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Lhasa Apso

Doug Harrison
September 30th, 2004, 05:10 PM
Last Monday night we took possession of a neutered male lhaso apso. He was born December of 2002 and is registered with the Canadian Kennel Club. He was apparently used as a stud and the breeders decided he had done enough so put him up for sale.
Our problem is, he has become so attached to me in the few days we have had him but growls, barks and has attempted to bite my wife Judy on 2 occasions and I have noticed him eyeing her ankles and calves as she was walking away from him with the intention of biting, I'm sure. He growled at her when she brought him in the house before I was home so I don't think jealousy was a factor, although it could be now.
Do you have any suggestions as to what we can do to break him of this? She is becoming upset and after the last incident, said she is afraid of him.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Doug Harrison
Aylmer Ontario

September 30th, 2004, 06:06 PM
I'm sure there will be some good suggestions here from people but my suggestion is that you locate an animal behaviourist/trainer in your area that can work with you as soon as possible.
Did you notice the conditions or people where you bought him? Were there perhaps only men? There is obviously something he is associating with your wife that he doesn't like or has happened to him.

September 30th, 2004, 06:22 PM
It sounds to me like your new dog is trying to figure out where he fits in the pack and trying to establish dominance over your wife. It sounds as though he accepts you as dominant over him which is a good start. What do you know about the history of your dog?

It could be that he was in an environment where he felt domiant over women or it could be the way your wife interacts with him. Her fear will not help and while I know it is hard for her to stop feeling that way but dogs can sense that clearly and it is likely making him feel powerful over her and enforcing his behaviour.

Who feeds the dog? This is key, your wife should be providing him with all meals and treats until her place in the pack is established by making him follow a command before she feeds him.

Also, do you allow your dog on furniture? What do you do with him when he growls or barks? How does your wife respond?

Lots of questions but it will help us to work with you and your new dog!

Lucky Rescue
September 30th, 2004, 06:35 PM
Lhasa Apsos can be like this. In spite of their floofy appearance, they were bred to be watchdogs and are tough, independant, stubborn and take their job seriously.

The first thing you should do is get him into obedience school and let your wife take him and learn to handle him. She should also feed him, after making him sit first. Keep him off the furniture. He needs to learn that he is at the bottom of the hierarchy in your home.

Also, here is a link that is very helpful for dealing with pushy, domineering dogs. BOTH of you must do this all the time with this dog.
Alpha Boot camp (

September 30th, 2004, 11:36 PM
My little dog Shayker was a Lhasa Apso mix. She loved me, hated my husband. The attitude that you are experiencing is Lhasaittitude. :rolleyes: They usually bond with one person and can be quite protective of "their person".
Big attitudes for such little dogs. Shayker died of renal failue and I sure miss her growls. When my husband and I would be in bed, she would sit on my chest and growl in his face. Kinda put a crimp is his shorts. :D
You could contact furbabyrescue1 . Elini rescues these dogs and probably could give you some help. These breeding animals are not usually used to a lot of affection and being handled by people.
Any way good luck with your new furbaby. Just give it time.

October 1st, 2004, 05:40 AM
Just out of curiosity, what do you do when the dog behaves like this?

It always amazes me when little dog owners justify this type of behavior from their dogs. Because it is a small breed, growling in someone's face is cute. If it was my dog, the entire neighbor hood would be screaming to have it put to sleep!

Small dogs, like large dogs, need to know their place in the home and need training. Growling is NOT something to be tolerated, no matter who it is directed at. The next person might be a child, and the reaction after the growl is the bite.

I agree with most everyone else. Keep this dog off the furniture and find a trainer. Make your wife the primary caregiver. She should be in charge of all treats and food. Sorry, but until this is dealt with, you need to play second fiddle to the wife. And no, you can't get down on the floor so that he can snuggle in your lap while you watch t.v. Sorry, but until you have a handle on this you need to be above him in all things.

Doug Harrison
October 2nd, 2004, 02:57 PM
Thanks to all for their input and suggestions.

Will let you know how we make out.


October 5th, 2004, 12:22 AM
Maybe I should have told you a little more about Shayker, before I kinda of got jumped on about her growling. I had a stroke and Shayker stayed by my side the whole time I was recovering. She was the only one who seemed to understand me when I tried to speak. I mean this small bundle of pure love never left my side. She sensed when I needed to rest and just protected me. This was amazing from a a 4 month old puppy. I owned a store where small kids would be in and out all day. She loved them, never growled or snapped at them. When I was able to go back to work she stayed at my feet and never left. We owned 3 dogs at that time and all were well trained. Akeija my golden, I took 1 year off of work just to be with her 24/7. This dog was not only trained for voice commands but also hand commands. She died 4 months before Shakyer did, at 16 years old. Dallas my husky was trained by a trainer and you could take food right out of her mouth. She was that gentle. She died of colon cancer this January at 6 years of age. Shayker was just too damn sick to train but I gave her all the love I could. She was never mean to my husband and he cried just as hard as I did when she died.

October 5th, 2004, 12:58 AM
Aww, what a sweet story! I'm sure you still miss her a lot.

October 5th, 2004, 06:57 AM
I understand completely what you're saying about your lhasa. My toy poodle, I had her before I met my hubby. She basically "saved my life" I was going through some real hard times emotionally and she was the only one that loved me unconditonally, she never let me down. She knows when I'm sad, when I'm hurting and when I'm happy.

At night, she will "gard" me from hubby. When he gets into bed, she'll growl at him and walk along my side... she never "attacks" him, just lets him know that I'm hers. :)

In the morning, she won't let him wake me up or kiss me goodbye, she loves to cuddle with her mama in bed (heck, she would stay all day in bed with me if she had her way!) but when he does kiss me, she just looks at me with a look that says "how can you kiss THAT?" :D

I'm sure you both miss your little pooch...
oh, and yes, he loves her as much as I do... he's a big sook!