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Little dogs-afraid of?

May 16th, 2005, 08:52 AM
Odin is being such a good boy now! His training has come a long way. He doesn't pull to the door of our building *most* of the time. If he does...we turn around a few times and he gets it. He still pulls in the doorway to the elevator, but there really isn't room to turn around in there, so we are working on figuring out how to stop him from doing that. He always waits at the elevator door and doesn't get off before us. He sits at all doors and waits for us to go threw first.

Now. There is a dog in our building. He is either a shih tzu or lhasa apso (I can't tell the diff) and his name is Figaro. His owners don't speak english all that well and they don't control their dog. They actually make fun of our dog (which is starting to get annoying). They call him Ugly and say he cries like a girl. Their dog attacked Odin a while ago and bit him. Didn't draw blood, but Odin was shaken up. We tried to explain to them what their dog did, because he wasn't watching (he was around a corner as he dog was on a flexi) but they didn't understand.

Odin is doing really good, but now if he is close to a little dog, he tries to nip them if he gets close to them. It's worst if the little dog is yapping at him. If we aren't close to the dog, he completely ignores them. He also doesn't whine and bark at them anymore. He actually almost ignores them completely unless they provoke him. He just wants to be left alone.

But, if he sees figaro, he sometimes freaks out and barks and lunges.

Is there anything I can do about it? We live in the same building, and invariably see them and their dog a few times a week. If we are far apart, Odin doesn't notice, but if we run into him in the lobby, that's a different story. Odin is the one who is well behaved, but it's the other dogs that freak him out.

Should I just make sure I am being confident and just walk away with him (which is what I have been doing)? THat's what our trainer said, just walk away and distract him.

May 17th, 2005, 03:40 PM
Engage his brain. When you know he is going to have issues with another dog - give him lots of jobs to do. This tells him how to behave and gets the calming chemicals moving in his brain. He will also have his mind on you and not the ill mannered Figaro.
If he goes to lunge or growl then correct it and give him something to do that you can praise. Back him away from the other dog if you have to, but get his attention and keep him busy with jobs - then praise and praise when he calms down and behaves..
He has good reason not to trust Figaro, but it is still no excuse for bad manners. He can learn to ignore him and then Figaro has nothing to be so upset about.

May 17th, 2005, 04:18 PM
Yeah. That's exactly what we've been doing. Distracting and making him do things and pay attention to us.

Darn Figaro...

May 17th, 2005, 09:22 PM
If it's not working then I would start working him in the apartment first - get him engaged and calmer from the get-go. Make sure he is connecting with you out of respect not bribery - bribery doesn't usually work well when the real world kicks in. It isn't worth it to him to come over for a cookie when he is worried about freaky Figaro.