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Old 01-16-2014, 01:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 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.

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Old 01-16-2014, 01:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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......you know, dogs are great judges or character maybe Yogi sensed something? it doesnt sound like he is a nervous boy?
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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the fourth man advanced head on , intimidating , nothing to do with character judgment -- he was too assertive , pup should defensive fear -- nothing to worry about , one time situational.
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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......you know, dogs are great judges or character maybe Yogi sensed something? it doesnt sound like he is a nervous boy?
No, he's not nervous.

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Old 01-16-2014, 01:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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the fourth man advanced head on , intimidating , nothing to do with character judgment -- he was too assertive , pup should defensive fear -- nothing to worry about , one time situational.
Big sigh of relief here. Thank you. I was hoping it was a one time thing also. Guess we'll see. He's got a lot of growing up to do. This took me by surprise.

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Old 01-16-2014, 01:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm with carmspack on this one.

If you were to be approached head on in a direct manner by a strange man when you were alone and he encroached on your personal space while staring at you, you probably wouldn't be comfortable either. The dog can't rationalize approaches like that away like we can, and even when we can they often still make us uncomfortable on some level.

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Old 01-16-2014, 01:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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that should have read , the pup showed defensive fear , which is not all encompassing - specific to this one situation
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Old 01-16-2014, 02:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm with carmspack on this one.

If you were to be approached head on in a direct manner by a strange man when you were alone and he encroached on your personal space while staring at you, you probably wouldn't be comfortable either. The dog can't rationalize approaches like that away like we can, and even when we can they often still make us uncomfortable on some level.
Very true. Thanks for the response. We weren't really "alone" as my hubby was outside behind us and those other workers were right there but I see what you mean about the man's direct approach.

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Old 01-16-2014, 02:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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that should have read , the pup showed defensive fear , which is not all encompassing - specific to this one situation
I knew what you meant.

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