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Hello all,

My pugs are finally home with me and I just discovered that Sophie runs away from my hand when I either try to pick her up or pet her. Im not sure why shes doing this and its making training her quite difficult. Her behavior resembles that of a cat. She only wants to be held and snuggled when she wants it. Her sister, Ellie is the exact opposite. Ellie will love and snuggle you 'till the cows come home. What would you suggest to help Sophie relax?

Also, my boyfriend and I have never raised our hand to either of our girls. A swat on the bum, yes, but never hard!
 

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It sounds as though Sophie has a more reserved, timid temperament than Ellie. What you can do is allow her to set the pace for interaction, make every interaction with her positive, and do some training (positive reinforcement-based, set her up for success) to help build confidence. This site, fearful dogs, has good resources (and an excellent book from what I've heard).

I'd recommend not swatting either of them. It doesn't teach them anything and set the stage for more issues later.
 

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Sometimes pups are born shy. You can have a litter of ten pups, and end out with one or two who run away when the others run towards. You can build confidence and reduce the shyness, but these pups usually become shy dogs. Love them for what they are . . . and if you don't want a shy dog, in the future go to a breeder who does temperament testing and specify that you don't want a shy pup.
 

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A "swat in the butt" is raising a hand at them. It teaches them nothing and can damage your relationship, and also increases the chances of being hand shy later in life.

Some puppies are just shy, and regardless of how much you socialize them, they may be shy adults. I too recommend fearful dog resources, and postive reinforcement training which can help build trust and confidence.
 

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p.s. Shy is not a bad thing. Shy pups are generally less guilty of the stupid impulsive behaviors that can make puppies a trial. People who have shy dogs often come to love them greatly for the things associated with shyness. As with shy children.
 

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p.s. Shy is not a bad thing. Shy pups are generally less guilty of the stupid impulsive behaviors that can make puppies a trial. People who have shy dogs often come to love them greatly for the things associated with shyness. As with shy children.
Shyness in dogs is often associated with fearfulness, for good reason. At the VERY least it's a lack of confidence in people and often time situations with people not the owners (and sometimes the owners themselves). Yes, they are often not engaging in stupid impulsive behavior, but you also have a dog lacking confidence in other people which can be way more problematic than an outgoing dog chewing the sofa.

OP? Seriously. All positive, all the time. No smacking butts, no raised voices, no NOTHING negative when it's tiny. That dog has GOT to trust you completely and have confidence in you if nothing else. You also *don't* want to let the puppy rely on its sibling too much or bond too hard to it, (check out littermate syndrome if you haven't already) or you're going to have a dog who doesn't confidence in any people and training becomes 900% harder. Train gently, reward quietly and heavily, make your presence rewarding by giving good things like play and food and love. When socializing don't let people manhandle the pup if the pup isn't comfortable with it. Respect its comfort zone and coax and reward, not force and punish.

You don't have the leeway for things like lapses in patience and training mistakes that you have in a more confident and outgoing dog. Definitely look into a puppy class to go to (yes, I know you have sibling).
 
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