What do you do when he runs from people or jumps at a loud noise? How do you respond to the behavior?
Probably doesn't like that sound level. Wally HATES high pitched sounds - be they voices or otherwise.The minute a new person starts with the high pitched "hi doggie come here" he probably won't ever go up to smell them the whole visit.
Probably looks like a calming signal to him (looking away) so he feels a little more bold to approach and check out the scent. Once he's okay with it - makes sense he'll accept petting.If they ignore him, and simply talk with us he will quickly come up and sniff at them. After a few minutes of sniffing, they can usually pet him.
Reaching over can be considered a threatening position to a dog that doesn't trust the reaching person or is still uncertain about them. How does he do if the person kneels to his level and coaxes him over?He does still run from some people at this point if they reach down even slowly, other people he has gotten to know by now and he quickly stops ducking and running when they come over.
When he comes to check someone out calmly, praise and reward him (and let the person he's checking out also give him a reward, like his favorite treat or toy or such). Have as many people you feel would be calm for him to meet do this as well. Try playing the Look at That game or similar. Will help him associate seeing people as a possibility for something good happening.I don't want a dog that charges visitors by any means, and his distance is a welcome difference from my Jack who would push her way up to anyone new and get right on top of them if I let her. But I'd still like to raise his confidence level and trust to the point that a new person might be able to pet him normally without the ducking and running.
I know the feeling. Wally's the same way, especially with kids. Never aggressive, but he looks anxious, but will settle down once he sees the kid won't eat him, especially in a sit stay.Another short example is the dog park. Most of the dogs there will let other owners pet them, some are eager for affection from anyone, but most will let anyone pet them. Not my Beagle! If ANYONE comes near him he runs...ducks and runs. He has never allowed anyone to pet him easily unless he is on the leash. Then he allows it.
Pretty much the same. A few people we have over are very dog friendly and they immediately crouch down and open both arms to encourage him to come over rather then reaching down, but he pretty much responds the same way.How does he do if the person kneels to his level and coaxes him over?