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My dog has very random reactions to men also. He will be fine with everyone we see for days and days, and then someone sets him off. There is absolutely no detectable pattern and, only once, the reaction was to a woman. I am starting to think my dog has some kind of other sense, that he knows when someone is too intense or unbalanced.

I know that my dog spent his early puppy-hoood in a kennel situation with less than ideal socialization. I think this answers why he has some issues. I also think he is temperamentally sensitive and very aware of what is going on in the people around him. I watch other dogs that seem blissfully happy no matter what is going on around them. My dog, on the other hand, seems to be a barometer for the mood of those around him, both people and dogs........
 

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I don't know if I agree with that. I once had a dog who was petrified of storm drains. He would cross to the other side of the street on walks if he saw a storm drain and would always eye it suspiciously until it was out of site. Now, I couldn't care less if he likes storm drains or not and it was no big deal to just walk on the other side of the street, but if I wanted to desensitize him to storm drains would it have really mattered why he had that fear?
Wow, this brings back memories. :D It took us a long time to figure out that the reason our new dog didn't want to walk past the end of the driveway was because there was a storm drain there. I imagine that he was afraid of the storm drain for the same reason he was afraid of trash barrels, and everything else he had never seen before. Now he still glances at storm drains when we pass but, the other day my DH came home from a walk and announced that Cherokee WALKED OVER a storm drain. Oh, the pride..........
 

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I agree about the worthlessness of speculation, but in my case, I'm trying to figure out what the trigger is; if I knew her past, I might be able to filter out some of the causes. But since I don't, you're right - spending time to figure it out is just wasting time better spent on observing & identifying the triggers.

Like I said, I live in a bustling neighborhood of a large city, so my dog literally encounters hundreds to thousands of people on a daily basis, usually with no reaction. It might even be different stimuli for each incident, in which case I'm really hosed (though I'm pretty sure the dude with the kite and the homeless guy, it was 'giant kite' and 'psychological disorder'). Given the small percentage of people she reacts to, it shouldn't be too hard to figure it out, but, thus far, the only consistent thing I've noticed is a 'Y' chromosome.

As much as I'd like to surround myself with only women between the ages of 19 and 25 and 1/2, I just don't think that's going to work. *sigh*
The way we have dealt with it is to keep him in a heel whenever we are passing new people. I watch him and, if he makes even the slightest nervous twitch, I ask for a look, which means focus on my eyes. If that doesn't relax his posture completely, I ask for a sit and treat him as the person walks by. We have been working for 2 1/2 years to figure out what it is about the random people that make him nervous, but there really is not a pattern that we can discern. I hope you have more luck than us......
 
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