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It kinda stinks that I got a puppy during fall/winter and cant really take him on walks and to my little brothers football games to get him socialized but I've been doing my best making sure I get him out and to new places, new people and new dogs/pets. I LOVE him and am so happy I have him but I want to make sure I'm doing everything the best I can to socialize him. First off he loves walks, I took him for a couple since I've had him and he had a blast (its wayyyy to cold to take him all the time). But when we pass unfamiliar people or dogs from a distance he drops his tail and follows closely by me or will stop and just stare at them til they pass and run back to me and continue. And when we go to petstores everyone just rushes up to him talking really loud yelling how cute and adorable he is and rushes to pick him up which I think is making him more skittish because he doesnt want random strangers picking him up when he gets close. He'll come up and sniff and lick their hand and if they ask I will sometimes let them hold him. But his first reaction is to run close to me until I say its okay. We went to petsmart today to get him a diaper (to distract him, hoping he doesnt poop in the house anymore...), and we met a teeny tiny 8 weeks old chihuahua probably half his size and he just came up sniffed ran away, and kept doing this and when they walk away he runs behind them stops and kicks his feet in the air acting like he's all cool chasing them away.

I also take him with me to all of my friends houses so he has a couple dog friends and meets their families, so he is always meeting new people and dogs, alot of the same too.

When we are at home he is way more confident and will go up to the people while they are sitting and stand on his hind legs wanting them to say hi, but when he lean over to pick him up he shys away and will keep coming over like its a game. So I usually pick him up (he doesnt run away from me, he will stand in one spot or run over and let me pick him up when I call him) and I'll put him on the couch with us and he'll go curl up in their lap or lay next to them and lick them.

He's also really shy with my neices and nephews. He runs when he sees them coming because when I first got him my nephews chased him trying to pick him up. I taught them not to and said if I find out you chased my dog you are going into time out and you cant hold him anymore and they listen. They lay on the ground calling his name and giving him treats and this works for a while. But they are sitting on the couch he will run over and lick the kids all over the face and let them pick him up. He isnt aggressive at all but is just shy of little kids, he loves my sisters baby though (probably cause she cant walk yet).

He does great with everyone, has never growled, snapped or barked (I've only heard him bark maybe 10 times since I've had him and it was when he is playing) just shys away and runs to me for security.

I dont know if its his personality that he is weary of strangers, or if I'm doing a horrible job of socializing...have any tips?

A video with his yorkie friend Cocoa
http://s85.photobucket.com/albums/k66/lazybutbeautiful93/dogs/?action=view&current=0126001941.flv

and a picture of his shih tzu friend Chloe
 

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I think it's rude that strangers try to pick him up at the pet store. They should at least ask first, or let you hand him to them. With such a little guy, you will have to be really careful about this, because people are fascinated with tiny little dogs and someone could accidentally hurt him faster than you could stop it. And then you'll end up with a dog who is afraid of anyone but you picking him up and he could become defensive and start biting people. This is exactly what happened with our little chi when I was a kid.

I think what you're doing by taking him to your friends' houses and letting him meet people at the pet store is enough for now. The weather will (hopefully) be nice soon and maybe you can take him for longer walks and what have you.

I know I don't have to remind you, but just keep in mind that tiny dogs like Atticus can be fragile, and while you don't want to baby him, you do want to be mindful of what other people are doing to him.

I wish you lived close to me because I would love for him to be able to meet Teddy. :)
 

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I've had the problem with people picking up Perry without permission (and actually something much more annoying this weekend with theexfiance's sister and her friend... but I won't get in to that... seeing as I'm STILL mad about it! lol)

What I have started doing when people look like they are about to bend down and grab him is bend down myself and pick him up, beating them to the punch... then I'll ask them if they want to hold him.

I don't ever let little kids hold Perry, he hasn't bit anyone yet, but little kids squeeze, etc. (My little three year old cousin squeezed him really tight one time and Perry screamed, but no bite.) If I am out and a small child wants to hold him or pet him, I'll usually pick Perry up and bed to their level and hold him so they can pet him at his level, rather than looming over him.

Thus far, this has worked. However, I have had to get a little rude once or twice, asking people to leave him alone... this one family's kids were stomping after him and the littlest was trying to step ON Perry. Ridiculous. The parents didn't even get on to their kids!

Anyway... those are my tips!

P.s. sounds like he is being well socialized to me! Some dogs are just timid in nature... and while I don't OWN any timid dogs, I know they exist :)
 

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Wow! Lucky for the general public that I don't have a Toy, 'cause if someone tried to pick up my dog, they'd lose a hand!

I know you are young, but you need to be bold. Don't worry about offending people. Most people need a good offending anyway. :) Read their body language. If they are going in for a "pick-up", block them and say, "I'm training my dog to stand on his own 4 feet just like a big dog." If they give you guff, remind them that little dogs are ruined all the time by people who want to treat them like babies.

Next. Every time you go out, take a pocket full of VERY high value treats. I don't know what sends the little man over the moon, but make sure that you have it. When he starts to get nervous, talk to him in a happy upbeat voice.

"Yeah people! We love people!" TREAT PRAISE

Don't molly coddle him or try to reassure him. Just be super happy every time he gets down. Next, have every stranger feed him a treat. They don't get to pet him, they just get to tell him what a great dog he is. TREAT!

At home, put him on a leash so that he can not run away from people. Understand that leaning over a dog is the equivalent of me coming up in your face and groping you. It makes the dog nervous and it puts him in a very compromised position. Tell people if they want to pet the Poodle, they have to SIT ON THE FLOOR. This way he can visit without being leaned over.

Sounds like you have a good handle on the cousins. Hold the line. Playing with the Little Man is a privilege, not a right. They do it on your terms or not at all.

Good Luck!
 

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(and actually something much more annoying this weekend with theexfiance's sister and her friend... but I won't get in to that... seeing as I'm STILL mad about it! lol)
Off topic - theexfiance Spencer? I hope things are ok with you!

On topic - I think Cbrand has some great advice here! I think it's totally rude for people to pick up your dog without permission, especially when they don't even know you! No wonder the poor little guy is skittish around people, he never knows when a strange giant will loom over him and scoop him up. Anyway he definitely needs some positive associations. And people need to be reminded he's still a dog, not a toy, and needs to be treated like any other dog they meet.
 

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Cbrand said exactly what I was thinking. When meeting new people, sometimes you have to treat them like children and explain that 1) you should always ask before petting a dog, any dog and 2) don't pick up a dog w/o asking. I honestly wouldn't let a complete stranger pick up Bailey even if they did ask. Don't be afraid to politely ask people to back off either. I imagine having a crowd of people rush you at Petsmart is very scary to a dog Atticus' size. I also agree about not coddling him, I did that way to much w/ Bailey in the beginning and it was only after I stopped that he really blossomed.

Owning a little dog can be a real experience. It's hard not to coddle them and people react completely different to them. People always ask if they can pet Harley, they slowly offer their hand when I say yes. W/ Bailey, they usually just rush in and I've even had kids try to pry him from my arms! I think the general perception is that small dogs are toys or accessories. They should be carried, coddled and allowed to behave like little monsters, just b/c they're tiny.

You deserve a lot of credit for making the effort to socialize and train little Atticus and he is going to be an awesome dog, IMO.
 

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lately I have been beyond irriated with our neighbors...the apartment complex has sooooo many kids who run around the yard out front where we walk cozi....

The first incident: she is just trying to take care of her business and two 8-10 year olds with giant fluffy jackets come running full speed at her with arms flailing!! She (usually very friendly) was terrified and tried to run but was on the leash, ended up running around me in circles. While I told the girls to stop then even raised my voice to knock it off, they ran in circles around me chasing her!! I finally was able to scoop up cozi and then attacked her with heavy pats-basically hitting her as I scurried away SO irritated- meanwhile the "mom" or adult in charge remained 50 yards away just laughing...

This has happened 2 more times with different kids just RUNNING up to her yelling, and now she actually barked once (first bark ever) while walking by a kid, just to say "Stay away"

I actually got heated at one last week...seriously what do the parents teach them?!?!?! They are going to get bit if they run up to strange dogs and start hitting them!

Now I'm going to have to do major training to get her to see that not all kids are bad....argh :eek:hwell:
 

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Thats the thing that frustrates me. People assume your dog is friendly and will run up and start petting/trying to pick up your dog. This reverses all the socializing I've done with him, it makes me not want to take him out because the way people react to him. They dont understand that crouching over and trying to pet a 2 pound dog is intimidating to them, they will run away and be scared if you do that.

I never pick him up and cuddle him when people pass, he's always on the ground unless I see a group of kids (or the occasional crazy older people who want to have a 5 hour conversation about your dog) spot him and come running over, then I beat them to it and pick him up so they can pet him which he is fine with, so I just walk the opposite direction. They just usually rush into petting and dont let him sniff their hand first which is what he is wanting to do so when they are petting him his nose is following their hand and they just shove him. There are times where I want to go off on people for the way they act towards my dog, or even if I see them doing it to someone else's dog. I'm really good at reading body language (human and animal) and I get so frustrated and feel sorry for the owner who doesnt want to tell the people to go away, or when I see a cowering dog with ears back and tail between their legs and kids are all ontop of it and I can tell the dog is nervous and may snap. People frustrate me so much!

I have been doing the training where I have strangers give him treats but he wont take from them, he's more interested in sniffing them. So I need to think of something else...
 

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The sniffing is good! Just let him sniff their hand as long as he wants to, instead of trying to give him a treat. My friend's yorkie-poo would get really freaked out if anyone came towards her with their hand, like they were going to pet her on the top of the head. I don't know what happened to that poor puppy, but something sure traumatized her. I've tried very hard to stop that from happening to Teddy, and I've actually had to mildly scold a couple of people who went to pet him and then jerked their hand away because he just wanted to sniff it first--like you described Atticus doing. When I sense someone is going to be hesitant, I ask them to pet him under the chin instead of on the head.

People pretty much suck. There, I said it. :)
 

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I've got to agree I'd be really ticked off if someone I didn't know felt the need to pick up my dog. However I've never had a problem with that with my spoos. It has been over the years a pain when people run up to my dog without even saying hi to me to pet hug climb all over my dog. Fortunately all of my dogs are good with kids. But this kind of attitude scares me as someday some of these people and/or kids will meet a dog that is not happy and then there will be another story of a dog attack.

I think time and experience with non crazy people will do a world of good for him. Try to keep from getting too frustrated at these kind of people though as he will pick up on it.
 

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I was seriously going to make a new thread in the non poodle section about how absolutely stupid people are...but now I don't have to.

Having a tiny dog is new for us. Alastor is not even 3lbs but walks like a big boy on a leash because his old owner really worked with him and couldn't carry him because he has a walker. He walks like a prince on a leash and is very confidant. No small man syndrome just very happy.

We have been taking him a lot of places since we got him but I am seriously considering making him stay home more. People are horrible!! They notice Alastor and automatically pick him up! Kids are much better than adults as they almost always ask to pet or pick him up. Grownups seem to have no self controll. I even had one lady actually PRY him out of my 9yr old son's arms!! My son is autistic and shy so just stood there helpless. I am usually a very polite person but I went off. Yep, right there in petsmart. I asked her if she would just pry a human baby out of someone's arms like that?! She just looked at me like I was speaking alien. I have since told my kids to tell everyone that comes up to Alastor when they are holding him that he bites. That usually works execpt for the major nuts who say that all dogs love them. Would they say that and then approach a pit who's owner says it bites?

I don't understand how people seem to think they have the RIGHT to touch other people's dogs. I don't go uo to their kids and start touching them or pick them up. If I did Id end up in jail. Grrr! Alastor's leg bones are slightly thicker than pencils. He is NOT a toy and he is NOT yours so keep your hands to yourself.

I don't mind it with Mercury as much...but still want people to ask. I am a bit paranoid about germs now so if you have nasy fingernails and smell like bo don't touch my dog. If you reek of cigaretts don't touch my dog.If you have a puppy with you who is obviously to young to have all it's shots keep it out of my dog's face, that goes with dogs who look like they have ringworm too.

Anyway....I had to get that out. I don't know if Im just to posessive or something but that stuff really bugs me. Could you tell? Lol.

I don't think the problem lies with your pup. Like others have said, imagine you were his size, how would the world look?
 
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