How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question

Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 18809
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
Type Your Dog Training Question Here...
Jane Lefler is online now

I have had my dog months. he was 10 months old when we

Resolved Question:

I have had my dog for 9 months. he was 10 months old when we got him. He is a cross Pomeranian and shiatsu apparently. We cant do anything with him as he will not let us touch him. He is terrified if I put my hand towards him and runs off. When Ive tried to catch him he has become so distressed he has turned and tried to bite me. He also wee's and poo's in his distress. He is happy to come to me and sit beside me. He is however hyper alert to any move I make in case I try to touch him. He has never been to a vet or on a walk. I hoped giving him time would work but it has not. He gets on really well with my other dog a back lab.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi JaCustomer,
My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.
So he hasn't had a vet visit since you have had him?
Does he have a collar on or harness?
How did you manage to get him?
Where does he defecate and urinate if you can not take him for a walk?
He lets you give him treats, correct?
It sounds like you allow him on the furniture as well?
Do you have a crate and will he go into it?
do you know his past at all?
Do you know if he has ever had any training?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No he has never been to the vet although the vet knows off him,

He does not have a collar or harness. We did catch him oce and put collar on but it became loose and he got it off.

His previous owner a dog breeder brought him to us.

He does wee's and poo's in the garden........occasionally in the house.

Yes he will take treats from my hand.

He is allowed on the sofa.

I have never tried him with a crate

He was one of about 14 dogs, older than puppies this lady was giving away

I don't think he has ever had training... He copies the lab when I say sit.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful. If at all possible, try to get a harness on him and a leash. You may need to work him into a corner and toss a blanket over him, but he is going to need to be seen by a vet so he needs to have a harness that he can not get off and a leash. Once on, leave it on for now. You might even leash him to your other dog for a portion of the time.
What he needs is some obedience training. The leash would be nice but you can start even before you get a leash on him. The following site is helpful for teaching you how to train your dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
He shouldn't be on the couch or furniture. I know this is going to be hard for you because that is the only time you get to have contact with him. Dogs that are allowed on furniture (even if put on the furniture) tend to feel that since they are elevated to your level or higher if on your lap, they mentally feel elevated as well in the pack order and thus are the boss. Keeping them on the floor can help lower them mentally back to a submissive position in the pack. So the first thing is to not allow him higher that the humans or even on the same level. He will need to have the leash attached for this part. You will use it to remove him from the furniture. Give a correction in the form of a quick tug and firm "NO" when he attempts to get on and a treat when he starts not trying to get on the furniture. Thus you are providing negative reinforcement for the getting on the furniture and positive reinforcement for the desired behavior (not attempting to get on the furniture). Hot dog slivers make great treats for formal training since most dogs love them.
Training works by helping the dog understand that when you say specific words, you expect him to do specific things. This helps a dog gain self confidence and not be as fearful. It will also establish you as the boss and as the boss, he should not be reprimanding you by biting you. In addition, no one should lean over him. This is seen as a dominant gesture. Petting on top of the head can also be seen as dominant and even aggressive. I would suggest trying to touch the chest instead. He may allow that easier and once he finds that it is enjoyable, he may let you pet him other places.
He might never LIKE being petted. He really sounds like he was never socialized at all even with his previous owner which is a shame. He may never be comfortable around people but with obedience training, you can control him, leash him and at least get him to the vet. You should have him neutered too! That often helps their behavior as well.
A DAP collar might also help. They use pheromones similar to ones a mom emits to calm her nursing pups. It helps with anxiety issues which may be contributing to his anti-social behavior. Once you can actually take him out of the house on a leash which is likely to be months from now, start taking him to areas where there are a number of people. Don't let the people interact with him. Tell them he is in training, but let him see that you are protecting him by keeping them away. You are the known factor, so this will draw him closer to you which may lead to him allowing physical contact..
I don't normally suggest tranquilizers but they may come in handy for this situation initially to show him that your touch is not causing him pain. If it causes him undue anxiety though, you won't want to traumatize him even more. You may need to just take them very slowly. Just do not let him control you by nipping at you. You might get some leather gloves that come up high on the arms so you don't have to worry about bites. If you are more confident, he won't be trying to bite you as often.
I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 18809
Experience: Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
Jane Lefler and other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you

What Customers are Saying:

  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
< Previous | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.

Meet The Experts:

  • Pawsitivtrainr


    Dog Trainer

    Satisfied Customers:

    35+ years Training Dogs
< Last | Next >
  • Pawsitivtrainr's Avatar


    Dog Trainer

    Satisfied Customers:

    35+ years Training Dogs
  • agilityaddict's Avatar


    Pet Trainer

    Satisfied Customers:

    20 years experience training dogs in obedience and agility, current 4-H agility superintendent
  • Jane Lefler's Avatar

    Jane Lefler

    Animal Behaviorist

    Satisfied Customers:

    Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
  • Anna's Avatar


    Teacher, writer, biologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    Great research skills, variety of work experiences, teaching experience.
  • pdheslin's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    20+ years of internet site creation and search engine optimization. Dozens of search tools at my disposal.
  • Kim D.'s Avatar

    Kim D.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Researcher 20+yrs in small and large institutions

Related Dog Training Questions