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I have a dog training problem that I could use some help solving. When my niece left home she decided she had to get a puppy. She had never raised a dog before and had never even lived in a home with a dog really (my sister is not an animal person - go figure!). So of course she went to a backyard breeder in Oregon and got a Lhasa Apso puppy because they are cute.

Fast forward 8 years. Now it is an 8 year old Lhasa Apso that bites people whenever they do anything to it that it doesn't want done. This dog is petrified of other dogs, it can't even go in with the other dogs for playtime at Petsmart when they board it there. I have insisted it learn to be around Rocky so now it tolerates being with him. (Rocky is so mellow with other dogs that it really wasn't hard for it to learn to be with him.)

My niece moved away a few months ago and left the dog with my sister. She can only do certain things to the dog or else it bites her. For awhile she couldn't even put a leash on it so I showed her the old 'loop the leash around the neck' trick and then hold the dogs head away from you while you pick it up. Once the dog is on the table, she is practicing brushing it and trying to handle it but it is snapping more and biting at her more.

Next month I have to watch this dog in my house for three weeks while my sister goes to Europe.

So, how do I train this dog? How can I teach my sister to train this dog when she has never really owned a dog in her life? How can you use positive training on a nasty little 8 year old dog that is biting you when all your instincts want to smack it :biggrin: I've actually tried a few times using positive training and treats and it will grab the treat and growl at me. It knows the commands sit, and lay down and will do them for me. It understands perfectly, and it will do them and get the treats and then growl and snap. If you pet it on it's head and stroke it too far down it's back, it will bite you. If you go near it's treat or chew bone, it will bite you. If you try and put a leash on it, it will bite you. Forget about putting eye drops in its eyes or anything like that. I"ve always raised dogs from puppies and I"ve had a growling Lhasa but she was 8 weeks old and I took care of that long before it ever became a problem.

I told her yesterday to take the dog to a trainer. But I get the dog in a month for three weeks at my house so is there a book I can get her in the meantime and are there suggestions for what I can do with it at my house? I'm not sure exactly how I"m suppose to live with it for three weeks with my other dogs and she can't afford to put it in a kennel for three weeks - my first thought.
 

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So, how do I train this dog?
The problems you describe with this dog are not training problems. They are behavior problems. They are much more complicated to handle. For example, the dog already knows how to "not bite". You have to modify it's behavior to not to want to bite and thats not nearly as simple as teaching "sit".

How can I teach my sister to train this dog when she has never really owned a dog in her life?
With this dog, she doesn't stand a chance. She needs a good qualified certified behaviorist. Frankly I don't think she cares enough to go to the trouble to work on these problems.

How can you use positive training on a nasty little 8 year old dog that is biting you when all your instincts want to smack it :biggrin: I've actually tried a few times using positive training and treats and it will grab the treat and growl at me. It knows the commands sit, and lay down and will do them for me. It understands perfectly, and it will do them and get the treats and then growl and snap. If you pet it on it's head and stroke it too far down it's back, it will bite you. If you go near it's treat or chew bone, it will bite you. If you try and put a leash on it, it will bite you. Forget about putting eye drops in its eyes or anything like that. I"ve always raised dogs from puppies and I"ve had a growling Lhasa but she was 8 weeks old and I took care of that long before it ever became a problem.
This dog is a perfect canidate for very strict NILIF. If you don't know the term, google it and you will learn more than you want to know. :smile:

I told her yesterday to take the dog to a trainer. But I get the dog in a month for three weeks at my house ...
Lucky you!! :biggrin:

so is there a book I can get her in the meantime and are there suggestions for what I can do with it at my house?
I would study and understand the principles of NILIF. It's going to be all this dog will understand considering his breeding and upbringing.

I'm not sure exactly how I"m suppose to live with it for three weeks with my other dogs and she can't afford to put it in a kennel for three weeks - my first thought.
It's not going to be easy. I would get a large crate and use it A LOT!
 

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I thought about NILIF for this dog. I don't know a whole lot about it because I use clickers and treats but I will start researching it now. I have a medium dog size crate and will use it for this dog. It has never been crated in it's life but there's always a first time for everything. Unfortunately this is my OLDER sister so I have a hard time convincing her that anything I tell her is right. Maybe once she gets enough teeth marks in her, she'll start to listen to me:biggrin: Thanks for the ideas.
 
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