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Wheeew! I just got the little one to fall asleep. Hoping I can jump on the computer for an hour or so to relax before he wakes back up!



Yesterday, my husband and I just got a new puppy. He's an eight week old MinPin.
Both of us have experience with other dogs, bigger and smaller, but this is our first own dog we'll be raising together.

It takes him a few minutes to warm up to someone. He gave me a little growl and nip last night, but since then, he's completely changed. He's eager, energetic, and full of love. He slept right between my husband and I last night, curled up beneath the blanket.

So we took him to the pet store today, just so that we could pick out an appropriate harness and sweater. Needless to say, the clerk was less than impressed. We asked which harness would be best, she immediately grabbed one and began trying to throw it on to our puppy (whom we've called Bandit). He freaked, started to whine and shake, and even tried taking a nip.

This opened up a whole bunch of problems. She started to blame us about his temperament. We tried to explained that we literally just got him, and that it appeared he took a few moments to warm up to someone (give him five or ten minutes, and he's bounding around with his tail wagging). It got down to the point where she flat out told my husband, "I see you know what's best for the dog because you know him best. You're stubborn and I'll just leave you be." She also came off really pompous, throwing around the fact that she "is currently going to school for this, so trust her".

I don't know if she was right or not, but since then I've been really cautious about other people coming up near him. On the way home, my father-in-law stopped to talk to an old friend. Upon seeing Bandit, he gave him a gentle pet, and he didn't even flinch. I was really impressed. So we got home, and wanted to try out his harness immediately, so we took him to a nearby park. An hour later when we were sure he was pretty worn out, we headed back home. We ended up running into an elderly woman who just adored him. She explained to us that we should come by more often because there's a group of about ten people with their dogs that go there every Sunday morning and every evening at five.

I'd love to take him out, I really would. If anything, just try to get him used to other people.

TLDR; My eight-week old puppy comes off as shy and protective of himself if a stranger attempts to pet him. He nipped a pet shop clerk when she grabbed him and tried putting a harness on him, without giving him a moment to warm up. Her fault or no? How can I improve his behavior towards others? He warms up right away after a few minutes.
 

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Put the experience behind you. You simply encountered an inexperienced clerk. You shouldn't ever have to apologize for your puppy. Puppies have a lot to learn, and this clerk (or jerk) needs to learn that. Good luck with your pup!
 

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Please don't take your puppy to places where there are other dogs until he is fully vaccinated (usually a series of 3 shots 3 weeks apart). You are exposing him to possibly getting Distemper (usually fatal) or Parvo (expensive to treat an can be fatal).

You can carry him in to places like Home Depot, to get him used to people, or take him over to friend's homes (if they have a dog, make sure it is friendly and vaccinated). Have treats that he loves (like tiny pieces of hot dog/chicken/cheese), and have new people give him treats, so he learns to think people mean good things.

Read the stickies on the First time dog owner forum for tips about raising a well adjusted puppy.
 

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Please don't take your puppy to places where there are other dogs until he is fully vaccinated (usually a series of 3 shots 3 weeks apart). You are exposing him to possibly getting Distemper (usually fatal) or Parvo (expensive to treat an can be fatal).

You can carry him in to places like Home Depot, to get him used to people, or take him over to friend's homes (if they have a dog, make sure it is friendly and vaccinated). Have treats that he loves (like tiny pieces of hot dog/chicken/cheese), and have new people give him treats, so he learns to think people mean good things.

Read the stickies on the First time dog owner forum for tips about raising a well adjusted puppy.

No worries, I have no intentions of bringing him near any other dogs just yet.
I know the risks of exposing him to other dogs.
It was just nice to know that there's a place right outside the backyard.
 

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You can't bring him where other dogs have BEEN. If another dog that was infected, peed in that spot and your dog sniffs it, your dog can become infected. You may not see a dog there, but if dogs are walked near there, you need to avoid it.
 

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No worries, I have no intentions of bringing him near any other dogs just yet.
I know the risks of exposing him to other dogs.
It was just nice to know that there's a place right outside the backyard.
Not just where other dogs are present, but where they are allowed, like a park or a pet store. Parvo is every where, especially outdoors and on surfaces like the floors of vet offices and pet stores. No dogs have to be present in the area for a puppy to get something like parvo.

He is your dog. No one can handle your dog without your permission. You have every right to ask an employee not to handle your dog, or that you don't need help.
 

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I wouldn't even risk Home Depot. You'd be surprised how often people bring their dogs in there. My husband and I have taken a dog to Home Depot before. Technically you aren't supposed to have dogs in the store, but nobody seems to mind and I've never seen someone asked to leave before.

I have to say that in my opinion, anyone who would reach out in that way to touch a strange dog is lacking in knowledge and experience about dogs (or animals in general, for that matter). She may be in school to learn about animals, but it seems as though they haven't reached the point of telling her to treat every animal with caution. Anything can trigger an animal, and you don't always know what their triggers are going to be. Furthermore, if you don't know the personality of an animal, you should proceed cautiously (not nervously, but allowing the animal to get to know you). It seems as though this person was just trying to impress you with her vast knowledge.

Your dog is still very young. Give him time and I'm sure that he will begin to become accustomed to his surroundings and become better socialized with humans and other animals.

Best of luck. I think MinPins are just so adorable!
 

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I won't add to the posts that say what I would do..lol
But I will say if anyone treated me or my dog like that at a petstore there would be:
A/ no more going to that petstore
B/ a complaint to the manager/owner of the store
 

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One thing I'll bring in here as well, once your puppy is fully vaccinated and ready for the world, then look into puppy socialization classes in your area. Most day care and pet store type places have these held periodically throughout the week for certain age stages. This is a great way to get your puppy both use to other people and teach him how to react to other dogs as well. Manners are very important especially for a small breed dog. I adore MinPins but I see so many at my local dog park that make me cringe...they're out of control and literally attempt to attack or run over bigger dogs since they've never learned how to play respectfully. And sorry to say when you're the size of most dogs heads manners are really important! LoL I still take my two dogs to puppy socialization classes and they're nearly 10 months old now, but they love to see their friends and play and visit with their friends owners in a nice controlled environment! Much safer and better than taking the pup straight to a park or event where they can easily become overwhelmed.
 

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I will also suggest not having an 8 week old puppy sleep on the bed. They often will pee on the bed too when this is done.

Other suggestions about exposure and vaccinations are spot on. Puppies usually do not develop their own immunity until the last set of vaccines at age 16 weeks. Up to that age they have antibodies from the mother's milk that interfere with the vaccination and immune response in the puppy.

That being said, I had my puppy in puppy class at age 12 weeks or so.. and the vet told me I was right to be concerned but that he never had a puppy come in with parvo from going to puppy class (as most owners who do this are concientious). Puppy class is great because the puppies get to be in a room with other dogs and people and learn to tolerate other dogs AND that they cannot run will nilly up to people or dogs.

Congratulations on your new puppy and the Pet store clerk was an @$$. :)
 

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This opened up a whole bunch of problems. She started to blame us about his temperament. We tried to explained that we literally just got him, and that it appeared he took a few moments to warm up to someone (give him five or ten minutes, and he's bounding around with his tail wagging). It got down to the point where she flat out told my husband, "I see you know what's best for the dog because you know him best. You're stubborn and I'll just leave you be." She also came off really pompous, throwing around the fact that she "is currently going to school for this, so trust her"

People like this make me snicker, even though the situation with the puppy wasn't funny. "Currently going to school for this, so trust me" and acting like she did is basically someone who doesn't know which end the poop comes out of ;) The puppy may have a lot to learn, but so does the clerk. I wonder why people who freak out over a scared 8 week old puppy are even in the pet business.
 

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... she immediately grabbed one and began trying to throw it on to our puppy (whom we've called Bandit). He freaked, started to whine and shake, and even tried taking a nip. [/B]
I'll echo what everyone else has already said.

Further, and my apologies if this has already been touched upon, but especially when dealing with a puppy, all new experiences are part of the socialization process - getting to know that the world is not a big bad place...

Putting on a harness or sweater for the first time can be very stressful for a puppy (or an unsure adult). It should (have) be(en) introduced very carefully. Nobody is blaming you for the incident, but in the future, you want to be aware, and take your time to ensure that these new adventures are fun.

In the meanwhile, you've learned a valuable lesson about the expertise you are likely to encounter at "the pet store".

Best of luck and enjoy your new baby!
 
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