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Onceuponadime

7 month pup growling at people

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My pup is settling in well. Hes complete untrained.  Hes a rescue.  I'm exposing him to different areas on walks but he growls at people and barks. I think it's more of fear. Any ideas how to stop this behaviour. Hes got a real deep growl and scared people. I try the distraction method which he ignores and sometimes its impossible to walk another way.

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Sorry,  not something I have come across,  growling whilst on a walk,  hopefully others can help  .................... but as  you say its more than likely out of fear.     Possibly as he settles in and you take over as  'leader of the pack'   (personally I dont like that thinking - but it's the best way of getting the thought across)  -  and he comes to think that you will protect him, he may settle down.

If some of the more experienced members cannot help I would invest in a dog behavourist  -  he should be able to sort it in one session.

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Our current foster boy, Lord Bear of Smarden, isn't keen on people he doesn't know - absolutely a fear response with him. He was seriously neglected, lived in a run in a field (with 17 others in runs) and scared by everything. Only way to get him used to the world (and the people) is to expose him to everything and, gradually, over time he's come to accept with the desensitisation to scary things.

It can take time and needs to be done slowly, at the dog's pace, but acceptance will happen as the dog becomes more secure and confident - so it's not just out and about that it happens but begins in the home. And nothing to do with anyone being a pack leader, domination or any outdated (and invalidated) behaviour. Mutual respect, consistency and fairness is what I've always found works best - be fair to them and they'll always be fair to you. Confidence in you will confer confidence in them 🙂

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@Markulous I have been slowly exposing him to more things and people. I don't force him into anything. He's slowly getting better. I've noticed its when people get too close. Today our bin  men came for instance i walked past them no issue a huge result for him in my opinion. Your rescue is he one of the Smarden pups rescued . I read about them some where. Just out of curiosity.  

 

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Sounds like you've got it all well sorted. HaHa, you mention bin men: our Granite, when we got him hated men (barked at me for 3 days!) but anyone in a fluorescent jacket was particularly suspicious. Now, 5 years later, he's fine with everyone - unless it's a man coming into the house and then he keeps a very careful eye on them!

Yes, indeed. Bear is one of the Smarden 'gang' - went to SASD and we've fostered him for close on a year (that's him poking his nose around the corner of the pic of our other dogs). Lovely boy but spooked by the strangest things. The only dog I've ever been involved with who's been so scared by everything, 'shut down' and didn't move - and that was in the middle of the road! Had to carry him off! He's 5 yo but plays like a puppy - all 30kg of him! Did your boy come from Saints or SHWA (as 2 of the other rescues who took Smarden dogs - fabulous example of rescues co-operating 😊)?

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No I have not got a Smarden dog but read the story and thankfully to people like yourself they will have a much better life. I think with my pup it's the lockdown element that's affected him. He has not been exposed to people or things when he was younger. What hasn't helped is rubbish in the press saying you can get coronavirus from dogs etc. I think the more people he sees the better he will get.

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Yeah, we've been 4 months without going out, except early morning with the dogs, so all of ours will need reintroducing to people! Taking them to the offlead next week, so they can burn off a bit of energy (as it's only been short walks and rushing around the garden).

Was asking as wondering which rescue your pup has come from

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