!

About two weeks ago, I was leaving the house and Macho was laying on our bed. He isn't allowed to be in our bedroom while we are not home, so I told him to get off the bed. He really wasn't happy about this! I am usually able to say "Off" and point to the floor to get him to get off the bed, but when I did this, he just sat there. I reached down to pet him, and he tried to bite me! Per our dog trainer's advice, I am supposed to growl at him when he is misbehaving, so I did that. Sometimes all I have to do is walk behind Macho and he will walk away because he doesn't like to have his back to you. So I did that, and he turned around and started showing his teeth to me. Clearly, I was not allowing this behavior. He stopped, walked over to my pillow and peed on it! I couldn't believe he did that.

The next day I got home from work and took Macho out as usual. He didn't pee, but since I still have the pee pads out for while I am at work, I thought he just didn't have to go. I brought him in, and I heard him walk down the hallway. He went right into our bedroom and peed on our bed again. I decided it was time to take some action.

Our dog trainer came out for a visit last week and said that Macho is starting to show dominance now that he is more comfortable with us. We have a lot of new exercises to work with him on. However, the biggest is that he is no longer allowed to sleep in bed with us or be on the bed in general! This made us sad because he loves laying in bed and cuddling with us. But I know that it's something we have to do to help him get better and teach him that we are the leaders, not him. The first night he wasn't happy about sleeping in the cage, but since that first night he has gone in the cage without a fight. Last night I laid in bed reading a book, and he went right into the cage and laid there the whole time.

So far the exercises have seemed to help, and Macho is showing less dominance by the day. We're supposed to continue this for a month and then we can readdress him sleeping in bed with us. Let's hope it all works out for Macho!