My new dog hates men!

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My new dog hates men!

This is a discussion on My new dog hates men! within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I just recently adopted a new dog(2yo GSD)and so far things have been going really well. He was an owner surrender but unfortunately there was ...

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Old 08-12-2017, 11:55 PM
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My new dog hates men!

I just recently adopted a new dog(2yo GSD)and so far things have been going really well. He was an owner surrender but unfortunately there was no background information on him regarding his temperament. Surprisingly he gets along very well with our first dog(GSD) and also poses no threat to my 6 month old daughter. He's had little to no training but is very eager and willing to learn and I've gotten him to understand some basic commands already.
Unfortunately we have discovered that he is not the biggest fan of men. From my experience of owning dogs I was taught to get down to the dogs level, no eye contact, and let him approach you, I've instructed those men to do the same however he still gets defensive and will bark somewhat aggressively. Recently he even lunged at one who turned his back to walk away. He will stop when I try to correct him and take his focus off the man but then goes right back at it.
I totally understand his mindset being that he's in a new environment and him possibly having bad experiences with men in his past, I just want to prevent him from continuing the bad habit and it turning into something permanent that could cause someone harm. Is there any advice that you could pass my way to help this hopefully temporary issue?
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:59 PM
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To also add, it doesn't seem to be a "in my bubble" kind of situation because my sister and law can just walk through the front door and immediately start petting his head and acts totally normal
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Old 08-13-2017, 12:30 AM
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His behavior says that he's not comfortable with men being around at all and that them staying around is too much.

For me my first step would be going to a low traffic area, like the parking lot of a hardware store, that has men around, pick a place that is relatively open and far away from them. Every time a man comes into view treat constantly, cease when they leave view. Men acting normally = treats. From here it's like a choose your own adventure: he reacts you lower the difficulty by increasing the distance, going somewhere quieter etc... He gets comfortable and starts paying way more attention to the treats increase the difficulty decrease distance, higher traffic, men playing sport, walking while in view of men etc...

I'd not worry about the end goal of getting him to interact with men, as long as he is safe not to interact, and take it as slowly as the dog needs. If he reacts figure out what criteria was too much and change it.
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Old 08-13-2017, 12:31 AM
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What is a Threshold? - The Crossover Trainer's Blog

Here's a good explanation.
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Old 08-13-2017, 12:52 AM
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He was also recently neutered so he most likely has those male hormones in his system. I just want to have him accustomed to men before my husband comes home from deployment and I know he should behave better due to the fact that my husband is constantly around so he becomes familiar . I give the dog a lot of credit because he's completely different from when we met him at the shelter and has already mastered a few basic commands in less than a week so he's willing to learn
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Old 08-13-2017, 01:01 AM
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Neutering rarely produces significant behavior changes in areas not related to reproduction. Don't count on the hormonal change to help. Having a stable supportive home will almost certainly help though and you'll see changes over the next 3 months due to this factor.

Please consider counter conditioning men, not being scared of people is a really good skill to have.
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Old 08-13-2017, 01:19 PM
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Another thing I forgot to mention was the just started a few days ago but the day I came home with him, he met these same men and had no negative reaction to them. I had bathed him because poor guy was disgusting from lack of care and he let them towel try him and pet him no issues. So it's just weird that his demeanor changed so quickly with no provocation
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Old 08-13-2017, 04:58 PM
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Arrow it's the honeymoon period - plus no past history

Imagine U have a dog who simply HATES everyone with curly hair. // I have curly hair.
However, i'm also dog-savvy & not easily intimidated, nor do i push dog's buttons - i read them well, & i do my level best not to scare, worry, or anger any dog, especially a dog that i'm working with; i don't want to make a bad impression, & shoot my own foot.

He's just arrived in Ur home, it's been only 24-hours - he's still learning the ropes.

I come to Ur house; U tell me all the things curly-haired ppl can't do, per the previous owner - pet him, clip or file claws, feed him without drama [he lunges at the bowl, then stands over it gobbling & growling], groom his belly or petticoats, clean his ears, etc.
I do at least 3 of these things in a row - the dog doesn't react. Why?

He has no history with me; i'm a new individual.
He's in new environs, & feels a bit uncertain. // In 3 days, he'll be much-more confident on site, & reactivity will predictably rise.

- terry

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Old 08-13-2017, 05:14 PM
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There's a rule of threes with adopting a dog, 3days, 3weeks and in three months you'll actually meet the dog you adopted. Major changes really do happen in that time when a dog is totally overwhelmed it can sort of shut down and appear really well behaved but only because it's so uncomfortable.
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Old 08-13-2017, 11:32 PM
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Is it at all possible that, after the first time he behaved this way, you've changed your behavior? Now, when a man is present, do you leash your dog and become apprehensive?

If so, he might be picking up non-verbal clues from you, and behaving accordingly.
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