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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19093
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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Our 7 yr. old poodle will have nothing to do with me or my

Customer Question

Our 7 yr. old poodle will have nothing to do with me or my husband. but loves strangers and will sit in their lap. we look at her an she goes to hiding place under bed. we have never even scolded her. What in the world to do. She refuses to go outside with us much of the time.When cornered to try to pick her up she becomes aggressive.
we have obtained medicine Megestrol from vet. but has not helped. She has always been independent but is getting worse.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi Jacustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I've been working in a professional capacity with dogs in both health and behavioral fields for over 18 years.

I do have some questions for you that will help me develop the right plan for your little girl.

How long have you had Missy?
Have you done any obedience training with her?
How many times is she fed?
Is she allowed on the furniture?
What have you tried so far?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
we have had her 6 years
no obedience training
food out all the time, have lately tried restricting food to outside to try to get her to go out but did not work
not if we catch her
kindness, love, restricting food, playing with catch toy which she loves to does not carry over into relaxed time
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Jacustomer,
thanks for the additional information. It is helpful to you.
You just have yourself a dominant dog. Dominant dogs do what they want, when they want it and don't listen to anyone unless they have to.
The first thing I'm going to suggest you do is get her obedience trained. I'd start training her yourself first and I'll give you a site to help teach you how to do that. Once she seems to have learned the commands, then you will want to put her in a class. The class will teach her to obey despite distractions.
The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm
http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/training_nothing_in_life_is_free.html
This means she will no longer be free fed. Fix her food several times a day and make her sit, come or obey some command in order to eat. If she doesn't eat within 15 minutes take up the food until the next time.
The obedience training makes you the boss and leader. Dogs are pack animals and the boss rules all the others. They do the reprimanding (growls and nips) and make the decisions as to who eats when and where and who get to be on the couch or not. Submissive members or non leaders will attempt to please the boss by showing them affection. So when you show a dog affection without them earning it, it can send the wrong message to the dog. It can make a dog feel that they are the boss since you are fawning over them. So make her work for everything including affection.
It will take her a few days or even a week or more to realize things have changed. Get a leash on her and let her trail it around. You can then use it for training her and to make her obey. You won't be dragging her or anything, but you do need to guide her out of hiding and avoid nips using the leash instead of trying to grab her. You can also use it to get her attention with a small tug and then reprimand with a firm low toned NO.
I think once you start training her and working with her, you will see a lot of improvement in her attitude. One she sees you as the boss, she will be more likely to show you affection and want to be around you.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you need more information or clarification, please reply and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are satisfied, please take the opportunity to rate.

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