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    1. #1
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      Showing signs of fear with strangers on the street

      Not sure if this is the right forum to put it in...

      So this is weird. The last 3 times we passed strangers on the street Archie retreated and was very unfriendly and timid. Oddly enough, when we go to Lowes or Home Depot he's totally fine and comes up to people with a waggie tale. I also took him to play grounds with lots of people and he was totally fine. When people come into our home, whether adult or child, he's totally fine. I'm a bit confused. The folks he showed dislike to were 2 girls who approached him (first incident), a man walking by, and a man who was passively standing on the side walk (last incident). Any thoughts on this? It's starting to concern me.

    2. #2
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      He is...7-8 months? if this is new it could be a fear stage. I'd take a week off meeting strangers-any environment that sets him off as if it IS a fear phase, it will go away if you avoid the trigger.

      Context is huge. It could be the leash (on leash VS off leash) it could be the environment (he is comfortable at home so more accepting). Maybe something scared him on a walk and now he is anxious (it may not even have been big enough for your to notice). Or it sounds like it is outdoor VS indoor.


      If not you'll have to do some counter conditionning/desentization but i'd start with a 1-2 weeks break (even if it means no leash walks).

    3. #3
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      Tanya, why do puppies at this age (7-8 months) go thru the fear stage? It would seem by that age that they are use to new things and welcome more stimulation.
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      My Bruce had a issue with men wearing hats for a couple months when he was about 9 months old. It started when we were in Lowes and a older kid (maybe 12 or 13) was being pushed on a cart near where we were standing. The kid was wearing a baseball hat, and was staring intently at Bruce. Bruce backed up and gave a big concerned "WOOOFFF". He got through it, but it was a bit of a concern for a couple months.

    5. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by Blackboy98 View Post
      Tanya, why do puppies at this age (7-8 months) go thru the fear stage? It would seem by that age that they are use to new things and welcome more stimulation.
      I don't know the science but I have heard and seen dogs go thru it on and off until they pass maturity. Some dogs do, some do not. Some experience them very profoundly.

      I found this...

      Second Fear impact period (6 - 14 Months):

      Also called, "The fear of situations period", usually corresponds to growths spurts. This critical age may depend on the size of the dog. Small dogs tend to experience these periods earlier than large dogs. Great care must be taken not to reinforce negative behavior. Force can frighten the dog, and soothing tones serve to encourage his fear. His fear should be handled with patience and kindness, and training during this period puts the dog in a position of success, while allowing him to work things out while building self-confidence.

      Critical periods in puppy development

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    7. #6
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      Were they wearing hoods? Dan went through a phase where hooded people scared him....and two earlier winters in a row saw him being concerned by folks in puffy coats. He's fine now.
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    9. #7
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      Archie will be 11 months on December 24th. We can't stop walks. They provide too many benefits for him at the moment and we're finally getting somewhere with leash training (so sloooowly thought). However, our sidewalks are usually empty. What I can do is just cross the street next time to prevent the negative reaction. I guess I originally thought that walking by the people (not letting them pet him) as if everything is normal would indicate to Archie not to panic. Perhaps I was wrong. So is it still a fear stage at almost 11 months of age? Will he grow out of this or is this something I should actively work on?

    10. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by SunDance View Post
      Were they wearing hoods? Dan went through a phase where hooded people scared him....and two earlier winters in a row saw him being concerned by folks in puffy coats. He's fine now.
      One guy was wearing a hood. Interestingly, Archie had the most minimum reaction to him. The two girls came right at him asking to pet him and he freaked out and bolted. The other man was just standing in a coat waiting for someone and Archie got off the side walk and walked around him on the road. Months ago we took him to crowded streets and he did not exhibit any of this behavior. I wonder if open space freaks him out more or something.

    11. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by annkie View Post
      Archie will be 11 months on December 24th. We can't stop walks. They provide too many benefits for him at the moment and we're finally getting somewhere with leash training (so sloooowly thought). However, our sidewalks are usually empty. What I can do is just cross the street next time to prevent the negative reaction. I guess I originally thought that walking by the people (not letting them pet him) as if everything is normal would indicate to Archie not to panic. Perhaps I was wrong. So is it still a fear stage at almost 11 months of age? Will he grow out of this or is this something I should actively work on?

      Brings tons of high valu food. and not only cross the street but start treating him as you walk by, as soon as the person is farther away stop feeding. So person in view = open food bar until they are out of view (or out of range of concern).

      Open Bar Closed Bar in Dog Training | PetHelpful

      In this one she talks about how to do it for other dogs - same thing
      https://clickertraining.com/node/2327

      The girls that freaked him - could lead to similar girls freaking him out (or maybe only when they are in groups).

      Watch his body, when he gate/ears change start the open bar and add distance.

      Maturity WILL bring some quirks. and sometimes it is anxiety and fear over things they were fine with before.

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    13. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by annkie View Post
      One guy was wearing a hood. Interestingly, Archie had the most minimum reaction to him. The two girls came right at him asking to pet him and he freaked out and bolted. The other man was just standing in a coat waiting for someone and Archie got off the side walk and walked around him on the road. Months ago we took him to crowded streets and he did not exhibit any of this behavior. I wonder if open space freaks him out more or something.
      Two months ago, people weren't wearing heavy winter clothes and head coverings.

      And those girls might have been exhibiting too much energy...happy energy associated with petting the cute little dog...and coming at him with hands outstretched (and possibly high pitched voices) . That's scary. To this day, people have to approach Danny a lot slower than they do his mother, especially kids, or he'll shy away. (for Sunnie, kids can do no wrong...but neither she nor Dan like high energy/activity dogs)

      None of this poses a big concern for me with my two and my advice for Archie is to let him associate coats/etc. with people he already knows and let the issue with other folks pass as he ages (unless, of course, he gets worse). If he has an issue with high energy...unless that will pose a problem for him in the future based on things you have planned...is to let him know that you're there if he wants to get behind your legs. Don't make a fuss about it, just let it happen, but tell him "it's just (choose your word)" in a normal tone of voice. Let him know you're not freaked. I have to do this with sounds (it's just noise) and dogs that are jogging with their humans (he's just running).

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      annkie (12-15-2017), Tanya (12-15-2017)

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