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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. I'm new here. I have a 6 month old blue heeler pup. As I'm sure a lot of other cattle dog owners do, we are having some trouble with strangers. When we are somewhere public, like walking on the beach, and she doesn't have time to claim something, she is fine with people. Of course, she won't let them pet her, but she's not growling. But when people come around something she thinks is hers, (and things become hers very fast) she growls and nips at heels. At my friend's house, I left her in a fenced in part of their yard while we went inside. She decided that was hers and didn't want to let them come into the yard. She would listen to me, but it was difficult and my friends were scared of her. At my grandma's house, she pretty much terrorizes my cousin. The only thing I know to do is hold her muzzle shut and lie her on the ground whenever she growls. I'm scanning the Internet for the right thing to do, but I can't find any good explanations of what I need to do. I think I understand that I shouldn't be physically correcting her as I am....? But I cannot find an alternative. I have some NaturVet Bitter YUCK! spray I could spray in her mouth as a correction.... Some guy mentioned doing that with his heeler. Is this a good idea? I guess I'd need to do some research and find some stuff that tastes unpleasant but wouldn't hurt her eyes if I somehow missed her mouth. A spray bottle with water? I know you're face palming at me right now. I'm sorry but I've got no clue what to do.

Oh also: we missed puppy classes (we didn't sign up in time) and the next class isn't for another month or so. I'd really like to nip this in the bud (no pun intended :) ) We're currently searching for a trainer but it's slow moving since I'm 15 and both parents work.
 

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nope; no YUCK! spray into her mouth, *ever* - that's to prevent chewing OBJECTS...

... it has nothing to do with biting - only spray things that a dog might gnaw [wood baseboard, banister; a hardcover book; etc].

Besides the inapropos application, what impression of Ur hands & Ur actions would the pup get, if U were to OPEN HER MOUTH with one hand over her foreface, & use the other to spray the inside of her sensitive mouth & tongue with horrid-tasting vile liquid? -
would the vet, among other ppl, appreciate this bad association the next time s/he reached for the pup's head to examine their eyes, or tried to open the pup's or now-dog's mouth for an interior exam?!?! - :ponder:
I think not. :eek:


Also, Ur instincts are right - pinning her down & especially holding her mouth shut are not going to help, & holding her muzzle closed will definitely make things worse: when U reach for her head, after doing that a few too many times, she WILL at some point, bite with force & either U or someone else will be hurt - possibly, b/c we're talking hands here, with lots of nerves, tendons, small highly-mobile joints, etc, all in a small area, permanent loss of function may result from that one bite.
And it will happen - U are setting her up to defend herself, & her teeth are all she's got. :(

For help with training of all kinds, I have 2 well-regarded, reliable sources, Ian Dunbar's free downloadable books - 'Before U Get Ur Puppy' & 'After...' for advice on pro-active socialization, habituation, general manners, & chew-proofing by teaching about chew-toys,
& ANY of the videos on UTube by KikoPup.
KikoPup AKA Emily Larlham is an excellent trainer, but even better, she's a good teacher - & she will never ever ever tell U to do something that will scare, anger, or seriously stress Ur dog. She's reliably kind, humane, & thoughtful about potential fallout.
:thumbsup:


Free downloads | Dog Star Daily

https://www.youtube.com/user/kikopup

Look them over, & if U still have Qs, come on back - & please do update us.

For now, i'd have her on-leash around nonfamily or any folks that she does not live with, & i'd attach the leash to a hands-free belt, either made for the purpose, or just a good sturdy 2-inch wide belt - slide the wrist loop over the tab end & run it to whichever side U prefer, run the belt thru the remaining belt-loops of a sturdy pair of khakis or heavy-duty work pants, & buckle it securely.
Now, where U go, she goes - 4-ft of leash or even a 3-ft traffic leash is plenty, U want her right beside U, not leaping on passersby.

Work on desensitizing her & counter-conditioning her automatic ACD distrust of strangers - pair the visual arrival & continued presence of any stranger with Open Bar / Closed Bar: so long as the stranger is visible & audible, feed feed feed pea-sized or half-pea sized high-quality tidbits; when they can no longer be seen or heard, Bar's closed! - no more goodies, just stop feeding.

Open Bar / Closed Bar is not 'training' & there are zero contingencies; it's pure association & classical conditioning, 'I see a stranger, & i know that Good Things are about to happen'.

The 1st time that she sees an unknown someone coming in the distance, & turns to U smiling in anticipation of a goodie - YOU ARE MAKING PROGRESS. :thumbsup: Celebrate! :happydance: -- but 1st, start paying out tidbits, LOL.

- terry
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you thank you!! We will definantly try open bar/closed bar. And thank you for the references, I downloaded the book, I haven't had a chance to read it yet but I scanned through it and it looks like it will be helpful. I'll stop with the mouth holding, I see how that could be very bad. I'm still confused though, here's a scenario: say we're sitting outside at a not-too-crowded restaurant. There are a couple other people around, and she's lying at my feet, so I'm treating every once and a while. Someone comes walking down the sidewalk and walks right by us. I would reward her a ton right now, right? As soon as the person comes into view and stop when he goes out of view? What do I do if she growls? Do I just stop rewarding and use verbal correction?
 

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What do I do if she growls? Do I just stop rewarding and use verbal correction?
You don't want to correct your dog when she growls, assuming that 'correct' means telling her "no" or something that indicates she should stop the behavior. A growl is one of the ways your dog is able to communicate to you that something is happening and she's not cool with it, and it's a fairly obvious and harmless method of communication. It might be scary but it's just noise. In and of itself, it doesn't hurt anyone and it's a clear signal that even us humans with our dull (compared to a dog) senses can notice. A growl is your cue to listen to your dog and do what you need to do to get her away from whatever it is that's bothering her. It means you let one of her triggers get too close. If you quash one of her most obvious methods of communication, she may decide to skip the warning (since it's only going to get her a reprimand) and start doing even less appropriate things like snapping or biting.

Put another way, stopping her from growling isn't changing her attitude towards the trigger. If you're afraid of spiders and scream every time you see one and I start slapping you in the face every time you scream, you're not going to feel any differently about spiders; you'll just know that around me you can't scream when you see one and it might be better just to stomp on the spider or to punch me in the nose. It's not changing your feelings towards the trigger, just your reaction to it, and it's probably not going to change your reaction in a positive way. That's probably a bad analogy. Sorry.

I'm inclined to think that you need a more controlled environment than a restaurant to work with her; you need to be somewhere where you can easily and quickly get more distance if necessary. You want her to associate people (if that's her trigger) with good things like treats, but if she has to resort to growling because someone got too close, then she's back to thinking that people are scary and need to be told to stay away so you've lost a bit of the progress you made with the people/treat connection.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok. I see. No, that was a good analogy. Just realized that half the time we thought we were "socializing" her we were pretty much drowning her in new stuff. Which was scary. So I should never put her in a situation where she would growl or snap and I should instead be working up to that. THANK YOU.
 

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Nope; this isn't "training', it's positive association of strangers + Good THings

...here's a scenario: say we're sitting outside at a not-too-crowded restaurant. There are a couple other people around, and she's lying at my feet, so I'm treating every once and a while.
Someone ... walks right by us. I would reward her a ton right now, right? As soon as the person comes into view & stop when he goes out of view?

What do I do if she growls?
Do I just stop rewarding and use verbal correction?
Nope - U still deliver the goody. :)

As i said - this is pure conditioning - we pair the soon-to-be-former trigger with Good Things.
What THE DOG does is immaterial - this is noncontingent; it's not training, there's no, "U do this, & i pay that", requirement - she does what she does, it doesn't matter, THe PRESENCE OF A STRANGER = 'Open Bar'.

Of course U are also there to prevent her doing anything that might scare, upset, or injure anyone! - U aren't going to ignore it if she gets up from her lying position on the floor, & begins to lunge toward a passerby, right?
Of course not! - that's what leashes are for, but at the same time, growling is nothing but communicating she's worried; she feels threatened, & it's a warning: "keep doing what yer doing, or get closer, & i might punch yer ticket."

GROWLS * SHOULD * NEVER * BE * PUNISHED - NOR EVEN DISCOURAGED.
They are critical info, & are priceless - we need them, & dogs need to feel free to express their concerns, at all times. A dog who cannot growl, or who has had the growl punished out of them, is a danger to themselves & others, as they cannot warn - they can only bite. :eek:

- terry
 

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it isn't just "exposure", it's HAPPY exposure...

... Just realized that half the time we thought we were "socializing" her we were pretty much drowning her in new stuff.
Which was scary. So I should never put her in a situation where she would growl or snap and I should instead be working up to that. THANK YOU.
this happens more often than U'd think - 'socialization' = happy controlled exposures to living beings.
'Habituation' = happy controlled exposures to non-living stimuli: traffic, elevators, rides on the subway, fire sirens, passing ambulances, the compressors on refrigeration units [which emit sounds we humans cannot hear - dogs hear both ultra- & infra-sonically, we do not], etc.

"Happy" means not overwhelming, not flooding the dog - incremental; only as close or as loud or as _______ as the dog is ready to experience with mild stress or no stress.
U can always get closer, louder, deeper, ______ , next time - or the time after that. :)

The flip side of habituation is SENSITIZING - making the dog less comfortable with X, instead of 'more comfy'.
They become hyperaware of the particular thing they've been sensitized to, & react to it at lower & lower thresholds - farther away, lower decibels, seeing just one part of the whole can trigger a huge reaction before the entire object is even visible.

Sensitizing is what happens when the dog is forced into situations that are too much for them, when they cannot cope, they feel unsafe or threatened, they are overwhelmed by stimuli, too many hands are touching them [one person only may touch at a time, not a dozen small children mobbing the dog], & so on.

- terry
 

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What do I do if she growls? Do I just stop rewarding and use verbal correction?
Nope - U still deliver the goody. :)
leashedForLife, thank you for clarifying this. This is what I've been doing with my reactive dog but didn't want to offer that as advice since I wasn't sure it was actually good practice. If she's still willing and able to take treats, I keep giving them to her when her trigger is in sight, even if she's growling. If she's too distracted to be interested in treats, I know we're too close to the trigger and she's over threshold so we need to move away.

I also try to make the moving away process a good thing; a cheerful, "Good girl! Now let's walk over here," said in a happy excited voice so it doesn't seem like she's being pulled away in anger or disappointment or that she's being punished or corrected.
 

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a great DIY manual...

of course, if U feel out of Ur depth or the dog has any history of actually biting persons or other nonhumans, consulting a credentialed behaviorist [CAAB, Board-cert'd vet behaviorist, IAABC k9 consultant, etc] is the proper course.

however... if the problem is relatively new, or relatively small [growls not bites; barks not raging snarls], there's no reason not to reduce the size of the problem with some classic DS / CC: DeSensitize & Counter-Condition.

'Click to Calm' is a terrific DIY text, with very safe, straightforward descriptions of what to do, & how to do it.

I can personally attest to 4 different dogs in the Va Beach / Norfolk area who had serious aggro issues, but whose owners simply could not afford a series of one-to-one B-Mod sessions.
They met me once or twice, so i could see the dog; i wrote a detailed evaluation of their dog's behavior, another custom-tailored plan for B-mod, & they used the book for the process, with me via phone or e-mail for back-up.
All 4 dogs kept their homes, & improved tremendously; they would never be dog-park pups or social butterflies, but they could safely be taken off the owner's property on leash, & handled in public without constant drama.

U can read the book in toto, or simply leaf to the part that describes Ur dog's symptoms & start B-Mod. // I would heartily recommend reading the entire book when U can, as understanding what's going on is helpful - but it's not mandatory.
I don't "Need" to know why an owner-surrendered dog reacts violently to having his ears touched, in order to fix the issue - if that were so, only dogs with extensive behavioral histories could ever be rehabbed.
However, especially for pet-owners, having a grasp of how dogs think & feel, & why they do what they do, is helpful. Such understanding helps prevent future issues; U are less likely to unintentionally poison a cue when U know what that means, & why it happens. ;)

- terry
 

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E-T-A:
Click to Calm was written for aggro, but works with any reactive issue - hyperexcitement, phobias, past traumas, etc. ;) Simply substitute the apropos term for aggro, "fear", "anger", etc, & get to work.

- t
 

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Look for any bitter spray for dogs, they usually work to train them out of biting or chewing. Works great. They hate the taste. I use Grannick's Bitter Apple Spray, which I get on Amazon, or you might check the pet store or Walmart. They have other flavors like bitter cherry that work just as well. When we had our ACD, it stopped him from chewing up shoes and furniture. I've used it on my new puppy to keep her from going into the trash and from jumping up on us when we're sitting on the couch.

I used to have an ACD and he was not very friendly with strangers. He wanted to be...he really loved people! But he was scared, skittish. He didn't like it if someone he didn't know reached down to pet him on the head. But he had one ear up, and one ear down, so he looked adorable and everyone loved him and wanted to pet him. He especially didn't do well with anyone who was scared. He wanted to get to know people first. Also, he was very territorial if he was on the leash, so he was more likely to growl at someone then. So whenever we had someone come to our house, like a friend or relative, we would tell them to just ignore him at first. Let him sniff and get to know them. Then we would give them treats to feed the dog. Then eventually, he let them pet him and he was OK. There were many people he liked just fine and never had problem with, so it just depended on the person. The only person he ever bit was a guest to our house, during a party. We had kept him in the other room, but she wanted to see him. We warned her what to do, not to reach down and pet him, and then she completely ignored us and did it anyway. He was on the leash, too, so he snapped at her, and she didn't pull her hand out of the way in time.

They say you should socialize your dog as much as possible with other people and other dogs, so you might look into that as well.

Good luck! ACD's are very high energy, high maintenance dogs! I would never get another one, but we enjoyed the one we had.
 

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Alrighty, I've got updates. Yesterday, I brought her to my aunt's old house while some family was in town getting stuff out of her house. When they first showed up, she didn't have her leash on (stupid stupid me) and ran after one of them and started to herd him, nipping at his pants. He thought it was funny, thank goodness. I did not. But anyway. I worked with her a little and by the end of the night she had people walking all over her and she was chill. She would have moments when she would randomly decide someone was not ok... Like once, after she'd been doing great, I left her tied up outside a little ways from the door while I went inside to help. She took a nap, woke up, and the next time someone walked outside she was barking at them. I guess that's normal though...? To randomly worsen?

Family came to our house, and she did well, but again randomly decided it was not ok for one of them to walk into the kitchen (again after waking up from a nap. Annoying.) She started barking at her, and I gave her treats. Which felt terribly wrong. Terribly wrong. That couldn't have been right...? Is that what I should have done? It did get her to focus on me though and ignore the woman walking around her house. Is that what I'm trying to get her to do? Sorry for the crazy questions.
 

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U're overfacing her, & she can't be left solo among strangers...

...Yesterday, I brought her to my aunt's old house while some family was in town getting stuff out of her house.
When they first showed up, she didn't have her leash on (stupid stupid me) and ran after one of them and started to herd him, nipping at his pants. He thought it was funny, thank goodness. I did not. But anyway.

I worked with her a little and by the end of the night she had people walking all over her and she was chill.
That's not habituating or socializing - it's flooding, & can backfire easily, making her more-sensitive rather than more relaxed.

Slow down - don't take her to places where U know there are going to be a horde of folks, unless U are prepared to A, give her distance so she can observe, not be petted, cornered, etc, & B, stay with her - not leave her solo & go chat, go to the kitchen for a drink, etc.
If U want to go somewhere while away from home, SHE GOES WITH U - that includes the bathroom; if anyone thinks that's a bit weird, tell them to get over it. :whip: She needs the security of having U right there beside her, & she cannot be left on her own to cope with passing strangers - even well-intentioned strangers.
...
She would have moments when she would randomly decide someone was not ok... Like once, after she'd been doing great, I left her tied up outside a little ways from the door while I went inside to help. She took a nap, woke up, and the next time someone walked outside she was barking at them. I guess that's normal though...? To randomly worsen?
U can't do that - tie her somewhere, & walk off. U have to be there to see what's going on at all times, & she cannot be allowed to continue practicing her defensive-aggro [bark, growl, hard stare, whatever it might be].

The more she rehearses it, the more fluent the unwanted behavior becomes - a habitual action is practically unconscious, it's done without thinking or any active decision, it just "happens" automatically.
Family came to our house, and she did well, but again randomly decided it was not ok for one of them to walk into the kitchen (again after waking up from a nap. Annoying.)
She started barking at her, and I gave her treats. Which felt terribly wrong. Terribly wrong. That couldn't have been right...?

Is that what I should have done? It did get her to focus on me though and ignore the woman walking around her house. Is that what I'm trying to get her to do? Sorry for the crazy questions.
Guessing the dog was in the kitchen, solo?
And the visitor walked in on her, while she was napping or after she woke?

Again, SHE CAN'T BE LEFT ALONE in a place where ppl will randomly interact with her, or even pass by her, & she's unsupervised. // If U have anyone in the house who does not live with her, put her in a pre-conditioned shipping-crate in a room WHERE VISITORS CANNOT GO - if Ur mom is coming to visit & Mom is likely to casually walk into the bedroom where the dog's crate is, lock the door! --- the dog needs a safe place without intruders, & if U intend to do any B-Mod, U must be there when anyone who's not a member of the household is in eyesight of the dog.

If multiple family members are coming over, & U want to spend time with Ur guests, crate the dog in another room, lock the door & / or put a sign on it -
"Do Not Open, Please".
If U want to do some B-Mod, it has to be more controlled than folks wandering thru the house at will, with the dog loose somewhere; that only gets more of what U've already had, a wary dog who wants the intruders to go away.

Tying a dog automatically makes them more-anxious if strangers are present -
they cannot escape, & they know it. In fact, if U want her to bite, tying her & letting strangers approach her is the perfect way to teach it. :(

If U want to do B-Mod safely & easily, i'd install a tether -
Tethered to Success | Whole Dog Journal
https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/4_4/features/5164-1.html
"It may come as a surprise, therefore, to know that I regard the tether as an invaluable piece of training equipment. The difference – and it's a big one – is in the ..."

The self-screwing eyebolt goes into the baseboard, somewhere that isn't directly beside a traffic path & is also at least 8 to 12-ft from the entry - the front door, room doorway, _____ . // If U rent, the hole left by an eyebolt is only 1/4-inch & easily filled.
Get a bike-cable cut to length at any big-box home improvement store - U'll need 2 swiveling spring clips, one for each end, to be clamped in place. Tell them U want 15 to 18-inches of free cable between the clamped ends, & if the spring clips in stock have no swivels, clamp the SWIVELS to the cable, & buy 2 double-ended spring clips - the dog's buckle collar or harness clips to the free end, the other is clipped to the eyebolt.
Wherever the dog is stationed on her cable, YOU are between her & the visitor - so the sofa where U are sitting, or the PC desk, or the lounge-chair where U plan to be, are the buffer between her & any visitors.

Most dogs will settle shortly after a visitor sits down, but if they get up [to get a drink, use the bathroom, get a napkin], the dog is liable to react. Same for sudden changes - sneeze, laugh, cough, cross their legs, lean forward - the dog is likely to react.
More later, it's 1:15-am here...
- terry
 

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Family came to our house, and she did well, but again randomly decided it was not ok for one of them to walk into the kitchen (again after waking up from a nap. Annoying.) She started barking at her, and I gave her treats. Which felt terribly wrong. Terribly wrong. That couldn't have been right...? Is that what I should have done? It did get her to focus on me though and ignore the woman walking around her house. Is that what I'm trying to get her to do? Sorry for the crazy questions.
In addition to what leashedForLife said, I'll add that my understanding is that the key to counter conditioning is consistency. If people are her trigger, then every time she sees a person, she needs to get a treat. If it's hit or miss, she gets treats for some people but not for others, it's going to be harder for her to generalize and understand that the connection is people = treats, and not specific person = treats or specific person in specific room = treats. That's what you're trying to get her to do; associate people in general with good things. Having her pay attention to you and ignore the woman walking around is a one off benefit that helped in that one instance, but if she was already barking, she was over threshold and you need to be more diligent about watching her and keeping her under threshold; rewarding her before she reacts.

I also agree with leashedForLife that you'll need to get used to ignoring comments from other people. My dog is most reactive to people and especially to other dogs around our house. We live in a townhouse community where there are no defined yards, just common area so there are always people and other dogs around our house. I have a nosey know-it-all neighbor who keeps telling me that giving my dog treats when she's growling is just rewarding the growling. I ignore her because giving my dog treats even if she's growling is the reason that my dog is only growling instead of growling and barking and lunging and snapping when she and her dog are in sight. Well, that and telling my neighbor to please keep her dog away from mine because my dog isn't ready for nose to nose greetings yet.

In other words, I'm listening to my dog and doing what she needs so that she feels safe and isn't put into a situation where she feels she has no other choice but to react. There are times that I misjudge and she reacts more than I anticipate, but when that happens, I (cheerfully) take her away from the situation asap so she can calm down and regroup and we can try again and make it a positive experience.

Also note that socialization is more about quality than quantity. Three positive experiences around people in which your dog stayed below threshold and never felt a need to react are far more beneficial than a dozen experiences around people in which your dog did end up having to react. Those negative experiences are setting your dog's socialization back and reaffirming to her that people really are scary after all.

Care for Reactive Dogs has great information and instructions. Good luck!
 

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Additional: One piece of equipment that I've found invaluable is a simple treat pouch that clips around my waist or to the waistband of my pants. I keep one on the hook in the kitchen where I keep leashes. If I go somewhere with Mira, the treat pouch goes with me. Behavior modification opportunities are everywhere and I don't want to miss a chance to create a positive association.

I use this one with a plastic zip lock bag inside so chewy/gooey treats don't mess up the interior of the bag. The magnet closure makes it fast and easy to open and close while being used and the plastic zip lock bag keep treats fresh between uses. I admit I also like that one because the color matches Mira's collar and leash :p, but there are lots of other brands/style/colors out there.

I also keep a small bag of treats in the living room because the back patio door is another source of triggers for Mira. If she barks at someone outside, I can quickly redirect and start counter conditioning without having to go to the kitchen to get treats. We're having slower progress there I think because I'm not able to anticipate her triggers and reward her in advance. We need to spend some time just sitting in front of the patio door watching people coming and going so I can be more consistent with my timing.
 

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'Quality vs Quantity' experiences - short & happy

thanks, Tomboy, & excellent advice! :thumbsup: I wish we had a rep button. :)

Dogs are very, very slow to generalize - just in the case of simple cued behaviors such as 'Sit', dogs must experience 'Sit' [lured, cue given AS the behavior is performed, reward, then empty hand, hand motion as if luring, cue spoken DURING behavior, reward], multiple times in at least 5 different locations or contexts before they begin to generalize the concept, "Sit" as a cue = 'put my butt on whatever substrate i am standing on'.

For dogs, sit [spoken 1st as a label, then as a cue] & the ACTION of 'sitting' on a dry mowed lawn, on the beach, at the vet's in the waiting room, in the vet's exam room on a slippery S/S table, in the living room on carpet with the TV on, & in the empty kitchen on lino with no-one home, are all Different Events.
The dog does not know what things are salient - so they might decide wall-to-wall is part of 'sit', & won't understand it when standing on tile indoors, or on a slate path in a garden, or on gravel in a parking-lot.

They aren't being contrary or difficult; dogs don't speak human languages & are working from whichever clues we give them, or from any hints the dogs select as important or valid.
They need many, many contexts & multiple experiences within those contexts, to start to generalize.

As just one example -
my extremely well-trained, highly compliant Bassett x Dachshund was a therapy pet, visiting schools, hospitals, assisted-living & rehab facilities, & very popular at Penn State's stadium during home-games [i helped direct traffic & flll / empty the parking lots - he came along to keep me company, & to keep himself out of mischief].
It took him TWO YEARS to generalize the cue "up" to mean into the car on the seat, onto the bed, up the stairs, onto a park bench along the bike path, onto a grooming table, onto a hassock, etc.
Then & only then, i could pat the thing he was to get onto, or sweep my hand up the stairs, & he'd immediately comply.
He wasn't dumb - those are all different objects, in different places, & different actions: climbing stairs is not hopping onto a hassock.


re Ur dog's reactivity, THIS in particular is very important -
...

Also note that socialization is more about quality than quantity.

Three positive experiences around people in which your dog stayed below threshold & never felt a need to react, are far more beneficial than a dozen experiences around people in which your dog did end up having to react.

Those negative experiences set your dog's socialization back and reaffirm for her that people really are scary, after all.

Care for Reactive Dogs has great information and instructions. Good luck!
'Help for Your Shy Dog' by Deborah Wood is another wonderful resource that explains flooding, DS / CC as a process, how-to, etc; it's a short, practical DIY guide.

Used copies are often available on Abe Books, Amazon, CraigsList, eBay, etc. - it runs about $12 new & as low as $3.50 used including shipping, or U might luck out & find a discontinued copy at the local library - or borrow a copy from a library, or download the e-version to a Kindle or mobile-phone.

fearfuldogs.com is also a terrific trustworthy resource - There will never be a suggestion that U should "make the dog face their fears", nor any other flooding or coercion.
This is just one of their many good tip-sheets:
"Training games for shy dogs" | Fearful Dogs
fearfuldogs.com/training-games-for-shy-dogs/
Helping your dog to learn how to communicate with people is an important step in its path toward becoming a healthy dog. These two activities are great for ...


Ignore well-meaning advice from passersby or even family - if the spouse, housemate, dog-walker, or the kids will not help, & s/he or they persist in putting Ur dog in awkward or worrying situations, too close to strangers or among a crowd, TAKE OVER THE DOG'S CARE Urself; hire a new dog-walker who will be aware, & keep her under threshold; do whatever it takes.
Don't let careless or noncompliant folks handle her away from home or out from under Ur direct supervision, period - not even for a walk around the block, if they won't avoid setting her up to fail, yet again.

This might mean disagreements with parents, in-laws, older children, etc; it's up to U to advocate for Ur dog, & get her more comfortable around non-family / non-household persons. Don't be angry, but do be firm. Every time she feels forced to act out, it sets her back. :(
She's not being aggro - she feels threatened or uncertain, & for a 35 to 40# dog confronted by a 100#-plus human that she doesn't know or trust, or by unpredictable often-loud children, warning them off is her best recourse - her message isn't, "I'm gonna kill U", it's, 'Go away, please - U scare me.'

hang in there, don't overface her, & have many short happy encounters - not marathons, brief & repeated exposures. She'll make rapid progress once she starts to feel less worried by strangers, but she's got to do it at her own pace, & it can't be rushed.
As the Pennsy Dutch say, "The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get." :ponder:

- terry
 

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Blast! - missed the 10-minute edit limit...

i just noticed the web-link for FearfulDogs.com is not a hot-link, the http... is missing.

here it is again -
"Training games for shy dogs" | Fearful Dogs
Training games for shy dogs | Fearful Dogs

That entire website is a treasure-chest for tips & help of all kinds, just for shy / timid / reactive dogs, whether to humans, other dogs, or in general.

hope this works!, :D
- terry
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks again! Yes, I have a treat pouch, I think it's a Busy Buddy one. If only I could quit losing it :eyeroll: I have a feeling that she will take forever to associate people with goodies, just because I'm so sloppy at it. If I were a dog I'd have absolutely no clue what I was trying to communicate. But I feel like any positive experience she has around people is a good experience, right? Yesterday we went and watched from a little ways away as college kids walked into class (treat... Treat... Treat... Treat... :D), and then we went into a little dog boutique thing and the clerk walked around a little (treat... Treat... Treat..). The thing is though that she generally has no problem with people when they aren't coming into a space that she's had time to claim. Like in a pet store. She doesn't give them two looks. It's just when they invade "her" space that she has a problem. Should I keep doing what I'm doing or should I move on to something else, like maybe standing by the sidewalk for a while so it becomes "hers" and waiting for someone to pass by? That's really what her trigger seems to be. :ponder:
 

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Thanks again! Yes, I have a treat pouch, I think it's a Busy Buddy one. If only I could quit losing it :eyeroll: I have a feeling that she will take forever to associate people with goodies, just because I'm so sloppy at it. If I were a dog I'd have absolutely no clue what I was trying to communicate.
It does take practice & there's definitely a learning curve to get the timing right. It's a work in progress learning experience for both you and your dog. You'll both improve together with practice. :)

But I feel like any positive experience she has around people is a good experience, right?
Absolutely, yes!

Yesterday we went and watched from a little ways away as college kids walked into class (treat... Treat... Treat... Treat... :D), and then we went into a little dog boutique thing and the clerk walked around a little (treat... Treat... Treat..).
Awesome! If you can, make sure she's noticing the people when you give treats. If she's not paying attention to them when you treat, she may not be making the connection that it's the people that cause yummy treats to rain from the sky. :D

The thing is though that she generally has no problem with people when they aren't coming into a space that she's had time to claim. Like in a pet store. She doesn't give them two looks. It's just when they invade "her" space that she has a problem. Should I keep doing what I'm doing or should I move on to something else, like maybe standing by the sidewalk for a while so it becomes "hers" and waiting for someone to pass by? That's really what her trigger seems to be. :ponder:
If you know that she has more difficulty in some circumstances than others, it's a good idea to focus more on those areas. For example, if she's territorial about people being around her house, set up a controlled situation with friends or family coming to the house when you have the dog on a short leash and under control and are ready with treats. The people should be close enough so the dog can see them but far enough that she's not actively reacting to them. Then you treat treat treat when the people are in sight. Stop treats when they're out of sight.

If people on a specific section of sidewalk after she's been there a while is a big trigger, you can work there as long as you have room to maneuver; space behind you so you can back up or move away if she starts to reach her threshold and you notice that she's getting to a point where she might react. It's important to keep her below that reaction threshold. Treat treat treat while she's looking at people. No treats when she's not looking at people. That's more Look At That than it is open bar/closed bar, but it's the same principle.
 

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Try a tether...

... if she's territorial about people being around her house, set up a controlled situation with friends or family coming to the house when you have the dog on a short leash & under control, & are ready with treats.
The people should be close enough so the dog can see them, but far enough away that she doesn't actively react to them.

Then you treat treat treat when the people are in sight. Stop treats when they're out of sight.
...
Make life easy - go hands-free by installing a tether, & clipping her to it.

Tethered to Success | Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation

Screw an eyebolt into the baseboard in an area where the dog isn't beside a traffic path [no jumping on or body-blocking passersby] & where she can't reach a bookshelf to create chewtoys or tzatckes to knock them over.

Have a helpful person @ the local Home Depot make up a length of bike-cable, 15 to 18-inch long including the spring-clips - B sure the clips have swivels! No swivels on the clips? - Clamp the swivels on the cable, use double-ended spring clips at both ends, & shorten the cable so it's still a total of 18 to 20" long max, including all hardware.

Take the new cable home, clip one end on the eyebolt & the free end to the dog's buckle-collar or the chest of a Y-harness. [NOT the over-the-spine D-rings - she'd have a 4-ft reach with her forepaws, & it would greatly increase her leverage; dangerous combo.]
She should be at least 8 & preferably 10-ft from the doorway of the room, hopefully 12-ft or more from the main entry of the house. Give her a bathmat or a folded towel as a pad to give her both traction & boundaries - a sense of place.

Before U bring over any invaders, have her relax there a few times with long-lasting busywork, a stuffed & frozen Kong, an antler, a cow's hoof, a thick-walled marrowbone with frozen wet-food in it, ______ . It needs to be familiar & secure, a happy place with good memories attached.

When guests arrive, sit or stand BETWEEN her & the arrivals, & toss a steady trickle of tidbits - not kibble; cubed lean beef, diced chkn breast / turkey, freeze-dried lamb lung or beef-liver, etc, pea-sized or half-pea sized.
Ask the helpers in advance to treat her like an angry cat - pretend she's not there, & particularly *no staring*. Be casual & ignore her - she's a statue, not a dog.
She'll probly relax when everyone sits down & chatter starts. When ppl cough, sneeze, or get up [toilet, snack / drink...], she's likely to react. DOUBLE-UP on the goodies to get her attn on the flying tidbits, & off the moving strangers - feed twice as fast.
Keep a steady trickle of goodies going her way as long as guests are in the house, even if they are sitting quietly & she's not reacting - every 4-seconds is a pretty good baseline, but if she gets agitated between deliveries & the guests are not standing from sitting nor walking about, make it every 2-secs.
["1 one-thousand, 2 one-thousand... FEED. 1 one-thous..."]

These tidbits should be virtually all-protein, so no worries she's going to blimp out - measure how much U have into a series of sealed bags or covered tubs, & just track how much she gets over the course of 20 to 30-mins.
She may eat 3/4 of a pound - don't fret, just reduce her next MEASURED meal slightly, & watch her waist / body condition. If her ribs are more padded in 2 weeks, cut her meals a little; KEEP the tidbits going, they are more important than a perfectly-balanced diet of "pure" kibble / canned / chilled prepack / whatever.
She can return to a more-ordinary, less protein-rich diet when her behavior issues are shrinking. :cool:

- terry
 
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