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I know I've read this before but really struggling with our female 6 mo old Sable Shepherd. She is so fearful of people on walks but at the dog park totally fine with people and other dogs. I'm not a fan of dog parks and will never let her loose in the main area but we use the training area and allow one dog at a time and she loves it. She's amazing at home and is coming along with obedience and walks 2-3 times per day, play in the backyard but never unsupervised. When we are not engaged shes relaxed in her exercise pen and sleeps in her crate perfectly. So everything seems perfect until we go to a store or walk and if we don't keep 20 feet of distance from all people she barks aggressively and loses all focus. She will do a down and "stand on dog (leash)" but if they come to close I can't hold her back. She only barks and acts crazy but I'm so scared of it turning into full aggression. Its embarrassing and someone yelled at me at Jax today because we were 20 feet from the door and she lunged and barked terrible when someone walked up from behind. We are doing our best with socializing but its so hard when we can't get any closer than 20 feet before she loses it. She walks great, heels, takes her treats, does her downs on cue but doesn't like people! Do we just keep at it slowly creeping our way down from 20 feet to 19 to 18, etc.
 

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For now quit taking your dog into stores. Back off on this. When you reintroduce it, go in for a very short time. Like go in, make a short loop and leave. And go at a time when there are very few people there. You can gradually increase the time, you can add a focus to the routine --- for instance, as a puppy my now old dog would have tantrums on walks when vehicles went past. I started walking very late at night and moving her off to a few feet of a cross road, having her sit, focus on me and get a reward. It was about a month to 6 weeks when she would basically ignore even fire engines passing us. What I'm saying is work something similar with stores/walks with your dog. Basically, work under threshold and gradually decrease that threshold. That means you have to be alert and avoid situations that violate that threshold. Every time you don't, you set the dog back a lot.
 
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