my dog is scared of people and tries to bite them what do I do?

She is a 3 year old lab who has only started to have a fear of people when she was one. It's not just with a sertain type of person but with every one that she hasen't known from birth but even then she is still scared of those she does know if she dosent reconize them. This is a serious problem that I need help with or my dog may get taken away. Will you help me? I need to know how to fix this problem and help her deal with her phobia.

Asked by Member 552055 on Dec 30th 2007 in Behavior & Training
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Lady (In loving Memory)

I know your pain. I have a six year old Beagle I have the same problem with. I recommend socialization for you dog. One thing you could do is give your visitors a treat to give her. Most dogs are food oriented and if given a treat they are a friend for life. Some this does not work. You could consider some obedience training as well. Most dogs if someone comes in the house the dog goes and sniffs etc... my beagle runs away. What I do because she just happens to be a dog I couldn't brake the cycle with is I let her go to a safety zone such as my room when people come over. I have finally got her to let my sister pet her after years of introductions. However, after the little pet she is ready to get away from her. It also, sounds like the dog is devoted to you. She sees outsiders as a threat to your attention and doesn't like it. I sure hope you don't have to get rid of her because even though my dog is shy... she has turned out to be the best friend I've ever had.

Lady (In loving Memory) answered on 12/30/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Marlowe, CGC

I'd find a qualified professional behaviorist that emphasizes positive methods (ie, you don't want someone who's going to "break" your dog of this problem, you want someone who can help you help her work through her fear and learn some different ways of coping). A dog who has fear aggression and attempts to bite is a very very serious thing---not only could she be taken from you and put down, you could get sued. Talk to your veterinarian about getting a referral to a behaviorist who specializes in fearful and aggressive dogs.

Marlowe, CGC answered on 12/30/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

KABX  loves Sammy

I agree with finding a good behavior specialist to support you, but also, I think you could socialize your dog more if you think you can handle it. If you have friends that she doesnt know or your friends can bring their friends, invite them into the house. Your dog needs to be in the living room or where you seat and talk for a while using a collar and leash. Have her sitting or laying down by your side, she has to be relaxed. Any attempt to bark, growl,jump or bite can be controlled because she is on a leash. Correct this behavior now. Enjoy your guests and talk until you see she is Ok with that, a sign could be that she is in her own little world grooming herself, ignoring people or napping. Do this as often as possible, with different people . As she calms down you will be able to remove the leash and have her indoors while you have guests. The spot you assigned for her to lay down at will become her place and guests dont have to touch her if she doesnt want to. Good luck.

KABX loves Sammy answered on 12/31/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Haus R.I.P. my boy I miss you

Wow not common for a Lab to be this way!I have worked with dogs for over 30 years.Most of my work has been in the Training area(obedience, hunting,behavior modification&Police dogs)so on that note I would really REALLY reccommend a behaviorist with your Pet&don't be surprised if they reccommend drug therapy.Not a bad thing but it means you will need to work with your Vet as well.As I said before this is not a common thing for a Lab!Please don't expect a quick fix,there is no such thing when it comes 2 reconditioning. I'm talking like a year for retraining.When people say as above that you should do more socializing with your dog,this is something that is done very early in life.The most crutial time is between birth&12 weeks old.Sometime you can get a few things in later in their 1st year but your really setting yourself up for failure if things are put off.Getting your Vet&a qualified behaviorist envolved is going to make things much easier for your dog.Good luck email me if u need 2

Haus R.I.P. my boy I miss you answered on 1/2/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer