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QUESTION: I'm working on 9 straight hours of crying from my miniature Poodle. A lityle over a week ago my husband died. But I don't think that's the problem.  My dog has gotten "weird" over a few people here and there. Its like he's all over them. He'll grow if you go to take him away from them.  Today, my nephew was over and my dog was like that with him. He was running around chasing him everywhere,  playing. When he left,  my dog had nonstop cried since. Seriously,  nonstop. This behavior has always been with blood relatives before do I thought it might be a scent thing. But my nephew is step. I need hrlp, he's driv just ng ne insane!

ANSWER: Hi,
I am so sorry to hear about your husband.  This is a bad time for you and I think, your little poodle as well.  Poodles are very smart and intuitive.  He is feeling everyone;s stress, especially your's at this time of grieving.  He is also grieving and when someone he is having fun with him, then leaves, he is afraid they are not coming back, like your husband.  I would suggest for this time period that you get a mild sedative from the vet to give him.

Also when you have children over don't let them play too much with him as he will miss them when they leave.  He sounds like he has a wonderful personality.  Instead of taking him away from them, have them give him to you, that way there is no argument between you and your dog.

You may want to put him in another room if he gets too excited if that helps you out.  When a dog gets excited, he doesn't always have control over himself.

After things calm down a bit.  Start teaching him sit, down, and stay.  Once he has these commands down, use them when people come in so he knows you are in control and he doesn't have to get anxious.

nancy

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Nancy, Thank you so much for your timely response. Apparently, it wasn't only once that this happened yesterday.  My husband's son is still staying with me. His girlfriend was spending the night. Early this morning I sent the dog out of my room. (Around 3AM). Stepson and GF (first time the dog saw the GF) were downstairs so they took him out to pry.  My dog whined to the GF so she picked him up. He got extremely possesive over the GF and aggressively growled at my stepson when he got close.  My dog is still going crazy trying to get to her. Still doing the crying. According to what I've read it's a "I want/I need" whine. He is finally calming down a little after giving him a Benadryl.

I'm considering not allowing anyone that my dog does not already know into my home for the time being.  Do you think that would be a good idea since he only seems to do it with strangers?  He knows and usually follows rules. No, sit, stay, down. He's 12 years old.

Thanks in advance for your reply.

Angie

Answer
Hi,
I still think a lot of this is escalated due to stress in the house and how busy it is with everyone visiting.  The possessiveness , however, is something else.  That is because he feels he is the boss.  You need to take charge of him.  When he growls, you need to have the girl stand up and you need to stand next to her and take possession of her by getting between her and the dog.  Then tell the dog to go to his bed or lie down and not let him near the girl.  Take charge of your dog and INSIST that he behave and YOU call the shots... The whining is stress, the growl is him trying to be boss.  It all kind of comes together because the stress can cause him to want to take charge if no one seems to be in charge (according to how he sees it) so you have to be sure he understands that you are in charge.  That way he can relax and calm down.  The benadryl is a good idea, but you might need something a little different.  A vet can prescribe something like a prozac etc. temporarily.  It is a trying time and if keeping strangers out helps you, then do it, but think of long term also.  It might be easier to put the dog in another room rather than have consequences of not allowing someone in; only you know what that will be.

nancy

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Nancy Perry

Expertise

You can ask me anything on dog training, dog breeding, dog grooming. What type of dog you should get. Pertinent facts about different breeds. I am also specifically knowledgeable about terriers and the diets that help maintain coat excellence. I have trained and helped owners train their dogs.

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I have worked in dog training for 35 years. I have been a dog groomer for 25 years..

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Certified trainer with Petsmart Certified Groomer with Petsmart

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approximatedly 2 to three hundred clients since 1993

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