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May 30, 2011


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Hi Darcie, I'm hoping you can help with my siiaottun. I rescued my (very large neutered male, has passed CGC) dog several months ago and I think he's just the most beautiful dog in the world. Unfortunately, it seems I'm not alone in this line of thought, as that's where my problem comes in . I live in the city, and every day my dog is exposed to lots of sounds and smells and people. Ordinarily that'd be a good thing, he takes it all in nicely. Bicycles, big scary sounds, random things, and folks going by are no problem at all. However, some people will just be so taken with my dog that they just reach out and grab at him to pet him. Now, if someone asks, and approaches gently, and interacts with me, it's just fine. But when people don't ask, reach straight for his head, lean over him and get in his face, he barks (loudly) at them! Often this happens so quickly, the person (almost always a guy for some reason) is already learning over my dog by the time I take stock of what's going on. It's upsetting for everyone involved, and I walk away humiliated and disappointed, too people will think that my dog is a bad dog and I'm a terrible owner. I'm a very soft spoken, nonconfrontational individual, and I don't know how to handle this. Please Darcie, if you have any advice, I could really use it. MDear M, Sorry I'm so late answering your question. We just got back from our trip across the western US. I couldn't use all of the features of the blog while I was gone, I couldn't access some of the questions. Okay .We have a dog who doesn't like anyone in her face. She doesn't bite but her bark is huge and it scares some people. The control for her is that we pay special attention when anyone nears her, don't get in her face, we say. It's not always easy to be right there when someone invades her space but we try. Tilli, say hi , we croon. She wags her tail and sniffs them. It works. Work with a behaviorist to see if you can put the control on a command. For instance Sit or Chill means do not commune with strangers no matter what they do around you or to you. Find someone who uses only positive reinforcement, clickers are my choice. Let us know how it goes. Darcie

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