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I have a 10 month old mastiff/ hound mix. We socialized him to pieces to everything we could think of during his 'puppy window', and I'd say he is generally a confident dog.

EXCEPT....

1. Sometimes, he barks at little kids. Other times, he doesn't. I don't get it. We took him to a dog expo the other day, and he was doing just fine the entire afternoon wandering through the crowds and chaos, and then we sat down for a break. Then, a couple kids passed by and stared at him, and then he went bananas barking. The next hour, a kid came up to us and started petting him...he was just fine with it.

I'd like to give him more socialization with kids and maybe that is what he was lacking, as we don't have many friends with kids, and didn't let him get near too many when he was young pup, as he was in a 'jumpy' stage. But still. He's still met quite a few kids during his puppy life...I just don't know why kids would get him on edge...and other times, he's perfectly fine.

Should I go to a playground, watch from a distance, and desensitize him? I don't want to be thought of as the creepy pervert who stands by himself with his dog watching over kids.

And I don't know many folks with kids...and I doubt parents would allow their kids to be my test subjects (and I don't blame them).

2. Was at agility class today. He was doing fine up until near the end of class, when a few big white huskies walked in through the front door. He was fixated, wouldn't stop barking (and my big boy has a deep bark), and I tried to distract him from it. The funny thing is my guy loves all kinds of dogs and has played with all sorts of dogs at the park and at daycare...and even with all the other dogs in the agility class, he focused on the big white huskies. I've never seen him so fixated and bark at another dog like that. I'm pretty sure he must have seen huskies before...but maybe not huge white ones like those that showed up today.

The staff were understanding...since it was near the end of class, they moved the huskies to the front of the room, while I exited at the back. But...maybe the best course would have been to have him meet the huskies? At least then he would have realized his fear.

I know pups of this age have a fear period...sigh...any more info on this period and what to do about it is appreciated.

Thanks, Dom
 

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From those examples it sounds like he starts getting spooky/barking at things towards the end of the events, when he may be getting tired. I know many dogs will act up when tired. I really can't give you any advice, but I'm sure someone else will have some for you.
 
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