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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19836
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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My daughter has two dogs. One is a pure schnauzer, the other

Customer Question

My daughter has two dogs. One is a pure schnauzer, the other is a schnoodle. She got the schnauzer first, about one year before the schnoodle. I have been with both dogs since the beginning. My wife house trained each in our home. (My daughter is 30+, single and lives near us in her own town home. Both dogs have always been very friendly and loving toward me, especially the schnauzer. I love animals, frequently stay with them when my daughter is gone. I was especially close to the schnauzer. She reciprocated, clearly favoring me over others in the family.
Suddenly, about two weeks ago, she became afraid of me. When I go to my daughter's house, she runs upstairs and will not come down. Yesterday, I "dog sat" for my daughter. The schnauzer ran upstairs. I found her hiding in the bathroom. She shook when I tried to pick her up.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Hi JaCustomer,
My name is ***** ***** I have been working with dogs professionally in both the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleaure to help you.
I can think of a few things that might cause your dog to act in this manner. One cause would be that someone that smells or looks like you has hurt her. This may not have been intentional. They may have picked her up wrong, or went to pet her and spooked her and now she is associating that with you.
Another possible cause is that she has a disc issue in her back or other medical problem that causes her pain when you pick her up. When you pick up a dog, the rear legs should be supported by one hand and the chest by the other so the spine is kept level. Lifting under the arms puts pressure on the spine and can cause pain. Read more on disc issues here:
I would try and not force the issue with her for now and perhaps have her put on a leash so you can keep her near you on the leash and show her that you are not going to pick her up. You might also tempt her to come to you on the leash with tiny hot dog slivers. Just sit on the floor with the leash in your hand and a treat and let the smell of the hot dog lure her to come to you. Over a short period of time she should be eager for you to be there so she gets the tasty treats. Keep the pieces paper thing. Don't pick her up if you can avoid it and let her crawl into your lap.
I'd try these suggestions with her and get her seen by a vet if there is no improvement or she develops additional symptoms of possible disc problems.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you need more information or clarification, please respond and I'll answer as soon as I am back on. If it is helpful, please rate accordingly.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Jane. She has no back issues. She loves to be picked up and held.
She has not been near anyone other than my wife or daughter.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
I'd have a physical done on her and be sure imaging is done. Disc issues are not immediately evident and you may not realize that there is an intermittent issue. I wouldn't rule that out just yet.