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Need help with scared dog!!

April 8th, 2006, 11:37 PM
I need help with my dog! My 2 year old dog is scared of strangers and will try to bite them when he is approached, or when they try to pet him. He is great when he gets to know people, and is a very sweet affectionate dog. He has not been abused, no one has ever hit him. I think we socialized him pretty well. He goes to doggy daycare. I have taken him to 2 obedience schools, and the instructors say that it is just in his nature. I really hope that this is not true. I am afraid that he will bite someone if they try to touch him. Does anyone have any ideas of what I can do? Has anyone had experience with this?


April 8th, 2006, 11:54 PM
How long have you owned the dog?

April 9th, 2006, 12:03 AM
We have had him since he was 2months old

April 9th, 2006, 10:48 AM
Joeys never bitten anyone - bit he has gotten growly before so to me it means he could bite - it is an issue that seems to getting better but we are still working on it. I am a novice dog owner too so may not have the best advice for you. The vet also said it could be in his nature too - but I will keep working on it anyways.

The issue that I have with dogs like mine and yours is the people that just come right up to your dog and dont ask and pet them - yesterday this girl chased us down the street - we were actually still walking - she grabbed Joey starts hugging him - and "awww what a cute doggie - your so cute" this girl was like 12 too - Its people like that you have to be careful of - they think its okay to just pet any dog without asking.

Cute doggie too he looks like he has some spaniel in him. :D

April 9th, 2006, 11:22 AM
This is about you taking charge and being a great leader. He is insecure of strangers and doesn't believe anyone will help to keep him safe so he does what he has to to keep himself safe. It is reassuring that once he knows the people he quickly feels safe and is good. Your job is to take control of the situation until he feels better and can be trusted.
This means that he should be on the leash and you need to recreate the meeting of strangers until you see him relax and look to you for guidance. When a stranger approaches you should put him in the sit/stay and tell him to 'leave it'. You greet the person and show him you are confident with them. The person should ignore him for the first few minutes. Walk away and then return and do the same thing. When you see his comfort level improve you can invite him to greet the person. The person should be squatting down but not reach out to him. Let him walk around them sniffing and then take him away. Repeat. Then as you recognize that he is his normal self let him greet the person and have the person tell him to sit/stay and CALMLY try to pet his side & shoulder for only 1 second. Repeat and have the person pet the side for 3 seconds. You are trying to create a safe zone for him while showing him that you are there to keep him safe. Your confident leadership and teaching should help him feel protected while giving him the skills to greet people.