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Ugh. I have a little rant here, please bear with me :). When my boyfriend or I have guests over, they always want to play with Lion. We tried to socialize him a lot when he was younger by bringing him everywhere and introducing him to a lot of people. However, guests that come over don't seem to understand that Lion is a little nervous of new people in his home. He likes to approach them on his own and sniff them out, and then usually will make friends. We had guests over last night who would not leave him alone (even after I put him in my lap to get him away from them!). He growled in fear at them and they would chase him, "growl" back, and pester him to the point where he tried to bite one of them (He has NEVER tried to bite anyone before!). I do not want him to develop fear of new people, but it seems like no matter what I say people will still try to touch him and bother him. I also don't want him to have to sit in another room or something when people come over. What can I do? How would you flat out say to "leave my dog alone?". Help please :(
 

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Well... I'm kind of a ((unspayed female dog)) and I have NO problem telling people 'leave my dog alone.' But that's not exactly nice lol.

I don't know how old your boyfriend is, but his friends sound just as immature as some of the guys that show up here with the growling back and pestering him. I would just confront the people AS SOON as they show up; explain you're trying a 'new' training procedure (they don't have to know) where they are instructed to play "the ignore game" (trust me it sounds stupid but well.. most boys are stupid =P). Just tell them you want him to understand that all of THEM are in charge, and he is NOT allowed to demand their attention. Guys love a power trip and will take any advantage to prove that they're alpha.. =p After a while once he's actually warmed up to the people, you can just have them reward him with treats (or if they don't want to, you can do it too). Usually by that point the guys will have lost interest.

Guys are like puppies... they just need training, and even still you sometimes get a biter.... =P

EDIT:
And just to add, while I get that you want him to be safe so you put him on your lap; that's actually reinforcing his behavior. I totally get that you can't just put him on the ground because everyone else will just be making it worse by nagging him; but separating him in a different room might be the best thing for his safety. If you can't get the people to listen, it's kind of hard to be able to trust having your dog around them. Socializing is excellent but it needs to be done in the right environment, and if they're not doing anything to help him it might just be more detrimental than anything else. =( You'll just have to weigh the options.. if you think these guys will respect what you say and HELP him then by ALL means let them. But if you think they wont and will just keep making things worse, it's better for your pup to be safely away from it...
 

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Haha. He is 22, I am almost 20 and yes a few of his friends are immature. We both agreed we do not want people to act like that around Lion, we just weren't sure how to go about it. One of his friends even said "NO Lion, stop growling" when he was in my lap as they were trying to pet him. And that point I just took him and moved to the other side of the room. I will try the ignore game, thanks :)
 

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We have one who is really shy. When we are outside with her if people insist on being in her face when she is sending all kinds of messages that she is not comfortable with that, I hand our social butterfly to my husband and I take our shy one inside.

If people cannot understand (or are immature), I feel like not subjecting her to them. Exposure to people is different. We expose them both to lots of people, places and things.

It was the same with my children. There were frankly some people that they just were better to not to be around. I suppose you could think of it in those terms. If Lion were a baby would you tolerate people getting in his face and mimicking his cry or telling him to stop crying? I am old and not as polite/patient as I used to be so I would not.
 

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I have no problem telling them, Hey, you are scaring my dog and you are not helping in me getting my dog to trust people, in fact, the way you are behaving is harmful for his wellbeing. But then, I have always been blunt. And if they don't listen, I agree, take the dog out of the situation for his sake. I have a few very socialized dogs, but even with them, if they get uncomfortable, I will take them out of the situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice guys. I think I will just tell guests that he needs to be left alone until he feels like approaching anyone. If anyone tries to pester him, I will plan on taking him to another room and playing with him or giving him a bone. It is, after all, MY dog and my house!
 

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You go, girl! It IS your dog and your house, and YOUR rules! I have several family members who are simply not mature enough to interact with my dogs - one of them is 58! - so my dogs are crated in another room when they are around (fortunately, not often, since they live far away).

Once, that particular family member upset Kali so badly that she vomited. He asked, "Did I make her do that?" I replied, "You make everybody do that." I guess I'm an "unspayed female dog," too LOL!
 

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Once, that particular family member upset Kali so badly that she vomited. He asked, "Did I make her do that?" I replied, "You make everybody do that." I guess I'm an "unspayed female dog," too LOL!
Haha! Too funny!

I highly doubt anyone would tolerate ME growling at, chasing, and terrifying their 50 lb. dog, so why would anyone do it to mine? Some people just don't get it...:confused:
 

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I guess I'm an "unspayed female dog," too LOL!
Sometimes, ya just hafta be. ^_^ LOL

And Missy I can totally relate then, I'm 24 and theres often a LOT of people at our house. I socialized Kahlua really well but now when new people come over (and I'm totally serious) she runs around frantically until she finds her snuggle bear and THEN will proceed to approach the new person and climb all over them if they'll let her. Why she must show the bear or have the bear in her mouth during in the process I will never know.. =P
 

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Well... I'm kind of a ((unspayed female dog)) and I have NO problem telling people 'leave my dog alone.' But that's not exactly nice lol.
I'm with you on this one! Just lay down the law, and say it like you mean it.

Some people (for some strange reason that is beyond me) find it entertaining to encounter a tiny little dog that fights back. It's like leaving your child with a 'bad' sitter who doesn't care what they do, so they begin to think any behavior is acceptable.

With Pedro, I'll warn you once that he will bite you. He'll warn you the second time. For some reason, his point always gets across, if mine doesn't. Of course, I'd never do that with a child! But adults are supposed to behave like adults.
 

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I wouldnt have this problem either. I wouldnt have anyone round my house who teased or tormented my pets, not more then once anyways!!
Have you considered setting up a crate where Lion can feel safe and making sure nobody pesters him there?? Then he would have a safe zone other then your lap. (you dont want his growling on your lap to turn into guarding behaviour).
 

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Yeah, I'll join in with my fellow b!tches and say that I follow the same line with my dogs that I did when my kids lived at home and had friends over. "My house = My rules!" And my rules include that you DON'T mess with my dogs unless I say you can. I have that rule with friends, with my grandkids, with anyone who comes over.

The lure of two very tiny, very cute, very friendly little chihuahuas is very hard to resist, I completely get that. I'm with them 24/7 and it's hard sometimes to remember, that to people who aren't familiar with them, they are completely unique and fascinating and different and unusual, and so of COURSE they're going to want to get up close and personal. I get that. But still, it's my house, so my rules apply. And those rules include not chasing the dogs. Not picking them up until you get permission. Not giving them treats without my OK. And a variety of other things.

This is where their crates come in VERY handy. If I have ANY reservations about the way folks might behave (usually someone who's never been here before so I'm not sure how they're going to be) I just tell the dogs "in your crate!" and there they stay till I can be right there when someone wants to see and interact with them.

For their own safety, I will also crate them if I'm having a lot of people over (like seasonal celebrations for example when the family plus S.O.'s plus grandkids etc is here) because it's all too easy for them to accidentally get underfoot. Or for someone to sit on them when they plop down on the couch and the dogs are burrowed under a blanket. It's second nature to me to ALWAYS check before I sit. But folks who don't live with them don't know that, and even though they're told, it's easy to forget.

I hate to say it, but by expecting the worst of people in relation to my dogs, and planning for that, I'm able to keep them safe.
 

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I tell them to stop Sometimes as much as you dont want to you have to bite there heads off.. Quark is sensitive like that too.. I have had to snap at a few people.
 

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I honestly don't think anyone here is being bitchy when they say leave my dogs alone.

I've come across the same thing, my OHs best friend is no exaggeration 6'6" and he has a VERY loud personality and it terrifies Godric to no end. Truthfully Godric is afraid of everything, but when Godric was a pup the friend "barked" back at him and it's ruined him for being civil with him, i've just accepted he'll never be comfortable around him so he has to be in my lap whenever he's around, which isn't too often thankfully.

My mom has two big dogs and she has no problem telling people right off the bat to leave them alone, her boy dog has an attitude problem and the last thing she wants is for him to have a bad hair day so I guess I just took from her que and told people to leave mine alone off the get-go unless they approach them first, as Gretel often does.
 

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LOOOL! That just made my day! haha

Well, I have a friend who is quite big, and he has a cat and as he puts it 'he likes to man handle his pets because they are not wimps and they can take it'
But whenever he is at ours I first try to give him a VERY dirty look if he is being rough with my pooches, and if he doesn't get the hint then I always ask him to treat them more gently. Sometimes I have even had to tell him to go sit on the couch and just leave them alone when he just doesn't get it... but then I make him a nice cup of tea as a bribe so he doesn't get offended LOL
But hey, thats my way of dealing with it

I do definitely think that you should say something because you don't want your chihuahua to develop bad habits

You go, girl! It IS your dog and your house, and YOUR rules! I have several family members who are simply not mature enough to interact with my dogs - one of them is 58! - so my dogs are crated in another room when they are around (fortunately, not often, since they live far away).

Once, that particular family member upset Kali so badly that she vomited. He asked, "Did I make her do that?" I replied, "You make everybody do that." I guess I'm an "unspayed female dog," too LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just a quick update- we had another guest over last night who is 6 feet + tall and Lion was scared of him. However, we asked him to just ignore Lion and eventually he was sitting in his lap and playing! I don't think any damage was done when they terrified him the other night, thankfully. He is still a little scared of kids, but whenever we are around them I tell them not to chase or pet him and just let him come up to them. Works every time! :) Thank you for all of the advice.
 

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Oh, yes, don't be shy about telling people to leave your dog alone! I have a Bichon who is a therapy dog and he is the sweetest, most gentle little guy you could ever hope to meet. But, I stay close to him and keep a hand on him, just in case one of the children we visit gets in his face or pets him too hard or does anything to make him uncomfortable. I don't want him to ever have a bad experience while we're doing the therapy dog thing. Some of the little kids try to hug him too tight or stick fingers in his ears, eyes, or mouth, or walk up too close to him and he thinks he's going to get stepped on. (We usually sit in the floor.) I never tell him no if he wants to move away or if he gets uncomfortable and wants to sit on my lap.

My Chi, Lavender, is very pretty and everyone who meets her immediately wants to touch her or hold her. I always stop them and insist on a gentle greeting and let Lavender decide when she's ready to be cuddled. She loves attention and enjoys being petted and cuddled, but I make sure she's comfortable with it first.

We're the ones who have to look out for these little ones and see that they aren't frightened or injured. I don't have any hesitation at all about it!

Jeanette
 

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You go, girl! It IS your dog and your house, and YOUR rules! I have several family members who are simply not mature enough to interact with my dogs - one of them is 58! - so my dogs are crated in another room when they are around (fortunately, not often, since they live far away).

Once, that particular family member upset Kali so badly that she vomited. He asked, "Did I make her do that?" I replied, "You make everybody do that." I guess I'm an "unspayed female dog," too LOL!

Oh my goodness, you made me laugh out loud! Sounds like something I would say. I agree your home=your rules, and even better, it's Lion's home, too, and he has the right to feel safe there!

Good for you to want to stand up for him. When I first read your post, I thought, "Jeez! Just tell them to knock it off!" but then I thought back to when I was 20, and I'm not sure I would have known how to react. It's situations like these that teach us, too!

Good luck!!!
 

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all our dogs hate my husbands best friend
hes big over 6ft and has a "different" voice
he is irish but his voice is funny.
from hubbys akitas to mindy, they hate him and he would know the
akitas. he always says the same thing, "what are they
barking at" you ya dope!!! maybe its because you tried to force
their butts down when you meet them first. trying to make them sit.
i will not crate mine when he comes over now, and i swear,im living for the day
someone pees on him.he says his lab is the smartest dog ever, maybe its
because he feeds crap food to it, supermarket stuff, PC.
 

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When Lola was less than a year old, we took her to the dog park, and a women reached down to pick her up and held her against her chest - well, she didn't hold her, and Lola jumped and fell to the ground from over 5 feet.
The sound of her hitting the ground still makes me physically ill.

Thankfully she was fine, but I can't stop thinking of how differently that moment could have been...a broken leg or worse... and now if anyone looks like they are thinking about picking up one of the Chi's, I shout and curse and leave them stunned long enough to swoop up the dog up before they can catch their breath.

When it comes to my dogs and people....the hell with people.

"Better to ask forgiveness than permission' as the saying goes.
Be a bitch first, and protect your dog. You can always apologize later.
 
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