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2008-05-13 4:29 PM

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Master
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Subject: maltipoo - need advice from dog experts
We are wanting to TRY to take a friend's Maltipoo because they're never home and the dog is not getting enough play/family time/etc. The dog has only been with us since Saturday. The first 2-3 hrs he let everyone hold him, pet him, etc. Then he just started growling when you pet him ( if he even lets you do that ) and won't let anyone pick him up since then . He wags his tail most all the time and comes up and licks us in the face, hands, etc. He lets us hook him on the leash to take him out with his tail still wagging. I know it's a shock to him to be in a new home but I wonder if he will ever be able to picked up by the family. He has snapped at each of us but not bitten anyone.

He's a 3.5 yr old male, not neutered ( testerone has some role in his aggressiveness probably ) If behavior doesn't change he'll have to go back...... I really want to keep him but not at the expense of my family having a dog they're scared is going to bite them and/or one they can't pick up. As said earlier, he is happy here ( at least outwardly ) 99 % of the time. He loves to play and is a VERY intelligent dog.

Maybe it's a domination thing with him so I should "break him".... ala Dog Whisperer ?

Is it just normal trauma you'd expect from the family change and it will go away ?

I know these are tough questions and I don't expect too many exact answers; just wondering if anyone has any informed opinions/experiences/advice they want to share.

I have talked to my vet friend and he is going to exam him and make sure the dog is healthy.... he says his behavior is most likely a domination thing.

Experience/thoughts ?






2008-05-13 4:31 PM
in reply to: #1400435

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Champion
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Subject: RE: maltipoo - need advice from dog experts
I am not  a dog expert but definately sounds like he is trying to be dominate.  You have to show him who is boss.  It might take time but that sounds like all it is.
2008-05-13 4:37 PM
in reply to: #1400435

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Veteran
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Subject: RE: maltipoo - need advice from dog experts
We have had our female multipoo for 3 years since she was a puppy. We don't have any issues when we pick her her up. They are great dogs. Don't shed, only bark when something is out of the ordinary, loves to play.

Our only issue is she tries to intimidate other dogs including big ones. She doesn't realize they could eat her in one bite. We have to be careful when we have her out for a walk and another dog comes near. Other than that she is great.

Try to break him it will be worth it.
2008-05-13 4:57 PM
in reply to: #1400449

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Master
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Subject: RE: maltipoo - need advice from dog experts
Usual quick responses on BT... thanks !

Your female maltipoo sounds like a beautiful, wonderful dog.

As far as breaking him in, if I go this route, any suggestions ? Let me see if I'm in the ballpark : stern no's, if that doesn't work I have heard of holding dog on his side , like for 30 secs and not letting him move, showing him he's not dominate.........I'm not into violence with the dog... but it may take something like that until he knows who's boss. Maybe I'm totally off base, maybe not.



Edited by tri42 2008-05-13 5:01 PM
2008-05-13 5:02 PM
in reply to: #1400435

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Champion
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Subject: RE: maltipoo - need advice from dog experts

Isn't there also something about "biting" his muzzle?  Like how a mother dog would scold her puppy?  Gently, of course.

I know that my ex was able to exact total loyalty from his ChowChow with some similar techniques, which amazed some vets.

It's good of you to even consider bringing him into your home and making him a part of your pack family. 

2008-05-13 5:09 PM
in reply to: #1400435

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Melon Presser
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Subject: RE: maltipoo - need advice from dog experts

I'm a dog trainer by profession, and I would urge you to be cautious. It sounds like the dog has been poorly socialized--especially if his family has not had time for him. There's a fairly small window in puppyhood where dogs acquire the social skills (for both other dogs and humans) that they will likely carry for the remainder of their lives. Snapping, especially when there's no overtly negative stimulus (it's not like anyone stepped on him), is not a good sign at all.

Part of the difficulty may have been that when you first brought him into your home, of course everyone was excited about the new doggie and so your family members all fawned over him and petted him, etc. This is wonderful for a well-socialized pup, but for a doggie that already has some dominance issues, it means one thing: I am the center of attention and am king here. And then he started asserting himself.

It *may* be that with good basic training and everyone in the family--including the children--treating the dog consistently and firmly, this may resolve itself. Please do not underestimate the amount of work this can be, since you have to closely supervise the kids at all times around the dog and make sure everybody is consistently enforcing the new doggie rules.

This is not something that a 30-second alpha roll is going to solve, and that would not be a good choice of treatment in this case (it is in very, very few instances ... and even Cesar makes it very clear that there needs to be consistent follow up with the way life goes with doggie).

 



2008-05-13 6:27 PM
in reply to: #1400435

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Elite
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Subject: RE: maltipoo - need advice from dog experts
Maybe he doesn't like to be picked up.  Sounds like our cat -- he can be very loving when he wants, but if he doesn't want attention you better back off.  Sounds like the dog has a mind of its own, which I think is fine as long as all the members of the family and their guests are fine with that.  If you have little kids, a more passive dog may be more suitable.
2008-05-13 6:58 PM
in reply to: #1400519

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Subject: RE: maltipoo - need advice from dog experts
Here's what I would do:

1) A thorough vet exam to rule out anything physical. This would include a physical exam to make sure there's no sore knees, legs, ribs, etc., and possibly a blood test to rule out any illnesses.
(For example: Knee problems often occur in small dogs, Addison's disease can occur in poodles, etc.)

2) Call around and find a good obedience trainer. If you have the money, some private training would probably be the quickest way to identify and correct the "behavior issues."

3) Socialize him as much as possible. Also, make sure he has enough exercise. LOTS of exercise. A tired dog is usually a calm(er) dog (and a less neurotic dog).

4) All the changes, coming so quickly, may be stressing him out. Dogs like "routines." And even if his routine was not a good one, it's what he's used to. He may need to be introduced to "new things" more slowly.

These are just my thoughts, from having been around dogs a long time. Too bad Yanti (TriAya) doesn't live near you.... Actually, you live near me. Hm.... If you want, send me a PM telling me where you live, and I'll ask around for a good trainer. I know some good dog rescue people who may have advice for you.

Good luck! I hope you get it worked out, and that he becomes a good family member for you.

2008-05-13 7:09 PM
in reply to: #1400490

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Subject: RE: maltipoo - need advice from dog experts
tri42 - 2008-05-13 5:57 PM

Usual quick responses on BT... thanks !

Your female maltipoo sounds like a beautiful, wonderful dog.

As far as breaking him in, if I go this route, any suggestions ? Let me see if I'm in the ballpark : stern no's, if that doesn't work I have heard of holding dog on his side , like for 30 secs and not letting him move, showing him he's not dominate.........I'm not into violence with the dog... but it may take something like that until he knows who's boss. Maybe I'm totally off base, maybe not.



Um, having had lots of poodle experience, "violence" is NOT generally required. Yes, they can be stubborn. But they're smart dogs, and will usually respond to positive reinforcement. (Food rewards usually work well.)

JMO, as always.
2008-05-14 7:44 AM
in reply to: #1400435

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Master
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Subject: RE: maltipoo - need advice from dog experts

Totally agree with the dog trainer, TriAya.

Moreover, I hate to oversimplify what Cesar Milan says, but it's so true:  Walk that dog, walk that dog, walk that dog.  As another poster said, a dog that's too tired will have less energy to exert bad behavior.  That alone will not correct the behavior, but it will help.

Kudos to you for taking in an unwanted doggie.

- Lora

 

2008-05-14 8:23 AM
in reply to: #1401353

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Subject: RE: maltipoo - need advice from dog experts
lkagop - 2008-05-13 8:44 AM

Totally agree with the dog trainer, TriAya.


I used to work with pro dog trainers and agree what she says is possible. It may not be that complex, though. There are a couple of other possibilities that aren't psychological:

1) He doesn't like to be picked up. Some animals just don't want it.

2) Someone hurt him in the past while picking him up or while holding him. Intentionally or unintentionally doesn't matter - all the dog will remember is that a person picked him up and he got hurt so he doesn't want it to happen again.


2008-05-14 8:29 AM
in reply to: #1400435

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Kansas
Subject: RE: maltipoo - need advice from dog experts
I would definitely encourage you to get him neutured. There is no reason to have an un-altered dog in your house; it's just the responsible thing to do.

Good luck!
2008-05-14 8:42 AM
in reply to: #1401453

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Subject: RE: maltipoo - need advice from dog experts
lisac957 - 2008-05-13 9:29 AM

I would definitely encourage you to get him neutured. There is no reason to have an un-altered dog in your house; it's just the responsible thing to do.



I disagree about there being no reason but don't want to hijack the thread. I'll stop at pointing out that this isn't a universal opinion.
2008-05-14 9:45 AM
in reply to: #1400519

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Subject: RE: maltipoo - need advice from dog experts
TriAya - 2008-05-13 5:09 PM

I'm a dog trainer by profession, and I would urge you to be cautious. It sounds like the dog has been poorly socialized--especially if his family has not had time for him. There's a fairly small window in puppyhood where dogs acquire the social skills (for both other dogs and humans) that they will likely carry for the remainder of their lives. Snapping, especially when there's no overtly negative stimulus (it's not like anyone stepped on him), is not a good sign at all.

Part of the difficulty may have been that when you first brought him into your home, of course everyone was excited about the new doggie and so your family members all fawned over him and petted him, etc. This is wonderful for a well-socialized pup, but for a doggie that already has some dominance issues, it means one thing: I am the center of attention and am king here. And then he started asserting himself.p>

 



I agree with TriAya, early on you spent so much time babying him, he either got sick of it, or realized that this is his prime opportunity to assert his dominance.

Besides all this... You have only had him for a few days... how do you behave when you are dropped off in a brand new environment you have never been to before, and then get literally "manhandled" for the first few hours. Who wouldn't get grouchy.

I am not sure if you mentioned kids in your post... but on a similar note, would you leave your kids with an adult whose history you don't really know after only a couple days of meeting them. I wouldn't trust him with your kids just yet, you need to involve them in the training, but again, get him used to the environment, but don't trust him as far as you can throw him, you might be setting everyone up for heartbreak.

I do train dogs in agility, although I would by no means consider myself an expert. Another option with this pup would be the NILIF method (nothing in life is free)... basically, you take over the leadership of this dog and show him that you are in charge not by alpha rolling or actually exerting REAL physical dominance, but instead show him you are the leader by both protecting him, and by providing for him. Check out this site for a brief description...

http://www.petpeoplesplace.com/resources/articles/dogs/002-01.htm

He sounds like he will be a really wonderful dog, but something I always caution people of is just because your dog weighs 10 pounds doesn't mean it isn't a tiny carnivore/prey animal living in your house. Would you accept growling and nipping this behavior from my 60 pound St. Bernard mix (aka Irondog)? You would probably call the cops on her if she decided to behave in this fashion... ESPECIALLY around kids!!

Nevertheless, I REALLY wish you the best with training this dog. If he is as smart as you say he is, he should be a whiz to train... start teaching him new tricks and other things as well. Just have the confidence that he will do it. I think it is great you have taken him into your home. Give him some time to adapt, but also make your expectations clear. With a tiny dog like this, I am not a big fan of ANY physical correction... I honestly think that would make it worse. He doesn't sound like a bad dog, he just sounds misguided and this is your chance to give him the leadership he needs.

Also google "Umbilical Training"... I did this with my rescue and it really helped with the bonding.

Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions! I am such a fan of rescuing... I think you deserve a big congratulations for trying to keep this boys well being in mind. Don't give up on him yet!

Edited by irondog 2008-05-14 9:47 AM
2008-05-14 9:56 AM
in reply to: #1400435

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Subject: RE: maltipoo - need advice from dog experts

Routine, Routine, Routine. 

Getting the little guy on a routine will help his confidence and cut down on some of that behavior.  He's unsure and probably trying to assert himself out of fear.  A routine will take some of the uncertainty away.  That's only part of the puzzle but it's a good first step.  

2008-05-14 12:24 PM
in reply to: #1401698

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Master
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Subject: RE: maltipoo - need advice from dog experts
First , sincere thanks again everyone... resources on this site are incredible.

UPDATE:

1) I tried petting him on the head/back gently and he allows this now... he has progressed from tighetning up/growling to walking away and coming right back to cowering to allowing it now..... that seems to plays right in with what many of you have said is going on, behavior-wise.

2) he spends his time out of the cab kennel ( right name ? ) happily wagging his tail most all the time. He barks when he needs to go outside and when he hears strange ( to him ) noises. He constantly follows ME mainly and will jump up in my lap, if I acknowledge it's ok, anytime I sit. He licks all of us in face, hands, etc....... ( keep responses clean... ). His time out of cab equals about 6-8 hrs/day on weekdays.

3) he lets everyone hook/unhook him to his leash when going out... tail wags the whole time.

4) originally he ran up to the kids/wife barking harshly; this only happened once/twice and he did not bite, he just stopped as they held their ground literally.

5) Have rewarded him for good behavior.. i.e. he barks to go out and takes care of bizness he gets a biscuit/treat....also gets one when I get home and let him out.

6) Negative behavior meets with a firm NO or growl. Will not physically "train" him.... it ain't happening.

Wife sez he's gotta go.... I'm saying more time needed... frankly I'm honestly surprised he's acted as well as he has so far, given circumstances.

Beginning to walk him now..... a LOT.

Keep responses coming !








Edited by tri42 2008-05-14 12:30 PM


2008-05-14 12:46 PM
in reply to: #1400435

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Melon Presser
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Subject: RE: maltipoo - need advice from dog experts

Glad to hear you are getting some time in with doggie and he's falling in line a bit more.

Work on the wife. It's extremely important that she be on board with a decision to keep the dog.

Here's a link to a set of very helpful handouts from Dr. Ian Dunbar, who created puppy classes (yes! no puppy classes in the U.S. before Ian!) and revolutionized dog training here. He is considered one of the world's foremost experts on dog behavior and training.

http://www.siriuspup.com/behavior_problems.html#

Especially check out the New Adult Dog handout.

I strongly recommend that, if you decide to keep the pup, you attend doggie classes with him (make sure you are comfortable with the trainer, and that s/he has some kind of credential--preferably is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, or belongs to the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors). A good trainer will make the class good fun, a bonding experience for you and your dog, and be a trove of helpfulness. The structure of the class, and then practice during the week can do wonders for dog behavior.

2008-05-14 4:36 PM
in reply to: #1402222

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Master
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Subject: RE: maltipoo - need advice from dog experts
Thx for the link and more good info.... good web site !

Charlie actually let me pick him up just now and also rub his stomach.

We went for a walk around the block.

2008-05-18 7:02 AM
in reply to: #1402957

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Master
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Subject: RE: maltipoo - need advice from dog experts
UPDATE:

Wow,,,, Charlie has come a long way in 1 week... he is playful, generally obedient, we all hook him and take him out, he rolls over and lets us rub his stomach, let's me pick him up and carry him around, etc. He is a happy dog, at least outwardly.

Still, we're proceeding with a little caution... this dog has never received this much attenton..... don't want to overload him.

Best of all, Jill has started to take a real interest in him.... VERY IMPORTANT....if mama ain't happy, nobody's happy, at least in this house.

Thanks again for all your help !
2008-05-27 4:13 PM
in reply to: #1409059

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Master
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Subject: RE: maltipoo - need advice from dog experts
UPDATE:

Life can be so up and down... unfortunately we had to send Charlie back to the original owners last night. He spent all weekend at the lake, around 4 teenagers and 4 adults... he was well-behaved and spent a LOT of time around the kids and he did great until Mon am when he snapped at my son as he rubbed his side while he was lying down. This after he had taken Charlie outside, fed him, and given him a treat. That really made us question things the rest of the time there. However, he was great the rest of the day and all the way home. But late last night he went after my daughter fiercely, and I mean pretty fiercely. She was not bitten but she leapt up onto the counters in the kitchen and he would not let her down. She screamed at the top of her lungs, literally. She was rubbing him on the back of the neck, like she had been all weekend and she stopped , then he growled and starting lunging at her.

Obviously there is a medical issue or a behavior at play here. I/We SO wanted a chance to give this dog a happy home with a lot of love but I can NOT have him here with the uncertainty of his behavior. He even snapped at the mother of his family when she came to get him, and not just snapped but went after her too.

Amazing how attached you can get to an animal you never knew in just 2-3 wks. We're heartbroken but we'll move on. Personally I never had a problem and he almost always responded well to my commands... it's really eerie. If I didn't know any better I'd say he picked out one Alpha to follow and dominated everyone else, or something like that. But, I REALLY got attached to him.

Sorry for the ramble but thanks to all for their knowledge and inputs. I want him to have a chance but I just don't know now. I have contacted the Carolina Poodle Association and they're calling me tonight, thanks to a contact set up by a Bt'er. You people are great.

Craig



Edited by tri42 2008-05-27 4:14 PM
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