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Old 11-19-2011, 07:49 AM
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,140 posts, read 20,313,684 times
Reputation: 26377


My catahoula/lab mix Ginger is scared of people other than my family, especially crowds. I've had her for two months now and the problem seems to be getting worse instead of better. She was four months old when I adopted her and she hadn't been socialized much, if at all, before we brought her home.

I take her to school with me when I pick up my kids, and we stay some distance from the crowd at the door. As we approach the school, Ginger tucks her tail and starts walking backwards (still towards the school but her head is pointed toward home). Her body trembles and I can see the whites of her eyes. She shies away if anyone approaches her. The other day, there were several kids running towards us and Ginger was so scared that she lost bladder control. I know it was an accident because she was sitting on her tail.

People have told me to keep taking her to school so she can get over it, but she seems to be doing worse instead of better. I've started taking her to the dog park and Petsmart and she's shy there but relaxes after a while.

Is there anything I can do to help her get over her fears? Petsmart suggested their puppy classes, but we only have one car and my husband's schedule is really unpredictable.
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:59 AM
Location: oregon
895 posts, read 2,540,726 times
Reputation: 664
Don't give up..Our second cocker and the only one we got as a puppy was so shy it was painfull..He had not been socialized as a puppy and it took a long time for him to greet people..He was fine in doggy school but yet out on a lead a whole different ball a wax..Never got use to kids..We full timed in an RV with him and he was good but always shy....Just keep taking her with you when you go about your life and in time she'll get come around..They are like people some people are always on the shy side.
Good luck
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:20 AM
Location: LawnGuyLind, NY / Sarasota, FL
1,610 posts, read 2,471,935 times
Reputation: 1098
Our 16 mo Terrier is like that - still.
Recently though she is getting better.
We found that if a new person would kneel down to her level & hold out theor hand, she'll aproach & sniff or lick the hand. Each time she sees them she gets a little bit more "daring."
Or better yet, have someone kneel down with a treat.
Everyone wants to pet my dog beause she is hairless - they want to know what she feels like. The only way that happens is for the person to sit down, and Cocoa sits next to them, and eventually warms to them.
As for crowds - same beahvior as your dog Sometimes. Other times, she prances merrily along. This is better than when she was 6 mos old, when a crowd always spooked her.

Like everyone said - keep taking her, but maybe try some 1 on 1 interaction with strangers also.
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:47 AM
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,140 posts, read 20,313,684 times
Reputation: 26377
She won't eat when she's nervous. We've tried having people she doesn't know give her treats, but she won't take food from them, even really good treats like chunks of chicken. Sometimes when I have time, I sit at the school with her and leave a treat on the ground next to her, and then we don't leave until she's relaxed enough to eat the treat.

She also decides sometimes that she's just not going to like someone. She doesn't like my dad or my next-door neighbor and she growls every time she sees them. I had a man come by to look at a bike I was selling on Craigslist and she really didn't want him near my kids...I actually had to put her in the house until he had left because she kept getting in front of the kids and growling and barking at the guy.
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