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Old 09-09-2008, 07:55 PM
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KenyiGirl KenyiGirl is offline
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Due to a death in the family, I've been dog-sitting my SIL's dog a lot lately. Bella is a pomeranian/terrier/chihuahua. she's only about 5 1/2 months old. She just started puppy classes.
She's a really sweet, adorably cute dog, and she has really bonded with me. But I don't think she was propperly socialized because she really doesn't like people. She barks at everyone, my husband included. It took her a while to get used to me, and now she's like a velcro dog. But when my husband comes home, she flips out and growls and barks. He talks soflty and gets down on his knees and she comes to him to be petted and she's fine. But any little thing, like standing up too suddenly, or putting his arm around me will make her start barking and lunging at him. Also, she hates it when people kiss around her. She'll freak out if my husband and I kiss, or even get too close to each other, and my SIL said Bella does the same thing around her.
Any suggestions on how to improve this situation???
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:26 PM
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Boy , that's quite a combination !!! Poor thing may just be confused . Good luck !
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:46 PM
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The kissing thing seems like he may be guarding you. Teach him to trust your husband and have your husband take on responsibilities like walking, feeding and playing. You can get the dog to accept new things using food rewards for experiencing them. So if your husband quickly puts his arm around you while tossing the dog a treat (preferably something special like chicken) and slowly works up to kissing and tossing a treat (first hold arm longer, then move to short friendly hug, longer hug, intimate hug, peck on cheek, quick kiss, longer and longer etc.) the dog will learn *my people kiss, I get food, kissing=good* Do not throw the food if the dog growls/reacts poorly, if he does that means you went too far, go back to the last step and work there longer.

Also if the dog is on your lap when she growls remove her quickly, he growling looses your attention, after all it's you who she is fighting for. Never try and comfort her when she growls or show her attention, if anything you should leave the room so she looses all attention.

Just take it slow and make dog+husband=good stuff.
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:36 PM
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Thanks Maxy for the tips! My husband is already pretty involved with her care, he walks her, feeds her, pets her, but I feel bad that he's doing all this for a dog that doesn't even like him!
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Old 09-10-2008, 02:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenyiGirl View Post
Thanks Maxy for the tips! My husband is already pretty involved with her care, he walks her, feeds her, pets her, but I feel bad that he's doing all this for a dog that doesn't even like him!
Don't feel bad.

Actually, from all you described it sounds like she likes your husband just fine! But it's YOU she absolutely loves, but a little too much ... OK, a lot too much, to the point that she had decided she "owns" you. Her guarding of you means she doesn't want him touching or getting too close to the person she decided she "owns".

It's not that you gotta convince her to like him ... you need to get it out of her head that she owns you. Maxy's advice is right on the money for Bella-the-Possessive-Pom!
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:27 PM
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Yup, guarding is exactly her behavior... this just frustrates me because its only one thing in a long list of negative qualities. She doesn't get along with cats, doesn't like people in general (first 4 times I was around her, she barked and growled at me), is very territorial, and is under my feet all the time! She can't entertain herself at all, she has to be around me! I imagine this is pretty frustrating for my SIL...
I'm a also little disheartened because we plan on getting our own dog soon. But being around Bella is making me worry that we could end up with a dog that doesn't like my husband or cat. How can I be sure my own dog won't act the way Bella does?
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Old 09-11-2008, 02:23 PM
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Another Washingtonian!

Don't worry too much about your future dog being a Bella clone. Remember that grown dogs are light years easier than puppies, even happy well adjusted puppies. If you decided to go through a rescue many of the dogs are often fostered in people's homes, and you have the ability to talk to the foster family about that dog's quirks to make sure you find a good fit for your family. The other bonus with that, is if you get a grown or mostly grown dog you already have an idea of how big it will be, what kind of coat, activity level, etc. All pretty important things to know.
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