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Hi all I really hope you can advise me. I adopted a 15month old shihtzu 2 days ago. He belonged to a friend who has 5 others and 5 kids at home. I have adopted her because she went missing for 72 hours a few months ago and since they got her back she wouldn't settle with the other dogs (they think somethings maybe happened when she was missing) They believe she will be better as an only dog.
When we first got her home she was terrified (understandably) and snapped a couple of times at me and my 11 year old daughter. Within a few hours she was doing so much better, playing and jumping up for cuddles. I really thought it was great but now she's started to jump up for strokes and cuddles, but sometimes as soon as you touch her she snaps at us again. She is really gorgeous but its honestly like she has a split personality! I'm ready to pack her off back to my friends because I just don't trust her. Am I making the right decision??
 

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Contact a good positive trainer before you give up on her. She's brand new to your home, and prior to that you said she wasn't settling in her original home after being on the loose. it's not surprising that she has lashed out honestly. That many dogs, kids and being lost is a LOT of stress. It doesn't sound like she's full on attacking so I think a trainer would be a good idea. They can watch her behaviour and give you pointers on what to do so she can settle and stop snapping.
 

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Hi Tinks07,

I agree with the other posters. This little dog has been under a great deal of stress. It sounds like he came from a very stressful home, then was out of the streets, and is now struggling to adjust to your home. The article "Three Ways to Confuse a Dog" that CookieFace posted gives a sense of how long it takes for a newly adopted dog to settle in.

I would want to give this dog some more time. Try to give him time to catch his bearings. Give him time and space to feel more comfortable. It can take a few days for his stress hormones to clear his system. Let him initiate contact with you and your daughter. Limit the amount of new stimuli in his environment - i.e. don't start taking him out to new places. Use food as a reward. You and your daughter can toss some treats in his direction so he learns that he can trust you both.

There's a lot of support here. Let us know how we can help. Good luck!
 
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