|Barked: Wed Jan 16, '13 10:12am PST |
|Totally agree with previous posters. I know it's really unpleasant the first time your dog does something like that. You're going, but wait, aren't you my little baby?! You snuggle in my lap, bring me your squeaky toys when I'm sad, and run in joyous circles when I get home. What the HECK is this?! But truthfully, little problems like this crop up with all dogs. If you don't panic about it and use some simple counterconditioning, and do a tiny bit of followup (you may only need to give treats 1 in 10 times, 8 weeks from now) you'll be amazed how quickly it resolves. I do a little happy dance when people ask for help right away, because it is just soooooooo much easier to change new behaviors. The problem is that a lot of people start yelling, using shock collars or other pain, do nothing and pray it stops happening by divine intervention, or have some crazy mixed reaction (they shove the dog off the couch, you know, unless they're feeling kind of needy that day, and then they cuddle and kiss the dog, and succeed in confusing the everloving heck out of it). Growling when being moved is a really common problem. It especially seems to happen with little dogs, where perhaps it wasn't bred out as rigorously because it isn't seen as so threatening from a 15-pound ball of fluff.
I'll throw in just a simple game of "find it". I really like this, because it creates a positive association while also distracting the dog until the unpleasant thing is over with. You can just keep a little container of tiny pieces of something delicious (slim jim works well, but there are other options with less junk in them) next to the couch, and when hubby approaches, scatter a few far and wide and cheerfully yell "find it!" This gets puppy off the couch with no histrionics and makes him see hubby's approach as a good thing.
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