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I desperately need some advice... we adopted an almost two year old hound/boxer mix, who appears to be cross eyed, and possibly abused. She is terrified of our 19 year old son, who came home from college at the beginning of December. She LOVES my husband, 11 year old daughter, and myself, but she is still so scared of our son. She has a fit barking and shaking, but when he goes up to pet her, she doesn’t try to bite at him or anything, but it hasn’t gotten any better at all, even after a couple of months of him seeing her daily. I also need to add that he is a HUGE dog lover, but obviously, he just looks like someone who used to abuse her maybe... I just need some advice on how to get her to like him, even a little ??‍♀
 

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Your son needs to simply ignore the dog. In time, the dog will become curious and begin to investigate (sniff) your son.

Then and only then, should your son make an attempt to interact with the dog.

This is not an interaction that can be forced. Do NOT try to force the interaction.

Perhaps in time, as the dog becomes curious about your son, then the son could begin feeding the dog.
 

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You don’t necessarily have to just wait until the dog comes around. You can try positive reinforcement. Have your son a far distance away and out of sight. Have your son walk into view and reward the dog when it sees him. At a distance your dog should not have a fear trigger and will start to associate the appearance of your son with a positive - the treat. Repeat the procedure with your son slowly making his appearances closer. He isn’t to interact, just be seen. Pay attention the your dog’s comfort level. Don’t try to fix the problem in one training session. Puppy will soon get excited to see your son instead of fearing him.
 

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I had one rescue dog that was very scared of my father initially. What the previous people recommended is mostly what we did. YOU reward the dog with treats when the person can be seen/is there - be carful that the dog is not stressed. If it is, move the person farther back or make whatever accommodation is needed so that it is not stressed but you can still train it to be familiar with the person. Once the dog can tolerate your son being there, it may go to sniff or check out your son. Any time it looks at or shows curiosity toward your son, give it a reward/treat. It’s important that you are the one to reward your dog and not your son, like the previous commenters said, he needs to remain indifferent and the reward should come from someone your dog trusts (you). Hope this works for you! It helped our dog greatly, he cuddles my dad every morning.
 
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