He has nipped when space invaded

Published by Theo Stewart on

Milo’s Story – his ‘Help Me Help My Dog’ online consultation.

Poor Milo isn’t well at the moment.

A couple of weeks ago he had an ear infection that resulted in him snapping at the gentleman when he tried to look in his ear. He then snapped at the vet.

Milo’s still not right and is very lethargic.

Tolerating his space invaded.

My guess is that Milo usually just tolerates his space invaded, but when his stress levels are high, when he’s tired or when he doesn’t feel well he may snap.

Over the months he has learnt that his early warnings aren’t heeded. Looking away, stillness and hard eyes haven’t always been taken seriously particularly by the young daughter.

Growling hasn’t worked.

The only thing left for him to do is to snap.

The fact he eventually snaps when things have got too much indicates that, even when he’s calm, he probably doesn’t particularly like his space invaded.

They will give Milo choice.

Here is a good video: Does your dog really want to be petted?

Mum may feel like a cuddle and go over to Milo to pick him. On one occasion he snapped at her.

He has snapped when someone has manhandled him off somewhere when he has been sleeping – or ‘forced’ cuddling on him.

If they want a cuddle, they will now hang back, lower themselves and invite him to them. He then has a choice. If he comes (and he probably will when given freedom to choose) then it’s willingly.

I would suggest nobody picks Milo up at all unless they really have to.

A week later: We’re sitting down today to rewatch the Zoom as a refresher. We found it really useful, your style was exactly what we were looking for (supportive, practical, informative, not judgy). We’ve all already started making changes, giving Milo more space and listening to his body language and vocal cues too. He’s got his growl back, which we’re not shutting down, and allowing him to speak his mind! We’ve had no biting issues. 

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