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Does the girl SAY anything to Gabby? At all? I was wondering
if having her approach it from the stand point of being in
control of the situation, you know, Gabby SIT Gabby DOWN
Gabby GOOD GIRL, instead of just walking out and throwing
treats... Being forceful instead of hesitant, which throwing
treats might suggest to Gabby?

Just a thought.
 

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I agree, it may help. That's the approach I use when I have to deal with an iffy dog that's boarding at my work, and it works a heck of a lot better than being timid and "asking" if can clip it's nails, etc.
 

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Has anyone suggested yet to have meetings between the dog and girl take place at a neutral location? That's what I'd try. Maybe at a park. The girl and her mom could sit on a bench, looking away rather than at the dog, and the dog could be walked up to her. When close enough then the girl could gently toss treats her way?
 

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I would have a really good trainer/dog person come out and observe this before I did anything. I know I'd be missing TONS of clues because I would be anticipating and misinterpreting behaviors, etc. due to the situation.

I also wonder-is your niece disabled in any way? I have a dog who will ONLY go to kids who are "different" and absolutely cannot stand to be around "normal" kids. But I am sure there are other dogs who are the opposite!
 

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Originally Posted By: JeanKBBMMMAAN

I also wonder-is your niece disabled in any way? I have a dog who will ONLY go to kids who are "different" and absolutely cannot stand to be around "normal" kids. But I am sure there are other dogs who are the opposite!
Our Nara is that way. She's a bit nervy but absolutely LOVES people in general. But she is very nervous around anyone who to her seems "off" or "different".

I think it's time to take the suggestion of having a good trainer/behaviorist come out and evaluate the situation. There is something really, really *weird* going on here between this child and this dog. It may take someone who not only is very good at reading the dog's subtle clues to figure out what the dog is thinking, but who is also removed from the situation and can look at it with a more objective eye.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Wow! These are all great suggestions. They key as some one mentioned is finding my starting point. I've been at home with Gabby all weekend and it being my husband's birthday we had more visitors than usual. This is what I observed: In each situation when some one would arrive, either on foot or in a car Gabby "sounds the alarm"...she barks ferocously and the hair on her back stands up, but as soon as she's within 2 feet of the person she stops barking and sniffs, then sits to be petted. If I gave a "Gabby, come" even mid bark she did a complete about face and ran to me tail wagging waiting to greet our company. We had all shapes and sizes come by, but no one got the aggression that Tabby sets off. We got lots of, "Wow! That's a good dog!" Because she let us know we had visitors, and certainly let them know she was there, but never took it too far. pinkanml, what you;re talking about is exactly what I think I need to improve...let her know that I am her protector and not the other way around, but I'm not sure how to go about that.
"Maybe you can really crack down on the NILF. That can help both dominance issues, and fear aggression. My girl had both when I got her, and I found that the more she began to recognize me as the alpha bitch, she understood that it was MY job to be on the watch for strangers, to protect HER when she is scared, and that she is to look to me before she reacts to a situation."
What is NILF and how do I acheive this?
Thank you all so much for your comments, keep 'em coming!
I agree there's a stong possibility that Tabby did something to Gabby early on, but I seriously doubt this stubborn 13 yr old will EVER admit it, now I'm left to try to repair the damage.
 
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