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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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Bark Bark Growl Bark Bark-Lundge

So my girl is not good with new people- she has been like this since i got her- she was barking/growling/staying as far away from me on the leash as possible the first day i got her.
But now if we walk by someone on the sidewalk and they are at least 15 feet away she is fine and just watches them (usually doesnt take her eyes off them) If someone walks by our house she barks and barks and barks, honestly i think she learned this from the other two dogs in the house because she never did that before.
For a while she was clearly fearful of new people and she would do less barking and growling than, until the person came to her level and reached out their arm andt hen she would bark and growl a lot. So after this i posted on here and went according to what a lot of people said. And anyways we have been working on trusting new people on her terms and time. I have people i know throw her treats and she wille ventually take it from that persons hand. But nothing more than that. Which is an improvement.
But i am wondering if with time, feeling more comfortable in her new home, or perhaps its me who changed is why her behavior seems to be different than before.
I do know she is still fearful of new people but she also is barking and growls a little bit and will lundge at them if they look at her or me, say anything to us, or walk right next to us. Is she guarding me now? Is her confidence up? Is she doing this out of her fear? Or is it simply that she doesnt know how to properly say hi to someon? Or is it something else?

What i have been doing when she srts barking and growling is i have her sit and i let them pass by and i tell the person to just keep walking. She will usually stop barking once i have her in the sit and am holding her but she watches them clearly because she does not trust them.
In general she has been lately a bit aloof on our walks. She still checks in with eye contact and i praise her when she does this, but when she sees someone even it they are 100 feet away she will have to watch them or even someones randomly if a car goes by she has to watch it and not with other cars.
What am i doing wrong? And what can i do to help her?
I think she is both doing a warning bark at them and with because of her fear and distrust in people is going after them? (She lundges but i dont know what she would do, i dont think she would bite them i think she is just going up to them?)
her behavior has changed since last time and i think i need to approach this differently now.

Please help! Thanks guys!


Oh and just an insteresting addition: My trainer walked her for a few minutes. And she was not doing any of that behavior at her while the leash was in her hands. She didnt have the oppurtunity to walk next to new people to see if they did the same reaction while she was walking her. But she did say all she was doing was trying to find me and that if she let her loose she would have ben searching the whole building tills he found me. So is this insecurity? Or does she feel the need to protect me and if she cant see me she cant protect me and this is also why she hates it when i leave or when any of the family members including the dogs leave the house?

Mom of: "Zelda"
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Last edited by VTGirlT; 07-16-2013 at 11:08 PM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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Also perhaps it could be partly genetics to not trust new people? Because from the person i got her from, i was told her mom was shy and her dad was outgoing, but the person i got her from was not the owner of the dogs, she got zelda as a puppy from someone. I wanted to get zelda out of there, so unfrotuently i did not get zelda as a baby puppy and get to see and know more about her parents. But i do not entirely trsut the person i got her from. I got her when she was 4.5 months old and she is about 7 months now.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 07:32 AM
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Have you joined the Yahoo shy k-9 group?
shy-k9s : shy-k9s

Checked out DINOS?
Dogs in Need of Space

I would join that Yahoo group, spend time reading the archives, and see what you think from there.

I know from having/enjoying fear aggressive dogs that you being in charge (not in a punitive, RAWR manner) does help, systematic desensitization helps, and time/patience not rushing helps.

Our feelings do seem to have an impact - I am comfortable with human aggression, not dog fear reactivity (because I am pretty sure a person getting barked at is NOT going to latch on to my dog's throat, not so much the dog they are barking at) and it is a challenge for me to calm down for that!





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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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I did look over some of the shy-k9 forums, I havent joined-but am currently!

I have read some of those articles and they are good articles from DINO, i have it saved in my Favorites. So thank you for those resources that i will utilize!

Thank you for sharing that, i do think it is hard to be calm in a situation such as that. For example, i see a person walking behind or in front of us, my blood pressure goes up and i even get somewhat anxious and i really need to just relax and calm myself before i expect Zelda to be calm! It is hard.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Oh never mind. This forum is a different one, there description sounds like it will be a helpful tool to use! I am excited!

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2013, 06:06 PM
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You already have a trainer for the dog that can evaluate the issue in person. Are you not confident in your trainer to help you with the issue?

These kinds of problems are usually not good ones to ask about in the forums because it is pretty much impossible to evaluate motives and the behavior of the dog, and because of that it is hard to find the best tailored solution to your dog. It is like trying to diagnose your own illnesses with Dr Google and no formal medical training.

It certainly sounds like fear based behavior probably mixed with some resource guarding. It is hard to say just from a description. See if the trainer can walk the dog and introduce her to new people without you around. See what happens. If the trainer can do it then the dog is either resource guarding you, or maybe is picking up on some sort of anxiety from you and taking that as a cue to get anxious. Ask your trainer what to do from there.
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