A Min Pin Of Mettle

Thursday, September 11, 2008

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“I have a 3 year old Miniature Pinscher. She goes out by herself to do her business, but as soon as I close the door she comes running to the door. How do I get her to do her business outside instead of her coming in and later pooping in the house?

Also, she follows me around the house wherever I go. I often wonder why. When she was small she slept in my bed with me. And how can I stop her from biting anyone that comes in the house? She hasn't yet, but I have to put her in my room whenever I have someone over. It's a real inconvenience. How do I stop her aggression? Is it possible for her to be more friendly to strangers? Even if someone is walking on the sidewalk she'll bark at them. I hope you point me in the right direction. Thank you.”

- Miniature Pinscher Owner


Pinscher Dog

You have a list of behavioral issues that cannot be dealt with all at once. First, realize that a dog needs someone to look up to and respect. Unfortunately, many owners seem to not have the situation at hand towards their dog’s requirements and then this breeds disfunction.

Concerning the house training, your problem is a dog who is afraid to be outside on its own and with this won’t go to the bathroom outdoors as the dog is too apprehensive to put itself in a vulnerable position.

From what you stated in your letter, this issue has been bred right from the beginning as many owners, when they acquire a dog, the dog or puppy is in its highest level of stress and insecurity. All the affection and attention given during this time builds anxiety in the dog, and now the dog in its mind feels that if it exhibits anxious, impatient or stressed behavior, it will then get affection. And thus the nasty spin and “dirty water” inventory begins.

Through the course of time as the puppy gets older, its inability to deal with issues becomes a predominant behavior. The dog follows you not with confidence but with obsession. Again this is the inability to cope. Moreover, the obsession - due to lack of confidence - now becomes aggression. The problem is the dog does not know what a leader is and is constantly looking for one. This is where many owners need to begin the process of doing their job.

The dog defecating in the house makes one confused and  frustrated (understandably so). However, in the dog’s mind your anger/frustration comes off as aggression and therefore it cannot trust you to lead and keep it safe. This breeds the need to overprotect itself, the home and you, of course.

Basically you need to start over as if you just got this dog as a new puppy. Do you use a crate ? I would advise you to get one. (Min Pins need a 24” crate. If you get one too big, the dog will learn to circle and get anxious.) Based on the dog’s issues I would advise you to seek help. Be very careful as to whom you seek; not everyone has a perspective on curing a dog with these problems. They tend to focus on the dog. I work on detecting/curing the root of the problem of the dog’s owners.

The good news is it can be cured or straightened out. The key is to look at ourselves and realize that as owners we are the ones who perpetuate our dogs’ behaviors.

For now, have a read of these articles:

These may help you reach an understanding as to what is going on and how we unfortunately feed the problems.

I can help you and solve the issue, and again, there is a long list of problems that need to be worked through. By being taught how to be a strong and benevolent leader to your dog, in a lot of cases, the problems do begin to change for the better.

- Sam

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