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I came home from work today and my wife told me alittle story.She watches some small kids during the day.The dog is great with them.One is a one year old that is just learning to walk the other one is a 4 year old boy that just runs and plays with him all day.Well the 4 year olds mother came to pick him up and she brought her 12 year old daughter with her.The daughter is one of those gothic dressing girls,all black thick eyeliner wtc.Well,Cole,our dog did not like this and ran from her.So her mother called Cole over so say hi,he loves her.Well the daughter bent down to pet him and cole showed teeth and growled at her.My wife jumped up and flipped him on his side and told him to lay down and stay.The dog urinated all over the floor.Now me not being home I could not have done anything.I would have told the girl to ingore him and not to force the subject.Was my wife ok how she reacted?I think she should have instructed the girl much better.This is the first time he has ever growled and shown teeth.Kinda scary.I have noticed that the breeder I got him from has a boyfriend who dresses the same way and yells at the dogs.I was imformed from friends that he has hit the dogs before.Maybe thats why he is acting weird around people dressed in all black.I got him from the breeder at 10 weeks so maybe he just saw this hopefilly he was never hit.How would you all deal with this?
 

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Sounds like your dog was afraid of her and your wife may have inadvertantly reinforced that fear (there's another thread about alpha rolls that you may want to look at).

The good side: Your dog didn't bite and he didn't snap. He was scared but he displayed his fear in other ways.

The bad side: Obviously you don't want your dog doing this.

In future (if you're going to have him out in these situations): Have the fear-provoking person ignore him. Have the fear provoking person offer him a treat when he's not acting aggressively. Help him learn that people who look different are a wonderful thing and nothing to be worried about.

I'd hesitate to experiment with other peoples 12 year olds for liability reasons, but perhaps you could enlist a dog savvy friend to dress up and recreate the situation?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would have told her to ignore him and such but I was not at home.I feel bad he is very shy but warms up VERY quickly.I can have him in a roomfull of people 20 plus and he will go from person to person,seemed to be getting better then this.I think the big difference is people are sitting and he walks to them this girl walked to him when he was uneasy and my wife let her.
 

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Matt--

I see here

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/ubb...true#Post571156

that you dog is a submissive urinator.

I know you really love your dog or you wouldn't be here asking for advice.
I'm going to be honest and say that your wife's reaction was not a good one. You've gotten plenty of good advice in the other thread and I hope you will pass it along to your wife. If you've got a fearful dog and you reinforce that fear then you may end up with a fear aggressive dog who tries to defend himself by biting.

He did what he did because he was afraid and was trying to tell the girl to back off. The best thing you can do with your dog is to use positive, reward based training from now on. If he does something "wrong" then ignore it and only reward the positive. You've got to get everyone in your family on board with this type of training. Avoid situations where you know he will be scared until you can get him to a more stable place.
 

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Please do take this up with your wife. It sounds like she spooked and over reacted. The worst thing you can do is make your dog afraid to give a growl, that growl is a warning. Dogs who are afraid to growl may just go to the bite right off the bat! No one wants that. Your dog was asking for someone to step in and make things okay. Doing the alpha roll and terrifying him further was not in his best interest. sooo., sounds like you need to do some slow and easy socializing with the scary looking people. Don't rush it with him... do the treat thing where YOU give the treats whenver the scary person is in sight. And please do not try to hurry this along.
Only when he is comfortable with the scary person should that person be offering the treats. Probably the worst thing you can do is try to hurry the process (I am speaking from painful experience here). But if you take it slow and easy and make sure you do lots of short exposures it should work. I have a girl with huge issues, who has been a work in progress for years and even she has improved over time!
 
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