Archived Message


by kirk

Auggie, our Maltese, has established a very interesting scenario in our household. He is generally a loving, affectionate dog, but will consistently growl at any one trying to walk him who is not the "top" master in the house at that moment. The hierarchical order is as follows: 1) My Wife, 2) Me, 3) The Nanny, 4) The Dog Walker. My wife can do no wrong and can walk him when ever she wants. So can I --- if my wife is not home. If she IS, he snarls his disapproval. The same for everyone down the line. The poor dogwalker almost always comes by when someone is home and so consistently is growled at (as I am every night for the final run). This is inexcusable behavior, but it's not exactly an aggression or submission issue. Any suggestions?


You may want to try this. It may take awhile (maybe not), but have the person who is going to walk your dog offer a treat and tell it to come. I would break up one of your dog's favorite treats into small pieces so as not to over treat it. When the dog comes immediately praise it ("What a good boy [dog's name] is...What a good dog) constantly and give a lot of chest tickles and under the ribs (this should calm the dog). Do this a few times in a row. Call the dog back, give treat, praise like crazy with tickles etc. A dog rarely hates the hand that feeds him. Dogs live for praise. I used to be afraid of big dogs and not until I learned how to read a dog's body language and how to approach a dog as alpha have I had the confidence to approach a big dog or any dog for that matter. Today at a friend's house who has a full grown lab, I approached Blossom, praised her constantly with "What a good dog that Blossom is, what a pretty dog Blossom is, etc.", tickled her under her chest and belly. Blossom who has never met me, within a couple of minutes flopped to the floor on her back in submission, enjoying every moment of praise and affection. I enjoyed it too. I had made a new friend.

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