My friend just got a Papillon puppy abut two weeks ago. She's about
12 weeks old. She is afraid of everyone except my friend - and ittook her a while to get used to her. She sees me almost every day and yet when I approach she runs away obviously frightened. She does the same thing with everyone.
Is this normal Papillon behavior? My friend would really like her to be more friendly. I've even taken to carrying treats that she loves with me, but she won't even take that from me.
Any suggestions would be welcome.
My friend just got a Papillon puppy abut two weeks ago. She's about 12 weeks old. She is afraid of ... friendly. I've even taken to carrying treats that she loves with me, but she won't even take that from me.

Some young puppies are very shy, especially if they weren't exposed to strange people until they were sold. The little ones tend to be even more shy, but it's usually not the dog's fault. Owners are more likely to coddle teeny-tinies. If you're going, "Ohh, poor baby!" then you're giving the pup the message that there's something to be afraid of. Make sure mom does not do that! :}
Puppy thinks strangers are scary. So her mom's job is to teach her that strangers are no threat, and that they always have wonderful treats.

So mom should carry some yummy treats and start easy by having friends - like you - tossing little bits of it to the puppy. Don't approach her, don't even look at her. Ignore her. But whenever you're around, you're tossing her favorite treats to her.
Slowly start to toss them closer and closer to you, until you can offer them in an open palm and she'll take them. If she gets this close, and you're patient, she will eventually approach you. And then you can slowly put out your hand, palm up, and skritch her under the chin.
Now, while this is going on, mom is cheerleading the pupster. Every time she pays any attention at all to the human, mom is going "Yay! Good puppy!"

Mom needs to get this pup exposed to as many strangers - men, women, children, and other dogs - as soon as possible. But under controlled conditions. The goal is to make the pup feel SAFE, not threatened. So taking her to PetsMart on a weekday in the shopping cart is good. Taking her on a weekend on a leash is not. In the cart, when it's not busy, mom can monitor her experiences a lot better.
Nobody is allowed to look at, bend over, or reach towards the puppy. But they are allowed to talk to mom, while offering little pieces of treats in open palms. And mom has to remember to cheerlead every little encounter. Good girl, you looked at a person! Whee, you took a treat!

At her age, she's got a great chance of becoming a confident, well-socialized dog, IF she isn't (1) molly-coddled and over-protected, or (2) pushed into situations she's not ready for.
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Is this normal Papillon behavior?

No. They should have a spaniel-like temperament. If I were your friend I'd 1) talk to the breeder she got this pup from, 2) enroll the pup in a good puppy socialization class, 3) strictly avoid anyone forcing their attentions on the pup right now.
Lynn K.
Go to www.dogwise.com and order a copy of the book The Shy Dog . It has many wise and effective methods you can use throughout the dog's life.
Jo Wolf
Martinez, Georgia