Awareness of strangers?

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Antoinette's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-09

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I'm not sure what to do with this one. Snoopy is now 5 months old. Hes pretty well socialized, I get him out every day and each time we go out we are always coming across people who we talk to , he is a wee bit shy where he will hold back but once hes ok with the person then hes fine with them patting him , he is never all over them and once he has had a pat he will back off and sit or lie down to wait. Hes been to lots of puppy schools and is now doing obedience. He is quite reserved with new people and situations but once sure of it hes pretty good. However today I took him to a different park and as no one was around had him off lead to run around and burn some energy off. So hes running around and then a man came walking up the hill to talk to us and up went the hackles and he started to head towards the man barking. He was in the zone of I'm not sure what to do but I think Ill do this- he wasn't growling though but I don't want to get there especially once he gets bigger. Also the other day I was out with a friend and she was walking strangely so Snoopy wasn't sure it was her and went up to her with the hackles up -I don't want this to get out of hand, I'm happy he is protective but don't want him to start approaching people like that. Should I not have him off the lead until hes older or should I recall him and get him to sit in these situations. Any ideas would be greatly appreciate. Im not sure if its just a phase he is going through or if its something that needs to be nipped in the bud now.

DJ's Dad's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-04

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I'm no dog trainer or expert, but I think I would keep him leashed until you know for sure if he is feeling threatened by strangers or just going through a phase.  You can somewhat "condidion" him to accepting strangers by having him on a leash and asking people to approach him in a non-threatening way and praise him for being quiet.  A dobie SHOULD be aware of approaching strangers, but remain calm until there is a real need to be protective.

Antoinette's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-09

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I was thinking it could be a phase as at the moment he is not being overly aggressive just approaching barking but his hackles are going up as well , when he does it looks like hes not to sure of what he should be doing. I take him out alot and people come up to him quite alot however when they do he is standoffish untill he feels comfortable with them. He certainly isnt excited to see people but once they quietly pat him he accepts them . 

Oh Ziva is lovely, Ive looked at her photos before shes just beautiful. I love the sleeping pics.

Thanks for your help. I didnt have that with the other one I had, he was protective but would never have approched someone off lead when we were out which is why Im not sure what to do with Snoops doing this.  

Lori's picture
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Joined: 2010-04-03

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The problem isn't completely IF he will bite either.  A Doberman barking at you can very easily terrify people, and once that happens it can go downhill fast.  What if they turn and run or freak out completely?  would he chase them?  probably....it's a basic instint to chase what runs.  What if he jumps at them and knocks them down, etc.....What happens with kids on bikes?  all sorts of things can come at you in public..

 

Keep him leashed until you know....It's a public place and as much as we love our dogs other people have the right to be there without being afraid of them too. 

 

A gal at the MX park the other weekend wouldn't go to the bathrooms because Rocky was 10 ft away.  I saw her make a 2nd attempt and stop watching him uneasily and let her know she was fine he was friendly but she said she was just terrified of large dogs and couldn't.  I quickly grabbed him and took him with me around the truck but that poor lady wouldn't get within 10 ft of him tied on a leash not even barking.  She was just white as a ghost looknig at him....