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Old 01-28-2011, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
4,707 posts, read 10,141,797 times
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My coworker adopted a year old Tibetan terrier mix.( the one we had the dog shower for) His wife is out of town so last night when he had to work he dropped it off at another coworkers house for the night figuring it would have more fun playing with her small dog then being home alone. I went to see him and he is adorable but he also seems to be very under socialized.

When I got there he was sitting on his dog bed against the wall growling at everyone including the other dog. He was extremely frightened, maybe he thought he was being dumped yet again? I sat by him and started offering him some snacks and it took awhile before he would take one but he eventually did so then I was petting him but he was still terrified so I started playing with his toy and slowly got him to start playing with me but if any one else moved or the other dog came into view he would start barking and growling at them. and run back to me. My coworker says that when he walks him he barks like that at anyone they see. With his family he is great but with strangers terrified. There was a bag with his stuff in it and any time he would see the other dog Joey pass by after he was done barking at Joey he would have to go look in his bag and make sure Joey did not steal anything! Poor little Joey did not know what to make of this as he has never met another dog that barked and growled at him.

I am hoping that the little guy settled down and got use to them and Joey rather then be on guard all night. When I left he wanted to go out the door with me and when I turned around he was looking out the door watching me walk away with this sad look that asked" where ya going"

His owner does not like the way he barks at people and wants to fix that. I was wondering if perhaps having friends come over and letting them walk him alone and play with him during those walks might help him start to feel more comfortable with strangers? If he starts to see people as good things he may not bark at them so much. He can warm up to a stranger as we saw with me. Maybe even letting him spend a night with different friends like he did last night would help, My friend that raises guide dog puppies says they let each other work their puppies in their meetings/classes and encourage overnights with other puppy raisers so they do get use to different people. So do any of you think maybe this could work for this little undersocialized guy? When he warms up to you he is a nice little dog and he then sees you as a safe thing but until then is frozen with fear so acting out in an aggressive fashion. The husband of the woman watching him last night said Maybe he was abused but I think he just never was around alot of people or dogs so lacks confidence. Any suggestions as to how my coworker can get him past these fears so they can enjoy a walk or being around other people with the dog?
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:10 PM
 
268 posts, read 612,107 times
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Yes, this dog was def. undersocialized. Add to that that he is unconfident of his place in the world, and unsure of his new home/surroundings/owner....everything is really different and seems precarious! I adopted a dog exactly like this 2 years ago. Today she wags her tail at everyone and is self assured, confident and friendly. I think she needed to bond with us and feel that we were reliable for her, before her insecurity issues resolved themselves. We went through what youre describing, the growling, etc, but eventually she realized that no one was going to make soup out of her, we gave her lots of love, walks in the park and opened her up to new experiences constantly, car rides, etc. She is very welcoming to friends who visit now, but that was not always the case ! Tell your coworker this too, shall pass.
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:18 PM
 
Location: zone 5
7,330 posts, read 13,189,695 times
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I agree time & bonding will help, and the more different kinds of people he can meet, and different kinds of experiences he can have, the better. I don't know about sleepovers at this point. I would think he needs more stability until he really knows that his new home is "home". And walking with people would be good, but again having his new owner present, though maybe not being the one to hold the leash, seems better to me. My latest rescue dogs barked at people on our walks a lot too. I found if I stopped and talked to them she would stop seeing them as a threat. Also, I'd redirect her attention with treats and give her one after she'd stopped barking awhile. Just tell your friend go slow and be very gentle and with time he'll relax more and more.

Last edited by subject2change; 01-28-2011 at 02:31 PM..
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:47 PM
 
553 posts, read 1,368,380 times
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Aw, sounds like the poor guy is lacking is social skills and confidence. Hopefully his confidence will improve as he adjusts to his new home. Unbeknowst to me, Odie was aggressive when I got him. On our first walk at the park he lunged and growled at a 12-year old girl who'd done nothing to him. He also growled at a few men. We took it slow, and whenever guests would come over we'd initially have them ignore him. That would make him comfortable enough to come to them. It took some time, but now we can take him to pretty much any public place without a problem.

I'd see if your friend can practice meeting people he knows on walks, that way the dog can get some socialization but if he growls he won't be scaring strangers!
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:14 PM
ERH
 
Location: Cary, NC
1,137 posts, read 1,625,790 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmomof2 View Post
Aw, sounds like the poor guy is lacking is social skills and confidence. Hopefully his confidence will improve as he adjusts to his new home. Unbeknowst to me, Odie was aggressive when I got him. On our first walk at the park he lunged and growled at a 12-year old girl who'd done nothing to him. He also growled at a few men. We took it slow, and whenever guests would come over we'd initially have them ignore him. That would make him comfortable enough to come to them. It took some time, but now we can take him to pretty much any public place without a problem.
Do you think this same approach would work for a dog that exhibits territorial aggression towards visitors to the home?
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,843 posts, read 25,246,623 times
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Probably the easiest way to fix this is to take the dog with you every place you go. The dog needs to learn the world is a good place and people and other dogs are your friends. I did this with my dog and it worked. I took him everywhere and he became a good traveler. Every time I left him in the car, he was anxious but he learned I would always come back. I also took him to a professional trainer who used her dogs to teach him to play well with others.

It's some work but it also helps you bond with the dog and win his trust.
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:19 PM
 
553 posts, read 1,368,380 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERH View Post
Do you think this same approach would work for a dog that exhibits territorial aggression towards visitors to the home?
This approach has worked for us when friends/family/strangers (service people) come into the home. If a new visitor ignores Odie, he will be their best friend and will demand to be petted within 5 minutes. If they pay attention to him or say his name when they come in the door, he will growl.

After Odie has met someone once or twice he's fine with them.
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:18 PM
 
386 posts, read 1,167,758 times
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I had a similar situation with my rescue years ago. It took lots of patience and getting her to trust me before she would ever trust another human or dog. I tell people to not speak or approach her until she approaches them for a sniff. Once she has done that and I start having a conversation with the person she calms down a bit and I ask them to give her one of her treats. She is still cautious of the person but less apprehensive because they allowed her to approach them and they had a yummy treat for her. I still have a bit of the issue with the barking, but she is learning the 'shh' command and if she stops barking there is a treat for her. As you can tell, mine is motivated by yummy dog treats and bologna.
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