Puppy is Very Wary Around Strangers

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Puppy is Very Wary Around Strangers

This is a discussion on Puppy is Very Wary Around Strangers within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I have a Miniature American Shepherd, and we're outside a great deal of the time. Our neighborhood is very small, and the only other people/dogs ...

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Old 11-25-2017, 11:51 AM
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Puppy is Very Wary Around Strangers

I have a Miniature American Shepherd, and we're outside a great deal of the time. Our neighborhood is very small, and the only other people/dogs that she sees are neighbors. Even around them, she will pull and growl at them, more so with dogs. She wouldn't ever be aggressive, but I don't know how to correct this behavior. She is only six months old at the moment, and she is participating in the Petsmart training classes. I want her to be the kind of dog who loves meeting and being around other people and dogs, and not growl at children when they ask to pet her. I have heard from many people that dog parks aren't a great idea, and I have no other ideas about socialization of any sort. We are also having issues with loose leash walking, and general tugging while walking. I would like her to be able to walk off leash at one point, but I can't think about that until these are under control. Any tips will be appreciated!!
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Old 11-25-2017, 01:28 PM
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Socializing doesn't just mean the dog park, it means taking her places that have all kinds of different people, sounds, smells and different types of walking surfaces...like stores that allow dogs such as home depot, and outdoor malls, pet friendly restaurants, the beach, vineyards etc...if you want her to play with other dogs find a puppy play group near you, your vet might even hold social groups at the office after hours, or look into doggy daycare facilities, they usually hold play groups on the weekends, you pay a small fee, cuz they need to pay their employees but it's much safer for your puppy than the dog park!!
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Old 11-26-2017, 01:40 AM
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Quick caveat here. Socializing should also mean that your pup feels safe and that she enjoys the "experience". Before you take her into a "play group", go to the facilities first and check them out. If it's a "free-for-all" (as a dog park tends to be), look for somewhere else. Good points made by @Olympia.
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Old 11-26-2017, 06:40 AM
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B's. I socialized my dog by going to dog parks every day as he needed lots of daily exerciseand living in a city o had no other options. It was fine. The one I go to people are very respectful and political and friendly. Bad things can happen anywhere and I will say my dog had physical marks and scratches after the two highly recommended doggy daycare places but never a mark after being at the dog park.
Occasionally there are rude and clueless people there but in my park at least, they are quickly banned. Dog parks can be very fun and healthy socialization places if you use basic common sense just like anywhere else.
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Old 11-26-2017, 09:54 AM
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When my dog started exhibiting behaviors I didn’t want around people, I would ask my friends (who she hadn’t met before) to go on a walk with me and just totally ignore my dog. Some other times I would have them drop a treat without acknowledging her so she would think “oh, okay, people aren’t so bad.”

My friend and her dog, who is very well trained and socialized, would go on walks with me and my dog. I would have my dog on my left side and she would have her dog on her right side (her dog is a master of heeling position). My dog, not so much. I got her one of these https://www.petsmart.com/dog/collars...ness-9378.html
And it works really well. But you have to keep in mind, some dogs just aren’t meant to be around other dogs, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be civil around them.

For off leash, my dog and I worked very hard on the ‘come’ command. Before I started going on hikes with her, I took her to a fenced in grassed area, like a school or an empty baseball field. I would make sure it’s empty before using it so there’s no extra distractions and it would only be me and her. And even if she wouldn’t ‘come’ I would feel safe in knowing that at least we were gated in. Try playing the get and come back. It’s where you throw a treat a couple feet away from you and your dog (with your dog on a long leash if possible) and have her ‘come’ back to another treat. Keep playing this and it’ll be a great experience for you and your dog.

I hope this helps!
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Old 11-26-2017, 09:55 AM
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We brought her to a dog park a couple of months ago once, she did surprisingly well. She wasn't at all afraid of the other four or so dogs there, but I know it only takes one bite from one dog to permanently damage her perspective on other dogs. We took her to a dog friendly 3 mile trail the other day, I saw a man running with his aussie offleash, never fails to amaze me! I would like her to be that well behaved someday, but I doubt that'll ever happen!
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