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The Dog Whisperer Share your experience and lessons you learned from Cesar Milan.


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  #1  
Old 02-18-2009, 08:38 AM
ebonyknight ebonyknight is offline
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Default Shihtsu puppy problem

My wife and I have a puppy that's about 6 months old. We've had the usual problems with potty,etc. I even had some discipline problems with him. Using some of Ceasar's techniques, I have calmed him down and he no longer bites growls etc. Except.....

My wife lets him sleep on the bed (I know, mistake number one). The dog seems to respect me and love her. Of course, he won't listen to her, but listens to me. Can't have it all...

Anyway, there is one behavior problem, I don't know how to deal with. If I get up in the middle of the night, sometimes he will lay next to her. When I come back, he will growl and once (before I corrected the behavior) bit me, hard. He doesn't bite anymore, but he will still growl very aggressively.

How do I correct this aggression when I leave the bed? She will move him when he does this (he seems to be protecting her), but I don't think that is the right thing to keep doing. I normally grab him and quickly hold him on his back until he calms down and stops growling, but this doesn't seem to be correcting the issue.

Anyone have any advice on this issue?
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:54 AM
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MissDolittle MissDolittle is offline
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Default Re: Shihtsu puppy problem

Welcome on board, Ebonyknight!

I remember a few shows with Victoria Stillwell on Animal Planet with the exact situation. That dog is not protecting your wife from harm, that dog is claiming your wife as his own and protecting his property from intrusion. That also shows that he is not seeing you as a packleader.

So I would have a serious talk with your wife and ban the dog from the bedroom. Or at least use a crate at the foot of the bed where he can sleep in. That's a situation where you have to put your foot down, because it can result in some serious injuries, depending on what breed the dog is. The bigger the dog, the bigger the damage.

Sorry, that's probably not what you wanted to hear, isn't it?
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:56 AM
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Default Re: Shihtsu puppy problem

Oh, I missed the title where you said it's a Shihtsu. The only dog that ever bit me and took a chunk out of my leg, was a lil 11 lbs Shihtsu. Put me on crutches for six weeks, because it got infected. Maybe that rule of thumb that the bigger the dog the bigger damage doesn't always apply LOL.
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:01 AM
ebonyknight ebonyknight is offline
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Default Re: Shihtsu puppy problem

Well, I don't have a problem with that, but he will whine and bark all night, which is why my wife let him sleep on the bed in the first place.

Any thing I can do about the noise he's gonna cause?

Also, if he doesn't see me as the pack leader, why does he obey me and not her? If this is the case, how do I remedy that situation?

Last edited by ebonyknight : 02-18-2009 at 09:03 AM. Reason: more info
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:18 AM
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Default Re: Shihtsu puppy problem

This is how I do it:

Each new dog (and I foster a lot of them, so I'm going through this on regular basis) gets his own crate. I start feeding him in that crate and never use it as punishment. Within a day or 2 that crate becomes his save place. If they get scared or want to chill out or just chew on a bone, they go into their crates. The doors are usually open.

Once the dog is comfortable with the crate, I close the door for half an hour while the dog is in the crate, but I don't leave the room. I increase the time gradually and before you know it, I can put the crate anywhere I want and the dog is fine.

I never give in to crying or whining. I only let the dog out of the crate when he's calm. I keep the door closed over night or when I have to leave them alone in the house, but never longer than 6 hours at a time, unless I sleep longer than that. Make sure the dog had a chance to eliminate before closing the door for a longer period of time. Otherwise I have the doors open.

You should see this place during feeding time. At the moment I have 5 dogs here: 2 Great Danes, 2 Labs and a Chihuahua. As soon as I fill the bowls, they know it's time to calm down. They all go into their crates and sit down and get quiet, or they won't get any food. If I break that only one time and let them get excited, you know they will act out next time as well, so staying persistent is very important.

I want to emphasize again that the crate should never be used as a punishment, sending the dog in there after he did something wrong, or while you are mad at him...it'll associate negativity with the crate and it'll become the enemy, not the safe place anymore that every dog should have in my opinion.
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:38 AM
ebonyknight ebonyknight is offline
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Default Re: Shihtsu puppy problem

Great thanks. I hope I am not bugging you....

*If your dog jumps on you when you arrive home, he's the pack leader.

How can you tell if your dog is the pack leader? Its simple: If he jumps on you when you arrive home, hes the pack leader. If he jumps on your guests, he's making sure that these new arrivals also know hes in charge.*

This is from one of your other posts. I corrected that issue and he doesn't jump on me when I come home. He will do that to my wife, but not me. With the exception of the bed problem, he seems to exhibit all the behavior that he does see me as the pack leader. Is it possible for him to see me as the leader while still exhibiting some negative behavior?

Thanks, I will start training him to see the crate as safe today. Meanwhile, do I still let him sleep on the bed until he sees the crate as safe?
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:21 AM
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Default Re: Shihtsu puppy problem

I don't think from taking care of one symptom that the entire situation is solved. I don't remember where I heard it, probably Cesar Millan, but it made sense. He said "If you have a dog that is a nuisance barker and you can teach him to sit and lay down, then you have a nuisance barker that can sit and lay down." lol But that put it all into context for me.

Here are a few things that might inspire you to get into packleader frame of mind..I can only share what works for me, I'm not a professional, just to make that clear.

Rule number 1: nothing is free. My dogs have to do something in order to get affection, a treat, food, a toy, sit on the couch, whatever. Everything they want, they need to do something for it and be calm.

Nurturing the behavior was my biggest mistake (before I learned otherwise). I thought when a dog is afraid, cuddling him is the right to do to calm him down. I thought loving on a dog will cure everything. Boy was I wrong.

If I give affection to a scared dog, I tell the dog that it's ok to be scared (or aggressive or possessive or whatever).

Here's a movie of my Lab, respecting our boundaries and asking for permission to come onto the couch. You'll see that we did not ask him up while he's whining:



There are so many little things that I can't think of right now.

As to letting your dog sleep on the bed until he figured out the crate, I can't give you an answer to that. I wouldn't. I would take that dog on a walk until he falls over tired right before bed time, and put him in a crate. If he whines, then you have to let him whine...can't blame a dog for trying, as long as you don't give in.

If you can, try to find this episode...you'll find yourself in it:
http://www.locatetv.com/tv/its-me-or...ason-1/2114242
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:36 PM
ebonyknight ebonyknight is offline
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Default Re: Shihtsu puppy problem

Hello again!

Your advice was valuable, but he is not staying quiet in the cage. I only feed him in the crate and he is fairly comfortable in it now, as opposed to barking the second I shut the door.

But he can only stay in there a few minutes before barking. I put him in and waited until he stopped barking for a few minutes, then let him out. Is that the proper way to crate him? We don't let him sleep on the bed, but then he tends to pee on the carpet at night.

Can you give me more advice on crating him for the night? He used to need to go out every few hours, but he seems to be able to hold his water now, when we used to let him sleep on the bed. My wife (who would take him out every few hours) gets a full night sleep when he sleeps on the bed.

I want to continue to crate him, but am unsure how. Do I keep increasing the frequency of time in the crate, and only release him after he's been quiet for a while?

Thanks again.
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:20 PM
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Default Re: Shihtsu puppy problem

I'm so sorry I didn't reply to your message. I must have missed it somehow.

How are things going today with the training?
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