Calling all dog whisperers please! I have a 5lb very sweet and loving long haired chihuahua, who is almost 7. The past year or two she’s had some issues with back pain (basically the human equivalent of throwing your back out), which we know to watch for now. However, I think the pain and experience has led her into a bad habit of snapping.

When her back initially hurt, one of the ways I knew is that I would go to pick her up and it would cause her pain, so like any hurt animal she’d snap at my hands and bite to get me to stop. And me, like a loving human, would go “OH NO IM SO SORRY!” and stop and back down immediately and not move her. And before we had multiple experiences with this and lots of time at the vet, the snapping was the primary sign that she was in pain.

However, her back pain seems to be more or less managed now - I have other ways to see if its hurting her by pressing on her back, and it’s happened enough now that I usually know by other behavior when she’s really hurting - and I feel like she’s gotten into the pattern of snapping. For instance, if she’s napping and its cold outside and doesn’t want to be picked up to go outside, she’ll snap and bite (even if she shows no pain and tons of energy, etc on her walk). And now that I know she’s not in pain it fucking pisses me off and of course I will sometimes cuss at her because damn it, her tiny teeth hurt and she is ferocious.

I’m guessing this all comes down to dominance and what not? But I need a way to re-train her so she knows snapping is not okay. Asserting dominance... teeth and putting her on her back etc does not seem to do anything. She really is a very loving and cuddly dog in general and I ABSOLUTELY do not want her to become one of those snippy little dogs that are dicks as she gets older.

Thoughts? Here is a picture for you as a thank you in advance