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My puppy is scared of dogs

660 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  Sloth
Stella, my Scottie, is 12 weeks old. I have been working very hard to socialize her properly, and we have been going on walks in the neighborhood, in parks, and in pet stores every day so she can meet strangers and get accustomed to the presence of other dogs.

Things were going well until last Thursday. We were walking in our neighborhood when my neighbor's very large dog (100+ lbs) got loose (unsupervised) just as we were walking past their house. This dog started running straight for us, so I scooped Stella up in my arms since I wasn't sure what the dog's intentions were. This other dog started jumping on me trying to nip at Stella, and she yelped. After pushing the dog off of me several times and walking the other direction, the dog lost interest and ran off.

Stella was not hurt, but ever since then she gets scared when we are walking and she sees other dogs or hears them barking. She starts pulling frantically on the leash and trying to run the other direction. We have not encountered any other loose dogs thank goodness, so I usually cross to the other side of the street and encourage her to walk with me, and the increased distance seems to reassure her. When we meet dogs in more controlled settings, such as going to a friend's house and meeting their dogs, she does not show this same fear.

What is the best way to get her over this? There are lots of dogs in my neighborhood, and I don't want her to be afraid every time we encounter an unknown dog.
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If you have friends with large dogs, why not have them meet you on a walk with your puppy? That way she'll see the big dog walking towards her, but since you know the other person you can take as much time as you need until she stops acting frantic. Soothe her, give her some treats, etc. as the other dog slowly walks towards you, until she stops acting so incredibly scared.

Otherwise, I'd keep doing what you're doing. Keep taking her for walks, etc. Except, I wouldn't cross the street when you see another dog. Keep walking calmly, speak in a soothing voice, give her some treats if she'll take them. Eventually, it should click with her that not all big dogs on walks are bad.
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