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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm posting this from my phone so I hope it works. Lol. Anyways, I just took Bella out for a walk and I'm realizing some behaviors that weren't there before. She is almost 6 months and up until recently she has walked well on a leash and done well with strangers. If people would ask to pet her I would let them and sometimes she would get excited and try to jump but it was easy to correct her. Now, it's a different story. Whenever she sees a stranger while on our walks, her hair stands up along her back and she looks scared. She will let out a bark and try to run away (choking herself in her martingale and tangling me up in the leash). The first incident of this was at the park. A man had a hat on with his head down so we couldnt see his face and walked toward us to get his ball. Bella growled and it took awhile to calm her. The second occasion, our neighbor lady came over to ask me a question the other night wearing a rain coat and Bella immediately fluffed up and growled at her from between my legs. She seemed scared so I just let her go and she ran to the porch and stayed there watching while we talked. Now today, the lawn guys were cleaning up and as soon as we walked by them, her hair stood up and she tried to run away. When she realized she wasn't getting anywhere, she let out a bark. One guy just stood there so I apologized and let him know she is only a puppy. He didn't mind and tried talking to her. She ended up getting too excited and was trying to jump to get to him with her wiggle butt. It seems that she is becoming more aware of her surroundings but is more alert when she sees strange men. Aside from these incidents she is always quiet and never tries to bite or seems aggressive - just fearful. How do I get her over this? And how do I stop her from getting so excited to meet new people that she jumps and pulls? Thanks!

Edit:
I should probably add that she has been socialized with dogs and people since she was a pup, that's why I don't understand why this is beginning now. Could it just be a phase of maturation? Could it be attributed to her getting her first heat? I'm not sure why the sudden fear in men mostly. She lives here with my BF and loves him more than she probably does me, lol. She is fine off leash meeting guys (and girls) and doesn't give a second thought to it, but on leash is another story (either too excited or fearful).

I thought I'd also point out again that I don't feel like it's aggression coming out. I know some people will probably post that. If I were to let her go when she fluffs up and growls, she would run the opposite direction not attack. She is very submissive with dogs and people alike.
 

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Proud CGC Parent
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It could be a fear period. Kane hit one around 7 months where he didn't like strange men, either, especially ones that were a lot taller or bigger than me (which is just about everybody as I'm only 5 foot, lol). You just got to keep working her through that. I usually didn't react to HIS fear in any way and proceeded through things like normal; if the person wanted to pet him, I asked them to crouch down so they weren't towering over Kane and that seemed to help a lot.

Also, make sure she gets exposed to people with different things on their heads (like hats) and different clothes (like the raincoat), so she realizes there is nothing to fear.

As for the greeting, I've got Kane on a rock-solid sit. I could be across the field, and him running up to greet one of his dog friends, and if I say sit, he'll sit. If we're walking through Petsmart or something and someone wants to greet him, I always make sure to ask the other person to give me a minute to get him in a sit.
 

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Dare to dance the tide
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It is time to pull out some weird clothes and have your friends help you out by exposing Bella to new things. I enrolled Vendetta in a therapy class when she was younger this exposed her to things i didn't have like a wheel chair and a stroller, crutches and such plus their were lots of people there that were wearing the robes and hats and stuff and it was in a controlled enviroment. You could just take her to the park and let her sit and watch people from a distance and once she is comfortable move closer to the activities until she is not bothered by it.
 

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Pretty much exposure, i'm doing the same thing with my dog. he's not defensive just plain out curios. sometimes you just have to sit him down and let him absorb the environment. This alleviates fear based tendency in the dog, if you're not scared of it why should they. during our walks if i find a shopping cart i'll use it and take it along with us for a few minutes or even tie his leash to the cart and walk him beside it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks guys. i'm going to try all of that.

@mymikado: does she need to finish her obedience class to join a therapy class or can she start the therapy class even though she's still in obedience?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
did u stop walking her for a little???? sometimes this can happen when we slack off on our walks :/
no, she gets walked a couple times a day. i live in an apartment so i have to take her out all the time to use the bathroom.

I did Vendetta in obedience adn therapy class at the same time. You might want t talk to the instructors and find out what they perfer. Good luck and please keep us posted.
i will ask. i'm not sure how much info i will get from the instructor though. (a whole different story) :rolleyes:
 
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