Am I doing this wrong (avoiding other dogs/strangers)

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Am I doing this wrong (avoiding other dogs/strangers)

This is a discussion on Am I doing this wrong (avoiding other dogs/strangers) within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; My dog is almost 2 years old. I got him at 9 months. I don't know his past history. He is pretty good except for ...

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Old 10-10-2018, 10:54 AM
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Am I doing this wrong (avoiding other dogs/strangers)

My dog is almost 2 years old. I got him at 9 months. I don't know his past history. He is pretty good except for resource guarding.

He is timid around new people. At our home he barks and then calms down. Outside, he stays by me. I don't know how he is with other dogs. he used to bark and lunge, now he just looks at them.

There is one dog we see, that I know he likes and we go up to her on our walks. I can't take him off leash, he may run in the street, but he is fine.

When we see other dogs, we cross the street. When people come up to pet him, I say he is nervous.

Am I doing this wrong? I think I am more nervous than him.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:00 AM
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Always do what is necessary to protect yourself, your dog, and other people. If you think there could be a problem, go with caution. I ask people not to touch my nervous dog.
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:04 PM
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You should watch your dog, he will tell you how he is feeling.

For example, all three of my dogs react very, very differently to the approach of a child.

1. Levi - Sits, and turns his head, looks at me, licks his lips, will occasionally back up. Pretty clear indications he is uncomfortable, but managing the situation. Depending on the age and intensity of the child, they may approach and toss him a treat, but I don't really let children pet him.

2. Heidi - Ears backs, whole body is loose, tail swooshing, and she will "smile" while walking forward. VERY happy to meet the children, wants to receive all the pats. She is a dog that I feel very comfortable letting children meet.

3. Logan - Tucks tail, backs up/hides behind a person, or will roll on her back/potentially urinate. VERY uncomfortable. I do not ever let children pet her, and I try not to let them approach.

You can certainly work on desensitizing and counter conditioning him to things he is afraid of (Logan used to lunge and bark at dogs, now she is very happy to see them because she has a HUGE reinforcement history for dogs = cookies), but they may never be comfortable in a situation.

Some dogs are better off-leash because they can move away if needed. I would get some books or take a course (like This one). Your dog will be the best indicator of how comfortable he is in a given situation.
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:13 PM
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Giving space is respectful!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorib64 View Post
When we see other dogs, we cross the street. When people come up to pet him, I say he is nervous.

Am I doing this wrong? I think I am more nervous than him.
Since I adopted my cautious fearful Gracie dog, I have made it a habit to cross the street or move away when I see another dog. I personally think it is a great idea for everyone! Giving space is respectful!

I now do it, too, with my new super friendly Puma pup. This way I can watch how she is reacting to the oncoming dog and person. Plus this way I can check with the other dog owner to see if the dogs are ok to meet!

I personally feel all dog greetings should be consentual!!!
A dog may look friendly, but come close enough and the dog becomes very uncomfortable and can send aggressive signals out. Ya just never know. Better to ask permission to meet, I say.

And as far as people, I always tell my dogs politely to "stay with me" when I see a person coming towards us. Then I move off the path with her, or give ample space.

Then if I want my dog to greet, I ask the person if my dog can meet them. No strangers get to pet my shy Gracie dog, but they can meet her if I think they will actually listen to me and meet her on our special protocol. (No hands!!) But I always want nice people to pet Puma pup since she is cool with all people.

I always assess the situation, watch my dog's body language closely for stress signals, and am right there always as they interact with my dog! Especially with kids!!!!!

So, I think what you are doing is not only fine, but safe, polite, and respectful to your dog and others!! Good job, Dog Mom!
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:24 PM
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@Lorib64

Thank you for giving your dog and other dogs the space they may need.

I wish all people would have the courtesy to allow space between dogs, until determined that they are ok to meet and greet!

I absolutely hate when people walk straight towards us to allow their dog to greet mine with no permission. One time I was walking my dog and I showed her two dogs behind a fence that were playing. I got out my treats for her and all was good. Suddenly the lady opened the gate and let her dog come bounding out to meet us. I nearly freaked out since it happened so fast. Totally uncool. She later denied it of course, saying her dog pushed the metal gate open by himself. Hurrumph. Whatever. Unsure really, but I sure was not happy about it...luckily my friendly Puma pup was much better about it and had zero reaction.

So again, thank you for giving dogs space and respect!
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Old 10-15-2018, 04:13 AM
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Remember to always focus on any progress & improvement the dog has made & celebrate each little milestone together. This will motivate you & your dog towards reaching your goals & see you through the tough times & unexpected setbacks. 😆 good job so far I think. Give plenty of opportunities for positive interactions, increased opportunity- increased success.
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Old 10-15-2018, 11:12 AM
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Remember to always focus on any progress & improvement the dog has made & celebrate each little milestone together. This will motivate you & your dog towards reaching your goals & see you through the tough times & unexpected setbacks. 😆 good job so far I think. Give plenty of opportunities for positive interactions, increased opportunity- increased success.
Thanks for that reminder. He is getting much better at recall and he does not lunge or bark at other dogs anymore. He sits at street corners and waits before we cross streets.

He seems intelligent and wants to please.
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Old 10-15-2018, 05:56 PM
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