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Our rescue minipoo mix is a year old now and I wrote some other posts about how he began at 10 months to growl/guard his toys. We called in a trainer and were making great strides, then a few days ago the puppy growled at my son (12 years old) after a cuddle session: the dog had come to my son to sit on his lap, my son petted him carefully as the trainer told us- staying away from the dog's head and not making him feel closed in- and then my son put his hands under the dog to scoop him off his lap (they were on the floor so it was only 8") and the dog growled. I was devastated all over again. There was no reasonable trigger here. The only thing I do know that could explain it is that the dog does not respect my son, gets mouthy with him and humpy with him where he doesn't with others.

The trainer is coming back next week to work with my whole family and especially my son on leadership skills, but I am frustrated and scared. Has anyone here had a dog that seemed to have weird/ unreasonable triggers? The dog doesn't get bothered every time, so it makes it hard to work with him and to know what will set him off. I don't know if I will ever trust him, or how long to try this before I call it and rehome him to an educated house. I'm tired of being scared and of not trusting him. I'm happy to work with him if there is an end point, but I don't know that there is one if he is beginning to come up with new and crazy triggers.

He has been to the vet on and off for various minor things through the summer, I doubt it is something physical, especially since it's not every time.
Thanks.
 

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I'm sorry you're experiencing anxiety with this dog. What is meant by leadership? What kinds of things does the trainer have you do that she describes as leadership?

What kinds of exercises has she had you practice to help over come some of your pup's worries?

I believe there is a trigger but you haven't identified it. Remember, growling is only a communication so that should not be punished or anything. Your dog is trying hard to communicate that he doesn't like something. And you can thank your lucky stars he's giving a warning. And if you don't know what it is, then naturally, it appears it's happened out of the blue. But in reality, there is something going on that is bothering him. The trick is figuring that out.

How does everyone in the family interact with the pup? Do you have other kids?

Has he ever bitten anyone? (other than play bite) Do you know about his history? Is this why he was given up? Something might have scared him before you adopted him and it's just left a bad mark. Or maybe he has an inherently poor temperament.

How does this trainer train if you don't mind my asking? Is she a member of any organization? What is her philosophy? What does she believe in?

So let us know how and what your trainer has been having you do and a little bit of detail in your pup's responses to various stimuli.


I'm really sorry you're having issues with him.
 
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I have no patience for dogs who growl at kids. See your trainer again but sometimes, some dogs are just better off in special homes, with very experienced people who know how to deal with this kind of behavior. And who don’t have kids who could be harmed.

This is where I draw the line. I love my animals, but no living thing will threaten my kids.
 

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the puppy growled at my son (12 years old) after a cuddle session: the dog had come to my son to sit on his lap, my son petted him carefully as the trainer told us- staying away from the dog's head and not making him feel closed in- and then my son put his hands under the dog to scoop him off his lap (they were on the floor so it was only 8") and the dog growled.
My Maltese will not let children pick her up. She's absolutely fine with gentle petting, but will not tolerate restraint or being picked up by youngsters. I assume it's from a lack of socialization with children--she does not feel safe. If your son is holding the pup on the floor, what happens if he just gently starts to get up, letting the pup jump off of his lap, versus being scooped up? I'm not saying your son is at fault in the slightest--the pup clearly has issues. But I think *maybe* they can be worked out since your son is an older child and the dog is small.

What does your son do to take care of the dog? Does he walk him? Feed him? Sorry, I'm sure you've answered these questions elsewhere, but I can't remember. Oh, and one trainer I worked with said play is one of the best ways children can bond with dogs and build trust.
 

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While I think this dog's issues are probably minor and easily overcome in the right setting, I don't think it is good for any of you to be in a constant state of dread and anxiety. Is your son very fond of your dog? Would any of you be devastated if he were rehomed? Sometimes it is best to accept that a dog and your family are just not a good fit, and that you cannot change either home or dog enough to make it work. If you are fearful the dog will be aware of it, and it will feed his own fear and stress, creating a vicious circle.

You don't say what kind of a growl it was - a minor grumbly "Do I have to?", or a snarling, hard eyed crescendo. The former is in my opinion an acceptable communication and fairly easily addressed by on/off training for treats, for example. The latter would be far more worrying, of course.
 

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Ashirah, please let us know what the trainer says.. Also maybe your son needs to start feeding the dog too. I watched an educational video on a dog trainer (Victoria Stilwell) use this trick for feeding dogs who need to learn their place in the family. Before setting his food down, have your son ask for the dog to sit and watch. Then have your son act like he is taking food out of the bowl (with his hand) and feeding it to his own mouth. This is an alpha move for dogs because the alpha eats first in pack. And/Or you can try to have your son control when your dog eats from the bowl too. When setting it down, make sure your son gives the cue for when the dog can eat... until the it is "sit. Stay. Wait."

This is just an idea from watching Victoria Stilwell's videos "It's Me or The Dog". She is all over youtube and the video I am talking about is on there. In the video, there was a dog who disrespected the wife's role in the house but loved/respected the husband. To show the dog that he was not alpha over the wife, she would control his eating and act like she was eating from his bowl, making sure the dog was looking at her eating the food. Then she would set the dogs food down and queuing it when to eat. ((worked for this dog))

Some people may not agree with this method but it is something that has worked for many people Victoria Stilwell helps.

Truly hope you find a solution! If not, maybe Dechi is right that some dogs need special homes. Some dogs are not good with children unfortunately but I truly pray this is not the case for you all.
 

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So I have a bit of different take on growling because it is communication. "Something is not right and I need it to be different" is kind of the standard growl in translation. Depending on the severity of the growl this would be followed with "or else". So growls like barks come in so many variations - the problem is that they are interpreted almost always as aggression and that is actually untrue. In a normal dog (not abused - not traumatized) a growl is the very avoidance of aggression...and that is how I like to see it. I have had growly dogs that were shy and growly dogs that were very full of themselves. The same level growl means something different in those two dogs. In the shy one if would be the equivalent of "Help!" where in in the bossy one it would be more like" Hey, watch it!". Same growl different meaning.
Louie and his 12 pound frame will growl when he is cornered and feels unjustly scolded. It is in no way dangerous or a troubling sign - it is a bit the equivalent of a back talking teenager. Depending on the school of thought of any trainer they would either freak out about it or tell me to ignore it. Having had the company of very different kinds of dogs from 8 pounds to 160 pounds I know very well where on the "is this actually something to worry about" scale Louie's growls fall. I would be very annoyed if a trainer (who doesn't know him) would try to put this into his/her personal perspective - not that I am saying you don't need an expert opinion in your case but please keep in mind it just comes from their personal point of view and is not necessarily what the dog intended. I think you need to really observe what is going on - when and how this is triggered and what can be done differently. To be clear I am in no way advocating to ignore it, but I am very much in favor of putting it in the right frame for evaluation. Lifting a dog up is always a sort of emasculating and power stealing move - Louie for instance does not like it one bit (macho with a Napoleon complex) but has been taught to tolerate it (without growling). I am very much in favor of being able to manipulate any part of his body as part of what I as his owner am "allowed" to do - especially in light of grooming needs - however I have no illusion that he is actually comfortable at all times, and he may let me know that he is not (not necessarily growling but other body language from cow eyes to licking me trying to distract me - but I could see any dog giving a growl as a sign of discomfort). Just wanted to share my opinion in case this helps you evaluate what is going on differently.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks very much, everyone. It is helpful to hear all the thoughts and the range they cover. All I can say is I'm not sure what the growl was, except that it sounded scary. I hear him growl when he hears someone coming up the path to the house, when he's playing tug-of-war, and when he wants to get our attention (like, 'hey, I'm still in my kennel let me out!' kind of thing.) None of those growls worried me. When he was guarding his toys that was scary- body hunched over and tense, felt like if I push it he may snap at me. The other night with my son I wasn't looking at that moment but heard the sound and turned around to ask, "Did he just growl at you?" It sounded like a "back off!" bad growl but it all happened so fast and so unexpectedly.

I have done a ton of work making sure this puppy knows I am boss (though less so with my kids training him, which is one place we can improve and I think what the trainer means by leadership skills.) And the puppy responds incredibly well! He is super smart, focused, willing to please. He has very good impulse control. He loves to meet everyone he sees and we've never found anyone that made him shy away. There is no such thing as a stranger.

We got him 6 months ago at 6 months old. We were told that his first home, after the breeder, gave him away because he was too small (full-grown I think he'll be 10-12 lbs) and the second home gave him away because they thought their toddler would hurt him. (However, he hasn't held it against toddlers or boys as far as I see. The smaller the person the more happy he is to meet them.)

I understand the concerns about picking the dog up. Just to explain, this dog gets picked up all the time because he is so small and living on a homestead: so if we're doing goat chores were they might try to butt him, going over boulders on a hiking trail, getting him in and out of our truck which is high, or even lifting him up when he asks to sit in our laps while we're doing computer work. He never ever tenses or shows any sign of discomfort. To the contrary, I kind of think he likes it. He just gets relaxed and looks around at the world.

I really thought this dog had an incredible personality, the way he loved everyone and took everything in stride. He is a little weird, in that he almost neurotically wants to sit in someone's lap, but he's gotten much calmer since we got him. He will settle with a toy on his rug on the floor now, when he wouldn't before. Also, he doesn't come push against you for petting like lots of dogs I've met. He wants to say hi, then he's happy to go be on his own, then he comes back and really wants to sit in your lap, but he doesn't "ask" for petting the way I am used to with the other dogs I've had and been around. He does roll over for belly rubs when he is very calm and sleepy, which I figured is a good sign.

The trainer is coming Monday and I will let you all know what she says. I've also heard about another trainer nearby who specifically works with dogs that have problems. How does one go about getting a "second opinion"? Do you just tell your first trainer that you also want someone else's read on it, like with a doctor, and they should support you in that?
 

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As a trainer/behavior consultant, I've worked with dogs that had all kinds of behavior issues that made life difficult for the owners and dogs alike, including various types or reasons for aggression, which as Moni pointed out isn't always aggression...most aggression is based in fear. This is why I asked all those many questions. Without getting a good feel, especially when all we have is the Internet, can't see the dog to evaluate, it's impossible to know what's going on. That said, I have to wonder what you do exactly in various scenarios to "show your dog who's boss." I wonder what your trainer is telling you to do specifically... to show leadership (can you give some for instances?)...am wondering what her philosophy is, her education, training, if she's part of an organization etc.

And no, I don't think there's anything wrong with getting a 2nd opinion. But I'd want to know the trainer's method or philosophy, training etc. That "show 'em who's boss" perks up my ears.
 

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Sure, that makes sense and I could have said it better! The trainer is very gentle and just uses positive reinforcement and treating for good behaviors. A mixture of what she's told us and what I've come up with on my own: I tell the puppy to wait for me to go out the door first, then tell him he can come out, wait until he is sitting quietly before he is allowed to get out of the truck or out of his kennel. If he greets us by jumping (which is always, still!) we just stand there until he sits, then pet him and tell him what a good dog he is. If he jumps up again we stand again and sometimes turn away, until he sits again or atleast put all four feet down. For the first several months I hand fed him and used it as training time, but he's not super food-oriented though he is treat oriented and the trainer told me to just train with treats for now because of that. She also is having me begin to mix petting in as the reward some now.

Lots of training sessions holding treats by the puppy or dropping them on the floor, and telling him 'wait', making him wait a few seconds then telling him 'okay' and giving him the treats. When he began to growl about toys the trainer had me use non-high value toys and, when the puppy was playing with them, pull out a treat, ask him to "drop" and make sure the hand with the treat was coming towards him as my other hand came to pick the toy up, hold it briefly, then give it back to him. He liked this so much I often had trouble getting him to pick up the toy again so we could do the training again, because he was suddenly focused on the treat instead. Except the flirt pole, which we have put away for a while because dropping that toy is a MAJOR trigger for him so I'm waiting until we get more things under control. (It doesn't matter which toy is on the pole, it's the fact that it is on the pole that does it.)

She also told us to make sure we pet him under the chin and not over the head so he wouldn't feel intimidated, let him initiate petting/contact, and leave him wanting more! I don't know if she is part of any organizations.
 

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Oh, yes, a few more things we do regularly: beginning to work on him not pulling while walking by stopping as soon as he pulls the leash, waiting until he backs off the pressure, then walking forward again. We do this just ten minutes at a time so we don't both go nuts, and it is making a difference.

All his toys are off the ground except his rope (so he can bring that to us when he wants to play) and for the other toys I ask him to sit before giving the toy to him. And to reinforce the come command as a fun game she taught us to have two people start about ten feet apart and call the dog back and forth with a "come" and a treat, but take a few steps further away each time. the dog like this, too, and I do think it makes him perk up more at any other time he hears me "come!" At this point we begin about 30 feet apart because he knows what's coming and we get more exercise that way.

Also trying to get him to leave the cat alone, among other things, so if there is any thing distracting him and I want his attention she taught me to say 'leave it" and as soon as he gives me his attention even if only for a second I praise him and also mix in treating for this.
 

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Ashirha your dog sounds so much like my Louie - even in size. He is a petite mini and as a raw fed dog on the lighter side. He has a huge personality. Many of the behaviors you describe totally are spot on for Louie as well. I have often said that in the wrong home he would be a "problem dog" although in all honesty that can be said about almost all dogs. He gives a lot of push back hence my analogy of the talking back of a teenager. When I say huge personality I refer to his truly overinflated sense of self importance. Like a friend said about him - he doesn't even beg he just expects you to share your food with him in a matter of fact way. I have worked with so many different dogs and breeds before I always think there is no such thing as a correct way to train - just one way that fits that particular dog best. When he was young and I was emotionally not quite ready for such a handful of dog (I had just lost two in a row completely out of the blue) I came on here often and was exhausted and frustrated with this strong willed puppy that lived to defy me. One piece of advice (of the many really good points of advice I got here) was by Catherine who explained why he growls when I pick him up. To explain: I was quite frustrated and I had not had a small dog for a long while - I simply couldn't understand why he protested being picked up and held (which he did quite ferociously). Once she introduced the concept of cutting off his power and sort of emasculating him I started seeing the light. Even though I am a huge advocate of "nothing in life is free" like you also stated using, I realized that a dog with this much push back is more likely to be a partner than a recipient of commands - and bingo that was the method that works like a charm. I have introduced dozens of little commands that explain or announce to Louie what happens or is going to happen. The little command "up" cured all aversion to being picked up. It wasn't so much the picking up he hated it was more the unpredictability of it happening. This also goes for separation anxiety: I have never had a dog that was so affected and one of the methods of getting a dog to be calm when you leave, is not to make a big deal about it. It would have signed an oath with that. Make a fuss and so will your dog. Well that also does not work with Louie. We have a set of things that have to happen before we leave - that make it clear to him that we are leaving and without him. As long as he knows beforehand he is calm and fine - try to sneak out on him and he falls apart. This is totally new territory for me - but it works with him. In other words if you get frustrated - try something different in training. Louie has an incredible range of commands now - little things that make it easy to live with him. I actually don't commandeer him around - I just talk to him (I know that sounds a little nutty but he follows conversations for clues anyway - and I do talk to my dogs). Finding our groove was a little bumpy at first - I had to come to appreciate him and find a way to connect with him. Just to be clear he will not cuddle on command - it is always on his terms. He is polite with all people, but he doesn't "love" them and fawn over them except a chosen few. He has learned that children are very special kind of people bound to be grabby and loud and jumpy, but that they are a lot of fun. He would be a good tracking dog and a good agility dog since he is very motivated by action - obedience would be interesting because he would be one of those hard nuts to crack - only working when he is in the mood and easily distracted. He is completely unmotivated by treats or toys but lives for praise (strokes to his ego). He has a huge drive "to do the right thing" and that is what you have to work with. Also repetition is something he absolutely hates. He will do anything for you about once or twice - try a commend three times and you will get non-compliance and a case of the stink eye. Walking him on leash is done with a drag line (he is technically on leash but I am not holding it) and a very cheerful come along with a lot of turns (announced "come lets go "left" "right" "back" and all the variations of that...)
 

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Wow, Moni, so much of what you just said makes sense to me! I'll put some thought into this and try giving our pup- I should introduce him, his name is Dragon, maybe more aptly named than I realized!!- some warning about what is going to happen. One of the points that stands out is that he does have separation anxiety and sometimes when I tie him nearby to do a chore outside, then get out of sight for a few minutes, he gets concerned, but other times he does not. Those other times are the ones that I think I said ahead of time, "You wait here, I'll be right back." He knows 'wait' and that it has an end point, maybe he is putting it all together thought I thought it was just me chatting with him. Same thing when I leave him in the car for a minute. It's heartening to hear someone else's story. I have never had a small dog, and not had a puppy in 25 years, so it's a steep learning curve for me and then I got one that was not behaving in the ways I was expecting.
 

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Wow, Moni, so much of what you just said makes sense to me! I'll put some thought into this and try giving our pup- I should introduce him, his name is Dragon, maybe more aptly named than I realized!!- some warning about what is going to happen. One of the points that stands out is that he does have separation anxiety and sometimes when I tie him nearby to do a chore outside, then get out of sight for a few minutes, he gets concerned, but other times he does not. Those other times are the ones that I think I said ahead of time, "You wait here, I'll be right back." He knows 'wait' and that it has an end point, maybe he is putting it all together thought I thought it was just me chatting with him. Same thing when I leave him in the car for a minute. It's heartening to hear someone else's story. I have never had a small dog, and not had a puppy in 25 years, so it's a steep learning curve for me and then I got one that was not behaving in the ways I was expecting.
Love the name Dragon! Louie would also be an aptly named "dragon" my husband thinks he should be "Napoleon" = small dog with a big personality!
 

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My last little girl was about 10 lbs at that age, and she always wanted to know what was next. She thrived on cues and routine and was CONSTANTLY reading me and the room. Although she wasn't growly, she had her own ways of expressing her anxiety (such as spontaneous pooping - fun!!) and so I had to learn how to better communicate the "what's nexts" with her so she could relax into the moment.

I think letting Dragon know when he's about to be moved or picked up is a really great idea. Then he won't be on edge, wondering when he's going to be abruptly moved from a place he feels safe and comfortable.

Gosh, I love this forum. I really do learn so much from you all every day!
 

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It sounded like a "back off!" bad growl but it all happened so fast and so unexpectedly.

If you didn't see it happen, you may have missed a clue.


He is super smart, focused, willing to please. He has very good impulse control. He loves to meet everyone he sees and we've never found anyone that made him shy away. There is no such thing as a stranger.

He sounds like he has a TON of positives going for him :thumb:

We got him 6 months ago at 6 months old. We were told that his first home, after the breeder, gave him away because he was too small (full-grown I think he'll be 10-12 lbs) and the second home gave him away because they thought their toddler would hurt him. (However, he hasn't held it against toddlers or boys as far as I see. The smaller the person the more happy he is to meet them.)

Total red flags right there. "Too small" is the lamest excuse I've ever heard in my life for giving a dog up. Something else happened. And then the second home was "afraid their toddler would hurt him." I'm sure the toddler DID hurt him or scare him. It is interesting that he's fine with most boys/todds he comes across, but maybe something in your son is triggering that fear (again, not by anything your son has done wrong).

I understand the concerns about picking the dog up. Just to explain, this dog gets picked up all the time because he is so small and living on a homestead:

Just because a dog is small doesn't mean it likes to be picked up. He is probably frankly sick of it. Even though my Maltese tolerates me picking her up, she does not like it, so I try to get down on the floor to assist her instead of picking her up all the time--treating her like one of the big dogs. I have trained her to jump in my arms with an "Up!" command, and I think that was a great suggestion. But try to cut back on all the handling, if you can.

The way you write about him really shows you have a lot of respect and patience. I really admire your commitment to get to know how he ticks. He does sound like Moni's Louie :)


How does one go about getting a "second opinion"? Do you just tell your first trainer that you also want someone else's read on it, like with a doctor, and they should support you in that?
I would honestly not even bother telling trainer #1 you're getting a second opinion. She doesn't need to know. And it can't hurt to do that, although from what you say about her, she sounds quite good.
 

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Alright, thanks again everyone. I'll see what happens Monday and think about getting in touch with the other trainer, too. It's the end of the day and I'm exhausted and discouraged and needing to share a little: The backstory to this dog is that I always wanted a dog for myself and my kids, after having grown up with them. (My husband was not excited, but was willing.) We tried to adopt a sweet senior beagle when my son was 5 and he ended up in the ER with asthma, which was how we learned he was allergic to dogs. When I had to take that girl back to the shelter it was one of the blackest days of my life.

For the next seven years we dealt with uncontrollable asthma (several pediatric pulmonologists and all kinds of medicines that just would not stop flare ups when he got a cold.) I tried to fill the dog hole in my life with other animals. Guinea pigs were my other childhood love, but we brought one home and discovered they caused asthma as well. We tried rabbits but they never got very friendly We had a cat and goats and ducks, but none of them took the place of a dog. On top of this, my son had undiagnosed ADHD/ODD which put me through hell for years. Finally we came out the other end, both with his behavior and with his asthma improving greatly.

We decided to try dogs again but it took months of diligent searching, interviewing with rescues, emailing private people, before we found someone who said they had a child-friendly dog who was hypoallergenic and who we could have a week trial period with and still get our money back, as it takes several days for my son's reaction to get going. Dragon was that dog, the first possibility in seven years! The ONLY thing I wanted was a dog that didn't trigger my son's asthma and was friendly and non-agressive. I didn't care about age, sex, looks, breed (other than a hair dog,) etc. So it's been a super hard blow to have this dog freaking me out with growling. That was the one behavior I did not feel educated or confident enough to take on, and I've got it. Thanks for listening. Maybe tomorrow will be better.
 

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I’m so sorry it’s so hard on you. Asthma is terrible. I have it and so does my son. I’m allergic too and I’ve had to rehome my share of pets. So very hard.

Monday the trainer will be at your house and hopefully this won’t seem so complicated anymore then. Sometimes life brings us surprises. Don’t despair. And vent as much as you need to. Hugs.
 

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It sounds like you have a very good trainer. I wouldn't, in that case switch around to using various methods...which might be confusing. Sometimes trying this, then that other thing, then trying yet another way is just too much confusing information for a dog.

I would desensitize and counter condition the dog to enjoy handling, first by not picking the dog up but sitting next to the pup, patting, feeding tiny pea-sized tid bits of steak or something equally tasty. Then your hand in mock position to what you'd be doing to precede picking up the pup...feed, feed, feed. Then only if the pup seems comfortable with that do you move ahead with yet a little more toward what you'll do when picking the pup up. Finally, but only as the pup is relaxed and happy do you go ahead and pick him up. Work with him on an empty stomach so the value of the food is very high. You want to associate all good things with the thing he doesn't like. So turn the bad into good.

Additionally, I'd have your son feed the pup by hand for the first part of the meal, then put the bowl down and leave puppy alone. Supervise him always with the dog. Maybe he and you can take the pup for a walk together and see if your son would like to play ball with the pup outside with you supervising. In other words, let your son be more involved with the care giving of your puppy.

That's something I'd do if I were in your shoes. See what your trainer has for a plan and if she thinks this is salvageable. Sometimes bad experiences to a dog can be hard to over come but they can be. Whether I'd trust the dog once he's bitten, if he's bitten hard, that's something I'd have a little trouble with.

I would also recommend some books that show what body language we can use that can be intimidating or threatening to a dog...or look up online. They'll show pictures and show what not to do. For instance, for a couple things, don't bend at the waist, looming over a dog with a big toothy smile on your face. This can be construed (until they learn otherwise) as an aggressive threat. Don't anyone stick your face up close to the dog's face or lean over him when sitting next to him...not until way down the road when he's come to trust and feel confident. Speaking of confidence, find some confidence building games to play with him. He needs to try and build up a more stable outlook. Don't anyone ever give him a reason to feel fear if at all possible because that's usually the culprit. You could see about enlisting the help of a certified behaviorist. If the prognosis doesn't seem good, you may need to resign yourself to re-homing the pup. I hope you won't have to but you might.

I'm sorry about the asthma. That's a terrible thing. Hopefully, in time it will improve. Sometimes it does. Best wishes.
 

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I don’t have any expert advice but I can share our experience. Noodle started growling and even snapped a couple times. Like you, it was so rare that it was hard to predict. But we figured out his triggers were during puppy time when he didn’t want to take a break and being picked up when he had to go to the bathroom. It was pretty scary to my kiddos but we worked really hard on it. We go to puppy playtime at least once a week which is a PIA because of its location and my daughter’s allergies. And we took a break from all picking up by the kids. If he peed in the hallway or elevator because of it, it was the lesser of two evils. We started little bits of handling and would stop the second he seemed the least bit uncomfortable. There were still times we had to force it. For example, when he didn’t want to get into his carrier after playtime, he had no choice. We needed to get on the train. But we cut back on holding him when we wanted to for our sakes.

Interestingly, he’s become quite cuddly now. I think the break and the feeling like we’d listen when he’d had enough, let him get less stressed about handling. This morning I actually had to keep moving him off my lap because all he wanted to do was cuddle.

Hopefully your pup will also be able to work past this.
 
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