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Fear/socailizing~help

H.P.
May 29th, 2007, 11:32 PM
I have always made an effort to keep Sydney well socialized with people and other animals. She has always had a problem with getting over excited, some jumping, a bark or two, we were working on controlling our excitement, but always very friendly and loved everyone. Until lately.

1) at the pet store, excited to see him come in the door, he comes over pets on her everything is good until he bends down, then she starts growling, scared/nervous barking, and hides behind me, tail wagging. He had an injured dog at home, so I figured maybe she had smelled that on him, and that had caused the reaction.

2) on the trail, 2 guys hiking together, one pets her, no problem, the other starts over to pet her, growling, scared/nervous barking, and hides behind me, tail wagging.

3) at the vet, guy comes in, pets her, she is loving on him, giving him kisses, then growling, scared/nervous barking, and hides behind me, tail wagging. Also had an injured dog at home.

4) at the lake, Guy "oh what a cute dog, does it bite?", me "never has" he starts toward us, with his girlfriend a step behind him, growling, scared/nervous barking, and hides behind me, tail wagging.

These are all places that she had been to before, none of the men had anything visually in common, various ages, races, dress, different voices, accents. I feel bad that she is so scared, and the guys run off like she is going to eat them. (with the exception of the one in the vets office, where she finally stopped barking, and hid under my chair, until we were called back)

She still likes the men that she knows, she has not been mistreated by any man, still loves kids, male or female, and has not had any problem with women. She also had no problem with the male vet or vet techs, whom she had not met before.

How should I handle this? I have been making her sit, and telling her "no woofing". She tries to stop barking, will cry a bit, then start barking again, while trying to hide.

:confused: What can I do to help her? She is 11 months old.

JanM
May 30th, 2007, 12:19 AM
Amber, my youngest Golden (1.5 yrs), did much the same thing as you describe. I worked with a dog behaviourist and one thing he was adamant about - do not let the dog get behind you. You might want to get in touch with a good dog behaviourist - I can't remember everything we did but Amber now does not react to people that way - she will ignore them or, if she decides they are ok, will let them pat her with no more growling or hiding behind me. What a relief!