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This isn't meant to offend anyone what so ever I'm just worried. When my gsd and me where at a park today and African American lady walked by and he went nutts I dont know if its because I'm not in a real diverse community and he doesnt see much of other races. What should I do though.
 

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Our Border Collie doesn't like African Americans either. God knows it's nothing we taught her. Our neighbor down the street comes over to play with our kids and she's fine with him...we've lived here for 4 1/2 years so I guess she's used to him now. But if someone is walking down our street or something, she's goes nuts.
 

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i'd first try and pin point if there is a possibility that it was something else that set him off (was she a large woman, hat, sunglasses, unusual walk, etc). no matter if its one of those things or her skin tone - i'd make an effort to get him out around many different types of people, even if you dont run into AA's often - the more people he meets the more secure he'll be. i live in los angeles (every race imaginable here) and my boy was uneasy around AA men if they had extremely dark skin or were really husky & tall. i basically ignored the behavior (didnt show him a reaction good or bad, didnt comfort him or anything) and gradually he was fine. granted he wasnt barking at the people, just showing obvious fear and discomfort.

you dont have to respond to this, but you may want to think back and see if there was any change in your feelings or body language when the woman passed because he could have picked up on that.

how old is he? where'd you get him and at what age?
 

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Socialize, socialize socialize.

If you can, find and ask folks to help-just going downtown or to a park. Give them some of your dog's favorite treats (as long as they're not messy!) You approach them and let your dog approach with you with lots of praise if he's behaving appropriately. I would not have the helper initially move toward the dog or hold the treat toward them but down by their side where the dog can see/sniff it. You control the situation to make sure your dog is acting calmly as he approaches. LOTS OF PRAISE while he's behaving.

You're worried about this being a cultural issue-that your dog doesn't like being around African-American women? Has he been in the vicinity prior or was this his first exposure. First off treat it like a reaction to an individual- and dogs can react like that. Kayla was introduced to our regular mailman early in life. She has negative reactions to one or two others who run his route once in a while-both Asian. She also has the reaction to one of our neighbors who is also Asian, elderly and does daily walks around the neighborhood. And then, she is the "everybody's my friend" unless they prove otherwise when we're at the parks or walking around.

Our regular mailman? Parks his truck and walks house to house delivering mail, has conversations/waves to most everyone. The two replacements? Drive house to house-go to the mailboxes with their eyes focused on their task at hand and almost no acknowledgement of the folks in the neighborhood.

Our neighbor? There was one instance where she walk around our car and I think she and Kayla basically surprised one another. Kayla is friendly with her when we are out walking, but just seems to have the issue when she is walking past our house.

I'll stop rambling now. Try to evalulate the situation from the individual issues first and try to keep in mind that some people do put out "vibes" that will set your dog off. They're individuals too and sometimes it could just the chemistry. But also, look at your socialization and maybe try to add another exercise to the socialization to increase their exposure and interactions.

Good Luck.
 

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my great dane does this also. I have no clue but it is def. african americans. He has done it in several settings and it is always embarrasing. we rescued him so not sure what his background was.
 

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Ive had 2 dogs with the same problem, I never understood where it stemed from. Sarge is that way, we had some people over one night and sarge is other wise a very well behaved dog. He barked and growled and raised a barrel of crap. I put him in the bedroom and closed the door and he tried to take the door down. It got so bad they were afraid to stay any longer.

They left, I let sarge out and he searched the house to make sure they were gone. Then he settled right down and went back to being himself. Ive seen this behavior on many occasions but I cant explain it any more then you can.
 

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My pup's initially barked/growled at people with hats, cause I never wore a hat.

My pup's initially barked at people with walkers/canes, cause I don't use one.

My pup's initially barked at horses cause I don't have any in my area.

All those instances as well as yours are EXACTLY THE SAME. It's just because it's a new situation with something looking different. I know that I look at ALL new issues as TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES to put on my thinking cap, grab the clicker and a huge baggie of real treats, to work out the new problem!

Car rides, driving to new places, new sights, sounds (hey, try an elevator yet with your dog?????)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DOG CLASSES!
 

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my 2 gsd does it to.not everyone.
i think it's because dogs does not see all the colors like we(human) do,and they can't make out the faces,so they get nervous.

let me ask this,does it get worst when it's dark?
sometime when they see a white person,at night,they react the same way.

this is kind of weird,because i was going to start a post like this,but i was not sure if it was going to be "touchy"for some.
i was driving with my 2gsd about 2-3 weeks ago,and i was stopped at a light.i was on the right lane.then a black women,about 50-60,was walking on the side walk,coming toward us and when they saw her,they went off! she stopped and looked at me,she was so scared that she went off the sidewalk into the grass a good 20-30 feets.
usually they don't act like this when they are close to afric/americ.
i take them to pet smart a lot,and there are been many occasion when a black person,including kids,stopped and petted my gsd.with no problem.
 

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Thorai has a huge problem with hats and hoodies, he turns into cujo when anyone approaching has a hat or hood.

DH wears hats all the time.............All our friends now know to remove their head wear!!

We had a irish setter who had the same problem with hats, he solved the problem himself. He would jump on whomever it was and remove the hat!!
 

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This is an interesting thread. I live in the south now. Either I have become almost color blind or most places I take the dogs have very few African Americans or people of any color beyond pale anglo. Now that I think about it, they don't seem to shop in the little strip mall down the hill where I used to take the girls to walk. They don't frequent PetsMart here to the extent that pale anglos do.

I think I've just realized that central Arkansas is still socially segregated to a greater extent than I was aware.
 

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Originally Posted By: AnnemarieThorai has a huge problem with hats and hoodies, he turns into cujo when anyone approaching has a hat or hood.

DH wears hats all the time.............All our friends now know to remove their head wear!!
I think I'd go the opposite route on this one - have EVERYONE wear hats, all the time, and have them be treat dispensers. I'd rather desensitize my dogs to something that initially freaks them by having it become a routine part of their environment. As MRL said, use it as a training opportunity to create a positive association with new, potentially scary things. People in hats = freeze dried liver, or bits of cheese.
 

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I was at a Suzanne Clothier seminar a year ago, and one of the dogs she was working with was reactive to other dogs, and alerted to the sound of jingling tags on collars. The woman who brought the dog in had two other dogs, and she'd taken their tags off so as not to set this particular dog off every time they walked around the house.

Suzanne's advice? Put tags on everything, of course! Back onto the other dogs, back onto this dog, on doorknobs, on cabinet doors, on everybody's shoelaces - so that instead of the sound meaning "there's another dog nearby, better BARKBARKBARK!", it meant nothing anymore. Just one of those ambient sounds that are so pervasive to the environment that the dog would eventually learn to tune it out.
 

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Funny enough I was on the receiving end of this once. I am half Mexican and half German, but to look at me I am light skinned with dark hair. We used to have a neighbor whose dog hated me!! The neighbors were African American. After having the dog go nuts a few times and me wondering what was going on, they told me that their dog was uncomfortable around white people. LoL! I almost died I thought it was so funny since it is common to have a dog that is hesitant around people with darker skin. I felt bad for my neighbors since they were SO embarassed.

I started to go over daily just to say hi and each time I brought something for the dog...chewy treats, a meatball, etc. The neighbors thought I had a death wish since I was "training" their dog to like me and they never asked me to do it. After about a month the dog just stopped. I went to the door one day and she was fine. She stood there waiting for her treat everytime she saw me (and probably every other white person she encountered) but she was fine.
 

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I have seen this sort of reaction in many dogs over the years. People of different races look different and smell different. Darker skinned people also can be much harder for a dog to read because it is more difficult for the dog to discern facial features and expression. These differences from what the dog considers the norm can be confusing and intimidating and lead to this sort of reaction. Add to that, people of different cultures, ethnic and socio/economic backgrounds often do not have much, if any, experience or positive exposure with dogs and thus can have a dislike or fear of large dogs, especially those of "aggressive" breeds, which a dog will certainly pick up on and will make the dog even more likely to react.

As with anything else, positive socialization and exposure will help tremendously.
 

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Morgan used to be that way, which was NOT COOL. I just kept socializing her, making a point of always stopping to talk to the black lady 2 doors down. It goes away eventually.
 

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Originally Posted By: MandalayI started to go over daily just to say hi and each time I brought something for the dog...chewy treats, a meatball, etc. The neighbors thought I had a death wish since I was "training" their dog to like me and they never asked me to do it. After about a month the dog just stopped. I went to the door one day and she was fine. She stood there waiting for her treat everytime she saw me (and probably every other white person she encountered) but she was fine.
That's classic counter-conditioning! The dog's emotional response to you was retrained into something more positive because every time she saw you, good things happened for her. It can take time and patience, but it's a terrific technique, no matter what the source of fear or stress.
 

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Quote:I think I'd go the opposite route on this one - have EVERYONE wear hats, all the time, and have them be treat dispensers. I'd rather desensitize my dogs to something that initially freaks them by having it become a routine part of their environment. As MRL said, use it as a training opportunity to create a positive association with new, potentially scary things. People in hats = freeze dried liver, or bits of cheese.
That's exactly how I go about my socialization days! I get a tingle of excitement now when I see my dog suddenly avoid, or act off, or tuck their tail, or just not be comfortable.

TRAINING OPPORTUNITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What can I, as the intelligent one
do to 'work' thru the situaiton so my pup gets turned around completely! Clickers and food work most of the time. TIME is a help, distance, asking people to help, and going out of my way to set my pup up for similar situations.

Permanent avoidance is never an option. No learning there. For my dog to get over it. For me to train my pup to be comfortable. It may be the easy way for me, but not (in the long run) helping my dog.
 
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