Author Topic: Nervous of strangers on our walks  (Read 529 times)

Patti

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Nervous of strangers on our walks
« on: July 03, 2007, 06:57:51 PM »
Otis is walking sooo nicely now that we have started the penalty yard method (besides being preoccupied with telephone poles, fire hydrants, bushes, trees, and every single piece of grass we come across)! The downfall is that he has become nervous of people we encounter on our walks.
Tonight we saw two women standing in a driveway a few houses down from ours. Otis stood at the end of the driveway & stared, he would not move. When they started talking to him and saying hi to me his mowhawk stood up straight on his back and he actually growled! I've never seen him react this way before! I walked him toward one of the women who crouched down to say hi to him him after asking if he was nice. It took him a minute but he finally approched her on his own terms (I was not pushing the issue or talking to him at all - I didn't really know what to say anyway!). Of course he was all wiggles and nubby going like crazy as soon as her hand touched his chin.
I'm worried that this is going to become a problem. I want to take him out more often and get him accustomed to meeting different people when we are out & about. How should I react when/if this happens? Did I do the right thing? I didn't want to pull him away from her and leave him thinking that she was scary.
Patti & Otis (8/18/2006)


Hanna Banana

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Re: Nervous of strangers on our walks
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2007, 07:58:28 PM »
Hanna can get that way at times, and other times she is good to go.  I know that when people ask to pet her, she is skiddish at first, but them warms up to them.

No idea why, guess its better than her jumping right on them!
So Id be interested in what people say on this one.

Otis, he is the gentle giant.  Mr. Peacemaker, not shy with the lady boxers thats fo'sure!
Heather  - Mom to Hanna Banana & Kash

Lauren

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Re: Nervous of strangers on our walks
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2007, 10:21:54 PM »
Wow, Ginger is 100% opposite of Otis.  People get within 50 feet of her, and she's pulling me down the sidewalk.  Is there a way I can train her to be skiddish towards people?   LOL.

Pepper's the same as Otis.  When people first come up to her, she sits with the expression of being scared - wide open eyes, and tail sucked down tight on her butt.  As soon as they touch her, her little butt starts wiggling so fast she can barely stay sitting.  I REALLY prefer Pepper's approach to other people!
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shm87

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Re: Nervous of strangers on our walks
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2007, 12:55:08 AM »
Bailey can be shy too. I take her to the beach and the seawall all the time now since its summer and she encounters a lot of strangers. When they stop to see her, I usually will just say " oh she's a little shy but very friendly!" Luckily most people either crouch down or put their hand out for her to sniff first before just touching her and I think that helps. Sometimes if she hasn't warmed up yet, I crouch down too and pet her.

Its funny though because we were at the beach about 2 weeks ago and a family was there w/ their dog  and a little 3 or 4 year old boy. He was just a tab bit taller than Bailey and she had no problem with him at all. In fact, she loved him. She kept following him and giving him tons of kisses. He approached her very quietly,though and I think that helped. I think a big part of it is the approach, at least with my experiences.

I think you did the right thing. Maybe next time when he growls or gets the mohawk, in a calm voice just say " its ok." I do that with Bailey and Chloe( the minpin) all the time when they get nervous. I think it was smart that you let him see the lady because now he may slowly start to realize that hey, strangers aren't that bad and I don't need to get nervous...they are nice!
Sue~Bailey, Guinness and Finnegan


Bers

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Re: Nervous of strangers on our walks
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2007, 10:12:32 AM »
I think you probably did do the right thing. He got to interact on his terms, in a way that he felt comfortable with, and it was a positive experience. I would make sure to always have treats with you on walks, and if it happens again you can add a tasty treat in to make it even more pleasant. The best way to "fix" this before it becomes a problem is to repeat that pleasant experience as often as possible, with as many different kinds of people as you can.
Amber


Patti

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Re: Nervous of strangers on our walks
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2007, 11:57:08 AM »
Otis, he is the gentle giant.  Mr. Peacemaker, not shy with the lady boxers thats fo'sure!
He really is a gentle giant and I don't think he would ever hurt anyone, but I don't want him to scare people either, or be scared of people himself.

I would make sure to always have treats with you on walks, and if it happens again you can add a tasty treat in to make it even more pleasant.
I actually did have cheese with me as we were on a 'training' walk and I gave him a piece after he greeted the woman nicely as well as lots of verbal & physical praise.
Patti & Otis (8/18/2006)