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Scare of being touch by strangers

Discussion in 'Training & Behavior' started by nyfries, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. nyfries

    nyfries Puppy

    We got our pup Oreo at around 8 week of age. She was from a backyard breed unfortunately but my girlfriend fell in love with her and here we are...
    In general she is a pretty well behave puppy, learn command very quickly. She knew sit, down, stay, wait within a few repetition at 8 week of age and is extremely food motivated.

    She is 3 month and 2 week and now.
    She was scare of going for walk when she first came home but not she will walk confidently with her head held up high held up high.

    However she is still very cautious towards strangers. The very first time I had a friend come visit, when she saw him walk through the door she ran back to her crate and hide, when my friend try to approach her crate she make this half yelp half growl sound until he back away. I was eventually able to lure her out with treats and she took treat from my friend eventually as well but won't let him touch her, will just back away after taking the treat.

    Due to covid we are not able to hold puppy parties and have a constant stream of people over at the house. She has met quite a few of my friends and relatives since we got her and she gets a few play date with my friend's very patience adult old english sheepdog.We took her out to shopping malls and try to introduce as much new environment and people to her as possible given the current restriction.

    She no longer runs back to her crate when people come over. She's made friend with couple of my friend that comes over a lot and made a point to interact with her. She is even curious and all tail wagging at the cable man that came over today.

    For any new people that comes over, she is still very cautious but curious. She will follow the stranger around at a distance but when they bend down to say hi she will back away. If the stranger is interacting with food of any kind, she will go closer but will quickly dart away if they try to pet her.

    Once she seem the person for a few times and they interact with her a few times, she will open up (to selected people it seems), play with them, cuddle with them and even start puppy bite (she only does the puppy bite when she is comfortable with a person lol, otherwise she will just stay away)

    Well, I took Oreo to the vet today and he made the comment of her being very defensive of being touch by stranger and how this will be an issue for us if we don't seek help.

    From my understanding of the breed, HA is completely unacceptable and they should love love all humans.
    Is this something I should be concern of in my puppy? She is very cuddly with us and has no problem being
    touch, handled, flip upside down. whatever we want to do to her. She cuddle and play with some of my friends. But I am concern of how wary she is of stranger and scare of being handle by strangers.
  2. Michele

    Michele Chi Super Dog Administrator

    I would have any new visitors that come over to just ignore her until the dog goes to them. Give them treats so that when your dog approaches, they can give a treat. Also, you mentioned puppy parties. This breed is DA (dog aggressive). Please manage accordingly. It might mean no more puppy parties. This breed would rather be with humans.
    oldman likes this.
  3. Michele

    Michele Chi Super Dog Administrator

    I want to add.....if what I suggested does not work, you might want to look into a behaviorist. You had mentioned that the dog does warm up to strangers after a bit.
    When you get a dog from a backyard breeder, you don't know what you are going to get, genetically.
  4. nyfries

    nyfries Puppy

    yea I’m will look into a behaviourist. Just wondering how long I should wait before seeking professional help.

    When she does warm up to stranger she has no problem bringing them toys to play, asking for butt scratches and trying to play.
    But she doesn’t warm up to everyone. She is still a little aloof to some of my friend and would just go and sit by the fireplace by herself.

    Everybody that come in are instructed to leave the pup alone and no eye contact. Let the pup come to them. She will come up to everyone to sniff, poke around and generally be curious. And will go off and do her own things if the guest continues to ignore her. Touching is still a nono until she gets comfortable.
    With the vet however she doesn’t really get this chance to take things at her pace. I understand the doctor is busy and really don’t have to the time to just let her get comfortable slowly. And I also don’t want this to be an issue.
    My last dog was only aggressive at the vet after being neuter.
    Don’t want my new pup to be this way.

    She does seem to get more confident as time goes. Should I just continue what I have been doing and see if she will grow out of it? Or should I seek help now?

    I am well aware of the potential for DA in the breed. Her play time with other dogs are supervise and I always have in the back of my mind that something might happen and this will be the last play date etc. As of now she is still very puppy like and just wants to play with every dog (she warms to up dogs way faster than with human)
  5. oldman

    oldman Little Dog

    When something does happen at a play date it will come fast. Breaking sticks would be a very good thing to carry. Learn how to use them. Many people are very surprised how fast and how brutal it can be. Be prepared.
    Michele likes this.
  6. nyfries

    nyfries Puppy

    Thank you. I will get a break stick and of course learn how to use it.

    she is just a puppy right now and doesn’t even have any of her adult teeth. She can’t really do much damage to her one doggy friend right now but I know the DA issue with these dog and will prepare for it.

    I am was not quite prepare to have people shy dog of this breed. The comment the vet made is making me even more nervous. Would appreciate some advice on that.

    she does warm up to people but no touchy by stranger. She will dart away. She won’t submit to being examine by the vet and he had to muzzle her last appointment to look at her eye (which he told me was just a pre caution and to stop her from wiggling). Not sure if that experience of being taken away from us to be examine in the back all muzzle up actually made this worse.
    She didn’t show any animosity when she came back out and will still take treat from the vet. But yea physical examination by anybody other than us is not happening at the moment.
  7. oldman

    oldman Little Dog

    I really didn't want people touching my dogs without I was holding the leash and allowed them to.
    One dog trainer learned the hard way when I told him many times not to touch my dog.
  8. Michele

    Michele Chi Super Dog Administrator

    When my JC was alive ( a chihuahua) he had to be muzzled for every vet visit. Some dogs just have to be muzzled when getting examined at the vet.
    As far as what the vet said about the behavior, go with your gut. If it makes you feel better, get a behaviorist (a good one) to see if there are any issues. Some dogs are just skiddish of strangers. This could be the case because it seems like the dog does warm up to people after awhile. I'm not a behaviorist so I'm just giving my opinion.
  9. nyfries

    nyfries Puppy

    Hi everyone.
    Update on Oreo.
    We continue to work on getting different people to come over to our house and socialize her as much as possible. She is almost 4 months now.

    last night she might my friend 20 month old baby for the first time.

    she has met older children outside before. We took her to places like Home Depot when she was younger and seems curious want to approach almost but due to covid she didn’t directly interact with any children until last night.

    this is the youngest kid she has ever met and her first reaction was again running back to her crate yelping and low growling. 20 month old baby can only yell And shout. That seems to have scare her more. If the kid approaches she would make more growling and yelling noise.

    Unfornately we didn’t get much one on one attention with kid and dog. As my friend with the older doggie friend came over as well pretty soon after and Oreo became preoccupy with the older dog and start to ignore the kid. The next time she notice kid running around, she wasn’t scare anymore and turn to a normal (well more normal in my eyes) behaviour of trying to chase and play (obviously not a good manner but much better than being scare)

    she seems to regain her confidence much faster with the older dog around. But she also tend to not interact with people much when the older dog is around.

    so today we went to puppy class again. Today’s main focus is recall and part of the exercise involve the trainer holding the puppy and having me calll them over.

    she was the only puppy in the class that avoids the trainer’s touch. Will happily approach but touching not okay.

    Trainer again tell us how this is a big issue and need to be address like months ago. She eventually did catch Oreo and had her calm down in her arms.

    Her suggestion is to basically ignore the fit she throw when strangers try to grab her and have me just pass my pup around amongst friends even if she is struggle to get away.

    I’m not sure if this is a good way.... while my trainer is very experience with dog. This isn’t the case with most of my friends. Oreo is getting pretty big and some friends are rightfully scare when a 30+ lb strong puppy starts struggling in their arms.

    It’s a little demoralizing to see all the other puppy in the puppy class so friendly and open to stranger but my pupper can just approach and dart away

    not really sure what to do right now.
    Appreciate everyone’s advice here but I’ve receive warning from the vet and the trainer already.

    We also do plan to have a baby at some point in the future. It will be when Oreo is mostly an adult but last night’s first experience with young kid and Oreo also had me concern (having said that Oreo’s very first experience with adult stranger is the same and she has stop doing it now)

    we really don’t have many friend with children that can invite to socialize. And with covid we can’t really just ask strangers we see out on a walk to assist.

    Online socialization guide also mostly suggest socialization doesn’t need to involve actual touching. But we feel like this might be a bigger problem for our puppy.

    many new advice, insight. Personal experience would really help guys. :(
  10. oldman

    oldman Little Dog

    Do not do what the trainer is telling you. You do not want to add to the numbers of pits biting people.
    Forcing a scared dog could result in someone getting hurt.
    Sounds like your puppy did not get much attention from people before she was weaned.
    It will take time to change her if you can.
    Michele likes this.
  11. nyfries

    nyfries Puppy

    Yea when she said that it tingle my spidey sense. Just doesn’t seem right.
    But she did get Oreo from the “hey hey don’t touch me what are you doing state” to doing a sit and calm down.

    very conflicted right now. With this second warning from the trainer. My girlfriend is very concern especially with kids in our future.

    Beside the normal puppy issue. She is an incredible sweet dog to us and to friends that she know.

    Endless wiggly butt and tail wagging once she get over the initial fear.

    I’ve never been fortunate enough to own a completely balance dog. My last GSD was high pretty drive as a pup and leash reactive and dog aggressive when puberty hit along with being aloof with stranger (expected for the breed) but I manage to keep him for his whole life. He was a very good boy as an adult. Than again I didn’t have a kid back than...

    I’m honestly not to worry at the moment seeing how she is definitely making progress in my mind. But this is my girlfriend’s first experience with bigger powerful breed (she had a hyper and bad behaving poodle before lol). The words from the vet and the trainer is getting to her.

    Any reassurance from people with puppy that are similar to mine would be greatly appreciated...
  12. Michele

    Michele Chi Super Dog Administrator

    At this point, I would invest in a GOOD dog behaviorist to analyze the situation. It can't hurt. Until then, go at the dog's pace. If someone comes into your house, they should ignore the dog until the dog approaches them. At that point, have them give the dog a treat. Do not coddle any bad behavior. Ignore it.

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