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Old 07-08-2014, 11:28 AM
 
1 posts, read 950 times
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Hello my name is Peter and my dog Rumble is very nervous around other people outside my immediate family. I got Rumble when he was only 6 weeks old. He is a golden retriever Red coonhound mix. Rumble and I live alone and I did not socialize him as much as I should have when he was a puppy.He used to not take any treads from anyone outside the immediate family and would not smell other peoples hands. I have been taking him to the vet every week to try to get him used to it and he has been getting better with that. however he is very very skittish around other people especially other males. I was wondering what I could do to help him get over his fear of other people because I want him to not be nervous when i have people over or if i go on a walk and someone want to pet my dog.

Rumble is just a little over a year old now.



Thanks for any advice in advance,


Peter
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:06 PM
 
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It's often helpful to have people ignore the dog - meaning don't look at him, don't talk to him, don't reach for him, and don't coax him to come over. Have the person just casually hang out, maybe crouched or sitting on the ground, and let the dog become curious at his own pace. Eventually he should make his way over to sniff. The person should just let the dog do so without any pressure to interact. Rumble will let the person know when he's ready to be petted on the chest or under the chin.

If your dog likes treats, have people drop a few on the ground for him. He shouldn't be pressured into taking them from anyone's hand. Remember that pressure is unpleasant, so creating any pressure is just adding to the negative association with people. We want to make every experience with people completely stress-free and pleasant. If that means increasing distance from the person until Rumble is more relaxed, then that's what you do.

Every dog owner should do what you're doing at the vet's office. I admit I give this advice all the time to people and then don't really follow it with my own dogs, but it is so smart to bring your dog to the vet on a regular basis and just hang out, give them treats and love, let them say hi to the people that work there, and then leave. Forms a great positive association as opposed to only bringing them to the vet for shots and other unpleasant things.

As you've found with taking him to the vet's weekly, the more you practice something, the more 'normal' it becomes for the dog. If he's rarely exposed to people, it will take longer to get him comfortable with it. But if he is often exposed to people and this exposure is done in a non-confrontational, stress-free way, he should gradually become relaxed about people. You might start by taking him someplace where he can observe people from a distance and not interact with them in any way. Just let him figure out that people don't mean him any harm.
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:06 PM
 
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That could be the "hound" showing up.....our hounds are not dogs to warm up to strangers.
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
4,707 posts, read 10,139,293 times
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If you use treats make sure they are something real special that he loves. Dazzle is not that fond of treats but he LOVES the natural balance beef log. It is actually a dog food but if you put it in the fridge and then cute slices that you then chop into small bite sized peices while it is cold it is a fantastic treat and much cheaper then buying bags of treats. I keep some sliced up in a baggie in my fridge so I always have treats handy. I have used it as treats in agility training for years. It has a good strong smell and most dogs seem to love it. And Yup even Mr fussy Dazzle will do anything for it!

My sisters dog was nervous and did not trust people when she adopted her . I won her over right away with treats and suggested what the coach said with her neighbors as she really did not want to go near men yet would be seeing the man next door often as he is outside a lot.So she gave him a bag of high value treats and he started just by tossing one towards her and over a period of weeks she was taking them from him and now she gets excited to see him and has to go greet him and no he no longer dishes out treats.

And as Diller said it could be the hound in him as hounds can be aloof. Dazzle is a sight hound and he can be very aloof with some people until he knows them well then he will cuddle with them if they are stitting and try to slither up into their laps. Yet there are strangers he will walk right up to and snuggle up against their leg while others he will make beg him to even get near them...I really never know what to expect when he meets someone. He is a very elegant and still a rare breed and I think sometimes it is a a game as it seems he will make those that really are admiring him beg to touch him yet someone that sort of ignores him he will walk up too as if to say " excuse me do you not see how elegat and beautiful I am?" He keeps me and most of my friends laughing. Chaos my mutt on the other hand LOVES people and will try to make friends out of anyone she meets.

Most of the hounds I have met have been a bit aloof unlike labs and retrievers who beg for you to pet them.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:41 PM
 
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