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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This happened once or twice before when she was a pup , it is gettin increasingly harder to deal with .. She is stranger shy/Agressive .. She doesnt lunge at them , no hackles standing up just a very strong stance and a quick panicked bark ... What are some tips you guys can give me .. I have been trying to warm her up more and more to strangers but with the reaction she gives some people its hard to even get them to try .. I dont want her to not be able to go places with me anymore , but if this behavior doesnt stop she wont be able too or even worse she may have to be put-down if she ever puts me in the position where I dont think I can control the situation or feel uncomfortable with the behavior .. please help .. and please dont tell me to put her down .. I refuse to do that until I try everything possible .. Something that I did or missed made her this way and I am responsible for fixing it ... Also I took her to the vet they drew blood tested the thyroid and took xrays of everything and there is nothing wrong with her to cause her pain ..

Thank you ..
Sam
 

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I would recommend looking into whether there's a behaviorist in your area that works specifically with these breeds and has experience to show for it. Don't go somewhere like PetSmart or PetCo for training on this issue. I'm not familiar with where you're from, so maybe there's someone on here, experienced, that is in your area and can assist you with meet and greet's, working on socialization.

If you don't mind me asking, how much did you work on socialization with Izzo as a pup? Did you continue to work on socialization even after you thought you'd socialized her enough? Is there anything you can think of that may have happened on an outing or meeting that may have been a bad experience for her and could possibly have stuck with her and caused her to be on alert and nervous around new people?

I would start with some friends/relatives/co-workers that are willing to help you work on this, have her on a short leash, meet on neutral territory, and make sure your assistant(s) have treats in hand. Maybe in a park, or play ground of some sort.. have the person sitting on a bench or any where that's feasible for you both to sit down in close range. Make it clear that your assistant is NOT to make direct eye contact with Izzo at first (as this is seen as threatening/domineering), but to simply hold a handful of treats and let Izzo approach. She'll be especially inquisitive if it's something stinky like liver, lol. Let Izzo approach on her own terms, NEVER force her to meet somebody. Have your assistant talk to Izzo in a soft, low-tone voice, praising her for her curiosity and slowly look at Izzo, careful not to make eye contact. Make sure that they're on her level (not towering over her), and continue to talk to her while looking at her, feeding her treats. Slowly and very carefully (when you feel she's comfortable enough), have them begin petting or scratching her under her chin/neck. If she shies away, stop and take a break, and try again another day, or later that day if you're working her in the morning. Remember, your dog feeds off of your vibes, more-so the pheromones you emit when your hormones change based on tension, fear, sadness, happiness, etc. If you tense up, expecting her to behave the way you described, then she'll sense that and will follow through with that behavior. If you're calm, and not expecting her to lash out the way you described, then with time and work, she won't.

Can I ask, how is her overall personality? Is she dominant, submissive, happy go lucky, or does she fall somewhere in between those? The answers to my questions will help me and others on here to better help you with Izzo's problems.
 

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Definitely contact a behaviorist, something like this can become dangerous if the person handling the dog doesn't know what they're doing. And not something I'd got to people on the internet for. I can provide you with a behaviorist in your area through some of my connections.

Dominant isn't a personality trait... here is some accurate info on that, upon reading you'll likely see the irrelevance.
The Dominance Controversy | Philosophy | Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS
 

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A dog who is really scared of people should NOT be forced to visit with people. You only make the fear worse and can get someone bit. What I do with really scared dogs is lots of obed, it gives them something to think about and one of the big rules is not to make people pet her and make her more scared. She can be perfectly happy going places and ignoring other people. My suggestion is to find a good trainer in your area to work with and if you feel like you cannot control her then you should put her down. If you feel like you can work with her and do what you need to help her then I think there is hope.
 

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A dog who is really scared of people should NOT be forced to visit with people. You only make the fear worse and can get someone bit. What I do with really scared dogs is lots of obed, it gives them something to think about and one of the big rules is not to make people pet her and make her more scared. She can be perfectly happy going places and ignoring other people. My suggestion is to find a good trainer in your area to work with and if you feel like you cannot control her then you should put her down. If you feel like you can work with her and do what you need to help her then I think there is hope.
Glad you caught that first part, slipped from my reading.:hammer:

Dakota being a fearful dog, number one rule is let him approach the people. If he doesn't want to, never force it.
Also, strangers giving her treats may not be a good idea. The want for food can override fear, and there was a small study with a few very reactive dog. He'd approach for the food, but when the person didn't have food and he realized it, he attacked because he was so close and over threshold.

First step is just have everyone ignore her, act like she isn't there but still give her space. But finding a good trainer/behaviorist is the best thing you can do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would recommend looking into whether there's a behaviorist in your area that works specifically with these breeds and has experience to show for it. Don't go somewhere like PetSmart or PetCo for training on this issue. I'm not familiar with where you're from, so maybe there's someone on here, experienced, that is in your area and can assist you with meet and greet's, working on socialization.

If you don't mind me asking, how much did you work on socialization with Izzo as a pup? Did you continue to work on socialization even after you thought you'd socialized her enough? Is there anything you can think of that may have happened on an outing or meeting that may have been a bad experience for her and could possibly have stuck with her and caused her to be on alert and nervous around new people?

I would start with some friends/relatives/co-workers that are willing to help you work on this, have her on a short leash, meet on neutral territory, and make sure your assistant(s) have treats in hand. Maybe in a park, or play ground of some sort.. have the person sitting on a bench or any where that's feasible for you both to sit down in close range. Make it clear that your assistant is NOT to make direct eye contact with Izzo at first (as this is seen as threatening/domineering), but to simply hold a handful of treats and let Izzo approach. She'll be especially inquisitive if it's something stinky like liver, lol. Let Izzo approach on her own terms, NEVER force her to meet somebody. Have your assistant talk to Izzo in a soft, low-tone voice, praising her for her curiosity and slowly look at Izzo, careful not to make eye contact. Make sure that they're on her level (not towering over her), and continue to talk to her while looking at her, feeding her treats. Slowly and very carefully (when you feel she's comfortable enough), have them begin petting or scratching her under her chin/neck. If she shies away, stop and take a break, and try again another day, or later that day if you're working her in the morning. Remember, your dog feeds off of your vibes, more-so the pheromones you emit when your hormones change based on tension, fear, sadness, happiness, etc. If you tense up, expecting her to behave the way you described, then she'll sense that and will follow through with that behavior. If you're calm, and not expecting her to lash out the way you described, then with time and work, she won't.

Can I ask, how is her overall personality? Is she dominant, submissive, happy go lucky, or does she fall somewhere in between those? The answers to my questions will help me and others on here to better help you with Izzo's problems.
She was socialized from the day her shots were finished and I could take her anywhere with her .. This wasnt a problem until someone broke into my house .. She is a very fun loving dog but a little bit more on the submissive mellow type .. when people come over after they are there for a good 20 to 30 mins she is fine with them .. its the intial coming into the house .. also she does not act this way when we are not on her territory .. i am going to contact the behaviorist that celestial mentioned since I have never put two and two together that maybe the break in could have affected it .. stupid me .. and I have never had to deal with a stranger agressive dog because normal that would not be tolerated in my home .. but this case is different to me through and through and I really want to see the better come out in her when new people are around that people who see her all the time know ..
 

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If you want me to, I'll send an email to my friend. Just give me a location. I'm glad you're trying to help your dog!
 

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Thank you for answering my questions and for investing the time to work with your dog. Yes, please definitely work with a behaviorist and keep us posted on her progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
If you want me to, I'll send an email to my friend. Just give me a location. I'm glad you're trying to help your dog!
Its would be highly appreciated.. thank you =]

Thank you for answering my questions and for investing the time to work with your dog. Yes, please definitely work with a behaviorist and keep us posted on her progress.
I will keep you posted .. I really hope things work out for the best .. I have had a few bulldogs in my day and she is by far my favorite but shhh dont tell the others .. I would hate to have to put her down for something that is my fault in the first place.

She only does it when people come over? oops I missed that. I have a few dogs who go crazy when people come over. They are fear based and the easy answer is just to crate them in a back room and keep everyone safe.
Not only when people come over , for instance we walk the same route every morning and a different route everynight . Pretty much anywhere that she is comfortable being ..My mom thinks it may have to do with being over possessive of me and her "person". But I do not think that is the case at all .. The cider mill was were the last episode was . i went on a thursday afternoon when its really not busy and some guy kinda snuck up on us in the trail and little barking would have been okay but she was full on "protection mode .. If I can find a pic online of what she looks like when she gets into this mode I will post it ..

http://www.dominicacentral.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/human-pitbull-gene.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Im am going to do some calling around tomorrow .. hopefully meet with someone this weekend .. than kyou everyone for your help.. I love this site and the people on it =]
 

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It would be great if you could find someone to help out but if not I would suggest that when you are out walking and this happens it would be better if you could see a difference in her body language before it happens but turn away tel her to "leave it" and start walking in a different direction. once she is focused back on you praise her you can treat her too if you want but only after she is focused on you and not whatever it is that is triggering her.
 
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