Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

· Registered
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there! I'm a new member looking for some advice.

To start off my dog is a 7 year old Pomeranian (not sure if he is purebred or not) named Kayso (as In Queso the spanish word for cheese). He is a really great dog who listens well and always does his best to do what we ask of him. He is a very kind dog, who doesn't have it in him to bite anyone, however he is a very nervous dog.

He tends to be very scared of humans who just go strait up to him and start trying to pet him with out any sort of introduction. The only people he is comfortable with are those he lives with, being my Mother, my Father and Myself. He will warm up to other people, and usually they are the more laid back people who show him respect.

Now the thing I need to advice on is his interation with other dogs. We know lots of people with dogs, and I like to dog sit. However when around other dogs he gets very nervous. He will sniff the other dog but if that dog stay's around him to long he starts growling and bearing his teeth and he will snap at the other dog.
Im scared that this will lead to fights, especially with bigger dogs, because they tend not to take him seriously and just keep sniffing. He will never relax as long as there are other dogs around unless he is on my fathers lap.. in which I stopped letting that happen, because well.. it just ads to the situation.

My question is how do I get my dog to submit to the presence of other dogs? I don't care if he ever play's with them, I just wish he would relax and allow them to be their and not be so scared and stand-offish when they sniff him!

· Registered
707 Posts
There are things you can do to help out Kayso but you have to remember, he is 7 years old and has a long history of this behavior so to change it will take a lot of time and effort by you and your family. Everyone needs to be on board with this kind of behavior modification.

First, I don't necessarily think him getting nervous with approaching strangers is all that alarming. He is a small dog and people usually approach small dogs by coming up to them fast, making weird noises, and reaching out their hands while looming over him...SCARY! To help him overcome this, take him to a park where people are. Bring delicious yummy treats he loves. No kibble. Something awesome! Cooked chicken breast, hotdogs cut up in small pieces, etc. Find people in the park and approach them and say something along the lines of, "Hi! I am working on training my dog. Could you please help me by feeding him a treat?" If they say yes, tell them to completely ignore Kayso while they throw him a treat from some distance he is ok with. Do this a couple times. If he wants to go meet this "really cool person with yummy treats" let him approach them while that person continues to ignore him completely. Everything is done on his terms. If he is ok being next to the person, have the person try to feed him a treat from their hands. No petting. Just delicious treats. Do this with as many people as you can find. You are teaching him strangers are ok and not dangerous!

If a stranger comes up to pet him or make kissy faces, get between them and Kayso and politely but firmly say, "I'm sorry, he's not very friendly. Please don't approach him like that. You can feed him a treat though. But please don't pet him." It is your job to protect him from these people. Don't be afraid to be mean. He is your responsibility and what you say goes.

As far as other dogs he may never end up being the dog that runs and plays with all other dogs. He can learn to ignore other dogs to some extent. But big dogs can be scary to small dogs and its no wonder why, really.

There are a couple things you can do to teach him other dogs are ok.

Are the dog's he interacts with mainly bigger than him? Try to find him smaller dogs, more his size. If you could find another small dog around his same size/age (no annoying puppies!) that is a female you might have a better time. Generally males do better with females. At least to get him started.

Another thing you can do is have him in the backyard, living room, etc. Have someone else bring in another dog ON LEASH (so no dogs go up to Kayso) and then you go "Good boy Kayso!" and start giving him treat, after treat, after treat. A jackpot of treats! After a couple seconds of that, remove the other other dog and completely ignore Kayso. Repeat. Other dog comes in, Kayso gets attention/treats, other dog leaves, Kayso gets ignored.

You can do this when other dogs are nearby too (so long as they stay out of Kayso's face when he is getting treats). When another dog approaches Kayso and he sniffs them, "Yay Kayso!" and treat him.

You want to make every interaction with another dog a good one. If Kayso goes over threshold and snaps, remove him (don't say anything, don't say "no"). Silently take him in another room and give him a second alone to chill. Reintroduce him to the yard or wherever once he has calmed down. Let him approach/be approached by dogs you know and can trust and then once the initial greeting is over, quickly praise Kayso, treat him, then separate them again. You want him to know that you will help him get big dogs away, that you are in control so he doesn't have to scare off bigger dogs himself.

"Look At That" Game: Take him to the park or wherever where there are other dogs on leash. Put Kayso on leash too. If you see another dog walking by, say "What's that?". When Kayso looks at the other dog, say "Yes!" and give him a treat. Eventually, after a long while, he will start looking at dogs on purpose and looking back to you "You see that dog right there? Where's my treat!?". You are teaching him dogs are good things because they = treats.

Hang around a dog park (DON'T GO IN). Hang around the outside of it with him. Let him watch the other dogs going in and out (from a distance he is ok with) and treat him when he watches them or shows interest.

He may never truly like being around other dogs. You may also have to limit the dogs he meets and the situations in which me meets them to make sure he is comfortable and feels safe which is the most important part of all. But, these are some ways I would go about doing this.

(Sorry for the long post!)
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.