Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Vancouver, WA (USA)
Kind of worried here...
Yogi is now 16 weeks. He's very good with strangers and has the typical "Omg! Peeeeeople!" when we meet someone. Yesterday I had something weird happen.
Neighbor had a company working on their roof and all the workers were standing in the yard eating lunch. Yogi showed some interest in the men and I thought it would be a good opportunity to socialize. The guys had big boots and coveralls on. Three of the men stood there and held their hands out to say hi. That went fine. Then a fourth guy walked over and was talking to the other workers. Yogi immediately stood from a sit (getting rubs from other workers) and his tail went straight out/up. The guy saw Yogi and said, "Beautiful shepherd, I love them! Hi pupppyyyyy. Who's a good boy!" while holding his hand out. Yogi put all his weight into his front legs, put his head lower and all the hair went up on his back (all the long wavy hair) and started a very low growling bark at him. A bark I've never heard before. A scary adult bark. It made all the hair on my arms and neck stand straight up. Yes, I know. He's a puppy still but I've never heard a growling bark like that. Usually he's got this lighthearted puppy bark that says "play with me!" but this was clearly a warning to "stay away". I don't think he was scared because he didn't retreat like he normally does if something scares him and he never barks. He just sidles up really close and I deal with whatever it is that gave him fear. I normally would think, "Oh he's probably scared" but I know my dog. I think he was protecting me, which is weird. The only thing different about this guy was he had long hair. I look back at all the places I've taken him though and he's never had a reaction to a man with longer hair after meeting them - there's only been a few. I apologized profusely. Any insight into his behavior? My husband saw all of this and asked if the guys made ME nervous because maybe Yogi was picking up on it. I said no. My husband then tried to take him back up to the guy to see if there would be a different reaction but the guy immediately got into his truck and took off.