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Hi everyone
Neeli is a 7 month old golden whose hair always goes up when she meets people while we are walking (she's on a leash). Sometimes she barks at them and she's constantly pulling me to get away from the people. She's never had a bad experience with adults or kids - it's just that her hair raises on her back. When her K9 pal Apples gets petted, sometimes Neeli will go to the person.

I always thought Goldens were friendly with adults & kids - that's why I got one. I know her breeder is very reputable & I met the parents.

It's very annoying to have to deal with this while she's a puppy - I'm afraid of what she'll be like when she gets older.

I always let people come to her when she was younger - I even asked them to go down to her level and gave them treats to give her. I don't think she's aggressive, but more shy.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
Nadine
 

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Raised hackles just means the dog is aroused. With a Golden I'd imagine the dog is aroused to lick the greeted to death.

I would rehearse greetings with novel people, using distance away to moderate her arousal, and distance nearer for appropriate behavior.
 

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First of all, start giving this dog treats and lots of positive reinforcement when she is around people she does not know. Sometimes she barks at them and she's constantly pulling me to get away from the people. She is showing the beginning stages of Fear Aggression and if you deal with this now you may be able to avoid having a fear/leash aggressive dog!

When you are approaching strangers, or they are approaching you, see what her threshold is. If she starts to have raised hackles OR if she starts to indicate she wants to run away. YOU back away until she is comfortable. When she is at a comfortable distance, start with treats and praise. Gradually decrease the distance rewarding and praising her in a high happy squeaky voice. If she shows any fear, Back off. Get between her and the scarey new person. Let her know you are going to take care of it. Reward Reward Reward. The point is to associate strangers with good things like food and praise. DO NOT FORCE HER TO MEET PEOPLE if she shows ANY FEAR.

I would get this puppy in a training class ASAP so she can be socialized. Training classes (like beginner 1) are as much for the training as the are for the dog learning to be around other dogs and people (socialization).
 

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I always thought Goldens were friendly with adults & kids - that's why I got one.
That's true of the vast majority of the breed. It is not law, however. Do as Elana said and start working on reducing her level of excitement/arousal when greeting people. It shouldn't be difficult to get her over this, but I would absolutely not count on her outgrowing this tendency on her own.
 

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The worst dog bite I ever received was from a Golden Retriever...... (many years ago).
Mine came from a Border Collie when I was very young and teasing him while he was eating. He left several long gashes and punctures on my face as reminders to not do that.
 
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