|Barked: Sun Oct 17, '10 11:35pm PST |
|Samson has entered his. How have you dealt with your dog's second fear period? I read in large breeds this can extend well past 14 months of age (he is 10 months now) so I need a good management strategy. Today he was scared of two little girls who were barely taller than he is!!! He did let them pet him, and their dad as well (who he knew, and did not react with fear), but it is beginning to get to the point where new people = potential threat. I like my dog "needing me" but I know this is NOT healthy for him! During this stage I do not want him to learn to be overly dependent on me.
Second Fear Stage Signs
He just finished "testing his wings," he is in the right age range, and he started consistently lifting his leg a little over a week ago, so the signs are there, everything lines up.
Samson has never been exuberantly friendly, mostly aloof, but fear is a new reaction for him. He isn't unmanageable of course, he's just, well...he isn't pleasant to have around other people when he's afraid, rather than just doing "drive-bys" or flat out ignoring them.
I'm thinking my best option is to just bring loads of treats with me on EVERY outing, and any time he starts showing signs of fear, just stuff his muzzle with as much treats as he'll eat, so he can associate that new things = fun time.
So far he has done very well if I command that he ignores strangers (and convey that to said strangers as well) but that's not any fun for me or him, and I don't think it is teaching him good things - it is simply avoiding a problem instead of dealing/managing it.
Luckily he should be past all this by my sister's wedding, hehe.
Edited by author Sun Oct 17, '10 11:55pm PST
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