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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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