Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)





My new pup is 3 months old. She is a huge sweetheart to myself and my live-in boyfriend. I started taking her to work with me when she was 10 weeks old to help with her socialization. If people come near her too quickly, ESPECIALLY children, she growls and pushes herself further underneath my desk. If one of my customers walk past and reach down to pet her, she usually cries and runs away from them. My mother reached down to pet her and she growled and snapped at my mother. That was only her first day at the office.

3 days later I brought her to work with me again, this time with treats! I handed treats to everyone who walked by and they would reach down and hold one out for her, she would come up, take the treat and dart underneath my desk. I tried this method for a few days, even with the same, familiar people passing through, and she still was extremely fearful of them.

This week, I'm trying something new. I'm having everyone ignore her (which is proving more difficult than I thought. Apparently grown men have poo in their ears when I repeat, "please ignore her, she's not people-friendly yet"), I'm hoping that having people ignore her will allow her to decide when she's comfortable enough to approach people. Today she actually went up and sniffed a co-worker's pant leg and licked someone else's hand, but as soon as they made eye contact with her, she darted underneath my desk again.

I have two other dogs who love being at the office with me, so I brought one in with me last Friday along with her. She seemed more comfortable with him around, but it's not really ideal for me to bring two dogs to work with me daily.

As a side note, my boyfriend and I have never yelled at her for anything, never spanked her, never intentionally startled her ... she has no reason to think people are evil or anything like that. I've used the office to socialize my past two Huskies, and it's worked fairly well b/c we have a pretty steady flow of new people passing through here daily.

To be honest, what's frustrating me the most is the aggressiveness that she's showing at times. My niece got too close to her this morning (Clio, the puppy, is here at work with me now) and she growled and barked at her and scared the crap out of the kid and made her cry.

Are there any other methods I should try? If she keeps acting like this at work, my boss won't let me bring her any longer. She's starting her training class at Petsmart soon, so I'm hoping that will aid in her socialization as well. The training classes that Kasey (oldest husky) took helped tremendously with his socialization. After his graduation, he became an absolute whore for attention.





Sorry this is so long, cliffnotes for those who don't want to read:

- 3 month old puppy hates people, we've tried treats, praise, and the grand ol' ignore button, but she still hates people, and is semi-aggressive toward them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,997 Posts
The fear is the root of the aggression. People are triggering the fight/flight instinct and she's choosing fight. If you address the fear, the aggression should go away. How do you react when the dog shows fear?

I'm curous what other people's suggestions are as I once worked (unsucessfully back before I knew anything about dogs) with a fearful lab who wandered our neighborhood. He got to where he would eat off my porch with me sitting next to him, but if I tried to touch him, he ran.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,170 Posts
It sounds like having people approach her is just too much. You could try having people offer high-value treats--something she really loves. But don't have them hold it out to her. Just drop it as they walk by. And you can give her treats when she has calm reactions to people just walking by. See if that brings better results.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
It sounds like having people approach her is just too much. You could try having people offer high-value treats--something she really loves. But don't have them hold it out to her. Just drop it as they walk by. And you can give her treats when she has calm reactions to people just walking by. See if that brings better results.

Good luck!
She's very calm around people just walking past her, but as soon as they notice here and start with the whole, "hey puppy, puppy, puppy!" thing, she freaks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,423 Posts
You're on the right track with the treats from other people but, you need to scale back on how where you're doing this. At the office, she is overwhelmed. You should practice this at home with a stranger where she will be more comfortable. Then invite a kid. Then add the chld and 1 adult.
You caught a crucial element of this training (excellent!)...eye contact. Strangers need to sit quietly without looking at her and just toss treats. Wait for her to start moving towards them on her own. That's a breakthrough!. Now, will she take the treat from their hand (still no eye contact). A second breakthrough if she doesn't run away with the treat but, stays near them. Next, casual eye contact with a treat. Next, talking to her, then briefly touching her.
You're still not ready for the office....now, backyard. Next, down the street.
One huge caution.....how YOU react is crucial. If you look nervously at her none of this works because she'll take all the cues from your look and react accordingly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,296 Posts
Try having people turn their backs to her, and let her approach thema t her own pace. Don't let anyone look directly into her eyes at first. Let her get a good sniff all over them before letting them turn their attention to her. If she's not food possessive, prime her by treating in the presence of new people so she creates a positive association with meeting people. When petting, make sure nobody goes over her head - start by petting her rump from the side. Work very slowly, and treat/praise each step with as many different people as feasible.

To dogs, people are gigantic, rude, scary-looking things that smell bad. Go slowly, and start with dog etiquette before primate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
You're on the right track with the treats from other people but, you need to scale back on how where you're doing this. At the office, she is overwhelmed. You should practice this at home with a stranger where she will be more comfortable. Then invite a kid. Then add the chld and 1 adult.
You caught a crucial element of this training (excellent!)...eye contact. Strangers need to sit quietly without looking at her and just toss treats. Wait for her to start moving towards them on her own. That's a breakthrough!. Now, will she take the treat from their hand (still no eye contact). A second breakthrough if she doesn't run away with the treat but, stays near them. Next, casual eye contact with a treat. Next, talking to her, then briefly touching her.
You're still not ready for the office....now, backyard. Next, down the street.
One huge caution.....how YOU react is crucial. If you look nervously at her none of this works because she'll take all the cues from your look and react accordingly.
That makes a WHOLE lot of sense. I cannot thank you enough.



Thanks to everyone who has responded so far, I'm still open for input on this!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
434 Posts
I agree with Tooney, giving treats to the people and asking them to offer them to your pup may not be a good idea quite yet. If I asked someone to try and feed my 10 month old like that right now she'd freak out.
Your on the right track with having people ignore her. She needs to understand, at least for right now that not every scary person is going to walk right up to her and offer her food. When she does something 'brave' sniff a person, lick their hands, move closer, ect. Make a big deal of it, praise her, give her a treat, when she's really comfortable with the whole concept start putting the treats nearer and nearer to the people, eventually they may be able ot hand it to her.
Good Luck!
Chels
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,997 Posts
I agree with Tooney, giving treats to the people and asking them to offer them to your pup may not be a good idea quite yet. If I asked someone to try and feed my 10 month old like that right now she'd freak out.
Your on the right track with having people ignore her. She needs to understand, at least for right now that not every scary person is going to walk right up to her and offer her food. When she does something 'brave' sniff a person, lick their hands, move closer, ect. Make a big deal of it, praise her, give her a treat, when she's really comfortable with the whole concept start putting the treats nearer and nearer to the people, eventually they may be able ot hand it to her.
Good Luck!
Chels
I agree with this and I'd add that you should throw a clicker in there as well for better results.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top