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Old 07-11-2019, 12:31 PM   #1
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Confused Need to vent..

Mike is afraid of dogs. This is my fault of course, but because we had some issues when he was little and started going out pretty late, at around 4,5 months old, and he wasn't properly socialized with other animals. When we started taking walks it was winter and we really didn't encounter ANY dogs for a long time. We don't have puppy classes over here (except for service/police dogs) and none of our friends have dogs. So this is it. For the same reason he isn't great with kids unless he gets to know them well (like our neighbours kids) but otherwise doesn't like when strangers kids pet him.

He started recently tolerating quiet dogs who don't want anything to do with him, but playful and dominant ones he doesn't accept and snaps at them. In this case I'm forced to remove him is he snaps because I'm afraid it will turn into a fight. Which in turn feeds into his fear/stress. We found a couple next door with a small terrier of a similar size/age and I started praising Mike and giving treats as long as he makes a step towards the other dog and/or doesn't snap when the other one approaches him. And it's gotten to a point where he relaxes with this dog around him but still doesn't want any play or close interaction. It's a looooong way to go and I accept the fact it might not be successful.

People keep telling me - let him off leash, it's in his nature, let him play with others, but then once he snaps or runs away from other dogs and jumps on my lap while barking, they give me a look. They say - "oh it's your fault, you're overprotective, you're treating him like a baby, nothing will happen, he is missing out, is he STILL afraid? why doesn't he play like a normal dog?" etc. While those same people give their dogs sedatives for grooming, while my un-normal dog lets me groom him, trim his butt, clean his eyes, and other uncomfortable things. So are we really to judge others? Every dog just like any person has its personality and circumstances.

He IS a normal dog. Yes, its not good, but many other things are good in his life. He loves people, he loves going on long walks, run in the park, chase birds, he is great and playful and loves to play at home and with our friends. He's loving, never showed any guarding behaviour, he is so smart and knows a ton of commands, eager to learn, etc etc. He is my little love bug. My only mistake was I guess not having another dog at home for Mike to be properly socialized at a young age..

Sorry for the long rant.. any advice on how to approach this?
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:12 PM   #2
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I have a rescue that was not socialized with other dogs. He was 2 1/2 when I adopted him. I took him to obedience classes, 12 lessons and what he learned was to lunge at other dogs, something he did not do before these classes. Other then that he is a perfect dog, PERFECT.

I had puppies that did not go out until they had all their vaccines, that was at appox. 5 months old but there were other dogs on our walks, and dogs kept in yards that they met, I was also camping so my puppies met lots of ppl and dogs.
It's not your fault that he is not dog friendly, it's not your fault there were no other dogs on your walks, it's not your fault there are no training classes in your country so get off the guilt trip and stop blaming yourself.

If you have concerns about Mike being loose and snapping causing a dog fight I would not have him loose around several dogs, he will get hurt. If he's getting along with your neighbors dog that's a good step forward, once he gains confidence in this dog he "may" begin to play but he has to have built trust in this other dog. In some dogs that are afraid of other dogs playing to them is aggression and they will defend themselves and snap or growl. Not all dogs like dogs, I would stay with this neighbors dog, let Mike get to know him, bond with him and see how that goes. Don't listen to the ones that tell you to let him run off leash, you know your lil Mike and if you feel it's not safe don't do it to appease those ppl, your Mike's life could be at risk.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:00 PM   #3
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I have a rescue that was not socialized with other dogs. He was 2 1/2 when I adopted him. I took him to obedience classes, 12 lessons and what he learned was to lunge at other dogs, something he did not do before these classes. Other then that he is a perfect dog, PERFECT.

I had puppies that did not go out until they had all their vaccines, that was at appox. 5 months old but there were other dogs on our walks, and dogs kept in yards that they met, I was also camping so my puppies met lots of ppl and dogs.
It's not your fault that he is not dog friendly, it's not your fault there were no other dogs on your walks, it's not your fault there are no training classes in your country so get off the guilt trip and stop blaming yourself.

If you have concerns about Mike being loose and snapping causing a dog fight I would not have him loose around several dogs, he will get hurt. If he's getting along with your neighbors dog that's a good step forward, once he gains confidence in this dog he "may" begin to play but he has to have built trust in this other dog. In some dogs that are afraid of other dogs playing to them is aggression and they will defend themselves and snap or growl. Not all dogs like dogs, I would stay with this neighbors dog, let Mike get to know him, bond with him and see how that goes. Don't listen to the ones that tell you to let him run off leash, you know your lil Mike and if you feel it's not safe don't do it to appease those ppl, your Mike's life could be at risk.
Amen! Brilliant post.
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Old 07-12-2019, 02:52 AM   #4
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If you have concerns about Mike being loose and snapping causing a dog fight I would not have him loose around several dogs, he will get hurt. If he's getting along with your neighbors dog that's a good step forward, once he gains confidence in this dog he "may" begin to play but he has to have built trust in this other dog. In some dogs that are afraid of other dogs playing to them is aggression and they will defend themselves and snap or growl. Not all dogs like dogs, I would stay with this neighbors dog, let Mike get to know him, bond with him and see how that goes. Don't listen to the ones that tell you to let him run off leash, you know your lil Mike and if you feel it's not safe don't do it to appease those ppl, your Mike's life could be at risk.
Thank you so much, Joan, for the reassurance and much needed wisdom. reading your reply makes me believe in my own intuition. Thank you.

I don't know why I feel like I owe any explanation to those strangers, but probably because Mike's my first dog and hearing those comments makes me feel like i've somehow deprived the dog of the dog's happiness. If it makes sense.

How is Cody doing now with other dogs around?
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Old 07-12-2019, 04:52 AM   #5
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Thank you so much, Joan, for the reassurance and much needed wisdom. reading your reply makes me believe in my own intuition. Thank you.

I don't know why I feel like I owe any explanation to those strangers, but probably because Mike's my first dog and hearing those comments makes me feel like i've somehow deprived the dog of the dog's happiness. If it makes sense.

How is Cody doing now with other dogs around?
It's human nature to feel like you need to explain yourself to ppl. Always go with your gut feeling, you have nothing to prove to anyone. These lil yorkies have big dog attitude, out of fear they will fight. Every member on this board will do what ever it takes to protect their baby and you are no different then anyone here. Dog parks to me are dangerous, you have a bunch of dogs all running loose, anything can happen, you can have dogs that know each other, play great together then one day bingo, a fight breaks out. You can take Mike to stores like PetSupplies, PetSmart, PetCo where there are other dogs. Train Mike to "leave it" if you have not already taught him that. Put him in the baby seat of the cart and just stroll up and down the isles, keep his leash short, just enough leash to keep him in a sit position. If he sees another dog and growls tell him "leave it" then turn the cart around and walk in the opposite direction. You can also stand outside the store where ppl and their dogs trickle in and out, but not stand close to the entrance, this gives Mike a chance to see other dogs of all sizes, if he growls at them tell him "leave it" give him a treat only if he stops the bad behavior. You can also take him to stores like Home Depot or Loews if you have these stores, it is never to late to socialize a dog, Mike at a year old is still a puppy and can be socialized with other dogs. Not all dogs are born liking other dogs.
Cody has gotten worse over the last several months lol, now in the baby seat of a cart he wants to lunge at other dogs. Vet visits are humiliating for me. I never had a dog act so bad and aggressive, ppl look at me as if it's my fault, I roll my eyes and say he's a rescue. I have found a dog behaviorist 2 hours from where I live. She has a small group of small dog walks, she watches the dogs behavior around other dogs then works with that. These walks are once a month, but she has training sessions during the week. I wasn't able to make the last walk, I am waiting for email on when the next meet up is.
You can also do a google search for a dog behaviorist to work on Mike's fear of dogs. It is nice to have a dog that is dog friendly but if it's not meant to be and he is all that you say he is, happy, loving, friendly with those he knows then it is what it is.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:45 AM   #6
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I think that we are given the dogs we are supposed to be given and they are how they are supposed to be. Like what if Mike was with someone else and they werenít as caring and understanding as you. With Ollie people were so pushy about getting him socialized and out of the house a lot and that just isnít for him. I pushed him to much by taking him places when he prefers to just be at home. He doesnít have issues with other dogs at all but he gets nervous when we leave the house with him. Honestly if everything is working for you and him just enjoy it and try not to compare him to other dogs. He is perfect for you with not buts.
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Old 07-13-2019, 12:51 PM   #7
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Train Mike to "leave it" if you have not already taught him that. Put him in the baby seat of the cart and just stroll up and down the isles, keep his leash short, just enough leash to keep him in a sit position. If he sees another dog and growls tell him "leave it" then turn the cart around and walk in the opposite direction. You can also stand outside the store where ppl and their dogs trickle in and out, but not stand close to the entrance, this gives Mike a chance to see other dogs of all sizes, if he growls at them tell him "leave it" give him a treat only if he stops the bad behavior.
Thank you so much. The problem is, where we leave there's nothing like Petsmart or Petco and for a 3 million citizens city there's only one large shopping mall where i'm allowed with a dog if a dog stays in the carrier/backpack.. so you can see our options were quite limited when Mike was growing up. Our vet suggested a pet hotel with a huge garden and we went there a few times. They've selected the calmest dogs for Mike to get to know but unfortunately the trainer's strategy is - throw the dog with the others, ignore the snapping, barking, don't let him come to you and eventually it will work out. To be honest I didn't believe such strategy can be successful with my Mike so after a few times we decided to not go anymore. I will continue setting up walks with the neighbor's dog and will see how it goes. Also, will be on the look out for a dog behaviourist. However, you have given me a wonderful advice and a piece of mind regarding my approach. Thank you again. Hoping that the walks you mentioned will help Cody to have less stress around other dogs.
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Old 07-13-2019, 01:00 PM   #8
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I think that we are given the dogs we are supposed to be given and they are how they are supposed to be. Like what if Mike was with someone else and they werenít as caring and understanding as you. With Ollie people were so pushy about getting him socialized and out of the house a lot and that just isnít for him. I pushed him to much by taking him places when he prefers to just be at home. He doesnít have issues with other dogs at all but he gets nervous when we leave the house with him. Honestly if everything is working for you and him just enjoy it and try not to compare him to other dogs. He is perfect for you with not buts.
Thank you Taylor. It amazes me how people can be pushy on the subjects that don't concern them at all.. I agree and believe dogs chose their owners for a reason and for my overprotective and anxious self, over the past year Mike has taken so much of my anxieties away and I'm forever grateful. I don't compare him to others, but rather trying to differentiate whether some things are his personality traits or a problem I should try and fix. And if it's something I can't change, then just be it.. like you said if everything is working for us, why try and fit someone else criteria. Thank you again
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Old 07-13-2019, 02:07 PM   #9
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Thank you so much. The problem is, where we leave there's nothing like Petsmart or Petco and for a 3 million citizens city there's only one large shopping mall where i'm allowed with a dog if a dog stays in the carrier/backpack.. so you can see our options were quite limited when Mike was growing up. Our vet suggested a pet hotel with a huge garden and we went there a few times. They've selected the calmest dogs for Mike to get to know but unfortunately the trainer's strategy is - throw the dog with the others, ignore the snapping, barking, don't let him come to you and eventually it will work out. To be honest I didn't believe such strategy can be successful with my Mike so after a few times we decided to not go anymore. I will continue setting up walks with the neighbor's dog and will see how it goes. Also, will be on the look out for a dog behaviourist. However, you have given me a wonderful advice and a piece of mind regarding my approach. Thank you again. Hoping that the walks you mentioned will help Cody to have less stress around other dogs.
If you're really that serious about introducing Mike off lead to other dogs, are worried about injuries in fights, get a buddy to soft-muzzle train his female toy dog, you soft-muzzle train Mike and at the first after-training session, have each muzzled dog sit for a while with each on lead 10 - 15 feet from the other, very calm, very laid back, serene body attitudes by the humans. Don't introduce treats, chewies or toys(could start a fight over resources), maintain easy banter back & forth between you two. Of course a scared dog on a lead feels great tension in that he knows he's totally vulnerable to others' actions against him, cannot escape, so keep the dogs far enough apart neither is stressed from the other dog while on lead. Move further apart should you need to.

After 20 - 30 mins., remove the leads, keep talking amongst yourselves, seemingly ignoring the dogs and let your dogs sniff, probe, try each other for 2 - 3 mins., re-leash, un-muzzle and end the session. Repeat muzzling, leashing, waiting period and introduction session in 30 mins. for couple to three 3-5 min. sessions as often as you can if no real issues. Keep them short and sweet off lead together for now. In my experience, if each dog is a toy dog and soft-muzzled, they can't do any real damage until you can get to them should they begin to seriously TRY to fight wearing the muzzles with you nearby. And as you know, if you've been around enough dogs, fight-like tussles, lots of vicious growling, snapping, threatening, attempted mounting are pretty common as they try to work things out, particularly same-sex dogs. Eventually, one should play-bow and show some submissiveness to the other. This breaks the ice, the other dog imitates, they play, still wary but having fun. Watch for one dog locking in on, alerting to the other dog with highly-focused, intensely staring threats, stop that. And most dogs, given enough non-threatening chances, gradually, over time, succumb to the lure and fun of other dogs society unless they are my Jilly.

My little 3 lb. Jilly was a runt, always kept from other dogs in the breeders' home up to age 4 1/2 mos. when I got her, was so ill quite a lot, not socialized her first couple of years and never did accept other dogs wanting to be near her. She was totally self-protective of her tiny body and just barely tolerated other dogs. Given her history, medical problems, I felt she likely never missed that much in life as we did everything together and as long as the neighbor's dogs in each yard gave her all the dog interplay she wanted, knowing she was safe behind the Cox fence. She'd romp up and down with them with that fence there but let one of them or another dog try to approach her without it, she'd stiffen and gnash at it should it get too close, eyes walled, ears back, tiny fangs bared, a caricature of a vicious dog! Fierce, she was! She'd drive off Dobermans, other terriers, whatever, with her tude.

Tried bringing another Yorkie into the house, she loved it as a baby, until it outgrew her and then she got ill, lost coat, starved herself, grew too thin, chewed her ankles incessantly while staying up on the back of the couch for most of the 9 weeks we kept the poor puppy. My baby Jilly was wasting away, checked out on her life! Nothing worked between the two dogs. She basically resented little Teddy, hated when Teddy and I interacted and I think missed her old life. Finally had to break my heart and rehome Teddy for Jilly's sake, and really, for Teddy's too. She deserved far better.

Teddy went on to lead a fabulous life with a small family with preteen daughter, they did everything with Teddy, sent pictures, letters, lived 12 more years before we lost contact. And Jilly, the moment Teddy left in the arms of her new mother, my heart broken, tears still streaming, jumped down off the couch to resume her old life, health/weight/coat and lifestyle with me. When I said Teddy's name, she always looked totally blank, never once, whined, sniffed or looked for Teddy. Jilly lived to the age of 13 1/2 and truly enjoyed her latter years once her health problems got better settled. Nobody better have said a word to me about Jilly's little ways or they'd have had a lecture from me!
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Old 07-13-2019, 02:10 PM   #10
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Thank you Taylor. It amazes me how people can be pushy on the subjects that don't concern them at all.. I agree and believe dogs chose their owners for a reason and for my overprotective and anxious self, over the past year Mike has taken so much of my anxieties away and I'm forever grateful. I don't compare him to others, but rather trying to differentiate whether some things are his personality traits or a problem I should try and fix. And if it's something I can't change, then just be it.. like you said if everything is working for us, why try and fit someone else criteria. Thank you again
I have actually noticed Ollie doing better without the pushing. He ate a treat in the car yesterday which was a huge thing for him.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:43 PM   #11
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Mike is afraid of dogs. This is my fault of course, but because we had some issues when he was little and started going out pretty late, at around 4,5 months old, and he wasn't properly socialized with other animals. When we started taking walks it was winter and we really didn't encounter ANY dogs for a long time. We don't have puppy classes over here (except for service/police dogs) and none of our friends have dogs. So this is it. For the same reason he isn't great with kids unless he gets to know them well (like our neighbours kids) but otherwise doesn't like when strangers kids pet him.

He started recently tolerating quiet dogs who don't want anything to do with him, but playful and dominant ones he doesn't accept and snaps at them. In this case I'm forced to remove him is he snaps because I'm afraid it will turn into a fight. Which in turn feeds into his fear/stress. We found a couple next door with a small terrier of a similar size/age and I started praising Mike and giving treats as long as he makes a step towards the other dog and/or doesn't snap when the other one approaches him. And it's gotten to a point where he relaxes with this dog around him but still doesn't want any play or close interaction. It's a looooong way to go and I accept the fact it might not be successful.

People keep telling me - let him off leash, it's in his nature, let him play with others, but then once he snaps or runs away from other dogs and jumps on my lap while barking, they give me a look. They say - "oh it's your fault, you're overprotective, you're treating him like a baby, nothing will happen, he is missing out, is he STILL afraid? why doesn't he play like a normal dog?" etc. While those same people give their dogs sedatives for grooming, while my un-normal dog lets me groom him, trim his butt, clean his eyes, and other uncomfortable things. So are we really to judge others? Every dog just like any person has its personality and circumstances.

He IS a normal dog. Yes, its not good, but many other things are good in his life. He loves people, he loves going on long walks, run in the park, chase birds, he is great and playful and loves to play at home and with our friends. He's loving, never showed any guarding behaviour, he is so smart and knows a ton of commands, eager to learn, etc etc. He is my little love bug. My only mistake was I guess not having another dog at home for Mike to be properly socialized at a young age..

Sorry for the long rant.. any advice on how to approach this?

I hear you. We're having a similae issue. I've been trying to get JakJak to interact with other dogs since he came home 6 months ago. I had paid for puppy classes well before he came home, and found that out local PetCo does free puppy playtime. Well... they delayed his start in class for a month longer than necessary, and when I would try to take him to puppy class we would get sent home because he was(and still is) too small to stay. When he would stay, the trainer would hold him THE ENTIRE TIME and then tell me I wasn't working with him.
On walks he has gotten trampled by big dogs several times because my neighbors have zero to little control over their dogs. This has made JakJak reactive. He's ok with the one little oup that he's been paired with at puppy class. It's a shame that he's leaving her behind as he gets to skip 2 levels and will be moving on to a more difficult class.

If you find something that works, please share.
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Old 07-14-2019, 03:38 AM   #12
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Tried bringing another Yorkie into the house, she loved it as a baby, until it outgrew her and then she got ill, lost coat, starved herself, grew too thin, chewed her ankles incessantly while staying up on the back of the couch for most of the 9 weeks we kept the poor puppy. My baby Jilly was wasting away, checked out on her life! Nothing worked between the two dogs. She basically resented little Teddy, hated when Teddy and I interacted and I think missed her old life. Finally had to break my heart and rehome Teddy for Jilly's sake, and really, for Teddy's too. She deserved far better.
Interesting technique with the soft muzzle, thank you for sharing. Unfortunately there's no other dog I could try it with at the moment but I will keep it in mind..

I keep thinking that having another puppy could have helped my Mike but now reading your Jilly's experience with the little one broke my heart. Poor baby how stressed out she must have been during those weeks(( I can imagine it was difficult for you at the time to let Teddy go but you made a decision for the good of both dogs.
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Old 07-14-2019, 03:49 AM   #13
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I have actually noticed Ollie doing better without the pushing. He ate a treat in the car yesterday which was a huge thing for him.
That's good news!!
How is he usually in the car? Barking? Whining?

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I hear you. We're having a similae issue. I've been trying to get JakJak to interact with other dogs since he came home 6 months ago. I had paid for puppy classes well before he came home, and found that out local PetCo does free puppy playtime. Well... they delayed his start in class for a month longer than necessary, and when I would try to take him to puppy class we would get sent home because he was(and still is) too small to stay. When he would stay, the trainer would hold him THE ENTIRE TIME and then tell me I wasn't working with him.
On walks he has gotten trampled by big dogs several times because my neighbors have zero to little control over their dogs. This has made JakJak reactive. He's ok with the one little oup that he's been paired with at puppy class. It's a shame that he's leaving her behind as he gets to skip 2 levels and will be moving on to a more difficult class.

If you find something that works, please share.
You see, I keep thinking that Mike's behaviour is related purely to the early separation from his mom and other puppies. Not having any time to learn how to be around dogs, the play rules etc would explain it easily. But JakJak came home at 3 months old, right? So he must have had time to play with his brothers and sisters.. I wonder what could be the reason. What does the trainer at a puppy class tell you about the reason for such behaviour?
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:26 AM   #14
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That's good news!!
How is he usually in the car? Barking? Whining?



You see, I keep thinking that Mike's behaviour is related purely to the early separation from his mom and other puppies. Not having any time to learn how to be around dogs, the play rules etc would explain it easily. But JakJak came home at 3 months old, right? So he must have had time to play with his brothers and sisters.. I wonder what could be the reason. What does the trainer at a puppy class tell you about the reason for such behaviour?
Yes, JakJak came home at 3 months and he does marvelously with his little friend in puppy class. If anything, his high pitch barks are so annoying because he's just so excited to be around other pups. But dogs bigger than JakJak, he gets nervous and barks, barks, barks to ask for space. He rarely gets it and he just barks more and more. No biting or lashing out yet. There are 2 bigger dogs (around 16-20 lbs) that a friend has that JakJak tolerates. We worked together to introduce them slowly, and they are also older and lower energy. They're not always crowding over him when we visit. It's less stressful fir JakJak.

As for the trainer, I honestly think she's the problem. Kelly, she leads the Saturday play time, which is the one we are constantly asked to leave. The Sunday playtime and our scheduled puppy class are led by a different trainer, Felipe. He's more laid back, and JakJak is so relaxed around him. If we see him around the store, JakJak wants to run to him to say hi!
JakJak shies away from Kelly. I don't think JakJak likes Kelly at all.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:57 AM   #15
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Location: LaPlata, Md
Posts: 21,205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_and_Me View Post
That's good news!!
How is he usually in the car? Barking? Whining?
He normally just shuts down and curls up. Now he will actually jump into the van and he ate some treats which was huge for him. If I take him out lately itís been with one of his sisters who are very confident so that may also be helping. Joey has a bit of separation anxiety not sure if itís from being taken away from his mom to young or that we were his 3rd home at 9 weeks old so I think Ollie might kinda feed off of that when he goes out with his brother. This is my first time really dealing with a ďshyĒ dog like Ollie so Iím kinda learning as I go and finding what works for him, they are all so different like little people.
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