I have a 9 month old pomeranian/toy poodle mix. She is the sweetest dog ever and LOVES going for walks. She walks by strangers ok, but if they try to bend down to pet her, she backs away and begins to bark, or sometimes growl. She also barks at dogs, although I think she wants to play with them. I realy want to continue to walk her and get more socialised with people and dogs, but I think that people are starting to label her as a bad dog. Should I tell people not to approach her, and let her come to them? She seems ok when we are at home and people come to visit, this only happens if we are on walks.
I have a pomeranian and occasionally he is like this. Pomeranians are generally hand shy, as are toy poodles and most other small dogs. So just keep doing what your doing and when she growls, just say no. If she backs away pick her up to meet the stranger, it can be really intimidating for the dog as a human is soo much bigger. Praise her when she kisses their hand or improves in any way. Good luck, keep us updated. And we'd love to see some pictures.
Cootie is adorable! My Jackson (a male Min Pin) was that way too and because we kept taking every where with us he is much better.
I would try to avoid too many people or a bunch of kids at first and make it a pleasure to meet people. Tell people she is shy and ask them to ignore Cootie for a little bit and then bend down and let Cootie come to them. You might get people you know to meet you on a walk so you can work on it with them.
Both of mine would rather approach and do better with people that get down to their level. Georgie (a female Min Pin) is outgoing but backs away when people put their hands over her head. It is a natural thing especially for small dogs.
It takes a while but if you keep socializing her it will pay off.