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Puppy is Extremely Fearful of People

1166 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  hulkamaniac

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.
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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.
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