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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently Rowen's been a bit shy around people. He's always been shy of little kids all the time we've had him, but never of adults/teens. Recently Rowen's been shying away from adults AND little kids even more so. Today we were down at the marina and a little kid wanted to pet him but Rowen ran away and i made him sit, but Rowen made a kind-of growling noise (which he's NEVER done!). I've heard him make this noise at his toys and our other dog when he's playing or when he sees someone outside and is about to bark, but I've always associated it to be one of his playful noises.. but now I'm not so sure. It's pretty startling. We take Rowen pretty much everywhere with us and people always want to pet him but are put off by his shyness.. Any suggestions in helping him building his confidence around people would be great. Thank you! :)
 

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I took the advice of Dexter's puppy k trainer, and it worked nicely for us. She suggested taking Dex anywhere public, where there would be lots of NEW people to meet. Bring a bagful of a favorite treat along. From there, hand a treat to everyone you see, and ask if they'd give a treat to your dog. I don't remember meeting anyone who was opposed to doing this, they all got a kick out of giving the little guy a treat and a hello. Make it a pleasant experience for him to meet new people. Make it NIRVANA for him to meet new people!! Treat city!

If he's really shy, maybe you could just start by sitting at a park bench and YOU give him the treats...then little by little bring him closer to the crowds, then see if he'll start accepting them from strangers. The trainer said puppies should meet 100 new people a day! I don't know if we got that far, but he did meet an awful lot of people.

Good luck!
 

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Lynn
Sounds like we had the same trainer.

Rowendoodle
Denver did go through a few fear periods
when he was extra scared of things, people and other dogs
It happened around 4or5 months old and again around 7or8 months old
Now at 14 months old People always comment on how well socialized he
is so it does all work out. :wink: :wink:
 

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Socialization is the best thing you can do at this point if the puppy growls tell them NO in a very loud voice, don't just ignore it or remove the pup from the situation. I do believe it is the poodle in them that causes some to be standoffish Poodles are like that and need lots of socialization at a very young age and it needs to be continued or they regress back I feel.
 

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I agree that socialization is critical. It is also true that puppies go through certain phases of shyness. One of my great puppy raisers suggested that we introduce our puppies to thousands of people a week....literally. I said, "but what about illness, we haven't completed shots?" and she suggested having a puppy party at our home, where we control the environment. We can have the guests step in bleach solution (with shoes of course) or wear shoe covers and ask them to wear gowns and wash hands...and interact with the puppy. One day they wear glasses, one day hats of various types, some with beards, some with lots of jewlery...and kids!
Now, it could be that a child may have hurt your puppy sometime (inadevertanty) and your pup is afraid. I don't think I would force him to sit and make him be around a child if he runs away. I would just redirect his attention, talking in a happy voice. It may be that the child approached him too enthuiastically, or too fast...you never know. Maybe the child was carrying something that threatened the pup.
Yes, it is important to socialize, but if you teach a dog that a warning growl is bad, and the dog feels theatened, he may learn to bite without the warning growl.
Now, that being said, he has to learn that you are in control and that you will protect him. If he trusts you to protect him then he will not feel a need to protect himself...but by forcing him to sit and endure the "scary kid" he may have felt trapped and helpless.
I'd take him to puppy classes so that you can work with him and other dogs. If he has already completed the puppy kindergarten class, try the next, or intermediate, class.
At home and outside, you can do other things too, because I agree that you must get him past this phase without making him more fearful, you will need to find out what is causing his fear and, as others have mentioned, use lots of positive rewards for his good behavior, but I dont' believe that forcing him to sit and endure the fear is going to be helpful in the long run.
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Conten ... C=0&A=2258
Thsi next article may not apply through the entire thing...it talks a lot about genetics and early treatment, but it does have good info regarding how to help a puppy who is afraid...
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Conten ... C=0&A=1612
 

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Tanner also has also been shy of strangers...we have taken advice from this forum and always take treats with us when we take Tanner anywhere.

When someone wants to meet him and pet him, I will bend down and ask the person wanting to meet Tanner to also bend down. I then place a treat in their hand, and put their hand in my hand..palms up. Tanner will take the treat and then after a couple, he will take one from them. This has really made a difference. I have noticed that in the past month (he is now a year) that he is beginning to let others come right up to him and if they approach him from under his chin...he doesn't back away.

I am hiring a couple of neighborhood boys to come over and play ball with him in the back yard so that he gets more exposure to kids. He doesn't growl at anyone...he just backs away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks so much for all this advice! I just found it so bizarre that he does this because he didn't used to be scared of adults at all and when he did get scared of things and back away I'd tell him he was a good boy and that he was okay. I really like the idea of giving everyone who wants to meet him treats to give to him.. Rowen is very food motivated! :lol:
 

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I've seen that the body language of the people can make a big difference in how well recieved they are. Try not to have anyone bend OVER your pup...squatting or sitting down is much less threatening.
Also, if they offer the back of their hand to be sniffed before they reach to pat his head, they give him the chance to check them out ... instead of feeling he's about to be grabbed by a stranger. They might even scratch him under his chin or side of his head before reaching over him to pat his head if he seems unsure.
A lot of it can be just giving him this little bit of space, time, and respecting HIS ways...in helping him to not get nervous.

Moses had had very little socialization when I got him at 16 weeks of age, so I was very careful to use these tactics, and now he just loves everyone. I don't think it hurts for people to learn safer ways to approach new dogs if they obviously don't know; and have never had anyone seem to mind approaching him in this way.
 
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