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Discussion Starter #1
I have a two to three month old puppy and he's always been shy and wary of strangers.

Earlier he was outside and started barking at my dad (because he didn't know it was him). I'm scared that he will grow up as a fearful dog. I've been working on socializing him but he's still pretty scared. I've taken him to a parks and random stores/car rides and just let him watch kids go by (and some have pet him too). My cousins also came over today and he warmed up to them but it took awhile.
Could it be that my other dog is affecting him? She's wary of strangers and I really don't want that to happen to him. When I take him places, I take him alone so he won't see how she reacts.

How can I socialize him more and make him more confident and less afraid?
 

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Ian Dunbar recommends having puppy parties t your house, introducing your dog to at least 100 different people. He says they should all hold, hug, and feed the puppy.

We did this, but one of our dogs- now a year old- still has an initial bark for things she's fearful of. It usually goes away on the second experience.

For example, we have some friend who walk differently and another friend who always uses a wheel chair. She's never barked at any one with these characteristics, but we were out walking last week, and she barked at a mechanized wheelchair. We saw the same neighbor the next day, and she was her usual friendly self.

Dunbar's book is a free download.

http://www.dogstardaily.com/storefront/after-you-get-your-puppy

I have a two to three month old puppy and he's always been shy and wary of strangers.

Earlier he was outside and started barking at my dad (because he didn't know it was him). I'm scared that he will grow up as a fearful dog. I've been working on socializing him but he's still pretty scared. I've taken him to a parks and random stores/car rides and just let him watch kids go by (and some have pet him too). My cousins also came over today and he warmed up to them but it took awhile.
Could it be that my other dog is affecting him? She's wary of strangers and I really don't want that to happen to him. When I take him places, I take him alone so he won't see how she reacts.

How can I socialize him more and make him more confident and less afraid?
 

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I would also advise obedience classes. These will help the puppy and teach you how to teach the pup. Sometimes its genetic and nothing you do will make it better, but at this age lots of work will go a long way.
 

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all great opinions above as your dog is still in its critcal stage I would over socialize but nothing overwhelming.
Work on your sit and get that under stimulus control statring now if you didnt do ths yet.
Then you can try and install another behavior instead of barking or lunging at strangers "counter conditioning".
Put puppy into a sit when starngers approach. And reward.
Also try classical conditioning where you will feed before strangers come into puppies enviroment and during "associate food good things with stranges". Puppy sees strangers and expects food. After awhile puppy starts looking at you when it sees a starnger reward "operant"..research open bar closed bar/and the watch/look command.
Basically trainers fill there "toolbox with many things" and we try different things as all dogs are different. Try what all have said here and keep at it dont ever give up training is a life long thing. It take hundreds and hunfreds of repititons to get a dog to sit on first try :)

curious as your puppy is very young did you get it at a pet store or breeder? breed ? not sure if you mentioned it good luck hope tis makes sense "i tend to rush when typing and spit many things out at once sorry'
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the suggestions. He's an ACD. My brother and I stumbled upon a man who was selling them and he was infested with ticks and fleas. I couldnt leave him. Once we brought him home, it was obvious that he hadn't been around humans very much.

And unfortunately, I don't think I can do puppy parties or go to obedience class since my parents were against keeping him in the first place.
 

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You do have to be careful about letting walk anywhere that he might pick up dog diseases off the ground or from unknown dogs who are not up to date in shots. Normally recommended is 3 sets of parvo and distemper shots given about 1 month apart, based on recommendations from your Vet.

On the other hand, you can take him for car trips and shopping trips to PetsMart and Petco, and some home Depots, and Lowes, as long as the pup is kept from other dogs and off the ground, in the shopping cart. Everyone that shows an interest should be very happy to help you socialize by feeding your pup with tiny bits of kibble that you provide...
 

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Not sure if I can post links but you should read this...
http://www.rickscanineworkshop.com/Ricks_Canine_Workshop/Dr._R._K_Anderson.html

your puppy is in its critcal stage which is up to 16 weeks and will take wahtever it learns from here throughout its life and showing signs of fear to certain stimulis. I would et a plan together TODAY and socialize this puppy with all the advise above. There are safe ways to do this with lowering the risk of parvo and distemper. Just dont let puppy go where you think stray dogs have gone. Take him around as many friends , family, friends of friends dogs taht you know are well and have all there shots. please read the link :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The one park I took him too was mainly for kids and I don't see any dogs around. I also walk him in the streets around my neighborhood and avoid the grass.

I've taken him to Ross and just sat outside the entrance for about 45 minutes just letting him watch people walk in and out but he still seems skittish if they approach. I'll try giving him treats each time a person walks by and asking people to give him treats.

Should I let people pet him if he seems scared? Usually, they'll try to pet his head and he'll dodge.
 

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you can ask people to toss him treats first then approach and feed with palm and let dog come and get treats. Anyone that pets a dog from above is not good we must always come palm up under dogs chin proper way to greet a dog. Also ask them to stand sideways and no eye contact and lean away form dog on back leg. Dogs read every little movement of our body language :) "lees threat"...I would set up a table and camp out near a busy store with a cup of high value treats and ask people to toss treats to puppy. then use the rest of the advise with people that are willing to work with you. Next few weeks are very important for this puppy good luck and great job you doing.Stick with it
 

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I agree... We used to Sit outside of PetsMart for the same reason. The head dodge is normal... TRy to educate strangers, but also socialize the dog... slowly at first with small treats... as volito suggests.
 

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For my dog, who has a similar problem, I leave his treats on the counter so when guests walk in, the guest can give him a treat so he feels more comfortable, and also learns that "new person = treat = yay." It's made a heap of difference for us. My dog is still a little shy and when people go to pet him too fast, but when people walk in he no longer shakes or tries to hide in my lap.

Best of luck!
 
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