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Fearfull to the MAX

DogLover2
June 3rd, 2009, 10:44 AM
Max is a new dog to the family but he is 13 months old and doesn't seem to like to be near new people. He is perfectly fine with dogs. He is a Lhasa Apso. The only times I have noticed he was ok with meeting other humans is if I pick him up and place him on a counter. He was intended to be used as a show dog and father but that is all I really know at this point about his intended life before we got him.

Can anyone suggest how I can fix this problem or even tell me why he's ok with meeting people on table but not on the floor???

This is very frustrating.

bendyfoot
June 3rd, 2009, 10:47 AM
How exactly does he behave when he's meeting new people for the first time when he's on the floor, and how does he behave when he's on the table?

EndOfFashion
June 3rd, 2009, 10:50 AM
How does he react to new people? Does he snap? Or just shrink back and try to hide? It might just be the way he is being approached, as he is a smaller dog. Does it make a difference if he is on the ground, but the new person meeting him crouches down to his level? Try to get someone to do that instead of standing and leaning over him to pet him. It just sounds like he hasn't been socialized with people, and it's something you can definitely get over with time!

DogLover2
June 3rd, 2009, 11:17 AM
He growls for a bit, keeping his eye on them and then decides to go upstairs to hide and sometimes whines as well.

When on a table he has his tail down for the first little bit, does not growl run or bite and warms up to the person in a few minutes and the tail will come back up. Not sure why this is though and I'm not sure about the socialization part either. How much time are we talking about?

bendyfoot
June 3rd, 2009, 11:22 AM
The dog sounds insecure and unsure. If he hasn't been taught how to meet people properly then socialization is definitely needed. Socialization is a gradual process and the time it takes is going to vary dog to dog. Basically what you are doing is giving the dog many opportunities to meet many new people, on a regular basis, in a controlled and safe way that reinforces the experience as being a positive one.

DogLover2
June 3rd, 2009, 11:30 AM
should I pick him up and bring him to meet these people?

bendyfoot
June 3rd, 2009, 11:39 AM
No, you want the dog to be confident about meeting people on his own...picking him up takes away any control he has over the situation (i.e. he couldn't run away if he was overwhelmed) and could lead to bites if he's really anxious.

IMO, I would try a few things. Very generally, expose your dog daily to new people. The daily walks are perfect opportunities. Take your pup on new routes where you can walk were you'll be passing lots of different kinds of people.

One possible exercise: You'll need some friends to help you with this. Have your dog on a leash and ask him to sit. Have a "reward" that is of high value (treats can work well here) handy. Invite your friend over to say hello, but have him come only as close as he can until the dog starts to act uncomfortable. It might be helpful to have your friend squat down or sit on the floor so as to not appear threatening. If your dog is acting calm, reward him. Let your friend have some treats handy too. If the dog approaches the person nicely, you or your friend can reward with treats. Ignore any unwanted behaviour, reward the desired behaviours (approaching nicely, sniffing etc).

Gradually, you would want to expose the dog to being touched by a visitor, having the visitor come up closer, having the visitor stand and say hello... you want to expose the dog to all possible scenarios. Use different people, of different ages, races and genders.

EndOfFashion
June 3rd, 2009, 11:41 AM
I wouldn't. You want him to be okay meeting people in all kinds of situations, not just when you're holding him. Also, some people think that by picking up your dog to meet other dogs and people, you are effectively raising its "status", and that this can lead to "Small Dog Syndrome". I don't know that there's any evidence of this (take it with a grain of salt), but either way you should work on making your dog comfortable in situations where people are meeting it while all four feet are on the ground.

bendyfoot
June 3rd, 2009, 11:47 AM
Here's a pretty good article: http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=1811

If you google "socialization" you'll find all kinds of good ideas.

BenMax
June 3rd, 2009, 12:14 PM
As usual, Bendyfoot gives great advice.:thumbs up

Also, when ignoring bad behaviour, I would ask people to turn their back on him when he acts up. I know it sounds rude or maybe weird to ask this of people - but it works.

I have been working on a neighbours dog lately (who is a story on his own) and whenever he acts up in the owners hands, I turn around. I did this a few times, and now he greets me and others properly. No more snarling, lunging and wanting to rip off anyone's face. This did however take 2 weeks everyday. He still is not perfect, but getting better.