|Barked: Mon Mar 23, '09 5:14am PST |
I recommend moving very slowly yet consistently forward with the socialization. The fact that people are frightened of her doesn't help but if you find through careful observation where Roxi's threshold is..(ten feet? five feet?) without the fearful behaviour that is where you should start. No one needs to pet her or talk to her at this point.
Try to get someone, a neighbour or friend to help you in the beginning. Have them approach (no eye contact) while you stand with Roxi. They should approach slowly, watch R. for when she starts to get "worried" and ask them to stop moving forward. Where they are is her threshold. Have them move back a foot or two. Reward any calm behaviour. If you can get her to look at you for eye contact here for reassurance this helps as well.
The rewards you need to use are very high value, but very small..maybe pieces of chicken or hot dogs..and have lots so you can continually feed them while she is calm. Have the person assisting walk away. Stop the feeding. Repeat.
This is just the first step in desensitizing Roxi to people. It needs to be adjusted as she goes. Please do not force her to interact with anyone, as this can not only make it worse at this point but could cause a bite.
Use this for now and get yourself a good positive trainer or behaviourist in to do the rest of the work with you. She will be a big dog and it is imperative she be helped to be a SAFE dog.
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