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Old 04-02-2012, 12:54 PM
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RedHotDobe RedHotDobe is offline
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Default Aggression Issue

No, not Rumor. A friend asked me for advice, and I figured I'd pass what he told me on to you guys to get even more insight/advice. The information he gave me:

he is fine with the immediate family. and fine with MOST people... however it seems as though he seems to have a problem with men. particularly older men.

he literally pulled Doyle across the yard, and ended up snapping at my neighbor. neighbor is cool with it. (this time). there was nothing doyle could have done to stop it. the thought of a muzzle seems possible... but would really only be a bandaid for the situation.

he's a 2 yr old chocolate lab that we adopted the week before h2o. i assume this stems from incidents prior to us getting him. if anyone comes in the house, he barks, and the hair is up on the back of his neck until he figures out who is coming in. a friend of ours (female) can come in and feed him without issue... if her husband comes in with her - he is a bit more aprehensive about the whole situation.

i am assuming that a man did bad things to him in the past. i however have never had an issue with him though.


Thanks.
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:13 PM
~Tucker&Me~ ~Tucker&Me~ is offline
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Since he is a lab I am going to assume he likes food...

If I was in their shoes, I would pair food with strange older men through two exercises. The first one is have the target group of people toss treats (or whatever else he likes) his direction. The goal here is to associate the presence of the target group with good things. Go as close as you can but not so close that the dog is stressed, because that will be counterproductive to the goal of having a GOOD experience.

The way I would approach facilitating positive interactions is to teach the dog a 'say hello' command. At this point, the dog should be relatively comfortable being near men, but not necessarily interacting with them. The end goal here is to have the dog approach a person (on command) who has an outstretched open palm, and to have him nose touch the palm and return to you. What's great about this exercise is that the dog can approach on his terms, and the person is not reaching over him to pet him, which can be intimidating.

Start training for this at home without scary men around and use someone the dog is comfortable with. Teach him to target on your hand (tons of articles on how to do this floating around the internet), and once he figures this out, send him to target your volunteer's hand. Work on getting a good, firm nose push with a bit of distance. This way, you won't have to get super close to the strange men for him to understand what you want him to do when they hold out their palm. When he greets strange men, I would give them a cookie to put in their palm (you can wedge between fingers) in advance so that when he nose touches, he is rewarded immediately from the person he is wary of.

Ultimately, the last thing you want to do is push him, so take things slow and move at a pace he is comfortable with. If he is pushed too much out of his comfort zone you could make his anxiety worse, so if he starts to look uncomfortable back up and work more on the last step. Every experience needs to be great so he comes to think that strange men = awesome times

Good luck!
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:08 PM
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I like the 'say hello' idea. I didn't think of that. Thanks!
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:18 PM
~Tucker&Me~ ~Tucker&Me~ is offline
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I love that game because it takes the pressure off the dog and gives him control over the situation. Because he feels in control of what's happening (as opposed to feeling as though he isn't in control, ex. on a leash being approached by scary person) he should feel less anxious about what's going on No worries
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