Posted : 8/16/2015 7:54:56 PM
Your little one seems to need some rules of the road.
If you are using a flexi when walking her, please stop. Use a regular 6 or 8' lead and keep her close to you.
The rule in my house is that dogs NEVER get feed from my plate. They are not allowed in the kitchen when I'm cooking, or in the dining room when we are eating. That doesn't mean that I don't share "people" food, but never until after we have finished our meal.
When people come to your home, your dog needs to be in her crate and in another room. She should not be allowed to great guests until they are seated and SHE is calm. Then, I'd bring her out on a lead and ask your guest to completely ignore her. Dogs do what works, and I'm betting the barking and carrying on and the attempts to nip have been greeted with comments to her (attention). They'll take whatever attention they can get....good or bad.
I don't think your dog is aggressive. I think, like many tiny dogs, that she is fearful and behaving in this way to reassure herself and to make her feel BIGGER. Humans must look like giants to her. I doubt, given her history, that she was ever socialized to animals or people and doing so now will be a very long and tedious process. It certainly can be done, but you will need the patience of a saint. I suggest finding a LOCAL trainer and discussing the problems with him/her. S/he may offer suggestions, or may want to do some training. S/he will teach YOU how to train your dog so don't expect him/her to actually train your dog. That isn't what trainers do and if people don't understand that going in, they are often disappointed.
There is an old saying among dog people....NILF (nothing in life is free) and that's the motto your dog needs to learn. She gets praise, attention or treats when she does something good and only then. For example, she doesn't bark at the person approaching on the street. Praise her for her "good quiet", then stuff her full of treats. When she nicely greets a guest same thing. When she is "rude" she gets ignored.
When there is a sudden change in behavior it is always smart to get a dog vet checked. Frequently they are being cranky because they just don't feel well. Unfortunately, since they can't talk and tell us that they don't feel well in words, often the first clue to illness is a sudden change in behavior.
I wish you good luck and TONS of patience in working through this with her!