Min Pin

Posted by Samantha
Jan 18, 2011
I have a spayed 3 year old female min pin named Britney. I got her about 2 years ago from the SPCA and therefore do not know anything about the first year of her life. She lives with my boyfriend and me and loves us both but I am definitely the preferred. She has a terrible problem with all other dogs. Every time she comes into contact with any dog no matter how big or small she barks, growls and even snaps. The other dogs always just ignore her but one day she is going to get bitten my a big dog and it may be fatal. It has gotten so bad that we cant take her to friends houses anymore as she will just bark the entire evening. It is very embarrassing. Now she has started biting people. If someone comes to our house as they are walking away she goes for their feet. She will either bite their shoes or bottom of their pants. The other day we were at my sister's house and she actually bit my 7 year old niece. She was sitting on my lap and my niece just walked past and she bit her on the leg and actually drew blood. When things like this happen I give her a little smack on the bum, say firmly no! But no matter how many times I do that she continues to bark, growl etc. She recently spent an entire weekend with three other dogs and it went on the whole time. She did not get use to them. To make matters worse the other night Britney and I were sleeping in bed and my boyfriend came to bed later in the evening and when he tried to get on the bed she went for him. We could not believe it as she has always loved him. Well she did not get to sleep on the bed that night! I dont know how to resolve this problem. Any one who can help shed some light please...........
Posted by KOPCaroline
Jan 19, 2011
Hi Samantha,

It sounds to me as though Britney has bonded way more with you than anyone else, and is becoming protectively aggressive over you. This can be pretty common with this kind and breed of dog, small dogs especially tend to bond to only one person and become protective of them.

As far as your boyfriend, he needs to work on alpha training with Britney. That is, he should start feeding her and giving her treats and toys, he should walk her, he should basically take most of the responsibilities associated with Britney for a while, so that she learns to look at him as a caregiver and someone that is over her in the sense that he is where food comes from, he is who lets her out to toilet, etc. He should also discipline her (giving her no commands, etc), but you should help if she acts up towards him (if she growls, you both say no, so that she learns from you as well to listen to your boyfriend). And you did exactly the right thing to kick her off the bed when she went for him as he tried to get in! Keep that sort of discipline up!

For other dogs, have you considered a muzzle or an anti-bark collar like a citronella collar (doesn't hurt the dog!)? Just for starters, until she learns not to react to other dogs. I wouldnt recommend off lead playing around other dogs until she does calm down.

When you walk Britney, bring treats, and anytime another dog approaches, have her sit and focus on you. Keep giving her commands, or simply as her to "watch" you. Anything to keep her looking at you, and hopefully ignoring the other dog. As long as she ignores, praise her and give her treats, keeping her attention until the other dog is out of range.

Try and teach her to bark on command; this can help teach dogs not to bark unless they are given the command to, because they get treats when they do it when asked, and are told "no" when they do it otherwise.

For both the barking and aggressive attention to other dogs, if she absolutely won't respond or pay attention to you at first, try startling her while she's acting up. Yell loudly, stomp and clap, put rocks in a can or bottle and shake it. Startling a dog is a good way to get them to associate the unwanted behaviour with a less than pleasant stimulus, therefor coaxing them into not doing the unwanted behaviour. And its a good stepping stone for getting her to respond to "watch me" while you're out, if she won't listen at first.

Once she starts to settle down, try pairing her up with a friends dog (one who is patient!). Take them on walks together, have play dates, etc. Get her comfortable with this dog, then gradually re-introduce her to your other friends' dogs and the park if you take her there.

You can also talk to your vet about anti-anxiety medications or pheromones for your house to help her calm down if she just won't otherwise and she keeps acting out against your boyfriend.

I hope this helps, I'm sure with patience and love she'll learn to cope better with other dogs and other people interacting with you and her. Let us know how Britney progresses!