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My 5 month Papillon hates being picked up by strangers!

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  • My 5 month Papillon hates being picked up by strangers!

    Hi, I have a 5 month old Papillon.

    When we got him, before hed had his jabs, we made sure to carry him out to meet people and be stroked etc.

    Over the past month or so, when he is out and about, if anyone other than me, my boyfriend, or a friend he already knows tries to pick him up he goes crazy.

    Its the same if we are holding him and any stranger goes to stroke him, or if hes on my lap while im sitting down and someones comes over to stroke him.

    Its almost as if he is scared, but he growls and would riggle and the other day some guy grabbed him while i wasnt looking, in the park and he jumped out of his hands and landed on his head.

    Luckily hes fine, but its something i would like to try to sort out as i cant watch him every second and as hes a little cutie people want a cuddle and stroke.

    Hes really small at the moment, so im not sure if hes just scared.
    Hes fine at home with anyone who wants to hold him, so maybe its just being caucious when hes out.

    Any ideas?

    legs like a dolly

  • #2
    As he's your dog no one has the right to touch him without your premission, keep your dog on a six foot lead when your out and if you go to an off leash park stil to the fenced areas where you can ask people to please not pick up your dog. Its important that small dog owners remember that just because he's small dosen't mean he's not a dog and should be treated as such, picking him up is not treating him like a dog, people should not be allowed to pick him up.

    That being said it sounds like a secutity issue, your dog is scared and reacting vilently to it. BEWARE if your dog gets scared enough he will bite and that will most likely mean the life of your dog will be forfit, espically if a child gets bit. Keep your dog on lead this will give him a little security, when asked if someone can pet your dog simply tell them no as the dog is a little fearful of strangers, or tell them yes but first you have to have him settled, then place him in a sit and with your hand on the collar so he can not turn to bit allow them to pet him on his back.

    Because your dog is a small breed no matter what you do, everyone is posturing as a threat to him, you can't get lower them him, the general rules of approching a nervous dog are, do not look the dog in the eye, turn your shoulder slightly to the dog, offer your hand palm down to sniff, then pet the dog on the shoulders, lower chest, or rump in a non-threatening manner. Fear based agression is substantially more dangerous then any other kind of agression as it can cause sudden and unexpected reactions with little warning.

    Socialisation is the key, but it can also make things worse, it must be done in quiet areas where your dog feels secure and safe and under his terms. I know from experiance, my rottweiler who was socalised to the nines, became a fear agressive dog after an overnight stay at our local vet, the fear only grew after a stay at a local kennel the day my oldest was born.

    Finally and most important, get your dog into a group obediance class, this will allow you to train and socalise your dog under controled conditions with the kind of stimulas that you can control. I have a friend and a member on this board who breeds paps and lost one recently do to a simple head trama, an incident like the one you had could end up costing your dog his life. Small dog owners have to be especially responsible for their dogs as they are more agressive and more unpredictable simply because small dog owners seem to not put in as much training as large dog owners, you sound like you've done a lot of training, remember your dog and every dog should be an ambassador to their breed and if the dog reacts badly to any given situation, we should take the steps to avoid those situations that puts our dog into danger of hurting themselves or someone else, and in the mean time go back to basic training to try and curb the behaviour.
    The reason dogs are great is they wag their tails, not their tongues.


    • #3
      thank you for your advice.
      the thing is , is that hes fine off the lead, he runs up to everyone and every dog to say hello, and isnt scared of anything.
      it is literally only when hes being held or when some one tries to pick him up.
      I dont agree with keeping dogs on leads, unless they are agressive obviously, and i want people to be able to pick him up and cuddle him if they want as this is a nice gesture..
      he is very well trained and very well socialised from a very young age, so i cant see why hes taken a disliking to being picked up.
      legs like a dolly