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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Snapping

We hosted a Grey Cup party yesterday (yeah Stamps!) with about 15 adults and 12 kids. All was going great. Mojo stuck pretty close to me like always. I was talking to a friend (who has a dog) and she was petting Mojo for a few minutes. She went to pet him again and he snapped at her! I was so embarrassed. I said "no" and put him down on the floor. What else should I do? He has done this one other time to a child that wouldn't leave him alone. He gave her a warning, but she didn't listen. This time there was NO warning growl! It shocks me that my cuddly, friendly Hav can act that way!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 01:25 PM
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I think you handled it as I would have - a stern 'no' and back on the floor. Other than that, I dont' know. Ricky will sometimes snap too and it's always when he feels he's been backed into a corner. It's usually towards another dog that he'll do this, though. I think it's out of fear, so other than getting him into as many different social situations as possible so he can then be used to almost everything, I dont' know what else one can do.




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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 01:25 PM
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Oh.... and phooey on the Stamps winning yesterday.




Hello. My name is marj and I have MHS.




"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Mahatma Gandhi

“Come to the edge, he said. They said: We are afraid. Come to the edge, he said. They came. He pushed them and they flew.” -Guillaume Apollinaire"
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 01:38 PM
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Small dogs don't have too many defensive moves and when they are backed into a corner or being held they don't have any way of letting people or other dogs know that they have had enough. I think that small dogs should spend most of their time on the ground being dogs. I have a hard time with this as they can be so cuddly but I have turned my toy poodle into a snapper, she is a fearful dog to begin with so I picked her up when she was feeling afraid or I thought she was. She now snaps frequently at kids people and other dogs. If she is in biting distance of big dogs they quite often get a bite on their face even when they are just being curious. She is so tiny that she causes no damage except for hurt feelings.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 04:55 PM
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I had a wonderful English Cocker who only snapped once in his life. We were at the Vet's office & the Vet came in and started to pet George while he was on my lap (the dog, not the vet!). The Vet said that George was stressed & protecting me. As I said this was the only time he snapped. Could your Havanese have been protecting you?

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 06:56 PM
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sounds like he needs more socializing. Anytime someone comes to your house have them feed him some good treats. Simple classical conditioning helps them associate new people ,or dogs as a good thing. Have you ever reprimanded him for growling? If so do not do this as this is their warning system . Get him used to petting while he is eating. Tell others that petting is ok but a lot of dogs feel threatened if you go to pet them over their head. And a lot of dogs do not like to be hugged especially by strangers. People have to realize that when they want to pet someone's dog that you have to let the dog come to you and slowly let the dog get used to you before you even think of petting them. It is possible that he was fine the first time she petted him but that the second time she startled him therefore there was no time for the growl. just a reflex action. When petting someones dog watch for signs of nervousness. If the dog is panting, flicking its tongue or turning away these are calming signals or appeasement signs that the dog is not comfortable with it.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 07:13 PM
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Posh used to growl/snap at other dogs when she was on my lap, I think not because she was being "protective" of me but more like she was "claiming" me.

Now that I have established a pack order in my house with me on top...she does not growl or snap ever on my lap at dogs or humans.

Dale once posted about her past history with a pomeranian, I think, who loved Dale as a "favorite bone" vs. the alpha leader. She wasn't going to make this mistake again with Cicero...I really truly think this is what is going on with Mojo. Remember, although he is in an adorable happy havanese body he is still a dog who needs to know you are the leader and that he can take his cue to protect from you, that you can handle the situation, that he doesn't have to.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 08:59 PM
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Henry snaps/growls abruptly when he is startled out of sleep.

at this point I think it is his normal reaction so I do not discipline, I just roll my eyes at him on this.

Both me and the cat get that treatment from him if we wake him. ugh.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-25-2008, 03:41 PM
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I think there were a lot of things going on .. the protection factor ,overstimulation .. not to mention bad manners on the part of your friend ... DId you see the tape on the Presidents dog snapping at the reporter ..
Dogs do not like hands and fingers in their face .. I do not know how your friend approached the dog but it was probably perceived as threatening move by your dog .. Remember dogs perceive things differently .. It was not an OK move in your dogs mind ..
Dogs do not approach one another head on .. They approach one another to the side and sometimes turn their head so as not to appear threatening ..
If they come at you full bore watch out //
Cesar says it all the time ..
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-25-2008, 04:11 PM
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We were at a lecture on Being a Pack Leader last spring and had MacGyver with us. He was asleep under my chair. The instructor came over and dragged him to the front of the room to use as a demonstration. She asked him to sit, then, without waiting, pushed on his rear. he turned around and snapped at her. She then did this over and over, then made him sit on a table. She told us we had a "dangerous dog" and we should never let him sit in our laps. Needless to say, we were very upset. She said we should keep him away from children, although he is wonderful with young kids and has never tried to snap at them. He does growl when we wake him (to go to bed) but its more grumpy than anything. We watched him carefully for a while after that experience but haven't seen anything like that since.

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